It has become an almost exasperating question when someone wants to argue in favor of women preaching:
What about Priscilla?
It is a sad fact that so many refuse to submit their hearts to Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2:12:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
There are some who do every sort of hermeneutical gymnastics to try to find a loophole in this passage. Their argument ALWAYS makes its way to Acts 18: Priscilla and Aquila teaching Apollos. There is a list of reasons why Priscilla’s teaching Apollos doesn’t fall categorically under Paul’s instructions that women aren’t to teach or have authority over men.
*Paul’s instructions to Timothy are in a NEW TESTAMENT PASTORAL epistle. Meaning, his directive is for the context of the Church, specifically, the gathered body of believers for worship. Women are not to preach or teach in the gathered church setting. ( This also rules out any Old Testament examples of women in authority like Deborah. It also rules out the women at the tomb- another favorite argument- because the Church hadn’t even been established yet, AND they were just delivering a message, not preaching or teaching. )
*Priscilla wasn’t acting in authority by teaching in the organized church setting. She was with Aquila in the privacy of their home, or another place where they could speak to Apollos alone.
*There is no mandate against a woman giving one on one correction or instruction to a man who needs an explanation of scripture.
*Priscilla was with her husband Aquila when she was instructing Apollos. This couple was highly regarded by Paul. If Priscilla were acting in any way out of line with Paul’s instructions, Aquila would have stopped her.
Some people are so incensed that a woman wouldn’t be allowed to preach to men, they refuse to read what is plainly stated in scripture. They dance around it. They argue against it. They complain that it isn’t fair. But they don’t just study the text in it’s proper context. They won’t do it because they are stubborn and they already have their minds made up.
Jeff Durbin says, ( paraphrasing ) “Don’t just trust your traditions, or what you’ve always believed. Read the bible with an open mind and LET THE TEXT SPEAK.”
Chris Rosebrough says, “Let the places where the text is clear explain the places where the text is vague.”( again, paraphrasing )
Scripture interprets scripture. In its entirety, the scripture’s context is clear concerning women teaching men in the church setting. God says: DON’T DO IT.