What does the Bible say about women preachers?

  • Douglas M. Williams

“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says” (1 Corinthians 14:33-34).

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:11-12).

The matter of “women liberation,” as with major matters in society, makes its way into religion. Some people maintain that these scriptures do not apply today, and others try to justify that there is Biblical support for women preachers and leaders in the church today.

The Bible gives reasons for women to be in subjection because of the order of creation and woman’s being deceived by Satan (1 Timothy 2:13-14). Then Ephesians 5:22-33 discusses the husband as head of the wife, and in doing so refers back to Adam and Eve as the basis for that teaching. So the authority in the church and home is based on the same facts as taught in the Bible. If women can have an equal place of leadership with men in the church, then with the same reasoning no wife has to be in subjection to her husband. Obviously some women would delight in this conclusion, but women who fear God will continue to serve God with honor and dignity according to their roles as given in the Bible.

In connection to women preachers they are sometimes referred to as pastors. The Bible does not use this word to refer to preachers, but to elders, which is obviously a masculine word that could not refer to women.

God’s arrangement is no way belittles women nor makes men superior in any way, as all are equal as Christians (Galatians 3:28).