Women Can’t Teach or Preach?


By: Gen. Jim -- 4/14/24 

After years of study on this issue of “women in the Ministry,” I want to cite several Ant-Nicene fathers, what they believed & wrote. While the Jews of Jesus/apostles’ day were antagonistic towards the opposite sex, Jesus/apostles were not. So, let's see how those coming after them viewed the female sex in & out of the ministry.


I love what Prov. 31 says concerning women (my wife taught a beautiful lesson on this chapter years ago -also her “Tale of Two Women,” 1 & 2, is up on YouTube, very informative). Prov. 31 is about the virtuous wife.

Counsel to Women

Over the years we’ve received our share of “hate” mail over Deborah’s teachings/preachings etc. We still do today. These “Christian” ladies & gentlemen, who are under the false teaching that women are not to be ministers of the Gospel, are forever counseling her & us about WHY we are disobedient to God’s Word – citing those texts I’ve spent years on studying, e.g. 1 Cor. 14:34,35 & 1 Tim. 2:11,12.

So, what counsel/advice did the early Church Fathers give concerning women? I will quote only small portions of their writings.

First, in the Apostolic Constitutions (compiled around 390), states: “... When He (Holy Spirit) departs, He leaves them desolate & exposed to the wicked spirit... Therefore, O women, if you say that in the days of your menstruation that you are void of the H.S., then you must be filled with the unclean spirit...” (7. 462.);

Dionysius of Alexandria (d.246 A.D.) was a pupil of Origen, wrote: “The question of menstruation, is it proper for them to enter the house of God?...” (262 A.D., 6. 96);

Clement of Alexandria (b.150, d.215), Origen was a pupil of his, wrote: “... the presence of married women, let them be well clothed... but by modesty within... those who are un-married, it is the most extreme scandal for them to be present at a banquet of men, esp. men under the influence of wine.” (195 A.D., 2. 252).

He went on to write: “Love of display is not for a lady, but a prostitute... So they, dishonor the Creator of men... sitting like pointed things to be looked at...” (195, 2. 272).

Clement of Alexandria carries on in his writing with, “These women are carried about around the temples, sacrificing & practicing divination, incantations... They keep some men, & they are kept by others...” (195, 2. 278).

He further writes: “Women are not to be deprived of bodily exercise... no wrestling or running... instead spinning, weaving, & cooking... for she is a housekeeper & helper...” (195, 2. 283)

Commodianus -writing in 240 A.D., had this to say: “moreover, the women assemble as if they were about to enter the bath. They press closely together and treat God’s house as if it were a fair... They speak in an undisciplined manner, as if God were absent.” (240 A.D., 4. 218)

Tertullian (160-230) was from Carthage, N. Africa who wrote fiery apologies against heretics as well as exhortations to Christians. Following are a few quotes concerning counsel to women: “If there dwell upon earth a faith as great as is the reward of faith... all of you, best beloved sisters... this would be in order that by every garb of satisfaction she might the more fully expiate that which she derives from Eve, the shame, I mean, of the first sin, & the odium attaching to her as the cause of human ruin.” (198, 4. 14);

Submit your head to your husbands & you will be sufficiently adorned!... keep at home... clothe yourself with the silk of uprightness..., you will have God as your lover!” (198, 4. 25);

The devil has taught his disciples also a patience of his own. I’m referring to the practices that make husbands mercenary for dowry. It teaches them to trade in pandering, and it makes them subject to the power of their wives – which, with feigned affection, undergoes every tail of forced obedience.” (200, 3. 717);

The more wealthy anyone is... the more spacious house who requires... It is as if her house were a field where ambition may run its course. To such, the churches look paltry... To such a Christian woman, it is irksome to wed a believer inferior to herself in estate... she will be endowed with an ample dowry from the goods of a husband who is rich in God.” (205, 4. 48);

Woman was immediately condemned to bring forth sorrow, & to serve her husband. in contrast, previously she had heard without pain the increase of her race proclaimed with the blessing, ‘Increase & multiply’ ... Previously, she had been destined to be a helper & not a slave to her male partner. Immediately, the earth was also cursed, which before was blessed.” (207, 3. 306).

