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  • 1. NS 561 Women, the Bible, and the Church Email. To Pastor Bob, John Kao, David Yao, Karl Lin, Michael Wong, DeeDee, May Ting, Ji-shun, Mei-Chun, Nancy, Cindy, Mimi, Isabella, Pauline, Bikuang, Wei- ling, Mary Lou, 12-13-01 Lily Wang, May Shu, Joyce Fong, Jerry Chow, Robert Wei, Richard Shang, Chi Yang Dr. Sholer When Southern Baptist leaders speak about what women cannot do (as they stand their comfortably), they do not pay for their exegesis. … Monday, June 19, 2000 1972 was the first time Dr. Scholer taught this course, much different context back then. • one of the fundamental issues facing the church today is the partnership of men and women. RCC, Southern Baptists, and many others do not support the full partnership of men and women sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Position paper: final articulation of where you stand! Very important. Story: Doris Broadwater – school superintendent in the county [Minnesota], tremendous educator and responsible once a month to give a report to the church. She would type up the report and have a man read it. She was convinced that it was inappropriate to speak in church. Bobbed hair, bossy wives, women preachers: John R Rice. (book given to Dr. Scholer when he asked questions as a kid). Myrtle Gage: female missionary in China (tough as steel). Last of the missionaries to get forced out of China. She came back to this church and gave reports on her mission work in China. She was preaching (heavily spiced with China stories). 1
  • 2. • Betty Friedan: The Feminist Mystique – social historians would argue that this started the second feminist movement. Main things Dr. Scholer has learned: 1) At the beginning he would start with 1 Tim 2; traditionalist favorite text, strongest text… The NT doesn’t tell us where to start. Hermeneutics dictates where one starts 2) Patriarchy, sexism, and abuse are big topics (not nec. NT) but very critical. You can’t prove this in a deep sense – but there is a connection. Who pays for your exegesis? When Southern Baptist leaders speak about what women cannot do (as they stand their comfortably), they do not pay for their exegesis. 3) Many non-Caucasian female students and this topic in cultures unlike Dr. Scholer’s. • passion as a NT scholar. • Ordained and church leader – very affective in the lives of many denominations • Human being: has two daughters Requirements of course: - Belville, Linda: Evangelical scholar. Most recent book by a conservative person who is supportive of women in ministry - Kramer-Deangelo: not identified as evangelicals, more left for Fuller tastes. This book represents the finest scholarship about women in the early church. But a left point of view, theologically. - Groothuis: not a biblical scholar, but a great book. - Michelson: conference held in 1984, Evangelical scholars in the midst of the battle. JI Packer was in this conference. Marianne Meye Thompson was at this conference, she was a doctoral student at the time. - Syllabus reading: especially read chapter 2: hermeneutics and interpretative theory. * final paper: does not need to be a research paper. You can just use the required texts. 1) First book: Osik: Beyond Anger: paper due on this book Friday. Carolyn Osik NT scholar. RCC nun, when she was a young girl, she believed that God wanted her to be a priest. Many of her friends left the RCC and many left the faith. Carolyn struggled with her anger for a great deal. This is a personal tract. The book isn’t about the NT. A lot about the stance one has in reading the life of the church including the bible. Orient you to the larger context of 2
  • 3. life. Critical reflection: very thoughtful, read the book very carefully. In reading my paper you should know that I read and understood the book. But don’t just summarize the book. Express major ideas of book and structure of book. Why did the author write in the order that she did. But at least half the paper ought to be your reflection. What terrified, challenged, encouraged, taught, what raised questions – that you don’t have answers yet. 6 pages (internal footnotes). 2) Clark: critical reflection paper: a little harder. An anthology of what the early church fathers have said. She is the Grand Matriarch of all female early church historians. You need to comment on her introduction (how she arranged the books) primary task is to interact with the early church fathers. Primary function of this book: you will be able to appreciate how deeply influenced the church has been by the way the early fathers read the bible. They read the bible in a sexist way. Read in a selective manner. Returned July 27. 3) Critical paper: due July 14. C. Close and F. Close: edited volume. Women ought not to teach with authority. Summarize book and interact with authors. Returned Aug. 11. 4) Position paper: frequent and appropriate mention of relevant NT texts. Due Aug. 11. That paper in theory, should be 50% what does the NT actually say and teach. And 50% what are you going to do about it in your setting. Responsible presentation of what the NT says and teaches. How does this apply to some context in which you live. Your denomination, organization, cultural setting, generation. Perhaps first half page stating who your audience is. Returned Sept. 18. • more formal citation if you are using a text that is not from the required reading. Bibliography of Books: p.48 women in church history – this has shaped a primary debate on how to read the Bible. The more one learns about history, the more hermeneutical questions arise. Six glimpses on the History: Perpetua: favorite persons from the early church. Perpetua was a martyr (203 AD). About 21 years old and had kid. She kept a diary while she was in prison. First diary we have from the history of the church. She recounts four dreams in her diary. She wrote down these dreams and her interpretation of these dreams. In this dream she dreams that she is changed into a man. What might this mean in Perpetua’s life? Perpetua was a hero in the early church. Augustine preached four sermons about Perpetua on her feast day. He struggled with the question of how Perpetua 3
  • 4. could be so good for the faith when she was just a woman. His answer was that she was a woman on the outside but a man on the inside. - Sexual identity, power, position, privilege Someone in the early church edited this diary. Most scholars think this is an authentic diary. Margaret Fell: Women speaking justified proved and allowed by the scriptures… she co-founded the Quakers. (along with her husband to be George Fox) Often jailed as religious dissidents. She wrote a book, that is the first book (1666) that defends women preachers. So many people who are against women preachers, think this is just a modern situation or think that we are moved by contemporary feminists. Importance of Mary Magadalene – first preacher of Jesus’ resurrection. She anticipates almost all the arguments we encounter in the year 2000. She was very insightful. Catharine Booth: she and her husband William founded the Salvation Army. Movement inclusive of men and women. She wrote a little book Female Ministry. Published 1859. Gerranie Lee: self-educated black woman, worked for a wealthy family in Philadelphia. Published 1849. One of the earliest testimonies of an African American woman. See p.11. She was the first one to argue that if Christ redeemed men and women, then why can’t a woman preach since, Jesus died for her also. Did not Mary first preach the message of resurrection. • a good deal going on at the grass roots of the church. Not at the center of the power, the majority of the intellectual power. Phoebe Palmer: (methodist) 19th century theologian. She believed that God was stirring in her soul. That this was wrong, and so kept her mouth shut. Finally one day in a church meeting, she couldn’t keep her mouth shut – she stood up and spoke (1840’s). most important woman theologian in the U.S. in the 19th cent. Every male methodist leader from 1840 – 1870 would go weekly to her prayer meeting that she held in her home in NYC – they were all under her tutledge. - if the holy spirit came on men and women, than women especially have the power to preach. Julia Smith – she was one of five daughters (Glasnebury, CT) father and mother were both intellectuals and kind of misfits. Father got disgusted with the church, stopped going, very 4
  • 5. religious. Father became an abolitionists. She was a percocious young woman. She was in the William Miller movement (Adventist movement grew out of this). She wanted to study the bible. She taught herself Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and then she translated the whole bible – five different times by hand. She published her bible 1876 (1776 – celebration) as a testimony that a woman could do all by herself as good or better that any man has ever done. She published it because she was a woman, but translated it for her own spiritual journey. Helen Barret Montgomery: translated NT from Greek into English and had it published. 1924. Self-conscious translation of women in leadership. 1921 first female president of the American Baptist. • these are just a few examples of women not really known to us. Who raise the issue for us what has happened with women in God’s church. They have done things with success and blessing, and thus raises for us certain hermeneutical questions. Terminology - sex and gender: sex is a biological term. You are either male or female. Gender is a cultural and social term. In reference to the roles that people play. Womanhood, manhood. - Women’s rights and feminism: 1890’s is the first time the term feminism was used. Prior to this the movement for women in the U.S. was the women’s rights movement. Founded in 1848 in Seneca, New York. Ended with a constitutional statement about suffrage. Started as a group of women going to an anti-slavery meeting but were forced as women to sit in the balcony. They thought if they were going fight for an end to slavery, than they should also fight for their own rights. The term feminism caught on. The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan. Unfortunately it has developed many negative connotations, especially in the church. by definition it is equal rights in all aspects of society including the church. The term feminism, was also associated only white upper-class women. African American women’s rights movements were called the womanists movement instead of the feminist movement. Coined by Alison Walker. Patriarchy: is the rule of men (technical meaning). Patriarchical culture are cultures where men are in charge. The biblical culture was a patriarchical cultures. 5
  • 6. Androcentrism: where man is center. Man is primary, everything revolves around the interest of a man. Every culture has basically been adnrocentric cultures. This is still true in virtually every culture that still exists. Paternalism: basically the attitude that some people are superior to others. In this case, men are superior to women. A paternalistic attitude where the superior grants to the inferior that she can at least do some things. Men have paternalized women and kept them in their place. Sexism: is both deliberate and unconscious oppression of females. Male oppression of the female. We have all lived in sexist cultures. Sexism refers to men being prejudiced against women, being biased against women. Putting down, demeaning of women. • sometimes it is difficult to image how oppressive things were for older generations. We live in a culture that is much freer. The world has changed radically. For many women today they cannot add their own story. Some will say that they haven’t faced any oppressiveness. One thing we will have to learn is that for much of the history the women have been demeaned. Sirach (2nd Century BC) 42:14 “The goodness of a woman is worse than the sinfulness of a man” If one really embibes this ideological conviction, we can understand that a person is likely to be patriarchical, androcentric, paternalistic, and sexist. - over 90% of violent crime is perpetrated by men. - Incident in NYC – central park. The reality is that it wouldn’t happen the other way around. For much of the history of the church, men did very little to stop the abuse. Men didn’t preach against the abuse of women. The world was perceived as a world of male privilege. Oppression was either allowed or excused. Unless one understands this heritage, one will have a tough time working through this material. This is a hard bridge to cross. There is a lot in the history of this question that is awkward. These stories seem outrageous but they are tips of certain types of icebergs that you will definitely touch at one point or another. There is always a personal dynamic (a personal statement) underneath. There is often an individual story behind what people say. Every dynamic 6
  • 7. could be a presentation of an iceberg – but only the tip is presented. Try to dig deeper and figure out where they are coming from. • when a man is asked to apologize for Juvenal’s anti-woman statements –what is the ethos going on? There is a problem when people are lumped together… The notion of Volk by Hitler comes to mind. I never want to refuse another person their humanity. • If it is a question of being humble, recognizing that there are significant scars, that I may unfortunately represent the anti-Christ – yes I will apologize. But do I contribute to this wholesale grouping by apologize? I’m a white male – that pretty much makes me the anti- christ. I’m also half German – I’m internationally now, the anti-Christ. - southern baptist leaders will say that this is a question about the bible. The issue in their mind is the bible. But perhaps this isn’t the whole story. What the bible says is a real issue. The bible is the word of God. The bible is that from which the church preaches. People care about what the bible says, people die for the bible. People have spent their lives trying to understand the bible. The question of women in ministry has been a biblical debate for the last twenty centuries. This is a real issue. Behind every rational biblical argument there is a real human being. Who will pay for your exegesis. • The personal nature and imaging of God… (syllabus) Personal power and sexual identity are the bottom line in many of these debates. (46,49,65 in the reader) (46) indented quotation – from a lecture to a group of Pastors in the state of Maine. Some woman got a hold of the cassette tapes that were recorded from this lecture. “I have been threatening to write this letter…” (49) review of Michelson’s book, the review is saying the hermeneutics is not relevant: “sex is an all persuasive…” He argues, supposedly, that only exegesis counts (65) kato’s speech to the Roman Senate “the moment women begin to be our equals, they will be our superiors…” Things haven’t changed. The leading biblical scholar for the Anglican church in Australia: “if there is equal access to ministry… the world will soon return to Barbarism.” 7
  • 8. • people who argue that this is only an exegetical issue, are hiding other hidden agendas. • The exegetical questions are real!! • Why we believe, what we believe, from a biblical position. We need to know the biblical data. • Yes it is an exegetical question, but there are also personal questions involved as well. Tuesday, June 20, 2000 (8) Introduction to the issues of women and ministry • huge impact on the church today and very thoroughly discussed all throughout the church. Importance of Biblical Data 1) exegetical concerns (draw out the meaning of) technical word in biblical scholarship for the process of determining meaning of a biblical text. You can exegete a recipe or a novel. But, it is primarily used to talk about the meaning of biblical texts. 2) Hermeneutics: has a similar meaning to exegesis. 100 yrs. ago the word hermeneutics was an equivalent term with exegesis, but today this is not the case. Refers to the larger interpretative enterprise – what did Paul mean in 1 Cor at that time and to those people. How do we access the meaning (as a reader in 2000) bridge 2000 yrs of culture, language and history and appropriate 1 Cor for me and the church today. - why can we say that what Paul says about head covering is not eternal - but what Paul says about the resurrection is eternal. 3) exegetical questions are serious questions because we are people of the book, we want to know what the Bible says. • we want to get as free as possible from the theological right and left. This is somewhat of an arrogant statement. We don’t have a corner on the Holy Spirit – our only source for debate is the Scripture, so we must go back there • we all engage in a personal struggle for personal data. Many of us already have a conclusion, but we would be hard pressed to defend it. We haven’t taken the time to study the exegetical data. Most of us forms belief systems without investigating there underpinnings. - what are the components, issues of the texts - what is the traditional way this text has been understood. - What is the context of this particular text in it’s literary setting. Social and cultural context. 8
  • 9. Recognize that we have limitations with our biblical data. Ideally, you would consult 4 really good commentaries and read technical periodicals. Ordination. One of the features of the last 50 years that confuses the conversation – is that the NT says almost nothing about ordination. Most or our religious communities practice ordination. Formalistic setting apart of certain people and designating them as responsible persons in the structure of the leadership of the church. People are ordained (in greek, set-apart, laid hands on). Ordination has become a measuring stick of leadership. One of the problems with this is that ordination is not the only way leadership has been exercised. The real question for the NT is can women, should women participate in leadership of the church in the authoritative structures of the church. i.e. many churches today prohibit the ordination of women. It would be wrong for a woman to stand behind the pulpit and preach. But it’s ok for the woman to stand in front of the pulpit and share. This is a bogus statement for the NT. Both situations are under a larger rubric of Apostolic succession. But churches have made this distinction – a way that they have devised to exclude women from certain offices by recognizing that women do perform certain duties in the leadership of the church. • when we are reading the NT we need to be aware that we are placing our ordination grid on top of the NT. This is unfair. Ordination structures were not firmly in place, leadership patterns were fluid. • Read ch.3, patterns of authority in the early church. The structures of the church were fluid in 50 A.D. i.e. Many churches in the reformed tradition (George Knight): ultimate authority in the church are held by elders. Women can do everything but can’t be an elder. The assumption is made that the NT defines the role of women in relationship to the position of elder. Knight argues, that since no woman in the NT is specifically called an elder is that no woman can have authority. The assumption is that the only people in the NT who have authority are elders. This is a bogus way to read the NT. Not all churches have elders described. Paul doesn’t mention elders in all his letters. 9
  • 10. • there is no use of the word elder in the book of Hebrews. Knight and Scholer debated this point. Knight’s final remark is that “I know elder isn’t used in the text but it’s what the author meant to say.” Larger concerns: - Scholer was at a 10 yr. anniversary for the largest RCC Seminary in the U.S. (Chicago). All the priests said that they could find no exegetical, historical, and linguistic grounds to deny women priesthood, they just couldn’t stand to see it in their own lifetime. There is a larger context. - Why is it that people are nervous? What is it about calling God mother that makes people nervous? We know in theory that God is spirit, neither male nor female. By doing so in some secret way will undergird the male leadership in the church. • Brian Renn: contemporary hymn writer - many of his hymns have inclusive language and refer to women in the church. Story about Brian Renn meeting with a PhD student (beautiful female) and he was entertaining sexual thoughts. God came to him in a vision and Brian saw God as an awesome woman with incredible power he had never perceived before. Totally new experience for him. The question to ask is when you have God as a woman there is a new power that the man must relinquish to. • If God is perceived as males, in the deep sub-conscious of the church believes that to be male gives ultimate authority to male leadership. • Can women image God? can a woman speak for God? Story: Men and women have had a difficult time becoming professional colleagues. When men and women are partners in professional ministry they have difficulties that tend to cloud exegesis The power of history: Most people in the Christian church are not deeply aware of the history of women in the church. When you encounter hard-line conservatives it is sometimes a good idea to start with stories of women in church history. The power of the history of women in the church, often enables people to re-evaluate their exegetical approach. 10
  • 11. • start a Sunday school class on the history of women in the church. After this context, read the bible together Personal Identity and sexual orientation: - the threat here if very deep. Even upstanding wonderful Christian men are conditioned by this history. We live in a cultural framework wherein we have learned women are inferior. Women are here for the sake of men and men not here for the sake of women. Women are here only to sexually gratify men. All these are cultural learnings. Because of this – it is difficult to perceive of a woman as a fully vested and authoritative spokesperson for God. - man in Australia called into a radio show that Dr. Scholer was on. “If a woman was a preacher, I wouldn’t hear a word she said and just look at her figure the whole time.” This is a really honest and revealing statement. And it lies at the heart of almost every male. Hermeneutical Reflections: initial questions (disturb and provoke you) 1. Rev. 14:1-5 NRS Revelation 14:1 Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless. • description of the redeemed (the church). singing a new song – always the prerogative of the redeemed. We have here an image of the church. • any of the commentaries talk about the fact “virgins, not contaminated by women” The church here is presented as a group of virgin men. Implied is that women are bad. In the ancient world, universally, women are always perceived as responsible for sexual sin. Today, women are faulted for rape, she asked for it. It is a women’s obligation not to lead men into sexual sin – this is the history. - is the NT infected with a culturally negative view of women? If so, what does this do to our hermeneutics and exegesis? 11
