Do you believe women can be preachers/pastors?

From what ive understand the point is not to tell here what everyones opinions is on the matter. But actually what the bibles possition is. So i would suggest getting arround the 1 Corinthians verse and try to explain that away or post other verses that support your claims.

EDIT: Im not trying to sound mean or anything no not at all. But i just see comments upon comments with everyones possution on the subject with little or no actuall debate with verses and interpetation. As for me im neutral on the subject.

Sure. A lot of things in scripture are offensive to me.

I get why a woman would be mad that she can’t be a pastor about wants to be a pastor that she believes she can be and that she is one at a church that permits it to find out that there are others who thinks they are wrong.

It just does not change anything.

I have a friend who was a great pastor. He taught the Bible well and was very active in his faith. He met all the qualifications listed including having 2+ kids and a believing spouse that was well respected. Then at some point his wife got hooked on drugs, prescription pills addiction developed from a car accident. They lost one kids. Sometime later she divorced him. Their marriage fell apart.

He stepped down from being a pastor shortly before the divorce because he could not meet the requirements anymore.

I also had a friend who got a degree in theology. He wanted to become a pastor. Talked about it for years. He was single though and had no kids. He then got married. They wanted to start a family. Found out she just is not getting pregnant. Somethings wrong I don’t know what it is. He was upset because now he does not meet the requirements. He considered that maybe adoption was a sort of pathway to having multiple kids. Ultimately he decided to not become a pastor because he was unsure of meeting the requirements. He is now a very active teacher, not a elder, at a local church.

My ex divorced me because I became a Christian. She felt like it was a cult. Why do they want you to go twice a week. Why don’t you like doing this or that anymore. Why do you want to bring our son to church. She was also mad that I joined the military. She hated the military life. She hated having to leave her friends and family and move half away across america to some small texas town and that she was going to be there for 4 years. She dissed to divorce me. I never cheated on her, abused her, or anything along those lines. I started being active in church , stopped doing somethings in my life, and joined the military.
Because I am not divorced , and remarrying another woman, I can’t even be a pastor. I don’t meet the requirements. I could get three doctorates from Harvard, learn Koine greek, Aramaic and Hebrew and move to Jerusalem and live there for several years and be successful enough that I could be a pastor for free without payment, and I would still not be able to.

The same goes for women. I get it’s frustrating because they may be qualified in every way except for what Paul lined out.

To me that’s part of counting the cost of discipleship.

As much as I would love the idea of Junia being an apostle, I kind of despise this effort to extract dogma from the wording of the text of a greeting in the Bible. The question of whether pastors or apostles or whatever can be women or not, let alone whether Junia was an apostle or not is simply not addressed directly. It is not an issue in the Bible.

The only thing I despise more is the whole obsession with positions of authority which I believe is an echo of the breaking of the commandment by Adam and Eve – that it is not knowledge which was forbidden but taking on authority without any real knowledge or wisdom. We are God’s children and of course we would want to be like God. The problem is that people have this bad habit of seeking the superficial things like power and authority rather than love and wisdom – trying to be like God in such meaningless ways which is only destructive of truth and human relationships.

So I am more sympathetic to the idea that an apostle is simply one who is sent out to share the gospel and I would see this as coming from God Himself as a calling and could care less what any church says.

Your comment seems to make a mistake early on. The Gospels and Acts don’t use the word “apostle” in the same way as Paul does. In the former, the apostles are just the twelve apostles, i.e. the twelve disciples. Here, only the twelve are apostles. In Paul, the word apostle refers to anyone who has been sent out. Paul lists many apostles who are not and were never members of the twelve disciples, as I will soon show.

  1. Why did Jesus choose 14 men total? The original 12, then Matthias through lots and finally Paul in a vision to be the Apostles sent out by him? Why did he not pick a woman?

This mixes things up. Firstly, Jesus chose twelve disciples. Jesus did not choose Matthias. Matthias was chosen by the leadership of the church in the aftermath of the casting of lots. Jesus did send Paul out, but He did not send Paul out as one of the twelve disciples. Nor does Jesus call Paul an “apostle”. But Paul uses the word apostle to refer to anyone who Jesus sends out, it seems, not just the twelve disciples, and so included himself as an apostle. But he also included plenty of others as apostles, including Jesus’s brothers (1 Cor. 9:5), Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25), and Timothy and Silas (1 Thess. 1:1 + 2.7). Keep in mind that you may read a translation say ‘messenger’ for Epaphroditus. But the word in the Greek, apostoulous, is the same as the one usually translated as apostle.

