A Little Bible Q & A For Your Day
Posted by: Eddie Ingram
Date: May 11 2017 10:54 AM
We are having great days here at Enon. We have been having visitors and young families coming and spending some time with us over the last couple weeks. I believe completely, if the body is connected to the Head, it will grow. We are making great progress as a church family and it is encouraging. Please join us this Sunday for Bible class at 9 and worship at 10. We'd love to have you.
For today, here is a little Q & A.
Dear Brother: You say that a woman cannot be a preacher, or teach a man. Would you then explain Acts 18:26 (where Priscilla taught Apollos) and Acts 21:9 (where Philip's daughters prophesied)?
Thank you for your question. First, I think you misunderstood one vital point. I never forbade women to preach publicly - it was the Lord who did that! And I am happy to address your questions, discussing the Scriptures you mention, and some others.
In public worship assemblies, there are clear prohibitions against certain activities, by both men and women (read 1 Cor. 14). There are not to be several speaking at once (v. 27-32), for example. But there is one statement that forever forbids women from public preaching: "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says" (v. 34). That is not my rule, nor is it my idea. That is the will of God. Now, the choice with regard to that is really very simple: either we accept it and live by it, or we reject the word of God as authority in our lives. As for me, I believe that we must accept it.
Another passage that deals with this subject is 1 Tim. 2:11-12,"Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence." The Lord, by the writing of Paul, had already said that men could "pray in everywhere" (v. 8), but He places the above restriction on women. This passage, also, would forbid a woman from preaching, or otherwise exercising dominion over men.
Now to the passages in the query. Apollos was preaching in the synagogue in Ephesus (a public gathering), and was poorly informed about baptism into Christ (Acts 18:25-26). Priscilla and Aquila, husband and wife Christians, heard him, and: “They took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately" (v. 26). Other versions read, "They took him unto them." The point is that they did not correct Apollos in the synagogue assembly (a public gathering), but they took him aside and taught him privately. That follows exactly what Paul wrote in 1Tim. 2 (see above). In the synagogue assembly, Aquila could have spoken up and corrected Apollos, but Priscilla could not. The law did not allow that, nor does the gospel of Christ. So, Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and taught him in private. Did Priscilla teach a man? Certainly she did, but not in a way to violate the prohibition of 1 Tim. 2 by having dominion. Women today can, and should, teach men in the same way Priscilla did.
Now the other passage, "Now this man [Philip] had four virgin daughters, who prophesied" (Acts 21:9). Many suppose that this passage "proves" that women may preach publicly. But it doesn't even come close to that! We are not told when, where or under what kind of conditions these women prophesied. We are not told that they prophesied in a public assembly of the church - a point that many people assume to be true. But one thing we can surely know of this passage of Scripture: if these women were truly Christians, we can be assured that they did not violate 1 Cor. 14:34 nor 1 Tim. 2:11-12! As to how and where and in what kind of setting they prophesied, we just cannot say, for God has not revealed it in the Scriptures.
I hope this helps.
Have a great weekend!
Enon Church of Christ
1366 Enon Rd.
Webb, AL 36376