Do you believe women can be preachers/pastors?

If so, what is your Biblical support for it? If not, what is your Biblical support against the idea?

This might be a post better suited for the General Discussion page, but I put it here anyway …

Biblical precedent. And from the pen of Paul, of all people, - the same person who in a couple spots pens those verses (such as in 1 Corinthians 14) that some have latched onto as instruction for all places and time; from this same apostle we have casual references to women leaders (and teachers) that shows Paul will be no slave to patriarchal snobberies when it comes to spreading the gospel of Christ. If deaconesses or converts like Lydia or Priscilla can give needed instruction to other teachers such as Apollos then it’s pretty clear that the case against women in ministry positions of authority has fallen apart already even in the New Testament just where such exclusion was supposed to have found sanction. Okay - yeah - that last reference about Apollos is actually from Luke (in Acts 18) but Paul also greets the same couple approvingly in his correspondence. [But more to the point - and yes - straight from Paul, we learn that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. All those old categories we so want to fuss about are brushed aside. - see the end of Galatians 3] Jesus himself didn’t seem to have any problem hanging about in homes led / owned by women - think Mary and Martha. And if in those patriarchal times our apostles and leaders, right up to Christ himself was so free with his recognitions and companionship, it really did rankle the establishment.

But I suppose the main reason I believe that women can be preachers and pastors is because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve had the privilege of being part of a church pastored by various preachers some of whom were women. They’ve done it well … which puts the lie to those who say it can’t or shouldn’t be done.


No in my opinion. I dont have a bible verse however. Its a traditional thing.Hoewverr i dont mind if they do to be honest

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Also to add up to your question. What about 1 Timothy?

That’s pretty much how I feel about it. I also look at passages that emphasize spirit over flesh. After all the multitude of gifts poured out by the spirit on ALL believers, why are we to think that women’s gifts should be stifled because of body parts? To me that seems to be giving far more emphasis to the physical and far less to the spiritual than we should be, especially for something as important as the gospel. Unfortunately, I would get some serious side-eye for saying anything like that in my denomination.


No. According to scripture women cannot be pastors, which are the elders. The Bible lines out the qualifications for being an elder.

1 Timothy 3:2-7
New American Standard Bible
2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching, 3 not overindulging in wine, not a bully, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.

We also see that there are even further implications. A unmarried , or divorced, man cannot be an elder. A man without kids also can’t be an elder.

We also see this played out in Titus as concerning qualifications.

We also see these verses.

1 Timothy 2:8-15
New American Standard Bible
Instructions for Believers
8 Therefore (A)I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger and dispute. 9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive apparel, 10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a wrongdoer. 15 But women will be preserved through childbirth—if they continue in faith, love, and sanctity, with moderation.

In these verses we see him clearly state that within the body they are not to have authority and it’s connected to a punishment starting with Eve.

Genesis 3:16
New American Standard Bible
16 To the woman He said,

“I will greatly multiply
Your pain [a]in childbirth,
In pain you shall deliver children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

We also see it in another important chapter.

Ephesians 5:22-33 nasb

22 Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are parts of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

In the first section of these verses it shows a bit more of the mindset paul had.

Then additionally we can also see things such as no women is called elder. No woman is called apostle and so on.

Equal with different roles.

The issues though is not about is Jesus or the apostles ok with women. They clearly are. It’s not about women being prevented from sharing the gospel they definitely can. It’s not even about a man and a woman studying and teaching each other.

A pastor, the elder/deacon of the church is a very specific office and role. Just like with apostleship. Not just anyone could have replaced Judas. It had to have been someone with them since the beginning.

We also see verses , like the one you shared about there being no male or female in Christ. That’s symbolic language because we still obviously have male and females and things like same sex is brought up by paul.

For me I find it helpful when there is a verse that is symbolic in nature and another verse on the same that’s wrote out in a more literal sense it’s easier to interpret the symbolic language through the literal verse and not the other way around.

Paul was definitely completely comfortable with smart women who were business owners and house owners. Would even have assembly in their houses. But that’s far from being the pastor responsible for the church.


Only in protestantism.

Here’s a Roman Catholic take, by a woman who rejects a “female priesthood”.

Orthodox have almost no problem whatsoever with this issue, and priests can be married.

Can they?

Obviously. They do so all the time.

Oh… you mean should they be allowed to?

Obviously. Freedom of religion and all that.

Or… do you mean to ask whether some religion or cult should be allowed to restrict certain tasks to one sex or the other?

Obviously. Freedom of religion again.

Does the Bible forbid this? It seems a bit inconsistent on some topics. It seems to allow slavery. So on this issue of women being preachers, I am not sure whether I care one way or another and I think those who do make a big deal about things like this are the ones with the real problem. In choosing a church this wouldn’t be on the list of things I would consider… though if the church made a big deal about this (especially in opposition to women being preachers), it would definitely turn me off.


Biblical support is tricky, since there’s not much about anyone being a preacher/pastor. Those aren’t the usual terms in the New Testament for church leadership. When it comes to speaking, there’s more about proclaiming, prophesying and teaching, and for all of those we have both examples and instruction that includes women. Women proclaimed the gospel message of Jesus’ resurrection (to men!), women prophets demonstrated the inclusive work of the Holy Spirit, a woman (with her husband getting second billing) taught Apollos what was missing in his understanding of the gospel.

