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In this interview by Dr. Tod Bolsinger, Bishop N.T. Wright argues from a biblical perspective for the full participation of women in ministry.
Thank you for using the total Word for the place of women
absolutely amazing to see how the scripture is misused, and manipulated to make it looks like its say something, that is not what is saying. Absolutely amazing.
I could say the same
Frank’s right. Can’t believe NT Wright completely ignored the Biblical proscription that deacons, priests and bishops are husbands of one wife. The Word he cites here says nothing specific, except that Phoebe is a deaconess–very specific in Greek. The ancient practice of setting aside deaconesses is distinct from the apostolic order of deacons.
Very disappointing from a good guy. The practice of female ordination to the apostolic orders of deacons, priests and bishops remains a rebellious and social convenience, rather than a firm Scriptural or historic practice. I fail to see any compelling need for it, especially in light of how divisive the issue is among the Body of Christ and Church Catholic.
Your declaration to explain Phoebe being listed clearly as a deaconess–“the ancient practice of setting aside deaconesses is distinct from the apostolic order of deacons” has no basis in Scripture. Where does it say anything at all about such a distinction?
How do you know that “husbands of one wife” isn’t simply speaking to the majority of people who’d be affected by the requirement, if the usual person who ends up being a pastor is most often a married man? How do you know this is an absolute declaration of what must be all the time? For example, what about single men or divorced men or widowers? If you take this utterly literally then along with women in ministry you MUST also exclude all these men as well. And that would exclude the apostle Paul himself and ahem, Jesus!
Well stated – This is not saying a man has to be married either. This is not an exclusive statement. It is stating that a Man can only have one wife at a time.
Thank you for posting this video. After careful study, I have come to the same conclusions as Wright. His words will challenge preconceived notions and staunch positions on gender and women in ministry.
We can split hairs about what the Bible actually says on this subject for forever. Neither side is going to “win”. As for myself, I come from a background that allows women to serve in ANY area of ministry, icluding as Senior Pastors. Up until recently, I had no issues with this. However, as I’ve been studying and praying about it over the years, I have a serious question that needs to be resolved…
What if a husband serves UNDER their wife in the church? How can the husband be BOTH the spritual leader of the household, and also underneath the leadership of the wife in the church? Because Biblically, there isn’t a line dividing us between “in church” and “outside of church”. The husband, Biblically, is head of the wife BOTH inside and outside the church. So this can create a dilemma….
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven there is no marriage. In the church we have a little of heaven on earth. Just a thought. Biblically it did not seem to be a problem for Priscilla. Not only was she a leader in the church, but on many occasions she is given the superior position to her husband in the Bible when she is listed first.
Be careful about that “listed first” thing. While it is true that wasn’t generally how it was done in the culture, it isn’t proof she was “more important” or a higher standing in the church than her husband. That is reading something into the text that isn’t there….
We may not be married in heaven, but we still are here on earth. By your “theology” I wouldn’t even need to divorce my wife because we’re not “really” married in heaven?? Let’s be real….
Personally I don’t see a dilemma. Each has their place in the marriage and the body of Christ. I can see a dilemma if they forget they are one and they together are to take the gospel to a hurting world. My dilemma is that people are dying and going to hell because the body is stilling fighting about women in the pulpit. If you are snatched out of the fires of hell you don’t care whether a male or female did the snatching. In Jesus Name
who said the husband is the spiritual leader???? what if a woman is not married? Does she have no spiritual leader?? how ridiculous.
men and woman are equal. there is no leader based on gender. all people are to submit to one another. In a nut shell we submit to each others giftings
Ummm…..kinda obvious I was refering to MARRIED people in my post, wasn’t it? But I brought it up because the Bible says, in a marriage, that the husband is head of the wife. He is the spiritual leader of the household. But then if say, the wife is the senior pastor of their church….who is the spiritual leader? There is no seperation. They are married both in church and out of church. Likewise, she would be the senior pastor both inside and outside the church walls.
