This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Scriptures About Women and Ministry

QUESTION: Explain:

(a) 1 Corinthians 11:1-16:
 1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.  2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.  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.  4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.  5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.  6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.  7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.  8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.  10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.  11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.  12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.  13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?  14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?  15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.  16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." (KJV)
(b) 1 Corinthians 14:35, 36:
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? (KJV)
(c) 1 Timothy 2:11, 12:
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

ANSWER: (a) This indirectly permits a woman to pray and to prophesy or preach by prescribing the manner. (b) Having thus permitted her praying and speaking in public, it is not like Paul to absolutely forbid her in the same letter. What he does prohibit is the interruption of the preacher by asking questions. Our missionaries in the Orient are thus often interrupted when preaching to women. (c) This teaches that there can be two captains on one deck and designates the man as captain and the woman as mate. In Rom. 16:1 Paul calls Phoebe a deacon (that is Greek) of the church at Cenchrea. In I Tim. 2:3-11 the qualities of women deacons are indicated, and deacons in addition to caring for the poor and sick, preached the Gospel, as did Stephen. In Rom. 16 Paul sends greetings to seven women, most of them by name, as fellow laborers "in the Lord." If women are not to use their gift of speech for Christ, who has broken their galling and heavy yoke, what a mistake God made when he endowed Frances E. Willard and other women with extraordinary persuasive address!

— from Steele's Answers p. 46.

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