Women in the Church: What Does the Bible Really Say?

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What does the Bible say about women in the church?  Are wives inferior to men, to be controlled and ruled over by men?  Does the Bible say women cannot lead or teach?  Can they teach men?

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women in the Church, NT Wright, Junia project, Gail Wallace

Yesterday, I was reading an old article from Doug Wilson in which he mentioned this:

The Bible does give a father and husband true authority in his family. But it also gives the elders of the church true authority over that family.

Because Wilson self identifies as a Christian patriarch, I fully expect him to make comments like that, but I looked at the verse he referenced:  Hebrews 13:17

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Having blogging about spiritual abuse for nearly two years, I would guess that this verse is the most widely twisted verse used by guru church leaders to help keep their flock in line. I’ve never been to seminary, but using simple Bible helps online, I was quickly able to learn that a better translation for the text using text would be:

Listen to or be persuaded by those who guide you and yield to them, for they watch out for your souls. . .(which I covered in this article a while back).

Another controversial verse which domineering men have used to exert their authority over women is 1 Timothy 2:12.  The idea is that if it’s in the Bible written as such, we need to accept it as such.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one who was deceived, it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.  1 Timothy 2:11-15.

Gail Wallace from The Junia Project blog wrote a very informative article, Defusing the 1 Timothy 2:12 Bomb, completely challenging the traditional school of thought which defends male-only leadership.  Kudos to the men who decide to read a scholarly article written by a ::::woman::::.

Gail’s article is very interesting and questions the dogmatic teachings that we hear from so many church leaders today.

Here is one challenge:

Interpretation should be consistent with the rest of the passage under study. As Groothuis notes “It is inconsistent to regard the dress code in 1 Tim 2:9 as culturally relative, and therefore temporary, but the restriction on women’s ministry as universal and permanent. These instructions were part of the same paragraph and flow of thought.” Similarly, if we insist that verse 12 is applicable today, to be consistent, that ruling should apply to the whole passage, including verse 15 (women shall be saved through childbearing). I find it concerning that most people who claim that 1 Timothy 2:12 is clear and applies today usually don’t have a clue as to what the verses that follow mean and how they should be applied.

I encourage you all to read the article and see for yourself.  Wallace’s conclusion:

The bottom line is that in light of current biblical scholarship it’s time to acknowledge that there are too many problems with this passage to continue using it as a weapon against women called to church ministry.

Be sure to read the great information in the comments.  Please check it out.

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Ok, along these lines, I found a video excerpt from Bishop N.T. Wright.  In this video, Dick Staub interviews N.T. Wright following the release of his new book, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. In this short excerpt, the subject of women in the local church is addressed.  (Sorry, I’m unable to embed the video.)

The basic idea is why are we using Paul’s words for final rules on authority?  Why is the church making important church teachings based on maybe one verse of Paul’s without looking at the context of all of his other verses.

H/T to Bill Kinnon for the heads up on the N.T. Wright videos.  The full interview with N.T. Wright can be found here:   A Four-Part Conversation on N.T. Wright’s“Paul and the Faithfulness of God.”

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474 comments on “Women in the Church: What Does the Bible Really Say?

  1. Ali,

    Perfect! Either Paul was being sarcastic, or else he was not infallible. Actually, I have begun to entertain the idea that Paul spoke persuasively but not infallibly. Your observation that Paul sometimes speaks sarcastically allows us to continue to at lest consider that God may have been using Paul to speak infallibly. Of course, we still have the problem with the translators having become advocates for particular, preconceived, theological points of view. Even if Paul can be trusted, the English translations cannot.

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  2. Ali, Gary W:
    These are very like the points I have often made on this blog and others. Paul is responding to communications from the Corinthian church, and acting as a consultant as much as a theologian. We do not have those communications to him. But his writing style is often to state the other side’s argument, state a position, show it is incomplete, state a more fully developed argument/position, etc. And we get instances, like the head covering passage, that clearly contradict something else he said, suggesting sarcasm. My argument is that Paul, who said circumcision was unimportant for the Christian, would not have taught that having a doily on one’s head was necessary to worship!!!!

    The translators have added many words and phrases, and have made choices of how to translate some words, such that much of what is in English depends on a backward forcing of meaning into the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek text. E.g, Strong’s is a compilation of the choices Bible translators have made for a particular word and is not to be taken as a linguist creating a dictionary from other translation sources. One needs a far deeper study of the languages and their uses at the time than is provided by Strong’s.

