Women and the Church

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 thoughts on “Women in the Church: What Does the Bible Really Say?”

  1. I don’t find your doctrine as sound.  Again, I take the Jews side, and they don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate person. 

    Gentile nutcases made up a doctrine called trinity, and they made a decision for me without my permission.  I do not concur with their conclusions.

    That is allowed, you know.  People were murdered for not buying into their twisted Orthodox stuff.  Your Orthodox people murdered people who didn’t buy into it.  I’m sure that you would want me dead as well, huh?  After all, that was orthodox punishment, right?

    I stand by modelism.  I say that your orthodox is garbage, and that the modalism people got it right.

    We fight the good fight.  If you call that rebellion, so be it.  At least I have an opinion that I based on the word of God, whereas your beliefs are based on a meeting, a creed, a church’s “We believe” statements, which differ between denominations, that originated in their own individual infamous denominational “confession” meetings.  Each denomination claiming orthodox teaching.  OK there buddy…You can have your orthodox, cuz I don’t believe it, and I have a Bible, too, buddy.  I don’t want your orthodox.  I do believe in ORTHODONTISTS, however. 

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  2. One last thing, Q,

    You said:
    “it is just eisegesis instead of exegesis”

    My response:
    No, we have exeJESUS, while you have exegesis. Spiritual things will never be found with exegesis. Expository preaching never avails anything spiritual. All you get is carnal stuff with that concept.

    Ed

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  3. Q

    You write about me @ FEBRUARY 24, 2014 @ 1:55 PM…
    “You seem to be espousing some form of Modalism in your posts.”

    Well, I do NOT know what “Modalism” is…

    And – I do NOT care what “Modalism” is.
    Because like “Trinity”- “Modalism” is NOT in the Bible…
    I just checked my concordance… 😉

    And “Trinitarians” do NOT know, do NOT agree, how to explain “Trinity.”
    Seems there are different “Trinity’s” – Are they ALL accurate?
    As long as they use the word “Trinity?”

    Can you explain to me, from the Bible, Where God is called a person?
    Seems “Trinatarians” like to say, “God is Three Distinct Persons.” – Yes?
    Can you explain to me, from the Bible, where I’m missing it?

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  4. Q

    I sent you this awhile ago…

    —————-

    Q writes about the Trinity @ FEBRUARY 11, 2014 @ 8:04 PM…
    And – I gots lots of questions… 😉

    I can find scriptures that say…
    (1) There is only one God.
    (2) The Father is God.
    (3) The Son is God.
    (4) The Holy Spirit is God.

    But have questions when you say

    (5) The Father is not the Son.
    ….. The Son is not the Father
    (6) The Son is the not the Holy Spirit.
    ….. The Holy Spirit is not the Son.
    (7) The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
    ….. The Father is not the Holy Spirit.

    Do you have any scriptures to show 5, 6, 7, is in the Bible?
    Or is this just “traditions of men” that nullify “the Word of God?” Mk 7:13
    Why not just use the scriptures?

    ————

    If you do NOT have Scriptures to show this…

    (5) The Father is not the Son.
    ….. The Son is not the Father
    (6) The Son is the not the Holy Spirit.
    ….. The Holy Spirit is not the Son.
    (7) The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
    ….. The Father is not the Holy Spirit.

    Why do you believe it?

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  5. Ed

    Love the Jewish approach to the plurality of the one God. Think I’ll convert!

    I’ve found the imprint of God on everything He has made. Take the three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas …. all the same substance eg H2O and each interacts with the other. Yet their expression, power, purpose, properties and such impact other things uniquely and as identifiably different.

    Just another thought! 🙂

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  6. Ali,

    I was also thinking, that if we are created in the image and likeness of God, then under the trinity concept, which God?  The Father?  The Son?  Or the Holy Spirit? 

    Ed

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  7. Amos

    I like your customized icon. Think I’ll keep my maltese-style cross.

    Like you, all these theological terms go straight over the top, but with or without that ‘knowledge’ we know what we’re talking about…. and can recognize God’s voice speaking through others too.

    One language — One Father — One Family — One Shepherd

    my keyboard doesn’t have curly brackets ((((Jesus)))) 😀

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  8. Hee Hee. Q has learned some big theological words with which to label and club folks.

    I see this all the time at ground zero. One would hope they grow up and realize someday what living as the kingdom now actually looks like.

    Ed wrote:

    “was also thinking, that if we are created in the image and likeness of God, then under the trinity concept, which God? The Father? The Son? Or the Holy Spirit? ”

    So Ed, do your “image” is more like the Reformationesque sandy haired European Jesus or the Semetic ME Jesus? (wink)

    Of course being created in the “Image of God” becomes quite the problem for us females. As Bruce Ware at SBTS teaches: We are a derivative….we were made in the “indirect” image of God.

