Monday, March 10, 2008

Jesus and Women

Most Christians admit that Jesus welcomed both men and women as his disciples. However, many do not realize what a radical move this was in Jesus' day. Disciples are not mere students, who just acquire knowledge for the sake of private learning, but are more like apprentices, in that disciples are expected to learn "the skills" of the teacher/rabbi and then when the time comes, they are to go and do the same. To have women disciples was a purposefully revolutionary and liberating signal, especially since during this time, women were not considered worthy enough to learn anything of importance, let alone the things of God.

Women were not to be taught anything of a spiritual nature. They were forbidden from learning the Law, could not enter certain parts of the temple, and were separated from the men during synagogue to talk amongst themselves. They were not suppose to speak to men in public. Even husbands were looked down upon for addressing their wives in public. Jewish law forbade women to testify in court because their testimony was considered "untrustworthy."

The popular Rabbi Eliezer, who lived in first century Palestine, wrote: "Rather should the words of the Torah be burned than entrusted to a woman...Whoever teaches his daughter [the Torah] is like one who teaches her obscenity." Another notorious 1st century Rabbi, Jesus Ben Sirach, wrote "He who acquires a wife gets his best position." This attitude saturated Jewish law, tradition, and custom (and unfortunately, most the church for centuries) because of the belief that Eve was to blame for the fall, thus all women were inferior, hopelessly immoral, and deceitful. The whole "equal, but different" theology did not come about until the 1970s!

Here are some other "pearls of wisdom" from other leading Jewish rabbis on the subject of women from around the time of Jesus:

“Any iniquity is small compared to a woman’s iniquity…. From a woman sin had its beginning, and because of her we all die” (Sirach 25:19, 24;).

“Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good; it is woman who brings shame and disgrace” (Sirach 42:14).

“The woman is inferior to the man in every way” (Josephus, Against Apion 2:201).

“A hundred women are no better than two men” (Talmud, Ber. 45b)

“A man is required to say the following three blessings every day: ‘Blessed are you who have not made me a heathen, who have not made me a woman, who has not made me illiterate” (bMen. 43b; Ber. 7.18).

“There is no wisdom in woman except with the spindle” (bYom. 66b).

So, it is within this hostile context that Jesus embraces women as his disciples, not just to learn, but to learn along side men and to eventually preach and teach others. DURING, the famous Sermon on The Mount, while explaining the "upside-down" kingdom of God, He tells the crowd (made up of both men and women) that whoever keeps His Commands and teaches them to others will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.

"Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."--Jesus, Matt. 5:19

Notice Jesus does not make the distinction between men teaching anyone and everyone and women only teaching other women and children. Men and women are given the same standard, the same privilege, and the same responsibility. Jesus entrusts His words to masses, encouraging that they be kept and taught to others. Again, because of the modern world we live in, we miss the radical elements of Jesus' loaded words. To tell a crowd of men and women (many with reputation issues) to teach anything, let alone spiritual things, is unheard of in 1 Century Judea, a taboo and despicable offense to the "religious leaders" of the day. The Law was solely entrusted to the religious leaders, who then filtered down what they wished to the people.

Jesus also gives the Great Commission to the Eleven, who are to make disciples, equipping all people and nations to do the same.

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."--Jesus, Matt. 28:18-20

Again, to make "disciples" of all nations, with no distinction of male and female, implies that the new disciples will also be expected to pass the torch: teaching, preaching, baptizing, and training new disciples to do the same. All believers are called to the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

In the next few posts, we will examine Jesus' interaction with the Samaritan Woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, and some others. Then at long last, we will delve into Paul's letters, which are primarily sited to bar women from all levels of ministry.


Carlos said...


welcome back and I hope your fam issues are ok.

Awesome post; the other day my wife asked how, you being so youg, can have so much wisdom; God has definitely blessed you.

One of my kids clue me in that comments should be a lot shorter as they are not blogs, ergo tthe brevity :-)

Have a great day

Michelle said...