But it is not true that Jesus only chose twelve. He chose twelve individuals to be a part of the special group called “the twelve”. But Jesus chose WAY more than twelve people. Luke 10:1 says that Jesus sent out seventy-two individuals. We don’t know whether they were men or women. At best, your quotations from Acts 1 shows that only men were to be a part of “the twelve” in particular. But that’s not the same as only men being apostles, which is different. That answers question 2. Honestly, I don’t see the relevance of questions 3-4.

What’s the scriptural evidence that Junia was handpicked by Jesus Christ himself and sent out to be one of his chosen apostles with the ability to lay on hands?

There’s no scripture that says Jesus chose Junia, but there’s also no scripture that says Jesus chose Timothy, Silas, Epaphroditus, or his brothers, and yet they’re all called apostles. And so it is a moot point to say that there’s no scripture saying Jesus chose Junia; neither is there anything for any of these other individuals. Scripture only specifically mentions the twelve disciples and Paul by name anyways. There’s a whole seventy two, at least, unnamed, that Jesus chose. Junia might have been one of them, who knows. What we do know is that Paul outright says Junia is an apostle in Romans 16:7. I provided significant evidence for this in my last response and you did not address any of it. Here’s a screenshot of all that evidence put together:

By the way, look at this gospel text:

Luke 8:1-3: After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

In other words, as Jesus was travelling from town to town, several women are named as being with him beyond just the twelve, including Mary Magdalee, Joanna the wife of Chuza, Susanna, and “many others”. These women were a part of Jesus’s travelling ministry, going city to city. In fact, it is these women, including Mary and Joanna mentioned by name, that first visit the empty tomb of Jesus, and it is also them whom Jesus first speaks to after having resurrected, telling them to tell the twelve of His resurrection (Matthew 28:8-10). Interestingly, Richard Bauckham has argued that the “Joanna” of the Gospels is the “Junia” that Paul mentions. “Joanna” is a Hebrew name, whereas “Junia” is a Latin name. Jews often had a second, Latin name, that was a near sound equivalent to their Jewish name, and the virtual sound equivalence is true for Joanna/Junia. Furthermore, Paul describes Junia as being a Christian before him. Remember, Paul converted only three years after Jesus died, and so Junia was a member of the Chistian community prior to that. Furthermore, he also describes her as “prominent among the apostles”, signifying her special importance. This makes perfect sense if she is the Joanna so prominent in the Gospels. Most likely, Bauckham is correct that the Junia in Paul is the Joanna in the Gospels. Do you know what that means?

Jesus DID handpick Junia.

EDIT: Just read through the comments and saw your story about your divorce. I am sorry for that, it must have been a hard time. However, you have shown the strength of a Christian. You chose Christianity and following Christ over the world. Good on you. Praise be to God.

1 Like

I’m a woman, but like @Christy mentioned, it is a bit of a triggering topic. I attend a church like the one @SkovandOfMitaze does, so I understand his arguments well. I’ve heard them for 20 years. I still hear them. Men leading a discussion on the topic will make it a point to say that women aren’t inferior and all that jazz, but what they’re teaching is suggesting that we are inferior, and that’s why they have to put that disclaimer every single time they talk about it. It’s pretty uncomfortable to be told that because you were born with certain parts, you can’t teach or speak during a service (except singing or saying amen), etc.

I lean toward the idea that my church is restricting women more than the Bible actually teaches. I have had a thorough discussion with one of my elders about it this summer, talking about the cultural context of the verses in question. It was a good discussion, though we did come out of the discussion still in some disagreement on women speaking during a church service. What my church teaches vs the examples of women throughout the Old and New Testaments just don’t match up. The elder did agree that some restrictions my church has are overkill - women could be doing more than they currently do.

I’m currently undecided on whether women could be “elders”. Like Mi, I see “preachers” and “pastors/elders” as different things. In our church, a multiplicity of elders leads the church. They hire a preacher, who doesn’t really have any decision making power for the congregation - he’s just another member in that regard, unless he’s also selected as an elder, which my preacher is. But he’s not a head elder or anything like that. All 6 of my elders are of equal authority.

I do think women should be able to read scripture, lead songs, and preach a sermon or teach an adult class. But given the nature of my church, I don’t try to do any of those things because of 1 Corinthians 8-9. While I think I have more liberty than my church provides, I also know that me exercising that liberty would cause a whole lot of people in that congregation to be sinning against their conscience if they stayed. So I remain silent during a church service (except for singing and saying amen).

