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Pearl Doxsey - (1 Corinthians 14:34)... "let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the Law says" Paul had been a teacher of this "Law" that he was referring to (Acts23:6). This was the Jewish Law, which viewed woman as lower class, untouchable, and as unclean. Christ abolished this practice (Rom.4:14; Eph.2:15,16; Matt.9:20,21,22), as we will see. At Gal.2:21; 3:1-2 Paul stated... I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the law based in the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (see also Col.2:14,20; Eph.2:15) Take note of how he introduces Phoebe: Rom.16:1,2: "I recommend to YOU Phoe′be our sister, who is a minister of the congregation that is in Cen′chre‧ae, 2 that YOU may welcome her in [the] Lord in a way worthy of the holy ones, and that YOU may assist her in any matter where she may need YOU, for she herself also proved to be a defender of many, yes, of me myself". And what Paul said here... 1 Cor. 11:4 "Every man that prays or prophesies having something on his head shames his head; 5 but every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head"...clearly reveals his realization that women can prophesy. This is confirmed, at Acts 21:8-9. Why the change in Paul's teaching about women? Regarding whether the new Christian congregation continued to practice the Law, this gradually faded and those who continued to observe it, were corrected. Heb.8:7,6,13 states: (7) "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (6) But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (13) By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear." So the time came for the Law to "disappear", which was at Pentecost (please noteActs1:4-5; 1:8-9; 2:1-4,14-18), when both men and women received the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant, and they were enabled to prophesy, speak, and teach. The Law, was then finished. Even while the Jewish Nation was still under Law, note some accounts of women who were prophets: (Luke 2:36,37,38) Now there was Anna a prophetess, Phan′u‧el’s daughter, of Ash′er’s tribe (this woman was well along in years, and had lived with a husband for seven years from her virginity, 37 and she was a widow now eighty-four years old), who was never missing from the temple, rendering sacred service night and day with fastings and supplications. 38 And in that very hour she came near and began returning thanks to God and speaking about [the child] to all those waiting for Jerusalem’s deliverance". Judges 4:4: "Now Deb′o‧rah, a prophetess, the wife of Lap′pi‧doth, was judging Israel at that particular time.... and the sons of Israel would go up to her for judgment". 2Kings 22:14-20: "Accordingly Hil‧ki′ah the priest and A‧hi′kam and Ach′bor and Sha′phan and A‧sai′ahwent to Hul′dah the prophetess the wife of Shal′lum the son of Tik′vah the son of Har′has, the caretaker of the garments, as she was dwelling in Jerusalem in the second quarter; and they proceeded to speak to her. 15 In turn she said to them: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘Say to the man that has sent YOU men to me: 16 “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am bringing calamity upon this place and upon its inhabitants, even all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read; 17 due to the fact that they have left me and have gone making sacrificial smoke to other gods in order to offend me with all the work of their hands, and my rage has been set afire against this place and will not be extinguished.’”’ 18 And as to the king of Judah who is sending YOU to inquire of Jehovah, this is what YOU should say to him, ‘This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said: “As regards the words that you have heard, 19 for the reason that your heart was soft so that you humbled yourself because of Jehovah at your hearing what I have spoken against this place and its inhabitants [for it] to become an object of astonishment and a malediction, and then you ripped your garments apart and began weeping before me, I, even I, have heard,” is the utterance of Jehovah. 20 “That is why here I am gathering you to your forefathers, and you will certainly be gathered to your own graveyard in peace, and your eyes will not look upon all the calamity that I am bringing upon this place.”’” And they proceeded to bring the king the reply.". 2Chron.34:22 "Accordingly Hil‧ki′ah along with those whom the king [had said] went to Hul′dah the prophetess, the wife of Shal′lum the son of Tik′vah the son of Har′has the caretaker of the garments, as she was dwelling in Jerusalem in the second quarter; and they proceeded to speak to her like this. 23 In turn she said to them:...". Side point: Interestingly, the name Huldah (meaning mole-rat), and deborah (meaning bee) are both creatures who belong to social structures called, eusociality. According to Wikipedia: Eusociality (Greek eu: "good/real" + "social") is a term used for the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification. Examples "The most familiar examples are social insects such as ants, bees, and wasps (order Hymenoptera), as well as termites (order Isoptera), all with reproductive queens and more or less