Tia, I love the time you have taken to provide historical context, here. I continue to read with interest!

Tia Lynn said...

Thanks guys. Carlos, you are too kind, if you knew me in real life, you would know that I "talk big" but am rather goofy. :)

I think the example Jesus sets is an important one, it doesn't "override" paul's teachings (although, if it ever comes down to Paul VS. Jesus, you know you I'd stick with), but when we get to Paul, hopefully we'll see that his teachings "mesh" and not contradict Jesus' words and example.

Carlos said...

looking forward to you post on Paul as I just finished (and need to re-read) N.T. Wright's book n Paul...someone said we're putting way too much emphasis on Paul than on Jesus....

Tia Lynn said...

I actually just ordered that book and got in the mail yesterday. i want to see if I can glean through some it before posting on Paul.

But I agree, Jesus must always be our primary example and the lens through which we view the rest of the bible. While I believe Paul wrote inspired words, I also believe he dealt with specific problems and people, whose solutions were taylor made for that specific time, culture, and circumstance. Our tendancy to universalize EVERYTHING without considering the context is dangerous. Paul himself makes note in scripture that "this is I talking, and not the Lord..." at certian times. So some of the things he is writing is his own opinion and leadership decision. Now there are other places where He is clearly saying this is what the Lord commands or is speaking from the Lord (so don't everyone get into a hissy, I believe in scripture inspiration).

Anyway, I am looking forward to really digging into those scripture and learning from everyone's take.

Terry said...

You make an excellent point in stating that Jesus without question dispensed once and for all the notion that women are inferior. I agree. He also made clear that children are valuable in God’s economy as well. However, I am still not prepared to take that fact and leap to the conclusion that women and men’s roles are somehow interchangeable (in the home or in the church) due to the fact that Jesus made clear our equal SPIRITUAL inheritance. I know you’re not promoting an androgynous form of egalitarianism and I’m not accusing you of such absurd theology. I’m simply pointing out that just as 1st century culture made it very easy for the religious leaders to paint women into a corner that God never intended, it’s also possible that 21st century culture makes it easy for us to insist that women are to hold positions and authority that God never intended, thus weakening the family and painting it into a corner that God never intended. We must be careful that we don’t allow our cultural biases to lead us into making the same mistake of the first century theologians you quoted here.

As for issue of Paul vs. Jesus: Either we believe that Paul received revelation from Christ or we don’t. And while I’m sure we all accept that Jesus is our Savior and that we are to hold His words in the highest esteem, when we decide to emphasize certain commands and de-emphasize others, I submit that we are in essence weakening our view on all of Scripture, and every verse not printed in red becomes open for dismissal. Again, I know that’s not your intent but when we start talking that way, surely you can see how that skews the conversation.

Side note: My hubby and I had a conversation with our 15 year old nephew lately that I think captures the essence of the problem created when we decide that there are no God-given roles for men and women: My husband suggested that my nephew help his sister with a household task because, being a strong young man, it would be appropriate and kind to help her, or even do it for her. His response was that she should be able to handle it just as well as he could. Given that he is being raised in a Christian home with pretty defined gender roles we were intrigued and couldn’t help but extend the conversation. He went on to say that since women insist that they can do anything a man can do, let ‘em have at it. And we wonder why chivalry is dead!

Ellen said...

Jesus wanted women to teach and preach? Is that why the main disciples were all men? If women want to fulfill their God-given roles, they would spend more time supporting and heeding the direction of their husbands and church leadership.

Carlos said...

tia lynn, amen're right on the money... interesting news coming out of china about their "cultural" ignorance re: toilets for westerners...they are having to scramble and re-do several atheltic facities as they use the local chinese model which I'll not go into the details....

DeeAnn said...

I totally agree with Terry.

Jeff Gill said...

Tia, I think this is an absolutely brilliant series. That is why I am now going to nitpick.