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  9. “John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

    That verse refers to the method of his death; read the next verse-

    If the Jews had put him to death, it would be by stoning. Would we be wearing little stones around our necks? Would there be giant stones on top of churches? Hmm…

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  10. lydiasellerofpurple,

    Yes, I see your point very clearly.  No, I am not discussing “sex organs” or pronouns of he/she.

    I am discussing 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “…spirit AND soul AND body”.

    1 John 3:4 clearly states that God is a spirit.

    That, to me, shows that we are a spirit, dressed in a body, and I have a soul.

    James 2:26, for as the body is dead without the spirit.

    And, the Apostle Paul states that there is ONE spirit (he is discussing the Holy Spirit), and ONE Body (He is discussing the Body of Christ…we being many are one body)

    But…we must also note that if we look at that another way, There is ONE spirit (The Father), and there is ONE Body (JESUS), the Body of Christ.

    Spirit AND Body.  To me, that is one person.

    But also look…OUR OWN SPIRIT PRAYS, feels, etc.  The Apostle Paul discusses this, and he isn’t discussing the Holy Spirit, but our own.  That is an intellect.  But our soul is ANOTHER intellect.  We have two intellects in us.  Soul and Spirit.  One is earthly, the other is spiritually.

    So, no, I do not look at the sex part…just body, whether male or female, it doesn’t matter. 

    Ed

    ________________________________ From: Spiritual Sounding Board To: chapmaned24@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 5:43 AM Subject: [New comment] Women in the Church: What Does the Bible Really Say?

    WordPress.com lydiasellerofpurp

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  11. Apologies in advance for the length of this next post!

    I have just posted this on the Llinked-In blog. It looks at how the spirit/soul/body understanding clarifies so much about the issues we’re looking at, relating it to the consequences of the First Man’s Sin and the thorough salvation in the Second.

    It’s all thanks to Amos questioning the ‘Fall’ concept. Although I saw it and tried to share it here earlier, it wasn’t well put….or grasped, so here’s the rehash.

    Please bear with me while, precept upon precept, I unfold some background to what I believe is a ‘sound’ understanding of not only this verse, but also how it unlocks a healthy, Biblical perspective on women. As always, to gain the most reliable understanding, the Word must be RIGHTLY DIVIDED – in this case into spirit, soul and body. Just as ‘God is Spirit’, so is Man. The triune God made Man tripartite: spirit, soul and body. Our essence of actual identity – our true self is SPIRIT – immortal and destined to be with (in Christ) or apart (in Adam) from God forever. God gave us a SOUL to express our individuality – temperament, mind, will, emotions with a male or femaleness and a unique outer casing, a BODY of flesh, along with genitalia and corresponding hormones.

    The consequences of Adam’s sin and Eve’s deception was tripartite too:-

    1. SPIRIT- no longer walking in the light of unbroken fellowship with God – now darkened under the domination of Satan, knowing good and evil, and banished from the Tree of Life. This estrangement from God (spiritual death) is passed on in Adam’s spiritual ‘genes’, so that ‘in Adam, all die’. (1Cor 15:22)
    .
    2.SOUL – no longer a husband and wife in harmonious co-operation and mutual responsibility and honour as rulers of God’s creation.. IT WAS NEITHER AN EDICT, NOR A CURSE FROM GOD that that should become the way it is. Read it carefully! There is no ‘curse of the fall’ regarding their soul dysfunction!. (Only Satan and the Earth were cursed – not God’s own very precious children.) It is purely the consequence of how SIN distorted their relationship, causing them to compete for dominance. IT IS SINFUL FOR A WIFE TO TRY TO RULE HER HUSBAND! Likewise, IT IS SINFUL FOR A MAN TO RULE HIS WIFE! BOTH ARE EQUALLY CULPABLE!

    Did you get it? Some writers on this blog have distorted this verse to say it is WRONG for a wife not to submit to her husband , but it is RIGHT for a husband to rule her. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

    3. BODY – God caused a change in womankind’s body so that pain in conception and childbirth was greatly increased. For Adam, he was faced with a God-cursed ground that required much bodily hardship and difficulty to make productive for survival. No longer, the easy, restful harvesting of Eden’s fruits. Sin also took up residence in the members of their bodies. (Rom 7:17-8, 24, Jas 4:1)

    The tripartite consequences of sin require a tripartite solution. The manifold wisdom of God did provide a COMPLETE salvation in the redemptive sufferings and exaltation of Jesus – Hallelujah! It takes effect as events in the past, present and future.