There are some in my church who think women shouldn’t even make comments in adult Bible class, but that’s left up to the woman herself… much like head coverings - none of the elders think women need to wear them, but there are women in the congregation who think they need to, so they do, and everyone respects that. I make comments in class. I don’t wait and ask my husband at home. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the hard part with Paul’s letters is that we don’t know exactly what situations he was referencing. We have to piece together what problems we think he was solving. We can’t be 100% sure either way. So was Paul telling all women of all time not to speak in church or have authority over a man? Or was he solving a problem specific to that culture? I lean toward the latter, but I very well could be wrong. My church teaches the former, and they very well could be wrong. :woman_shrugging:

5 Likes

It’s not about women being inferior though. The claim gets said, because you’re constantly bombarded with women saying you are calling them inferior. The reality is that is not the case. The reality
Is that it’s a petty argument tossed at people , men and women, who sees that elders must be men because it’s what the Holy Spirit stared through his apostles. Are single men, divorced men, or men without 2 kids inferior to men who are married once with one wife and has kids? No. But that’s still the standard.

I don’t believe im inferior to married men with kids just because I’m divorced with one son.

That’s why the argument that someone like myself believe women is inferior is just a emotional outburst trying to make someone go on the defensive. I’ve responded to that a few times. But I’m not going to continue to. Just know that type of argument is silly, a lie, and is developed because they can’t defend their position.

1 Like

I’m not just talking about elders (and I said above that I’m undecided on that one). I’m talking about ALL the restrictions put on women in church. Goodness, I’m not even allowed to count the collection money! Or run the sound booth. Or pass out the Lord’s Supper emblems (pre-Covid) from one aisle to the next. I can’t stand before the congregation and say anything. I can’t teach a class with men in it. I can’t lead a prayer with men present. I can’t teach middle or high school kids’ classes with boys in them. Etc, etc.

2 Likes

Well I disagree with those. The only restrictions I see is placed on elders. I don’t believe a restriction was placed on women concerning being teachers, deacons, or even apostles , though I don’t believe any were.

1 Like

My church has worked through a lot of this, and has changed a lot in the last 40 years, though still a Southern Baptist church. So much is cultural, and I think the makeup of the church government in Paul’s time simply reflected the culture of the time, and was descriptive, not a prescriptive thing.
We currently have staff members who are female and ordained ministers, we have ordained couples as missionaries together, and have moved beyond the time when there was objection to calling the children’s leader a minister or pastor. It is interesting that in that old culture, the daughter of one of our associate ministers was unable to find a job as worship leader in the area, but is a worship leader now in a Hong Kong church. Evidently it is fine to be a leader and minister if you are a foreign missionary, but you are not good enough to do the same thing in the USA, according to that mindset.
We do not have official elders in our church, but the deacons are all men, though the deacon body is now more service oriented and does not really do the business of church. We discussed having female deacons, and there was no real objections, but I pity the first female deacon who has to go to a deacon’s meeting. As is typical of SBC churches, most of the business of the church is done by committees, which are sometimes chaired by women and have numerous women members, so in essence, they are the elders.

3 Likes

It’s been said by some that Paul’s recommendation that a Church leader be in control of his children, is a sign that he never was married.

4 Likes

I have shown earlier that the work of Belleville, Bauckham, and Epp has all argued for the view that Junia is an apostle. As it turns out, another paper was published this year, even more convincingly favouring the same conclusion:

Lin, Yii-Jan. “Junia: An Apostle before Paul.” Journal of Biblical Literature 139.1 (2020): 191-209.

As stated I see two sets of apostles in scripture.

One is simply to be sent out. Any disciple, including disciples today, can be called apostles who are being sent out.

There there is a second set referred to as apostles and it’s specifically to those sent out by Christ who had the ability to lay on hands, had the ability to write doctrine that was inspired by God, and we’re those chosen by Christ himself.

Junia is only an apostle in the first sense. She was not part of the “13” as you called it. By 13, I referring to the original apostles there at Pentecost , excluding judas who was dead, and the apostle Paul.

You mentioned previous that yo thought steps
3-4 did not matter. I do. It’s impossible for us to see eye to eye on this because we refer to different groups when we say apostle.

So none of the links does anything. It’s not a battle o have. There are two groups. Junias belonged to one. I have zero scriptural reasons to believe she belonged to both.

Genesis 1-11 is wrote clearly as mythology.
Timothy and Titus are not. They are wrote as letters with instructions for the church as doctrine.