Re: Matthew 5:19
Jesus talked about keeping and teaching commands in the first third of the Sermon on the Mount, not 'After giving the famous Sermon on the Mount'.


Ellen, You're right. The Twelve were all men. I don't know if that is because that was the best choice full stop, or if that was the best choice for the culture Jesus lived in.

What I think is very significant though, is that the only disciples that were named beyond the twelve were women.

Tonya said...

This was my favorite Rabbi quote:

‘Blessed are you who have not made me a heathen, who have not made me a woman, who has not made me illiterate”

I howled with laughter:):):). Mainly because I thank God all the time that He didn't make me a man. No offense to you men. I am very thankful that God made you too, I (personally) just prefer being a girl:):):)

That was a good post, Tia. Jesus absolutely made it clear that men and women are of equal value in the kingdom of God. Your examples do not negate Paul's teachings though. And they are no proof that women should teach man or be in postions of authority over men( or be co-leaders with men). Jesus gave no instruction for women to start teaching, which would seem necessary if women already knew that they were not to do so. Even though Christ put no spoken or direct restriction put on women teaching, Paul put the restrictions down in writing later when women began abusing their freedom in Christ and doing things they were not supposed to be doing. His instruction was to the church of the day, to keep them on the path. He spoke the very words of God and was the one of the cheif instruments God used to teach the church. Peter also speaks of the role of women in 1 Peter 3, so Paul wasn't the only one talking about this.

Making a note that Jesus did not tell women NOT to teach is not the same as having a verse where Jesus says, "women, go teach anyone and everyone". One could make every bit as good of a case that he was speaking to the men, and that His allowing the women to be present and learn the same things the men were learning was completely counter cultural and showed Christ's value of the sisterhood:). See what I mean? The point you are making when you say "Notice Jesus does not make the distinction between men teaching anyone and everyone and women only teaching other women and children" is being made from inference. The women, apparantly, already knew that they should not be teaching. Jesus didn't need to tell them that. Paul, however, DID need to mention this a few decades later when christian "freedoms" began taking things to extremes not acceptable in the church, which is the body of Christ.

Tonya said...

Carlos, I don't know if you are still checking the last thread or not but I wanted to thank you for the Sdrasvitia and Dobry Den:). It made me grin from ear to ear. I don't know much Russian, but I know that:). Tia's hubby spent some time in UA on missions so he would know those too:).

And thanks for the congrats on my DD. She is a precious, delightful child and I am so blessed to be her mother.

And you are right that Tia is very wise for her tender, spring chicken years, and Tia is right that she is rather goofy:):):).

catrina said...

I joined in too late and all the good comments were taken.

Carlos said...

Tonya, Spacibo :-) Asked my youngest son - we're batching (grilled salmon outside and had some miracle of Canna), as my and his wife and my daughter went to Vegas for Spring break and I asked him to clue me in on blogging/comments etiquete so I owe y'all apologies for posting epistles....sorry....:-)

Carlos said...

Have any of you ever heard Jill Briscoe speak? got a tape as she spoke a few years back at the closing of Founder's Week at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago(my wife's alma matter) and she was awesome - better than her husband; and then again, maybe I was infatuatted with her English Accent :-)

Tonya said...

Carlos, We all post epistles around here. Blogging ettiquete be hanged. I assure you, Tia is NOT Miss Manners:):):).

Epistle away:):):).

And those english accents are great, aren't they. I have never heard Jill Briscoe or her husband speak but we had this guy come to our church once and he was from South Africa, but he had lived in Australia and Texas. His accent was something else!

Tia Lynn said...

OK, just a disclaimer. I had a full day of school and then worked a shift, so I am going on a 16 hour day of nonstop-ness. So, if I come across grumpy, I apologize in advance.

