In reference to 1 Timothy 2:12, If women are not to
teach, are they just not to teach classes with men in them, or not teach at
Actually, they are not to teach in the context of the church setting (worship/teaching services). The Scripture seems to indicate that women shouldn't teach because they are more easily deceived then men are ("Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1 Timothy 2:14). Therefore, one would question the validity of women teaching any Bible Doctrine at all in the Church. Now the Bible does command older women to teach younger women, but to teach them to "love their husbands and children"--more of the practical application of the truth. Also, women are commanded to teach their own children God's Word.
I do believe that it is fine for a woman to teach children (boys and girls), in a Church context (Sunday School, Bible Studies), however, I would say that what she teaches should be under the oversight of the Church leadership (males). Again, this would ensure that the doctrine is proper. This is not to belittle a woman's ability, but to try to satisfy God's divine command for male leadership and authority over the teaching of the Word. Likewise, a mother is required to teach her own children, and ideally, her husband would provide oversight. My own wife was teaching a Sunday School class of young girls, and although she is very knowledgeable of the Word of God, she would come to me and ask that I review her lessons, when it contained instruction in doctrine. At other times she taught practical application of truths, that is, how to be a godly woman, and felt comfortable teaching what she had learned as a Christian woman.
Wouldn't a female Choir Director have authority over male singers in her choir--if we are to take these Scriptures literally?
True, she would, and I don't think that is permissible, for she is not to have
authority over a man in any church context.
Wouldn't "keeping quiet" (being silent) involve not speaking at all--not even greeting each other?
No, not to that degree, again in the formal church setting of worship and teaching. Greeting or talking before or after church would be OK. Even simply making an announcement to the church about an upcoming event would be OK. Just, no praying, preaching, teaching, or leading of the congregation.
In verse 8, Paul desires that men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands. Do men do this?
Yes, some do, but the lifting up of hands is optional. In fact, there are many different ways to pray (sitting, standing, laying down, eyes open, eyes closed, hands up, hands down), Paul is just using a common expression for glorifying God in prayer. Men should do the praying in church. And no it would not be a sin not to hold up one's hands in prayer, or not to--what's most important is what is going on in the heart. He stated that they should lift up "holy hands"--"holy" meaning clean and pure, "hands" a symbol of the activities of life, thus praying out of a "holy life."
Why is it not a sin if men don't hold up their hands; yet a sin if women don't adorn themselves in modest apparel?
Being immodest is always a sin, and is clearly not the same as hand positions in prayer.
Is it a sin for women to braid their hair or wear gold or pearls or expensive clothes,
Only if it is done to attract attention to themselves. Now, some may have no intention of attracting others, yet simply by having their hair all done up, and wearing expensive clothes and gold and pearls, they will attract attention to themselves, thereby distracting others from the worship of the Lord. I would think the key is trying to "blend" in, being sure not to "stand out" in the crowd by calling attention to your beauty or wealth. The context in the Corinthian Church, was that women were trying to attract attention.
It seems to me that if we take one verse, such as women not having authority over men in the church by being pastors and teachers, then we must take all of these verses seriously, including men holding up holy hands in prayer. How do we separate scriptural verses?
We separate these by the context and references to other verses. God tells us to "gouge out our eye if it causes us to sin." Did he mean to literally gouge it out? No, but He used the illustration to express the need to take drastic action if we are lusting with our eyes.
Bottom line, there is a struggle with women and men in life, and this is directly because of the curse in Genesis 3:16. Women, in their fallen nature, don't want to be submissive to men, and, in fact, would like to rule over them--usurp their authority, and men's natural desire (as a result of the Genesis 3:16 curse) is to harshly rule over women and use them. Therefore, we struggle as a church with any teaching that calls for the submission of women and for the kindness and consideration of a man. John MacArthur has two really great sermons on my website that address this very issue. They are under "marriage" and are called the "Role of the Wife" and the "Role of the Husband" www.biblebb.com
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:
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