CAN A WOMEN BE A PASTOR OVER A CHURCH?


SPELLING EDITED


CAN A WOMAN BE A PASTOR OVER A CHURCH?


Some Christians say YES! Absolutely a woman can be a pastor over a church. But other Christians say NO! Absolutely no woman can ever be a pastor over a church. So what does the Bible itself teach us?

Let us begin this study in God’s word by reading Revelation 3:1-6 because I want you to see that the OPPOSITE of what is being said is EQUALLY true as what is being said.


Revelation 3:1-6.  


“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said he that has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. 

2.  Be WATCHFUL, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God. 

3.  Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If THEREFORE, you shall NOT WATCH, I will come on you as a THIEF, and you shall NOT know what hour I will come upon you. (Now, the OPPOSITE of this is EQUALLY true. Meaning that if we ARE WIATCHING then Jesus will NOT come upon us as a THIEF and we WILL KNOW what hour he shall come.)

4.  You hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy

5.  He that OVERCOMES, the SAME shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will NOT blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (And the OPPOSITE of this is EQUALLY TRUE. Meaning that those Christians who DEFILE their garment by living in a lifestyle of sin will NOT be clothed in white raiment because they will not be found WORTHY. They did NOT overcome so Jesus WILL BLOT OUT their name from the book of life)

6.  He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” 



Now let us read 1 Timothy 3:1.


“This is a true saying, If a MAN desires the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.”


Now, would not the OPPOSITE of this verse be equally true? Meaning that IF a WOMEN desires the office of a bishop then she desires a good thing. ABSOLUTELY!

In FACT, the Greek word “ei tis” actually means if ANY and if WHOSEVER.


G1536

εἴ τις

ei tis

i tis

From G1487 and G5100; if any: - he that, if a (-ny) man (‘s thing, from any, ought), whether any, whosoever.


So just because Paul chose to use a MAN as his EXAMPLE to show the qualifications to become a bishop does not mean that Paul was teaching the ONLY a MAN can be a bishop, a deacon, a pastor, a teacher, or even an Apostle. Perhaps the reason why we only see a FEW women being teachers and pastors of a church is that not many women DESIRED to be a teacher, pastor, bishop, elder, deaconess or an Apostle. But just because not very many women, compared to the number of men, desire to be a pastor of a church does not prove that it is wrong or even the sin of disobedience to the word of God for a woman to be a pastor over a church. Let us read 1 Timothy 3:1-13 having each verse having BOTH a man and a WOMAN desiring to be a bishop. I will place the OPPOSITE of a man to be the WOMAN in blue type right under each verse. ONLY the blue UNDERLINED type within my COMMENTS are LINKS so that you can see the resources that I used.


“This is a true saying, If a man (Or if ANY of WHOSOEVER of you) desires the OFFICE of a BISHOP (Now I want you to notice that in the FIRST word that the Apostle Paul used for the word “BISHOP”, Strong’s number G1984, is a FEMININE noun “episkopē”. BUT in verse two, where Paul chose to use a man as his EXAMPLE to show the QUALIFICATIONS of a bishop, he chose to use the MASCULINE form of the same Greek noun for the word “bishop” Strong’s number G1985 which is a MALE noun “episkopos”) So you have to ask yourself WHY Paul chose to use the FEMININE noun for bishop here in verse 1 and NOT use another Greek word of man that can ONLY refer to a MALE person in verse1?), he (Or THEY all male or female Christians according to the wording in the original text in verse 1 that the Apostle Paul chose to use) desires a good work.

Or

This is a true saying, If a WOMAN desires the office of a bishop, SHE desires a good work 

2.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Or

A bishop then must be blameless, the WIFE of one husband, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 

3.  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 

4.  One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Or

One that rules well HER own house, having HER children in subjection with all gravity; 

5.  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Or 

(For if a WOMAN knows not how to rule HER own house, how shall SHE take care of the church of God?)

6.  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he (Or SHE) fall into the condemnation of the devil. 

