I will apologize at the outset as this question stems more from anecdote than from research.

Anecdote 1 - Some years ago, while at the local dump, I was approached by a woman for help unloading the trunk of her car. By way of thanks (after a brief conversation) she offered me some Jehovah's Witness material, notably a booklet called "What Does The Bible Really Teach?". I gladly accepted and offered to read the book and then reunite with her to discuss the contents. She declined and instead offered to have one of the deacons (male) from the local Kingdom Hall contact me if I was interested in studying the booklet together. The reason she gave for declining my offer was that JW women were not allowed to instruct men.

Anecdote 2 - Much to my wife's chagrin I have always invited JW into my home to discuss the scriptures when they come knocking at the door. My wife was homeschooling our children at the time and would send JW visitors away if I was off at work. As these visits were concurrent with a year long bible study via telephone (the result of anecdote 1) I requested of the JW deacon with whom I was speaking that visits during my away hours cease. What occurred is that male visits during my away hours ceased but small groups of females periodically stopped by (more spousal chagrin). As my work schedule became apparent so did this pattern: When I was known to be home it was men who came and never women.

I found some relevant information in Watchtower online which seems to indicate that women may witness to and teach men in an evangelistic setting but may not teach doctrine or preside over a congregation wherein there are baptized male believers.

My question is: Was the woman from anecdote 1 just being extra cautious in declining to undertake bible study with me or was my it baptism in a Protestant denomination that was enough to disqualify her as my teacher?

A corollary question is: How does this affect a JW woman's ability to answer questions on a site such as this Christianity Stack where an OP's gender is often unknown and an OP's baptism into Christianity is often unknown but is likely to have occurred?

  • Is there also the matter of straight forward propriety at work, here, that caution is being exercised in regard to gender ?
    – Nigel J
    Dec 10 '20 at 14:33
  • 1
    Husband and wife Jehovah’s Witnesses would be allowed to conduct a home study with either a man or a woman. This happened to me, a woman, when a Pioneer couple came to my door. Both were able to come into my house to share their views with me even though I told them I was a baptised born-again Protestant Christian. A female Witness would be able to conduct a home study with a woman regardless of her faith.
    – Lesley
    Dec 10 '20 at 14:54
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    A recent Watchtower article shows female Witnesses teaching other women as they share in the ministry (the preaching work that involves conducting home studies). jw.org/en/library/magazines/watchtower-study-october-2020/…
    – Lesley
    Dec 11 '20 at 10:19
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    @Lesley Women can also conduct Bible studies with men, but they would be wise to bring along a friend so that she is not alone with him. If that Bible student gets baptized, or if she brings along a baptized male Witness to the study, then the woman would need to wear a head covering while studying with him.
    – user32540
    Dec 11 '20 at 15:23
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    @Lesley that article is the one that is going to be studied at our public meeting this weekend.
    – Kris
    Dec 13 '20 at 3:24

There is no issue with a female Jehovah’s Witness evangelizing to a male.

Within the congregation women do not generally teach from the stage. Exceptions would be in isolated groups where a man is not available. When this becomes necessary a sister wears a head covering. Head covering protocols are explained here

Your baptism would not effect this since head covering protocols relate to baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses and within a family where the wife is taking on a role that is usually the responsibility of the head of the household (husband).

Since you have not been baptized as a JW nor are you married to her this would not be an issue.

As for your anecdotal observation this is a matter of propriety and safety.

When a sister comes upon a man who expresses interest in learning more about Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs she will engage in a discussion with him. If this occurs at the mans home and she is invited into the home a sister will use good judgement to avoid putting herself in danger or giving an appearance of impropriety.

She would not enter the mans home if it would mean she and he would be alone in the house.
A brother would exercise the same good judgement if invited in by a female. Most of the time we don’t go to doors alone and that goes a long way toward preventing this from becoming a problem.

If a sister determines that the man is genuinely interested in learning more she will arrange to return with a brother on the next visit if possible. If not possible two sisters may return and the evangelizing session could resume.

Generally when a sister finds a man who wishes to learn more she will turn this over to a brother for future visits, not because there is a problem with a female JW evangelizing or teaching a man who may be baptized into a different denomination but for the avoidance of any impropriety or appearance there of.


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