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July 27, 2022

Delving into the Depths of Deceit Needed to Argue for Women in Authority in Church

By Anthony Wade

Once more, examining false arguments for encouraging disobedience.


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I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. - 1Timothy 2:12-14 (ESV)

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It always saddens me the lengths false teachers will go to in eviscerating the word of God to try and prop up their failed teachings. It is even sadder when you see so many fall for those teachings. One such area is when it comes to women serving in pastoral roles or more specifically, roles where they exert authority over men in the church. I have no need nor desire to defend myself. This is not about me. In fact, I avoided this subject for many years until too many readers kept asking me to weigh in on the matter from a biblical perspective. You see, from a personal perspective, I have no issue with women preaching. I know women who can preach the paint off the walls and conversely, men who cannot preach their way out of a paper bag. Public oratory is not what we are talking about. The Apostle Paul was not a dynamic speaker. He taught that he was more concerned about distracting from the word of the gospel. If we were honest, we would admit that we have all been to sermons where the sideshow was more memorable than the actual message. That was what Paul was speaking about. No beloved, this is about what God has said. This is not a salvation issue but do not downplay the fact that we are talking about obedience versus disobedience. In this realm, on this subject, no one teaches disobedience to women more than Eddie Hyatt. The above link is to an article entitled "Was Paul a Male Chauvinist? Five Reasons Why 1Timothy 2 Does Not Prohibit Women from Functioning in Authoritative Roles in the Church."

Let me first deal with what should be two obvious overarching points. The first is it does not matter if you believe the Apostle Paul was a chauvinist. In fact, the accusation may be absurd but from a theological standpoint it is irrelevant. Why? Because our fundamental belief of divine inspiration means that God wrote the entire bible, including the Book of First Timothy. So, when Eddie Hyatt asks if Paul was a male chauvinist he is really asking if God was. Good luck asking that question because the second overarching point is the scriptures themselves. I have made them the key verses for this discussion. We can see that these are what is known as directive scriptures. There is no ambiguity in them. They are abundantly clear. I do not permit - period! Because God knows how inherently disobedient we are, He even includes His reasoning! Because man was formed first and because Eve was the one who was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet Eddie Hyatt thinks he has cracked the code that will reveal God was just kidding around when He had Paul write these verses. Let us reason together and see how desperate Hyatt becomes because he cannot compete with the clarity and direction of the key verses.

"Reason #1 - 1 Timothy Is a Personal Letter. First of all, the letter of 1 Timothy was written to an individual, not to a church. It is a "personal" letter. We should expect, therfore, that the things written in this letter are related to the situation of the individual, i.e. Timothy, to whom it was written. Good hermeneutics demands that this be taken into consideration. Paul wrote three personal letters at this time as he was nearing the end of his life; two to Timothy who was in Ephesus and one to Titus who was on the island of Crete. These letters contain instructions and requests, some of which are obviously related to the recepient of the letter and cannot be applied to all Christians everywhere. For example, in 2 Timothy 4:9-15, Paul exhorts Timothy to come quickly to him and bring a coat he left in Troas along with the books he left there. In 1 Timothy 5:9-14 Paul exhorts Timothy that widows under sixty years of age should not receive support from the church and that younger women should marry. It is interesting to note that those who are so intent on literally applying 1 Timothy 2:9-11 do not have the same concern for 1 Timothy 5:9-14. 1 Timothy was written to encourage and instruct Timothy in his very specific assignment to the church at Ephesus. Nowhere does Paul ask Timothy to read this letter to a church. It is a personal letter." - Eddie Hyatt

So, in the twisted mind of Eddie Hyatt, the personal letters in the bible are not to be counted on as scripture. Are they not God-breathed? Are they not perfect for teaching, training, edification and rebuke? Is this really the argument Hyatt wants to make? Then he has the gall to refer to this as "good hermeneutics?" The letters written to churches were also personal. They also contained instructions such as the coat from 1Timothy. Paul exhorts believers to greet each other with a holy kiss. This is not doctrinal instruction either. These Pauline letters were all personal, but they were all considered scripture. Hyatt's point regarding 1Timothy 5 is inane. Are you honestly suggesting that because you feel most churches ignore the verses about widows that they should also ignore those regarding women pastors? Is that "good hermeneutics?" Is it wise to think that because he did not ask for this letter to be read to the church that we should ignore what it teaches us? Hermeneutics actually does not work that way. In his desire to throw out 1Timothy 2, he is forced to throw out the entire book, plus two others. Not off to a good start.