This createa a serious dilemma, whether you acknowledge it or not….
the problem comes from what you believe the word ‘head’ means. What does head of a river mean? It certainly doesn’t mean or have anything to do with leadership does it? Source of life, provider is more accurate, certainly does not mean leader. Why would married women need a spiritual leader, if unmarried women do not???????
I sincerely doubt Paul thought it necessary to describe that men were the part of the river that empties into the ocean. Also, didn’t he say that men were head of household the way Christ is head of the church? I hope you believe Christ is “head” in the leadership fashion.
Unmarried women would still be subject to church authority, or leadership might be necessary if we’re talking husband and wife due to the possibility of raising children. Probably though, married women and men would need a “head” designated for the same reason that a car with one steering wheel is much safer than a car with two.
Finally, when you do this:
your words lose all their gravitas.
Paul never said Men were the head of the household. He said husbands were the head of their wives, and yes said “as Christ is head of the Church” Look up the word ‘head’ you will find it means “the source of life”. He was not talking about spiritual leadership in this verse.
Grudem and Piper would disagree with “head” meaning “source of life”. Also in context (1 Cor 11:3) “the head of Christ is God” would seem to favour an interpretation of authority rather than source.
IN the context of ephesians 5, the subject is love, not authority. I am not denying that Jesus is our authority, I am saying in this context that is not the discussion. In this context the head/body picture is about oneness, likening the oneness of the marriage union to the oneness of our relationship with Christ, and the oneness of mission.
The context of 1 cor 11 is about the custom and rituals of head coverings.
You obviously are biased because you must already be in a ministry role. But any objective reading of the text ( if you value text above feeling) will clearly lead you to conclude women must not lead other men.
Sorry, Tyler, but your own bias against women in ministry is showing. After years of Bible reading and being in ministry myself, I’m beginning to conclude that we interpret the Bible not necessarily as it is but as we are.
I’d be careful referring to Piper about this and other Biblical topics. He doesn’t always have a viable interpretation himself.
Jesus is our example of servant leadership. He laid down his life. He served others, put others first, washed feet, submitted to death, even death on the cross. Spiritual truth that comes from either sex, is truth all the same, and it, Jesus, is who we are to submit too. We are to submit to one another in truth.
If a woman is unmarried she looks to her father as the spiritual leader until she is married. Holy Scripture is Holy and what you like or “Feel” has nothing to do with what “Holy Scripture” clearly teaches. That goes for same sex marriage which from your post I would predict predict seems right in your eyes. Christianity does not bow to culture… or what seems right in the culture’s eyes..
I agree Holy Scripture is Holy. I don’t have a problem with Scripture. I have a problem with the Ungodly customs of men who fail to even study out the Truth of Holy Scripture but choose to stick with customs that have falsely divided the Word of Truth. Anyone who rightly divides the Word of Truth will come to the conclusion that there are no gender limits,or race limits in Christ or within the Ministry gifts.
By the way my Father has passed on and he wasn’t a Christian anyway, so more fool me if I had looked to him for spiritual guidance.
your assumption that I believe in same sex marriage is wrong, and clearly exposes more about your attitude than it does about mine.
Glenda, do you believe the same sex marriage is biblical?
No, I don’t believe in same sex marriage at all. R.F.Carpenter in error, assumed that was my belief , based on his own prejudices. So many men keep saying that the man is the spiritual leader of the household and the Bible never says that anywhere.
That is hilarious. As if all of the unmarried women in this country could look to their fathers for spiritual leadership. Wow, if that isn’t overlooking reality, I don’t know what is. I wish this was possible but to any sane person it really is not. What farm in 1850 do you live on?
I agree here – This woman has a good point.
Paul tends to say things that lead people to infer that the husband is the spiritual leader. Though he does not say so outright, he says that the head of the man is Christ and the man is the head of the wife. 1 Corinthians 11:3 is a pretty straight forward verse regarding this. Of course Paul is not saying that the woman cannot be used by God, cannot receive word from the Spirit or do anything that a man cannot when it comes to the mission of the Church.