    So, much of the preaching today is based on the very fallible translations by biased translators, and not on the inspired word known as the Bible. Gender issues, head covering, authority, offices, etc., are generally in the category of taking translator bias and expounding it into false doctrine.

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  3. Gary,

    I kinda disagree with that, because if using the Strong’s concordance, we can verify the meanings of Hebrew and Greek by its definitions.

    But, I will say that Paul was indeed sarcastic. He asked many rhetorical questions, answering them himself. For example:

    Romans 6:1-2 is often used in the wrong way (only half of verse 2 is generally the only thing quoted).

    Romans 6:1-2 as some quote it: 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid.

    Paul was asking a rhetorical question, but people only quote the “God forbid” quote in verse 2 as the answer. That is only PART of the answer. The remaining part is:

    2 …How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Did he wait for an answer? Did anyone raise their hand? No. That is rhetorical.

    Verse 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    Verse 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Why was Paul sarcastic? Verse 19: I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh

    In 2 Cor 11 Paul calls his sarcasm “Folly” in the KJV.

    In any case, in regards to our English, I don’t believe it is a translation problem. I believe that it is OUR problem instead, that WE misinterpret the translators. The people of them days would say that we talk a strange English language, while we say that they spoke strange English language.

    My question is, how many English translations do we think that we need? How many German/Japanese/Korean/etc. translations are there? Can we compare with other languages to see how they translated things, or are we only gonna complain about English translations? I’m looking forward to the Hip Hop Rap translation myself, but that’s a language that I need to order Rosetta Stone for.

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  4. Ali,

    Yes, it did get a bit messy in regards to rapture.  Your reference of Psalm 50 mentions the word “Zion”, which reminds me of the world wide hatred for Zionism.  Mostly, that hatred is from the neighbors of Israel, but it is also hated by the same who hate dispensationalism (Zionism is a huge part of the dispensationalism belief), as well as those who are Anti-Semites (Skin-heads, conspiracy theorists, the KKK, etc.).

    Ed

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  5. Ed,

    You say, “if using the Strong’s concordance, we can verify the meanings of Hebrew and Greek by its definitions. ” In the comment immediately preceding yours An Attorney pre-answered this when he said, “E.g, Strong’s is a compilation of the choices Bible translators have made for a particular word and is not to be taken as a linguist creating a dictionary from other translation sources.”

    This is my understanding of what Strong’s does. It is not so much a lexicon as it is a compilation of the manner in which the (theologically biased) translators rendered the Greek into English. There are, of course, lexicographers who have made an attempt at translation without a commitment to a particular theology; yet it seems the translators do not deem themselves to be bound by the lexicographers. Lydia has already educated us on how authenteō in 1 Tim 2:12 has evolved from meaning “usurp authority” to “exercise authority.”

    Kudos to KJV translators for getting authenteō right, but they do not escape criticism. They, too, are guilty of such instances of malfeasance as inserting the word “office” where no such word exists in the Greek.

    I studied Greek for 5 quarters at an evangelical college. One of my two professors was a contributing translator for the NIV. I mean no disrespect to my professor, who was a man of profound character, but looking back I am just appalled at how blatantly he advocated translating according to perceived sense rather than according to what the texts actually say. Of course, that was the tenor of the entire NIV project.

    I will get this close to agreeing with Ed. I will take KJV over NIV any day of the week (with apologies to my professor). Still, I will take the Greek text over the KJV, even though I am not particularly competent to act as my own translator. As a minimum, I find value in testing any and every English translation against the Greek Text. Now if only the Scholars could agree on which Greek text is real. . .

    And would that I had studied Hebrew, preferably before having studied Greek.

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  6. Well, Gary, I will say this, that God created all languages, and there was a REASON that the NT was written in Greek.  Definitions in Greek never changes, and is more precise.

    Now, in regards to the KJV, words not coming from the Greek are italicised.

    In regards to the word “office”, I have no problem with that word.  It was the word chosen, and who are we to say that they were wrong?  I mean really, is it really that big of a deal?  I say not.  I could say the same thing with the word “SUFFER”, as in “SUFFER the little children to come unto me.”

    SUFFER?  What is the first thing that you think of when you hear that word?  Based on that word alone, that tells me this is how they spoke in the 17th century, and WE think it is strange.  Therefore, I sort of disagree with An Attorney.  We need to learn how to speak their language of 17th Century English, and stop complaining that it is a bad translation.