I’m going to say this for about the millionth time just to be clear. NONE of these posts are meant to negate ANY SCRIPTURE, ANYWHERE, least of all Paul’s. There’s enough internal and contextual problems within those FEW verses to refigure our interpretation once we get there. The point of this post is threefold:

1. To show the biases against women at this time that carried over into church tradition
2. To establish that Jesus allowed women to be his disciples, and by definition, that means they were expected to go and do the same as their teacher....all the disciples were to take part in the Great Commission, the ministry of reconciliation.
3. When Jesus says, “WHOEVER” teaches these commandments, the word is for both genders, used when spoken to a crowd of both genders.

Another issue that seems to be coming up, is that of authority. I’m thinking I might have to do a separate post on this, since I am learning the complementarians and egalitarians have VERY different ideas of authority, so it needs to be discussed....

Jeff, duly noted! Always nitpick, I like to be accurate! :)

Terry, in regards to the Paul Vs. Jesus topic. I personally do not see them standing in opposition to one another. Certain interpretations of them seem to, but in actuality, I think they are on the same page. However, as far as emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain commands, do you really believe that none of Paul’s words and admonishments were tailored for specific situations and times? For instance, there are far more scriptures concerning “greeting each other with a holy kiss” than there are about women teaching. I've never encountered this practice is any western church, ever. But this was obviously a cultural custom in the early church, not meant to be a universal practice. The issue of head coverings comes up again and so forth. Or wearing jewelry. Or slavery for that matter! The heart of the scripture is always universal, but the practice of SOME scripture may vary depending on the situation. But this is not even the premise of why I believe Paul’s words have been misunderstood. I don’t think those verses were “cultural” in the least...but we’ll get to that.... :)

Anyway, I don’t think we get to “pick and choose” based on what is most convenient for us, we have to examine the context of Paul’s words (and other scriptures) to determine which teachings are universal and which are temporal and culturally motivated.

Can one not believe that Paul DID receive revelation from Christ for a specific scenario and not a universal command?

Hey Ellen, that is going to a topic of an upcoming post, so stay tuned. :)

Good discussion thus far! And yes, epistle away!

Melody Joy said...

Tia, I'm pretty sure you can be endowed with wisdom from God and still be "goofy." Certainly I hope that I would fall into that category.

Jeff, your point about the only named disciples after the 12 being women is very valid. It also meshes well with the fact that when Mary was sitting at Jesus feet while Martha was performing within her "role," that was ridiculously scandalous. Women didn't learn from Rabbis, they fed them. But Jesus commended Mary's choice, and even defended her against Martha publicly in a way that would have shocked the guests, as well. Again, our modern mindset takes a lot of the poignancy of this story away.

Terry, I'd like to suggest that your nephew learn a new view of "gender equality." There are women who will take a man's head off for helping her with something, but I don't think that's exactly what Tia's talking about here...God initially created men and women to work together, and the radically anti-womankind laws of the day flew in the face of that. I believe that leaving women out of church ministry flies in the face of that, too (You will note that the Genesis account says nothing of Eve's sole ministry being to tend only to Adam's physical/emotional needs and leave his spiritual life unchallenged and his mind unstimulated). Women are essential to ministry in the church in the same way that Eve was essential in the garden: Men and women have minds that work in ways that complement each other (note: complement was the best word, but I am not suggesting complementarianism). Jesus, by equipping men and women to preach, teach, disciple, and baptize; was actually redeeming the fatal affects of the Fall on male and female relationship and on a woman's place in society.

Jeff Gill said...

Melody Joy, I love the cultural insight about Mary & Martha! It's been one of my favourite Jesus stories for years, but I've never noticed the gender aspect before.

(Insert man joke here)

Carlos said...

Tia (I'm curious if you purposely chose this as it is customary in LA to refer to non-family close friends to tia or tio - aunt and uncle - mostly by the children though)

Grace and Peace to y'all from God our Father on this Good Friday, when all my Latin American clients are off, except for us heathen North Americans are working :-)

Ah, what transcends culture and time and what is a "time locked cultural" directive/instruction? that IS the question...Tia you were not grumpy just amphatic - sometime we need to be hit between the eyes, otherwise we won't see; I think you'll eenjoy N.T. Wright's book as he does a wonderfull job clarifying in a "fresh" way the complimentary ministries of Jesus and Paul.