Think about it this way. If the man is being obedient to Christ with his life, then his wife will in turn trust him to lead her and the family because she knows that he is being lead by God. Ergo she and the family are being lead by God as well.
The Apostle Paul rarely says things “to infer” with authority from God above he is quite clear and specific. Paul never taught “woman cannot be used of God” He did taught that man were to be given their place as spiritual leader by being consulted with about any spiritual explanation or question the wife had. This is found in
1 Corinthians 14;34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
Although your reasoning sounds noble and reasonable about “if the man is being obedient…” that mentality allows for disobedience from woman to Gods’ ordinance on account that her obedience depends on the response of her husbands faithfulness and not on it being simply what God’s commands. When women stand in judgement, their “husband not being faithfu” l will not excuse them for their personal disobedience.
I am not disagreeing that the husband is the spiritual head of the wife. Of course if the man is misleading the wife or is living in habitual sin, then she should not follow his lead. Why? Because he is not being obedient. This is why I said that if he is being obedient to God then the women is to follow his lead.
If he is not being obedient then she needs to address this, speak with a pastor, go to counseling, etc. By no means am I saying that the wife can use her husband’s headship as an excuse for immorality.
Great points here. It also says that we are to submit to one another. Truth is what we are to submit to, that is Christ, no matter if the word of truth comes from someone of a different sex.
In answer to your question as to “who said the the husband is the spiritual leader?” The Bible teaches it through the Apostle Paul’s first letter to
Timothy 2:11Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Though you may believe it “ridiculous” it is a Biblical doctrine.
When a woman is not married the Bible teaches that she still has her own spiritual leader and that is Jesus the Christ; the same leader, and head of man.
It is very probable, that Paul was speaking about particular women who had come out of a particular culture which had a peculiar understanding of a woman’s role. Bear in mind that Timothy was the pastor of a church in Ephesus wherein was the Temple of Diana and the site of the riot in her name in Acts 19. Women were considered very intune with the spirits and took their role of spiritual leadership to ungracious proportions. (Some aspects of Feminism could be traced here).
It is interesting that, when there are two interpretaions of scripture, there are some who only see the side that supports their quest for power. Be careful…power unequivically corrupts Born in fear, a man needs to “control” his circumstance, including his wife. I allow my wife to be all she can be in Christ. She has earned that from God by being His child and I will not take it away, even if I could.
This is a misuse of scripture – as I stated above…
The issue to me is handing scripture correctly. Paul is using an ancient word for “authority” (even for his time), that was known in this culture, yet was never used in any other text in scripture. Paul could have used the word “authority” he used elsewhere and did not. He clearly is saying something different. This ancient word for authority means “to take ones life or another’s”. It means to be abusive. The issue is not authority that a woman holds, but that in authority Paul forbids a woman to teach in such away that is abusive. Then Paul moves on to correct their cultures cultish teaching of how they believed God created woman first, and turned the tables on them by saying God actually created Man first then Woman, and the woman deceived the man. It carried the thought that we use today, as, “So there”.
No, that is not a misuse of scripture. It’s plain as day and there not to be misinterpreted but read as is. Not sure where the confusion is in that.
Read this plainly… Luke 14:25-27
Jesus said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple.
So Jesus is teaching me to hate my family, right? That is what it says when you do not properly understand and exegete the original language, the culture, and the idiomatic speech of this day.
You can’t read 1 Tim 2:12 without proper exegesis of the text and understanding what this church was struggling with.
Faulty logic. We are to submit to one another as it says in scripture. This in no way puts someone under or over in service in ministry.
The Quran forbids woman to preach in the pulpit for physical reason. Woman having
monthly menstruation will filify the pulpit, thus unclean, and not holy. Its not because
of sex discrimination. David Hermawan
In all the gospels’ account of the resurrection, the women are either directed or they decide by themselves to go to “inform” not preach about the resurrection to the apostles. In no form or shape where they commissioned to preach to others about the resurrection.