Women Among Paganism

What did the early church fathers have to say?

First off, I want you to read Rev. 2:18-22, the Jezebel at the Church in Thyatira. I’ve written on this already: the rebuke from the Lord was not over gender (female) but over her teaching. She was teaching the Church members to “commit sexual immorality” etc.

Tertullian had this to say: “The very women of these heretics, how wanton they are! For they are bold enough to teach, to dispute, to enact exorcisms, to undertake cures – it may be even to baptize.” (197, 3. 263)

He goes on to write: “That most monstrous creature [a female heretical teacher], who had no right to teach even sound doctrine...” (198, 3. 669). Tertullian was under the FALSE assumption that women had NO place in the ministry. Keep in mind, Jesus did not expose/rebuke Jezebel for being a female teacher, but for what she was teaching!!

He goes on to write: “Gentiles, in honor of their own Satan, endure priestly offices that involve both virginity & widowhood...” (205, 4. 42).

Mark Minucius Felix (2nd or 3rd century) was a Roman lawyer who converted to Christianity. He writes: “There is one place [i.e., a pagan temple] where a man may not go, & there are some that are sacred from women... some sacred places are crowned by a woman having one husband; some by a woman with many, and she who can reckon up the most religious zeal.” (200, 4. 187).

Origen wrote: “Jupiter... has rejected the male sex, and, as Celsus observes, employs the women of Dodona for the prophetic office.” (248, 4. 613.).

Firmilian had plenty to write on (ref. women among pagans etc.) He was a Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, a friend of Origen & Cyprian (200-268 A.D.). In one of his writings, he wrote about a certain “prophetess who acted as though she was filled with the Holy Spirit... she deceived the brotherhood... did certain wonderful things... that, then, will we say about the baptisms performed by this woman?... when all things were done by a demon, even though they were done in a manner resembling the image of truth?” (256, 5. 393)

Not everything said by these men may be true, that is, they were somewhat bias against women. My wife, also a true prophetess & preacher/teacher, is accused by men (& some women too) to be a worker of demons. Well, you shall know them by their fruit, not by their SEX!

Irenaeus (130-200), Bishop of the church at Lyons, wrote: “Handing mixed cups to the women, [Marcus, a heretic,] instructs them to consecrate these cups in his presence... He devotes himself especially to women, & particularly to those women who are well-bred, elegantly attired, & of great wealth.” (180, 1. 334).

Godly Women

As our critics tell us that women have NO part in teaching, preaching etc., only to SUBMIT to male authority... forever! WOW! What HUBRIS PRIDE!

Mt. 27:55 says, “And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there (at the cross) looking on from afar... Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James & Jesus, & the mother of Zebedee’s sons” -v.56. I’m sure there were many other women there. My point? Women & Jesus had good relations, unlike the hateful Jewish leaders who thought women were no better than dogs (with a few exceptions).

Clement of Rome in one of his articles said “Many women... have performed numerous manly exploits.” He cites Judith which when her city was under attack “... the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman.” He also mentions Esther who saved the Jews from destruction (96, 1. 20);

Clement of Alexandria wrote that Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, Gad, & Nathan prophesied “...And of women, there were Sarah, Rebecca, Miriam, Deborah, & Huldah.” (195, 2. 331).

In my next writings I will list all the WOMEN who were godly & some who were not.