    Ed

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  7. Ed,

    Besides, there are least Greek words on which “suffer” is based, actually two words, mē kōlyō, literally translated “don’t prevent.” There absolutely is not a Greek word on which the word “office” is based. If the translators needed to insert any word, which they did not, it would have been better to use “ministry” or “service.”

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  8. Gary,

    Its not the Greek that I am worried about.  It’s your defiance over the word “office”.  What really is the big deal?  What is the Greek word defined as?  Function, or something along those lines, right?  No problem.  Now, you must ask yourself WHY did the translators choose “OFFICE”.  My answer would be, “Because that’s how they spoke in the 17th century.”  And I would just leave it at that.  I would not conclude that they were wrong.  Why?  Because I am quite certain that they had their reasons, having nothing to do with any pre-conceived anything.  I am sure that when you die, you can ask them why they used the word “OFFICE”, and I am sure that they have a great answer that would satisfy you.  Their goal was to be accurate, not to twist.  I am not a fan of conspiracy theories.  If that is the way that they spoke in the 17th Century, then the word OFFICE is correct in the 17th Century.  It may only be wrong in your world, but not their world.  Suffer.  That is wrong in my world. 

    I learned long ago that we spend too way much time wrestling the Greek, calling everyone’s English translations as if they were from the pit of Hell. 

    By the way, in California, at least back in the 70’s, there was a tavern called “The Office”. 

    ________________________________

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  9. Ed,

    A literal-leaning translation would be along the lines of “If anyone aspires to overseerage, he aspires to a good work. Awkward in English? Yes, but why not simply translate something along the lines of “If anyone aspires to be an overseer. . .” Whether there was some hidden agenda or not, the use of the word office carries the connotation that overseers have authority, not obligations to serve, as Jesus instructed. So, I say, don’t simply insert any word where it isn’t necessary, but if a word must be inserted, at least come up with something that is consistent with Jesus’ teaching. Use a word like “ministry” or “service.”

    I do concede that your allusion to a place call “The Office” is causing me to reconsider my position. Maybe what is really meant is something along the lines of “If anyone seeks the place where an overseer conducts his business (i.e. his office), he pursues an admirable undertaking.”

    Yeah, that has to be it.

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  10. Alright, Gary, lets just see that how it really is.

    Bishop is an overseer.  If you really dig, you will see that an overseer is a SUPERINTENDENT.  A superintendent is “IN CHARGE” of a function.  He’s the boss of that function.  He gives the orders.  They do have authority to bark orders.  And that Authority is serving Jesus.  That is a ministry.  That is an office (FUNCTION).

    Stephen was chosen among his peers to be a SUPERINTENDENT of feeding the widows.  He was in charge, along with a few others.  The Apostles did not want to “wait”, or serve tables.  That wasn’t their “OFFICE”, or function.  Their authority, office, function, ministry, service was to preach the gospel, not to wait on tables.

    To serve God comes in many fashions.

    Now, your quote “If anyone aspires to overseerage, he aspires to a good work.”, which you think is out of line, begins with the word “IF”.  In my days of computer programing, when you begin a line with “IF”, there is always a “THEN”.  In this case, it’s after the comma…they forgot the word “THEN”.  To you, that might be a big deal.  To me, it isn’t. 

    Just sayin that you are making a mountain out of a molehill. 

    Ed

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  11. Gary,

    Our problem is that we think a Bishop is someone who preaches the gospel, wears a weird collar device behind a pulpit, in charge of the whole congregation.

    So, the question is, who came up with the Idea that this is what a Bishop is?

    That isn’t the way I see the word Bishop.  Stephen was a Bishop.  He was only in charge of making sure that the widows got fed.  Not preaching behind a pulpit.  Not shepherding the flock, etc.

    Ed

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  12. Hi guys!

    Two threads. First is the translators’ agenda and how subtle additions, rearrangements and substitutions create spin… or plain redirection. As I commented above… and as you well know that the original Greek text had zero punctuation. It was left to the discretion, integrity or bias of the translators.

