Which Church? New Testament Churches Had No Audible Female Participation
A reading of the New Testament will demonstrate that Christian women played a crucial role in the ongoing work of God. Such sisters as Priscilla, Phebe and Eunice are but examples of the noble band of women whose contribution to assembly life was invaluable. However, teaching the Word is vocal participation in the gatherings and is for the men only. That may sound strange in an age of equal opportunities in politics and business, but it is the clear teaching of scripture. The general statement that covers the point is, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak”, 1 Corinthians 14:34. The immediate context shows that the prohibition extends even to asking a question in a public gathering. Elsewhere, it takes in public praying, in that the men (Greek word meaning males) should pray, 1 Timothy 2:8, and it certainly forbids public teaching on the part of the sisters, 1 Timothy 2:12.
The difference between the genders should be seen not only in functions, but also in appearance. The first half of 1 Corinthians 11 shows, that in the gatherings, the men, with short hair, should have their heads uncovered, and that the women, with long hair, should have their heads covered. Among other things, these are visible tokens of the man acknowledging Christ’s headship, and the woman acknowledging the God appointed headship of the man.
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