Their function was to inform the disciples (already seeing as leaders by them) that Jesus had resurrected as he promised. The final commission was later given by Jesus primarily to the apostles who became the main thrust of the gospel movement. It is true that among the disciples there were women, they were not in leadership roles. This was true when Jesus was alive and later when the apostles took the helm after the resurrection. The problem is that the more the church moves to the left or the right, away from the “center stone” we begin to look more to other models and devise positions that were not in the original plan. In the the govertmental structure of the church, “head” means leader as the one in charge over others. In salvation there is no gender and all are equal but in the church govertment there is a structure and depending were you are in that structure a certain degree of authority is given to you Certaintly Christ is above all, the pastors are above their congregation, deacons too are in a position of authority. Every person in a leadership position has under his/her authority those that belong to their committee or ministry.
But could the Women have messed up the truth they were sent to tell? After all, Man was deceived by the woman in the garden. If you want to use your logic of 1 Tim consistently, why would Jesus have done this? The were commissioned to share the good news.
We really need to study scripture. Interestingly, the bible says “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 corinthians 12:28). Clearly, this scripture explains rank in the church and without argument, one must admit that the scripture states that prophets are second in rank. Women did prophecy during church services right? Not just when they were walking down the street or during their leisure time. They did prophecy when men were present in service. That’s what that Paulinian passage is talking about (church service). If it wasn’t talking about church service, Paul wouldn’t have addressed a woman having a head covering in that passage. I don’t have time to go into apologetics. But what I will say is, if “Prophet” is not a position of authority, I don’t know what is. –and if Prophecy doesn’t consist of imparting knowledge, I don’t know what does. Clearly, a Pastor is in the category of teacher and again this is supported in the bible. (And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints…) Again, this is the rank (authority) in church service and in the body of Christ. –and that’s why it’s soooo important for Prophets to be in tune with God. They have great responsibility. God did not give all men authority over a woman. He gave the husband the authority over his wife.
(Genesis 3:16 …and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.)
If a woman is a Prophet, Pastor -teacher or whatever and she has a saved husband, she should not be teaching anything that contradicts. She should teach what he is in agreement with. Therefore, she is not teaching him because he already knows the type of doctrine that is coming from his household. And that’s why it’s important to marry a spouse that is Full of the Holyghost. If you study the original greek as well as the book of genesis you will see that Paul understood this. My Pastor is a man and when he preaches and leads the congregation, he is not teaching us how to be a woman or a man, he’s teaching us how to be God fearing , spirit filled Christians. –And the truth is, that’s what any pastor should be teaching, whether they are male or female. Furthermore, does God give a women his spirit so that she can sit down and shut up. Cause according to scripture, if we are to take it exactly how we read the silence passages, women shouldn’t sing, say amen, teach, lay hands, etc in church. Not even if it’s towards another female. Because Paul doesn’t say for women to keep silence except for when they are talking to other women. He says let them keep silence period.
Ya know, Women could make a Nazarite Vow (Numbers 6:2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or WOMAN shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD…) -But that’s just too hard to believe because Nazarite requirements had the same level of ritual purification requirements as that of the HIGH PRIEST! It actually involved some of the rituals of the Levitical priesthood (e.g. sacrifices).
How is it that women are spiritually equipped to be martyrs, but they don’t need to go as far as thinking God would ever desire to use them to speak his word.
1 Cor. 11:3 states: But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. This verse does not mean that every man is the head of every woman.
Genesis 3:16 states… “and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”. Therefore it is evident that there is only one man over a woman and that is her husband.
This is supported in Eph. 5:22-33 where it makes it clear that marriage is symbolical of the church. So, Christ is the head of the church just as a man is the head of his household. Christ is the husband and the church is the wife. The church is the bridge and Christ is the bridegroom (Matthew 25: 1-13). So whether a man or woman is the pastor, Christ is still the bridegroom/Husband/head of the church, and the church (including the pastor) is the bride. That would still leave each individual woman’s’ husband as her personal head. Just as the Prophetess Deborah was the spiritual and natural authority in Israel, yet her husband Lappidoth, was still her head. Remember, God could have just as easily called Lappidoth to that position.