7.  Moreover, he (Or SHE) must have a good report of them which are without; lest he (Or SHE) fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 

8.  Likewise, must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 

9.  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 

10.  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 

11.  Even so, must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

Or

Even so, must their HUSBANDS be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 

12.  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 

Or

Let the DEACONESS be the WIFE of one husband, ruling their children and their own houses well. (Now Phoebe is called a DEACONESS in the original Greek text in Romans 16:1 but the Greek word “diakonon” which is feminine according to the LITERAL translation. And it is translated in the King James Versions as “servant” which means DEACONESS and deacon, And this Greek word ALSO means to be a minister, a teacher, and a PASTOR of a church in BOTH the FEMININE form of this Greek word and the masculine gender of the word. Some manuscripts read diakonos which can be either male or FEMALE)

13.  For they that have used the OFFICE of a deacon (diakoneo which is Strong's number 1247 that comes from Strong's 1249. This is the VERB form of the Greek noun diakonos and it means acting or serving, In other words, whosever male or female who obeys the Holy Spirit to be USED in SERVING the gospel of Jesus Christ) well purchase to themselves a good degree and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”


Now, most Christians view the Apostles as being the leaders or the overseers of MORE than just one church. In other words, an Apostle is viewed by most Christians as having more responsibility than a pastor of a single church because an Apostle is seen as having care over several churches. And the pastor has the care of only one church.

So then, if the Bible teaches us that there is a WOMAN Apostle then surely WOMEN can be PASTORS over a single church. Now, even well before I ever researched the name Junia in the King James Version of the Bible I always understood that Junia was a FEMALE name. 


Let us read Romans 16:6,7.


Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us. 

7.  Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”


According to the LITERAL translation, the Greek word translated as the name Junia is a FEMININE noun. You can also check the BlueLetterBible study tool that I recommend, my readers, to use as a good Bible study tool and you will see that the Greek word “Iounias” is a FEMININE noun as well. Now, this evidence alone should be enough proof that Junia is a WOMAN. But I know how skeptical some Christians can be so I did some more research on the name Junia and here is what I found.

First of all, the name Junia is from the Latin which is what the Romans spoke and Paul was writing to the church in Rome. And when you research the name Junia you will find that it is a Roman or Latin name which some Bible scholars believe to be Joanna one of the faithful women followers of Jesus. We may dig into that a little later. You can click on the blue links to check for yourself on the gender of the names. Now, the masculine form of the female name Junia is Junius which is a Roman family name that is derived from the female Roman goddess JUNO. So while a “family name” might be Junius there are no known males in or around Paul’s time names Junius. But there are several females named Junia in that era. Also, it stands to reason that no Roman family would name their son after a female goddess. So clearly, to ME, all the evidence points to the name Junia as being a FEMALE name and therefore I have concluded that the Junia in Romans 16:7 is a FEMALE APOSTLE.

Now some will argue that Romans 16:7 does not specifically state the Junia is an Apostle but rather says that Junia is of NOTE AMONG the Apostles. And if you read various translations then some of those translations can make it appear that it could go either way. In other words, some Bible scholars say that Junia is a female Apostle while other Bible scholars argue that Junia is simply WELL KNOWN BY the Apostles. Also, it is interesting to note that some of the Bible translations that translate “Iounion” as a MALE say that he IS an Apostles. But some other opposing translation who admit that the name should be rendered as Junia change from her being an Apostle to just being well respected by the Apostles. So you can DEFINITELY see a lot of BIAS in the translations and in Bible commentaries.

So I did some more research and came across an early church writer named John Chrysostom (AD 347–407), a bishop of Constantinople. Here is a link to that article. Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record And here is a quote from that same article concerning what the bishop of Constantinople has to say about Junia which is the actual words of bishop John Chrysostom himself. The emphasis is mine.


Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles: To be an apostle is something great! But to be outstanding among the apostles—just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle


Now, in this same article, the writer gives us BOTH sides of the argument as to whether Junia is supposed to be Junias which is the male form of Junia. The side that tries to refute that Junia is a female who is called “complementarians”, bring forth evidence of an early church writer named Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis and he states that “Iounias” became a bishop. And he uses a male pronoun which alludes to him thinking that Junia is a male. But the point that jumped out at me is that this early church writer states that “Iounias” became a BISHOP. And, of course, any Apostle can become a bishop over any single church either temporary or permanently and still remain an Apostle by title. Also, the USE of the word “Bishop” has changed. Just look at the Roman Catholic Church which began to form in the third through fifth centuries. And in the Roman Catholic Church, the Bishops are over several churches just like the Apostles in the early church were over several churches. Also, note that the Roman Catholic Chruch does not use the title of Apostle for any of their offices of leadership. Here is a quote for this same article. Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record


Evidence for a Male Apostle: A Mistaken Church Leader


Complementarians have stated that Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, Cyprus (315–403) compiled an Index of Disciples, in which he writes: “Iounias, of whom Paul makes mention, became BISHOP of Apameia of Syria.” According to them, Epiphanius wrote “of whom” using a masculine pronoun, thereby indicating that he thought Iounias was a man.48 The reliability of this evidence is in doubt because, in the same passage, Epiphanius also thought Prisca (Priscilla) was a man.