  • 12. 2. 1 Tim 5:2-15 NRS 1 Timothy 5:2 to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters-- with absolute purity. 3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God's sight. 5 The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; 6 but the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give these commands as well, so that they may be above reproach. 8 And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once; 10 she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. 11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list; for when their sensual desires alienate them from Christ, they want to marry, 12 and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idle, gadding about from house to house; and they are not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, and manage their households, so as to give the adversary no occasion to revile us. 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. • Dr. Scholer’s contends, that the reason our churches don’t honor widows is that the church does not agree with the sexual assumptions of this passage. • Biblical definition of youth – 59 and under! • No one believes that women 59 and under are satanically motivated evil doers motivated only by pleasure. The assumption of this passage is that a woman has to either be celibate or married. Younger women who aren’t married, only have one option in life. They are going to follow Satan and be driven by sensuality. • Most of us do not share this view of sexuality. This is a foreign text to us. You realize that this text occurs in the same letter where the timeless truthful word of God appears. If we are going to lift up one part of this letter, why not lift up the entire letter? This is similar to Dr. Marianne Thompson’s view of how we deal with the Sabbath. This is a hugely vital topic and yet we aren’t so ardent to defend it. 3. Ephesians 5:24 NRS Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands - in everything: this means everything! Choice of friends, clothing, having children… This text ought to be a deep hermeneutical question for everyone. - Hermeneutics of Ephesians 5 is important and difficult 12
  • 13. 4. 1Peter 3:1-7 NRS 1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives' conduct, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; 4 rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God's sight. 5 It was in this way long ago that the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by accepting the authority of their husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters as long as you do what is good and never let fears alarm you. 7 Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together, paying honor to the woman as the weaker sex, since they too are also heirs of the gracious gift of life-- so that nothing may hinder your prayers. • note: the traditional title of this text in most bibles: Submission • note: why does it take longer to instruct the women than the men? More complex situation for women. • What is the fundamental assumption (7) women are partners and heirs. Are the husbands in vs. 7 addressed as believers. Are the wives assumed to be believers? Yes! In vs. 5-6 are the wives assumed to be believers? Yes! Are the men in these verses assumed to be believers? NO. This is cultural situation. It is a rubric in Greaco-Roman world is that the wife is to assume the religious choice of her husband. This is a major problem in the first century, because women had a craving to have their own religion – apart from their husbands. Why? Because they were oppressed. [Gnosticism would be very attractive under these cultural forces]. • What is the way to convert their husbands? Model the lifestyle – but don’t talk to him and tell him what to do. Not only should a woman talk in public, but she should also not talk to much at home. If the woman is going to win her husband to Christ, she will need to do it non- verbally. - this is not a text about marriage – from a hermeneutical point of view. This is a text of how marriages work in the 1st cent. A.D. given the sexist partriarchical culture. - What is the primary command of the husband: deep respect – the status of the wife is equal as the husband before God. Why is this radical? Because the cultural assumption is that the wife is weaker, and thus inferior. Is the cultural assumption about women in the text? Yes, she is considered the weaker sex. But the text is meant to be counter-cultural. Before God, she stands in the same place you do. This text reflects the cultural assumptions about women, but is designed to be counter-cultural. 13
  • 14. - The hermeneutical question: what degree is this text is lodged in a cultural understanding of women that are cultural no longer experiences? What do we then do about this? Conclusion Starting points are a critical reflection of one’s hermeneutics. There is nothing in the NT that tells us where to start. We can start other places. We can start with Gal 3:28. This is a text that reflects the central core of Paul’s theology. This text flowers the central core of Paul’s theological paradigm. The NT does not tell us which is the window – this becomes a hermeneutical question. Do we look with the glasses of Gal 3:28 or 1Tim 2? F.F. Bruce, born and raised Plymouth Bretheren: didn’t have ordination at all, but clearly only men could lead. Read Bruce’s commentary on Galatians. Read everything through the lens of Gal 3:28. • there is a difficulty trying to figure out where one starts. • Traditionalists are selective. We have to take all the texts, if we want an honest biblical view of women in ministry. We develop exegetical rigor and hermeneutical integrity – that we learn all the details of all the texts and we talk honestly in how we appropriate all of these texts. Women in the OT - it is relevant to talk about the OT. The OT was Scripture to Jesus and the bible for the early church. - OT texts are cited in the passages about women in the NT. Bibliography: (37-) noted some of the books that are really good. criteria What in the OT is foundational for reading the NT on this question? What in the OT has entered into our recent debates about this topic? How one reads Gen 1-3 determines everything. In fact, if you can figure out how someone reads Gen 1-3 will infallibly reveal exactly how this person will come out on this issue. 14
  • 15. ANE was a partriarchical culture. It is written on every page. Men shape the life, the birth of sons are more important than the births of daughters. This is a reality with which we have to cope. Gen 1-3 Classic narrative about the beginning of humankind. Entrance of sin in the human life and the consequences of sin. - this text is foundational for a lot of reasons. - How this story is generally heard in Judaism and Christianity: “God created a man, and it turned out that he was lonely – so he created a woman. But before he did that, Adam was alone and he named all the animals, he was the ruler of paradise. God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam and Eve was created to be a helper to Adam. She was to serve Adam and they were to be married and have children. While they were in the garden, one day Satan entered in and found Eve alone and convinced Eve that she should eat the forbidden fruit. Eve was deceived and she ate the fruit and then Eve conjoled Adam into eating the fruit. And thus was the beginning of sin. But make no sense about it, Eve was deceived and sinned first, she got Adam into trouble and so it has ever been.” This is more or less how the story is heard. In general we don’t read that Adam is there. - Tertullian “you [women] are the gateway of hell… because of you all men will die” • (see 2.2.*. in syllabus) Protevangelium of James 13.1. story about Jesus birth. Joseph thinking that when he left Mary alone, she had relations with another man. The presupposition of this text; Eve was alone, this was how the serpent got to her. If Adam was there he would have known better. This is how the story has generally been told. This is how the church fathers read the story. This is how Tertullian and Agustine read the story… and this is how traditionalists read the story today. Gen 1:26-28 NRS Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." 27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." 15
  • 16. • both man and woman were created in the image of God. Both! What we are going to observe that in the history of Judaism is that only the man was created in the image of God. How could this have happened? Who were the interpreters, who controlled everything? Paul in 1Cor 11 refers to this notion that man was created in the image of God. • both were given the responsibility for creation. No distinction is made. Ruling the earth is an equal responsibility. That makes this text crucial. In early Judaism, Gen 1:26-28 alludes to this. This text was ignored, it was not an operative text. - NRSV humankind = adam. It can mean a human person, male person, Adam. ~d'a'h - “God created adam male and female…” this can be properly translated ‘human person.’ This is widely accepted, no real argument there. Genesis has these stories side by side without embarrasement. We have to take them as a canonical understanding that there are two ways to tell this story. Gen 2:7. What did God create from the dust of the ground? There is an immediate difficulty here in Gen 2:7 rp'[' ~d'a'h'-ta, ~yhil{a/ hw"hy> rc,yYIw: WTT Genesis 2:7 ~d'a'h' yhiy>w: ~yYIx; tm;v.nI wyP'a;B. xP;YIw: hm'd'a]h'-!mi `hY"x; vp,n<l. NRS Genesis 2:7 then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. • When God decides that when adam needs a partner he creates all the animals. We must realize that the story is more complex than it looks. The Jewish scholars wrestled hard with this. Gen 2 is about the differentiation of the adam into a man and a woman – ish and isha. This creates a problem of creating an androgenous being. But if we can divorce ourselves from this biological image of unattractive androgneous – we need to take the narrative as a literary whole. God in the process of creation, creates a male and a female. 16
  • 17. • This is what Phyliss Trible is most famous for. Traditionalists have always read helper as an inferior term (subordinate). KJV Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him Help meet = was not originally a subordinate term, but now in English it has become. the Hebrew word = rz<[ God is the ezer of Israel. God is not the subordinate to Israel. The very choice of the term, is meant to say that the male and female are equal. The female is going to be the ezer, the strong help. See 1Samuel 7:12 and Psalm 121:1-2 Genesis 2 becomes the hermeneutical foundation of everything. How you read this shapes everything. Jesus response about divorce cites this passage. Jesus statement is a critique of the cultural understanding that the man can sneak out of divorce. Gen 3:6 If Adam is such a great leader, why didn’t he speak up and say something! Adam was there!!! 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. • All traditionalists would want to say that “women are more gullible than men, more deceivable then men.” Then why do you interpret Gen 3 this way. Eve was deceived, Adam was not! This is there deal. God created men to be leaders. Eve didn’t have that God appointed responsibility and was easily deceived. George Hurley “What the church needs today is for women to resume their dependence on male leadership. If women lead, they will be deceived to easily.” • This is a very fine line. They would argue that the man made a deliberate decision to sin. And in a back door way, that demonstrates his leadership capacity, granted he abused it. In abusing it he showed that he had the god-given ability to lead. The woman, who also disobeyed God, she revealed that she did not have the capacity for leadership because she 17
  • 18. stupidly believed what the serpent said. Not only that but she got the man to participate in sin. Double whammy against the female. God renders the judgement. The serpent is cursed. Humans are never cursed! 3:15 – enemity between serpent and women. Church has understood as a prophesy of Jesus 3:16 – the husband shall rule over you. Some traditionalists take that text as an explicit mandate for men to rule. But most traditionalists believe that the mandate for male rule came in Gen 2. Egalitarians read this as not prescriptive but descriptive – as a result of sin, women will bear children in pain, and that men will rule over them. In Church history, when the first attempts of medical professionals to lessen the pain of child birth, the church opposed this. Women are supposed to suffer child birth. - Christians for Biblical Equality: Egalitarian approach to life in the church. Catherine Crater, Stanley Gundry, Arthur Holmes, David Hubbard, Richard Mouw, - Council on Bilbical Manhood and Womanhood: devoted to the traditionalists or, complementarian position. Jay Adams, Wayne Grudeman, James Hurley, George Knight, Douglass Moo, John Piper, Bill Bright, Jerry Fallwell, Adrian Rogers (Southern Baptist). Traditionalist Summary: 1. man was created first: response: no, God created adam, male and female 2. man has the name Adam: he is the prime representative of the human race. That this dictates male leadership is taking the text to far 3. man names the animals 4. man names the woman: “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” this shows that man has authority. OT scholars do not call this naming, but rather recognition. She is not named until Genesis 3. This doesn’t occur until after the fall. 5. The word for helper indicates authority: no, ezer is not a subordinate word 6. The two become one flesh 18
  • 19. 7. God addresses the man after the fall. This is a result of sin. This is also how a story is told in a male dominated culture. If you believe that it was God’s original created design to make men the leaders and superior and women inferior, nothing else will matter. Gen 2: God instituted male headship and authority. And whatever Huldah was not this kind of authority. This is how shaping Gen 2 becomes. It is so controlling in how you read the rest of the texts. 19
  • 20. Laura: Thank you for the message. I personally agree the idea to have women being part of spiritual leaders in Church. I also like to see the cell groups can work in BCEFC in the near future. Now I like the answer for "Why Jesus becomes a male in Flesh". God Bless You. Jason --- Laura Sun <> wrote: > "Don't be afraid to empower women," says the pastor > of the world's largest church. Churches are wrong not > to let women become spiritual leaders, David Yong-gi Cho > told church leaders at a Discipling a Whole Nation > conference in Italy. > "If you ever train the women, and delegate your > ministry to them, they will become tremendous messengers for the > Lord." > .....Most leaders at Cho's Yoido Full Gospel Church > in Seoul, Korea, are women. The 700,000-member > congregation is divided into 50,000 cell groups that meet in homes, > and about 47,000 cell leaders are women, he said. Of the > church's 600 associate pastors, 400 are women. "In ministry they > are equal with men," he said. "They are licensed. They are > ordained. They become deaconesses and elders." > > .....Cho adopted the cell church principle in 1964 > after he collapsed from exhaustion trying to > minister to his then 3,000-member congregation. His male leaders > balked when he told them to divide the congregation into > cells that meet > in their homes. "They said, 'Fine, but we are not > trained to do 20
  • 21. > that and we are not paid to do that. Why don't you > have a long > vacation?' > This is the Korean way of saying 'Why don't you > resign > from the church?' " > > .....When he asked the women leaders to do it, they > said, "Teach us, pastor. We will do anything for > you," he said. The > church grew from 3,000 to 18,000 in the next five > years. The > cell churches started new cell churches and more lay > leaders got involved in ministry, Cho said. "It is > the will of God > to have a growing church." > > From: ReligionToday News Summary for Wednesday, > July 12, 2000 > ------------------------------------------ > Why did Jesus need to become a male in flesh? > .. > > .. > .. > .. > > .. > > Because the male need Jesus' example. > (according to Dr. David Scholar's lecture on Woman, > the Bible and > the Church, at Fuller) > 21
  • 22. Women in leadership in the history of Israel Deborah – Judges 4,5 1. prophetess 2. mother of Israel 3. powerful leader - the song of Deborah is one of the oldest pieces of literature in the OT. - Deborah stands in the Hebrew Bible as a woman who spoke for God. She was a representative for God. She was a leader in Israel, over men, and she was married. - Traditionalists would argue that she was just a civic leader – and this is ok, but she is not a spiritual authority. - There is no such distinction in Judges!! This is a falacious statement. This is a theocratic society. The people of God and the city of God are the same thing! 2. Miriam Ex 15:20-21, Num 12, Micah 6:4 • she is called a prophet. - Numbers 12 – “has the Lord only spoken through Moses… has he not spoken through us…” This does reflect some of the inner tension. What an important leader that Miriam was. - NRS Micah 6:4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Miriam was an important leader in Israel • question of unequal punishment. She had to stay outside the community, but Aaron just got a verbal warning. Penteutachal law: women always had more sever judgements. Traditionalists: Yeah, big deal, Miriam was a some type of leader, but Moses was the real man! 4. Huldah – she was a prophet. Prophets were schooled, they were taught how to be prophets. Who was credited or ordained. When the King needed to get a word from the Lord, He would consult an authentic prophet. Sometimes the kings liked to hear from the false prophets because their words were smoother and more appealing. 22
  • 23. - Huldah was a true prophet. Huldah demonstrates that women could speak authoritatively for God!!! Traditionalists: in general they dismiss this women. - Huldah is a big thorn for them. - In an overwhelmingly patriarchical culture, the bible tells of three women who speak directly for God. They spoke directly and authoritatively for God to the people of Israel. It establishes beyond doubt that women can speak for God. - Carol Myers: these women are only the tip of the iceberg. If there are three we know by name, then we can assume there are many others. We know from all history that the voices of women are hardly ever heard, only the voices of men. The winners write history. The dominating ones write history. Other important women: Rahab – took in Hebrew spies (whole story bristles with interesting questions). She is not an Israelite – so what makes her special? She helps save Israel! In saving Israel, she really demonstrates that she has faith in God. She is a person who exercises faith in God, because of the way she saves Israel. Rahab is a very important person in that narrative – implication is that she trusted God. 6:17 – because of her action, she is considered, one who is spared. 6:25 her family has lived in Israel for ever since. Hebrews 11: lists her as a pillar of faith James: mentions her. • Rahab is also a part of the geneology of Jesus - although she doesn’t teach authoritatively, she is a part of Israel’s canonical history that designates her as extremely important. Wednesday, June 21, 2000 23
  • 24. Cont. Women in leadership in Israel Ruth: 1) demonstrates Israel’s inclusion of an outsider. Ruth was an outsider that had faith in the God of Israel. Not unlike Jonah. Israel’s concern for non-Israelites. 2) Lineage of David keeps her in the canon for the Jewish Scripture. • the story itself is not about a woman leader, or a woman exercise authority. It is about a woman who exercised personal faith, she exercised this faith on her own, not via a man. This is important considering the history of the traditionalists movement. • Traditionalists: every woman has a male cover – theory. Based on 1Cor and Eph 5. This is often articulated in the history of Israel. - Ruth has faith on her own. There is a feminist debate about Ruth – when she finally has her baby, Naomi celebrates. There is a sense in which the book is more about Naomi. It’s Naomi’s child, God has finally answered Naomi’s prayer. In this frame, the story is about God honoring Israel. - Naomi says to Ruth that you are better to me than seven sons. - Seven son motif is a rubric to talk about the fulfillment of a woman to produce a male heir for Israel. Esther – stunning model of a woman of devotion. The book of Esther had some trouble making it into the canon for Jewish Scriptures. In the Qumran discovery all the books of the Jewish bible were found except for Esther. Esther does not mention God. Never once mentions God’s name. We don’t really know if this is the reason. This is a scholarly guess. But it is obvious that God is behind Esther. Esther is a piece of sophisticated Greek influence. The primary narrative is that Esther preserves the people of Israel. In this sense she is an incredible hero. Jewish holiday dedicated to her (Purim). And they read the book of Esther. Story: DMS in Jerusalem at the largest orthodox synagogue. Cantor would sing the text of Esther. Two rabbi’s would stand on either side, making sure he didn’t make a mistake. If he did make a mistake they would stop him and make him repeat [this is the word of God]. Also, there were several hundred Israeli soldiers there with their guns. Somehow there was a secure feeling that reading Esther was all that was needed in those moments to protect Israel. Esther was being lifted up in service. 24
  • 25. Significant Women in the history of Israel: plus questions - prior to 1985 no traditionalist would even admit that women in Scripture even spoke with a pseudo-authority. They wouldn’t even grant that. Now, the change in the name to Complementarians – and say women have made many fine contributions. But they stop at the point and say that since no woman was an elder, they really didn’t hold an office of authority. They designate an “office” as an authority. Is this distinction of office only having authority is not a distinction that the NT makes. The NT is much more fluid, they didn’t hold “office.” They were functionaries, people spoke the word and authoritatively. • these people are seriously wrong on one of the most important issues of the church. There hermeneutic is very damaging to the church. 3 major changes: a) complementarian title b) Jesus’ treatment of women c) Discussion about the cultural context of the NT • each year they give away more of the store – they allow women to do more and more. But at the center, the most defended issue will be the woman standing behind the sacred desk and not teaching with authority and being a pastor. This will be the last thing they will give up. This is a huge hermeneutical perversion of leadership in the NT. • The biggest consession by George Hurley: yes a woman can preach a theological sermon having satisfied the following critieria a) examination by the elders to make sure she won’t preach any heresy b) she can only speak under 30 minutes c) she can’t speak to often - this is ridiculous! Negative models - although they are negative representatives, there is a back door testimony that women held office and had authority. This is the only significance of this section. Acrostic poem – each line of the poem starts with the letter of the alphabet. Very sophisticated piece of Jewish literature. Proverbs 31:10-31 25
  • 26. NRS Proverbs 31:10 A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away. 15 She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. 22 She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: 29 "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates. • this unfortunately can be twisted to show that she is serving the traditional female role. She doesn’t have true economic independence, she is just fulfilling her role as taking care of the household. • This woman is working all the time – she should drop dead. • What every man in Israel wanted was a wife like this, so he could sit at the city gates and brag how good his wife is. Proverbs 31 – talks about women running the house. Difficulty: - how do we take texts that are deeply embedded in ancient culture and appropriate them to our day. This is an aggrarian culture, women make all the clothes. - Proverbs was written in a day when a woman didn’t have a voice, we don’t know what a woman thought at that time. Women couldn’t read and write – weren’t educated (general statement). - Prov 31 does not describe how a woman in the year 2000 should live? No - Prov 31 does enshrine some values that we are to ingest. Great story from Kenyan woman: Proverbs 31 can be a very positive text insofar as women can be taken through an investigative process and be shown how much they really do. The woman in 31 is not an impossible ideal. Rather, many women are just like her, but they just don’t know it. 26