My apologies for hitting the same key, but Webb does a wonderfull job of establishing meaningful criteria to answer the above "time locked" vs. "transcending" question and if I start quoting him, the whole book would be posted:-)

Gender roles - we have freedom to exercise our gifts and talents - any imposition to curb them goes against the New Order Christ established for His Kingdom and the HS, it is my strong felt opinion, and if I am wrong the Father will punish me severely for it - or will He?. By the way since I was a child, I washed dishes, clothes, learned to sow, iron, I vacuum and dust the house, and even cook - besides my other manly roles - to help run the house hold enterprise. My wife works 4 days a week (after our children were raised) as a tax hotline consultant for Edward Jones and she and I have done several remodeling work in our house and we are both experts in laying ceramic tiles; she is also the financial director of our household enterprize. In one rare instance many years ago, she was given the opportunity to preach at our church at that time(very evangelical and traditional let me say) and she did a wonderfull job.
Now how un-blical is all of this? (by the old paradign of course); I really would like to see a definite list of defines male and female biblical roles; I think the old Rabbies wrote more than 60 thick volumes to interpret the 10 commandments and still missed the mark - with all duee respect and grace, we cannot put new wine in old wine skins and I feel a some of the comments posted are coming from an old wine skin perspective.

Y'all shouldn't have said to epistle away :-)

Have a great day and Happy Easter.


donnav said...

Been a busy time for me as well Tia Lynn, hope your family situation has eased up a bit!

This is interesting for me as I can see the lenses we have been taught to look thru effect how we see the scripture. I was raised to believe that Jesus and Paul were both great liberators of women...and I was taught that by a male pastor. I have heard that people put them in opposing camps and I just don't understand it.

I just finished a class at college on The Sermon on The Mount and did a paper on 5:31&32 where Jesus addresses divorce. He made it quite clear that He didn't come to abolish the Law but what He did do was raise the would be easier to keep the "law" than to live out the principles that Jesus brought into play. So much so that later when Jesus was questioned about divorce, the disciples talked to Him in private and were pretty convinced that it would be better if no one ever got married(Matt 19:10) I believe it's because Jesus raised the bar and called them on objectifying women ... Tia Lynn you did a great job with showing the examples of that day on the views of women and the ease of which it was to dismiss them.

If you like history I am reading a book about Paul by Crossan & Reed called "In Search of Paul"

Thanks again for all the work you are putting into this and for sharing it with us!!

Tonya said...

In response to your points, Tia.

1. Duly noted:).

2. Duly noted:).

3. Duly noted:).

Just because Jesus didn't tell women NOT to teach men doesn't mean that He was advocating it. If your history lesson in this post is correct, the women were aware that they were not to be teaching men. Ommission does not constitute commission.

If this series is on egalitarianism as the new and improved way of the Church, then you are trying to lay a foundation to reinterpret Paul's teaching. If I just sit here and let you do that, I will have too much ground to cover in one post later on and it is much better to think through things as we encounter them. Thus, the constant reminders that there is no scriptural basis for this position as biblical truth. Sorry if it is frustrating.

Can you hold egalitarianism as an opinion and support your opinion with passages from the Bible if you write some things off as cultural, add inference in other places and accept accounts of history***( see below) that look the way you need them to to make your point? Yes. Can you make it solid Biblical teaching? No.

I think a post on the definition of authority would be wise since you are worried that C's and E's are missing each other on that point. Maybe it would be a good thing to discuss to help us all understand each other.

I love you. Don't be mad at me.

I'll be in Ga this weekend if you want to get together on Saturday and talk. Otherwise, I'll see you at church on sunday:).

