Here - Philip B. Payne

The Biblical Foundation
for Mutual Submission
and Shared Authority
Between Men and Women
in Church and Marriage
Philip B. Payne, Ph.D.
Author: Man and Woman, One in Christ
Teacher: Fuller, Gordon-Conwell, Bethel, Trinity, Cambridge
President: Linguist’s Software
Objections to Equality
The Bible (Allegedly) Teaches…
Male Headship
“Wives, submit to your husbands”
Women may not teach
Man’s priority in the Creation Order
Woman is man’s “helper”
“He will rule over you”
Objections to Equality
The Bible (Allegedly) Teaches…
Only males exemplify OT leadership
Only male priests
Only male Apostles
Only male overseers, pastors, elders
Women should not speak in church
Women have separate roles
1. “Male headship”
Liddell Scott Jones, Greek-English Lexicon, lists
48 translations of kephalē as a metaphor, but
none means “leader” or “authority.”
In only 6 of 171 instances in LXX (Greek OT)
where “head” (roʾš) may convey “leader” did they
translate it with the metaphor kephalē in a way
that clearly means “leader.”
“Male headship”
Seven of the ten people Rom 16:1–16 names as
Paul’s colleagues in ministry are women:
1-2 “Phoebe, deacon of the church in Cenchreae”
3 “Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ”
7 “Andronicus and Junia … outstanding among
the apostles.”
6 “Mary, … Tryphena and Tryphosa,…
Persis… women who work hard in the Lord.”
2. “Wives, submit to your husbands”
Eph 5:21–22 Context: mutual submission
23 “head” explained as “savior” by apposition
25 savior + husband “gives himself for”
“nourishes and cherishes”
1 Tim 5:14 Wives “be house despots.”
1 Cor 7 Wives and husbands equal 12x
3. “I do not permit a woman to teach or to
have authority over a man” 1 Timothy 2:12
• Authentein is best translated:
“to assume authority”
• Paul typically uses the conjunction (oude) to
join two elements to convey a single idea
• “I am not permitting” normally not universal
• Paul permitted women to teach elsewhere
NT Affirmations of Women Teaching:
Acts 18:26
“Priscilla and Aquila … explained to [Apollos] the way of God more adequately.”
Acts 21:8–9 “Philip … had four daughters who prophesied.”
1 Cor 11:5 “But every woman who prays or prophesies…”
1 Cor 14:5 “I would like every one of you to …prophesy.”
1 Cor 14:24 “while everyone is prophesying”
1 Cor 14:26 “brothers and sisters … each of you has … a word of instruction, a revelation”
1 Cor 14:31 “you can all prophesy … so that everyone may be instructed.”
1 Cor 14:39 “brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy”
Col 3:16
Addressed to the whole church: “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.”
1 Tim 3:1–2 “Whoever aspires to be an overseer … is to be … able to teach.”
2 Tim 2:2
“entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach (διδάξαι) others.”
Titus 2:3
“teach the older women … to teach what is good.”
2 Tim 1:5; 3:14-16 “your faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother
Eunice … from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures.”
Heb 3:1, 12; 5:12 “brothers and sisters, … by this time you ought to be teachers.”
4. “The Creation Order Establishes
Man’s Priority”
Genesis’ Creation Account Stresses Equality:
1:26–27 “God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness. So God created
mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he
created them. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.”
1:26, 28–29, God gave both dominion over the earth, 1:28; 5:2 “God blessed them”
“And He named them ‘Mankind’” (plurals are consistent throughout)
2:23 Made of the same substance: “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
2:24 In marriage they are “united” and “one flesh.”
2:24 “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife.” This is contrary
to a male centered culture.
3:6–13 Together they face temptation and fail. Both hide from God. Both
experience guilt. Both pass the blame. God speaks to both announcing specific
consequences of their sin. Both are responsible for their own acts.
5. Woman is Man’s “Helper”
Gen 2:18 ʿēzer = “help, savior, rescuer, protector, strength, might”
Elsewhere in the OT 15x “God is our help,” 4x of a military protector
“as in front of him” kĕnegĕdô
(kĕ = as) + (negĕd = in front of/before) + (ô = him)
“like his opposite > proper for him.” HALOT 2:666.
The etymologically-related noun nāgîd refers to the person in front,
HALOT 2:667–68, “the one declared (by Yahweh) to lead … chief, leader,
… the leader of Israel, appointed by Yahweh.”
It is used of David’s and Solomon’s rule over Israel in 1 Sam 9:16; 13:14,
and 1 Kgs 1:35.
Together this expression conveys: “Strength as in front of him. (literal)
“a strength corresponding to him.” (flowing)
6. “He will rule over you” Gen 3:16
• A statement of what will result from the fall, not
God’s decree of what should be.
• All male rule, not just “bad rule,” comes from
the Fall. Both major Hebrew Lexicons (HALOT
2:647–48 and BDB 605) list no negative meaning
for “rule.”
• Why should we support a curse the Fall
introduced, namely man’s rule over woman?
