Women in the Pulpit

Balanced word Womens Ministries

1st Timothy 2:12
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

Although Balancedword Women's Online Ministry is a Ministry for Women, we adhere to the Holy Scriptures, The Word of God. Before I go any further I am well aware that many will refute this commentary and my mail box will be filled with comments such as, "you set women back fifty years", or "how dare you forsake your own?" Let me assure you that this is not a new concept to me. I have taken a great amount of heat over other studies on this site and I am assured that this will be no different.

This subject has burdened my heart greatly and when researching the subject I have found that most of the commentaries written on Women teaching Men come from men themselves. Therefore my Beloved Friend, I ask that you give another Sister in Christ the opportunity to share with you this subject from a Woman's perspective.

I think the first item of business that needs to be covered is that God loves and calls women to His service just as He does men. We are no less meaningful to God as men are. Remember He is NO respecter of persons, Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. However our roles are very different and clear in the scripture:

1 Timothy 5:14: "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."

Proverbs 31: 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Now some may take these scriptures and say, "Those are menial jobs that God calls women to do." First who says they are menial? Raising children, Caring for a home and making sure it run's smoothly. Is by know means MENIAL. Setting a Godly example and training young women as well is not menial. It is hard work and labour but how awesome a labour of love for us to serve our Lord this way.

With that said let us pray that we can come to a full understanding of God's will for us, and for understanding our role as Women of God:

Father God,

We come before you with our hearts humbled and our eyes and ears open to your Word. Lord I ask that you would make clear to all of us your will and desire for each of us. Father, Bless this time each lady spends here and use this opportunity for each os us to glean from the message you have laid upon my heart on this subject. In your precious name we pray, Amen

Okay, Now to answer the question. Is it Biblical for Women to serve behind the pulpit? Let's look at Scripture and make this decision based on the Word of God.


1 Timothy 2: 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

A. Let women learn: Here we see the principles that Women are called to learn, learn Christ, learn scripture, We must not think that we can use our sex as an excuse from learning what is necessary for salvation and Godly living.

1 Timothy 2: 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

B. The Greek word for teach is didasko {did-as'-ko} {Strongs1321} which means 1) to teach 1a) to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses 1b) to be a teacher 1c) to discharge the office of a teacher, conduct one's self as a teacher 2) to teach one 2a) to impart instruction 2b) instill doctrine into one 2c) the thing taught or enjoined 2d) to explain or expound a thing 2f) to teach one something. So we see here that a woman is not to instruct, instill doctrine into, explain or expound, or teach a man.

1 Timothy 2: 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

C. Paul is simply stating God's chain of command. The order of creation: man was created first, and given original authority. Paul sees Adam's authority as derived from God, and Eve's authority as derived from Adam. Eve (representing women) was deceived. But because of Eve's deception, Paul reasons that women have a greater tendency to spiritual deception. This is in fact very true. Women seem to be more spiritually sensitive than men; for good or evil.

D. Many believers will challenge Paul's instruction on Women in leadership and teaching men, quoting that this was in the old day. Making claim that we need not adhere to those "old ways"

However the Apostle Paul anticipated a rejection of this teaching therefore went a step further and wrote: 1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. We see here that Paul is not speaking his own words but the words of God himself. Now to say that this applies to the days of old would be saying that God changes, and we know clearly from the scripture that this is not true. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 1 Corinthians 12 :6 And there are diversities of  operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.


It would seem that many of women preachers and their male advocates hold to their position knowing full-well that it is contrary to scripture. Often, when confronted, they will simply say that they know what the Bible says but that the passages in question are not for our dispensation. Or, the woman preacher herself, will appeal to her own experience claiming that it was God who has called them (as though God would do anything contrary to His Word?), often they are just indignant. But occasionally, you come across someone who will attempt to make a biblical case for women preachers. When they do, it seems that without fail they appeal to the judgeship of Deborah Judges 4.

There are many that do not know how to counter this argument! Once, when confronted with this subject. The conclusion is so simple. The first thing discovered was that Deborah lived at the time when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

We read that God raised up Othniel as a Judge. Judges 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

God raised up Gideon: Judges 6:12-And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. 14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

God raised up Samson Judges 13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

But with Deborah, we learn as much from what the Bible does not say as in what it does say. Regarding Deborah we read: "she judged Israel at that time" Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. Again at a time when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" Deborah, without being raised up by God, judged Israel. Deborah was not a God called judge.

Her great accomplishment was to conquer Sisera. Yet we read in Hebrews 11 that it was Barak's faith that wrought this victory. Hebrews 11: 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. In Judges 4:8 we read that Barak was a coward who would only go if Deborah went with him. Judges 4:8 and Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. Deborah appears to be the one with the faith. But God gives Barak the credit in His "hall of fame." Hebrews 11: 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

We will not even begin to consider the theological implications here, rather, the point is that Deborah was by all indication not a great leader or a great woman but a usurper who did that which was right in her own eyes. The other argument given in support of women preachers is that Deborah was called a "prophetess" Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. However, a simple visit to the back of Strong's Concordance will eradicate this argument. The Hebrew word translated "prophetess" in our KJV is the word "nebiyah" which means "a prophets wife." Strongs Number 05031. So Deborah was neither a God called preacher, a God called judge, or a woman of greater than ordinary faith (remember that Barak is the one, not Deborah, accounted by God to have been the vessel of faith in Hebrews 11). Further, her being called a "prophetess" meant nothing more than that she was married to a prophet.