But my point is that it is quite evident that this early just writer was NOT in error when he said that “Iounias” or Junia became a BISHOP. Now, I am not aware of any Bible translations or commentaries that refer to Junia as a BISHOP but you have to wonder why this early church writer referred to Junias as a BISHOP when he THOUGHT or believed that this person was a MALE. Again, all the Apostles are bishops as well. So any Apostle can become a bishop of any SINGLE church that does not already have an overseer to care for that individual church. Perhaps the former bishop died. This particular article does not comment on this point.

However, this article shares with us many Bible translations that refer to Junia as a FEMALE Apostle. Here is another quote from this same in-depth article on Junia. The emphasis is mine. Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record


Support for Junia Being “Among the Apostles”


Bible Translations Historically Render Iounian as “Among the Apostles”

Virtually all English translations have rendered episēmoi en tois apostolois as “among the apostles,” meaning they were apostles.52 Eighty-three translations, including some non-English translations, are listed below.53


Awncient [ancient] Apostles” (Coverdale 1535)


“Distinguished among the apostles” (Berean Study Bible: BSB)


“Distinguished among the sent” (Julia Smith)


“Eminent among the apostles” (ECB, REB)


Famous apostles” (Luther 1522)


“Held in high esteem among the apostles” (AMPC)


“Highly respected among the apostles” (NLT)


Leaders among the apostles” (NIRV)


“Noble among the apostles” (Wycliffe Bible 1382, 1390, Rheims 1582)


“Notable among the apostles” (DLNT, Geneva 1583, 1599, Hutter Polyglot 1599, EMTV, MNT 1924, HNV, NHEB, NR06, WEB)


“Of note among the legates” (Murdock 1852 Syriac Peshito Version)


“Noted among the Apostles” (BBE)


“Noteworthy among the apostles” (MEV)


“Of note among the apostles” (ASV, BLB, BRG, DRA, Darby, GND 1649, JUB, KJV 1611, KJ21, MKJV, NKJV, OEB, OSB, Rivedu ta, RV, RSV, TMB, WBT 1833, Weymouth, YLT)


“Outstanding among the apostles” (CSB, EOB, Latin Vulgate, NASB, NIV, NIVUK, OJB, TNIV)


Outstanding and well-known apostles” (TPT)


Outstanding apostles” (NAB, NJB)


Outstanding leaders” (MSG)


“Prominent among the apostles” (CEB, GW, ISV, NABRE, NOG, NRSV, NRSVA, NRSVACE, NRSVCE)


“Some of the most important . . . ones Christ sent out” (ERV, footnote: “Literally, the apostles”)


Very important apostles” (NCV)


“Well known among the apostles” (GNB, GNT, Lamsa 1933, NSB, NTE)


“Well known among the emissaries” (CJB, JMNT, TLV, VOICE, footnote: “Literally, apostles”)


“Well regarded among the apostles” (NMB)


“Well taken among the Apostles” (Tyndale, Matthews, Great Bible, Taverner, Jugge’s Tyndale NT, Geneva NT, Bishop’s, all from the 1500s)


Few Translations Render Iounian as “Regarded By” or “Known To”


Only a few Bible translations render the Greek as “well known to the apostles” or some other exclusive phrase. These translations read: “highly regarded by the apostles” (EHV 2017), “noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles” (CSB 2017, a revision of the 2009 HCSB), “well known to the apostles” (ESV 2001, LEB 2012, MOUNCE 2011, NET 2005),54 “held in high esteem in the estimation of the apostles” (AMP 2015, italics original). The AMP’s translation stands in opposition to its prior 1987 AMPC edition, which included Andronicus and Junias as “among the apostles.”


And, again, I must point out that the Bible translations and the commentaries that refer to Junia as being well known TO the Apostles were written by men who STRONGLY OPPOSED women to be teachers in the church. It is known by Bible Scholars that Martin Luther, who was a German, was STRONGLY OPPOSED to women being teachers in the church. And his Bible translation has affected other Bible translations after him in Germany.

