Few biblical topics have been more controversial than the subject of the role of women in both the home and in spiritual matters. This volume has been written with the purpose of edifying the Lord’s church regarding the role of women. This volume has not endeavored to answer all questions on the role of women, but to reply to aspects of the role of women that have been misunderstood in the Lord’s church. It is anticipated that it will require at least one more volume on the role of women (and perhaps two more) in order to adequately cover this subject.
I plan to write other volumes on the role of women. Various matters will be studied in this volume and as more principles of logic and hermeneutics are developed those principles will be applied to these matters. This means that topics studied in Volume I will be reconsidered as logical and hermeneutical principles are learned in Volume II. I have written Vol. II with a presupposition that the reader will understand (or at least be familiar with) the logical, hermeneutical, and Greek grammatical and syntactical principles set forth in Vol. I. Because of this the reader is encouraged to thoroughly study Vol. I before beginning a study of Vol. II.
Several doctrinal errors (on the role of women) have been openly taught by certain men who were thought (by some) to be conservative.1 These errors brought about the writing of both Volume I and this volume. It has been well known that a liberal element in the Lord’s church was teaching several doctrinal errors on women’s role. However, the revelation that seemingly conservative brethren were teaching some of these same doctrines demonstrated the need for this study.
There are at least three dangers for the Lord’s church inherent in the study of women’s role. The first is in the practices in which some will engage (some women functioning in roles that are sinful and other members of the church sinning by either allowing or encouraging the practices). The second is in the usage of unsound hermeneutics when people are interpreting the passages relating to the role of women. The usage of unsound hermeneutics will affect other areas of the doctrine of the church when this same unsound hermeneutics is applied to other passages of Scripture. The third is the irrationality of certain preachers may lead to other errors (when they use the same unsound reasoning in other areas). Several other dangers were set forth in Volume I.
Changes in the Practices of Churches
How will the doctrines taught in this volume and in Volume I affect the churches where this author has preached? There are no changes in the practices of any congregation where this author has preached proposed in this volume or in Volume I (unless those churches are no longer practicing what was practiced when this author was a member of that church).
The doctrines being taught by certain preachers in the church will, in fact, change the practices of many churches if they are believed and practiced. These certain men have not put their doctrines into practice yet in the United States in a widespread manner, but if they do, there will be drastic changes in the church where these doctrines are taught.
It is possible that some of these doctrines are being practiced in the mission fields by missionaries (when they are out of sight of their sponsoring congregations). Elders should check out the practices of any missionaries that they are supporting.
Throughout this volume when we say that women are prohibited from teaching men, we are referring to didaskō2 type teaching by women of men that is prohibited (1 Tim. 2:12). Women are not prohibited from teaching boys, but men (adult human males).
I wish to state my appreciation to several men whose counsel and encouragement have enabled me to write this volume. The following men have greatly encouraged me in this effort: John Bellah, Willard Cox, Melvin Elliott, Scott Elliott, Don Flanagin, Bobby Gayton, Duane McCord, Mike Oldham, Charles Pledge, Gary Smith, Ben Williams, and Frank Williams. Five women also reviewed this volume: Earlene Austin, Rhonda Bellah, Marsha Daggs, Roma Whitaker, and Selene Williams. Some of the arguments in this volume were suggested by some of these men. These men and women also suggested changes in this volume to make it more readable and found typo errors in the drafts of this volume. This author is solely responsible for any errors in this volume.
I especially appreciate the help of Martie Williams for her help in making the charts and in formatting this book for the printer.
I wish to express the appreciation of the Barnes church of Christ (Oklahoma City) for their patience with me while this volume was being written. In addition several members of the Barnes church aided in the preparation of this volume.
The reader is instructed to use the Scripture Index at the end of the book to study the interpretations of various passages. Various passages are discussed in more than one chapter and the reader cannot get the total picture of what is set forth on each passage without looking at every page where it is discussed.
The reader is also instructed to use the glossary that is contained in the back of this volume. Words that the author deems might be unfamiliar with some readers are defined in the glossary. Words that the author has used that have various meanings are defined in the glossary also (e.g. the word “emasculate” is defined in the glossary).
The reader is also instructed to use the 36 charts contained (and referenced) in this volume and in Volume I. These charts are designed to give a visual image of the arguments contained in the volume. While some may find the usage of syllogisms to be tedious, these charts will give (the reader) a visual image of many of these logical arguments (including the syllogisms). Those who purchase this book are given permission to use these charts in their preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
The reader should note that, for the most part, there have not been any appeals to traditions to establish any doctrines. One of the most disappointing aspects of the books of many preachers in the Lord’s church of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is that many writers spend a lot of effort quoting prominent members of the church to prove their cases. The reader can peruse the writings of the author of this volume and find, very few if any appeals to tradition in them. This has not been done because they could not find other preachers with whom their doctrines agreed, but out of conviction that the writings of men who lived since the age of miracles do not establish a doctrine as truth (unless the writings contain sound arguments).
The reader is also encouraged to obtain a copy of “The Role of Women, Vol. I” to understand most of the arguments that were made in that volume.
I apologize for any unclear wording and for my inability to communicate well. I do not apologize for making the reader of this volume (or any other volumes I have written) study and meditate on the Scriptures. I do not apologize for making the reader learn how to better study and understand the Word of God (learn principles of Bible interpretation [hermeneutics] and principles of sound reasoning [logic]). Those who would teach the Word of God must be able to handle strong meat (Heb. 5:11-14)