"Women Teaching Men the Bible: What's the Problem?"[1]

A Response

Sandy Grant

The ordination of women to the Anglican presbyterate has again become a matter of debate in the Diocese of Sydney, in which I serve. So I read Graham Cole's recent paper with interest.[2] As he noted, especially on the basis of 1 Timothy 2:12, many have argued that "since preaching and teaching the Bible is fundamental to leadership in the church women cannot therefore lead congregations."[3]  


Dr Cole's own view on the question is that "these days it is appropriate for women to preach to mixed congregations if they faithfully expound the Scriptures. In other words godliness and giftedness are the keys and not one's sex."[4]


As a former student of Graham Cole, I have been helped by many things he has taught. So I am always interested to read his thoughts. However, on this occasion I differ from a number of the arguments he has mounted and hence from his conclusion.


However at the outset, I wish to acknowledge several helpful points Cole made. I found these to be valuable reminders relevant to all sides in the debate:


i.      There is the warning that, "Some can so stress male leadership of the congregation and denomination it is as though our Lord is on leave and is not effectively the head of the church, which is his body."[5] I acknowledge this is a possibility. When one wishes to defend a point judged to be of importance, another important matter may be inadvertently de-emphasised. However, I am not aware of any complementarians who have done this in actuality. So I am sure all sides in the debate wish to vigorously agree with Cole that Jesus the Messiah, the Lord himself, is the one and only head of the church.


ii.     I was also helpfully reminded that in the NT era, households were far more complex than our nuclear family in the modern West, such that there could be female-headed households with male slaves having to defer to them. In this context, I found suggestive Cole's endnote (7) indicating that the qualification required in 1 Timothy 3 of an overseer and of a deacon – to be able to manage their household well – was a call for managerial skill since the households were larger social units. For all that, Paul still had very definite ideas of relationships within households (husband/wife, parent/child, master/slave).


iii.   A third helpful insight came in Cole's view that "Paul's prohibition is occasional rather than transoccasional. I prefer the distinction between occasional and transoccasional in the context of this debate as it is less question begging than the usual one of transcultural and cultural" [6]. I think this is an excellent suggestion from Cole.       


By way of affirmation, I would add that key NT characters could be extremely counter-cultural when it mattered, such as Jesus with the Samaritan woman, and Paul with Jew-Gentile table fellowship. Further, in the Bible, God speaks through human authors to specific human situations. But in those same words, God reveals himself as perfectly capable of speaking through them to later generations in very different cultures (E.g. 1 Cor 10:1-11). So the main scriptural reason given for not re-applying something from earlier in the Bible at a later point is not cultural differences, but the coming of Christ and his impact in fulfilling the law (e.g. Col 2:13-17). So (with Cole, I believe) I agree that our default setting should be to view the Bible as addressing us effectively across cultures, not as bound by culture. We are perfectly capable of retaining a scriptural principle while adjusting the application to a different culture. Therefore in our culture, we greet people with a holy handshake instead of a kiss!


Before I turn to my points of critique, I also acknowledge that Cole has indicated that his paper was a brief sketch of seven "lines of consideration" on the matter and did not provide full theological and exegetical argumentation in support.  I will try to reply at a similar level, although, as with Cole's paper, the distinction is relative, not absolute. I will address each of Cole's considerations in turn.


Consideration 1: Authority comes from God and his Word


Cole makes what sounds like an absolute disjunction here. "First, authority comes from God and his Word and not in any part from the sex of the preacher."[7]


One may agree that a preacher's authority comes from faithful explanation and application of God's Word and not from his or her gender. However, it is not possible to so thoroughly disentangle the authority of the preached word from the person of the preacher, as if the latter were entirely irrelevant. Paul commands Timothy and Titus themselves to teach and speak the truths of the faith with authority (1 Timothy 4:11; Titus 2:15). So it is not true that the NT teacher or leader has no authority (cf. 1 Thess 5:12; Heb 13:17). Further, Paul explains that their life and example is important in regards to this ministry (1 Tim 4:12, 4:16; Titus 2:7).


So the primary authority for teachers is, of course, the written Word of God. But in a secondary sense, teachers are invested with authority because of congregational recognition of their personal godliness and trustworthiness as teachers of that Word.


