I understand the principle of women not teaching a man (I Timothy 2:12 ). I occasionally run across articles written by women on Bible topics. Oftentimes these are on websites targeted toward women, though anyone can read them. But I've also seen them on general audience websites, and even in print publications targeted toward brethren. Do you think these are appropriate in light of God's teaching? What should my response be? Should I even read them?

"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" (I Timothy 2:11-12).

The Greek word translated as "silence" in this passage is hesuchia, which means quietness. It does not mean absolute silence, but a quiet demeanor, as seen in "For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread" (II Thessalonians 3:11-12). "Quietness" in this passage is the same Greek word.

From this I take it that in a learning situation where men and women are gathered, men are to take the lead in teaching the class. Women can participate, but in a quiet manner. In other words, they should not dominate the discussion, tell the teacher he is wrong, or get into heated discussions over a matter. But I see nothing wrong with a woman asking a question because she didn't understand a point, suggesting a verse that goes along with a point, or even helping the teacher who is trying to get a point across. None of these puts the woman in an authoritative position above a man.

Thus, I would apply the same to writings. There are articles where it is clear that the woman is directing her article to fellow women. The fact that a man can "listen in" by reading her work is a mute point. At times I have read through some of the ladies' class material because I wanted to know what was being taught, but I would not consider this a teaching of men because I wasn't the target audience. Similarly, I have a few articles written by women on La Vista's website. One, that I can recall off hand, was written by a preacher's wife to tell other women what it is like to be one. Sometimes a woman will write in with a good supporting point, especially about child rearing, and I'll include it. In each case, the decision concerning whether the content was good enough to post was my own. I've definitely thrown away more than I have posted.

I believe that articles written by women which are targeted for a general audience, especially those of an assertive nature where arguments are being presented as to what must be done, go beyond the scope of what God wants of women.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding a Woman's Role