  • 27. Pentateuchal Laws: If you read the laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, in general, the stipulations for women are more rigorous than for men. Women stay unclean longer, they have a longer process of rehabilitation than men. Without question this reflects a patriarchal culture. One could say, that the laws in Israel about women and their sexuality were more helpful to them – than to the laws of other ANE cultures. Israel saw it important to show respect to all persons. Their laws, were meant paternalistically to protect women, and enhance their life. This kind of complexity must be mentioned. • not much is said in commentaries about this inequality 1. Leviticus 12, 15. NRS Leviticus 12:1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the people of Israel, saying: If a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be ceremonially unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. 3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 Her time of blood purification shall be thirty-three days; she shall not touch any holy thing, or come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purification are completed. 5 If she bears a female child, she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; her time of blood purification shall be sixty-six days ? why is the mother unclean twice as long when bearing a daughter than bearing a son? Is this text revealing a negativity towards women. • [DMS- asked several female Jewish scholars] They all replied this text does not reflect any negative terms about women. In a sense they had to say this, so that their Scriptures would not be seen as demeaning. - these laws do reflect a patriarchal and paternalistic culture. Sons were more important than daughters, men did play the more important roles. Deuteronomy 24 NRS Deuteronomy 24:1 Suppose a man enters into marriage with a woman, but she does not please him because he finds something objectionable about her, and so he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; she then leaves his house 2 and goes off to become another man's wife. 3 Then suppose the second man dislikes her, writes her a bill of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house (or the second man who married her dies); 4 her first husband, who sent her away, is not permitted to take her again to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that would be abhorrent to the LORD, and you shall not bring guilt on the land that the LORD your God is giving you as a possession. - classically this passage has been cited about divorce. 27
  • 28. • but this passage doesn’t give permission for divorce. This passage is written under the assumption that divorce happens. - women have no voice, they are like property, they are the one defiled. The men are never defiled. The prerogative of divorce belongs exclusively to the man. These texts don’t enter much into the debates today. But the traditionalists would reflect the view, that what is true of the OT is that women are meant to be subordinate to men. All of these texts are witness’ in one way or another to this reality of hierarchy. Personification of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible Wisdom- that quality of knowing and fearing God, is likened to women. In 2nd temple Judaism – the personification of wisdom as feminine becomes more robust. Imagining of God in the Hebrew Bible God is father God is bridegroom – Israel is the unfaithful wife. Almost always God is portrayed as Bridegroom and father. God is never portrayed as bride or mother. God is described as mother bird, mother eagle, midwife, as a nurse, as a pregnant mother, as a mother giving birth, as a nursing mother, as a mother who give comfort. Most of these portrayals take place in Isaiah, and Psalms. Also Numbers 11:12 • the issue that has arisen out of this data is – what are the appropriate ways to consider God. The best theological treatment: Paul Jewett: The Ordination of Women – ch.2. The maleness of God. • Sandera Schneiders: Women and the Word. Ch. 2. 20-37. [not in bibliography] • Hannah Whitehall Smith: devotional book written in the 19th cent. that is still being published. “The Christian secret of a Happy life” She also wrote an essay called “God as Mother.” Even in the heart of the most pious evangelical community – here is a woman who read her bible and said, God is my mother. 28
  • 29. - the fact that some women have been abused doesn’t negate the fatherhood of God image. But we must recognize that many have acquired this fatherhood of God image to condone oppressing women. Hermeneutical question: how should God be viewed. What is God really like… God is spirit. God is a person, he is transcendent, he is all-mighty, creator of all that is. But God is a not a sexed person. God is not a man and God is not a woman. God is a person. In some mysterious way, God is imaged in male and female. God is not imaged without both male and female. God was probably called father because of the patriarchal nature of Israel. This image should never be lost. It is good to perceive of God as father. It is not theologically wrong for someone to refer to God as mother. Julian of Norwich: 14th cent. Wanted to know God in a deep intimate way. Had 14 revelations (showings) she goes back and forth by calling God mother and father – even Jesus is considered as mother because he nourishes me. In the Hebrew bible is God righted handed or left-handed? God is always described as right- handed. In that cultural the left hand is involved in the dirty aspects of life. The imaging of God will be ultimately tied to how we view one another. We have a lot more creativity to image God in different ways. Cross-cultural ministry needs to consider this topic very seriously. The Lord’s prayer: “Our father (Abba)…” the question here is not so much maleness as it is intimacy. The use of Abba in Hebrew profoundly reveals an intimate Creator God that for Israelites could normally appear so distant. Abba is very intimate and personal more so than it is male. Just like the OT use of Yahweh. God revealing his name as Yahweh – is such an intimate, personal offering. John Goldingay really gets this one right. The use of Yahweh is so powerful because God for the first time – offers his most personal intimate name for us to know God by. Women in Second Temple Judaism: After the return of the Babylonian exile the term used for the Jewish people is Judaism. This took place from around 520 BC until today. So what we are discussing here is Ancient Judaism. 29
  • 30. - When Jews returned from captivity they rebuilt the temple. Second temple stood until 70 AD. Thus, 520 BC – 70 AD is the Second Temple Period. 70AD Second temple is destroyed by the Roman Army. After this it is called Rabbinic Judaism. 70 AD – 500 – 600 AD Rabbinic Judaism. In this period the Mishnah and the Talmud are written. These two texts define Judaism. Diaspora – (scattered) all Jews who do not live in Palestine. Any Jew who does not live in Israel today is a Diaspora. Hellinistic Judaism: Judaism that spoke Greek and was influenced by Greek. Alexandrian Judaism, intellectual center of the world. (Apollos came from Alexandria) NT is a hellinistic-Jewish document. Greek speaking Jews. Sectarian Judaism: all Judaism was made up of different sects: Pharisees, Saduccees, Essenes, Zealots… other groups that were much smaller. Until the temple was destroyed and the Rabbi’s united – Judaism was not a united front. They all believed that the Scriptures were the authoritative word of God. 2nd Temple Judaism – the church was born in the womb of 2nd Temple Judaism. Jesus was a Jew and not a Christian. Paul was a Jew and never called himself a Christian. The early church was made up of Jews. Who in the first 50 years, saw as their prime mission the inclusion of Gentiles. The church became more dual in nature. Gal 3:28 was a startling statement. - virtually every idea of the NT is Jewish. “The NT is simply Judaism with the furniture re- arranged.” Perspectives and debates on the issues of women in 2nd temple Judaism - much of the feminist origins were Christian. Not necessarily conservative Christians, but the early US feminists had a Christian beginning. Statements: • ancient Judaism oppressed women – thank God, Jesus came along and redeemed women. The false conclusion here is the demonization of Judaism. Two problems: 1) not all the evidence from Judaism is negative 2) not all the Christian evidence is positive. Also – this new feminism is really anti-Semitism. This was a critique that came from a female Jewish scholar. 30
  • 31. Big question: if a cultural is overtly patriarchal, androcentric, paternalistic, critiquing this culture is always going to appear as an anti-statement regarding that culture. How do you handle this cross-cultural situation – let’s say in the Middle East. All of our sources for 2nd temple Judaism were written by men. We have enormous gaps. With all the data we have only male interpretations and we have no idea what women actually thought. (refer to page 102 in the reader – 2/3 the way down.) Thus, it is important to not make a Christian Jesus over a Jewish Jesus… insofar as the treatment of women. Evidence of Women in 2nd Temple Judaism Positive roles 1. ruler/president of synagogue: see Brooten (one of the few PhD dissertations that shocked the world in six months. She changed scholarship). Prior to her work it was assumed that of course no woman would have led a synagogue in ancient Judaism. There were a few inscriptions that stated a woman was a ruler of the synagogue. It was always assumed that it was really her husband that was the ruler of the synagogue. Brooten challenged this – stated that in Diaspora Judaism, women (in rare cases) were synagogue rulers. - Brooten argued that there was no archaeological evidence that separated men and women in the temple. There was no women’s section. Women’s galleries didn’t start until the middle ages. It was male scholars who just assumed this. This is still a debated question. - This ruler of synagogue is one positive role. 2. Testament of Job 46-50: little known 2nd temple Jewish writing – probably written 1st century BC. When Job’s fortunes are restored, he gives all of his riches to his sons. Job has three daughters: Hamara, Casia, Almathias-horn. These three daughters come to father Job and say it’s unfair that the sons got everything. We deserve part of the inheritance. Job says, I didn’t leave you out – I saved the best gift for you three. Three golden urns – containing three cords of different colors that were so impressive looking. Each daughter got a beautiful cord. - these daughters were speaking in the tongues of Angels – they were speaking in tongues. This is the first text we have speaking about tongues. • women were given a gift by God, they could speak with God, speak for God, they had ultimate spiritual experience. • Is it possible that the testament of Job came out of a female community. We will never know if this is from a female community. 31
  • 32. - it does attest to women having a powerful spiritual witness 3. 4 Maccabees – Israel was oppressed by Assyrians in the north. Antiochus family: descerated the temple by sacrificing unclean animals in the holy of holies. They would attack Jewish villages on the Sabbath. They would see if the boys were circumcised and if so they would kill them. This made it tough for Jewish parents whether to circumcise their sons. -Channukah: is a celebration of the three year war where the Maccabeans won back the independence (164 BC) - chapters 14-18 celebrate the faith of a particular mother who was martyred with her seven sons. She is compared to Abraham – he is the paragon of faith; Jew number 1. Daughter of Abraham only mentioned twice in all 2nd Temple Judaism!!! The two time are 4 Maccabees 15:28 and Jesus. This is huge. - hardly a text that praises women more: “she is more powerful than a man” - she was a ransom: faithfully people dying can be a ransom for the nation. • although it’s stated in androcentric terms, what other terminology was available? This is does however reveal a very empowerment of a woman. 4. Judith (15:8 – 16:25). In the apocrypha, probably written 1 or 2nd century BC - she sexually enticed and killed the enemy. Judith was a strong leader of Israel. - Most scholars consider this more as a fable or legend. It’s difficult to verify with other historical data. What is outstanding is that someone could write this story. Perhaps even a female who wrote this story. If not a female than a male from a community that highly respected females. 5. Salome Alexandra: queen of Judea for 10 years 76-67 BC. During Israel’s free period this woman was the queen for 10 years. In all cases, the women leaders got to this position because their husbands died. But they were found to be capable leaders. We know that during her reign there was no war. She was the only ruler that this was the case. She also had many palaces. Through archea0logical data, perhaps we can paste together her social status and political power that she had. She also bankrolled the Pharisee movement. She liked them 32
  • 33. because they wanted to protect the law. She was instrumental in their becoming a solid movement. 6. Philo, Therapeutae. Philo was a Jewish philosopher, died 40 AD, lived in Alexandria Egypt. He was the intellectual and political leader of Alexandria. Wrote many books, put together would be 6x the length of the NT. He tells about a group called the Therapeutae – sect that lived out in the dessert in a monastic type lifestyle. This is a group of pious Jews devoted to Scriptures, they wanted to study and develop their spiritual lives. Each member of the community had a study room, and the method was that everyday you went to your private room and read your Scriptures. On the sabbath day (he never says sabbath – cuz he’s writing to Greek community) they met in a group and shared what they learned that week while studying the Scriptures. After the sharing is that they would dance and praise God until the sun came up. Both men and women were members of this community. This meant women who could read and each week they shared the Scriptures. At that level it is a very positive description. - negative: you couldn’t be a woman in this group unless you were over 60, only married once or a virgin; and when they met in the common room, the men sat in the front rows and the women sat in the back rows. There was a 5’ curtain – to minimize sexual attraction. The overtures here are that women are responsible for sexual sin. - When they danced all night, it was men dancing with men and women dancing with women. Title: Philo On the Contemplative Life. Only two translations Lobe Classical Library (12 vol); C.D. Yonge translated in 19th century David Thornton Thursday, June 22, 2000 Question: Jesus as Christa – female image. Point of the incarnation is that Jesus came as a person not as a male most specifically. What about the prophecies? What about the expectation that the Messiah would be male? • You can view Jesus in several different ways Cont. of Women in 2nd Temple Judaism: Positive roles 7. Beruriah – not a well known figure – from Rabbinic Judaism. Post AD 70. IN the Rabbinic period there was a strong affirmation that women shouldn’t study the law. There is a story about one woman who did study the law. Her father was a rabbi, he was extremely disappointed that he didn't have a son. Contrary to the tradition, he trained his daughter in the 33
  • 34. Mishnah. She became a rabbi. In the Rabbinic sources there are six debates with her. She won all six debates. She was considered a brilliant Rabbi. - Talmud records these debates and shows you how they arrived at the best answer. This is part of the brilliance of this text. - Beruriah, she is a rare case. Known to Jewish scholars and feminists primarily. Negative comments: unfortunately the majority of the literature of this period portrays women negatively. Portrays women as inferior, created to be subordinate, not allowed to play a public role, responsible for all sexual sin, as a problem, and as a liability for men. Apart from the few exceptions where women are praised for being good women (i.e. Prov 31). 1. Letter of Aristeas (paragraph 250). This document explains the origin of the LXX. 70 men went into 70 cubicles, each one translated the Hebrew bible into Greek and they all matched exactly. Bogus story, but attempts to show that the Greek translation was inspired. The NT authors used the LXX for their OT. - one reason why we needed LXX – because majority of Jews are Diaspora Jews – vast majority can’t read Hebrew because it’s a Greco-Roman world. • banquet scenes: ancient banquet had after dinner entertainment – the king would pose hard questions and the wise men would answer them. One of the questions the King asks is: “how does a man reach an agreement with a woman?” The response is that women are irrational, always desiring prone to change their mind quickly because of poor reasoning powers. These comments are not only 2nd century opinions but androcentric opinions. We hear this today. 2. Sirach (also known as Ben Sirach ‘son’ or Ecclesiasticus) written 150 BC. Written by the Grandfathers of the Pharisees. Major work of Jewish theology. Very powerful work. Chap. 25-42. The apocrypha of the OT were in the ancient Jewish bible in the Greek version. The apocrypha are the Greek books not translated from the Hebrew. The LXX had the Hebrew bible plus 15-16 other books. Often these were quoted by Church fathers as Scripture. No NT author cites them as Scripture. In the Protestant Reformation – they axed the apocrypha. In rebellion, the RCC made it authoritative. - 2-3 positive statements about women. - Has mostly negative comments about women. Ch.25 “any wickedness but not the wickedness of a wife” “I would rather dwell with a lion or a dragon, than dwell with a wicked wife.” 34
  • 35. - Ch.42 “better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good.” This is the quenisential core of these authors. There are no texts like this about men. It is very clear that the male 2nd Temple Jewish authors had a very negative view of women 3. Philo Flaccus 89: “women are kept in seclusion, never even approaching the outer doors…” In a Jewish house there was an inner chamber where the unmarried women must stay. - Special Laws 3.169-177. Women aren’t allowed in the civic arena – they must stay in the house. - Deuteronomy 25:11-12 sometimes when men are debating they get into fights. Women would go out into the marketplace and join in the argument to help their husbands, this was terrible for Philo. The ultimate shame is that if another hits her husband, she might want to hit his assailant in the groin. This is the most vile thing that could happen. - These men were afraid of their own sexuality. - On the Creation of the World. - On Animals. basically what he tries to show is that in the animal world in general the males are stronger [see CH575 notes – Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle] - Questions and Answers to Genesis. The serpent speaks to the woman because she is more easily deceived. • one of the things we can observe, is that these writings have a far more negative view of women than the OT. Beyond doubt this is the influence of Greek culture. Greek culture was the most anti-female culture in the ANE. • Judaism drunk deep at the well of Greek culture. Philo says that his goal is to explain the meaning of the Hebrew bible- but his vision is to have Plato in the other hand. Plato will help explain the Jewish Bible. 4. Josephus: Jewish historian would lived in the 1st century. So much of our information comes from him. General of the Galilean army, saw that the Romans were way to powerful. He surrendered – and the Jewish people think of him as a traitor. Taken into the Emperor’s family – Flavius Josephus – shows that he was adopted into the Emperor’s family. - we learn tons of stuff from Josephus. - The speech by Elezer at the top of Massada. - Does comment occasionally about women: Against Apion – Apion was a pagan against Jews. The men read the Scripture that women are inferior in all things – “authority has been given by God to men” This illustrates the common male understanding of Scripture. 35
  • 36. • those that sight this traditional view would say this tradition is biblical. - Antiquities – women were discounted in a court of law. - Life. Josephus’ biography – I divorced my wife because I was displeased with her behavior. It was a male prerogative to divorce his wife. 5. Testament of Reuben (supposedly what Jacob says to each of his sons). “women try to ensnare men by their wiles…” This text would be less influenced by Greek culture – but represents 1st century male opinion about women. - the setting in which Jesus teaches is that women are greatly oppressed 6. Life of Adam and Eve. Adam is very disturbed that Eve has brought sin into the world. He decides he wants to kill her for what she has done. God forbids this, so Adam says to Eve, “I’m not going to kill you, but you must tell the children that all sin is your fault.” The common Jewish and pagan understanding, that women are responsible for all the sin in the world. 7. ? 8. Qumran writings – virtually no comments about women. We know they are Essenes. All men buried in a tight line, well taken care of. All female burials appear as if they are thrown into a pile. So we can look at how the ancients understood the Essenes. Essenes believe that women were a distraction to pious life. Women ought to be excluded from the community. Women were allowed only for procreation. “Wives are selfish and seductive… she ensnares and deceives the sovereign mind…” In other words, the only way to have a good community is not to have women. 9. Selected Rabbinic texts a. Maboth – more women, more witchcraft b. Msotah – a woman should not learn the law. What is the line of reasoning? A woman who knows the law will interact more with men and thus defile them. Women only have two options, either quiet and in the home, or she is a beguiler, loose woman, defiling men. Allowing her to know the law, gives her another option. c. Mketuboth – about divorce 36