sterile workers and/or soldiers. The only mammalian examples are the naked mole rat and the Damaraland mole rat. Eusociality with biologically sterile individuals represents the most extreme form of kin selection. The analysis of eusociality played a key role in the development of theories in sociobiology. The phenomenon of reproductive specialization is found in various organisms. It generally involves the production of sterile members of the species, which carry out specialized tasks, effectively caring for the reproductive members. It can manifest in the appearance of individuals within a group whose behavior (and sometimes anatomy) is modified for group defense, including self-sacrificing ("altruism")." I find it interesting that the names of both prophetesses are derived from eusocial creatures, that have a queen at the pinnacle of its complex social structure. Let us move forward in time to the example of Christ. Jesus corrected and defied this practice of spurning women, even doing so with a Samaritan woman. He both spoke to her and touched her, which broke that Law twice. He asked her questions and listened to her answers, also breaking this Law (John 4:7-27). He had women as friends (John 11:5,20), including a former Harlot (Luke 7:36-50). He anointed women, and is still doing so today (1Pet.3:7;Acts 1:14;2:1,2,3,4,18,33). Anointed women are to be among the "two witnesses"; ...anointed that he will "cause" to "prophesy" (Rev.11:3,4,5) during the last days (Acts 2:17; Rev.1:10). We read at Rev.6:9-11, that both men and women... ["brothers and sisters" - Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in Rev.12:10; 19:10.] ..."killed" for giving their testimony. Women cannot testify, if they are silent. Is there other scriptural proof that women can be true prophets? See Acts 21:8-10 and Acts 2:18... (Acts 21:9) This man had four daughters, virgins, that prophesied" (Philip) (Acts 2:18) and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. The "Watchtower" society interprets 1Cor.14:34 as meaning that a sister cannot get up in front of the Congregation and teach the men in the audience, including perhaps her husband. Yet, women were evangelizers and prophets. So they did teach. Let us consider another scripture which is used to silence women, and remove them from the religious justice system. (1 Timothy 2:11,12)... "Let a woman learn in silence with full submissiveness. 12 I (not God) do not permit a woman to teach, or to *exercise authority over a man*, but to be in silence." Paul made a distinction between his own opinion, and one derived from God's Holy Spirit (1Cor.7:40,6,25). When Paul stated; "Let a woman *learn in silence* with full submissiveness"... I am inclined to believe that Paul was referring to the Bible's meaning of "woman" covenants, and those taken into them (Gal.4:24,26)...that these are to be silent before the Christ who teaches them (Matt.10:27;Eph.5:23,24; Col.1:18; 1Cor.12:27) This is the meaning of the context of 1Tim.2:12(1Tim.2:13,14,15; Gal.4:19; Rev.12:2; Eph.5:23,24,32) Being "kept safe through childbearing" (1Tim.2:15) is not a reference to literal women in a physical sense, but was a symbolic, spiritual reference (Gal.4:19; Rev.12:1-2; John16:21-22). Also the submissive virginal "wife" of which Paul speaks as having this spiritual protection, is not physical, but spiritual (2Cor.11:2; Matt.25:1; Rev.21:9). How might this lack of submissiveness among symbolic "women" (Rev.17:1), be evidenced? Many anointed ones/Chosen saints, and other ecclesiastical leaders fail in their submission to Christ (John15:4-5,8), by "speaking up" and teaching things that Christ has not given them (Matt.24:45-48;24:49-51; Rev.14:8; Deut.32:33). These usurp the headship and actual teachings of Christ, in favor of their own contrived tenets (Matt.15:9; Col.2:22; Mark7:13). Paul was the watchdog of the first century, over this very "wife" (2Cor.11:2-3; 11:13). This is why he did not permit such impropriety among the "Bride"/"woman" members (Rev.21:2,9; 19:7; 22:17). So, a prophetess (who is not learning from a man, but learning from God) learns in silence. This carries with it the thought that while she is learning, she should not contribute her own thoughts (John16:13). This should apply to male prophets as well, who are also members of this "woman". While silent during learning; .....after she has learned, she can not be silent!.....(we will learn why, below.) "I do not permit a woman to teach"... Notice, Paul does not say, "God does not permit", he says. "I do not permit". "or to *exercise authority over a man*"... But, she can convey God's message without exercising authority over a man! By a woman writing what God's Word and spirit incites, men can choose to read and heed, or not (Eze.2:5,7). What a true prophet offers is not based on *authority over men*, but they give what God directs by spirit. About 350 times, Bible writers wrote the words, "Hear the word of Jehovah". Yet, this message from God, came through the mouths of his prophets and prophetesses. Neither I, other women, nor even men, have any authority to teach. While a man, even Jesus did not take this authority. (John 7:16). Only YHWH and the glorified Christ have such authority (Rev.5:4,5). They "exercise authority over" all men (Matt.28:18). What they give, we all must teach (1Cor.9:16; Jer.20:9; Matt10:27). One who prophesies (male or female), must preach God's message to all (Acts5:28-29). This can be done in a respectful way that does not neglect the respect men are due (1 Peter 3:15). Men can voluntarily read what a prophetess may write. Remember, a true prophet does not teach from themselves...they only pass on what they are given by God. . Like Christ, they do not speak of their own originality. They speak what God commands and gives. They are only a vessel (Acts9:15; Rom.9:21;1Thess.4:4; 2Tim.2:21). Therefore, it is not them teaching, but God (Matt.10:20). Should we then take all that any "prophet" says, as from God? No. Any man or woman making that claim, we must scrutinize! Jesus said this scrutiny is vital. He also told us how to do this (Matt.7:15-27; Gal.5:22,23,24,25). Also, any interpretations of prophecy, must be done completely by means of God's Word (Gen.40:8; Rev.22:18,19). Would anointed women have a role in this job of prophesying??? If you look at Gal. 3:28... (Galatians 3:26,27,28) YOU are all, in fact, sons of God through YOUR faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of YOU who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for YOU are all one [person] in union with Christ Jesus". We see here that once a woman is a son of God (anointed), baptized into Christ by spirit, she no longer is considered separate from the men (or a lower female) in comparison to her other brothers in Christ. All become "sons" and "brothers" in union with Christ. This pouring out of spirit upon both men and women under the New Covenant, began at Pentecost, as discussed at the outset of this article. Romans 12:4,5,6 reads: "For just as we have in one body many members, but the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, although many, are one body in union with Christ, but members belonging individually to one another. 6 Since, then, we have gifts differing according to the undeserved kindness given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the faith proportioned [to us]". Christ's body is made of both male and female. Each uses whatever gift they are given by spirit. 1Cor. 10:17: "Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body, for we are all partaking of that one loaf." Should a female prophet fail to declare what she has received from God and Christ because of fear of man (as being over her), she would be submitting herself to men rather than to God (Acts5:29; Rom.3:4). No prophecy from God should be silenced to honor men. God is obeyed and honored, foremost (John5:44; Rev.4:11). Remember what YHWH says: (Acts 2:18) and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy". We must prophesy, whether we are female prophets, or male prophets. We cannot prophesy if we are "silent". - - - - - - - (Acts 21:9) This man had four daughters, virgins, that prophesied" (Philip) (Acts 2:18) and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. (Galatians 3:26,27,28) YOU are all, in fact, sons of God through YOUR faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of YOU who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for YOU are all one [person] in union with Christ Jesus". ----------------PART TWO-------------------- " A QUESTION: Jehovah Witness Religion-What is the role of women? Question: "Can a women lead the congregation in a Kingdom Hall and can she reside over a funeral?" ANSWER: Hello Jane, Your question is a bit difficult because it is really asking three things; and the answer to each is different. In the "Subject", you ask what the role of women is in the "Jehovah's Witness" religion. Yet your question asks if a woman can lead the Congregation in a Kingdom Hall; and then, if a woman can preside over a funeral. I will do my best to give you a thorough answer to all three. In regards to the religious doctrine of "Jehovah's Witnesses", all baptized women are considered to be in subjection to all baptized men. This means that they can not take the lead in anything within the religion, or within the Kingdom Hall. The only exception is what is called "taking the lead out in service". According to doctrine, a woman may, if no male is available, cover her head (to show subjection to the males who are not present), and then proceed to make field service arrangements and offer a closing prayer for that gathering. ("Field service arrangements", determine who rides in what car with who, and what territory will be covered.) Other than that, women do not give "talks" in Kingdom Halls, unless they sit down at a table and put the information in "demonstration" format...a dramatization...a pretend scenario. In this way, it can be construed that she is not really "teaching" the men in her audience. Of course to anyone who has thinking ability, this is hypocrisy. I hope this addresses your first question. As regards the covering of the woman's head to show subjection..."Jehovah's Witnesses" claim that all women are under subjection to all baptized men, and they must display this subjection in order to give the angels in heaven a good example. They base this doctrine upon 1Cor11:1-16: 