Archive for the ‘women in ministry’ Category

“Let the deacons be the husband of one wife” 1 Tim 3:12 

ONE exception and we err to make a rule that “husband of one wife” is a restriction upon females.

Phoebe provides the exception.
Quoting the old Young’s Literal Translation because I think it conveys respect for Phoebe’s church leadership more than other translations:


“And I commend you to Phebe our sister — being a ministrant [DEACON] of the assembly that [is] in Cenchrea –
that ye may receive her in the Lord, as doth become saints, and may assist her in whatever matter she may have need of you — for she also became a leader of many, and of myself.” Romans 16:1-2 YLT


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Jesus and Women from CPX on Vimeo.

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This series is inspired by my daughters. Of my 5 daughters, Sarah (15) and Keren (18) have recently expressed an interest in attending seminary and pursuing some form of full time ministry. Because they grew up hearing (from my husband and I) that women are excluded from leadership positions in the church, I want to set the record straight.

As recently as last week when my husband repeated it, I’ve heard the argument that because 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Tim 3:12, and Titus 1:6 use the expression translated as “husband of one wife” therefore, deacons, elders, bishops are unqualified unless they are MALE. People assume the expression “husband of one wife” means women are excluded.

However, God’s Word does not contradict itself.  Paul- under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit- would not contradict himself.  Therefore “husband of one wife”  cannot mean the exclusion of women from the role in question. If it did, Paul would be contradicting himself by appointing and commending Deacon Phoebe.  Despite the obscuring of her deacon identity by English translations, she is commended by Paul in Romans 16:1 using the exact same “diakonon”[deacon] word he used in Rom 15:8 for Christ, Romans 15:25 for himself, and 1 Thes 3:2 for Timothy.  (see link)

And there is this from 1 Tim 3:1 “ei tis episkopēs” translated “if any man desire the office of bishop”.  Click the link to look at other occurrences of ei tis.  It doesn’t mean “any man“.  It means anyone!

Personally, I feel much safer and more confident with GOD’s own Word and Paul’s practice/interpretation of his own words rather than the way a church, interpreter, tradition, or commentary has taken them.

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