Question:

Is there any verse, to your knowledge, that prohibits women from ever teaching men in an assembly of any kind? I know she can't teach from a position of authority such as an elder, deacon, preacher, evangelist, etc. And, I know that she can't usurp authority over a man, but can she teach men in any type of church assembly?

I have been studying this and it seems that some like Coffman, McGarvey, and few others feel it isn't prohibited unless she is trying to teach from a position of authority as I mentioned earlier. Coffman uses Acts 18:26 as and example: "So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately."


Answer:

"A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet" (I Timothy 2:11-12).

Paul is stating that a woman is not to teach or exercise authority over a man. Teaching is by its very nature a form of exercising authority. It does not mean a woman cannot participate in a class or contribute to a class. The word Paul used does not mean absolute silence but a non-assertive approach, such as in II Thessalonians 3:12 where the same word is used.

In the worship assembly women are not allowed to speak. "The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church" (I Corinthians 14:34-35). Here a woman is not allowed to address the assembly. She can participate with the assembly, such as in singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), but speaking to the group is not allowed during worship.

In the case of Priscilla, she was teaching with her husband Aquila, in private. It was not in public, nor was it in a church assembly. "But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately" (Acts 18:26). Private teaching is not viewed as a position of authority like public teaching.

Thanks so much!