7. “Pattern of male leadership” in OT
• God sent the prophetess Miriam “to lead” Israel. Micah 6:4
• Deborah prophetess, the highest leader in all Israel (Judg 4:4–5).
• Queen Esther along with Mordecai, “Wrote with full authority….
Esther’s decree confirmed these regulations.” Esther 9:29–32
• The king, the elders, the prophets, and the people accepted the
prophetess Huldah’s word as divinely revealed, producing Israel’s
greatest revival (2 Kgs 22:14–23:25; 2 Chr 34:22–35:19).
• “would that all the Lord’s people were prophets!” Num 11:29
• “O woman, … say, ‘Here is your God!’” Isa 40:9
• “The Lord announced the word; the women proclaiming
(feminine plural) it are a great company.” Psalm 68:11 (12 MT)
8. “Only males were priests”
•Deut 23:17 provides cultural explanation for no
women priests in ancient Israel: prohibiting cult
•Exod 19:6 The OT ideal was for all of Israel to
be “A kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
•Isaiah 61:6 predicted a future when all of God’s
people “Will be called priests of the LORD, you
will be named ministers of our God.”
“Only males were priests”
God revealed inspired Scripture through women:
• Exod 15:21 the song of Miriam
• Judg 5:2–31 the song of Deborah
• 1 Sam 2:1–10 Hannah’s prayer
• 1 Sam 25:24–31 Abigail’s prophecy and
blessing of David’s enduring house
• Luke 1:25, 42–45 Elizabeth’s blessing
• Luke 1:46–55 Mary’s Magnificat
9. “Only males were apostles”
Jesus chose men to avoid scandal and for
symbolic parallel, not to ban women leaders.
Jesus in all his words and deeds treated women as full persons
equal with men, never subordinate or restricted in role. Jesus…
• John 4:14–26;11:25–26 taught Samaritan woman and Martha.
• Luke 10:38–42 encouraged female disciples like Mary.
• Mark 10:12 treated men and women equally regarding adultery
and divorce.
• John 20:14–18 demonstrates his respect for women’s testimony
by appearing post resurrection first to Mary Magdalene.
10. “Only males were elders,
overseers, or pastors”
• Apart from Christ, the NT does not name anyone – man or
woman – as overseer (episkopos) or pastor (poimēn). Heb
13:20; 1 Pet 2:25; 5:4
• John refers to himself twice as “The elder,” (2 John 1; 3 John 1)
a title unique to him. Nothing in context associates this title
with a local church or with administrative duties.
• 2 Pet 5:1 Peter “Fellow-elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings”
(synpresbyteros) also highlights his special witness status.
• Rom 16:1 Clearest identification of an individual with a church
office is: “Phoebe, deacon of the church in Cenchrea.”
11. “Let women in the churches be
silent” 1 Corinthians 14:34–35
1 Cor 14:5 “I would like every one of you to prophesy”
1 Cor 14:24 “while everyone is prophesying”
1 Cor 14:26 “brothers and sisters … each of you has …
a word of instruction, a revelation”
1 Cor 14:31 “you can all prophesy … so that everyone
may be instructed”
1 Cor 14:39 “brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy”
1 Cor 11:5 “But every woman who prays or
“Let women in the churches keep
silent” 1 Corinthians 14:34–35
• Codex Vaticanus, the oldest Greek Bible,
written ca. A.D. 350, uses this symbol 8
times. Each occurs at the exact location of
a widely-recognized, multi-word later
• All the evidence indicates that this one
marks 1 Cor 14:34–35 as a later addition.
12. “Separate roles for women”
• 1 Cor 11:11 mutuality and shared authority
of man and woman, even in prophecy.
• Gal 2:11-14; 3:28 Any exclusion of women
as a class from participation in the
church is contrary to the gospel.
• Gal 3:28 doesn’t merely state that all can be
saved. It calls for radically new social
interaction based on equality in church.
Objections to Equality,
The Bible Teaches:
1. Shared leadership,
NOT Male Headship
2. “Submit one to another,” NOT just
“Wives submit to your husbands”
3. Women may not teach
Objections to Equality, Answered
The Bible Teaches…
4. Shared dominion in Creation, NOT
Man’s priority in the Creation Order
5. Woman is “strength corresponding to”
man, NOT man’s subordinate “helper”
6. Male rule is part of the Curse. “He will
rule over you” is NOT God’s ideal.
Objections to Equality, Answered
The Bible Teaches…
7. Female leadership in the OT. NOT only
males exemplify OT leadership
8. All believers being priests is the ideal,
even though only male priests in OT
9. Women leaders in the apostolic church,
even though only males in the 12 Apostles
Objections to Equality, Answered
The Bible Teaches…
10. Phoebe was a deacon. NT gives no man
by name a local church leadership title.
11. Women should not speak in church
12. Exclusion of women from church
leadership is contrary to the Gospel,
NOT separate roles for men & women
• The Bible teaches the equal standing of men
and women in the church, including
church leadership.
• An avalanche of texts clearly support this.
• Let us who know these truths proclaim the
liberating message of the gospel!