I think Paul’s major letters are clearest about how we are all to use our gifts – including leadership and speaking gifts – in the church:

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4–8)

The difference comes from the grace – not the gender – given to us. This becomes abundantly clear a few chapters later when Paul greets the church leaders in Rome and coming to Rome, nearly half of whom are women (Romans 16).

To Corinth, which apparently had some issues with the poor and the women being excluded from full church participation, Paul goes on for chapters about this. He speaks of how both men and women can prophesy and both rich and poor can partake of the Lord’s supper together (chap. 11). He emphasizes that the Spirit gives gifts to all without looking at worldly distinctions (chap. 12). While he doesn’t rank people, he doesn’t shrink from ranking the roles:

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:28–31)

This passage is clearly addressed to the whole church, men and women. They are all encouraged to strive for the greater gifts of apostleship, prophesy, teaching, etc. The famous love chapter explains how these gifts are to be used, not to puff up the one but to serve the many. Then chapter 14 gives the clearest New Testament picture of what church services should look like:

Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. … Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. … When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. … For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. … So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:1, 5, 26, 31, 39)

Of course, this chapter also has two verses that tend to get extracted to teach the opposite message. Verses 34–35 say three times that women are not to speak in church. When these verses are put in context, and when one remembers that this half of the letter is where Paul has turned to address “the matters about which you [the Corinthians] wrote” (1 Corinthians 7:1), it seems fairly clear that the jarring words contradicting Paul’s message are in fact the Corinthians’ words that he is quoting and rebuking. That’s why they’re surrounded by Paul saying otherwise. They thought the women should shut up and learn at home from their husbands; Paul teaches that everyone can speak in an orderly, intelligible way so that everyone learns at the service.

Paul’s whole message to the Corinthians in chapters 11–14 is about inclusive participation in church. It’s a shame that a couple verses that likely present the toxic position that compelled him to pen these amazing chapters have been used to dilute his message as if it didn’t actually apply to women.


Yeah, it’s one of the few things Protestantism now gets right. It only took them 500 years.

So there are female Orthodox priests eh?

“one of the few things Protestantism now gets right.”

No, Mi Krumm answered the OP just fine with Scripture.

I think a lot here forget 1 Timothy. Would love to hear opinions on that

Im an Eastern Orthodox and there arent any. The wives of the priests can preach anywhere else but not perform a liturgy in the churh. However i wouldnt mind having some who could. But again thats a traditional thing.

Mi Krumm quoted two passages from 1 Timothy above.

Yeaaaah. Traditional patriarchy, traditional sexism, traditional inequality.

Oouufff strike a nerve there? Yeah forget about tradition
We all know we eastern orthodox are sexist. Klax knows it very well… I would be ashamed if i were you to make these assumptions

Paul loves to expand on what he’s saying, and not afraid to multiply lists of examples for his audience to help them apply what he means. I know you probably have chapter 2 in mind in asking for opinions, but let’s back up to chapter 1 and see what Paul says about his own driving motivations in all these things (starting at v.5 NRSV)

But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.

Paul seems a good deal more concerned to limit any and everybody from any teaching if they are going to be mixing in anything that doesn’t build up Christ’s body. Even today with high literacy rates, do we see people on the internet babbling away far in excess of what they know, and stirring up no end of trouble by what they spread? Imagine how much worse this would be when most people (and pretty much all women) would have been illiterate! Paul isn’t afraid to draw on contemporary cultural relevance and traditional practices of his day in his appeals to the fledgling churches to not get mired down in squabbles that will distract from the real work of Christ. That his lists of taboo things doesn’t match ours is not any great surprise to us; or, for that matter, to others who fancy they are consistently attending to everything Paul writes. I will be more impressed with their implied “consistency” if I saw that they also opposed any braided hair or expensive clothing among women of their congregations or for that matter any long hair on men (see 1 Cor. 11:14). Being pretty sure that none of these folks here make any stink about these things, we see that they too already realize that we need not be trying to universalize Paul’s culturally-localized advice into any larger new sets of laws. In fact to do so introduces new squabbles in a way that Paul makes clear he wants no part of in the 1st chapter of 1 Timothy. And granted - the squabbling goes both ways to be sure. I would not march into a culture or church today and demand that men with long hair be chastised (if that congregation was okay with long hair on men), or oppositely that men be allowed to grow their hair long if their culture did not approve of such things. Of course, once the squabble is already being had, then they might as well see it through so that they can get back to the business of being the body of Christ to the world again. One hopes that the mature Christian is finally able to brush aside these squabbles in either direction as may be necessary in order to continue the work of Christ. In a mature congregation I think one could hope they might advance to the point where they aren’t much bothered whether a fellow has long hair or not, so-to-speak.


Sorry? Those facts aren’t assumptions.

Yeah. I didnt know im a sexist. I needed klax to tell me. I dont speak like this and im trying to be always polite in my conversations but your attitude sometimes really is out of a christ like character.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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