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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 <sunl99@hotmail.com> 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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