    1. SPIRIT. Salvation of our spirit is a past and perfectly complete achievement through the New Birth. Our ‘old man’ that we were – the sin-darkened spirit born in Adam’s line – also called in Ezek 36:26 the heart of stone – God removed, crucifying and burying it with Christ. He then birthed us as a ‘new spirit’ at the Resurrection. We – that is our true identity as a spirit being – were also raised to Newness of life as a brand New Creation in the image and likeness of God. ‘One spirit with Him’ (1 Cor 6:17), ‘perfected forever’ (Heb 10:14) ‘conformed to the image of His Son’ (Rom 8:29) and partaking of the Divine Nature (2 Pet 1:4)! WOW, what grace!! Most incredible of all is that we, as a ‘new spirit/new heart’ that God has birthed, are made of the same pure, divine spiritual substance as God, fully compatible with Him, nothing being alien or unclean about our inner man, so much so that God’s Holy Spirit is pleased to take up permanent residence in each and every one.

    This real self of ours, our new heart, our inner man is utterly glorious! Because we are spirits we are made in God’s image, Who is neither (or even both?) male and female (El-Shaddai means God with Breasts). Our spirit is already like unto Heaven’s angels, neither marrying nor being given in marriage, so, as spirit beings, THERE IS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE IN CHRIST! We are equally the home of God’s Holy Spirit, who has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts – ie born-again spirits. He has now written the Law of Love in our hearts and given us His triumphant, supernatural ability to live that way. We all have equal standing, equal right of access, equal righteousness! Neither require a human priest to mediate or ceremonies to enable a bold approach to the Throne. ALL the promises, the right to be heard and to use the authority of the Name of Jesus in prayer, suitability and anointing for ministry as God chooses, are ALL equally applicable because there is NO difference in the born again spiritual being……. the NEW CREATION IN CHRIST! We are commanded to recognise each other as such….no longer as Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.

    2. SOUL. Salvation of our soul is the present work of God, in which our co-operation is also required to ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for God is at work in us, both to will and to do for His Good pleasure.’ (Phil 2:12-13) What an unfathomable mystery….. His sovereignty, yet our choice! Our ability to choose is a divine gift. God didn’t interfere with Adam and Eve’s choice, neither will He with ours. Yet, He has now set us free from Adam’s sin-bound heritage and given us a new source of life – His own Love nature in our new spirits, to make choices against sin. This is where the battle ground is ….. our SOUL, the seat of our will (mind and emotions, too). Will we choose the mind of the spirit, or the mind of the flesh? Our spirit, indwelt by God Who is Love, is always contrary to our flesh, our body indwelt by sin. But Hallelujah, we CAN walk in the spirit now and find that sin no longer has dominion over us. The perfection that God put within, will produce the FRUIT of the life of Christ. It will become more evident as we fix our minds on the unchanging spiritual reality of our true ‘life hid with Christ in God’ (Col 3:1-4).

    3. BODY. Salvation of our body is future at the resurrection when we will receive a body like unto His glorious Body that will experience no pain and no longer be the dwelling place of sin. Mankind will again enjoy the fruits of the earth, now new, without the curse, under which God put it in bondage to futility. That will be broken when the liberated Sons of God shall be revealed in their own glory. (Rom 8:18-23)

    That was a LOT of background, but I feel it was worth doing so that we’re on roughly the same page (I hope?) before proceeding. My understanding is in no way complete – I will carry on learning and adjusting as more light comes!

    By placing us in Christ, God has already done everything He ever will do regarding the salvation of our spirits and so much of the Apostles’ teaching is to unveil this glorious truth. Have you noticed that the explanations of our position in Christ and the ensuing transformation that it achieved, is always put BEFORE the ‘practicalities’ of Christian living? Otherwise the ‘instructions’ become legalism. Having a thorough grasp of salvation through rightly dividing the Word, does put the letters in a different perspective. The instructions illustrate the process of saving of the soul ie our personality and actions becoming more Christlike and less sin-dominated.

    With that in mind, let’s look afresh at “submission” and the relationship between Husband/Man and Wife/Woman. Firstly, it is important to distinguish the real person – the SPIRIT, each having exactly the same privileges and nature of Christ. The BODY of each is obviously different and always will be until the Resurrection. It is the area of the SOUL that the revelations and instructions in the letters address. They are designed, respectively to renew our thinking and to help us make the right choice, because hearing or merely understanding the Word, cannot transform. DOING the Word does! On-going SOUL-salvation – ‘purified souls in obeying the truth, through the Spirit… let us love one another fervently’ (1 Pet 1:22). Love defers. Love seeks not its own way. Love is not provoked. Love does nothing through selfish ambition or conceit. Love is lowly in mind. Love esteems others better than itself. Love makes itself of no reputation. Love serves. Love looks out for others’ interests. There is no better definition…. Love submits.

