Part of me would just like to stop writing right now, because what could I possibly say to clarify this verse? This verse is always attacked and called into question, yet it clearly states “I DO NOT permit a woman to teach […] over a man”. Yet somehow we have gotten to a point in our culture where we must dispute even the clearest of scripture. So let’s examine some objections to this.
This teaching belittles women!
No, it doesn’t. How does being under someone else authority belittle you? Jesus was submissive to the Father, but was he less then the father? Nope! Not being permitted to lead does not make you any less. The wife is to be submissive to her husband, but is she less then her husband? Again, nope! We are all equal in Christ, but Christ did set up a order in his church.
Yeah well, what about Phoebe?!
In Romans 16:1, Paul calls Phoebe a great servant of the church. Unfortunately some bible translations have translated the world “servant” into the word “deaconess” which I believe is a poor translation. The greek word for deacon is diakonos which is the ordinary word for “servant”. In fact, the gospel authors use “diakonos” to describe Christ as a servant. But regardless, deacons are different from elders (bishops) according to Philipians 1:1. One of the requirements that Paul sets forth for deacon in 1 Timothy 3 is they be “the husband of one wife” (literally translated as “one woman man”. Obviously Phoebe cannot be the husband of one wife based on the fact that she is a woman. So I believe that servant is the accurate translation in Romans 16. However, I believe it is significant that nowhere in scripture do deacons have ruling authority over the church like elders do, nor are they required to teach.
Through the entire scope of the bible, both new and old testament alike, the pattern is the same. Women are to be submissive to Men. This is seen in Genesis all the way to Revelation. I’m sure some people (probably mostly women) will read this and object and tell me what they think and how they feel. Well, it doesn’t matter what you think. Whether anyone likes it or not is irrelevant to the fact that this is what the Bible teaches. I’m sure someone will say something (or at least think!) to the effect that this teaching was for that cultural and not for ours. But let me ask you, is our God a god that never changes or is he a god that changes depending on cultures? If you do have any objections though, feel free to post them in the comments and I will reply do the best of my ability. Or if you would rather talk to me in private about this (or anything else really) feel free to contact me and we can discuss it!