Women in Ministry: a hermeneutical and historical approach Part 1

Controversy among women in leadership roles today has become non-existent. We find no one blinking an eye anymore when they find women leaders in business, education, civics—everywhere except for church. Women leading ministries is still full of debate and can cause division within the church. This is due to the interpretations placed in the Apostle Paul’s instructions of the proper order for church and to women specific. But Paul’s writings concerning these restrictions were for specific people in a specific place at a specific time, not for everyone all the time.

Although we believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, it was not literally penned by God and sent from Heaven down to us. It is an anthology, more specifically a canon, of works penned by people who were writing to specific people in their own language and culture for varying reasons.[1] Yes, these people were working wholeheartedly in concert with the Holy Spirit to guide what God wanted to them to say. But few, if any, of these writers would have ever imagined that their works would turn out to be the most widely read texts of all time, translated in numerous languages and still in print thousands of years later. To this, some cultural practices have been left out—everyone who read it at that time would have certainly known their own customs. Had the writers been intentionally writing to outside societies (Gentiles) and for future generations, they might have taken the time to insert some explanations.

We must also understand the differences in modern and ancient language, specifically in light of how English translators more than one thousand years after these texts were written were challenged with converting certain Greek and Hebrew words not in the English language. Therefore, we must practice proper hermeneutics, the study of how to rightly interpret scripture. More on this and the divisive writings of Paul as we progress on this topic in later posts.


[1] Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers), 21.

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9 thoughts on “Women in Ministry: a hermeneutical and historical approach Part 1

  1. Pingback: Women in Ministry: a hermeneutical and historical approach Part 2 | A Closer Look

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