I bring this up because a dear sister in our Lord Jesus Christ sincerely wants to believe that women should be allowed to be teachers in the church. But because she is German and her Bible is a German Bible translation she is hesitant to trust any English translation over her German Bible translation. So for her and all the other women who are in bondage to this false teaching of men having Biblical authority to rule and lord over their own wives as well as to lord of all women in the church, I want to point out some things that jumped out at me concerning Martin Luther. Here is another quote from the same article but first I want to re-quote the German Luther Bible translation that you just read concerning Luther referring to Romans 16:7 as them being FAMOUS APOSTLES.


Famous apostles” (Luther 1522)


And here is another quote on Martin Luther’s strong BIAS against women.


Reformation-era Bible translations tended to read Iounian as FEMALE. Luther’s 1522 NT stands as an EXCEPTION and reads masculine, THOUGH his translation was based on Erasmus’s 1521 Greek NT, which clearly has the FEMALE accentuation.32 Perhaps Luther’s well-known PREJUDICE against women in ministry affected his translation. Unfortunately, Luther’s influence extended to other translations. from that point forward German, Dutch, and French translations of Iounian were consistently masculine, while Italian and Spanish remained feminine.33 Not until the latter half of the 1800s was there a noticeable change in English translations from Junia to Junias. These Bibles included the Revised Version (RV 1881); young’s literal (1862, 1898 by Robert Young34); DARBY Bible (1890 by John Darby35); Douay-Rheims (DRA 1899 Catholic version); and American Standard Version (ASV 1901).

The few mid-twentieth-century (1950–1999) English Bibles that read Junias, excluding those revised to now read Junia,36 include The New Testament in Modern English (1958–1972 by J. B. Phillips); New American Standard Bible (nasb 1960–1995); The Amplified Bible Classic Edition (AMPC 1965, 1987); New Jerusalem Bible (NJB 1985, a revision of the 1966 Catholic JB); The Living Bible (1971 paraphrase by Kenneth Taylor); The Message (1993 by Eugene Peterson); and the Contemporary English Version (cev 1995). Both the nasb and cev footnote an alternative translation of Junia or Julia.

Since the year 2000, two translations have rendered Iounian as a man: The voice (VOICE 2012) and the Amplified Bible (amp 2015, a complete revision of the 1987 AMPC). The amp text reads Junias; however, two footnotes strongly suggest it should read Junia.37


How Bible Translators Changed the Translation from Female to Male


On what basis did the later 1800s translations suddenly change the gender of Iounian? For example, the 1881 RV is a British revision of the King James Version based on the Greek NTs produced in 1881 by B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort and in 1857 by Samuel P. Tregelles.38 Yet those same Greek testaments accented Iounian as a woman’s name.39 Young used much the same text as used by the KJV for his 1862 translation, and his 1898 revision was based on Westcott-Hort. Darby also used Tregelles, as did the RV. Likewise, the ASV, which was a minor American revision of the RV, kept the status quo by using Westcott-Hort and Tregelles. To be clear, the editions of the Greek NT used as a textual basis for these translations do not support a male reading; therefore, one must question the motives of these English translators. Given the issue of suffrage, which was controversial during this same era, some form of bias against women played a part in how these Bibles came to read Junias rather than Junia.”


So there is a LOT of HISTORICAL evidence for Junia being the first FEMAL APOSTLE.


Back to the Bible ITSELF.


What about Jesus HIMSELF? Was Jesus BIAS against WOMEN? Absolutely NOT! In fact, Jesus seemed to go out of his way to teach AGSINTS the CUSTOMS and the traditions of his own Jewish people. Jesus even spoke to a “SAMARITAN” woman at the well whom he knew by the revelation of the Holy Spirit was living in ADULTERY with a man who was not her husband. Jesus does not care about GENDER. And, obviously, Jesus taught the Apostle Paul that gender does NOT matter in the eyes of God because Paul teaches us that there is no longer MALE or FEMALE, JEW or GENTILE to those who are IN Jesus Christ. Please read what the Bible ITSELF teaches us. And since the Bible itself teaches us to NOT keep the Law of Moses contained in ORDINACES then how much more are we to put away the TRADITIONS and CUSTOMS of men both Jewish and Gentile customs?


