Women and Church Eldership


So, the New Testament too — which regards the Episkopos-Bishop as referring to just the same special office or ministry as does the Presbuteros-Elder (of Acts 20:17,28 & Tit. 1:5,7) — insists on an ALL-MALE ELDERSHIP. "If a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desires a good work. A Bishop, then, must be blameless, the husband of one wife…; one that rules well his own house well, having his children in subjection…. For if a man knows not how to RULE his own house[hold] — how shall he take care of the Church of God?" (I Tim. 3:1-4.)


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"Ordain Elders in every city, as I had appointed you — if any be blameless, the husband of one wife!" Tit. 1:5-6. "Let the Elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour; especially they who labour [as Preachers alias Teaching Elders] in Word and Doctrine! … Do not lay hands suddenly [in ordination to the Eldership] on any man!" I Tim. 5:17,22.

Consequently, godly widows no longer subject to the household rule of a deceased husband, may perhaps well qualify for a ministry as Deaconesses. Cf. I Tim. 3:11 & 5:9-11 with Rom. 16:1-2. But they can never Biblically qualify as Elders — even if only for the reason that they never have been, nor ever could be, the required "husbands of one wife."


Now the Bible in general and Presbyterians in particular insist that 'Ministers of the Word and Sacraments' are 'Teaching Elders'. I Tim. 5:17-19 cf. II Tim. 2:2 & Tit. 1:4 to 3:1. So it must necessarily follow that whereas women cannot Biblically qualify to be Elders-in-genera1 — they obviously cannot Biblically qualify either, to be Teaching Elders or Preachers-in-particular.

For Teaching Elders or Preachers must not only rule over their own wives and children in their own homes. And Preachers must not merely rule with all of the other Elders together in the Kirk Session and Presbytery. Ps, 107:32; Prov. 31:23; Acts 14:23; I Tim. 3:1-5; 4:14; 5:17-19. But in addition, the Preachers or Teaching Elders must also be able to teach — and be licensed to teach the WHOLE Congregation. I Tim. 4:14-16 & 5:17-22 & Heb. 13:7,17,25. However, by virtue of their gender and function, women are Biblically UNLICENSABLE. because inherently DISQUALIFIED from doing precisely that — as shown in sections thirteen to twentytwo below.


It is true that God did occasionally raise up godly persons as 'prophesing women' — such as Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Anna, and Mrs. Isaiah. Yet He much more frequently raised up godly MEN as Prophets — such as Noah, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekie1, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecbariah, Malachi, Judas, Silas, and Agabus, etc.

However, even while those prophetic gifts were still being exercised, this prophetic gifts of the female 'prophesing women' were being employed differently than were the prophetic gifts of male Prophets. For those prophesying women, even while they were prophesying, were always to be careful to signify their submission to the male rulership principle.

Thus, the prophesying woman Miriam — the first prophesying woman ever mentioned in the Bible — led only the women of Israel to praise the Lord. Ex 15:2021. Nor are we ever told that Miriam was formerly installed into the prophetic office


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— as the male 'Seers' or 'Prophets' were, and as e.g. Elisha was (I Sam. 9.9 & I Kgs. 19:16-21).

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