Two completely different genre. That’s why I have no problem playing cultural layers on one and not the other. If I applied it to both, it makes doctrine pointless because anything could be set aside someone disagrees with as just backwards Jewish stuff.

Trying to understand the cultural context of the letters and what the instructions meant to the original audience is not simply setting aside what you disagree with. Roman household codes were also a genre, one that relates to the interpretation of various household code passages in the NT. Some women in Ephesus were part of Athena-worship cults, and understanding what those cults believed affects the interpretation of certain passages in Timothy. The instructions were written to specific churches with specific problems. Just like Genesis, it wasn’t written to us. Figuring out what is universal guidance for all Christians and what was situational is part of interpreting.

3 Likes

It does not matter how we define apostle. What matters is what Paul meant by apostle. And for Paul, that is someone who has been commissioned by Jesus. Paul saw himself as the last person that Jesus commissioned, and so as the last apostle. He specifically mentioned Junia and Andronicus as being apostles before him, as it is typical for Paul to mention apostles that precede him (e.g. 1 Cor. 15:3-8).

I don’t know, Skovand, you’re just going to ignore all the literature I cite? This work is important. It represents the highest level of assessed arguments on the issues.

I’m not ignoring It.

I just see no evidence, nothing in anything you cited, to showcase that Junia was one of those people set apart among the disciples as a an apostle in the same way that Paul and the other 12 were. I see that she was a great women who was well known to the apostles and was someone sent out to preach. That’s as far as I see it. I see no reason to believe that she was there with the 12 living apostles at Pentecost to receive the power, in addition to the Holy Spirit. There is to much speculation involved for me to believe she was one of the ones sent out who could lay hands on others giving them spiritual powers or that she was someone who could have been a vessel of the Holy Spirit and write out scripture that was equivalent to the words throughout the Torah. There is no historical records showcasing that and there is no scriptural reason for me to believe it.

You’re links are great. It’s been beneficial on further showcasing the difference between an apostle and the 13 with authority and power who set up the deaconship and office of overseers that Ian continued to this day by Christians being chosen by their congregations based off of the stipulations laid out by Paul.

I’m not ignoring it and it’s been beneficial. From the start I have never made direct comments about if women could or could not be in deaconship. I was unsure. I’m still not 100% certain, but a byproduct of the information has landed me more on the side that women could definitely be in the office of deacons. It’s also helped me to better focus on should I continue to use the term apostles vs Apostles, or is it better explained by lining them out as the 13 vs apostles. It’s helped in many ways.

But none of it leads me to have any reason to change my opinion on if people like Barnabas or Junia was added to the 13 with authority and power.

The links also helped clarify the issue on the name and how and when the confusion developed.

You are focusing too much on the twelve disciples. We’re not talking about that. Neither Junia nor Paul had the status of one of the disciples. (Although it should be noted that it was possible for an apostle who was not a disciple to gain a predominance in the early church greater than that of a disciple themselves. For example, James the brother of Jesus was at the top of the food chain alongside Peter and John, but it seems as if he might have been higher up then Peter, as Gal. 2 says Peter was afraid of James’ men.)

This is not about being at disciple rank or not. This is about being an apostle. Paul lists himself as an apostle, along with individuals like Epaphroditus, Timothy, and Silas. This is the kind of league most relevant to discussions about Junia. Not Peter or John league.

There is a distinction nonetheless on the apostles that made up the 13, and apostles who were not. You believe I’m focusing to much and I believe you’re not focusing enough and I believe this is a major theological issue. So much so that’s it’s a deciding factor in we attending a congregation. It’s directly tied into Cessationism and why things like the pope does not match scripture. All of it ties back into the debate over the 13 verses generalized apostles.

So this is what the debate is coming from. I originally mentioned Junia is not a Apostle , and made a distinction between Apostle and apostle because that’s common language. For now own, I’ll made the distinction of the 13 verses merely an apostle being sent out by the church more commonly recognized as a evangelist nowdays. It’s an issue with translating greek to English along with the context it carries.

This thread has probably already run its course. It’s pretty clear that all parties (both sides) coming back for regular interaction here consider it to be a “closed case” (always in their own favor, of course), and are only here to defend what they already consider to be a settled view. [and that is not to deny the existence of a sufficiently settled scholarly position on this, but only to note that all the common arguments have been made multiple times by this point and been rejected or dismissed, whether fairly or not.] If people want to continue, they can certainly carry on privately.

2 Likes

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

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.