Galatians 3:24-29.


“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 

25.  But after that faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster

26.  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

27.  For as many of you as having been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

28.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are ALL ONE IN Christ Jesus

29. And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” 


So then, any WOMAN who desires the office of a BISHOP she desires a good thing. Always remember men and especially the women, it is the Holy Spirit who places members in the body of Jesus Christ where HE sees that they need to be. So do NOT push back that calling of the Holy Spirit for you to be used of Almighty God in the church as a TEACHER, preacher, prophetess, pastor, bishop, deaconess, or even and an Apostle.

The word “apostle” simply means one who is SENT. So if you believe that the Holy Spirit is sending you out into the world to live for and by the gospel then OBEY the leading of the Holy Spirit no matter what MEN say about women not being allowed even to SPEAK in the church.

For further study on the subject of women in the Bible please read all the studies under the heading >>>CAN WOMEN BE PASTORS?<<< Each study under this heading focuses on different verses that are used to WRONGLY teach that women have not right to be used by God as teachers in the church. But in truth, those verses are the Jewish CUSTOMS that Paul is CORRECTING. In other words, those verses are being taken OUT of the CONTEXT to wrongly teach the LORDING OVER women which Jesus HATES any kind of lording over others in the church. Also, here is a link to a video teaching that I came across in my research on the role of women in the church. It is titled Women in leadership! Must women keep silent? And here is another video showing how women are faced with choosing God over their families misguided beliefs and, therefore, they are faced with LOSING their family. Twisted Scripture - 1 Timothy 2:12And below are some more video teachings by others.

Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.


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Here are some links to some of the research sources that I used. Some of my readers have been asking for video teachings so I have been searching for some good sound Bible video teachings by others on the subject that I myself do not yet have video teachings on those particular subjects. And this is one of those subjects that I myself have not yet made any video teachings. 

Here is the link to the article that I quoted from in some of my studies on the subject of women because it was the most in-depth and unbiased article that I found.


 Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record


And here are some links to some video teachings on WOMEN in the Bible.

In this first video, there are two different men teaching. The first half is from a radio teaching and in the second half, you can see the teacher. The video is around 13 minutes long.


Paul’s high view of women


In this second video below, I do not agree with his teaching on the Trinity but I do agree with is a conclusion on the subject about the abuse of Scripture when it comes to lording over women. 


Ephesians 5:22 and 1 Timothy 2:11


The following video is also a short video that teaches us a little about Jewish CUSTOMS and how the jew viewed women as basically their PROPERTY. I chose this video so that you can see that the Jewish Judaizing Christians did not agree with the teachings of the Apostle Paul and they were EXAMING Paul as to whether or not he was a true Apostle of Jesus Christ.


JEWISH CUSTOM view of women 


Now, this next video teaching is rather long but I believe this man put a lot of research and study on 1 Corinthians 15:34,25 and the other verses that SEEM to teach that women must not be used by God to teach men in the church. Now, while I agree with his research on those verses I DISAGREE with is opinion on women wearing head coverings. He simply failed to do any research on that particular subject of the Jewish CUSTOM of women wearing head coverings. Please understand that there are many good Bible teachers on PARTICULAR subjects BUT on OTHER subjects they may simply “PARROT” what they were previously taught by their church denomination WITHOUT doing their own in-depth Bible studies on those other subjects. Around 18 minutes into the video, he talks about Junia and later alludes to Junia being Joahna but I would listen to the whole video for all the context.


WOMEN IN THE BIBLE.


In the following video, I find one of the best explanations and teaching on 1 Corinthians 14:34,35 that I ever came across. But because this video is by a WOMEN I listed it toward the end. For you see, some may wrongly think that teaching about women by a woman might be biased. But in truth, this woman shows the PAIN that some women suffer needlessly because of false teaching. And to me, her teaching is SOUND Biblical teaching on this subject concerning women be used by God as teachers in the church.


Women in the new testament


This next video list the NAMES of all the women in the New Testament for those who want to do their own Bible study of how God uses women in the Bible.


NAMES of women in the New Testament 


And this last video I just added for those want-a-be scholarly type men that like quoting the Greek just to look smart.


Xenophon of Ephesus 5 and 1 Timothy 2

Derived from Greek ξενος (xenos) meaning foreign, strange and φωνη (phone) meaning voiceThat is to say, xenophone means strange voice.