15-14 Statements about Women by Peter and Paul


Many readers of the New Testament come away with the impression that Paul was a misogynist who did not value and esteem women. This false reaction is due in part to the King James English, which generally renders the Greek in a manner that is less flattering toward women than may be necessary. Other nuances in meaning are possible and bear reflection, even if it remains uncertain what Paul originally intended. When Paul’s statements about women are read all together, especially in conjunction with similar statements by Peter, a more positive New Testament posture toward women emerges. As chart 15-14 shows, women are encouraged and welcomed as united companions working in building the kingdom of God; women are charged to train their sisters in virtue and righteousness; dress styles are to be modest and in good taste; and women are to learn in serenity and peace of soul. In reality, both men and women are given similar instructions: to be wise, reverent, orderly, and obedient.


Andrew Perriman, Speaking of Women: Interpreting Paul (Leicester: Apollos, 1998).
Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” Improvement Era, April 1960, 224-25.