Along lines similar to Cole, Gilbert Bilezikian once suggested that following the closing of the canon, current day teachers are the equivalent of "sexless teaching machines".[8] But instead, as Wayne Grudem counters, "They are real people, who, in the whole of their character and personhood, teach and model for the church."[9]

Certainly the Pastoral Epistles reveal that considerations of age and gender were important for teaching in the context of intra-congregational relationships. In particular, a younger man needed to take special care in how he conducted himself (Titus 2:1-8; 1 Tim 4:12, 5:1-2).


Therefore, since gender is part of our personhood, one would be wise before dismissing it as irrelevant to the debate at hand, especially when Paul explicitly makes an issue of it, in different ways, at a number of points (1 Cor 11:2-16, 14:33-36; 1 Tim 2:8-15).


Consideration 2: 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Trinitarian Taxis (Order)


Here Cole notes that "Paul does not write that the head of the Son is the Father, but that the head of Christ is God".[10] He then explains that this is a messianic reference and refers to the economic rather than the essential Trinity. He asserts that this verse should be grouped alongside of 1 Cor 3:21-23 and 1 Cor 15:24-28 as Ôsubordinationist' texts which refer only to the economy of salvation.


What Cole does not mention is that the parallel text in 1 Cor 15:24-28 does in fact refer to the "Father" (v24) and the "Son" (v28), and not just to God and Christ. This rather weakens his case that these are simply economic references. Indeed from these latter verses, it certainly appears at the very least that the economic subordination continues into eternity.[11] 


Certainly great care is required in discussing the matter of order within the Trinity. Yet what is undeniable is that many orthodox theologians have long recognised some sense of order or taxis within the relations of the essential Trinity. For example, this has been recognised in the creedal phrase "eternally begotten of the Father".[12]


Further many theologians have recognised a danger in suggesting an absolute disjunction between the economic and essential Trinity, such that the way God is towards us tells us nothing of the way he is in himself. Cole could have noted this by citing more recognised proponents and more thorough statements of this alternate view that the order within the Trinity is relevant to this debate than the paper he mentioned by Carrie Sandom.[13]


Consideration 3: Women Teaching Men and Good Church Order


Here Cole says he is "not persuaded that a woman preaching to a mixed congregation somehow threatens good church order"[14]. To establish this point he explains that the NT only knows of one head of the church, Jesus Christ and secondly that NT households were far more complex than modern Western nuclear families. I have mentioned my appreciation of these reminders above.


However, in opposing one over-simplification (about the nature of NT households) he appears to supply another (namely that of the sole headship of Jesus Christ in the church). Surely Cole does not mean by this warning that the church is to have none in positions of leadership.


The fact remains that the one head of the church, Jesus Christ, himself appointed others to positions of leadership in teaching his Word among his people, namely the Twelve Apostles (all male), during his earthly ministry. More broadly, for example in Ephesians 4:11-16, he gifts to the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. So Jesus exercises his headship through his ordering of the church, which includes the appointment of teachers and leaders.


And where one of his apostles gave instructions regarding those to be appointed overseers within the church, Paul specified that they were to be male (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). He also explicitly stated that he did not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man (1 Timothy 2:11-12). On what grounds may we say that the instructions we have received from Christ's apostle are not part of Christ's ordering of his church?


Consideration 4: The Invention of the Printing Press


Cole does not actually say much about the significance of the printing press, beyond the fact that Christians today have much wider and easier access to the Scriptures. Instead, under this heading, his focus is actually on the fact that our situation is different materially from Christians in first century Ephesus hearing 1 Timothy read, before the completion of the canon of Scripture.


We have the completed Bible. According to Cole's reckoning at most they only had a copy of the OT (probably LXX), a letter or two from Paul, and Timothy and the local elders to talk to. He quotes J.I. Packer as suggesting that there is a significant difference between teaching now and then, which raises questions over whether Paul would have forbidden a woman to teach men from the Bible today.[15]


Several questions occur here. The first is to ask whether the Scriptures themselves give any hint that the closing of the canon (let alone the invention of the printing press) would be a significant turning point in terms of reducing the level of authority inhering in the teaching ministry thereafter. I am not aware of any such evidence.