  • 37. d. Mgittin – divorce. 9:10 “a man may not divorce a wife unless he has found something indecent. Hillel says he can divorce her if she spoils a dish or another rabbi says, if the man finds someone fairer than her.” Deuteronomy 24 – the Hebrew word here is ambiguous and the rabbi’s would really debate this. - school of Shami – are straight – they had a limited view of divorce. The school of Hillel was the liberal. They had an open view. The Hebrew word is ambiguous and so they extracted that to many anything. The Hillel view is dominant. Some scholars consider Paul a Hillelite. - When Josephus summarizes Deut. 24: 1 “something objectional” he sees it only as a text about divorce… not about how a woman is to go back to the first husband. He has read the bible in his male culture. e. TBerkaoth – divorce her if the wife scolds and the neighbor can hear her voice. • My question regarding the anti-semitism critique that comes from evaluating 2nd Temple Judaism’s sexism – how do we deal with this indictment, because it obviously appears true. The church does not have clean hands. You don’t just have to be a Christian to be sexist to women. But we need to be careful in critiquing other cultures that we do not exclude our own Christian sexism. The development of Jewish Wisdom Tradition In Proverbs we have the personification of Wisdom. Wisdom has personal qualities. Wisdom almost becomes like God’s right hand person. Judaism – monotheistic – wisdom becomes like God’s helper and agent. Book of Wisdom 7:21-8:1 (21 characteristics of wisdom: unpolluted, unique, all-powerful, all- seeing) These tend to be designations given only to God. • remember that when the NT authors wanted to express an idea they had only their language and their culture. It is a theological affirmation to say that this is inspired. We can’t prove it. It is also a reality that the words they used were human words. One of the theological conundrums is what is the interface between human words and the Word of God. This will 37
  • 38. always be the dilemma. This is God’s hermeneutical dilemma. God had to accommodate to human culture. We think it’s glorious that God speaks through the text. • Wisdom is important and a feminine figure. This does not tell us that women could play an exalted role. Conclusions: Women in the 2nd Temple context were inferior, meant to be subordinate, ought not to speak in public, sexually dangerous and the defilers of men. - Bringing the woman to Jesus as an act of adultery… I thought it take two people to commit adultery – why didn’t they bring the man? 2nd Temple Judaism has changed from Pentateuchal law. • transition: in the classic debate between traditionalists and egalitarians. Traditionalists never talked women in 2nd Temple period or women with Jesus. 2nd Temple Judaism scared them, because this becomes a cultural investigation and that might scratch their authority of Scripture. Traditionalists see attention to culture as a terrible danger to biblical interpretation. They speak limited to historical and cultural contexts. • The more you talk about 2nd Temple Judaism that more it shows the NT was written in this negative context. What is distinctive in the NT is when it overcomes these cultural barriers. • Jesus and women: traditionalists classically started with 1Timothy 2. George Knight – when he wrote his original book, the only thing he discusses is 1Timothy 2. Therefore, the way Jesus treated women had nothing to do with it – so why talk about it? Margaret Fellsmuth book in 1666 – reveals that Jesus showed himself first to women. • Jesus attitude toward and inclusion of women, is extremely important because Jesus is the foundation of the Church. Paul Jewett really hammers this in is book Man as male and female. [see J. Jeremias] Luke is explicitly concerned about women. 38
  • 39. John has significant inclusions of women. Women in the Gospels • see article 101-111 in the course reader. 1. Jesus healed many women. Women that Jesus healed he touched. In some cases these were unclean women. The women who had the flow of blood for 12 years – she was ritually unclean all the time. She was a woman that no man could touch. Jesus related to that woman. In healing women alone he is behaving in a counter-cultural way. 2. Jesus affirmed the sexual integrity of women. They were responsible for all sexual sin. He allows a sinful woman to touch him. Luke 7: this despised, sinful woman comes into a righteous Pharisee’s home – she washes and never stops kissing Jesus’ feet throughout the whole meal. No wonder Simon is scandalized. There are even erotic overtones in this narrative. Jesus says, “This woman loves me” Simon doesn’t understand who Jesus is, but this woman does. Women become persons, they are not automatically sexual deviants. - woman caught in adultery – Jesus doesn’t condemn. The whole ethos of the story is that the male culture ought to stone this woman. - The encounter with the Samaritan woman. Matt 21:31 sexually impure women would enter the kingdom before Pharisees. - Sermon on the Mount: adultery in his heart, lusts after a woman. This is the only statement in antiquity that places sexual sin responsibility on a man! - Divorce statements: the Pharisees want Jesus to solve the Shami, Hillel debate. - In the culture of this time, what Jesus is doing is supporting women over and above the male dominated culture. Luke 15: who does the shepherd represents? God 39
  • 40. Who does the father represent? God When a woman loses a coin and cleans her house and finds it – who does the women represent? God. Probably the only story in ANE where a women represents a God. We could argue strongly that Luke went out of his way to make this statement. Jesus had over 120 followers (there were 120 in the upper room at Pentecost). Luke 8:1-3 many women followed Jesus. Probably wealthy independent women. How would the culture perceive this? There are no explicit texts about this. But Jesus was probably regarded as a deviant – the way he treated women was another ill working on his part. • see Tertullian’s statements about being under persecution and how Christian women are to behave. When Jesus gets to the cross there are 8: Mary mother, Mary, Mary Magadalene… We only know 19 men by name. The 12, Joseph, Nicademus, Zacheus, 2 candidates for replacement of Judas, James, Lazarus. About 30% of the followers of Jesus that we know by name are women. This is remarkable. Most Christians have never been faced with the reality that he had 8 disciples known by name. • sidenote: Miriam was a hugely common name. Some archeaologists argues that at looking at the tombstones – 50% are named Mary. • “Yes Lord I believe you are the Messiah the son of God” Martha said this! Same thing as Peter. John 11:27. But we always cite Peter. Luke 10: 38-42. story about Mary. She sat at Jesus’ feet. Classical posture of a disciple. She had chosen the better part, Jesus defends what she has done. This story reveals that Jesus’ had women disciples. Some would argue that Mary didn’t say anything and therefore the example is that women can learn but not talk. Fiorenza, does not like this story in Luke. Luke 11:27-28. Jesus is walking through a crowd (he’s a very popular person) In a huge crowd a woman cries out. “Blessed is the mother that birthed you and nursed you.” Translation – The woman who raised you is a great mother, and us mothers are really good. What does Jesus say back to the woman. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Jesus had an opportunity to bless motherhood, but rather he blesses discipleship. 40
  • 41. This is not a put-down of motherhood, it is an affirmation of the primacy of the word of God and the Kingdom of God. The call to the ultimate call to discipleship. Question about Jesus sexism: Jesus’ dealing with the Syrophonecian woman. “dogs” is the most vile attacks on a person. Dogs are the most unclean, vile, deficate in public. To call someone dog is to call them the worst thing you could. Even Paul uses this kind of vocabulary when talking about the enemies. Women as proclaimers in the Gospel Luke ch 1-2. There are five people moved by the Holy Spirit to give a theological explanation of the birth of the son of God: Elizabeth, Mary, Ann. Three out of the five are women. They are good theologians on the birth of Jesus. The three women here are models of proclaimers. People who speak the word of God in the context of the Gospel. Anna – she is the original bag lady, she lived night and day – never left the temple. Preach one the three wise women! – we don’t know what the three wise men said – but you can certainly talk about the three wise women. Samaritan woman: incredible missionary – preached to her village It is the women who first proclaim the resurrection to the men. The resurrection is central to the Christian faith. Long-standing argument that women were preaching the gospel from the very beginning. • Celsus: critic of the church 2nd century. [book hasn’t survived – all we have is Origen’s point by point response]. He had 9 objections to Christianity: one was related to women. Celsus read the gospel better than most Christians – he discovered that the entire Christian faith was based on the testimony of women. Women are unreliable, therefore, Christianity is invalid. Origen’s response was that men witnessed the resurrection too. 41
  • 42. - Jesus inclusion of women (the amount of data) wasn’t the only part of his ministry… Jesus attempted to preach the inclusive kingdom of God, even that Canaanite woman. What is stunning is that Jesus included women. Jesus didn’t appoint anyone to office – if anyone is close it would be Peter – but Protestants are not willing to go this route. RCC What church in the NT did the 12 direct? None – maybe the church in Jerusalem for a few months – but then it went to James – who wasn’t an apostle! What model of leadership did Jesus teach: servanthood – this is a feminine model. This is the gospel model. This applies to both men and women. What constitutes leadership – servanthood. • Yes, women can serve and should, just don’t tamper with the male authority group. This is a perverted understanding of authority. “authority is a dirty thing, and God has asked men to do it. You women should be grateful that you don’t have to hassle it.” • Story about Park street church: Dr. Scholer giving a speech at a rich woman’s house. Seminary student gave her testimony – gets railed and asked to keep loving Jesus, just forget the ordination stuff. • Everyone one of the 12 were Jewish, so the model for leadership is only for Jews! Funny rhetorical play. The 12 represents the twelve tribes of Israel. This is the most common questioned asked. You must remember the context that Jesus is operating in. For instance, the question of circumcision was huge in the early church – but Jesus never said one word about circumcision – why not? It was a non-issue for him. • The point of the incarnation is not the maleness of Jesus, but the humanity of Jesus. Brian Renn: hymn writer – Woman in the Night. Get a copy. Friday, June 23, 2000 42
  • 43. Clark assignment: Anthology of primary source literature. Advice: first, you need to be conscious with what Clark had done. Clark has said somethings and has organized the book. A smart reader needs to give attention to what Clark did. Summarize, in some ways what the church fathers said about women. You have to create some sort of grid for yourself. - what did they say about Gen 1-3, about Paul, about marriage - what are the contradictions in their interpretations. Name them specifically, Augustine, Tertullian. - Paper ought to represent your understanding on the book, and what impact do the fathers have on you. How does this augment your knowledge of the early church and how they shaped the church on this topic. What did you like and dislike. She presents as accurate view of the fathers! Women in Acts Introduction: a continuation of the work and life of Jesus – doesn’t tell us much about the apostles (only Peter, John, and James – John never says a word, and all we know is that James dies), is not an early church history, not really a life of Paul, although introduced in 8 and dominates the 2nd half of Acts. It is a selective episodic narrative history of the early church. (romance – told in the excitement narrative of travel). It is a presentation that the church had it’s origins in Judaism but went to the whole world. Beginning in Jerusalem but was open to the Gentiles. Acts ends with Paul preaching in Rome, the perceived center of the world, preaching to Jews and Gentiles. The gospel in the book of Acts is very much a reflection of the Pauline-Lukan axis. Northern Mediterrean – urban. Christianity becomes a world-wide movement, both for Jews and Gentiles. Continuation of Luke. This is why Luke tells so many stories about women, tax-collectors, and other marginal groups. It is Luke’s design to show how everyone is included in Christianity. Women in the growth of the Church 1. 120 followers which included women. We can assume that the women alluded to are the same women Luke has been tracking from Galilee. These women were part of this Jerusalem 43
  • 44. movement. In every movement of church growth, women are mentinoed. Ch. 5, 8, 22 [Ananias and Saphirra – Is a healing narrative in the reverse. They have equal status in the church]. In all of the places where the church is mentioned, women are included. Note: from the beginning the Church was a sexually inclusive church. It is not surprising that from the very beginning that this issue of men and women in the church was a topic that had to be wrestled with. 3. women in the growth of the Jerusalem church: In the end days Israel will be brought back into the promise land; Israel’s enemies will be squashed; they will have a Davidic king; the temple will be rebuilt… all these wonderful promises are made. The Holy Spirit will be poured out. This is part of what Joel talks about. In the last days the holy spirit will be poured out. The early church taught that the kingdom of God has already arrived. The miracles of Jesus, the preaching of Jesus, said to the early church that the Kingdom had come, the last days had arrived. One of the characteristics of the early church is that it believed it was already living in the last days. - “already – not yet” - present eschatology vs. realized eschatology. - On the day of Pentecost – Peter preaches Joel. There is this new inclusivity – Israel opens the door and all the nations will pour into Jerusalem. People will come from the north to the south the east to the west. The Holy Spirit will be poured out on the “old and young, free and slave, men and women” – everyone. Inclusive moment in the history of redemption. Acts presents this coming of the Holy Spirit – which includes the Holy Spirit coming both to women and to men. - Acts 2 became a typology (model) or an argument that women were empowered by God to speak authoritatively for God. The promise of the father is the holy spirit. The coming of the holy spirit was the inaguration of the last days – authoritative speech was legitimated in the church. This typology has become a common argument. - AJ Gordon: raised as a baptist. Alleged first missionary to a foreign country from the U.S. Led to the formation of the American Baptist missionary society. In the late 19th century was a Pastor in Boston and wanted to start a missionary institute (known today as Gordon – Cromwell Divinity School). He wrote an important article in 1894 that men and women were both empowered to speak authoritatively for God. His primary argument was Acts 2. AJ Godon’s wife gave the commencement address at Northfield’s Academy – Christian Training School. 44
  • 45. - 1891 BT Roberts wrote a book – Ordination of Women. Four typologies for supporting women ordination – each one of these are separate arguments. We ought to take all four and unite them as NT basis for the ministry of women for the church. 1. women were the first witness’ of the resurrection and thus preached the gospel first 2. Acts 2: holy spirit coming to women and men 3. Galatians 3:28 4. Paul’s co-workers which are women. • Most traditionalists do not discuss the four typologies. It is not seen as relevant. “the holy spirit does gift women for ministry, but not for authoritative preaching in the church.” Acts 6: treatment of widows – it is one of the first problems of the church. The problem is an ethnic problem. Meals on wheels – the Hebrew widows get the food and the Greek speaking widows don’t get food – ethnic prejudice! They solve this by appointing seven people who are full of the holy Spirit. They were all Greek speaking. The reason they were chosen is that they could talk to the widows who spoke Greek. Acts 9 – another case of a widow: Tabitha – called a disciple. It is never said that she followed Jesus – but it is tempting to add her to the list of women who followed Jesus. Women in the establishment of the Philippian church. - important city. When he arrived and entered the city he went down to the river, he found a group of women who were praying. The word for prayer in Greek (in a jewish context) is really a synonym for synagogue. They constituted a synagogue. They were worshipping God formally, gathered in prayer (happens to be an all-woman synagogue). The church begins in Philippi totally as a movement of women. Lydia was a business woman who sold purple dye. What is important about purple – very expensive – she was a wealthy person. One of the most valuable commodities. This probably means that she was educated. (only about seven percent 45
  • 46. of the women were literate). It is not surprising that she became a leader of the church. But this does not prove that Lydia exercised authority in the church. It is most likely whoever headed a church, exercised authority over that church. The minute Paul got out of jail, he went to Lydia’s house, she was already the leader in Philippi. - There is a little bit of evidence that in upper Macedonia (capital Philippi) women had more priveleged status than elsewhere in the Roman world. Perscilla: (and Prisca are the same) married to Aquilla. Prominent couple in the NT. Priscilla’s name is mentioned first. This is counter culture – this is a rubric we often fall in our culture today. In fact, four times her name is mentioned first. This is a clue to something –she had more prominent status. It means either she was more prominent in her personal skills, or that she brought in more money, or both. They instruct Apollos. He came from the Alexandria – the intellectual capital of Greco-Roman world. When Apollos taught he didn’t have all this theology together – so they instructed him. He took systematics 1,2,3 from Priscilla and Aquilla. - the church father Origen records this debate – already by the 2nd century, the church was arguing that Priscilla teaching Apollos legitimizes women teaching in the church. Here is a historical case. The traditionalists of the 2nd century said – no she was teaching privately. The debate hasn’t changed in 18 centuries. - Good point – Apollos, came from Alexandria – where Philo is and it is likely that Apollos has heard of Philo and all his negative comments. But Apollos seems fine in receiving her instruction. • the real question is that: is there any difference between whether the teaching is done privately or publically? I think the NT says there is no difference. What makes the teaching authoritatively is that it is apostolically congruent. • Fascinating that the Priscilla debate began in the 2nd century. Conclusions: 46
  • 47. - inclusive of women, Lydia, Priscilla Women in Greco-Roman culture and Society Definition of terms. Hellenistic – coined by French scholar in 1870’s (Drosden), Greek culture after the death of Alexander the Great and Aristotle. With their deaths there was a great cultural shift. Greek lost it’s cultural hegemity – but it was spread all across the world. That is why it is common Greek. The one language that bound the world together. - Rome, by 1st century BC was extending its’ power east. Augustus was the first emperor of Rome, thus we designate the history is that of the Roman empire. The world became politically Rome. The official language was Latin. (Latin, Greek, Hebrew – were the languages on Jesus’ sign). But the culture is still Greek. Greco-Roman period is how we define it today. Roman political with Greek culture. - The early church was predominantly a Greco-Roman movement. Although it was born in Judaism. The original followers were Jewish. Cornelius (Acts 10) first non-Jew to receive the Holy Spirit. Who evangelized Cornelius? Peter – he was the leader of the Church in Jerusalem. Cornelius was unclean. When Peter came back to Jerusalem he was in trouble. Dr. Scholer’s theory – when Peter came back and talked about Cornelius – he was contaminated and James took over the leadership of the church in Jerusalem. - Barnabas and Paul were Jews but were not born in Palestine. Paul probably spoke Greek as fluently as he spoke Hebrew. The Greco-Roman context is very important when we talk about women in the church. • we are facing the same hermeneutical debates: if you tamper with culture – you are eroding the authority of the bible. • All scholars will look at the Greco-Roman world in order to gain insight in to the Greek language. No matter where you stand on this issue, you retrieve from Greco-Roman culture all that you can for purpose of language understanding. 47
  • 48. Sarah Palmeroy and E. Cantarella Pandora’s Daughters The reality is that almost all Greco-Roman literature is written by men. Almost all women’s occupation deals with cloth making (Lydia – was a dealer of purple dye and cloth). Many business were women cooperatives. Many mom and pop shops run by women. Lindsey Davis – mystery novels are accurate description of life in 1st century Rome. Women were involved to some extent more in public life (2nd Temple) There was a rich upper class (10%) of population. Wealthy women did as they pleased. Not controlled by their husbands. Most wealthy women gave money to civic causes. They gathered artists around them – writers, painters, poets, dramatists. Vast majority of women in Roman empire lived at home like 2nd Temple. Care for the house and bear and raise children. Women were more explicitly regarded as inferior. Definitely inferior to men. This runs deeply through Greek culture. The culture was misogynist. Many of these texts are clearly misogynist in a way Jewish texts are not. We have information from census reports on papyri. - on the basis of census data: got married between 14-16. Typical man between 25-30. Typically husband was 10-15 years older. He had to complete his education, and had to establish himself as economically viable. When he married he had an income and could support a family. Educated enough to function in public life. Above all they learned how to make cloth. Obligated to make clothing. Once a woman was able to bear children she was ready for marriage. Huge articles written about when the precise age a woman was ready to be married. When a woman was married, she had a baby every 32 months. Evidence would indicate that she would have a baby, as soon as that baby was weaned, she had the next baby. She had babies until she couldn’t produce anymore or died. Probably 1/3 of women died in childbirth. This is was a high-risk life. Many babies died. Many children died before 5. If you lived past 5 you would live a long time. Almost all children who were born with deformity were put to death. If a mother bore children she couldn’t afford –they put the baby outside to die (exposure, infanticide). This was not uncommon if you couldn’t afford the evidence. 48
