1st Century Women in Ministry

Women in ministry

     Gal 3:28 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 

    Paul instruction to Timothy to confront leaders of false teaching the church in Ephesus

    1 Tim 2 “12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. “

What is this about???

Is it this about restriction , permission, propriety, or something else….

: what am I missing from the text?

INTERNET ( reader beware ) !!!!!

Roman Education of Women….

The education of women was a controversial subject in the Roman period. Basic skills of reading and writing were taught to most girls in the Roman upper and middle classes, while some families went further and employed private tutors to teach their daughters more advanced grammar or Greek.

All of this was intended to facilitate a girl’s future role in managing a household and to make her a more literate, and therefore entertaining, companion to her husband. Although very little writing by women is preserved from antiquity, that doesn’t mean that women didn’t write. Letters between soldiers’ wives, discovered at the Roman fort of Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall, illustrate something of the busy social scene of life on the frontier, and we know that Nero’s mother, Agrippina the Younger, wrote a memoir, which – much to historians’ frustration – has not survived.

However, many Romans believed that too much education could turn a woman into a pretentious bore. Worse still, intellectual independence could become a synonym for sexual promiscuity. Nevertheless, some elite families encouraged their daughters to cultivate an unusually educated persona, particularly if the family had a track-record of intellectual achievement. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Hortensia, daughter of Cicero’s great courtroom rival Hortensius. She was one of very few Roman women to be celebrated for her abilities as a speechmaker – an accomplishment that was traditionally the exclusive preserve of men. In 42 BC, Hortensia stood on the speaker’s platform in the Roman forum and eloquently denounced the imposition of a tax imposed on Rome’s wealthiest women to help pay for war.


Education of Greek Women

Each of the city-states viewed education differently. In most city-states, women were educated at home whereas men were allowed to attend formal schools. However, Spartan women were well educated. Because the men were away from home so often, it was necessary for women to receive an education so they could take care of the household finances, family businesses, etc. In other parts of Greece, however, women were educated as little as possible. 

As you can see, women throughout Ancient Greece didn’t have as many rights as the men had. Sparta, however, was the exception. They gave their women more rights because they were essentially responsible for making sure their households and businesses were able to function while the men were away. The Spartans realized that in order for their society to survive, women needed to be intelligent and capable of defending their homes and families when the men were absent. 


    1 Tim 2 “12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. “


        What goes w/o being said? ( context – what was going on in that setting? Is that a local or general or absolute rule…..

  • Look at quotes of partners in ministry
  • Jesus relationships w/ women in ministry
  • Paul, women working for gospel 
  • Men at cross, Women at resurrection 

     1) Gal 3:28

           Illus: CT’s foot surgery 

               “Hey, what about me?”

               Help after surgery, Kim on business 

               trip. Was i thee we best selection for 

               post surgery care?

Law of unintended consequence:



         1) not about ability

         2) Jesus didn’t teach patriarchy

         3) would Gospel be harmed in that clulture

          4) would women be harmed, put in jeopardy in that culture

          5) would women effective in that culture?

          6) what would be neglected.

                   Caring for Ct. – who would do it better? 

          7) what is BEST – GOD’s BEST

                   ILLUS : Mercury 13 … held back power !


       We should wrestle w/ this

       What am I not seeing?

        Unintended consequence

        God is always right… trust & obey??!!

       NEVER answer from our culture – because it adds foreign issues.