***When we use recorded history as a basis for our interpretation of the Bible, we are entrusting ourselves to the historian. For example, I have done an pretty in depth study on head coverings. I found historians who said that head coverings were cultural in Corinth at the time and historians that said that head coverings were NOT cultural in Corinth at the time, but counter cultural. And that Jews in North Africa (I think it was) wore them to allude to the creation account. Now what does one do with that? I have two records of history that say opposing things. Were either of the historians there to see what actually happpened? No. If I choose to base my interpretation of the bible on history, which historian do I choose? The one who supports my already pre-conceived ideas of how things ought to be, of course. This is why putting too much stock in historical and cultural stuff is dangerous when trying to re-interpret the Bible. It stands on it's own.

DeeAnn said...

Carlos, her name in real life is actually Tia Lynn. Unless she's been fooling us this whole time.

Carlos said...

Thanks Deeann....

catrina said...

This Holy kiss thing is becoming laughable. Do you really want to go with that weak argument? Paul is giving greetings, "say hi! to them for me, shake hands, hug, "welcome them with a kiss,"whatever, this is not a teaching or instruction. This was always in a greeting or farewell part of a letter. There are all sorts of euphemisms that are no longer used, few use the word salutation anymore. We are not debating whether or not we should use the language of scriptual days, with thees and thous I hope.

I agree with someone above that said we had better define the terms "teacher and authority" because we may be spinning our wheels if we are not even on the same page as to the definition of those words.

Carlos said...

Ok Gospaja Tonya, I feel I cyberknow you enough(3-4 days):-) that I might be a bit more direct.

So by your reckoning (like this soutthern word? :-)) I should NOT be listening to you and what you have to say as you might be teaching me (you are you know), a male. Hummmm.....maybe that's why there are not many males commenting on this (Jeff, Terry thanks for the company); they may have taken it to heart :-)

Re-interpretation is good, albeit costly/painfull sometimes as the chinese are having to scramble and change the ceramic lined holes and putting sit down toilets for the western atlethes and visitors - it'd be hard to hit the whole with #2 when you squating down - sorry, don't mean to be disrespectful/irreverent but it does make a point about cultural differences (I think it very funny -hysterical in fact - laughter is good); I think this is what Tia is trying to point out w/o denying the underlying spiritual truths.


Tonya said...

Carlos, I experienced that kind of toilet in Ukraine - only they were just holes in the concrete, not porcelin lined! LOL! You get used to them but westerners do have a major problem the first few times! I was worried that I would fall in! LOL! Good reference:):):).

I used to be a teacher (public high school) before I had kids. My veiw of teaching is probably not the same as your veiw of teaching. You probably think you've been taught by someone if you learn something you didn't know before from them. I think of teaching as a POSITION, and that is what I assume Paul meant also.

If we think of anyone we learn something from as a teacher, then women would hardly be allowed to move or say anything because even their actions are teaching others all the time! And I have learned more from my children than anyone else in this world (and they do not hold any kind of postition of authority over me).

When I was a Teacher, it was not a peer relationship. It was me expounding and kids taking notes. They asked questions and I gave facts and pushed them in the direction I thought they needed to go. There was no sense of equality there. I was definitely the expert in charge:):):) and they learned and applied the information or failed the class. What we are doing here is discussing. And I am completely under my husband's authority (in case you were wondering). He knows I am doing this and we talk about it. I ask for his thoughts about the things I am saying and he gives me encouragement and new insight. Probably the same thing you wisely do with your smart and capable wife.

Paul learned from Aquilla and Priscilla, a husband and wife team. Priscilla probably taught Paul, but not in a public assembly and not in the POSITION of teacher. More than likely it was through discussion (such as the one we are having now) and in the presence of or with the blessing of her husband. We can only guess about how that looked, but regardless I don't FEEL that I am out of line biblically in participating in a discussion with men:) although I could be wrong so some complementarian is welcome to jump in here and tell me that I am out of line and why, bibilically (but it better be good and hermenutically feasable:):):)). I don't feel like I am teaching you a thing. This discussion may be giving you food for thought, but there is no sense of me having a postion over you as "Teacher" like the one I held over my high school students. Just peers discussing...

