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Worth Pondering

G. Campbell Morgan on 1 Timothy 2

Paul’s instructions concerning women in the Corinthian epistle (1 Cor 14:34), it should be remembered, were intended for the Corinthian people, and are to be accounted for by the peculiar position women occupied in the Greek cities. This has equal application to the passage in 1 Timothy 2:8-15. It is unsafe and unscriptural to argue from any of these injunctions that women have no right to prophesy or exercise any gift that may be bestowed upon them. Behind the picture of the Christian woman portrayed in 1 Timothy is the picture of many of the women of these Greek communities; and it was to save the women of the Christian Church from any conformity to these debased ideals that all these passages were written....

There are one or two simple facts which, if borne in mind, ought to settle the question whether women should teach or preach. First, “In Christ there can be no male and female.” Second, fitness for ministry in the church consists in the possession of a gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Third, the Spirit bestows His gifts upon each one severally as He will. If the Holy Spirit bestows upon some woman a gift in the ministry of the Word, no ecclesiastical organization has any right to prevent her exercising that gift, and there certainly ought to be room in our churches for the exercise of every gift bestowed by the Head of the church through the Spirit, without reference to nationality, social position, or sex, for these things are abolished in Christ.

Dr. Morgan, a highly respected evangelical pastor and scholar, wrote these words in 1918—eighty years ago! These paragraphs are found in This Was His Faith: The Expository Letters of G. Campbell Morgan (Baker, 1977), pp. 119-120.

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