  • 49. Baby girls were put out on the field far more often than baby boys. Prostitution survived is that baby girls left out to exposed and were raised to be prostitutes. The church started orphanages, and picked up these babies and taught it was wrong to expose them. - It was a hard life for women. Plutarch Advice to a bride and groom 30 “you shouldn’t buy your wife shoes, because if she doesn’t have shoes, she more likely to stay home.” Bare-foot and pregnant. This was the pattern for women, unless you were rich. - Soranus: wrote about gynecology. How to bare and raise children. - Diascorides: was a 1st century author – pharmacology – describes over 700 herbs and their medicinal causes. Men and women have different reactions to certain medicine. - Women were seen as the source of sexual sin. Even more strongly than in the Jewish culture. There were a lot of women Deity figures: polytheism. Cult of the great mother: Isis: she was an export from Egypt; by 2nd century AD one of the most dominant God in the empire. She was very important. By AD 50, there were more temples to Isis than churches. Half of the members of this cult were females. Roman women, rebelling against their husbands would participate secretly in the Isis cult. Through inscriptions, as you go up the hierarchal ladder the higher percentage of male authority figures. The very top were all males. - Sarah Pomeroy’s conclusion: The Isis cult was open to women, the Church was not. She concludes her book, what would have it been like if Isis had won over the church – we might have a different world. This is a sobering question she poses. One of the negatives about women, were that women were abnormally religiously curious. Women are considered religiously deviant. 2 timothy 3 : “avoid the false teachers, for among these false teachers, are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women… swayed by all kinds of desires… and can never arrive at a knowledge of truth.” The heretics saw as one of their most fertile audiences, women! They got into their houses and taught these women. 49
  • 50. - Eva Canterella’s conclusion: Pandora’s Daughters: scholar of the Greco-Roman period, woman, feminist: “the picture of the female person may seem pessimistic… it is absolutely unacceptable to say that women had power, or privilege. The function of women in Greece was exclusive to bear children… ideology that women were inferior… misogyny… with the fulfillment of her biological function she had finished her entire duty… this duty in the end annulled her as a person...” sad conclusion but a fair one. Selective survey of Greco-Roman texts 1. Livy: a wife was husband is off to war – another general comes to her house and demands to have sex with her. And he says I will kill you. She says you will have to kill you. What I’m going to do is make you go to bed with one of your slaves and then kill you both. This would look even worse. Livy believes society has become morally corrupt. Livy wants a return to the better times when women ought to be morally upstanding like the example of this one woman. - In response to Opius law – a large group of women marched on the Roman Senate. Kato’s speech “the moment they become your equal, they will be your superior.” - See in syllabus p.22 - Tacitus: one tribe is ruled by a woman “so low have they fallen – not merely from freedom, but from slavery.” • all of these authors believe that Rome is moral deteriorating. Gone to hell in a handbasket and it’s the fault of women Tacitus: when a husband catches his wife “cuts off her hair, strips her naked, and whips her through the entire village.” This is held up as a model. Not unlike the woman caught in adultery – but more vicious. Adultery is only the women’s fault. - Martial: - Pubilius Syrus: 50
  • 51. • these are representative and fair texts of all the greater material we find in Greco-Roman culture. There is no texts like this about men. Only homosexual men are made fun of. Across the board by all authors. It represents the male, sexist, paternalism of the Greco-Roman world. Missed last hour of class Monday, June 26, 2000 Brief introduction to Paul. 1 Cor 14 (rarely used by traditionalists) , 1 Cor 2; these are Paul’s two texts of silence. Traditionalists mainly use 1 Timothy 2. Principial texts by Paul: foundational. Galatians 3:28: played a significant role in this debate. See Article p.113. First major use of this text 9-15-1883. Ordination service of the first woman in the United States – Antoinette Brown. She had intended Oberlin College. Oberlin was one of the first to allow women to attend all the classes. Her senior paper was on 1Tim 2. See p.114: I can’t see how the text can support the exclusion of anything women may do. Catherine Booth (founder of Salvation Army) – she references Gal 3:28 at one point in her argument. Ever since the 1850’s Gal 3:28 has been a pivotal text in these discussions. • read Dr. Scholer essay – outlines traditional position on this text. - Richard Hove Equality in Christ? Traditionalists argument against 3:28 51
  • 52. (ranked least powerful to most powerful argument) 1. since this text was not used this way until the middle of the 19th century it is not valid. No one saw this meaning of the text until just recently. The argument really doesn’t work – because what would you do with Luther and Calvin and the reformation? Also the argument against slavery. Gal 3:28 was used considerably in the US debate over slavery. Those who supported slavery argued 3:28 doesn’t apply. Most traditionalists and complementarians are painfully aware of these positions. Those who supported slavery were actually there intellectual forebearers. Example: in the 19th century – the second most important reformed theologian. Robert Dabney pro-slavery: Chaplain in the Confederate Army. Charles Hodge, Prof. at Princeton, also wrote in favor of slavery as an appropriate biblical institution. When the civil war was over, Dabney continued as a scholar. Dabney also was against women’s suffrage. If a woman had the opportunity to vote, her vote could cancel her husband’s vote, and therefore not be submissive. If we give women the right to vote we might as well throw away the Bible. Dabney wrote on women the same way he wrote on slavery. - very skittish about this first argument 2. this text says nothing about the function or office of ministry. Obviously it doesn’t! But this text is a theological text that talks about the relationship of men and women in Christ. Most traditionalists don’t push this too far 3. Jew – Greek and slave – free are historical contexts. Jews and Greeks weren’t in the garden. In Christ you can reverse the Jew – Greek distinction and the free – slave distinction. God created humankind and God directed that male’s should be in the authority position. Jesus Christ cannot change God's creational intent. This is a fairly important argument. This goes back to the Gen material as being foundational. 4. Making this text pivotal, leads to the relativising of other Pauline texts. This pits Paul against Paul. If Gal 3:28 becomes dominant – than it contradicts 1 Tim 2. Paul couldn’t contradict himself, he is inspired - near refusal of traditionalists to look at cultural setting of these texts. Number two, over wooden approach to Paul. It’s not Paul vs. Paul, but rather the complexity of Paul. What about eating meat that was sacrificed to idols. If Paul wants to eat meat – don’t take away his freedom. There is a “blessed contradiction.” When Paul speaks his cultural sensivity he says “I want to be all things to all people. Paul is not a 21st century Feminist. Paul is a man of his own culture. Paul had certain spiritual principles that equated men and women. - Narrow view on the unity of Paul. These people don’t understand Pauline theology. Top of page 119. - Paul is very practical and flexible and moves around within a certain circle. We have a tendency to legalize him. 5. This text is only about salvation – it has no horizontal or ecclesiological implications. God just saves all people. Any person is a candidate for salvation. The text is only about one’s relationship to God. Has nothing to do with how people relate to one another. Thus, it is an irrelevant text – inappropriate to bring it up. 52
  • 53. 6. “For you are one in Christ Jesus” the “one” is masculine form. Therefore Paul means the male to be dominate. This kind of argument is so specious that he doesn’t know where to begin with his refutation. - the key to Gal 3:28 in Christ Jesus. We are talking about are position of Christ. The fear against this is really trying to eliminate sexual distinction. Elizabeth Elliott – “All Feminists are really lesbians really homosexuals. What they are arguing for is the elimination of sexual individuality.” This is a non-sense argument. If you are arguing for spiritual equality, some people think you are arguing for the elimination of sexual differentiation. Paul is arguing that in Christ a man and a woman are equal, they are the same. There is not a distinction in Christ between a man and a woman. - Traditionalists whish to preserve sexual differentiation. - Why do you hate “mothers”. Fear of the elimination of sexual differentiation and the elimination of procreation. Some of the problem is that the old dichotomy between either being a mother or a hooker is still how these people think. In their paradigm there is no other middle ground you are either one or the other. The argument that women might be able to be ordained is heard as a devaluation of motherhood. Underlying this is the view that being a true mother – that is all you can do. This is rooted in this old dichotomy. If you are a mother, you don’t leave the house. In the ancient world that mother was pregnant every 32 months. In that world she wasn’t educate, the entire male leadership taught that she was inferior. Traditionalists have no problems for women to be working in the world. Many of the leading traditionalists men have wives who are major professional women. The ministry, becomes this special class. The last bastion of defense. Dr. Scholer’s approach to 3:28 1. this is a central core of Pauline theology. The debate over what is central in Paul is a complex debate. Have to be careful how much you claim. What has happened in Christ, is that the middle wall of hostility has been broken down. The old has passed away the new has come. Many passages can be shown how central this is to the heartbeat of Paul’s theology. 1 Cor, 2 Cor, Gal, Phil, Eph, (probably in Col). 2. The triple pairing of this text is an intentional use of a cultural tradition. This applies a horizontal connection. If you take something that is deeply embedded in culture – you automatically give the text a horizontal connection. Paul isn’t saying that it doesn’t matter whether you have long hair or short, new sandals or old… - Jewish text 7:18. Everyday a Jewish man ought to pray thank God “I was born a Jew not a Gentile that I am educated and not educated, and that I’m a man and not a woman.” - Also have this in a pagan world. P.123 in the reader. Three blessings: I was born a human being and not a brute, man not a woman, Greek not a Barbarian. - Plato was thankful: born a man not a dumb beast, man rather than a woman, Greek not a foreigner. 53
  • 54. - In each of these texts there is this triple pairing that goes to the heart of who is on the inside and who is on the outside. You don’t have a woman praying everyday, thank God I’m a woman and not a man. - The triple pairing in the text, intentionally used by Paul, takes on a certain kind of power, In Christ – these traditional mores are no longer relevant – they are broken down in christ. • Also, these three categories represents everyone in the Greco-Roman world. Anybody who hears this in the first century would be put on edge. These categories are important distinctions. This isn’t Los Angeles vs. St. Louis. This is Iraqi vs. Iranian. • Slaves had no rights – families broken up sold around regardless of family connections. Very few slave rebellions in the ancient world, is because masters held all the power. Story: albeit, exaggerated: Wealthy man had 400 slaves – palatial mansion. While away his nephew was murdered. When he returned the rumor was that his nephew was killed by a slave. The master rounded up all 400 killed them all. Wanted to make sure he got the murderer. The thing is that this master didn’t violate any Roman law. He didn’t violate anyone’s inherent rights. - 525 citations in Greco-Roman literature about Jews – they are all negative or silent. Roman and Greek authors didn’t like Jews. Tacitus originated the joke (didn’t mean it as a joke) Jews are intelligent – Moses was so stupid that he got lost for 40 years. - It’s obvious what the Jews thought about the Gentiles. 66 AD – told by Josephus: Story about Cessarea: Best port town – capital of Judea – where the Governor lived. 20,000 Jews lived in the city. They had one exceptional synagogue, perhaps several others, but one of there was too small for their use – adjacent to their synagogue was an open lot that was for sale. They wanted to but the lot but the owner was a Gentile and he refused to sell the land to Jews. The Jews complained to the City council, but nothing was done. On one Sabbath, while the Jews were worshipping a group of Gentile young men (thugs) sacrificed an unclean animal on the steps of the synagogue. A group of Jewish young men (hot-heads) reacted and ran out of the synagogue and beat up the Gentile young men. The Gentile young men immediately went to get a meeting with the Governor and told them that they were just plainly beat up by Jewish men. The Roman Governor immediately sent his general and dispatched the army to kill every Jew in Cessearea. Within 1 hour – 20,000 Jews were slaughtered. When news of this hit Jerusalem this immediate sparked the rebellion that lasted 7 years. Gal 2 – Paul tells the Antioch story. First integrated church. Jews and Gentiles were actually eating together. They were not just relating to God, but relating to each other – in fellowship. A group of Jews came from Jerusalem. They were of the circumcision party – Peter and Barnabas left the room. Paul said he told off Peter to his face – the gospel has been compromised by your leaving of the room. You have destroyed the meaning of the Gospel. For Paul these issues have social implications. Philemon – is the slave owner. Vs. 16 – he says to Philemon “This brother in Christ, your slave… he is a brother – he will be your brother forever. Not only is he your brother in the Lord, he is your brother in the flesh. What did it mean to be a brother in the flesh? Even at the human level 54
  • 55. you can’t treat him as a slave. Paul makes this distinction. On the basis of this there is a social or horizontal dimension in the texts. Is the real issue a salvation problem? Of course the theological problem was underlying. But the fact that it’s the underlying problem, doesn’t make Jew-Gentile problem irrelevant. The Jew- Gentile issue is relevant. The theological underpinning actually effects the way people live – not just how God looks at them. - if a white preacher in 1945 in the south would have said “there is neither white man nor negro.” No one would think God and salvation! They would instantly think social relationships! One of the rebutuls of Traditionalists is that cultural data is not exegesis and doesn’t apply. 4. Paul actualizes in his ministry the horizontal implications of these three pairings. Paul lived out the realities of these texts. Paul had a vision of what it was to be in Christ. The reality with which he was must concerned was Jew and Gentile. That was the bottom line in Paul. That is what he gave his life for. Paul wasn’t interested in founding congregations where they were all one in the body of Christ where they loved and cared for each other. Where they worshipped and fellowshipped together. Romans 14-15 – strong and weak = Jew/gentile. You must respect each other because Jesus requires it. Paul doesn’t separate theology and life. The theological argument plays out in life. Paul had one foot in the old creation and one foot in the new creation. - Paul wrote to Philemon – but he didn’t go on a campaign against slavery. No one in the ANE would have done that. Paul had some insight as to what it meant to be in Christ. Paul says to the master that he is your brother in the flesh and in the Lord – forever! Paul understood the transendence of Christ. - It would be easier to prove slavery in the NT exegetically than prove the silence of women in the NT. - Never separate theology and practice. This is a tragedy and a misunderstanding. - See Longnecker, Snodgrass – argues the same position as Scholer.- Hove takes on both of them as well. Conclusion 1. Paul’s theology is fairly radical: 2Cor 3; 2Cor 5 – new creation in Christ. One of the things that is interesting in Gal 3:28 – “neither nor, neither nor, neither and” This is how the Greek literarly reads. It says “and” because of Genesis. What is happening in the third pair is that he is alluding to Gen 1:27 That would be the only way to explain the grammar irregularity. If God’s creation, created Adam, male and female. What is Paul saying: in Christ there is neither male and female. Paul is actually arguing to transcend creation. We are one in Christ. In the 2nd century Gnostics took Galatians 3:28 literaly – we go back to the undifferentiated Adam – no sexual differentiation. Gospel of Thomas – 2. One can maintain sexual identity with sexual hierarchy. One doesn’t have to have an androcentric model to have sexual identity. 55
  • 56. • Jesus and women: Mary Magdalene and the early church. She was a strong spokesperson – Gospel of Mary (2nd century). The male disciples always have the dumb questions and the female disciples ask the good questions. Why do we have such texts and what does it reflect? At minimum we can conclude that we have these sorts of discussion in the early church. • In those sources, Mary is shown to have greater spiritual insight. - Piper and Grudeman are the two editors Complementarians: Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. - Question of women and authority – Piper “it is obvious that we are on the brink of contradiction. The complexities of life require us to take the risk…from time to time a woman might be put into the influence of supervising a man… • absolute trivialization of authority: housewife giving car directions – we all know she can point a man to the freeway without compromising male authority. • If this is where the authority debate starts culturally – then we can see how they discount Gal 3:28. - 3:28 is the fundamental window in how to understand this debate – this will influence the way I look at the other texts. Implication – is that traditionalists don’t like Scholer introduction of culture. There own understanding of authority is shaped by our own culture. They have done the same thing that they criticize Scholer for. - Look at F.F. Bruce: most of these people, who honor Bruce all their lives, won’t take him on. They simply over look it. - Traditionalists discuss this text only because egalitarians keep bringing it up. • This is a fundamental human issue. Human beings were created in the image of God. Without denying the scandal of racial and ethnic bias and discrimination, the male – female issue is the deepest human issue. It touches every human, at every level, in every culture. Human sin has marred God’s creation as male and female. • Focus on the Family: Dobson had either Piper or Grudeman on his broadcast – but would never allow an egalitarian on his show ever! 1 Corinthians 7 – principle Text - longest single discussion of sexuality in the Bible. Notice that Paul takes up the subject of marriage, remarriage, divorce, celibacy (virginity) and explicitly in all four cases he addresses men and women and he addresses them equally. He addresses them in the same way. The entire structure is that man and woman are similarly addressed on the issues of sexuality. In that sense, Paul is saying that marriage is mutual. Mutuality that is the sub- structure of the entire text. This is what makes it a principial text. This is not a text about 56
  • 57. ministry or office or leadership in the church. This is a text about Paul’s fundamental standing of how men and women are related in Christ. 1. The husband should give to her wife conjugal… and also the wife should give to her husband. The husband doesn’t have authority over his own body! This is so counter to Greco-Roman literature. Only one other author has ever said this in antiquity – Nutonius- Rufus. - do not deprive one another unless through mutual agreement. 2. On widows there seems to be a slight difference. Even in Paul’s culture there was never a term for a male widower. It was a social problem for a widow – they were dependent – who was going to care for a widow. (either father or husband). If a wife dies, the man can still make it in the world. There was this kind of unilateral issue. 3. Divorce – defends explicitly the right of a believing sister, even if her husband wants to divorce her. Paul says let the man go. Don’t capitulate your faith. A dependence upon Jesus leads to a new kind of egalitarianism. 4. Celibate partnership: unmarried man and woman who make a bond together for the sake of the gospel. Not something we would be very comfortable with. - every part of 1 Cor 7: presupposes that a man and a woman have the same obligations. Therefore it is a principial text. Similar to Gal 3:28. 1 Cor 7 is a particular outworking of Gal 3:28. Marriage, divorce, celibacy are going to be lived out in a new way. - Does present deep problems about sexuality – most people ignore difficult texts – they raise to many problems. 1 Cor 11 2:16 introduction: why has this text become important. When first teaching the course he differentiated between negative and positive texts. - Traditionalists see this text in a negative sense (limited roles of women in the church) because the text begins with… Christ is the head of every man, and man the head of wife… Seems likely its clearly a heirarchical text. Limitations of women. Text seems to presuppose that women were praying and prophesying in the church. The issue seems to be head covering while this is going on. But the text seems to presuppose women were participating. Nowhere in the OT does it say anything about head covering. This was a cultural issue. The only reason Paul wrote this text was because of a cultural situation. Paul argues that prophesy is the gift for building the body of Christ. This text should move from the negative column to the positive column. This text introduces the issue o f head covering, but presupposed a 57
  • 58. positive participation of women in the church. In Christ, both women and men could engage in the primary gift of the church. - John Calvin assumed that this passage wasn’t about church because women actually spoke. Since Paul taught elsewhere that women shouldn’t speak in church –this couldn’t be about church. up until 1920 this text was quickly put aside, because it wasn’t about church or Christian worship. This text reflected some private home meeting away from the church. You need to know that for hundred of years this was the interpretation. This is rejected by all Traditionalists – they read this specifically as having to deal with the church. Everyone agrees that this is about church. This is about women who do in fact, speak in church. Two issues end up in the debate: 1) what is the significance of the speech women exhibit 2) what is the meaning of head covering and the God, Christ, Man, woman hierarchical motif. All traditionalists agree that this text teaches the divine hierarchy. There is a divinely instituted hierarchy. Similar to Genesis 2. • core of the argument. The purpose of this text is to deal with women’s head coverings. Paul would not have written this passage if it weren’t the case that there were women in Corinth who weren’t covering their head. This is a specific cultural situation. Why traditionalists don’t grant this. They believe the head covering issue is only a culturally relative question. If you allow this you allow the hermeneutical door to raise the question that these texts are addressing cultural questions. They feel a theological necessity to argue that this is not a cultural issue but a theological affirmation of male authority. • The argument is so critical here. If you are a Traditionalist you cannot give into the cultural issue. The head covering is incidental. Most NT scholars and all egalitarians – this text is about a particular problem that grew out of cultural practices which Paul feels constrained to discuss. What is at stake here is hermeneutics. - There is actually a scholar William Walker Jr.: argues that Paul didn’t write this passage. This is a text that limits women and believes Paul couldn’t have written this – therefore Paul didn’t write this text. Only scholar that argues this is a non- Pauline text. What is the social-ecclesial situation that is presupposed: 1. this is a church meeting 2. is this about hair or a veil. Not the critical part of the debate. Women in Jewish culture wore a veil. Came from the top of the head down over the face. Not unlike a modern day wedding veil. Also true in Greco-Roman world. Paul will use women’s long hair later – - the most conservative people argue for hair – because it makes it less of a cultural issue 1st century significance - women wore veils because they would cause sexual sin. Basically an issue of female modesty in the culture. Virtually all the evidence we have from 2nd Temple Judaism – women had to 58
