Q. Jessica, I was just curious… what do you think of women preaching? Scripture says, “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.” 1 Cor 14:34-35 NASB
A. What a great and thought provoking question! I believe very much that the Bible is the living BREATHING Word of God and that it is just as much applicable for today, as it was 2010 years ago when it walked and talked -manifested in Jesus the Christ- PRAISE GOD! I will do my best to answer your question,
“Aimee Semple McPherson’s traveling crusades came to rival those held by Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. On one 150-day tour it is estimated that she traveled 15,000 miles and delivered 336 sermons to audiences totaling more than two million people.”
The Word Never Condradicts
Not only is the Bible applicable for today, the Word NEVER contradicts itself, so when you read the above verses in Corinthians and set them side by side with Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (KJV) It would almost seem as if the Word was being contradictory! In one scripture you have an expression from Paul that specifically classifies and points at women admonishing them, and in the other scripture (Gal 3:28) Paul speaks that there IS NO identity apart from Christ, and being a “woman” is irrelevant!
So what do you do when you have a seemingly biblical contradiction? Dig deep! WAY deep, like to the Greek deep! We must go into the science and history of the time and get MORE information. The Bible NEVER contradicts itself, and when you have ALL of the facts it always makes perfect sense! In the case of women preaching vs. Corinthians 14:34 & 35, as it has been explained to me throughout study, and Biblical mentorship, the Corinthian church was under much suffering when Paul wrote his letter to them.
“… the majority of new believers in Corinth had come from a background in paganistic goddess worshipping, HEAVY in feminism, complete with priestesses of Aphrodite, by the thousands.”
The Corinthians Were Predominantly Goddess Worshippers
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you.” 1 Cor 6:9-11 (NASB)
In 1 Cor 6, Paul has addressed that the Corinthians have been sinners but however he reminds the Corinthians that they have been cleared these sins in Christ. This reminder of the things that they have overcome, (or should have) becomes the theme of the letter to Corinthians. Paul has written a letter to the leadership of the Corinth church to aide them in their problems.
According to history, the majority of new believers in Corinth had come from a background in paganistic goddess worshipping, HEAVY in feminism, complete with priestesses of Aphrodite, by the thousands. While speaking to the Corinthian people, Paul states in the King James Version, “Let YOUR women keep silence in the churches” I am emphasizing the word YOUR because in the KJV translation the translator has written the word “Your” instead of “the”. According to the King James, Paul was speaking to the women of Corinth, a particularly struggling new-covenant church in a city in which the women had over run the town! The men were having problems walking in the way of God with a bunch of non-submissive, catty, post-pagan priestess’ and gossipy gals!
“When questioning the Word, it is always okay to read more than one version. Read and compare, the King James is the standard that we use today.”
King James says, “Let your women keep silence in the churches.”
In the NASB , the scripture says: “Let the women keep silent in the churches.”
The NASB nearly through me for a loop! I had to go and read in the Greek, just to make sure that Paul had said “your women” (as in the KJV) and not “the women” (as in the NASB).
The written Greek says, “Sigaō (let) hymōn (your) gynē (women).” The word hymōn literally means YOUR . The VERY words written of Paul in Greek say, “Let your women keep silence in the churches.”
The Bible is God’s Word
The Bible is God’s Word and within it, we find Paul writing a letter of counsel, to the leaders of the Corinthian church advising them how to deal with the problems of their day. We must also deal in same way in our churches today, under these circumstances. If Paul would have allowed the Corinthian women in their current unsanctified- by their husbands or God- state to teach, they WOULD not have been teaching the Word of God. Paul had to call out the women of Corinth for being out-of-accord with the Word of God, and not in submission to the leadership of the men of the church, or with God for that matter!
As we all return unto Christ, and strive to walk “not by sight”, it is up to us to put behind us all of our fleshly ways and submit to the authority figure in our lives. As we do, we will be found working towards living completely in the spirit, and as we walk in the spirit there is “no male nor female” among us. We, who have devoted our lives to living in, by, and for Christ have shed ALL identity apart from Him and are available for His joy and His use.
The Lord has used any women in Biblical history, like the Judge Deborah, Miriam or even the personally saved (by Jesus himself) Mary Magdeline, Anna, Priscilla, and Phebe all ministered to others and taught the Word of God, assisting mighty men of God in partnership. Recognizing that “God is no respecter of persons” Acts 10:34 and that He loves us ALL His children! ANY teacher, preacher, or Pastor must walk in and by the Spirit, in order to be effective, race, sex, and background is a non-issue.
It is my prayer today, that all brothers and sisters who read this note would be encouraged to stand up for Christ and be counted. There are no limitations in Him. We who carry His message, have a cross to carry, but this cross is not heavy or burden laden it is the message of the Gospel of Peace. One will send a thousand fleeing, and two will send ten-thousand fleeing. If you have something to preach, if you have something to say- today is the day to say it!
God Bless you friends,
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