We read in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, “A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (NASB). These verses are in the context of 1 Timothy 3:15, which states: “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (NASB). Although it is not popular in many Christian churches, God’s Word is clear that women should not teach the men in the public meetings of a church or assembly.

We read in Acts 18:24-26, “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” Here we learn that it is appropriate for a woman to teach doctrine to a man privately as she functions under the headship of her husband, who should be present.

We read in Titus 2:3-5, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Some believe that this passage does not include teaching doctrine from the Bible. However, the aged women are to be teachers of good things, and I would suggest that the only place where we can find truly good things is in the Word of God. Therefore, it is appropriate for older women to teach younger women doctrine from God’s Word.

We read in Proverbs 1:8-9, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck” (NASB). We also read in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Godly mothers and fathers are instructed to teach their children in the way that their children should go. The Lord Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Therefore, it is entirely appropriate for mothers to teach doctrine to their children from God’s Word.

Returning to the question above, I do not have authority to decide whether or not another man is permitted to read a book written by a woman which authoritatively teaches doctrine. To my knowledge the issue of whether or not a woman should write books that teach doctrine is not directly addressed in the Scriptures. It appears that the decision of whether or not to read such books falls under the principle of Romans 14:4-5, which says: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

If a woman writes a book that contains doctrinal teaching, she is not forcing men to read it. Each man can choose before the Lord whether or not he wants to be privately instructed by a woman by reading a book that she wrote. This is far different than a woman teaching in a public gathering of a church or assembly when all of the attendees have no choice of whether or not they want to be taught by her. Thinking of the principles of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 above, I think that it would be wrong to try to get all of the men in your church or assembly to submit themselves under the doctrinal teaching of books written by a woman.

The second question above asks if reading a doctrinal book by a woman contradicts the teaching of a woman keeping silence. Again, the verses in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 are in the context of behavior in the public meetings of a church or assembly. Therefore, I do not believe that choosing to privately read a book that contains authoritative doctrinal teaching that was written by a woman contradicts God’s perfect order of a woman’s silence during the public meetings of a church or assembly.

No doubt many would disagree with the conclusions that I have reached, and I am very capable of being wrong. In the case of disagreement, we should return to Romans 14:4-5 and show grace to each other about this matter. Satan has used this issue to tear Christians apart for many years. When the Word is not clear about a matter, let us be exceedingly gracious with each other instead of falling into Satan’s trap of criticizing and tearing each other down. May the Lord bless you all, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!  (406.4)  (DJ)