  • 59. have a veil. A woman who went outside without a head covering would be openly enticing people sexually. In the Greco-Roman culture this is a little more ambiguous. In the art of upper class women, none of them had head coverings. Greco-Roman women when they were doing religious things, kept their heads covered. It is hard to know all of the cultural information. • In the Corinthian church, women’s head covering had to be a major issue. Five arguments for why this was a problem for the church (see outline). The bottom line appears that this was heavily related to female decency. It could relate to prostitution, lesbianism… and a host of others – not enough evidence to sort out. Whatever the case, it was essential to Paul that a woman keep her head covered. What was allowed according to Paul is that a woman could prophesy like a man. Her head uncovered destroyed her witness in Christ. The text is culturally relative. Today a woman doesn’t need to cover her head. - why would Corinthian women remove their veil? The women were speaking in church in the same way men were speaking in church. Did men have their heads covered? They removed coverings because they were now doing what men did. If you were going to speak you needed to be like a man. Presumably women took off their head covering deliberately. - important text in this discussion: Joseph and Asenath (first promoted by Elaine Pagels). Asenath is a pagan Egyptian woman who falls in love with Joseph. Everyday she looks out her window and admires Joseph from afar. At some point she finally decides that the God of the Jews is the one true God. She smashes all her idols – puts on rags, blackens her face with coal and repents. While she’s repenting – there is a knock on her door. It is the chief Angel – Michael (not mentioned). Tells Asenath something very important – but I cannot talk to you until you are properly dressed. She washes off her coal, puts on her address, and puts her veil over her face – now she is properly dressed. Michael, knocks on the door again and now can talk to her. She is born again, new creation, many themes in the NT. She has now believed in Yahweh – Michael tells her to take off her veil. Paul 2 Cor 3, we don’t have to be like Moses with a veil over our face – we can look directly into the face of God. Many scholars think this might be the background for what is going on in Corinthian church. You don’t need to where a veil anymore – we are a new creation – take off the veils while we worship. Paul says no – keep the veil on. This would underscore the importance of this otherwise unknown social rubric. Paul cannot site the bible to say that you must wear the veil. This opens the hermeneutical understanding of how Paul argues. If a traditionalist grants that this is the issue – then in there opinion they have relativised Paul and then there is no end. Therefore they must ardently argue that this text is all about hierarchy. Five arguments - angel arguments: vs.10. “for this reason, a woman ought to a have a symbol…” terrible grammatic problem: you have two “because of this” you can’t write a Greek sentence like this. It’s a wrong sentence. This is the grammatical truth. - Second problem: the NRSV the woman ought to have a “symbol of” this is not in the text. What the text literaly says: “for this reason a woman ought to have authority on her head” 59
  • 60. Old translations couldn’t stomach this – so they inserted veil. But veil isn’t in the text. The word for authority is the positive active word of authority. - P.19 syllabus: complete perversion of the Greek text. - What Paul wrote is that the woman ought to have authority over her head. Paul is playing word play. If a woman has her head covered – she then has authority on her head. She then is free to speak in church. She would be free to prophesy. * because of the angels… no one has ever figured out what this means. Tuesday, June 27, 2000 “is there anything I need to know?” classic way to start class. Clouse/Clouse paper: basically two positions; most students analyze Culver and Foh together and Liefeld and Mickelson together. Look for the heart of each author – try to think in these terms. OR “how does each one treat Paul” OR “what are the hermeneutics of each one?” how are you impacted but these arguments – what did the book do or not do for you. This book has editors and they chose to frame the book in a certain way. Culver – Dr. Scholer had him as a Prof. 40 years ago. Foh – Seminarian graduate. Dr. Liefeld Seminary Prof – taught at Trinity; Plymouth Bretheren. (same as FF Bruce). Only egalitarian at Trinity. Intro conclusion Culver (traditionalist) Liefeld (cautious egalitarian) Foh (modified) Mickelsen (full egalitarian Cont. 1 Cor 11 NRS 1 Corinthians 11:2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, 5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head-- it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. 7 For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection of God; but woman is the reflection of man. 8 Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. 10 For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God. 13 Judge for 60
  • 61. yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is disposed to be contentious-- we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God. Paul’s five arguments 1. kefalh,n - Paul is playing on the metaphorical and literal sense of kephale. Is “head” like President of the Seminary the head or does “head” refer to source, like source of a river? This debate is irresolvable and eternal. All metaphorical uses of words depend on context. Traditionalist always argue that it means authority. Egalitarians have usually rendered it source. Reading it both ways runs into theological problems. The Traditionalists make a strong pitch of authority – but this throws into question Paul’s Christology. If God has the authority over Christ – this is difficult • In Hebrew Bible the word for head is rosh – whenever it is used metaphorically to mean the leader of a tribe, it is translated in Greek by the word archae. “arch-bishop” ruling bishop. In the LXX translation every single time that rosh is used of a leader metaphorically the Greek work is always archae and never kephale. • Eph 5 this same debate comes in. - Chap. 17: Evangelical debate over Biblical headship. The world kephale will not resolve the entire issue. - In this text, Dr. Scholer argues the “source” interpretation. Allusion to the reading of Gen 2. 2. Argument of nature. Not a Scriptural argument 3. Allusion to Gen 2. This is the most frightening part of the text. “The man is the image and reflection of God, but a woman is the reflection of man. Indeed man was not made from woman, but woman from man…woman created for the sake of man.” - what is true about these statements: standard male interpretation of Gen 2 excluding Gen 1. Paul bought into the Jewish exegesis of his day and he was wrong. This was Paul Jewett’s argument. Paul was wrong. Jewett was put on trial for this – movement on campus to get rid of him. Defended by President Hubbard. Jewett’s choice of words were unfortunate. - Dr. Scholer “Paul reflects his Jewish environment. And this reflection is a selective exegesis.” For example Deut 4: don’t put a muzzle an the ox – Paul says you don’t think really cares about oxen, this was written for us. Paul takes a non-literal interpretation and makes the oxen text a divine text for paying church leaders. (1 Cor 9). Deuteronomy was concerned with oxen not a fledgling church in the 1st century. Paul was doing what other exegetes were doing at that time. - This text almost says that women were created in the image of God. Many Jewish texts would argue that only a man was made in the image of God. Early church Fathers inherited this from Judaism. 61
  • 62. • Paul’s genuine Jewish environment. Absolute passion to argue that women must have their heads covered. Paul qualifies his argument vs. 11-12 nevertheless – strong adversive. “In the Lord (in the life of faith) women is not independent of man or man independent of woman… all things come from God.” Since all things come from God – everything is equal. See 1 Cor 3 – “they all belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.” Paul reverses his context: “in the Lord women and men are interdependent.” This is a self-conscious attempt by Paul to soften what he is saying. 4. Angel argument. Nobody knows what it means – so it’s a field day to explain what they think. - explanation of early Church Fathers: Genesis 6. Angels lusted after human women. What Paul is saying is that women ought to have their heads covered because of the lusty angels that might come down. Bad angel view. - Good angel view. 4QSL “Angelic Liturgy” Qumran viewed itself that it was worshipping with the angels. Like Revelation: all the redeemed and the angels worship together. If you are going to worship with the angels, you have to do worship right. The angels aren’t going to tolerate poor liturgy. Must worship God correctly. The good angel view. 1954 Henry Joel Cadburry – argues that this reference to 1 Cor 11 is a reference to good angels. Not a question of lusting angels, but rather concerned angels. This has become a very popular view. - Hermeneutical point: most of us don’t worry about the angels when it comes to these details of worship. - Terrible grammatical problem in vs. 10. Too “because of” without an “and” or a “but” doesn’t quite fit in the structure. - The text actually says: Women out to have authority on her head. Look at outline p.19 point 4. See appendix: NIV is trying to interpret what the use of exousia. - Warna Hooker article: with her head covered, a woman has authority on her head and has the right to speak and prophesy in church. FF Bruce accepted her interpretation. She held the highest NT chair in Cambridge. 5. Church practice: uses church practice argument three other times in 1 Cor. Paul just says, this is how we do it. If in the end, if you are not convinced, don’t argue with me, because this is how we do it. Vs. 16 clearly means, that the church practice is to have head coverings for women, don’t be contentious, that attitude isn’t allowed in this church. Purpose of text and headship. Traditionalists will say that the main purpose is to teach headship and authority structure. a) begs the question of the meaning of kephale b) Paul didn’t write this text to teach a certain type of hierarchy. He wrote this because women weren’t covering their heads. He wrote this to deal with a problem. His arguments become part of what Paul said. c) The presumption of this text is that women do pray and prophesy in the Corinthian church – this is the sub-structure of this text. Paul argues that Prophesy is the most important thing in 62
  • 63. the church. Prophesy ought to dominate the church – it is intelligible speech that builds up the church, grows and leads the church to maturity. Paul is speaking against the unbridled use of speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is meant to be a private gift – not a public worship gift – even then it is given strict regulations is how it is to work in worship. Let all things be done in decency and order. But he wishes prophesy would reign. Prophesy functions as teaching in the church! it is what strengthens the church. Most scholars who have studied prophesy in the early church. Prophesy is the function of authority in the early church. - Hurley’s book: he argues that women indeed prophesy in church – he can’t deny 1 Cor 11. But he says that prophesy is not authoritative speech. Never once does he mention 1 Cor 14. This is an inexcusable omission by a NT scholar. That is managing the evidence. 1 Cor 11 – women are prophesying in church. Traditionalists would want to say that prophesying women never held the office of elder, and thus, don’t have authority. - The NT, presents church structure as fluid. The office of elder was not universal in the church in AD 50. We have no evidence that there were elders in the Corinthian church. What we do know is that we have multiple leaders who are defined by their different roles. We do have evidence that prophesying is a link to authority. d) the meaning of vs. 11-12 – women are viewed as interdependent with men when they are in the Lord. This is his theological trump card. But he doesn’t want women to leave their heads uncovered. - the principle in worship is to do things that are edifying. 1 Cor is about worship. Jewish text: Rabbinic Text – later than the NT. Midrash Rabah Book IX paragraph 12. “the great commentary” covers the pentateuch. Numbers 5: 14. adultery and an unfaithful wife. “goes out to the market place with head uncovered; and slits on both sides of her clothes… a woman like this a man should treat in only one way – divorce her because she is unfaithful.” Women Co-workers - another facet of the debate. What legitimates women’s teaching with authority… women preaching the resurrection, women receiving the Holy Spirit, Gal 3:28 and women working with Paul. Traditionalists have disregarded this last piece. NT bears testimony to women in ministry. - 1980 Dr. Scholer wrote an article about Paul’s co-workers. Elizabeth Fiorenza published on this in 1983-4. - 54 men 13 women – about 18% of Paul’s co-workers are female, this is significant. Romans 16 is an especially rich source because here Paul is sending greetings to a church he has never visited. He is most likely mentioning the leaders. 1/3 of people he lists by name are women. - Traditionalists response: none of these women held the office of elder. God has reserved the office of elder for men. 63
  • 64. - Second traditionalists response. We don’t have absolute truth that these women actually exercise authority. House church leaders, Lydia, Chole, Nympha, Apphia. The only churches of Jesus Christ in Paul’s day were house churches. There were no church buildings until the 3rd century. We have some evidence that anything dedicated as a church was a large room in the home of a wealthy person. Not likely any house church ever exceeded 70 people. In all likely hood when Paul is writing a letter to a church in Corinth, he is writing to multiple house churches. Probably when the whole church gathered they gathered in the outdoors, or perhaps they rented a civic hall. Outside is a plausible argument given the Meditereanean. - if a voluntary group met in someone’s home, the person whom the home belonged to was a authority figure. This is mildly significant. For example, it is the people from Chloe’s house who were Paul’s main informants of what is going on in the Corinthian church. Chloe was the leader of this church. women who worked hard, kopiao: always means the work of apostolic leadership in all of Paul’s usage. 1 Thess 5:12 1 Cor 16:15-16 The leaders are all mentioned as “the ones who work hard.” Terms were needed to describe to describe the church leaders. They didn’t have official titles yet. They were described in functional terms. In all the cases in Paul, people who work hard are these leaders. So that when we go to Romans 16 we read 4 women – who are women “who work hard.” Women who worked hard in the Lord. Clearly defines that working hard is the work of the ministry “working hard in the Lord.” In Paul’s vocabulary, based on all of his other uses, the these 4 women are designated as office holders. People who had authority in the church. - traditionalists response: they are not elders! You haven’t proven that they haven’t held an official office. - Phis 4:2-3 – “struggles” where we get the word athlete. This is a specific reference that these women worked for the Gospel. If they did work in the church they only worked over women. ? when can a women teach boys before they become men. At what age can she no longer teach them. Women as co-workers – sunergoi = coworkers - Paul uses this term to describe: Aquilla, Titus, Timothy, Luke, Apollos, himself. These people exercised authority in the early church. They were co-workers – this becomes a quasi- technical term for leader. This is functionally the term for church leader. “office holder” before there were office holders. Paul is saying that the church is indebted to these people. Philippian church was founded among women. Acts tells us that the group is founded by a group of women. 64
  • 65. - Euodia and Syntyche were bishops in Philippi. The whole point in mentioning their names is to help them find unity. Main purpose of Philippians was to argue for unity in the church and these two women were key to the formation of this unity. Why would he mention them if they were not leaders. These two struggled beside him in the Gospel. They are people on whom the future of the Philippian church depends. Some speculate that they are bishops of this church. Of course bishop here is not what bishop means later. You could also call them an oversear. At any point they were major leaders in the church in Philippi. Phoebe – mentioned at the beginning of Romans 16. She is carrying the letter. He asked Phoebe to carry the letter. Paul has never been to Rome. Rome is the center of the world. It is very important that he makes a good connection to this church. He wants the church in Rome to finance his mission to Spain. a) give me money to get to Spain b) Paul has heard that there is trouble between the strong and the weak. Problem with food laws – respect each other c) Finished with preaching to the east. Now it is time to go west. This is a mature life reflection. And the Roman church would be a good recipient of his apostolic mission. - the spiritual mission of preaching the gospel to Jew and Gentile. • he chooses Phoebe to carry this letter. She is probably rich and can pay her own passage. “help her in whatever she may require”. Writing to a church he’s never been to and asking them to do a lot for her – she must be an important person. He describes Phoebe with two terms diakonos: this word did not exist in the 1st century. This was a Christian created Greek word, to describe a group of women later who did ministry with women. They were called deaconess. It would not be appropriate to call her a deaconess. You must call her a deacon. Later in the 1st century there was an office created as deacon that served the elders. Deacon, as it developed in 2nd century was a secondary office. There is no evidence for reading the word deacon as secondary office. The only place it has a meaning of second importance is when it is mentioned alongside bishop. But when the word diakonos is used by itself – - the technical meaning is a waiter – someone who brings the food to the table. (servant) In cultic religions, there were diakonos who were servants of the of the God of the temple. Servant is a quasi-technical term of servant. Pope is called the servant of the servants of God. Jesus told us that a leader is a servant. - Phoebe is a servant just like Paul, timothy, and the other people title this way. - In KJV 1611 – whenever the word diakonos was translated (except Romans 16 – where it was translated servant) minister. * what’s critical is the understanding what is being implied by Paul. You can use servant, deacon, or minister, as long as you understand what this really reflects in regards to the actual activities this person performed. 65
  • 66. prostatis: benefactor. Rich civilians who pay for the creation of a park, statue, fountain in the town square. Benefactors were people who had clout. Not necessarily official, but they had clout. You have a certain degree of social authority. She benefacted the church and Paul. Phoebe was one of the primary financier of Paul’s ministry. Paul did what he did through her money. - when Paul talk about leaders 1Thess 5:12; 1 Timothy 3:4 – people who are leaders are called prostatis. Traditionalist argue that the term diakonos never implies authority. The only word that implies authority is elder. Junia – Romans 16:7 “Greet A and J” in Greek these two names are objects of the verb greet. In Greek the nouns are declined whether they are subject or object of the name. Junias  Junian Junia  Junian The Greek text is ambiguous to whether it is a man or a woman. This has always been read as a man because this person was an apostle with outstanding character. And perhaps apostles before Paul was. Since the text says that they are apostles, and a woman can’t be an apostle – than it had to be Junias. - 13th century commentator said this was a male. • This is a woman!! Traditionalists only mention the Greek conundrum and never this other evidence. • Normally when Paul has a two part link name it’s a husband and a wife. We know that A is a man so we expect the next to be a woman. - John Chrystonsom – 4th century: wrote a commentary on Romans. It is the oldest surviving commentary we have. O what a blessed woman. What a woman Junia must have been. Because the great apostle calls her an apostle. Living in the Greek culture – and all his convictions - he makes a powerful argument that he was a woman. - Roman historians have cataloged every name in Roman culture. We know a lot about the names in Roman empire. How often has Junias been found as a mans name – zero times. It is a fictious male name. Junia is a common female name. Can be documented readily at least thirty times from Roman literature. It is a virtual certainty that Junia is a female. She therefore is an apostle. That clenches the issue of a woman exercising authority in the early church. 66
  • 67. - The fact that she is mentioned prominent among the apostles, reveals that she is an apostle. Check the presupposition of people. People presuppose that there is no way a woman can be an apostle so therefore, you marshal everything in order to preserve your presupposition. - Apostolos: missionary of the gospel. Authenticated, authoritative witness of the gospel. Not just limited to the 12. Jim Hurley’s response: I really not quite convinced yet that this is a woman, but probably she is. And if so, then Paul does include her as an apostle. Than if she was an apostle, she must have preached and taught with authority in the church. What does this have to do with 21st century women, it is irrelevant. Finally, he is willing to grant that this is a document of a woman leader. Argument from silence is a difficult and suspicious argument. For instance, Paul never mentions virgin birth – therefore it really didn’t happen. The total assessement: these women were gifted in the early church and played certain roles – but no case has been made that these women taught with authority over men. It is never mentioned that they taught men. We know that God doesn’t want men to be taught by women. Whatever these great women did, they did not do that. Egalitarians would say it is remarkable that 18% of Paul’s workers were women. They are referred to in similar vocabulary as men. The titles that designate leadership used for men are the same titles that are used for women. They are a model of the participation of women for the ministry of the gospel. And perhaps only the tip of the iceberg in reflection of the many women who helped move and lead the church. 13 women names that most Christians have never heard. They are women, “ministers” of the 1st century AD. As movements institutionalize they tend to patriarchalize. Sociological statement. 1640 when women preach and cobblers pray; the fiends in hell have a holiday! This was a remark against the “she-preachers” who in 1609 helped lead the Baptist church. - 1920 - 25% of the ordained clergy in the Nazarene church were women. What is the percentage today? Why did the church of the Nazarene change. Once the women’s rights movements one the right to vote a backlash set in. Women were exhausted, they had fought for 70 years, women were tired and the male backlash began. This happened simultaneously with German theological criticism. Fundamentalists ran into their conservative ghettos in order to look nothing like the Germans and through away any cultural discussions so that they would not be like the liberal Germans. 67