And BTW, Terry is a woman so you are more alone than you thought:):):).

Tia Lynn said...

Tonya, NO! I am not mad at all, you make this fun!

I would never rely solely on historical or cultural factors to interpret scripture, although I believe they enhance scripture and can clarify some of the odder passages, as well as bring to life the weight of what is happening in scripture. I’m more about the original language and CONTEXT than anything to determine meaning.

When you talk about “reinterpreting” Paul’s words, or saying something “new” about them, you seem to be implying that your understanding or the current “prevalent understandings” of Paul’s teachings have always been the same. This debate is an old one. And early church history shows many women were in leadership. Pagan writings of the time reveal their disgust for the christians BECAUSE THEIR WOMEN WERE SO PUBLIC and worked along side men. They were martyred along with men because they were so influential in spreading the gospel and viewed as a threat. It was not until Constantine and the rise of the catholic church that women’s ministry roles were so heavily restricted. Even the same sexist church fathers that believed women were inferior in every way to men, interpreted the scriptures in question (as it pertains to Paul’s views on headship, and authority, etc.) more in line with an egalitarian understanding! So you can call it “reinterpreting,” as if any interpretation other than what has now become “traditional,” is a brand-spanking-new theory, but you’d be ignoring over 2,000 of history that shows both views (and views within them) go right back to the church’s beginning. Just because Conservative evangelicalism has sanctioned one over the other doesn’t automatically invalidate other views as sound biblical teaching.

As far as teaching as a “position” goes, our formal understanding of church life was MUCH different than the first century church. But that’s for another post.

Catrina, I was not putting “greeting with a holy kiss,” on the same level as doctrinal teaching, I was referring to the fact that not everything in Paul’s letters were meant to be universal or “direct revelations.” That doesn’t mean I think you can throw out which ever parts don’t suit you because everything is "cultural," it means we have to take context into account. I would say, slavery is a better example, of how Paul dealt with the ugly realities within his own time, but by no means did he approve of the institution (as many have argued), and he certainly didn’t sanction it as the ideal practice.....

Again, Jesus’ words are more than an ommission, when he is using gender inclusive language while telling a crowd WHOEVER teaches these commands and by allowing women to be his disciples. Disciples were meant to DO the same as the teacher.

I think you are right Tonya, I will have to do a post on the authority views, because they are different! :)

Just out of curiousity, if you don’t think head coverings are cultural, what is your understanding of that passage? Do you think women need to wear them when praying/prophesying/speaking publicly in church setting?

Love you, see you Sunday!!!

Tonya said...

I just popped in here to correct a blunder in my last comment. Aquilla and Priscilla taught Apollos, not Paul. My mistake:).

Tia, I am already on vacation so I am off blog discussion duty for the weekend. Ask me Sunday. The truth is that I don't know, but I have some interesting ideas floating around in there. I am still working on the head covering thing. Maybe I will never figure it out. Who knows. I would be interested to hear your take.

And from your comment, I am guessing that you believe that the scriptures have been wrongly translated and handed down through the ages with terrible flaws? I am interested to hear more about what you said up there. But it can wait for the proper time.

Signing off for the weekend:)! Ya'll have a great one!

Tia Lynn said...

I, like you, am hesitant to declare that I have the definitive answer on head coverings. The head covering scripture is ranked in the top three most difficult passages to translate and interpret (along with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35), and not because the implications are unfavorable, but because of the obscure language, out of character style for paul, and weird statements appeals (“because of the angels...”) But I am planning to do a post on it and give several theories that are out there, but on that one, I don’t think anyone can claim certainty. :)

Yes, after Easter you can resume in blogworld.! :)

Carlos said...

Hey Tonya, I know you're off, but this is for when you come back.