    A good friend of mine in Simferopol, Crimea…in need of all our prayers!…has some insight into how the ‘Bishop’s Bible’ was revised/retranslated under the commission of King James. For centuries, the power base had been squarely placed with the (totally unbiblical concept of) clergy, denying the laity any equal inheritance or right to ‘minister’… Thus, the privileged few could get fat off the sheep they controlled. The document written as guidelines to the translators said, in brief ‘Don’t rock the boat!’ This explains how just the inclusion of a single comma cemented the clergy/laity divide. Look at it in Eph 4:11-12 The five-fold ministry’s tasks were..”For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” See how huge a difference the insertion of that first comma makes! Thankfully, in most of the later, more enlightened translations, it was rightfully omitted.

    Although I never asked him to look out his info on it, I can be virtually certain, that the same political bias was deliberately in force to prevent women (literally) having any say, thus no question marks were put at the end of 1 Cor 14:34 and 35.

    Another blogger on a different site, had said what I’d long suspected and has now been reiterated by An Attorney .. THANK YOU…. that there has been translator interference with the Head Covering passage: Same faction riven church: same opinionated, half-converted jerks pushing an agenda all needing some ‘wisdom from above’ to cool it. If you can bear me blathering on, I’ll post here what I put on the other site in a separate comment below

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  13. I’d followed up a comment of hers with…

    So glad I’m not alone in placing this portion in the category of refuting error, not enforcing doctrine!

    Recently, I’d been led to reread the whole of First Corinthians and what came out clearest to me was to rightly divide this book while asking that very question. There are clues throughout, usually immediately before or after, but in the head covering case, both before AND after that help identify the correct category as error.

    Here are some excerpts from an article I wrote:

    A large part of Paul’s purpose in writing to this doctrinally divided and contentious church, was to confirm what were and what were not ‘the traditions just as I delivered them to you’ (11:2). Again 11:23 ‘I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that on the same night He was betrayed… In 14.37, ‘let him (the ‘spiritual’) acknowledge that the things I (emphasis on the ‘I’!) write to you are the commandments of the Lord’. Also 15:3 ‘For I delivered to you first of all that which I received: that Christ died for our sins… He also has the integrity to let them know when it was his own opinion (7:25) or if he thought the Spirit is saying it too (7:40)

    Are these verses to be included in ‘that which Paul received from Jesus, that he delivered to them’ – or not?

    The corollary to that question would therefore be: Are they truth or error? Are they part of the New Covenant or not? Are they to be obeyed or ignored?

    Is it possible that the verses, often dismissed as not an important part of the ‘doctrine’ that immediately precede or follow it, could actually BE precisely the key to understanding what is being said? For instance, before the discussion of head covering, is verse 2:’“Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you’. Then there comes a little, but immensely important word, ‘but’ to begin the discussion.

    Why ‘but’?

    Is it not there to CONTRAST what came before it with what came after?

    Commendation … or not?

    Remembering Paul in all things … or not?

    Keeping the traditions … or not?

    Traditions Paul gave to them … or did someone else?

    What follows can justifiably be viewed as Paul’s summary of things that had been reported to him that they were saying, (as in 1:12 and 15:12, etc), well more accurately, were arguing about – note he tells them in verse 16, not to be contentious.

    To my mind, a summary of this section (1 Cor 11:2-16) would sound something like:

    Well done for remembering the traditions I delivered to you, ‘BUT, I want you to know’ the following dispute comprising arguments that different parties have presented from whichever viewpoint, whether hierarchical, patriarchal, spiritual, natural, historical or cultural is over a custom that neither we (apostles) nor the churches of God have. So drop it! Paul, I feel, was simply giving them ‘wisdom from above..sown in peace by those who make peace.’ It is not possible to tell with which arguments, if any, did Paul sympathise!

    Therefore, I feel it is very unwise to use this single reference as something solid and reliable on which to hang major doctrines: Patriarchy and Hierarchy for instance!

    ——-

    The other blogger had also pointed out the fallacy in the statement that ‘Man is the glory of God’….Well according to Paul elsewhere in Colossians, man is NOT the glory of God… ‘Christ is the express image of His glory ‘and the ‘glory of God illumines the city, the lamp thereof being the Lamb!

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  14. Ali – I just put up a new post that might interest you with regard to husband’s roles in his wife’s spirituality. I’d love to hear your take on that topic.

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  15. Second thread:

    The use or not use of the word “office”. Same KJV agenda here. A justification for a ‘professional’ clergy who rule over people under them…. like the Gentiles do!!!

    The recipients can be a friendly loving crowd, each personally acquainted with the saviour and doing their best to live His way, but they’re unwitting primary purpose is to pay for the platform, otherwise, shock, horror, they cease to be a ‘church’ and disband!

