Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 29, 1963

More On Women Teachers

Tom Bunting

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." (1 Cor. 14:34)

As I read the passage it seems to me that women will be silent in the church in keeping with the scriptures as long as they remain obedient, in subjection, and do not usurp authority over the man. I cannot see why the whole case should rest on the phrase "in the church"; to do so would condemn women singing, or teaching in a church of all women. I feel quite strongly that a partial assembly of the saints or a study group arrangement is still the church. I do not believe that "in the church" is the qualifying phrase of the passage nor does it mean absolute silence. If "in the church" is to be the qualifying phrase then it seems to say that women could not sing, teach children, or other women. But all of these are commanded in the Bible, and we do not have a contradiction. If we had a congregation composed entirely of women would one be permitted to speak? Not if the emphasis is on "silence in the church." Why can women teach in classes of children and of other women? Not simply because it is not the church, but because she can do so and still be obedient, in subjection, and not usurp authority over a man.

What does this do to the discussion between brethren Bolton and Moyer? Well, we may have the church include not only the one assembly but also group study arrangements. But we will still have the points of agreement mentioned by brother Moyer:

(1) The scripturality of teaching the Bible in classes.

(2) That women cannot teach or speak to the assembly of the church (when the whole church is come together).

(3) That a woman can teach her children or other children.

(4) That a woman can teach other women.

(5) That a woman can participate in a private study with a man.

— 2410 S. W. 14th Street, Miami 45, Florida