Mike, just a point of clarification because you’re using the words incorrectly (IMO).
Prophecy = foretelling of the future (through dream or Godly message)
Prophesy = teaching/preaching meant for the Body of Christ to deliver the Word
Just wondering which of those you meant because you seem to use the word “prophecy” in multiple ways that are not necessarily correct.
Hi Jina, thanks for your response, but either way you understand the meaning of both words, my point is that women worked in these areas of ministry in the church. Through dream and Godly message, as well as through teaching/preaching. They’re both areas of ministry that are authoritative if you will.
Can someone please explain to me how a women can be the husband of one wife? (1Timothy 3:2)
It’s simple they cannot. can anyone tell me or point me to any resource that has scriptural backing for what a deacon is ?
Can someone please explain to me how there is no male or female in Christ (Galatians 3:28) but Christians use gender as a qualification for leadership?
Is that stating the Man is required to be married? Is this exclusive?
It is very interesting to me to notice that men inside the church take such interest in this issue when really it seems to be an issue most affecting us. The hypocrisy of the men in this regard is also somewhat disgusting, because with the sexual integrity problem among men in the church they should hardly have time to worry about whether we are preaching or not while so many of them are busy indulging in pornography! Maybe when the male Christians actually have a clean slate in this regard I might actually listen to what they think about whether I’m preaching or not! Which issue do you think concerns the Lord more: Men letting demons of lust and adultery into their homes, churches and families on a regular basis or women daring to preach?!!! And you wonder why we distrust a blanket prohibition on women in leadership?! What if all you male Christian leaders get your act together and start being faithful! Maybe we’d actually want to follow your leadership! When women serve more, pray more, and obey more, well, who do you think the actual leaders of the church will end up being?! I’m sorry this is a hard word, but it really is true. If you want leadership you have to earn it through integrity when no one is looking. If you can’t do that, step aside and stop swaggering around like some rooster pecking the hens into submission. The Bible never says for the men to make the women submit, by the way. Doesn’t the Bible say that those in authority shouldn’t be like the heathen and lord it over others? What are the men doing who rant and rave angrily about women not being allowed to lead, many while living a double life of piety in the church and immorality on the computer?
Also In this day an age, the exclusion of women in church life seems to do more harm than good because just the other day I was trying to convince a man of the gospel and he cited the exclusion and subjugation of women as a reason not to follow Christianity. And I think he’s right. The Jesus who spoke to the Samaritan woman and taught women and befriended women–much against the grain of that time–would He then turn around and let us have no place in any church leadership? This makes no sense. I also must wonder why the Holy Spirit would undeniably cause His gospel to burn in the hearts of so many women if He never wants them to have a key role in preaching it!
I am a Roman Catholic Christian and this conversation is silly, as silly as gays being able to get married in a Catholic Church. It is not ever going to happen. Priests and lay Christians just sit back and laugh at such debates.
Pre-emptively I apologize for the length.
Before we all rip each other apart on a Comment board filled with fellow believers let’s stop and realize that even though this is an emotionally charged topic which people get very opinionated about the problem isn’t one of Emotion or Opinion it’s about God who inspired every bit of his word and through it tells us what is most pleasing to him. This isn’t about power and it’s not about which of the sins God is “most worried about.” He’s worried about all of them otherwise he wouldn’t have bothered inspiring someone to write about them. As for my stance (and in this part i sound a little snappy though believe me i’m simply stating my stance and any offense taken herein was unintentionally communicated) politically I’m a man who see’s the historical treatment of women as wrong and therefore i am a political egalitarian when it comes to certain issues but as a believer Everything whether I like it or not must be formed by and submitted to the words of scripture. Whether Paul was writing to his specific culture matters not. Are the principles he taught impossible to implement today? Or is it just that it’s really hard to hold to them in our modern society? Whether people think men use this verse to keep power in the church matters not. Was that Paul’s purpose in writing the passage in 1 Tim, to hold power out of the reach of women in a time when the church had none? Most assuredly no! And just because I read scripture for what it is doesn’t make me a sexist power hungry masochist. It makes me a bible believing Christ follower. If you can’t make the distinction and cannot reconcile this then continue to seek ways to justify your views by twisting scripture and attacking those who disagree with you but as for me I will live by the spirit lead conviction that scripture is truth and i must be subjigated to it. Whether or not i changed your mind or you agree with me is of no consequence i have done my part and spoken my peace.
