Women in the Bible

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by BobRyan, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. BobRyan

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    What was the role of female prophets and judges in the OT and NT If we let the Bible define the role of a prophet (for example in 1Cor 12).


    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. faithcontender

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    Hi Bob,

    It is true that there are female prophets in the New Testament. But they are just prophets, they did not take any leadership in the church. They never teach nor usurp authority over men in the church.

    The fact that God gives ministry gifts to women does not mean they are free to take authority in the church or to ignore the apostolic injunction against preaching to or teaching men.

    Apostle is very clear in this regard:

    "Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression" (1 Tim. 2:11-14).

    "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Co. 14:34-37).

    How about Deborah?

    Why did God make Deborah a judge in Israel (Jud. 4:4-5)? The answer is not difficult. God's perfect will is for men to lead. That is too clear to misinterpret, but when men will not assume their responsibilities, God uses women. The men in Deborah's day were very weak and cowardly. This is seen in the fact that Barak, the captain of the armies of Israel, refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with him. What a brave man! What a hero! The woman had to remind him that God had said it is time to fight; the woman had to encourage and challenge him to go; yea, the woman had to go with him!

    "And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go" (Jud. 4:8).

    Deborah clearly realized that this was not right nor natural, and she told Barak it would result in shame upon his name. "And she said, I will surely go with thee; notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; FOR THE LORD SHALL SELL SISERA INTO THE HAND OF A WOMAN..." (Jud. 4:9). Obviously it was a period in Israel's history during which God could find no man to do His will, so He used a brave, willing woman. We can praise God for women like Deborah who are willing to be strong when the men are weak. This has often happened, both in secular and church history.

    The root problem in Deborah's day was spiritual apostasy. When God's people turn away from Him, He renders the men powerless against their enemies and removes wisdom from their hearts. It is a judgment upon apostate people. We can see this very thing today in apostate North America and Europe. The leaders are weak and seem entirely lacking even in common sense. We cannot control our little children, and women rule over us (compare Is. 3:12). It is God's judgment because of the apostate condition of professing Christendom. Israel in Deborah's day was in bondage to their enemies only because of their apostasy from the true God and His revealed will recorded in the Scriptures (Jud. 4:1-2). This was why the men were so weak. God had removed their power as He did from sinful Samson.

    "Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself. ... And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the Lord" (Amos 2:14-15).

    Exerpt from:
    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fbns/fbns150.html
     
  3. BobRyan

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    Seems like an oxymoron.

    In 1Cor 12 God has appointed "First Apostles and Then Prophets" makes your statement more of a contradiction.

    In Both the OT and the NT the rule is always "HEAR the prophets" it is always "listen to them" it is always "obey their message".

    If you have some example where it is "Listen to them EXCEPT if God makes the mistake of speaking to a woman" - please quote it for me.

    When you say "they never teach" -- I have to ask how their message was "received" and where you got the idea that prophets did not teach in the OT or NT. OR that God could give a mesage to the prophet and the prophet would not teach..

    To usurp - is to take what is rightfully someone elses away. If you are a prophet and I am not - you can not take the role of prophet from me (only God decides who gets that role) nor can you take the role of teaching from divine inspiration from me - since in that case - you are the one divinely inspired.

    If you interpret scripture that way - you have a problem with both women Prophets AND women judges.

    The Bible does not say "I do not allow women to teach UNLESS the men are weak".

    Here you are changing the meaning to "I allow women to lead and to teach IF God ordains them to that ministry in cases where men are weak".

    However - in 1Cor 12 we find that God is the one that selects this ministry - period. Man has no say in it.

    In both the OT and the NT - there is only ONE response allowed for the people when a prophet speaks -- they must listen, learn and obey (if the message is from God).

    Since we both agree that women prophets existed in both OT and NT and since we both agree that Deborah exercised God-given-authority over men (rather than usurping authority over men) - then unless you have an "example" of a woman prophet "being ignored by men" or a "woman prophet" able to fulfill her ministry without teaching anyone - it "Seems" like your are interpreting Paul in a way that inserts a contradiction in scripture.

    What am I missing?


    "And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go" (Jud. 4:8).


    While this may seem like a bad thing for Barak - it is hardly a reason for Deborah to have BEEN a judge ALREADY and judgind ALL the people BEFORE Barak makes this choice. Nor can we blame all Israel and All men - for one choice of Barak. Neither can we find even here a statement that says "and God was forced to select a woman as having authority over all men in Israel because Barak would not go to war without Deborah".

