Did Paul really prohibit female teachers?

It appears Bible translators omitted a key word in 1 Timothy 2:12, a passage that addresses female leadership in the church. The New King James Version render’s Paul’s letter in English, “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man.” Problem is, the Greek doesn’t match.

The word “yet” is missing twice, changing the meaning of Paul’s letter. Applying the Greek Interlinear Bible the passage is better rendered, “I am not permitting women to teach YET or to have authority over man YET (emphasis mine . . . thanks to Christie Michas for helping me smooth out the choppy English in the Greek Interlinear Bible).” Jewish women in Paul’s day were not afforded the same religious training as men. Paul wanted women to wait until they had equipped themselves to teach doctrine correctly. Men were held to the same standard. Men and women are equal partners in the body of Messiah (Galatians 3:28), including positions of leadership and teaching.

Written by Jeff King

Jeff is a retired newspaper journalist in the United States and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth

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