I think the main issue is that most Christians that hold your view are in fact only reference 1 Tim. There are a considerable amount of scriptures to look at concerning this. See my comments below on several scriptures. I could point to more of them but the comment was already long. We must look at the bible as a whole and explain each scripture that applies to understand what Gods will truly is on this matter. I definitely don’t believe in twisting scripture. I truly believe in being honest about not ignoring what each scripture, that is applicable, says.
I thank you first of all for your respectful tone and for the challenge based on your convictions. In this way we can grow closer to the truth. “Arguing to attain the truth” was a common practice in the early church. In response to your use of the Galations passage (in the other posts referenced in your reply), I actually once held a similar interpretation. I didn’t see how, as you stated, there could be no distinction in Christ yet one was made in the area of leadership. Paul wrote both passages. Did scripture contradict itself? Did Paul have a change of heart? It took a lot of wrestling within myself over this topic and the meaning of these two passages in particular before finally coming to a conclusion. My conclusion only came about (and again you may disagree) when looking at context. When Paul wrote to the Galatians they were under threat from false teachers who perpetuated the belief that you needed both faith and works to attain salvation. Thus spends the first chapter and a half (1-2:14) of Galations exchanging plesentries, encouraging, cathing up and setting up his argument. The remainder of Galations (including your verse from chapter 3) Paul devotes to grace by faith appart from works. He continually uses the contrast of Jews and Greeks to illustrate that though the Jews (his people) had God’s law faith not following the law was what brings about salvation. Taken in context we see that the verse is actually Paul’s extending the contrast to all levels Societal, socio-economic, and genderal. None are saved by the Law all are brought low through saving faith in Christ none can say they earned it on their own. In conclusion the Galations 3:28 verse is about the unifying power of Faith where as the passage in 1 Tim is about holding positions of authority. You did mention other passages but I didn’t see them in my first look through maybe you could send them in a reply and we can continue the discussion but I hope this clarified my stance a little more for you Peter. Again i didn’t mean for this to be an apologetics essay but hope you will not hold it against me for doing a second time.
Hi Amon, was your response meant for me? I only asked because you named Peter in the response and you also said that you didn’t see any other scriptures referenced, but I referenced a few in my first comments below. Thanks.
It was my friend, merely a response to your response. An attempt to enter into discussion. As for the other references you mention (that is, appart from the Galations 3:28 reference) I only saw the Acts 6 passage about deaconship. As I said in my response any other references I either can’t find or maybe were posted under a different name possibly. Either way if you would like you can post a list of scriptures you feel defend the ordination of women. I will listen to your arguments as well and if I find myself at odds with scripture will be willing to submit myself to the word. I’m sure you would do the same but will not ask the same. Anyway if you would like to continue the discussion i look forward to hearing from you. Should you however not bother with it your salvation, luckily as the passage in Galations tells us, doesn’t rely on your view on this matter I will pray for you as a brother. Good bye for now Peter.
Hi Amon, I’m not Peter, I’m mike. Your responses have been posting to me, “Mike”, not Peter. I think that’s why you and I are confused. Maybe there’s something wrong with the posting attachment or something.
I actually got a chuckle out of this after reading all the flaming arrows being shot at each other. LOL
The issue to me is handing scripture correctly. Paul is using an ancient word for “authority” (even for his time), that was known in this culture, yet was never used in any other text in scripture. Paul could have used the word “authority” he used elsewhere and did not. He clearing is saying something different. This ancient word for authority means “to take ones life”. It means to be abusive. The issue is not authority that a woman holds, but that in authority Paul forbids a woman to teach in such away that is abusive. Then Paul moves on to correct their cultures cultish teaching of how they believed God created woman first, and turned the tables on them by saying God actually created Man first then Woman, and the woman deceived the man.