    I may seem a bit cynical and you may be thinking, what on Earth else can church be? DIFFERENT and my early years in the British House Church movement PROVED the real New Testament model DOES work… before it got hijacked by the ‘Covering’ heresy….. Should have included that in my list of doctrines that shouldn’t be hung on the 1 Cor 11 passage as well!!

    Can say more, but won’t unless asked

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  16. Ali,

    It might be wise to re-read that chapter again, and this time put on spiritual lenses.  This will change the whole thing if you do.

    We look at 1 Cor 11 and think that Paul is discussing head coverings.  OK, sure, maybe…but…I think he is discussing something DEEP here, and when you say that man is not the glory of God, then that tells me that you haven’t looked at what Paul was REALLY talking about. 

    Take out a piece of college ruled paper, and make 2 columns.  I did this many years ago, and there is a mystery that Paul is discussing, and that mystery has absolutely nothing to do with head coverings at all.

    Hint:  Verse 3.  Begin with verse 3 and pay particular attention to the word “is”.  Then begin your two column paper.

    The end result is that Paul is telling you about Jesus, not discussing head coverings.

    Peter tells us that Paul discusses things that are hard to understand.  Why would Peter say that if Paul isn’t being a bit cryptic in his speech?  There is something more to look at than just the topic of head coverings. 

    I always look at what Paul is discussing in the spiritual, rather than the carnal.  You discover things that most people ignore on purpose, because all they are looking for is “exegesis” about head coverings. 

    Note that Paul states at the end of the conversation that the church of God has NO SUCH CUSTOM of head coverings.  He very well could have said that from the very beginning…but he didn’t.  That, to me, is a hint, to listen to a spiritual revelation, and ignore long hair for women, and ignore short hair for men, and ignore man being the glory of God.

    For all have sinned and fall short of Man?  That was a hint for me to see what Paul was REALLY talking about.

    Please…PLEASE do not just chalk it all up to a terrible translation, because I totally disagree…yes, I even disagree with An Attorney.  I look to the spiritual content, not the carnal content. 

    Ed

    ________________________________ From: Spiritual Sounding Board To: chapmaned24@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, March 8, 2014 7:36 AM Subject: [New comment] Women in the Church: What Does the Bible Really Say?

    WordPress.com Ali commented: “I’d followed up a comment of hers with… So glad I’m not alone in placing this portion in the category of refuting error, not enforcing doctrine! Recently, I’d been led to reread the whole of First Corinthians and what came out clearest to me was t” Respond to this comment by replying above this line New comment on Spiritual Sounding Board Ali commented on Women in the Church: What Does the Bible Really Say?. in response to Julie Anne: *** What does the Bible say about women in the church?  Are wives inferior to men, to be controlled and ruled over by men?  Does the Bible say women cannot lead or teach?  Can they teach men? *** I’d followed up a comment of hers with… So glad I’m not alone in placing this portion in the category of refuting error, not enforcing doctrine! Recently, I’d been led to reread the whole of First Corinthians and what came out clearest to me was to rightly divide this book while asking that very question. There are clues throughout, usually immediately before or after, but in the head covering case, both before AND after that help identify the correct category as error. Here are some excerpts from an artic

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  17. Ali,

    I totally disagree that there is a KJV conspiracy agenda with the use of the word “office”.  I believe from the bottom of my heart that we are guilty of mistranslating the translators. 

    For example:  WHO and I mean WHO started this concept that a Bishop is a dude wearing a collar device behind a pulpit?  The KJV translators?  Hell no.  King James?  Hell no.

    That was someone else who made that decision.  A Bishop is in charge of a function, and that is translated as SUPERINTENDENT, and that is an office.  Office being defined as “FUNCTION”.

    I do not see an agenda in the translation, but I do see an agenda FROM those who mistranslated the translators.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  18. Ed

    Sorry that I’ve raised your hackles, my friend!

    I’m not adequately able to put my point clearly enough.

    I TOTALLY AGREE, EDI

    The demonic teaching of the clergy/laity divide -the teaching of the Nicolaitans (THAT JESUS HATES!!!) had centuries before, become accepted and the people subjugated. It became, literally, ‘enshrined in stone’ beautiful, awe-inspiring, en-‘spired’ edifices replete with images of the demons upon the parapets of the roofs! (Chris and I were admiring the ones on Notre Dame only 14 days ago!). The document my friend was referring to was the brief to the translators, remember, not free men, but walking a tight rope strung between a king, who if displeased, could execute them…. hence the fawning intro, and the big wigs in the Church of England… needing a unifying statement of belief and practice – creeds and the ‘Book of Common Prayer to define their power base. So as not to disrupt it, their instructions were therefore to make sure that the new translation of the Bible had nothing in it that could contradict!

