Bible Answer

Can a woman baptize a man?

In your article on baptism, you state that any baptized Christian can baptize another believer, but does this means a Christian woman can baptize a man?

We find no reason in scripture to preclude a woman from baptizing another Christian, including men. As a general rule, what the Bible does not explicitly or implicitly prohibit is permissible in liberty. Since the Bible does not implcitly or explicitly prohibit a woman from baptizing a man, we must conclude that both men and women may conduct baptisms of other believers regardless of the gender of either person.

Scripture prohibits a woman assuming authority over a man or teaching men, but the simple act of assisting another person in a water baptism doesn't imply authority over that person. We know the person conducting a baptism has no automatic authority over those they baptize, nor does the act of baptism require teaching necessarily. Therefore, a woman does not violate scripture when she baptizes a man.

On the other hand, cultural traditions may bring the expectation that a man preside over a baptism. In these situations, it could be counterproductive for a woman to baptize (assuming a man is available), since a woman's decision to preside may convey an unfortunate message that she was intentionally disobeying church authority or was seeking to express authority over men. At the very least, her choice could be disruptive and unhelpful, even if it is permissible in liberty.

Therefore, we advise defering to the cultural practices of your church when conducting baptism. Nevertheless, the Bible leaves the door open for any baptized believer - man or woman - to baptize another believer.