Reason #2 - 1 Timothy Addresses A Unique Local Situation in Ephesus. Verse 3 of chapter 1 reveals that 1 Timothy was written as a follow-up to encourage Timothy in his assignment to combat heretical teaching in the church in Ephesus. Paul had given this assignment to Timothy when they were together in that city. Paul now writes to encourage and instruct Timothy in carrying out of that assignment. Paul obviously was not issuing universal edicts for all churches of every time and place. He is addressing the unique issues related to Timothy and the church in Ephesus.

Huh? Because one verse, in the opening of the letter, relates why he is writing, we should ignore the entire letter as scripture? You cannot make this up. Let me explain how the bible works for Mr. Hyatt. The entire bible are personal messages from writers that have become universal edicts when placed into the canon of scripture. None of the writers knew their words would become scripture. When Moses, Isaiah, or Paul wrote their books, none of them knew God was arranging for us the Holy Bible. So, the book of Colossians was originally just a letter to be read to the Colossian Church. It dealt with matters at that church at the time of the writing, but holy inspiration guaranteed they would apply universally to us all in the church age because of the omnipotence of God. Much of Galatians for example was to address the heresy of the Judaizers that had infiltrated THAT church. Does that mean Galatians does not count unless we are at that church of have Judaizers in ours? Or does it apply universally if anyone is trying to tie us back to the law? C'mon Eddie.

"Reason #3 - A Strange Greek Word. That Paul is addressing a unique situation in Ephesus is further borne out by the fact that the word "authority" in 2:12 is a translation of the Greek word authentein which is found only here in the entire New Testament. If Paul is here giving a universal edict for church order, why doesn't he use the normal word for authority, exousia, which he and all other New Testament writers use. The obvious answer is that Paul is here dealing with the unique situation that exists in Ephesus. If he had been giving a universal rule for church order in this passage, he would have used the normal New Testament word for authority." - Eddie Hyatt

This seems to be the latest attempt to get out of obeying the key verses - one word secretly did not mean what we thought! Uh-huh. So, for centuries and millennia, everyone who translated authentein got it wrong until ole Eddie Hyatt came along? Please. A google search revealed a plethora of pro-women preaching articles grasping onto this new attack on the scriptures. Yet do you know what they all had in common? Not one could say what it actually meant because if they shared their conclusions, they would realize the context would make their point pointless. How do these linguistic gymnastics fit with God providing the reasons why women cannot hold authority? They don't! Not to mention you would have to believe that an omniscient, omnipresent God allowed the mistranslation in scripture to stand for centuries before using Eddie Hyatt to clarify, right. On top of that, the word authentein is not used in 1Corinthians 14:34, which is a cross-reference for the key verses. Scripture confirms scripture. To try and guess why a writer from thousands of years ago used one version of a word over another and extrapolating out your assumption to override clear and directive scripture is not hermeneutics. It is an assault on scripture. Hyatt's conclusion is only obvious to him because he needs it to be. There could be a hundred other reasons why Paul used the different word, including no reason at all. Do you think Paul writing a letter to his prote'ge' was considering the versions of the words he was using? Who writes letters like that? Please.

"Reason #4 - The Structure of Chapter 2 Indicates That Paul May Have Been Referring to A Particular Woman in 2:11-12. In vss. 9-10 of chpt. 2, Paul refers to "women" in the plural. But when he comes to the restrictive admonition of vss. 11-12, he changes to the singular and refers to "a woman." Afterwards, in vs. 15, he returns again to the plural. This may indicate that, in writing this passage, Paul had a particular woman in mind who was was primarily responsible for spreading the false teaching in Ephesus. Be that as it may, Paul, in this passage, is obviously addressing a unique, local situation in the city of Ephesus." - Eddie Hyatt

Has it really come to this Eddie? Just read this insane rationale again. The verse reads, "I do not permit a woman to" instead of "I do not permit women to", so Eddie Hyatt thinks Paul is referring to a specific person? What? How is that logical or grammatically viable? You can tell he even knows this one is bovine excrement as he is couching his language with "may have been referring" and "may indicate that." Let's take out this insanity for a test drive, including the context:

"I do not permit a woman Betty, teaching heresy at the church in Ephesus, to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

What in the world would Adam and Eve have to do with this if it were only dealing with one wayward teacher? Based on the context it is beyond obvious that Paul is dealing with greater doctrinal matters.

"Reason #5 - Women Pastors/Leaders in the NT. There are numerous women leaders in the New Testament, some who obviously functioned in pastoral roles of oversight. Paul mentions 2 of these female pastors in Rom. 16 as well as a female apostle." - Eddie Hyatt

This is the usual tactic. To avoid obeying the clear and direct scriptural commands found in the key verses, false teachers scour the bible for examples of females who contributed mightily and try to hold them up to dismiss scripture. As we will see, their examples are as poor as their hermeneutics.