    I honestly don’t wish to appear to be smearing the translators with deliberate manipulation, many of whom were not only scholars but it is evident were also spiritual, God fearing men. They were also in an oppressive political culture, a period of tumultuous, bigoted church history and accustomed only to the Nicolaitan-corrupted hierarchical church model that still exists today!

    It’s far easier for me to identify what NT church structure was supposed to be, because I grew up in one, where unpaid elders sat among everyone in the large, extended lounge of the house we met in. They kept only the lightest touch on the tiller as the wind of the Spirit blew us where He willed, using ANY listening heart and obedient mouth to speak through, as recorded in 1 Cor 12-14. They were elders, because they were older and wiser! Just mature believers, none of them pulling rank with any Theological qualifications! Their ‘qualification’ was from God – anointing to serve! One in particular had a teaching anointing. Others, (and wives), had that warmth and welcoming heart that pastored anyone that needed it… Others among us did too and were asked to head up the week-day meetings in our homes. Everyone contributed! Everyone grew!

    If I were to name someone as our ‘overseer’ it would be George Deakin, the history of whose involvement with us, I don’t know. He visited occasionally, a week or two at a time, but always bringing teaching and anointing that enriched all of us.He would also spend time encouraging and helping out the elders. Then move on

    Best of all God approved and saturated us with His precious love – at other times holy awe or profound peace. Treasured memories that are a yard-stick for me.

    Inevitably, it changed, but that form is still recognisable in what are now ‘Community Churches’, usually meeting in rented public buildings, larger and therefore needing to be more front-led, but with a period given over to all congregants to have the opportunity to contribute anything as the Lord directs.

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  19. Ed

    On the earlier reply to me, I’m so glad you’re edified with a revelation of Jesus in that passage…and I’m not being sarcastic 😉

    I have tried to contact the blogger concerned through the host of the website, but she hadn’t registered. It was more than six months previously, that she’d posted once then moved on. I would really like to see her source. She’d outlined that verses 4-6 in particular were not Paul’s teaching, but him quoting some other’s arguments being aired. Her references exposing the ‘man being the glory of God’ fallacy were:
    2 Cor 3:4, Col 1:15, Heb 1:3 and Rev 21:23. The pens of three witnesses with four references, should sufficientjy ‘establish that word’.

    She says the translators massaged it to make it seem as if it were all one continuous flow of thought from Paul. Which, if it were, would be uncharacteristically illogical of him! He is well known throughout his letters to build precept upon precept, each springing from the preceding one and building the argument in one coherent line. Here he seems to launch from a hiearchical authoritarian foundation, symbolised by the wearing, or not, of veils. He then expounds mutual dependecy of the sexes, followed by a side track into an obscure, unsubstantiated reference to angels. Then he jumps to hairstyles and cultural conventions. He then (in my imagination, at least) shouts ‘SHUT UP, THE LOT OF YOU! It really doesn’t matter, do it if you want to, but none of the other churches are and it’s not anything that any of us apostles teach!

    We are both free to hold our own opinion and forgive me if I’ve come over with any forceful arrogance… not at all intended, brother! Given a while and more revelation, I may even think quite differently about the whole passage! I have a good egg-absorbing face-cloth I use quite frequently!

    luv ya!

    Like

  20. Putting a plug in for a recent article posted on my website entitled:
    ‘Spiritual Abuse and Hearing the Voices of Women in the Church.’

    You can find it at: http://www.ChurchExiters.com

    Intro: “Being a woman in the Body of Christ can pose various challenges. When it comes to spiritual abuse and women in the church, this issue just gets a lot more complex. This article will allow a number of women to speak about their experience in the church, how they coped with spiritual abuse, and how they eventually recovered.

    So often, women have had to make the decision to leave something. They have had to make the decision to leave their home church, to leave their denomination, and for some, to leave the institutional church altogether. The woman’s issue in the church is serious and everyone needs to work to find solutions and to minister to women who have been wounded through senseless ways of ‘doing church.’

    One pro-active thing that people can do is to listen to women’s voices and hear what they are saying.”

    Like

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