  • 68. • the hedge is becoming smaller and smaller. What traditionalists have conceeded in the last 50 years – 150 years – the circled wagons are getting tighter. The final statement is that women cannot have authority in the church. What is reserved for men – pastoring a church. • Dallas Seminary has a woman on the faculty – this is the pinnacle position a woman can go in the traditional paradigm. 1 Cor 14:33-36 NRS 1 Corinthians 14:33 for God is a God not of disorder but of peace. (As in all the churches of the saints, 34 women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?) • explicitly says women should be silent in church and that they should be silent in Church. (only other text 1 Tim 2:9-15. Tertullian cites this text. Tertullian is faced with a situation where there are women teaching in the church. 198AD. We know the history of this text. Traditionalists have predominantly cited these two texts – nothing else was needed. That settled it. • 1 Cor 11 – Calvin thought it wasn’t about church. But today traditionalists say that it is church • Traditionalists themselves – now have to face the fact that 1 Cor 14:33-36 although women have to be silent in church they allow women to speak in church. But 1 Cor 11 tells us that women were speaking in church. This is an important hermeneutical point. The traditionalists must qualify there points no. they have granted the principle. What the text says on the surface may not be what the text truly means. You yourselves have granted it on 1 Cor 14. Let’s talk about it with 1 Tim 2.  I Cor 14 appears to prohibit women from speaking in church at all. This must be qualified, by the traditionalists – only some of the speech is prohibited in church. they have had to figure out what speech is appropriate. Traditionalist view: created by Jim Hurley and Wayne Gruteman 1. According to 1 Cor 11 women can prophesy: but ch.14 when someone prophesies in church what happens next – vs.29 and then judge what is said. Prophesy has to be weighed or judged. Here is an example of how authority is weighed, even prophets have to be judged. Whoever evaluates must have greater authority than the prophet. Since God gave authority to men, evaluators of prophets must be men. “Women shouldn’t function as judges of prophesy” Thus you can reconcile 1 Cor 11 and 14. Absolutely genius and clever – but totally bogus. - problem is that there is a wit of evidence that the NT suggest the judging of prophesy is a higher calling than prophesy alone. If anything NT says prophesy is the primary gift. Judging prophesy is the responsibility of the entire congregation. Furthermore, that line is quite removed from vs. 34 – there is a good deal that is said between. Vs. 34 simply says “women 68
  • 69. shouldn’t talk” to equate this with judging prophesy is clever but unwarranted. This is how they resolve the issue. - Reader Hermeneutical Gerrymandering: Dr. Scholer demonstrates the deep structure of Hurley’s book posits two levels of authority. Lower level that women can participate and upper level only reserved for men. This is not the structure of the NT – there is either true teaching or false teaching – not two levels of authority. This is what is at stake in 1 Cor 14. Interpretation: - let them ask their husbands at home. This is the interpretative key. What this is about are disruptive questions at church. Given the culture –for women to be asking questions to men who are not their husband – is socially inappropriate. - What is clear in the text is that the questions were disruptive. Given their lack of education and the cultural feelings – Paul thinks this is shameful. Paul is not talking about the right of women to prophesy. Paul’s solution is the clue to why he comes on so strongly. It is shameful culturally for a woman to do this, not anywhere in the bible. - Plutarch – most shameful thing for a woman – is to reveal her speech. - Kato – shame to the Roman Senators who can’t stop the women’s march on the Senate. - Josephus Book II. Where does the law say this? Josephus is reflecting the male understanding of what they thought the law meant. Or effectively how the law was translated. - Some scholars think that Paul didn’t write these verses. Some ancient manuscripts have these two verses placed after verse 40. There is a strongly scholarly tradition, approaching 50% of all NT scholars that were added by a later scribe. What has brought this into the evangelical debate is that Gordon Fee – argued that these verses were not written by Paul. Prior to him it was liberals who only argued this. Now a card carrying evangelical is saying that Paul didn’t write this. The key to this is the use of the word “the law” or the manuscript evidence. Wednesday, June 28, 2000 69
  • 70. Position paper: my own careful, accurate, precise, summary, of what the NT actually says about women and ministry. Draw on class lectures, readings, NT (you can include Gen 1-3; you can cover the same range as we did in class). [1 Cor 14; 1 Tim 2] You are giving what you are writing to someone who is learned, not necessarily Graduate Seminary students. You are developing a case, a unified position. This is half of the paper 60-65%. Other half: if this is what the NT teaches about women in ministry – what am I going to do about this? Application: commit to teaching Sunday schools; speak at camps; language I use as a worship leader and perhaps songs I would write; encourage my female friends, eradicate fear and insecurity with male leaders. • Sabbath – we have made some Hermeneutical decisions; see also 1 Timothy 5; people have made choices – why have you made certain choices over others? Why have you drawn the battlefields the way you have? • NT trajectory • Gal 3:28, 1 Cor 7, 1 Cor 11 = principial; over against the texts that talk about the 13 women July 18-27 is the only time Dr. Scholer will be in town to read his email. 1 Cor 14 ? integrity of the text is in question. - we have no original manuscripts of the NT – we just have copies of copies. All scribes made mistakes. Some were accidental; some changes were deliberate – grammar or maybe they didn’t like the theology of what they are copying. On occasion there are text problems – manuscripts vary greatly. Some ancient manuscripts vs. 33-34 are dislocated. A dislocation is an indication that there is a scribal problem. Inserted by a scribe maybe on the margin. And then later a scribe included it at the end of the section. This is the theory if you think Paul didn’t write the text. - Gordon Fee discusses this in his commentary on 1 Corinthians. - If you think they are authentic texts then you must still deal with them. Exegetical issues: 1. significance of 33b and 36 are part of this paragraph or not. It is possible that 33b is part of the previous paragraph. There is a big difference here. You have to make a contextual judgement. Basically the Greek was written as one continuous text in capital letters. - vs 36: that is either a conclusion to 34-35, or the opening line of the next idea. The most common view is to put 33-36 together. 70
  • 71. 2. “women” should be silent: does this mean all women, married women. The word for women and wife is the same word. Since it later says in the text; “let them ask their husbands at home” this text could just be speaking to married women. 3. “to speak” – much debate as centered around this word: laleo. Some interpret this word as babble and meaningless speech. This is a poor understanding. - some have also translated it as speaking in tongues. Inadequate – not a serious option. Every time Paul mentions speaking in tongues he writes out in long hand “speaking in tongues”. 4. “the law” – this is a big difficult issue. There is no place where the law actually says what Paul says the law say. Perhaps there is an oral tradition being used. But everywhere else Paul says “the law” he is referring to an actual written text. This is why commentators say Paul couldn’t have written as this. Perhaps Paul is referencing to a traditional way of understanding the trajectory of the Law. This is the only view one could take if they are sticking with Pauline authorship. 5. “shameful” argument is a cultural argument completely. This is hermeneutically significant. Both sides have to cope with the reality. Paul uses cultural arguments to butrice the issue. 6. “silence” vs. 28 – if someone has spoken in tongues, and no one interprets – than let him be silent. This is Pauline language and not Presbyterian language. There were ego problems and abuse problems. All of which Paul is trying to overcome – his concern for silence was not directed only at women but other issues in worship. This helps soften a little his approach to silence for women. Major interpretative options 3. prohibition of (maenads) – female, prophetic voice in a religious cult. In the temple of Apollo in Delphi. These young women would sit on a chair and they would speak for God. They would be in an ecstatic state (brought on by the deprivation of food) and they would speak as the voice of God. It is possible that recent Christian converts were at one time maenads. They may have that there maenadic speech was part of the service. - this is a nice cultural argument – but highly speculative and nothing in the text supports it. 4. Vs. 34-35 are what Paul’s opponents said. The way you ought to read this text is that these verses are quotes form Paul’s opponents that Paul rejects. This view was first spun by Katherine Bushnell. Medical doctor and women’s right activists in the late 19th cent. She wrote a book: Gods word to women. No one knows when this was written (totally grass roots). 2nd edition in 1923. This book was footnoted by an author in 1913. This book had an enormous influence in the U.S. in holiness tradition at the lay level. NT scholars didn’t know she existed. - in 1893 in a magazine for Womens Temperance – she propounded the view that this was Paul opponents speaking. - The argument has some merit. Because Paul does quote some of his opponents in 1 Cor (1 Cor 7:1; see also 1 Cor 6:12). The Origin of 1 Cor. Is a book that promotes this idea that Paul quotes his opponents. 71
  • 72. • however; it doesn’t work: a) all the quotations are short – this is relatively long b) Paul gives a quick response and put down – Paul here doesn’t write a put down c) All of Paul’s opponents in the Corinthian church are too liberal if anything. There were not conservative opponents to Paul – we have no data to support this. 5. Current standard Traditionalists explanation: prohibition of women judging prophets. Nothing in the context to suggest this. Nothing to support the ideology that judging prophets is more authoritative than prophesying. But dealing with prophesy in the church is not a question of authority but responsibility. - judging prophets: how can a woman speak in church and be prohibited to speak. One has to explain why 1 Cor 11 can occur but then 1 Cor 14. 6. Paul is really speaking about disruptive women who are talking to other men. Casts his prohibition in strong cultural language. Paul is hyping the language. Paul does this in 1 Cor… “I’ve never baptized anyone, except…” there is a rhetorical function here. “I’ve spoken in tongues more than anyone else” well how do you know Paul. It is the “but” term that carries the freight of the meaning. This is the tenor of the passage. Paul wants the service to be in order – there is this major social problem of women talking to other men. - We know it’s not a straight forward prohibition because of 1 Cor 11 – where women are prophesying. • the significant hermeneutical question is that the traditionalists have conceded that this text does not mean exactly what it says on the surface. The text needs to be nuanced. This is an incredibly important step in the debate. It does mean that traditionalists no longer use this text as the absolute biblical text – they must now fly to 1 Tim. A traditionalist would say – no our whole viewpoint rests in the bible and this is expressed in Gen 2. 1 Cor 14 is no longer usable as an explicit text. - Douglass Moo, George Knight, Jim Hurley, are well educated people. They are brilliant people. Moo has a tremendous commentary on Romans. The debate is how do we read the text. What is the hermeneutical foundation, exegetical foundation… this is what is at stake. 72
  • 73. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 NRS 1 Timothy 2:8 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; 9 also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty. - RCC might focus more on the tradition of the church and less on the textual situation of 1 Timothy 2:8-15. Thus, the biblical text isn’t the primary focus. - Timothy Bailey: debate April 1999. In the debate he structured it around two issues. 1 Tim 2 and the other is the headship issue – where he drew on Gen 2. • see if you can get a tape of Bailey’s stance: ask Scholer for a copy – provide him an audio tape. Introduction: - 1 Timothy 5:3-16 ought to be part of the discussion. NRS 1 Timothy 5:3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God's sight. 5 The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; 6 but the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give these commands as well, so that they may be above reproach. 8 And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once; 10 she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. 11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list; for when their sensual desires alienate them from Christ, they want to marry, 12 and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idle, gadding about from house to house; and they are not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, and manage their households, so as to give the adversary no occasion to revile us. 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are really widows, let her assist them; let the church not be burdened, so that it can assist those who are real widows. • Traditionalists (especially Hurley) don’t really treat this text. This is a passage that is part of the context of 1 Timothy 2! Common hermeneutical principle. • The instructions about widows: no one follows! No one in the church feels this is what they ought to do now. This is something hermeneutically wrong here. 73
  • 74. Traditionalist critique of Dr. Scholer: WBC on the Pastoral Epistles. William Mounce – teaches at Gordon Cromwell. Preface: he knows that his entire commentary will be judged on authorship and women in ministry. He knows what he is going to say about women will put him on the rack. He is a thorough going traditionalist. Comment on widows: 1 Timothy 5 – there is a hermeneutical inconsistency this demonstrates that there is more to the agenda than just doing the exegesis. 1 Tim 2 - authorship question is a huge debate. I.H. Marshall (represents the FF Bruce tradition) is the best commentary on the pastorals and he concludes that Paul is not the literal author of these texts. This is a phenomenal position to take for Marshall’s tradition. He is an egalitarian – although he’s more quiet about it. - this is a great divide, the arguments are serious and difficult. “I’m a residual conservative” . The pastorals are seen as sub-Pauline writing. Socio-cultural setting - Gordon Fee has written a short commentary on the Pastorals. The Pastoral epistles are written primarily to deal with heresy. There was false teaching in the churches. In Ephesus and Crete. This theme can be seen on every page. Opposing false teaching. As we know, if a text is written against opponents we need to know what perhaps the opponents say. - Presumably they are against marriage, drinking wine. They might have had as their specific target women. The false teachers get into homes to lead illeterate women astray. Most women were not educated and thus vulnerable to false religion. This was a pagan, Jewish, and Christian view. Every heretic of the early church had major women disciples. Jerome – writing about heretics wrote that every heretic had a woman as a chief associate. - This is the context of 1 Tim. These widows that can’t be trusted, have actually followed Satan. In other words, they have followed the cult leaders, the false teachers. Some of these women are already in this category. - Most traditionalists argue: that the Pastorals were a church manual written to establish church life. If the Pastorals were written in this form – then this is the church manual intended to establish the normative laws of the church. If the text is written against heretics, then comments about women are more subject to coming from a cultural location. - Gordon Fee argues with Traditionalists on that point. - This is an important historical question: what is the nature of the Pastorals. 74
  • 75. • read Dr. Scholer’s article. Dr. Scholer’s assumption: what is at stake in the Pastoral letters is that certain women have followed the heretics and are causing disruption in the church. The lines in 1 Tim 2 are directed at women who have followed the heretics. This has to do with adornment, speech, women will be saved by child birth. All of this text is shaped by this cultural controversy. This relativizes the text. 1) cultural situation of women 2) heretical context of Pastorals 3) Paul had colleagues in church • can’t mean an absolute normative statement about the prohibition of women in ministry This is how Dr. Scholer’s article operates. The text: - Traditionalists have classically said that this is a clear text. George Knight says this is a clear text. Since the hermeneutics is that clear texts is always where we should start, thus we should start here. - But perhaps this isn’t a clear text: are women more easily deceived? Will women be saved through child bearing? This becomes a difficult Pauline text. Men should pray lifting holy hands? This has never been seen as a biblical mandate. Most traditionalist take vs. 8 as normative as how a man should pray. Vs. 15 is a puzzle “non-sequitor” you can’t do this as an exegete. You can’t say this is a difficult verse and thus ignore it. It is part of the context. It is actually the climax of this paragraph. - The text begins with this little section that a woman should dress modestly. - See article ch. 15 Women’s Adornment. In Pagan and Jewish texts these same elements occur. Gold, pearls, hairstyles, and expensive dress. (this also occurs in 1 Peter). These were common understandings: Jewish and Pagan – of the dress of loose women. Loose women wore all these adornments. Expensive dresses were made of opaque material. All authors saw these as the signs of unfaithfulness. Any wife who wore these things were attempting to be unfaithful. Thus these authors had to talk about women submitting to their husband. - Dr. Scholer developed hermeneutical principle where these are both sides of the same coin. - Traditionalists believe that vs 9-10 are culturally bound. - Dr. Scholer vs. 9-10 and 11-12 need to be treated hermeneutically alike. You must treat the two pairs similarly. • be respectful, don’t follow the heretics, don’t follow the church. 75
  • 76. - the word translated “silence” often means finding your right place, recognizing who you should be. But here is that it meant silence. • real question “to exercise authority” authentein All scholars would agree that the verb for teaching and exercising authority are linked together – they are a pair. The word for teach is debated – it means teach. This is the problem – it is a rare word in the Greek language. Words that are not used very often are hard to define and nuance. The debate is this: - does this word mean normal authority or does it mean abusive authority. Traditionalists think it means normal authority. - If this word “authority” means the normal exercise of authority than the traditionalists would be right. Were this the case - Dr. Scholer would still argue the cultural point. But if it’s about abusive authority, than Dr. Scholer’s case is made stronger. Mounce’s commentary: he is granting that is this is an abusive term, then this text might not be prohibiting women. Evidence – this is a horrendous question. When Bauer did his Lexicon he had maybe 19 citations of the use of this word in Greek literature. UCI – TLG Dictionary of Greek literature. Every single surviving Greek literary text has been put into this TLG – over 74 million words on the CD rom. • There are 329 occurences of this word. It is now possible to access every known use of this word. Footnote: at one level – it might stretch your interest your sense of proportion – but in fact, for people in the biblical frame a lot hangs on this one frame. • Leland Wilshire: was the first scholar to look at the 329 occurrences. When he wrote his report: the word group originally met murder, and then it got broaden to meet any corrupt act – it means to usurp, domineer, this is the way it was regularly used. But he then said that after reading the Church Fathers – they use authority in a positive context. How the heck can you get this kind of conclusion from all the evidence he reported. • Tim Harris: scholar from Australia wrote an article saying this was foolish. (same hunch as Dr. Scholer). Paul Barnett was the chief traditionalist that drew this conclusion. Paul Barnett (Bishop in Australia) quotes Wilshire final line. • Wilshire wrote additional articles and completely changed his stance – but said he never contradicted himself. 76
