Within the church, only men are to be teachers, preachers, or elders. 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 (ESV) reads, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve”. In 1 Timothy 3:1, the Apostle Paul says, "If a man desire the office of a bishop…" The office of a preacher is designated for men only.

There are many brilliant women among the Lord’s people, well studied in scripture, and quite able to present, so why would there be a prohibition on women being permitted “to teach” in the church? We do find a clear hierarchal order laid out for us in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” 

This represents a top down order of authority, God, Jesus, man, woman. The fact that many women would be quite capable to be teachers, yet they are not permitted to teach, indicates God is teaching another lesson to Christians. These lessons would include; obedience, submissiveness, and humility

Even Jesus was proven in these traits. Hebrews 5:8 "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." (NAS) While Jesus was always obedient, his was to maintain perfect obedience under suffering.

Yet Acts 21:9 speaks of a man who had four daughters "who prophesied." These women were preaching. Again, 1 Corinthians 11:5, instructs, "But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head." These verses teach when a woman prophesies, she should cover her head (to indicate her submission to the Lord's arrangements). How do we harmonize the verses in Timothy with Acts and 1 Corinthians?

The Timothy scriptures are talking about positions in the church. Acts and 1 Corinthians do not specify the locations of the prophesying. It seems reasonable to suggest the prophesying women were doing so outside of formal church settings. They were probably witnessing. It is a joy and privilege for all believers to witness and it seems likely these fine Christian women were preaching the word.

One final point that should be noted. While there are established hierarchal roles in our earthly lives, the high calling to be members of “the Christ” is open to all. Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”