A Question I Was Asked:

How Did 1 Timothy 2:8-11 Get to be a Place-of-Women Thing?

The Question:

1 Timothy 2:8-11 says that men should pray in a certain way and LIKEWISE women should adorn themselves in a certain way. Both of these sound like ways to control disruptive behaviors and institute a more Jewish style of worship for gentiles who didn't know how to pray or learn in the Jewish way as Timothy and Paul did.
1. Is it correct to say that men were disputing instead of praying and women were busybodies instead of minding their own business?
1 Timothy 2:13-15 seems to be emphasizing doing things according to God's plan for protecting people from Satanic attack, so
2. How did it get to be a place-of-women thing?

UK Apologetics Reply:

Yes, there is, in my opinion, a great deal of truth in what you suggest.

However, regarding, How did this get to be a "place-of-women thing," well, elsewhere in the New Testament Paul himself makes comments which strongly suggest that the pattern of things within the first Christian congregations should not be easily altered - in fact, this is one of the reasons that Paul wrote to Timothy. So the offices of elder, deacon, evangelist, teacher etc., are important. Just to take the office of 'elder,' this was to be a more senior man, not somebody just recently converted, and preferably married with children. So this was - and I would suggest - still is a male office. There are also hints of two levels of elders, preaching elders (or, 'overseeing elders'), plus the less well-trained (scripturally-speaking), elder who was the head of a family.

Upon seeing that the (so-called) 'emancipation of women' has led to demands that women should take leading roles within congregations, many of us have felt that changes within modern society should not dictate changes within the leadership pattern of church congregations. So many feel (and I totally agree with this viewpoint), that women should not have leadership of church congregations. Unfortunately some always take these things to extremes; it is obvious that women prayed out loud in the first congregations (probably during those prayer meetings in which anyone present would be welcome to contribute), women could also become deaconesses and, in my experience, women often make good church secretaries.

So in answer to the question, 'How did this get to be a "place-of-women thing,"' it is probably because Paul says more than the Scripture which you quote on the subject of the tasks and roles of the sexes in church congregations, and many of us feel that changes within modern western society should not dictate changes within the overall structure of a church congregation.

Robin A. Brace. May 20th, 2012.