  • 77. Baldwin – writes an article on authentein. It’s usually the noun that has a negative connotation and the verb is rarely negative. And you can’t compare nouns and verbs. 1. very specious to drive that big a wedge between the noun and the verb. This might be true with some words in the Greek language. Baldwin has driven a false wedge. 2. Mounce grants Baldwin options for the verb. Mounce: WBC on the Pastorals. - all the evidence is out there: you need to choose. In my opinion – it is overwhelmingly negative. The negative is the safer choice. It is a move of desperation to argue for the positive choice. Mounce does this – because the word teach isn’t negative. His unexpressed reason – the whole Bible says women can’t teach – and therefore we have to have a positive spin on “authority”. - Dr. Scholer can see “teach” as positive and “authority” as negative. 1 Tim 2:13-14 Adam was not deceived but Eve was deceived first. Traditionalists glory in vs. 13-14. It gives a theological basis – in the Genesis narrative – that the Traditionalist argument is strong. • they argue that looking at vs. 13-14 are divine mandates which means the preceeding verses are not cultural. 1. Adam was created first 2. Eve was deceived. For – Mounce disagrees, “for” is the formal basis and theological rationale. Dr. Scholer sees “for” as an example. It depends on how one reads the context. Vs. 13-14 are an example of what Paul wants to defend. Priority of male speech, and the women who want to follow heretics. In 2 cor 11 – Paul uses the deceivability of Eve to condemn all heretics. Eve’s deceivability is used to criticize male critics. Eve’s deceivability is not gender bound. - Paul’s selective exegesis: Jewett calls it a mistake. Not typical of how Paul argues elsewhere. • issue of deceivability: - women are not by nature more deceivable then men. Traditionalists would agree with this. But when they try and nuance these verses they basically disagree. Men have the rationality to lead. Implication – women do not. In several debates this issue is pressed. - I.E. from Jim Hurley (p.215-216). Eve is not at fault because only rational people can be at fault. Eve was not prepared to lead spiritually, and therefore can’t be blamed for being deceived. Adam was prepared to lead spiritually – and could have thwarted the serpent. It is almost theologically blasphemous to believe that women were made inferior to males. Women cannot be made in the image of God is they are made inferiorly. 77
  • 78. - Dr. Moo “you could not trust a woman to be an authoritative teacher” This is a deeply troubling theological position. Vs. 15 – Childbearing - the word for childbearing doesn’t mean just coming out of he womb. This world means the whole process of bearing and nursing. [information from Father Speak]. There is a tradition in the church that this refers to Jesus. “women will be saved through the bearing of the Messiah” this is how the curse on Eve will be redeemed. This however is not the majority view. Nothing in the context to support this view. Both sides don’t applaud this approach. - She (singular) Eve, womankind; they (plural)… Women have the rightful place if they stay at home and raise children. This is the answer to the heretics. Women should get married, raise children, stay home and should not follow heretics. Paul’s solution is rooted in the cultural and is tied directly to 1 Tim 5. - 1 Tim 2:15 and 1 Tim 5 are talking about the same thing. That is the deep structure of this texts. We can’t ask Paul to be more pedantic and say thinks we want him to say more. • have difficulty with the statement “honor your culture” What about John and Revelation – what do you do when you wake up one morning and you are in Babylon • on the other hand: could people like Tertullian and other church Fathers be overly concerned with how Christianity appears alongside the popular culture. • the integrity of the human person is a transcultural issue – but it will need to be dealt with through cultural sensitivity. Bishops and Deacons 1 Tim 3 - you can’t be a bishop or deacon unless you are a man because it talks about your wife. Thus, the conclusion is, leadership positions are for a men. - These leadership positions are clearly for married men, and thus, single men are disqualified. The kind of leaders should be “one-wife” sort of guys. He’s already made the hermeneutical judgement to go beyond the text • you realize not a single task is described to either the bishop of the deacon – only qualifications – no tasks. This is very early in the development of church office. Tasks aren’t clearly defined. Bishop may mean only overseer. Traditionalists tend to read this as vested with teaching authority. 78
  • 79. 1 Tim 3 is about getting reputable men (respectful, temperent, hospitable, not lovers of money, good managers, good children…) only this kind of person to be a leader in God’s church. Why are these prerequisites listed? There are problem leaders – especially because of the heretics. “the church should be respectable in the world” this is the major concern of the Pastorals. See Scholer article. The church had to be culturally sensitive to gain a hearing for the gospel. The NT goes counter cultural and culturally sensitive at the same time. This is the whole issue of theology and life! The leaders have to be culturally sensitive in order for the church to not be defamed. • use this point for Tertullian. J.I. Packer – Let’s stop making women Presbyters. Christianity Today. Women should not be presbyter (means elder) this office gives authority. Packer argues: 1. no woman in scripture was ever a presbyter (I’m not sure we have a man’s name) 2. males obviously better represent Christ than females 3. gender determines one’s roles. Serve females serve – subordinate. Males are leaders 4. the example of Virgin Mary is a model for women - the final proof. Mary subordinated herself to Jesus. Evangelical scholar… Packer kind of misses the biblical questions. • Dr. Scholer has a record of all the letters to the editor: No other article that they ever published got a 3-1 response against Packer. Christianity Today reading public was maybe shifting. John Whimber: Vineyard: Leadership letter 1994. Liberating Women for Ministry: talks in glowing terms about the freedom of women, how they should be free to minister. Then he comes to say “however male headship is not the same as male dominance… 1Cor 11, Eph 5” he quotes Piper and Grutemann. Bottom line: although Paul is thankful for women and what they do in the church, they cannot be elders. It’s alright for women to do something, but they cannot be elders. Only Bibliography is Piper and Grutemann. - this is a good example of how traditionalists today read 1 Tim 2. Prohibits women from authoritative teaching. They cannot stand behind the pulpit. - Follow up question: what is authoritative teaching? 79
  • 80. Thursday, June 29, 2000 Final comments on 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 3:11 Chapter begins with a discussion on overseers. In the middle of the deacon section, there is a verse that says women likewise must be… Who are these people is the discussion. There are three options that have been suggested 1. women in general 2. wives of deacons 3. or female deacons - why in the middle of a paragraph about deacons would one address women in general? Also it doesn’t make sense to address the wives of deacons and not the wives of the bishops. The reason why it doesn’t say deaconess – is because there is no word deaconess in the Greek language at that time. Therefore, it makes sense to call them women. It is possible that this might be the first occasion of female deacons. Sexuality - not directly related to women and ministry. Relationship between sexuality and ministry: perceived correlation between submission in the church and submission in marriage. Traditionalists – the pattern of female submission is not just related to church, but also to marriage. The two are seen in tandem. Traditionalists are afraid that women leaders would undermine Christian marriage. - Eph 5 – text about marriage and not ministry. But they see it as an umbrella text. look at introduction: • Eph 5: 1. the critical point of Eph 5:21 – submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This is where the paragraph begins – because there is no verb in vs. 22 and therefore you need to draw the verb from vs. 21. NIV unfortunately draws a paragraph distinction between vs. 21 and 22. One of the principles of this text, is that in Christ we submit to one another out of reverence. 80
  • 81. 2. Wives submission is seen as to the Lord. The cultural rubric was that wives submit to husbands. Paul here is attempting to say to wives, your submission to be to the Lord. Attempting to spiritualize and take it out of the realm of cultural expectation. 3. Counter-cultural: statement to husbands to love their wives. No other texts in antiquity encourage husbands to explicitly love their wives. This is a new dimension. To ask husbands to love their wives counters the cultural expectation. There is a dynamic behind this. Triple love command of husbands towards wives. Philemon – except your slave as your brother. 4. Christ’s love of the church is sacrificial not hierarchical. - given the context behind Eph 5:21 – this text is not meant to teach to us that a woman must submit blindly to her husband in all things. - Note: single females are a social problem. - Have the courage to read Eph 5:21 in its cultural form and with unbiased hermeneutical principles. Women in the Ancient Church There are no early Church texts that affirm women in ministry – they just don’t exist. The texts in Chap 2 in Clark aren’t really church Father texts. - see p. 34. - Pliny the younger: wanted to find out if Christians were seditious – he sends out spies to a Christian worship service. This is a valuable source. This is an account from a Pagan – and there is women in the service that serve. He doesn’t describe what they do but they serve with men. - Thecla Tradition: (see Clark chap.2). Followed Paul around and wanted to preach. She finally cut her hair and dressed like a man. Paul blessed her and she went off to preach. In the 4th cent. we have a diary of a woman who went to the Holy Land. She was rich and made a pilgrimage. On the way, she went to Asia Minor and she went to Thecla’s church –and had a service honoring this great woman preacher. - Tertullian: this work was written to promote women teachers… this is wrong 1 Cor 14. The clergymen who wrote the story of Paul and Thecla was thrown out of the church for writing this. • 2nd Century would suggest that women were active in the church but we have little to go on. However as the church progressed, women had less and less mobility in ministry. 81
  • 82. Women in Protestant Foreign Missions: In the English speaking world, the end of the 19th century found a tremendous foreign mission activity. Women comprised 75% of the foreign missions force. These women did everything overseas and then when they came home they were relegated to second class citizens. - True racism. Women can’t preach to white men, but you can preach to African, Asian men – because that is not as important. This is was certainly the implication. The shadow side of this story is piercing and sad. One more chapter of Christian racism. These women did magnificent work in bettering the lives of people overseas. They taught egalitarianism and helped the lives of women overseas. - The distinction is that a woman can’t preach at home but can preach to the natives. This type of distinction cannot be found in the NT. • there began a situation where the males would structure the missions work. The women got frustrated and started their own women’s missionary groups. They raised their own money, trained their own people. It was incredible. Around 1950 the official missions organizations (officially gender inclusive – but practically not!) – they suggested that they combine with the womens mission organizations so that they could work together. The women finally bought the sale and after ten years there were no longer women in the leadership. For 75 years professional women ran their own missions organization but then were barred from leadership. 82
  • 83. Guest speaker: Jeannette Scholer Language Issues in the Church I. Intro. A. volatile topic. Sort of like worship: welcome to the war department. The battles fought here – are the same battle that were fought in the church after the revolutionary war. 1. language seems to many to be innate 2. language use is intensely personal – this is why it can be so volatile. 3. language and culture are inextricably intertwined; cultural change is threatening. B. a personal word. Whole life has been a love life with language. Her first book was a pictionary. She “grooved” on her first grammar class in the seventh grade. C. Goals today: thirty years ago, her position was radically different. 1. to define issues: how language works, you can then understand helpful perspectives when grappling with this issue in church. 2. to provide perspectives and information for making your own decisions II. Overall comments on language A. Definition: language is rule-governed, learned behavior using arbitrary systems or codes for the purposes of communication. 1. learned behavior, not instinctive: something does not just happen. Learning process of children – especially with language. Really important to saturation a child with language and speech and sounds. The pronoun “I” means me – but how does the child know that “you” which refers to the child isn’t the way the child to refer to herself. • we are losing the particularities of the regional dialects due to the media. The media uses a standard American – English dialect. 2. codes: symbols to which we attach meanings. Codes are arbitrary, they are not divinely inspired! Heaven won’t be English, or maybe it will?! - when we compare languages there is a vast arrangement in how meaning is derived. 83
  • 84. - For example, we do not have gender difference in the first and second person. But many other languages do. [see poem by Dodd about loneliness vs. 26 different words for snow] • most families have some sort of private lexical. You have your own words – mostly intimate, private topics. • FHB – family hold back; MIK – more in kitchen 3. rule governed: Phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon. Every language has this – rules related to phonetics. In English we have no words that begins with “Ts” sound. Rules about how words are made up: morphology. “tion” cannot begin a word but can end a word. “ize” makes a verb – “casualize” makes some sense. Syntax is what we call grammar – how we put words in a sentence. Lexicon: least rule governed – we are constantly making new words. - Primacy of oral language: underlying. Language is first of all what we learn to speak. Reading and writing came later historically and in our own personal development. - Can you know the rules without knowing formal grammar - Descriptive versus prescriptive grammar. This is the issue: what is the job of the linguist – do you describe what is happening, or is it there job to prescribe what should be the case? In the 1950’s this came to the forefront over the controversy of Websters 3rd dictionary. Is a dictionaries job to prescribe or describe what is going on out on the street. - Linguists: language is what people use – try not to make to many judgements; they can make observations. B. Languages change: every language changes: If it is a written language – it will change at a slower pace. Sound changes take place more easily in a non-recorded language: - diachronically: changes over time. - Synchronically: at the same time. Changes that are taking place at the same time – generational. Younger people have their own “lingo.” - Much language change is unintentional, there are; however, intentional language changes. • English language: now an undeclined language (vs. declined language) C. language reflects both our cultures and world-views. It shapes our perception of reality. Look at the world map. Peter projections map. Seeks to correct the distortion of traditional maps in reference to area, axis and position. Shown according to their actual size. This map looks strange and it is uncomfortable. (Old Pas: Distant Lands – Peter’s Map) 84
  • 85. Language is kind of a map of the world. • Secular world: there were people at Harvard that were saying the English language is sexist. The language was what it was. A word like “man” was an inclusive word. • The Indefinite Masculine – look at chart III. Inclusive language: language about each other – horizontal language A. the issue: masculine words (both nouns and pronouns) had previously been understood as inclusive; what has happened. The problem here is the indefinite masculine. - language can change if we want it to. There are good examples of this. There are also changes in language that happen without a formed movement. - Heh, there are many languages in this world, and English isn’t the only one. Language is an arbitrary system. * American Heritage Dictionary!! There has been an enormous change in the use of “he”. Church: Inclusive language: how we talk about one another – horizontal relationships. In this sector is where the main change had occurred. On the horizontal plane – we have no choice – the culture has changed and we can decided whether to be out to lunch or be culturally relative. God – language: this is a vertical issue. We are confronted here with a different kind of linguistic problem. How can our human language adequately and respectfully talk about God. God is neither male nor female. With reference to God: since God is not gendered – the best solution is try to avoid pronouns in reference to God. This is a helpful discipline. Metaphors about God have been largely masculine: Father, King, Lord… why don’t we use Yahweh. Applications for the church: - need to educate ourselves in how language is used. Especially in the horizontal sector. NIV has to come out with a gender inclusive language because the language has changed! What are you going to do with this change. 85
  • 86. A hymn is offered to the community as one avenue to express to God. The community can change the manner in which they want to offer their worship. Must be sensitive: seamless editing. You can use bulletins with printed words rather than the hymnal book. It does require courage and a little bit of a Maverick approach. Recognize that there will be land mines. RevSisRaedorah – keyword AOL “The Last time I preached” poem. Guest Speaker: Raedorah Stewart Dodd – Faithful Central church. 8 yr. old son: “mama, do girls shoot marbles?” She creamed him! Of course girls can shoot marbles. Intersection of Black/Feminist Theology  Womanist theology. Southern Baptist decision feels like slavery to her – this grieves her spirit. “if only boys can preach, I don’t want to play church” her personal mantra. The best leaders “replicate” themselves – not necessarily imitate – but rather replicate. The preparation of the preacher trumps the perspiration of the pulpit 86
  • 87. Friday, June 30, 2000 Traditionalists don’t have the right to promote their view until they have spent quality time with a woman who is genuinely called to ministry. The same holds true for the homosexuality question. • story about female student in class who nursed her baby during a Romans exegetical class. The only bummer was that the baby sucked so loud during nursing. Imagine what the young male students thought? • My own story about Presbyterian Pastor who was nursing her child at summer camp. Dr. Elizabeth ? (nicknamed Betsy) Leader: a person with God given capacity and God given responsibility: Definition in Christian ministry: 1) capacity 2) responsibility: - there is nothing here in regards to position. It is quite possible to be a leader with a title or position • Leadership is a function of time, processing, and response. The idea is that leadership develops over time. It doesn’t just happen when you graduate from Seminary. It is a process that goes through predictable stages. Three variables: a) function of time: Foundations  general ministry (development of skills)  more focused ministry (position more defined and representative of who you are)  convergent ministry (all this comes together well). You are beginning to make ultimate contributions. b) Processing: different test come up in our life, questions of integrity, will you obey and follow, or it could be as complex as a life crisis or destiny processing. c) Response: positive response is growth and development. Negative response – is remedial training – you keep going around the mountain. 87
  • 88. Class of ‘69 – Hilary Clinton’s senior year at Welsley. • significant find in her studies: lack of opportunity and lack of encouragement were the biggest hurdles women faced in considering leadership in ministry. Both men and women need opportunities to develop and encouragement from mentors. However, these were far less available for women. - many women got their training in informal ways: worked in organizations, were missionaries, until their 40’s they finally went to Seminary. • good point by Catherine: if a 17 yr. old boy feels the sense of call to ministry – he is automatically brought up front and allowed to preach. If a 17 yr. old female senses the call to ministry she is not encouraged and brought up front. Youth Ministry leaders need to take this class!! Forget Chap Clark’s material – this is more vital. Motherhood is seasonal and should be understood as developmental for the woman who anticipates getting back into full-time ministry. Guest Speaker: Rev. Judy Durf: Associate Pastor at La Canada Presbyterian Church. Gave an outline of what her duties include as an associate Pastor. Class responses Evangelist from Kenya: the issue of sin doesn’t some up very often in America. Maybe the devil has migrated to other continents. Christian, African, woman, wife, mother, psychologist, and then preacher – This is Gladys’ prioritization of her identity. “Because of the freedom of Christ, I can no longer be held captive again.” Top Ten Reasons why men shouldn’t be ordained: 1. man’s place is in the army 2. men who have children, their duties might distract them 3. physical build, they are more suited to trees, chopping down trees and killing mountain lions 88
  • 89. 4. man was created before woman – obviously as a prototype – they are an experiment – not crowning acheivement 5. men are too emotional – look at their conduct during football and basketball games. 6. Some men are handsome, they will distract women worshippers 7. To be ordained, pastor is to nurture the congregation – this is not a traditional male role. 8. Men are overly prone to violence – no manly man wants to settle disputes other than fighting. Dangerously unstable in positions of leadership 9. In the NT account the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Judas’ lack of faith shows all men should be subordinate 10. Men can still be involved in church activities: sweep paths, repair church roofs, lead singing on Father’s day. pp. 36-37 of syllabus: Conclusions and reflections: # 1 hermeneutical perspectives: without overplaying this issue, it is clear that for all issues that face the church, hermeneutical issues are foundational. There are certain commitments one has to make in order to read the bible responsibly. 1) starting points 2) historical and cultural settings 3) balance of texts – entire witness of Scripture - God calls from among the redeemed many persons, and male and female is not a discriminating issue - Creation and new-creation perspective – what has happened in Jesus Christ – his own ministry of calling people to be servants, having women disciples; Paul’s theology of a new creation of Christ. Scholer’s four typologies. a) women as proclaimers of resurrection b) Pentecost c) Gal 3:28 d) Women in Paul’s ministry circle. Women who exercised authority among the people of God. Two pieces of practical advice: 89
  • 90. 1. It’s not enough just belief in women preaching. The church is filled with such men. If men are to play their role, they need to be pro-active. Don’t just be Nicodemus, believing this in the dark hours of the night. Women don’t need paternalistic help, the whole church needs to know this is a commitment of Jesus Christ. 2. Women: nobody makes progress with a chip on her shoulder. Nobody makes progress in bitterness. Every woman in this room will have to suffer some unfairness and injustice or the world will not change. - we’ve arrived when a female pastor can have an affair with a man in the congregation and no one says that’s why we can’t have female pastors. Male pastors fail consistently and no one says that all men should be disallowed from ministry. 90