Polycrates (2nd cent. Bishop of Ephesus) wrote: “I speak of Philip, one of the twelve apostles... I speak also of his two daughters, who arrived at old age unmarried. His other daughter also, who passed her life under the influence of the Holy Spirit, lies at Ephesus” (190, 8. 773); “For such was the charm of Jesus’ words, that not only were men willing to follow Him to the wilderness, but women also, forgetting the weakness of their sex... following their teacher into desert places” (248, 4. 468). He also said “It is related in the Gospels that there were certain women who had been healed of their diseases. Among them was Susanna. From their own possessions, these women provided the disciples the means of support.” (248, 4. 426);

Cyprian wrote: “There are blessed women, too, who are established with you in the same glory of confession. For they have maintained the Lord’s faith & are braver than their sex. Not only are they near to the crown of glory... they have provided an example to other women by their constancy.” (250, 5. 407)

In the Apostolic Constitutions it declares that “women prophesied...” (he mentions many names which I will cover in my next writings)

The AC continues, “Therefore, if there is among you a man or a woman who has obtained any gift, let that person be humble, that God may be pleased with him (or her)” (390, 7. 481).

When Paul penned Gal. 3:28 about there is neither “male or female” in Christ, below are quotes from some Church fathers:

Tatian (2nd cent. disciple of Justin Martyr & a Christian apologist -see his wok called Diatessaron) put forth the following: “Who would not laugh when you tell us that Amazons, & Semiramis, & certain other warlike women existed? Yet, you cast reproaches on our maidens!... You behave unbecomingly in what relates to women. For Lysippus cast a statue of Praxilla, whose poems, contain nothing useful... My object in referring to these women is so that you will not regard what you find among us as something strange... perhaps you will not treat with scorn the women who are among us...” (160, 2. 78,79). Tatian continued, “This Sappho is a lewd, love-sick female, & sings for her own wantonness. In contrast, all our women are chaste, & the maidens at their weaving, sing of divine things...be ashamed, for you are professed disciples of women! You scoff at those of the sex who hold our doctrine... you will not believe that among us there are wise women! Many Poetesses (of yours) whose productions are mere trash. You have innumerable prostitutes & worthless men.” (160, 2. 79).

Clement of Alexandria, again, wrote more about women. He stated “... the virtue of man & woman is the same... God is master of both...the female is distinguished from the male (no trans mentioned!) ... Common therefore, too, to men & women is the name of human.” (195, 2. 211).

Clement of Alexandria goes on to say that “woman does not possess one nature, & man, another. Rather, they have the same. So also, it is with virtue... virtues of the male, then it would belong to the male alone to be virtuous. It would accordingly belong to the woman to be licentious & unjust. But it is offensive even to say this...!” (195, 2.419,420). Clement of Alexandria is hinting at transgenderism. He uses “virtue,” which he says that a woman can’t have a male virtue & a male can’t have a female virtue – both have separate virtues. The whole trans movement says a female can become a male & a male can become a female. This is PERVERSION!

Clement of Alexandria continues with this virtue theme: “But as it is noble for a man to die for virtue, for liberty, & for himself, so also is it for a woman. For this is not unique to the nature of males, but to the nature of the good.” (195, 2. 421). He finishes with, “In this perfection (not perversion!), it is possible for man & woman to share equally.” (195, 2. 431).

Tertullian, once again, has this to say in regard to equality of man/woman (today, those trans people believe they are superior to males/females by medical procedures. HA! That is perversion in the highest degree!). Tertullian writes: “For you (women), too, have the same angelic nature promised as your reward, & the same sex, as do men. The Lord promises you the same advancement to the dignity of judging.” (198, 4. 15); “For no man will love the picture of his wife without taking care of it, honoring it, & crowning it. The likeness partakes with the reality in the privileged honor.” (207, 3. 469);

Cyprian had more to say on equality between male/female: “It appeared that the mercy of Christ, & the heavenly grace that would subsequently follow, was equally divided among everyone – without difference of sex, without distinction of years, & ... persons.” (250, 5. 401).

The following is a conversation between Celsus (a pagan critic) & Origen: “Christians carefully incite your boys to wickedness & women to forsake their fathers & teachers, & to follow them” - Celsus. Origen replies: “Celsus will not be able to make good any such accusation against us. For, on the contrary, we turn women away from an immoral life. We turn them away from being at enmity with those with whom they live. We turn them away from all mad desires after theaters & dancing, and from superstition.” (248, 4. 486).