Again, please show me where in Scripture you’re basing this on. If it’s not in the Word, then it’s your own conjecture and your own implied theory. Unless you can cite specific sources or verse/chapter on where you’re getting this stance from, it holds no validity to me at all.
You are asking the wrong questions. When a word is only given once in scripture then to understand the word the scholars go to extra biblical citations to gain the meaning of the word. This is why Thayer’s is a great lexicon to understand this text.
Proper exegesis is why we don’t baptize for the dead. Paul uses an argument to those in Corinth who are do not believe in the resurrection, “What will those do who are baptizing for the dead if the dead are not raised”? We know from extra biblical sources that there was a group who baptized for the dead, that where not Christians per say, but Paul used them as an illustration. Without proper cultural understanding and proper exposition of the text you will end up like the Mormons, who are poor exegetes, and be baptizing for the dead.
I am using the Bible, the Greek lexicons, and the culture, (asking the who, what, when, where and why) to properly handle the word of God, and not twist it in a way it should not be used, especially to put down God’s creation.
What Dane is saying is not in the Bible, just as what Paul said is not in the law, if you look for the law that says “A woman should not speak on public” in the law of Moses you wouldn’t find it, so Dane is making us all a favor by giving the studies that apply of what happen in that time, just as the law against the women speaking on public is not in the Old testament, but in the talmud.
For those Christians standing firm on what the Bible says, the
subject of Women in Leadership is very clear and simple to understand. However
as J David Pawson puts (in Leadership is Male), “ …A sceptical age which views “Truth”
as subjective, relative and reached by cultural consensus find it hard to
conceive that sincere conviction can be based on the revealed mind of God
rather than the concealed motives of man”. As a result, some tend to choose
what to believe from the word of God.
I suggest the book “Leadership is Male” by J.David Pawson to
those still having difficulty to understand this subject.
While I agree with you on both your stance about the topic and statement about the rise in relativistic theology that has come about I think we would be amis to assume that the only people who hold to this view are those who adhere to such a theology. I think it all has roots in what I think is right versus what God has revealed is truth in scripture but not all who support female leadership are apostate liberals. Many are mearly confused christians who are still wrestling with their views on the subject and submitting them to God’s word. Again support your interpretation but just think your comment sounds accusitory of all who hold the misguided view, even though they may not be those skeptics who view truth as relative and determined culturally which may not have even been your intent.
Well said here. Before liberalism even came along, the most conservative of fundamental Christian leaders, like Wesley, who helped lead the great awakening, the Assemblies of God, and the Four Square Church have ordained women as Ministers. This is not a liberal vs conservative issue at all.
I don’t “find it hard to conceive that sincere conviction can be based on the revealed mind of God rather than the concealed motives of man” I do think it is reasonable to question ulterior motives when considering interpretations of scripture. J David Pawson and others male leaders in the Church do have a conflict of interest when arguing that “Leadership is Male” from a biblical perspective: the argument serves to validate their own authority. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, necessarily; but it must be taken into account, given that, like all humanity, they have a sinful nature.
In terms of choosing what we believe from the word of God, do you believe that:
Miriam led Israel? (Micah 6:4)
Deborah judged Israel? (Judges 4:4)
Huldah prophesied to King Josiah, leading to his repentance? (2 Kings 22:14-22)
Lydia, Chloe and Nympha were all leaders of their house Churches? (Acts 16: 40, 1 Cor. 1:11, Col. 4:15)
In Christ there is no male or female? (Gal 3:28)
I’m not convinced the issue is as clear and simple to understand as you assert.
The Text in Timothy is one of the most abused text in scripture against women. Paul is dealing with a problem of women abusively using their authority, and Paul is warning against this. The cult in the culture taught that Woman was created by God first, then the Man. Paul was correcting this embedded false truth and is not using it as a way of saying we should not take truth from a woman because they twist it, besides, men do a good job of that as well.