    Now, who is to submit to whom? The word says very clearly, two witnesses at least, that EVERYONE DOES!; ‘Submitting ONE TO ANOTHER in the fear of God’ (Eph 5:21). ‘ALL of you be submissive TO ONE ANOTHER and be clothed with humility’ (1 Pet 5:5) Is it only meant for the wife to do this to her husband while he rules her? ABSOLUTELY NOT! All the biblical instructions to Husbands involve ELEVATING the wife from a place of subservience to a place of ‘honour… as heirs TOGETHER of the grace of life’. (1Pet 3:7). A husband is to give himself to her and to love her, cherish and nourish her with the same regard he has for his own body, being united to her in love (from Eph 5:22-33). LOVE PLACES EACH OTHER SIDE BY SIDE – a mutual deference. Wives respecting their Husbands. Husbands honouring their Wives. Seeking out the wisdom of God together in decision making. Being in agreement with whoever brings the most peaceable or God honouring solution on matters of importance. On more trivial decisions, just getting along with each other if one feels more strongly about an issue.

    The above harmony does not come overnight. There is a degree of maturing and learning to walk in the spirit to grow in before this becomes the norm – ask Chris! 🙂 We had years of unhappiness trying the patriarchal model. Now, we don’t have an attitude of competition or self-promotion any more – well, most of the time! It’s all part of ‘saving the soul’ – becoming more Christlike.

    Does this make sense?

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  12. Julie-Anne

    Anyone who uses Google can have a Google+ account (all free). You can use its business networking facility called Linked-In. Our friend Barb restarted a discussion – now 3 months old and over 100 comments – called

    “Are women Biblically permitted to be pastors? What does God say in His Word about the role of women in leadership in the church (as pastors/elders)?”

    on the forum dedicated to Biblical Leadership Principles.

    We’ve had the rare pleasure of a lively debate with several Hierarchical Complementarians (- see, I have learnt some theological terms -) and I’ve actually grown quite fond of one in particular. We imagine we’re having a chat over coffee and it’s all very cordial. He’s admitted he’s learnt a lot – and from women! (He’s not the priesthood heretic I was referring to – rather angrily.)

    Any of you guys want to join in?

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  13. Just noticed, when I cut out the preamble to the article, I’d also cut the reference to 2 Tim 1:12….if you hadn’t already guessed!

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  14. Ali,

    This is a fine defense of the belief in gender equality, but I would not use these ideas to debate with a “complementarian” (the neologism created to make the gender hierarchical term of “patriarchy” seem more appealing). It all depend on where you use the apologetic and with whom.

    There’s a hitch in what you wrote about the soul, depending on your theology — and it’s significant in terms of the gender debate because the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) is run by Calvinists/Covenant Theologians.

    Most of them believe that Scripture does not support the idea that man has a soul that is separate from their spirit, arguing that Scripture uses both terms interchangeably and that the original languages do not demand that they be viewed differently. They are said to be “dichotomists” — believing that man is just a dichotomy of body and soul/spirit.

    Most non-Calvinists embrace the idea that a person is a “trichotomy” — that their body is separate from their soul (usually the mind, will and emotions) which is separate from their spirit. It has a profound effect on how one conceives of who man is and how God interacts with us. It also has a profound affect on how one understands mental health.

    So if you start talking to someone from CBMW or someone well versed in their ideas, they will reject most of what you have to say here as evidence of gender equality, claiming that you have a sub-Christian and nonbiblical view. And they generally love to knock the knees out from under whomever they are addressing. If they don’t do very well, they start calling you names.

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  15. Cindy, could you explain further about body, spirit, and soul in theology? Do Calvinists recognize that a person’s normal thoughts and behaviors may be altered by brain disease such as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s? I make a distinction between body, mind (dependent on the brain), and soul – which is eternal. Those of us who have lost a loved one to neurodegenerative disease are hoping to see them again, restored to their real selves.

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  16. Marsha,

    Ah. I’m getting ready to give a talk at a conference with a PhD who left the Faith because of the way his family has been treated by his Calvinist church when coping with mental health issues. He’s working on a book on the topic. I left Calvinism out of the abstract, and he rallied to keep it in there because he sees their views as so significant.

    I would argue, that even for just our understanding, that body, soul (mind), and spirit are separate. Atheists have emotions, act on their will, and they are sometimes more ethical than some Christians. I put that under the category of the soul, if only for my understanding. If they are not believers, Scripture seems clear that they are not born of the Spirit — what many would call a state of spiritual death. If their soul and spirit is the same, and they are dead, then are their ethics and acts of will just animalistic? I’d say that this argues against the Image of God that all mankind carries. Unbelievers aren’t animals with a little spark of something. They have minds and conscience. And I think that there are plenty of Scriptures that one could use to argue that this is a good construct for understanding man.

    Part of what the Calvinists gain from the dichotomist view supports the idea that God alone is 100% responsible for salvation when a person comes to faith. Because of irresistible grace, man can’t resist God when He sovereignly chooses to bring a person to life spiritually. It is as if man has any kind of role in the process, even to say yes to God, it is like an admission that God is not sovereign. With God as the sole influence on man when it comes to their decision to receive Christ, the idea that there is not a separate mind makes some of that argument a little easier for them. (And I know that not all Calvinists would agree with this, but this is the case for many that I’ve encountered.)