Felix (Mark Minucius) had this to say about equality: “Let him know that all persons are begotton alike, with a capacity & ability of reasoning & feeling – without any perference of age, sex, or rank.” (200, 4. 181).

I have before me a book that quotes the debated text found in 1 Cor. 11:3 “I want you to know the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, & the head of Christ is God.” - 1 Cor. 11:3. Also quoted is Eph. 5:22-24; both texts talking about “head,” which in my articles posted, I go into detail on what “head” or “headship” mean (in Greek). You can read what I wrote. (head, Greek, “KephalÄ“,” can be lit. or fig.).

Irenaeus writes: “Why was it, that when those two (Aaron/Miriam) had both acted with spite towards Moses, the latter alone was punished?” Irenaeus answers (like most men do today), “The first, because the woman was the more culpable, since both nature and the Law place woman in a subordinate condition to man.” (180, 1. 573). If you read my articles on “head” e.g. “source,” you will see that there were Jewish rites & practices that were being pushed off onto the early Church, aka Jewish traditions that were not binding on N.T. converts. One was the Judaistic & rabbinical interpretation of the status of women in the religious community, by which they insist the Church must regulate their order/belief: women are to be silent/man is the head, i.e. BOSS/CHIEF! But “head” does not mean that. The “Law” often quoted by “women keep silent” is found in Genesis - “the hierarchic principle,” - which they claim is for all time... woman is to be subordinate to her husband (females are to be in subjection to males). But Christ broke that “curse!,” we are no longer under that male-over-female order. How few Christian men know this today! Many early Church fathers still believed in the male-over-the-female order.

Clement of Alexandria wrote: “Since woman’s soul is the same as man’s, she will attain to the same virtue. However (here we go!), as there is difference as respects the distinctive construction of the body, she is destined for childbearing & housekeeping.” He quotes 1 Cor. 11:3. He continues with, “Women are therefore to philosophize equally with men, though the males are preferable at everything, unless they have become effeminate (speaking of homosexuals.)... the ruling power is therefore the head (male). And if ‘the Lord is head of man & the man is head of the woman,’ the man, ‘being the image & glory of God, is lord of the woman.’” Obviously Clement only quotes half of Gen. 1:26, i.e. only “man” is made in the image of God, leaving out the female! Gen. 1:26 states, “Let Us make man (see my article on “man,” Hebrew “’âdâm" = "a human being, mankind” etc., not a “male person!” Vs.27 tells us that “man” = male/female).

Does not woman/female reflect the image of God also? Clement goes on to quote from Eph. 5 “... For the husband is head of the wife...” But “head” does not mean BOSS/CHIEF etc., it means “source,” the man is the supplier, protector of the woman. (see his 195, 2. 419 quotes).

Lactantius (250-325), a Roman teacher of rhetoric, convert to Christianity, wrote: “Contrary to the custom of humans & contrary to nature, [Plato]... thought that women should also engage in warfare, take a share in public counsels, undertake magistracies, & assume commands.” He is right of course, for the Old Testament tells us so. Deborah was such a woman – she was a heroine at the helm! (see Judges 4 & 5). There were other women as well (which I’ll write about later).

Lactantius mocks the idea of women in combat etc., he writes, “It follows that he should have assigned to men wool, the loom, & the carrying of infants. He did not foresee the impossibility of what he said, even though no nation has existed in the world – that is so foolish or so vain as to live in this manner.” (304-313, 7. 93.)

The issue of women in the ministry was debated centuries ago – is still being debated. We come to what Paul wrote Timothy (1 Tim. 2:11,12), here are a few quotes:

Clement of Alexandria wrote: “Paul did not hesitate to mention his ‘companion’ in one of his epistles... He says in his epistle, ‘Do I not have the right to take along a sister – wife, as do the other apostles?’ However, the other apostles, in harmony with their particular ministry, devoted themselves to preaching without any distinction. Their spouses went with them, not as wives, but as sisters, in order to minister to housewives.” (195, 2. 390,391).