I’d like to see where you’re getting this information. What are your sources? How do you know that’s what Paul meant or intended?
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon “Authenteín”: Lobeck, Technol., p. 121); hence, a. according to earlier usage, one who with his own hand kills either others or himself. b. in later Greek writings one who does a thing himself the author” (Polybius 23, 14, 2, etc.); one who acts on his own authority, autocratic, equivalent to an absolute master; cf. Lobeck ad Phryn., p. 120 (also as above; cf. Winer’s Grammar, § 2, 1 c.)); to govern one, exercise dominion over one.
“One who acts in such a way as to gain dominance”. Paul is stating he does not allow a woman to teach in such a way as to gain dominance over a man. The subject is not just authority, but the type of authority is the issue. Just as Paul used “fornication” to describe improper sexual relations, he is not ruling out sexual relations all together. Paul is using a word only used in this text and nowhere else in scripture, to describe the “type” of authority he will not allow from a woman. Now if Men where teaching in an abusive away, as these women were, he would have used the same instructions for the men, I believe, but that was not the issue at hand. Paul is addressing a problem that Timothy had brought to Paul’s attention.
The next proper exegesis is to know the cultural setting of the text. If you don’t know the cultural setting of any statement that someone makes, you will take meanings out of context. The Greek God and Goddesses that this church in Emphasis
was dealing with believed the Woman were created first and were superior to Man. This is seen in the Acts riot and the Greek God Dionysus.
Proper hermeneutics and exegesis, without the ego-centric male corrupt and fallen mind, can see clearly Paul’s argument. To take this text any other way is completely illogical. For Paul to seemingly use an argument that Eve corrupted Adam as a
proof text to not have Women in authority is just our reasoning. To then listen to any woman for any advice regardless of them being in authority, would be a pour thing to do if one holds to that interpretation. It’s just bad theology.
Dane, I would suggest,
Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of I Timothy 2:9-15
It seems to me that once again we are finding ourselves engrossed in looking at the primary function of Christianity as assembled public worship. In decades past we have divisively debated such public assembly matters like alcohol or grape juice for communion, seating arrangements, church music to mention a few. Would it not be far more Biblical for us to direct our energies to what we need to be doing collectively and individually outside of the elevated “worship hour”?
I haven always hoped that 1 of the men who is 100% sure that God cannot call a woman to preach would do me a big, big favor. Please go up to heaven and tell God to take this call off of me. Then I can go back to my 6 figure job with trips to Paris — instead of going to prisons and preaching, asking for nothing in return.
I was an atheist — wanted nothing to do with God. Had beautiful home, children, nanny, spouse, health.
And 1 day, in my office at 11:15 am, Jesus Christ showed up and called me by name. That was 26 years ago. I let go of my position, my income, and the respect of my family & friends who continue to ridicule me. I paid large bucks to go to a serious divinity school and I have done hospital, parish, visitation, & prison ministry. And I preach weekly in 2 languages. I accept no money for this. I also have a profitable business which has given away more than I used to make.
I always enjoyed what I did — it is pleasant to stay in 5-star hotels & be met by a limousine.
But I have at last understood who is the real Chairman of the Board — and it is Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God.
So — like I said — how about one of you guys fix it so Jesus takes this call to preach off of me — so I can go back to Paris.
Dear Sister, sorry for what some men thinks of you in the ministry, not all of us think the same.
So does that make you an apostle? If, in fact, Jesus showed up in your office, you are either exaggerating, or, you now have been directly sent by Jesus, as was the apostle Paul.
The other issue has to do with asking God to take a calling off of you. The overwhelming majority of conservative evangelicals do not have a problem with women doing ministry. The problem stems from women taking the leadership of a church which seems to be as clear as “thou shalt not steal”. So we can’t ask God to take off something he didn’t put on.
Thank you for a very helpful video interview
God promises to pour out his Spirit on all flesh in the last days – “Your sons and daughters will prophesy.”
WATCH: N.T. Wright: Changing the Meaning of Marriage
“When anybody suddenly changes the meaning of key words, we really should watch out.”
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