    In terms of mental health, there are Calvinists who out of fear of capitulating to secular humanism which they see as inherent in any secular mental healthcare, many have come up with alternate services. Nouthetics is one example of this. If you read the people in this camp who first conceived of many of these ideas, they will argue that there is no such thing as “mental health” because all mental issues must automatically be spiritual ones. From that logic, it follows that any mental health issues are sin issues. (In a way to me, it becomes much like Christian Science.)

    They accuse psychologists and physicians of making spiritual problems medical ones, and I would argue that in many cases, that some of these folks who are more extreme are practicing medicine without a license. They are afraid to admit in many cases that the brain is an organ in the body, as if this will make them materialists or naturalists. I’m not that big of a fan of Daniel Amen anymore, but I like how he explains the problem. (He’s a graduate of ORU’s old medical school and at least used to attend an Assemblies of God.) He likens the brain itself to the hardware of a computer, and the soul is more like the software. If the hardware of the brain is damaged, it does affect how the software of the soul operates. If addressing the hardware medically (treating brain dysfunction), this is actually good stewardship. It isn’t a shortcut around spiritual matters but a treatment and care of the physical aspects of the body which happen to support the soul. Many Calvinists find this repugnant. Voddie Baucham states that there is no such thing as a behavioral problem that arises from a physical/brain cause.

    Early on in the history of this movement, certain diseases were falsely categorized as spiritual problems, and as time progressed, new theorists in their ranks decided that certain health problems were actually physical. But there is still a great deal of fear concerning any admission that a behavioral problem might be remotely affected by a physical problem.

    Now, of all people, I recently listened to some “Ask Pastor John” radio bit wherein he admitted that ADHD is not a sin issue but is a medical one. I was pretty shocked, since he usually leans away from my own opinions on matters like this.

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2013/08/foundational-concepts-towards-christian.html

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  17. ADHD is (primarily) a failure of the prefrontal cortex of the brain (analytical and rational thought/problem solving). Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter that is active in this area, and levels of dopamine are low in this area of the brain. Administering drugs like Ritalin raise the level of dopamine in the brain which allows the brain to function.

    People with Parkinsons Disease also have issues with dopamine but in a different part of the brain, combined with an imbalance of a second neurotransmitter. If we give agents to Parkinson’s patients to elevate their dopamine levels, why is it unethical or sinful to give agents to a person with ADHD to elevate theirs so that they can function?

    But that’s one of my soap boxes. Here’s Piper’s comment:

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  18. Cindy,

    Soul and Spirit are reported to be used interchangeable, but they really are not. Case in point: 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

    Even the famous Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus states that God inserted a soul into Adam. Here is the quote of Josephus:

    2. Moreover, Moses, after the seventh day was over (1) begins to talk philosophically; and concerning the formation of man, says thus: That God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul.

    Source: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1: Creation to the Death of Isaac, paragraph 2.

    The Hebrew word Nephesh and Greek word “PSUCKE” are pretty much defined as “living breathing creature”, or something like that.

    And Adam became a living soul…

    But…what is life to begin with? You cannot be a living breathing creature unless your eternal soul is in a body. That is a living soul. A dead soul is an eternal soul without a body. No body, no life…but the spirit and soul don’t need a body to exist, just to live.

    In short, life requires a body. So does “eternal life”.

    Now, if we take the Greek word “PSUCKE”, that is transliterated to the Latin language as “PSYCHE”.

    Next, mortality, the word, can only be used as it pertains to something that can die. The Soul cannot die. I know that Ezekiel 18:4 states, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”. But, that is spiritual death, not physical death. That only means “Separation from God”.

    The only part of us that is mortal is the body. Jesus is immortal, due to a resurrected body. The body cannot die again. But, he has eternal life due to having an immortal body, because life requires a body. The eternal parts of him are spirit and soul.

    Ed

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  19. For those who are interested in the mental health question in “Biblical Counseling,” Jay Adams is basically just a behaviorist who is anti-psychiatry who injected his Christian views into what I can only see as a behaviorist model. He was heavily influenced by behaviorists O. Hobart Mowrer, William Glasser, and even Thomas Szatz, according to Powlison (who has his own problems, I think).

    I hear from people who have suffered terribly in anti-psychiatry counseling after spiritual abuse (including sexual abuse). Post traumatic stress has a huge physical component which as nothing to do with sin or what you think. It is a deep, emotionally based survival response which is physiologic, and it just fails to shut off. Biblical counseling presumes that sin or a poor Christian thought life and habits are responsible for PTSD. People who suffer with it are often horribly revictimized in anti-psychiatry Biblical counseling of this variety.

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  20. Cindy,

    Wonderful to hear from your expertise on these matters. When time permits, I’ll eagerly read up those articles. Brilliant picture of hardware/software…very helpful.
    Thank you.

