What Paul Wrote About Women
Selected passages from New Testament epistles.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 7
1: Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. 2: But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3: The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4: For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. 5: Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. 6: I say this by way of concession, not of command.
7: I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8: To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. 9: But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. 10: To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband 11: (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) -- and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
12: To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13: If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14: For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. 15: But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace. 16: Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife? 17: Only, let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
32: ...I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33: but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, 34: and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.
35: I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
39: ...A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40: But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I have the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 11
3: But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5: but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head -- it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6: For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. 7: 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. 8: (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9: Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) 10: That is why a woman ought to have a veil 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.)
13: Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14: Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, 15: but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16: If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God. 17: But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.
1 Corinthians 14*
33: ...As in all the churches of the saints, 34: the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. 35: If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36: What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached? 37: If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.
I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.