A second question is whether Cole has understated the amount of the Word of God which was already available in an inscripturated form. The Epistle of 1 Timothy itself, in 1 Tim 5:18 with an exact verbal parallel to Luke 10:7, shows a familiarity with a saying of Jesus. There is significant other evidence that written and oral collections of material concerning Jesus were in circulation by the time of the writing of 1 Timothy.[16] Likewise, there is evidence of the circulation of primitive creedal statements to guide the early churches (e.g. in 1 Tim 3:16). The public reading of Scripture was also to form a key part of Timothy's regulative teaching ministry (1 Tim 4:13; cf. 2 Tim 3:15-17). The NT Scriptures were beginning to circulate and be known.


Most significant here, though, is the point Cole concedes: that formally the Ephesians were in exactly the same situation as modern Christians. That is, both are under the authority of the Word of God. Teaching at different stages of salvation history has always been based on the authority of the Scriptures, no matter how much of those Scriptures were available.[17] So the content of NT teaching is consistently linked to the Word of God, to the Scriptures (e.g. See Acts 15:35 18:11, Heb 5:12, 2 Tim 3:15-17.) Contrary to Cole's suggestion, the authority of the teacher then and now is the same.


Consideration 5: 1 Timothy 2:12 Not a Barrier


In Cole's view, the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12 was an occasional one (as opposed to being transoccasional). It had to do with urging the Ephesian women to learn via proper teaching structure – Timothy and the teaching elders – based on Paul's apostolic teaching (which is now preserved in the canonical NT Scriptures, and much more widely available than then, as previously noted by Cole).


In addition, the restriction came because of a particular pastoral crisis due to the presence of false teachers. The injunction in 1 Tim 2:12 was to stop the women learning from the wrong teachers (as Eve had done). Indeed, Cole suggests Paul more greatly circumscribes communications at Ephesus than elsewhere (such as 1 Corinthians), such that most of the other men are not to teach either, because of this problem.[18]


It appears to me that there are many question marks over Cole's argument at this point.


For a start, there is no indication that the only people in Ephesus with access to God's Word were Timothy and the elders. Acts 19:10 indicates that Paul's public teaching ministry there was over two years long. Indeed in Acts 20:31, Paul himself said that his teaching ministry was ceaseless over three years. In Acts 20:20 he said that he had declared everything that was helpful from house to house, as well as in public, and in 20:27 that he had declared the whole counsel of God. Indeed one might argue that Ephesus was the site of Paul's most thorough and extensive teaching ministry recorded anywhere in the entire New Testament.


Further, I agree with Cole that it was likely 1 Timothy would have been read aloud in a congregational setting and that Paul wished his defence of the apostolic gospel and his pattern of ministry to be heard by others (as hinted at by the plural Ôyou' in 1 Tim 6:21). But hearing this material implicitly invites them into the process of discernment against the false teaching.


Likewise the fact that Timothy could be called to public reading of the Scriptures (1 Tim 4:12) indicates that the Ephesians could use the Scriptures as a yardstick, alongside "the words of the faith" and "the good doctrine" (1 Tim 4:6) that Timothy had followed and that Paul had clearly established among them.[19] It will not do to say that the Ephesian women or the Ephesians in general were particularly ignorant compared to other NT communities.

Secondly there are many problems with the suggestion that there was a particular problem with women in Ephesus, as Cole seems to realise. As he himself notes, the only people actually named as problems in regards to false teaching and the faith are men (Hymenaeus and Alexander, 1 Tim 1:20; similarly in 2 Tim 2:17-18 and Acts 20:30[20].) Nor is there any good evidence to suggest that women were teaching false doctrine at Ephesus.[21]


Further, when Paul wishes to silence false teachers, he is perfectly capable of identifying those he wishes silenced, without silencing all men (or all women). This is what he does by his charge in 1 Tim 1:3 when he commands Timothy to "remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine" (ESV, my emphasis; cf. Titus 1:9-11). He never forbids all men (nor all women) from teaching because some of their gender were false teachers. Indeed, such a solution would not appear to be just.


Cole suggests women in Ephesus were to learn only through the Pauline teaching structure, which at the time of writing 1 Timothy included no women. In endnote 13, Cole guesses that Timothy only appoints male elders because no women were heads of households in Ephesus at that time. This is speculation – pure and simple – and cannot be relied on. Indeed, it is perhaps a little ironic, given that it is Cole who has already raised the possibility of female-headed households existing in that era, back in his third consideration. 


However, it is important to note the particular case of Priscilla, alongside her husband Aquila, for this provides further evidence about the status of women at Ephesus.