    Amazingly, God is at work in the Linked-In blog. I’d been at two minds on whether or not to do a ‘Woe unto you , scribes, Pharisees, Patriarchs’ and systematically go through all the replies and theology that the priesthood heretic Comp had posted and use his words to educate everyone about spiritual abuse… because he undoubtedly IS an abuser ..(.out of the mouth… clearly reveals it.) The Lord led me to ‘Love never fails’ and ‘overcome evil with good’. So I clicked the ‘like’ button ( a useful facility on the Linked-In discussion) on his latest comment – then posted agreement on a point he’d made, corrected an inaccuracy, courteously and directed him to reread the long post (above) again.

    I was half expecting a John 9:34 response – how could I, a FEMALE born altogether in sin, teach HIM, after all disobedience to 1 Tim 2:12 = sin!? In previous replies to me, he ‘d accused me of tearing out pages I didn’t like because I was rebellious and rejected the Divine nature of the book. He’d encouraged me to find another religion if I was finding humbling myself to obey God too hard, and even questioned my salvation. This is what loving him – with a lot of prayer did in his response…

    “Alison, thanks for that affirmation. I am glad more and more people are becoming aware of the one person value in and through our Lord Jesus Christ and my blessing of peace on you for sharing the gospel.”

    Thank you Lord and please help me love him more!

    It’s at least a small step towards him opening his heart to receive truth. We’ve all noticed the softening in my coffee Comp friend.

    Ed

    Thanks brother, you’re a brick! (British term for dependable friend, in case that’s not a common phrase with you, over the pond)

    Bit confused though.. I thought demons and angels were spirits, (even God Himself0 but alive with eternal life (Zoe = spiritual, not soul life), without bodies? No matter, we’re agreed on the unequivocal truth of 1 Thess 5:23!

    Forgive me, Ed, I’m on the autistic spectrum – a hardware problem – so my mind thinks in very distinct boxes…. which is brilliant for rightly dividing the word and spotting discrepancies in other’s thinking. Hopefully, I’m learning to moderate – run the right software for – one of my ‘obsessive compulsive behaviours’ of insisting on accuracy. It caused a LOT of people to distance themselves from me in my youth! 😦

    Jesus’s salvation covers everything, which is why I’m learning not to rely on my own thinking processes all the time, but to let Him speak things into my spirit. He does that for absolutely ANYONE the same…people in comas, the ‘mentally retarded’, young children, professors and refuse collectors alike!

    God is SO GOOD!!!

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  21. Ali,

    No matter what medical issues that you have, I think you understand God better than most who have no medical issues at all.  It’s refreshing, and always humbling to know that those who are not experts know more than the experts.

    And, you are right, that Angels and Demons are spirits, too.  But here is the distinction.  They are not living, because they have no body.  That is why demons try to “possess” a body, hence “possessed by demons”. 

    We cannot see these spirits, because they are invisible, unless God unblinds us to see them.  And, in the OT, that happened.  Case in point: 2 Kings 6:17(ESV) 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    In better context:

    12 “You are my king and master,” said one of his officers. “None of us is on Israel’s side. But Elisha is a prophet in Israel. He tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your own bedroom.” 13 “Go and find out where he is,” the king ordered. “Then I can send my men and capture him.” The report came back. It said, “He’s in Dothan.” 14 Then the king sent horses and chariots and a strong army there. They went at night and surrounded the city. 15 The servant of the man of God got up the next morning. He went out early. He saw that an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “My master!” the servant said. “What can we do?” 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Elisha prayed, “Lord, open my servant’s eyes so he can see.” Then the Lord opened his eyes. He looked up and saw the hills. He saw that Elisha was surrounded by horses and chariots. Fire was all around them. Ed

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  22. Ed thanks for your kind word!,

    But my autistic mind that wants an accurate understanding is still confused by quite possibly some different definitions we place on the word ‘living’.

    My amateur understanding is that there are three kinds of ‘life’ found in the Greek, referring to body, soul and spirit, again.

    ‘Bios’ is physical or BODY life in created creatures including bacteria, plants, insects and ‘animals’, including us – the basic body functions that are automatic/instinctive controlled by the brain stem. A’brain-dead’ person’s body can still function for a while as happened to a dear friend who ‘died’ instantly when a large firework blew up in his face, blasting a hole in his skull. No brain activity, but the body ticked on for a couple of days. (Had his soul and/or spirit already left???)

    ‘Psuche’ – SOUL life. Human souls can be saved or lost. It’s interesting that we derive the word animal from the Latin ‘anima’ or soul. I have NO idea, where the cut off point is between ‘lower’ simple animals that are entirely instinct driven, and others who DO SEEM to display, personality, mind/will/emotions/problem solving and complex communication abilities. All characteristics of possessing souls!