    These are "insertions" into the text that are not justified. It is going "beyond scripture.

    Isaiah 3:4 states that God is removing the Judge AND prophet and that "immature children" will rule over them.

    It does not say "God will remove male prophets so they will be cursed by having femail prophets".

    It just isn't there.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. faithcontender

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is true that there are female prophets in the New Testament. But they are just prophets, they did not take any leadership in the church.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Seems like an oxymoron.

    In 1Cor 12 God has appointed "First Apostles and Then Prophets" makes your statement more of a contradiction.


    There is no hint here that the apostle Paul is saying that women could take leadership in the church.

    You are the one who is contradicting the Apostle Paul when you say that women could lead in the church when He clearly says that No women should teach in the church and usurp authority over men. You are not acknowledging that what He wrote is from the commandments of the Lord.

    You take from several unclear passages but ignore the clear teaching of the apostle Paul concerning this.

    Besides we can only find female prophetess in the book of acts but we can not find there that they assume leadership in the church.

    The will of God is for men to have leadership in the church. God did not chose female apostles though there are some who were qualified.

    If we found in the Bible prophetess there is no indication that they assume leadership in the church. One qualification of bishop and deacon is a husband of one wife not wife of one husband.
     
  5. TheOliveBranch

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    Where are the woman prophets mentioned in the NT, beside Anna?
     
  6. TheOliveBranch

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    Deborah was a judge sent by God to pass the judgement on the Israelites. She didn't teach or lead the already disobedient nation. This is very different than being a leader in a church. When the Bible directly states in the NT that women are not to usurp authority over men, and that the woman is to keep silent, then why do we want to find loopholes to get around this? There are specific guidelines for women to follow, and the reasons are given: for it wasn't the man, but the woman that was deceived. But I suppose woman will do what has been done since the beginning, out of the hardness of their own heart, to do what they see as right in their own eyes.
     
  7. Frogman

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    I answered this also in another quote concerning prophets/prophecy this would include women prophets.

    Concerning preachers and teachers Paul specifically states a woman is not suffered to usurp authority over the man. And he explains it in the Bible.

    The picture extends further to the relationship we have in the church to Christ as our head.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. faithcontender

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    I found one prophetess in the New Testament but there is no indication that she ever teach or assume leadership in the church.

    Luke
    2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

    On the other hand we can find a woman who call herself a prophetess and teach fornication and idolatry.

    Revelation
    2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
     
  9. Frogman

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    Note: Anna was of Israel. There is historical evidence that during the Spanish inquisition. Jewish women continued to teach their children the Jewish religion, though publicly they and their family professed Christianity (Catholicism, if I am not mistaken). You can force a man to agree with you, but you can't force a man to believe.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. gb93433

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    Some could never learn anything from a woman because they never listened to their mother.
     
  11. Yelsew

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    Faithcontender, these are all matters of culture, and not matters of God's law. The first century church could not go against civil practice without being subject to that law. Every first century church was located within male dominant societies. To allow women into leadership within the church, would put the church in unnecessary opposition to the societies, thus negating the gospel message because of the medium of delivery.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    The point is that in addition to Philips four daughters listed as prophetesses - EACH one in 1Cor 14 was said to have the gift of prophecy - (certainly not a way to exclude women) just as EACH one had the gift of tongues (no sign of excluding women from either spiritual gift).

    So EVEN the NT church had to deal with the "First Apostle and THEN prophets" spiritual order - when it came to women in the church.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Frogman

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    Paul makes it clear the reason is not because of society. The man was made first, the woman fell by deception, the man fell not by deception. What happened here? the man fell to join the woman, what does Paul say, it is good not to marry, but if you must, then marry, but you shall have trouble in the flesh.

    Don't you guys read the scriptures? The Bible is also clear that in matters of service to God and his law, the law of man (society) is nothing. No wonder Christians don't oppose abortion, gay marriage, cohabitation, these are all deemed by society as ok. Is society your God? Your govt. desires your worship, do they receive it?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. Yelsew

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    Being a bit hyper-critical aren't you frogman?
     
  15. Frogman

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    Sorry if I offended you or anyone else Yelsew. Is it not evident our Government wishes to replace the law of God?

    I thought this might help discern the truth of women in authority of the church.