Paul had already worked alongside this couple in Corinth (Acts 18:2-4), and had left them in Ephesus (Acts 18:19) following his first brief visit. Prior to Paul's return to Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila had "invited [Apollos] to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately" (Acts 18:26). So they jointly exercised a discrete personal (not public) teaching ministry. Clearly Priscilla was a well-instructed woman and able to teach in this context.


There is every reason to believe that Priscilla and Aquila continued in Ephesus when Paul arrived for his three year teaching stretch. They later left for Rome, but as Cole agrees, by the time of the writing of 2 Timothy 4:19, Priscilla and Aquila had returned to Ephesus. 1 Timothy was only written a year or two before 2 Timothy. So there is a genuine possibility that the well-taught Priscilla was even present in Ephesus at the time Paul wrote 1 Timothy.


Here is evidence of at least one woman who had spent significant time in Ephesus, in whom Paul obviously had confidence regarding her knowledge of the Word of God. This scarcely supports the thesis that there were no women present in Ephesus who were likely to be suitable as public teachers or elders should gender be no barrier. And yet, there is no evidence at all in the Scriptures that Priscilla ever exercised a public teaching ministry.


In conclusion on this point, in his consideration of 1 Tim 2:12, Cole seems to have substituted reasons not given in the text – that women there lacked education, or were prone to false teaching, or were not part of the approved teaching structure – for the reason Paul himself gives in vv13-14 – that Adam was formed firstÉ but Eve was deceived.


Consideration 6: The Problem of Primitivism


Cole identifies the problem of primitivism as being an unrealistic and often inconsistent attempt to set up NT patterns of church order as though our world coincides with that of the NT.[22] As evidence of such inconsistency, he wonders why a church he attended which prohibited women from preaching did not also have a welfare system to look after widows, as found in 1 Timothy 5.


My response here is to repeat that one can distinguish between upholding a principle and varying applications of the principle, as mentioned above with modes of greeting. So in that spirit, encouraged by 1 Timothy 5 (and James 1:27 and Acts 6:1ff) I would suggest that churches should consider culturally appropriate systems of welfare (e.g. taking into account the particular society's provision of welfare) for widows and other vulnerable people in their congregations (such as orphans or refugees). The problem is not too much effort in doing as the NT suggests, but too little! We may not use a list identical to that in 1 Timothy 5, but we uphold the scriptural principle. And as a matter of fact, some churches do even keep a roll of sorts for the pastoral and practical care of the frail aged in their midst.


In an endnote here (16), Cole also cites the fact that the patterns of NT church life were not monochrome as an indicator of the difficulty of determining what was normative. By implication, we cannot assume comments about gender were normative. As evidence, he notes that elders are not mentioned in 1 Corinthians, elders only are mentioned in Titus, and elders and deacons are mentioned in 1 Timothy. He also asserts that Jerusalem based Christianity seems to have developed differently under James.


This last point seems a little odd, given that the Jerusalem church clearly had elders (e.g. present in Acts 15), and also gives us the first example of those appointed to "deacon" at tables (Acts 6:2)! One might further note the mention of overseers and deacons in Philippians 1:1 and the suggestive distinction of speaking and serving ministries in 1 Peter 4:11 alongside the instructions to elders in 1 Peter 5:1-4. So there seems to be some common patterns of eldership and serving ministries, rather than endless variation. At the least, the fact that there appears to have been some variation does not justify endless variation, nor variation that contradicts a statement of principle, such as 1 Tim 2:12. In any event, there are no examples in the NT of such a variation as a woman publicly teaching the Bible to men.


Consideration 7: The Matter of Dogmatic Rank


Here Cole raises the question of how important this matter is theologically. He irenically mentions that evangelical complementarians and evangelical egalitarians are having an Ôin-house' debate. Further he says the question of women preaching to mixed congregations is a matter of order and not of faith, such that it should not be a condition of Christian fellowship.[23]


I appreciate Cole's affirmation of respect for evangelical complementarians with whom he disagrees and likewise affirm my own respect for his high view of Scripture. This means we should each be open to changing our minds because of what the Bible actually says.