    ‘Zoe’ – SPIRIT life. When God breathed into Adam He became a living (from zoe) soul (psuche), whereas Christ is a quickening (again from zoe) spirit (pnuema).
    This is eternal life(zoe) because we, alone as born-again humans, unlike animals, partake of the Divine zoe (spirit life) of God that is eternal. Sadly the God-breathed eternal spirit in many of Adam’s offspring, never gets to be reunited with the Saviour God in this life.

    So, correct me if I’m wrong in guessing that what you meant by “demons not living because they have no body”, you are referring to biological, ‘bios’ life so that they can interact with this physical world? Of course, all along they are ‘alive’ spiritually because they move and express desire to inhabit a body! My spirit, (wrapped in my soul??) will still be living (zoe), if I die before the rapture and it goes to be with the Lord, leaving the old carcass behind.

    Too deep to fathom… and it really doesn’t matter! On that day we, who know in part, will know fully when those dark glasses become transparent!!

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  23. Ali,

    Your last sentence states it all, really.  One day, we will finally know the intricacies that you mention.

    Now, you mention the word “zoe”.  Never heard of that before.  Using a Strong’s Concordance, the English word “soul” in Genesis 2:7 is the Hebrew word Nephesh.  The Hebrew word for “living” is “chay”.

    In my study of soul, soul is definitely much different than brain.  Brain is matter, soul is not.  Brain is for “motor skills”, soul is not. 

    Plant “life” is another topic altogether, but I do know that plants do not have a soul or spirit.  Creatures, on the other hand, have blood, and the life of the flesh is in the blood.  Blood keeps the flesh alive, but yet, the body is dead without the spirit.

    As far as when the soul/spirit leaves the body, we know it is at death.  They say that Terri Schiavo was brain dead.  I do not believe that she was dead. 

    The above is all carnal stuff.  Now, getting to the spiritual stuff:

    We are “IN” Christ.  Our spirit is “IN” the “BODY” of Christ, and His Spirit is “IN” us.  Our spirit His Body.  His spirit, our body.  Heavy stuff, huh?  That is Eternal life NOW, in the interim, until we get our own body at the resurrection.

    You had said: “So, correct me if I’m wrong in guessing that what you meant by “demons not living because they have no body”, you are referring to biological, ‘bios’ life so that they can interact with this physical world? Of course, all along they are ‘alive’ spiritually because they move and express desire to inhabit a body! My spirit, (wrapped in my soul??) will still be living (zoe), if I die before the rapture and it goes to be with the Lord, leaving the old carcass behind”

    My response: You see it just as I do.  We are in agreement.

    Ed

     

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  24. Knew we were both on the same page, Ed. Just this awkward thing called ‘language’ doesn’t always communicate what we mean!!

    Take thse headlines, for instance!

    STOLEN PAINTING FOUND BY TREE

    DEALERS WILL HEAR CAR TALK AT NOON

    MINERS REFUSE TO WORK AFTER DEATH

    MILK DRINKERS ARE TURNING TO POWDER

    DRUNK GETS NINE MONTHS IN VIOLIN CASE

    KIDS MAKE NUTRITIOUS SNACKS

    JUVENILE COURT TO TRY SHOOTING DEFENDANT

    COMPLAINTS ABOUT NBA REFEREES GROWING UGLY

    POLICE BEGIN CAMPAIGN TO RUN DOWN JAYWALKERS

    KILLER SENTENCED TO DIE FOR SECOND TIME IN 10 YEARS

    LACK OF BRAINS HINDERS RESEARCH

    😀

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  25. This is certainly not solid, clear doctrine, but it is lovely.

    In the Rabbinic tradition that studies the intricacies of language, there is meaning assigned to letters. Just before Abram and Sarai conceive, God changes their names, adding the “ah” sound to them which is said to be the letter of life. Aged Abraham and Sarah then conceive. Per this tradition, it is also believed that when God breathed His life into Adam, He said “Ah.”

    This idea about zoe strikes me as similar. I’ll have to ask God all about it one day.

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  26. Ali,

    That was good!!!

    In my last job, their employee hand book discusses not showing up for work. 

    Your absence is excused if you are dead.

    OK, so I will just go to work the next day, with a Dr.’s note saying, “He was dead yesterday”.

    Ed

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  27. Like it, Cindy….. ahhhhh!

    Just imagine the conversations we’ll have…with all our heroes who have gone before us….. and best of all to know the intimacy of the One who knows everything!

    AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

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  28. Cindy,

    I’ve heard that, too about the letter “Hay”, and that it is a “breath” sound.  Then, we see this:

    John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

    Also, note that the Hebrew has no vowels.  It may be far fetched and sound crazy, but in the Hebrew, you can find “Father, Son, Spirit” in the word ABRHM

    AB=Father BR=SON (Bar)

    I can’t remember the spirit part, as it has been a while since I investigated this, but the definitions from it is like feathers, pinion, etc.