    It is evident that Waldensian views concerning the ministry were in accord with the Baptist conviction concerning the priesthood of all believers, not the Roman Catholic view which exalted the priests high above the laity. Ray says:

    The Waldenses had pastors ordained by themselves. It is so generally admitted that the ancient Waldenses recognized the equality of their membership, as regards church privileges, that it is unnecessary to occupy much space on this point. . . . It may be regarded as an established historic fact, that the ancient Waldenses possessed the Baptist peculiarity of religious equality in church membership. [9]

    Concerning the question of who among the Waldenses could administer ordinances, Robinson quotes Bishop Bossuet as saying:

    They all without distinction, if they were reputed good people, preached and administered ordinances. They made no provision for a clergy, but required all to work for their bread. They formed their churches of only good men. [10]

    It may be questioned whether this Roman Catholic critic of the Waldenses had a perfect understanding of the nature of the Waldensian clergy. Since the Catholics believed that no man could administer ordinances without having received the Catholic sacrament of ordination, they tended to regard the Waldensian pastors as laymen, indistinguishable from the members of their congregations. A contrary view is presented by Jones, who emphasizes that the Waldenses had a distinct ministry, and that their laymen did not administer ordinances:

    The Catholic writers frequently reproach them with making little or no account of the pastoral office - affirming that they made the duty of preaching the gospel common to every member of the church, both male and female; and that they allowed persons who had not the suffrages of the church, to administer the ordinances of gospel worship. That this was an unfounded accusation has been very satisfactorily shown by Dr. Allix, whose researches into the history of those churches entitle him to the gratitude of posterity. I subjoin the substance of his defence of them against this charge.

    "1. Bernard, abbot of Foncaud, in his treatise against the sect of the Waldenses, ch. vi. accuses only some of them of having no pastors; which shows, as he very properly remarks, that the body of that church had a fixed ministry before the end of the twelfth century. . . .

    "Reinerius Saccho, who lived about the year 1250, acknowledges that in Lombardy, where he himself resided, they had their bishops or pastors. . . . Again, Matthew Paris (under the year 1243) speaks of a bishop of the Paterines in Cremona, who was deposed by them for fornication. And, further, Pilickdorf, a writer quoted by Bossuet in his history of the Variations, p. 223, says, 'they do not approve of a layman's celebrating the eucharist,' ch. 1, which sufficiently proves, says Dr. Allix, that they made a signal difference between the people and their pastors."[11]
     
  16. BobRyan

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    #1. That means that the very DETAILS of the Genesis account are correct and reliable. (Just a point tossed out for some of our non-fundamentalist bretheren on the board).

    #2. That means that this is generically true for MANKIND since the fall of Adam and has NOTHING to do with any change in the days of Christ.

    #3. That means that the women prophets and judges of the OT (ordained for their ministry by God Himself) were serving in FULL compliance with that rule for "mankind" established at the fall by God Himself.

    Once you have that crystal clear - then the difficulty is removed. But if you try to work it so God is violating God - so that rule-A is violating rule-B then you get into trouble - OT and NT.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Frogman

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    Bro. Bob,
    I don't understand your last post.
     
  18. BobRyan

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    Dallas,

    My point is that the "reason" identified - begins with Adam and Eve. That means we start there.

    Then when we see woman appointed by God as Prophets (Miriam) and Judges (Deborah) we view that IN the context of the fall of Adam and Eve and we observe that God is not breaking His own laws.

    We conclude that those appointments are fully consistent with the fall and the consequences of the fall to God's people. Somehow you need to work out a solution to that.

    Whatever solution you find should be solid enough so that it applies equally well in the OT and in the NT because the problem is one from the creation of man and his fall - onward. And the solution can not be in the form of giving God's people less freedom after the cross - than before.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. Frank

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    God has ordained men to lead the church of the New Testament. The requirements are provided in I Tim. 3:1-11 and Titus 1:4-9. These requirements may only be met by men. Paul gives the order of subjection in the church in I Cor. 11:3. The role of women and men are different. This has been God's design from the beginning. Eve was created for Adam to complete him. She was to be in subjection to him. The same is true in the church today. Eph. 5:22-32. For a woman to have authority over a man in the church is a violation of God's ordained purpose and role for men and women.
    The word prophet means a proclaimer of truth. One may prophesy in the presence of women, men, saint or sinner. The word itself does not define the situation in which the proclamation is performed. It is an unsubstantiated assertion that the daughters of Philip did so in authority over men. This would violate God's ordained role for women and men in the new testament. If one makes the argument for women as leaders, he places the Bible against itself. This cannot be possible. Therefore, the interpretation about prophets as it pertains to women and being leaders in the church is in error.
     
  20. faithcontender

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    Amen Bro. Dallas and Frank. Both of you have a balance view of the Scriptures with regards to this topic. God bless you more!!!
     

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