However, I am not aware that evangelical complementarians have commonly made this issue a "condition of Christian fellowship". In some places one's view on the matter has been made a condition of eligibility for leadership (in both directions), but this is not the same as making it a condition for fellowship. (One's view on God's sovereignty or baptism or church government may also affect one's eligibility for leadership in certain evangelical denominations and associations.) So this concern appears to me something of a straw man.


Moreover, although the dispute can be called Ôin-house' when between evangelicals, the dispute often goes much more widely. For example, within my own Anglican denomination, it is a debate involving those of other theological positions (e.g. anglo-catholic and liberal), including some who implicitly or explicitly deny the final authority of Scripture on this matter. Cole has tried to avoid this. But sometimes, it is worrying to hear evangelical egalitarians use forms of arguments with which liberals have a great sympathy, and which they have sometimes utilised for other purposes. At any rate, when the authority of God's Word is involved, the issue does become a matter of great importance.




Gender goes to the heart of our being and relationships, and as Cole notes, pastorally it can be very important. Likewise, matters of prayer and teaching are fundamental to the faith. So again, I do not believe that this matter can be simply relegated to a matter of secondary or tertiary importance. It is a matter that must be decided on the basis of what the Bible says.


Cole twice cites the example of the noble Bereans who "examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11). Yet he does not seem to notice the irony of this reference. In his paper, he has relied on the claim that prior to the completion of the NT canon, the Ephesians did not have enough of the Scriptures available to enable women to exercise such a discernment process.[24] How then could the Bereans do it, when they had no more of the Scriptures available than the Ephesians? Yet clearly, Cole thinks the Bereans could do it.[25] It is their example of searching the Scriptures that he says we should imitate.


In this regard, from the beginning, the Bible says that men and women are made equally in God's image, yet with complementary, but non-identical purposes in mind (Gen 1:27; 2:15, 18). Both in marriage (Eph 5:22-33, Col 3:18-19, 1 Pet 3:1-7) and in the church (1 Cor  11:2-16, 14:33-36; 1 Tim 2:8-3:7; Titus 2:5-9), distasteful though it be to contemporary culture, there is a pattern of male headship/leadership which is established and upheld. In these contexts, comments are consistently made rooting these injunctions not in occasional or cultural particularities, but on the basis of the created order, and also as a reflection of the ordered relationships within the Trinity, and the relationship of Christ and the church.


Cole himself agrees that the best complementarian arguments about these texts are valid in that the elements hang together logically.[26] On the other hand, Cole several times admits relying on guess, reconstruction and speculation to make his argument that 1 Tim 2:12's prohibition on women teaching men the Bible is occasional and no longer relevant.

In this paper, I have tried to suggest why I think this is unwise and to point out some flaws I perceive in his arguments.


My own conclusion, then, that Scripture does not allow a woman to preach to a mixed congregation and so ordination to the eldership of a congregation ought not to be allowed. There have been no recent exegetical or hermeneutical studies to convince me otherwise.


Sandy Grant


October 2006


Annotated Complementarian Reading List


These books are all available from Koorong or Moore Books. But the publishers and authors of much of the latest scholarship from a complementarian perspective have made it freely to download as pdf files.


Wayne Grudem               Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than One Hundred Disputed Questions (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah, 2004).


                                   J.I.Packer (Regent College) says, "Laboriously and exhaustively, with clarity, charity, and a scholar's objectivity, Wayne Grudem sifts through 118 current challenges to the Bible's apparent teaching on men and women. This is the fullest and most informative analysis available, and no one will be able to deny the cumulative strength of the case  this author makes, as he vindicates the older paths."  Available freely as a pdf from http://www.efbt100.com.



Wayne Grudem (ed.)        Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2002)


                                   This book includes some of the latest scholarship on such matters as the meaning of submission and the Greek term kephalŽ ("head"); the significance of Gal 3:28 and of the intra-Trinitarian relationships for debate; as well as the historical novelty of egalitarian views. Available freely as a pdf from http://www.cbmw.org/resources/books.php – at the time of writing, it is the first book listed there.



Andreas Kšstenberger      Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Grand Rapids,

et al. (eds)                     Michigan: Baker, 1995, 2nd ed. 2005)


                                   Peter O'Brien (Moore College) says, "This is a series of grammatical, linguistic, exegetical, hermeneutical, and theological essays. Together with its appendix on the history of interpretation of 1 Timothy 2, it is one of the most comprehensive treatments to date on the subject. The essays are not simply a rehash of old arguments. At significant points they make an original contribution to our knowledge."  In the second edition (2005), each chapter has apparently been updated and reworked, and a new chapter of pastoral application has been added.