    I really long for people to get deep like this, like you and Ali do.  This is cool.

    Ed

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  29. Ed
    Your Jewish roots are so precious! I’m honoured to be grafted into your olive tree….(I am a bit wild!)

    Ab! – Bar – Ruach

    WOW!- WOW! – WOW!

    What could RM be, I wonder? I have a Jewish word list and how they were translated in the back of my Youngs Analytical Concordance to the Bible. Options here could be

    Ramah—variously translated as carry (or throw)…..beguile, betray or deceive..(think, we’ll ignore that one!) also ‘high place’ and ‘thunder’!

    Ramam—This one I like!… BE EXALTED or BE LIFTED UP!

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  30. Ali,

    Oh, no, I am not Jewish, Ali.  I just know the importance of the Jews in regards to Christianity, that we could gain a wealth of information from them.  Jesus told the woman at the well that “they”, meaning the Jews know who they worship, for salvation is of the Jews, and Paul said that there is much advantage at being a Jew, for the Jews hold the Oracles of God.  Then we have Romans 11 telling us to not think of ourselves more highly than the Jews.  But, many Christians do, sadly.

    I am curious as to the last part of the word ABRHM, and how I got that conclusion.  It’s been about ten years since I did it.  Hebrew words are a very mysterious language that tells a story within words.  The adding of the H to ABRM, making it ABRHM changed the meaning (in more ways than just one).

    But, in regards to the last part of that word, when I saw that the Hebrew definition (Using a Strong’s Concordance, since I am not a Hebrew “scholar”), I am reminded that the DOVE is representation of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, when I saw the definition that said “pinion”, well, that was my conclusion. 

    Hebrew words have spiritual meanings, and you can indeed find many words within a word, i.e. Benjamin=Son of the Right Hand.

    pin·ion2 [pin-yuhn] Show IPA noun 1.  The distal or terminal segment of the wing of a bird consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges. 2.  The wing of a bird. 3.  A feather. 4.  The flight feathers collectively.

    Ed  

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  31. Sorry Ed

    Actually, after posting I started reading the pets in the rapture thread…. stormy … and got the message there. However, your knowledge of the Jewishness of our faith is very insightful. Please don’t hold back!

    I’ve hesitated about getting involved with the rapture thread, because it will probably result in me putting in a huge comment… a commentary on Psalm 50, that I’ve just written and posted on a Linked-In discussion on whether or not the ‘rapture’ is biblical. All sorts of weird interpretations crawling out of the woodwork, there.

    What do you think? Should I?

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  32. Paul writes, “the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, AS THE LAW ALSO SAYS. (1 Corinthians 14:34, ESV, emphasis added)” Having been prompted to search by something somebody else observed somewhere on this blog, I cannot find anywhere in the Old Covenant where it is said that women are to be in submission–at least not by searching the words “submit” and “submission” in the online ESV.

    Can somebody help me here? Is Paul mistaken? Is he saying something other than what he appears to be saying? Is this another instance where the translators have imposed their own theological opinions on the text?

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  33. Gary you’re ABSOLUTELY right. It doesn’!, But the Talmud does.

    If you do a search of what the Talmud, (which among other things, regulates synagogue worship) has to say about women you’d be sick! According to one of the scribes, whose name I can’t recall just now, the Torah should not be taught to a woman, because they have ‘neither the disposition nor intellect for it’!! They were permitted, closeted in the woman’s section behind screens, to participate in the public prayers, but when the scrolls were brought out, most women left. Some of the Talmud authors did concede it was instructive, if they so felt inclined, for the women to remain and listen to the men questioning the Rabbi and being instructed/taught by him over the portion that had been read. They WERE allowed to ‘learn in silence’ by eavesdropping, without participating by asking questions.

    Paul is being blatantly sarcastic in these two verses. Proof… Look at the incredulous questions he asks of the Corinthians, with a ‘What… do I believe my ears here’, He is quoting proponents of one of the many factions in the Corinthian church were pushing for. Don’t forget they met in Justus’s villa, right next door to the synagogue from where many of them had recently been converted. You can be sure they were still having to unlearn their Jewish slavery to the traditions of men!

    In absolutely no way conceivably imaginable would the apostle of the Gospel of GRACE be appealing to a man-made ‘LAW’ to stop the women participating in the meetings under the anointing that had been poured out on ALL flesh! He’d just been encouraging ALL to prophesy and follows it by EACH one is able to bring a tongue , prophecy, revelation, teaching etc…

    Paul was as sarcastic as Ed!

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  34. Incidentally, I believe the translators illogically missed out two very important question marks at the end of each of those verses. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE and makes the whole section 33-36 homogenous as Paul’s outraged outburst of sarcasm!

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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. 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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  50. 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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  51. 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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  52. 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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  53. 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!

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  54. 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.”

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