Does 1 Timothy 2:12 Really Say Women Can’t Teach in Church?

by FELICITY DALE from Charisma News

There’s a little word in the Greek in 1 Timothy 2:12 that makes all the difference. That word is oude.

It appears there are two prohibitions for women in 1 Timothy 2:12. The first is teaching; the second, assuming or usurping authority. But they are separated by this little word oude.

Again, I’m indebted to Philip Payne’s book, Man and Woman, One in Christ for this understanding. Philip Payne studied the Bible in its original languages from his youth. His father was a Bible scholar who every day, after breakfast and dinner gave him a fresh translation of a chapter from either the Greek New Testament or the Hebrew Old Testament. Spirited discussions would ensue.

In 1973, his assumptions about male headship were profoundly challenged when a scholar stated that “no passage of Scripture properly understood and in its context excludes women from any form of Christian ministry.” To check this out, he read 1 Timothy in the Greek daily for several months. Key word studies led to some shocking discoveries, such as how the English translations introduce masculine pronouns into the list of qualifications for overseers and deacons.

Here’s one of his findings:

In every use of the word oude (31 times) in the letters that are indisputably written by Paul, the word is used to combine two ideas into one single idea. The ideas may be similar—the one bringing a greater understanding to the other, or they may join conceptually different ideas. But every time they express a single idea. There is not a single unambiguous instance when they convey two separate ideas. In English it would be like saying “hit ‘n run.” You can’t separate the two ideas to convey the same meaning.

Let me give you some examples…
read the rest of this article at Charisma News

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