1"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her[a] for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God. I hope that you will let this scripture, upon which "Jehovah's Witnesses" rest this doctrine, to teach you what God's Word actually says in comparison to this doctrine. Take note of verse 5... "But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved." There it says that if a woman prays or prophesies uncovered, she dishonors "HER HEAD". This is saying that she need not show subjection to ALL men, but only her personal head, which is her own husband. This is confirmed at Eph.5:22,23,24: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Therefore, the "head" of each woman, is not ALL baptized men in general, but only her own husband (baptized or not), should she be married. What about an anointed woman or female anointed prophet? Who is her head? Anointed (male or female) have one head...Christ. (Eph.1:22; 5:23; Col.1:18; 2:19) Anointed are told to put their marriage behind their calling (1Cor.7:29). Note too, that the praying and prophesying a woman may do in verse 5, is public. This CONTRADICTS the doctrine, which prohibits women from saying public prayers or public teaching in Kingdom Halls. (This doctrine is hypocritically violated when women preach door-to-door.) It seems uncovered women are permitted to take the lead teaching publicly when outside the Kingdom Halls (even in the presence of baptized men), but not inside Kingdom Halls. The Bible does not make this distinction of inside or outside buildings. Verse 15&16 go well together.... This "Witness" doctrine ignores verse 15, which indicates that this "head covering" is the natural hair a woman possesses upon her head. Verse 16 shows that this subject should not raise "contention". Paul makes clear that if anyone has a problem with this show of subjection as already cared for by nature itself, that the true churches of God have no such custom of requiring more. This he says to counteract the excessive demands of the Jewish law...which DID require a woman to cover her head in excess of her hair. We see that "Jehovah's Witnesses" are doing no better than the Jews, in going beyond what is written (Acts15:28,29; 1Cor.4:6; Matt.23:4; Isa.28:10). Finally, verse 10 reads: "For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." The "Witnesses" assume that this is speaking of the angelic spirits in heaven. They assume that these angels are lower than mortal women, in that women set a teaching example to these mighty Sons of God. According to the Bible, the PERFECT MAN Christ, was made a little LOWER than the heavenly angels (Psalm8:5; Heb.2:7; Phil.2:7). Now from a perfect man...we must take a BIG step down a notch to go to IMPERFECT SINFUL MAN....and then step down another notch from man to woman. We are told of perfect EVE, that unlike Adam, she was thoroughly deceived (1Tim.2:14). Are we to reason that imperfect women today are really a teaching example to the mighty perfect Sons of God in Heaven??? Let's see what this verse really means. 1Cor.11:10: "For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." The symbolism Paul refers to, can be found if we return once again to Eph.5:22,23,24; only this time lets look at what a woman's subjection to her own husband is compared to... Verse 23&24 read: 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Did you notice the comparison to Christ and the "Congregation"? How does the subjection of the anointed "Congregation" (Christ's own wife/body) compare to "angels"? (1Cor.12:27,28; 1Cor.3:16) It is a fact, according to the Bible, that the "New Creation" of anointed (Christ's wife), are called "angels". In order for these "angels" ("Greek" for "messenger")...to prove faithful and be sealed, they must remain in union and subjection to the "head" Christ, as his body. (Matt.22:30; Heb.1:6,7; 1John2:28; 1Cor.6:15; Rev.1:20; 2:8,12, etc.) It is in regards to THESE angels, that Paul makes reference to women showing subjection. A woman's subjection to her OWN HUSBAND, is a visible example to the anointed body of Christ. But when you ask, "Can" a woman "reside" over a funeral...I'm not sure if you are asking about the doctrine of Jehovah's witnesses, or the truth of the Bible. According to "Witness" doctrine, No...once again, due to the imaginary presence of baptized males. If you would like to read about the role of women in the Bible, please consider “Should Women Teach?” on my blog. You may learn there, that the Bible expects especially "anointed" women, to work as hard as men in their public teaching. For, in the "body" of Christ, there is "neither male nor female" (Gal.3:28). In that article, you will find the many scriptures that indicate that men and women are equal in God's sight; both in glory and in divine expectations. This truth helps to answer your question about "residing over a funeral". My relatives are not Christians. Yet, at the death of a relative, I was asked to give a talk in light of my known familiarity with the Bible. I was able to use the occasion to give a fine witness to many people. Imagine God's disapproval if I had declined that opportunity, in favor of an unscriptural constraint through the doctrines of men! (Mark7:13;2Tim.4:2) (more on 4womaninthewilderness Pearl Doxsey)