Bible Study

Paul’s Epistles and Women’s Roles

This week we will be studying the Apostle Paul, his epistles, and his views on women. We will also take a look at why some people doubt the authenticity of Paul’s letters. What can we learn about the roles of women in the church and society from Paul’s writing?

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for this time together. Please be with us as we gather in the name of your son Jesus Christ. God, please help us to be patient as we study some of the things in the Bible that are difficult to understand. Help us put our trust in your Word so that we may become better defenders of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Paul’s Background

A Harmony Of The Life Of Paul (Executable Outlines)

Paul in the Bible (Bible Study Tools)

Authenticity of Epistles

St. Paul the Apostle / The Pauline Letters (Britannica)

Did Paul Write All Thirteen Letters Attributed to Him? (Brian Chilton)

Is Bart Ehrman Right When He Says That Acts Contradicts Paul’s Letters? (Cross Examined)

Is the New Testament Forged? (The Christian Post)

Are the writings of the Apostle Paul inspired (see 1 Corinthians 7:12)? (GotQuestions)

Is Bart Ehrman Right When He Says That 2 Thessalonians is a Forgery? (Is Jesus Alive)

Paul and His Views About Women

What did St Paul say About Women? (BBC)

Paul the Apostle and Women (Wikipedia)

Paul’s View of Women: A Stunning Portrait and Shocking Comments (BibleBridge)

Did Paul Really Say That About Women? (Mimi Haddad)

Quotes to Discuss

Genesis 3:16

To the woman he said,“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
    but he shall rule over you.”

1 Corinthians 11:3-16

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 14:34-36

34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?

Romans 16:1-4

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.

1 Timothy 2:8-15

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Closing Prayer

Lord, we thank you for the blessing of reading your word together. We ask that these words of life, truth and hope would continue to impact us in the week ahead. May your love and grace follow each of us as we return to our daily lives, refreshed and blessed by you. We ask all this in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.[1]

Featured image is from The Apostle Paul on The Impact of Salvation By Faith Alone

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