"Phoebe, a Woman Pastor. In Romans 16:1 Paul commends to the church at Rome our sister Phoebe who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea. Paul refers to Phoebe as a servant which is the Greek word diakonos. Diakonos, or its verb form, is translated minister in 23 other places in the New Testament. For example, in Eph. 3:7, Paul says that he became a minister (diakonos) according to the gift of the grace of God. Phoebe, therefore, was a minister, probably a pastor, from the church in Cenchrea. This is borne out by vs. 2 where Paul refers to her as a helper of many and of myself also. The Greek word translated helper in this verse is prostates and, according to Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, means to set over, to rule, superintend, preside over, protect, and care for. When this passage is examined apart from our traditions and prejudicial assumptions, the evidence is overwhelming that Phoebe functioned in what today we would call pastoral ministry." - Eddie Hyatt

Yeah, no Eddie. The word diakonos does appear several times in scripture and means different things depending on the verse. The notion that it is always translated minister is simply a lie. The lexicon online I visited said 7 of the 23 times it means minister and Romans 16:1 wasn't one of them. No, there it meant "Helper." Phoebe was a helper at the church where Eddie went ahead and anointed her pastor of. Realize the gall here. Eddie Hyatt wants to teach that women can preach but he has a scripture problem with the key verses for today. So instead he finds a literal throwaway line in the closing of the letter to the Romans where Paul is simply thanking people who have helped him and corrupts it into thinking he can dismiss the clear, directive scriptures found in 1Timothy. Literally he is saying that we do not have to obey 1Timothy because Paul referred to one woman in the benediction of Romans as a minister, and even that is not accurate. The desperation is pretty thick.

"Priscilla, A Woman Pastor. In verses 3-5 of the same chapter, Paul refers to Priscilla and Aquila and the church that is in their house. Priscilla and Aquila are always mentioned together in Scripture which indicates that they worked and ministered together as a husband and wife team. This is confirmed by Acts 18:26 where both Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos aside and both explained to him the way of God more accurately. In the Greek, Priscilla is always mentioned first. Since Paul reversed the culturally accepted manner of mentioning the husband first, he obviously wanted to make a point about her leadership role. Many commentators conclude that Priscilla is mentioned first because she was the spiritually gifted one and the leader of the church that met in their home. Again, the evidence is overwheliming. Priscilla functioned as a pastor." - Eddie Hyatt

The amount of assumption is breathtaking. The notion that they were a husband and wife pastoral team is absurd biblically and historically. This notion is strictly a 20 century, Pentecostal phenomena, where the wife gets credited with being a pastor merely because she is married to one. They are mentioned together because they are married and that is how Paul references them. In no way does that infer they must somehow be secret pastors! The verse in Acts merely shows a married couple correcting a brother in the lord, not exercising authority over him. You have to marvel at how readily Hyatt concludes things in his favor out of thin air. Now the order in which the couple is mentioned reveals that Priscilla must have had a leadership role? How ridiculous. Not to mention there are plenty of times the husband is mentioned first. Frankly, the order appears quite random and again, who thinks Paul is considering the order of the names when writing these letters? No one except Eddie Hyatt. There is not one shred of evidence that she was a pastor yet to Eddie it is overwhelming? Wow.

"Junia, A Woman Apostle. In verse 7 of the same chapter, Paul sends greetings to Andronicus and Junia who are of note among the apostles. Junia is a feminine name and so we have here a woman who is recognized by Paul as an apostle. The early church father, John Chrysostom, commenting on this verse, said, "Oh how great is the devotion of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle." If a woman can function as an apostle, may not she also function as a pastor." - Eddie Hyatt

Junia is always my favorite distortion in this debate. Many believe this person's name to be Junias, which would make him a man. Putting that aside, what many have latched onto here is either profoundly stupid or reckless. Here is the King James:

"Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me." - Romans 16:7 (KJV)

They take the "of note among the apostles" to literally mean Junia WAS an apostle. They completely ignore the reference to "kinsmen"; indicating both were males but larger deceit is discovered when we examine other translations:

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. - Romans 16:7 (ESV)

They are well known TO the apostles. We do not need to argue the gender of Junia because she or he was never an apostle. All Paul was saying was that they were well known to the apostles. Yet with great glee they change being known to actually being an apostle. They take a married couple Paul relied upon and morph the wife into somehow being the head of her household in ancient Israel! They take a servant and turn her into an pastor. Listen, this subject brings no joy but it is important to be honest about what the bible says and Eddie Hyatt is simply not.

Reverend Anthony Wade - July 19, 2022

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.