1 Timothy 2:12 “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” has the fundamentalists in a tizzy right now. They are all a-twitter about this scripture in the NIV 2011. It baffles me.
The NIV 2011 has it this way “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”
What is not to like about that?
These gotcha people completely ignore the fact that Paul specifically started his sentence in all translations with the word “I.” Paul is not God, even if his letters are scriptures. He made this one sentence personal and says that he does not permit women to do this.
I got myself into a stew this week over this verse. I found it on two “ain’t no women gonna preach” websites and wrote the following in the comments section. I wrote it on one and then made the mistake of copying and pasting it into the comments section of the other. That is a no-no, folks. These people jumped all over me like a piece of spam at a picnic.
They banned me!
This is what I wrote:
This scripture has kept women from Christian service in her church. Churches have used this scripture to prohibit women from taking up the offering, teaching teen age boys, mixed classes, being a deacon, and from being a pastor.
Since there is a variety of ways this scripture can be interpreted, it is with great pleasure that Baptists decide that there is only one way it can be interpreted. Women can’t. Whatever it is a particular church decides that they don’t want a woman to do, they pull out this scripture and say “women can’t.”
Wouldn’t it be Christ-like to say that since nobody knows exactly what this scripture limits and doesn’t limit, that we Christians will let God call women as He chooses to do and at whatever He chooses. If it is to pastor, then God calls women to pastor. If it is to teach men, then we can allow God to call women to teach men.
Instead, Baptists have chosen the harsh rule over women. This is harmful to the Gospel, to the Body of Christ, and it is harmful to women and to young girls who feel they are called into ministry.
It is easy to ignore Jesus’ example of giving the good news to women to tell. We do it all the time. At some point, we must remember that it is His gospel, and if he chooses to call women to proclaim it as he did with the woman at the well, and to Mary at the tomb, who are we to stand in His way?
When we deny one woman the right to serve God fully as He calls her, we have denied all women the right to serve God fully. Won’t you join me in speaking up for women’s equality, and demanding that ALL the scriptures in the Bible be taken into consideration regarding women’s equality?