John Piper and               Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical

Wayne Grudem (eds)       Feminism (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 1991)


                                   A watershed book from a complementarian perspective in the modern debates. Now older, but worth it alone for Piper's Chapter 1 "Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible". Available freely as a pdf from http://www.cbmw.org/rbmw/index.php.


[1] Graham A. Cole, "Women Teaching Men the Bible: What's the Problem?", BriefCACE #34, 2006. I originally found this paper on the Ridley College website. It appears to have been removed from there (for reasons unknown to me). A version of the paper, with apparently identical text but different formatting, is available from http://www.media.anglican.com.au/tma/2006/08/Women to preach.pdf. I cite page numbers from the former version.

[2] I am especially responding to Cole's paper because it was drawn to my attention by a congregation member at St Michael's Anglican Cathedral, Wollongong, which I serve as Senior Minister. She is in favour of the ordination of women to the presbyterate and sought my response. I am also responding, because this paper was cited in a web forum to which I contributed, "Raising Boys and Girls in a Unisex Culture". This discussion thread ranged more broadly over matters to do with differences between the genders. It can be viewed at http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/community/viewtopic.php?t=2100. Since then, I have become aware that Cole has delivered a version of this paper elsewhere, for example, in May 2006, at Oak Hill College in the UK.

[3] Cole, p1.

[4] Cole, p1.

[5] Cole, p2.

[6] Cole, endnote 14, p5.

[7] Cole, p1.

[8] Gilbert Bilezikian, p 184, Beyond Sex Roles (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2nd ed, 1985)

[9] Wayne Grudem, p275, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah, 2004)

[10] Cole, p2.

[11] In fact, even if there is only an economic subordination here, it is still used as the basis for establishing an order between men and women. So it has never been obvious to me why this economic subordination can be disregarded. Surely we are still living within the economy of salvation and should heed the ordering relevant in that economy!

[12] Even egalitarian, Craig Keener, affirms an eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in "Is Subordination Within the Trinity Really Heresy? A Study of John 5:18 in Context," Trin J 20 NS (1999); pp39-51.

[13] For details, consult Robert Letham, The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2004), especially on this matter, his Appendixes 1 & 2. Also in relation to these particular issues of the Trinity, see Grudem, Evangelical Feminism, pp 405-29.

[14] Cole, p2.

[15] Cole, p2. Note that in the article cited, Packer does not say this is definitely the case, just that it is an open question. In a noted later article, "Let's Stop Making Women Presbyters," Christianity Today (Feb 11, 1991), pp18-21, J.I. Packer clearly opposes the ordination of women to the presbyterate.

[16] At a popular level, see John Dickson The Christ Files (Sydney: BlueBottle Books, 2006).

[17] It is important to distinguish between the authority of the Apostles and that of NT teachers. A teacher's authority was never as significant and normative as that of the Apostles, whose authority has been transferred into the apostolic writings which form the NT.

[18] Cole, p3.

[19] Compare 2 Tim 2:2. Here Paul notes the "many witnesses" who were present when Paul entrusted gospel truths to Timothy, presumably as a reminder of the public nature of Christian teaching.

[20] In Acts 20:30, Paul warns the Ephesian elders that "from your own number men will arise and distort the truth". N.B. he uses the Greek for "male human" (anŽr) rather than the generic term for humanity (anthr—pos).

[21] See Grudem, Evangelical Feminism, pp282-84. Nor is there any good evidence that women were particularly poorly educated in Ephesus such that they should not teach, Grudem, Evangelical Feminism, pp288-95.

[22] Cole, p4.

[23] Cole, p4.

[24] Refer especially to his considerations 4 and 5, detailed above.

[25] I am indebted to my colleague, Lionel Windsor, for the observation in this paragraph.

[26] Cole, p5, footnote 12. Please note that the logic of 1 Tim 2:11-15 hangs together simply with Genesis 2-3. Contrary to the implication in Cole's footnote, 1 Timothy 2 makes no mention at all of the Trinity. So the validity of the complementarian argument here does not rely on the idea of the eternal Ôsubjection' of the Father to the Son, which Cole sees as so problematic. It stands without it, although it is consistent with it.