To all the women preachers of the world I ask, Will you be like Deborah? Will you do that which is right in your own eyes? Yes, Deborah was probably "saved" and yes she did do some Good. She probably judged right on many occasions and God may have even blessed people for following some of her judgements. But she was not God's ideal. Do you want to do a little good or do you want to be God's ideal?


This does not mean that women are inferior to men; or that they have no place in the work of Yahweh. The Holy Scriptures provide several examples of women God used:

Queen Esther, saved her people by being obedient to God's will.

Ruth, who once again through obedience left her land of idols and famine to become a woman of God thus she was used in the bloodline of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Priscilla, a woman who stood by her husband and choose to serve Christ in a time that it could have cost her, her own life. Yet, she persevered and helped the early church through her hospitality and commitment to the Great Commission.

Eunice, mother of Timothy who being obedient to her true calling of motherhood raised her son to know the Lord, in which God used to direct, guide and be a help to the Apostle Paul in the building and teaching the church.

Rahab, who's faith was so obvious and simple that thru her, her family was saved.

The Samaritan Woman at the well, whom went about telling her people of the saving Grace that Christ so freely gave her, thus others being saved from eternal damnation.

Dorcas, This woman was famous for being a New Testament woman of great honor.

None of these Women took authority over men-- their good deeds followed their obedience to God and His role for them. Any Christian woman who is not satisfied with this pattern, who feels she must stand behind a pulpit to be fulfilled really needs to take a step back and refocus on His true calling of her.

There lies NO possible room to say that God allowed for a Woman to be leader in the church be it Pastor, Deacon, Elder or Bishop. Note the qualities a deacon must have : 1 Timothy 3: 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. UT OH! How can we even question this scripture? It is quiet clear that a deacon MUST be a man, have one wife, and rule his house well. This leaves no room at all for a woman to be called Deacon, 1. It's clear that the Deacon can have only 1 wife. Last I checked, with the exception of Vermont women couldn't have wives.

No one will doubt but that only men officiated as priests in the Temple services ordained of Almighty God. Had Yeshua the Messiah intended the New Testament church to function differently he would have made that fact known by appointing at least a few women apostles. But he didn't. He chose twelve men who, later, when selecting seven deacons also chose men instead of women for those duties. These facts have a message for the church today. Heed it.

How could a woman possibly be a pastor when she is forbidden to teach or to have any authority over men? Women can only be pastors if they openly disobey the Bible's teaching. One may ask why or how this situation has become so controversial and so misconstrued?

The sad truth of the situation is rather than the church affecting society. Society affects the church. Rather than the church standing on Biblical Content some have bowed down to the "equality in sex" rebellion that rocks our country today. There is a war among the sexes for total equality, this ranges from fire fighters, construction workers, and sadly enough even behind our pulpits. As women demand equality in all roles of society, why would one think that the church would be any different than any other establishment? The answer is clear the church too often looks for other sources outside of the Bible for guidance and even acceptance.

Once again I reiterate that Men and women were made for different roles, neither role being better than the other, but designed to compliment each other. If indeed we take the scripture literally as it was intended to be then we see that the New Testament affirms that men are to be the leaders in the home and church. Women were not created to rule these divine institutions; men were. The prophet Isaiah was condemning Israel when he said women ruled over them Isa. 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. In the church, according to the Bible, no woman is qualified to be a pastor or a deacon or in any other leadership position over men. Who says? God says!

"Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection. But I do not suffer a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression" (1 Tim. 2:11-14).

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:34-37).

In Ezekiel 22:30, we find a similar situation that we face today. God sought for a man, but couldn? find any. This country lacks men standing up and taking charge. Too many men are ducking responsibilities not only in Church, but in their household as well. The reason why we are seeing a surge of women preachers in our Churches is because we don't have enough men preachers WILLING to fill the pulpit and heed the calling of God on their lives.

Many churches, groups and even individuals use the excuse that Paul gave this instruction way back when, because women were illiterate, we're not trained to read or write and did not have discernment, etc and that these instructions do not apply to us today as women can read, write, discern and teach. This may very well be true, women may have the capabilities today. However as shown above, Paul enforces that this is not his words but the words of the Lord. Also it takes us back to an unchanging sovereign God who is the same God of the "old ways" as He is now. This warning, however holds true for new male believers as well as female, as in 1 Timothy 5:22 Paul states: Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. So we see here that the "laying on of hands" should not be done hastily. In other words, do not choose your leaders without adequate consideration. Once more I feel led to address the issue that God is the same today as well He in soverign and is unchanging.

