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It seems that that 1Timothy 2:12-14 (NASB) says that women shouldn't be pastors. But there are many denominations that allow this.

1 Timothy 2:12-14 (NASB)
12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or 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 being deceived, fell into transgression.

This idea also seems supported by the command that women should remain silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

What is the biblical basis for allowing women to preach or be a pastor? Specifically, what is the biblical basis of the doctrine of ordination of women? Also, how do the followers of this doctrine reconcile their beliefs with that of 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 above?

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This question could be clarified by defining the difference between the act of preaching, being a pastor and holding an office in the priesthood. I do not believe that pastor is a priesthood position, but a title for the person who manages a church branch. I am not even sure that the pastor has to be a priesthood member, that may just be coincidental because the priesthood runs the church. –  Jared Aug 24 '11 at 4:50
    
And now I'll add the counterpart: What is the biblical justification for allowing only male pastors? –  djeikyb Aug 31 '11 at 1:22
    
@Jared 1. I've updated the question to be more specific regarding ordination. However, I've also included the reference that women are to remain silent along with the one stating they're not supposed to teach or have authority. 2. Pastors in the mainstream Protestant churches I've been are part of the priesthood, due to the Priesthood of All Believers--not just managers. Still, the Bible seems clear about all teaching in church, not just being a priest/pastor/song leader/etc. –  Richard Oct 17 '11 at 16:52
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4 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

This is a question on which Christians disagree among themselves. Even those who hold the Bible as a sole source of authority reach contradictory conclusions on the matter.

On the side of not permitting women pastors, the main passage is 1 Timothy 2:12-14:

But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.

On the side of those who permit women pastors is Galations 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

There are others of course. Each side has good arguments why their favorite verses are definitive, and the others are a matter of context.

In short this is a highly complicated issue, which cannot be resolved in a single answer. I strongly recommend further reading on both sides:

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The 1 Timothy passage refers to pastors, while the Galatians 3 passage refers to salvation. Two different things. –  Narnian Oct 17 '11 at 18:00
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@Narian That may well be your interpretation, and you are free to hold it. Lots of people don't. Please let's not argue about the merits of each viewpoint here. –  DJClayworth Oct 17 '11 at 21:44
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That's the context of each passage. –  Narnian Oct 17 '11 at 21:46
    
Let's not argue about the interpretation here. Plenty of people use the passage as an indication that women can be pastors. –  DJClayworth Oct 17 '11 at 21:48
    
That may be a good question to add, since the implications of that would carry over to other things as well. –  Narnian Oct 17 '11 at 21:50
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Here are some verses that were often referred to in discussions of ordination of women among ELCA Lutherans.

1) Women first at tomb

I know a female ELCA Lutheran pastor who said she felt her call to be pastor solidify after reading the Gospels and seeing that women who came to the tomb were the first evangelists of a resurrected Christ.

2) No male/female in Christ Jesus

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28

3) a Prophetess

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel,.. (Luke 2:36)

4) Lydia led a house church

And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed. (Acts 16:40)

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It seems that some of the most popular verses to oppose this are Galatians 3:28, Acts 10:34, and Mark 16:15.

(Gal 3:28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Act 10:34) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

These verses are mainly saying that no one can be "more saved" than others. Saved Jews don't have anything over saved Gentiles.

(Mar 16:15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

This does not mean that women can be pastors either though, it says that every person should preach the gospel, but obviously not everyone should be a pastor.

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1 Peter 3:18-19 is a commandment to the eleven remaining disciples, not everyone. Though I see no reason that it cannot be applied to everyone. –  Jared Aug 24 '11 at 4:40
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I agree that preach does not mean be pastor or hold office. –  Jared Aug 24 '11 at 4:42
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A friend of mine (an Anglican priest) recently preached a sermon in my church about the epistles and how we should read them. He told us of how he had recently found a letter from his father (who had died some years before) in an old book. The letter, he said, was full of good advice about all kinds of things. My friend said that most of it remained good advice. But then the letter moved on to an account of his father's buying a new car. The letter was written in the mid-1970s and no doubt was excellent advice at the time. But no-one would use 1970s criteria to buy a car today. That would self-evidently be foolish behaviour.

Any sane biblical hermeneutic will, in my view, take fully into account the difference in culture between first-century Judeo-Hellenic society and the present day. They are enormously different.

The Church's role is to proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the salvation that comes from it. If the Church's rules and policies actively detract from this, they should be abandoned, whatever their provenance.

I think the problem inherent to the question is that theology and ethics cannot be reduced to parroting proof-texts from the Bible but require active interpretation (guided by the Spirit, if you will). God has given us cognitive faculties: it is our duty (perhaps even our primary duty) to use them to interpret the scriptures in the light of our other human endeavour.

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But then the "Word of God" is... malleable? Woah there... minefield ahead! –  Jürgen A. Erhard Aug 29 '11 at 13:51
    
@lonesomeday just to clarify... you're saying essentially that interpretation of scripture can evolve over time as cultures change (i.e. from Judeo-Hellenic society to present day)? Would it then be fair to say that, for example, a Christian in Northern Romania and a Christian in the Bible Belt USA could have different interpretations of these scriptures, but both be "correct" in their respective cultures? –  Bob Black Sep 1 '11 at 0:10
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Any sane biblical hermeneutic will, in my view, take fully into account the difference in culture between first-century Judeo-Hellenic society and the present day. -- This sounds reasonable, and of course assumes an accurate understanding of the cultural differences. It's worth noting in the context of this question that "Judeo" culture at the time of Christ was sharply distinct from Helleno-Roman culture in its restriction of priestly ministry to males. Priestesses were common outside of Judaism. –  Ben Dunlap Dec 26 '11 at 16:51
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protected by wax eagle Oct 16 '13 at 14:58

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