Tertullian, once again, has his say-so in this matter: “But the women of pertness, who has usurped the power to teach, will of course not give birth for herself likewise to a right of baptizing!... For how credible would it seem, that he who has not permitted a woman even to learn with over-boldness, should give a female the power of teaching & of baptizing! He says, ‘Let them be silent & consult their husbands at home.” (198, 3. 677).

Tertullian goes on to explain that “Paul instructs women to be SILENT in the church, not speaking for the mere sake of learning. in doing so, he goes to the Law for his authority that women should be under obedience. However, when he vails the woman who prophesies, he demonstrates that even they have the right of prophesying.” (207, 3. 446).

He makes one more comment: “It is not permitted to a woman to speak in the church, nor to teach, baptize, offer, or to claim to herself a lot in any manly function, not to mention the priestly office.” (207, 4. 33).


1 Tim. 2:9-15 gives us a seriously distorted view of God’s grace, His redemptive grace. According to those who believe women are NEVER allowed to teach, because of Eve’s Transgression, are skrewed. They believe the sentence of God still lives upon the female sex, even in this generation. WOW! They claim Eve was the first destroyer of divine law. Clement of Alexandria declared that a woman should BLUSH for the SHAME of being of the same gender as Eve.

But what about Exodus 20:5 or Deut. 5:9? - the consequence of an individual’s sin may remain until the 3rd & 4th generation. But Ex. 20:6 & Deut. 5:10 & 7:9 tell us “... but showing mercy to thousands, of those who love Me & keep my commandments.” Deut. 7:9 tells us that “... God... keeps covenant & mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him...”

The irony: As one theologian has said, there is a serious theological contradiction in telling a woman that when she comes to Christ by faith & repentance, her personal sins are forgiven BUT she must CONTINUE to be PUNISHED for the sin of Eve. What are we to do with 1 Jn. 1:9 my dear woman deniers? Both testaments declare each person – male/female - must answer for their own sin (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; Eccl. 12:14 et al. see also Ezek. 18:17-22).

Q. Why aren’t men punished, since they are sons of Eve as much as women are the daughters? One needs to read the beginning of First Timothy 1:12-16. Paul states that he has been given a ministry even though he was formerly a blasphemer & murderer – why not the women? What are we to think of Deborah, Miriam, Hulda, Anna, Dorcas, Elizabeth, Esther, Hagar, Hannah, Jairus’ daughter, Jephthah's daughter, Job’s wife, Jochebed, Leah, Lydia, Mary Magdalene, Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary & Martha, Naomi, Phoebe, Priscilla, Rachel, Rebekah, Ruth, Samaritan woman, Sarah, Ten virgins, widow & the oil, widow at Nain, widow of Zarephath, widow’s two mites, woman with issue of blood, woman with Spirit of infirmity, Zelophehad’s daughters, Zipporah et al.

The late L.E. Maxwell (president of Prairie Bible Inst.) declared that there are more than 100 passages in the Bible that affirm women roles of leadership. There are less that appear in opposition.

Q. Are we to take 1 Cor. 11:3-14; 14:34,35 & 1 Tim 2:11-15 as proof that God has OUTLAWED women for life to teach or preach? The same Holy Spirit that fell upon the male/men on the Day of Pentecost, fell upon the female/women! (Acts. 2:1-4). Surely you don’t believe only men were there, do you? It was on this occasion that Peter quoted the prophet Joel (see Joel 2:28-32) - women, daughters, maidservants would be blessed as much as the men. Do you suppose that Holy Ghost filling was for teaching & preaching as well as prophecy?

More on all this once I can get hold of my “women in the ministry” that has been locked away ever since our arrest on Aug. 20, 2017. Once I get permission to gather up the TONS of our printed materials, I’ll post some for you. 

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