There are women preachers today who claim to be called by God to be preachers. How can we know if they are telling the truth or not? The apostle John wrote, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). The way we test the spirits is to compare what they teach to the Word of God. If what they teach or practice is contrary to the Word of God, we can know without a doubt that they are false. When we read the words of the Holy Spirit teaching us that women are to keep silent in the church, and then we hear women claiming to be called to preach by the Spirit, we can know that they are either deliberate liars or they have been deceived by a spirit other than the Holy Spirit.

They are like the false prophets that the true prophets of God had to contend with in earlier centuries:

"I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied" (Jeremiah 23:21).

"Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord" (Jeremiah 29:8-9).

"They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, 'Thus says the Lord!' But the Lord has not sent them" (Ezekiel 13:6-7).

"Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord God,' when the Lord had not spoken" (Ezekiel 22:28)

Just because certain denominations and churches are allowing Women to be ordained and to preach behind the pulpit does not give the "stamp of approval" for Women to preach and usurp authority over a man! The Bible clearly warns us to not be following traditions of men. The apostle Paul wrote, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8).


What does Genesis say about this? "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." (Gen. 3:16)

What does Mark say about this? "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them for to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils."Mark 3:14 Among the twelve listed in Mark 3:15-19, 15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: 16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into  an house. NOT ONE WOMAN was found. Even Ecclesiastes agrees with this!

It also says in I Tim. 3:1-6, "If a MAN desire the office of a bishop, HE desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach .... (For if a MAN know not how to rule HIS own house, how shall HE take care of the church of God?

What does the first chapter of Titus say about this?  Titus 1:5-8 states,"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."

Jesus said before the cock crow thrice, not a hen. Yes, God let a donkey (she-ass) talk, so why can't he use women? Point blank, The donkey didn't preach.

What does Revelations say about this?

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (Revelation 2:20) See this was a FALSE PROPHET. This is what women are doing today. Women understand that women can't be a Bishop (I Tim. 3:1-6) or deacon (Titus 3:8-13) so many times they will use Joel 2:38 out of context to "fit" the desires of their own heart and flesh. Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Prophets and prophetesses prophesied NOT preached. PROPH'ESY, v.t. To foretell future events; to predict. To utter predictions; to make declaration of events to come. {Webster 1828)

Joel spoke of the HOLY GHOST THAT WOULD COME. Also, after receiving the spirit of God (Acts 2:4) , they prophesied (Acts 2:47). Here prophesy means to testify/magnify. Read the eight baptisms in the bible, you will see that when time people were converted they PROPHESIED ("magnified God, gave thanks," etc.)

When you read scriptures, you must make sure that you RIGHTLY divide the word."(2 Timothy 2:15). "For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:"(Isa 28:10). You can NOT take one verse and that's it. Here-a-little, There-a-little. If you stay in ONE verse, then you would think that the word is condemning another verse.

Brothers and sisters beware lest ye fall into condemnation. Rightly dividing the word will let you know that Women can in NO MANNER preach the gospel. They can minister in other ways, but NOT preach.


The New Testament contains a very clear testimony that there were never any ideas of women preachers. Women were most assuredly converts and admitted into the Church. They performed a great and noble service to their husbands, their children, their friends, the Ministry, and the Church. But not a single one of them was ordained to preach. This is the true light! 

My Beloved Sisters in Christ, this teaching is not to place condemnation. It is the simple basic truth of The Word of God. Women can and are used in Ministry all over the world. Women's skills are utilized in praise and worship, teaching Children, teaching other women, Missionary work, this is just to name a few.

However we cannot deny the fact that God and God alone gave Men headship over woman. We were made from Man's rib Gen 2:2 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Ladies, do you not realize how truly blessed we are. Let's look at that scripture closely. We are of mans rib, not from his head that he may rule over us, not from his feet to trample us, not from his hand that can abuse us. But from his rib which is located next to his heart, for him to love, under his arm for him to protect, and from side for us to stand by his side.

We must get back to Biblical Basis, to solid foundations Ladies, we must recognize or role and be obedient to it. There is no greater calling than the calling to obedience. We must put our homes and churches back into the commands of God. For you Ladies who have Son's keep in mind the great calling you have to bring up a man of God, a man that will be willing, ready and able to take his Godly role because of the foundation you have set for him. Again Ladies our role is not menial, of less importance, or less than a man's role. It is just as important, meaningful and fulfilling as a man's role. However our roles and callings are different in the eye's of God and as I mentioned before. Man and Woman were designed to compliment one another, not compete with one another.

Nanci, from Balanced Word Women's Ministry

Word In Context Publishing NL?01, Revised NL?02 Revised ?03

Special thanks to D. Guzik, D. Cloud, D. Silas, C. Cheedie, F. Rollo, Blue Letter Bible KJV for your resourcefulness, commentaries, and advice.


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