When I was a kid, it wasn't till 7-8 years of age when my dad put in modern bathroom with sitdown toilets, bathtub and shower and I was terrified I'd fall in the hole:-)
Re: your comment about me doing the same thing with my wife, I really don't - we don't have this authority issue thing - early in our marriage, when I was under this spell and wrong teaching misconception and tried to exercise this authority bit with her and the budget, she gave me a lot of crap, so I just gave her the checkbook and told her if she made us money, great, if she took us to the poor house, I'd been there before and could live with it (could she?), and in hindsight it was good for many reasons, one of which if I croaked, she'd be able to handle the finances at least - I think pretty much that is what the Father does with each of us - He's pretty much a Lady(or Gentlemen if you prefer)and does not force (another interesting term - force - for discussion) us to do anything; that moment early in our marriage ( FYI will be celebrating 38 years in August) was an epiphany and maybe that's when I turned to the dark side of "E" :-)- anyway, she's got as much responsibility (I'm purposely leaving the word authorithy out)on calling me on all things(as all of it is Spiritual)if I stray as I do to her, as y'all do as well eventhough I don't belong to your local "church", but we are members of One body;
Tia already started addressing the authority thing, as it really comes down to it and man's egos, in her next post and she is doing a wonderfull job as usual...what susprises me is how vehementy women defend C and P...
Quod Libbet, got to go do some manly :-) yard work in preparation for Spring


Greg Anderson said...


With regards to the apostle Paul's purportedly "timeless" and extra-cultural proscription against Godly women teaching the Bible, there is ample evidence in legitimate textual criticism of Holy Writ to show otherwise.

I offer in exhibition; the writings of Katharine Bushnell, a scholar who long ago exposed much of what postures as evangelical thought (on gender roles) for the Kantian clap-trap it is.

Greg Anderson said...

By the way Tia, love your opening graphics motif!... reminds me of an upscale bordello in late 16th century Venice...As you may know, the courtesans there were blamed (by the inquisition) for everything from bad investments by the shipping magnates, to the brief recurrence of rat-borne plague.

Tia Lynn said...

Thank greg! My good friend, Ben, designed for me. He's really talented!

Tonya said...


Landon (hubby) and I do the same thing. I handled the checkbook for several years while he worked 2jobs and got his masters degree...until it got to be too much for me with homeschooling and the house. He took over when I said "I need you to do this":) (ooooo, that was bossy:B). We would look like an egalitarian marriage if you just spent time with us and didn't ask too many probing questions. We discuss and debate theology and all that stuff and I am highly opinionated and outspoken (bet you never would have guessed that). I study as much as he does so he asks me "what are you studying now?" and I tell him and then we talk about it. He trusts and values my input and opinion. And I always talk to him about what I am learning because 2 heads are better than one, and because of a certain verse that I won't mention here:):):). He is the final decision maker when it comes to our family if we can't agree on something (which is extremely rare). I trust him with everything and he does the same with me. I love him:).

And congrats on the 38 years! That is excellent! We're working on 16 over here:).

Greg, I didn't understand half of what you said up there so I am just going to thank you for the kind thought and bring my dictionary with me next time I sit down at the computer. LOL! You must be emergent. I am always amazed at the vocabulary I find on emergent blogs. I have to wade through the big, obscure words to find the meaning of a simple sentence and I was an English major in college!:):):). Do word loving intellectuals gravitate towards emergent blogs?:):):)

Tonya said...


Landon (hubby) and I do the same thing. I handled the checkbook for several years while he worked 2jobs and got his masters degree...until it got to be too much for me with homeschooling and the house. He took over when I said "I need you to do this":) (ooooo, that was bossy:B). We would look like an egalitarian marriage if you just spent time with us and didn't ask too many probing questions. We discuss and debate theology and all that stuff and I am highly opinionated and outspoken (bet you never would have guessed that). I study as much as he does so he asks me "what are you studying now?" and I tell him and then we talk about it. He trusts and values my input and opinion. And I always talk to him about what I am learning because 2 heads are better than one, and because of a certain verse that I won't mention here:):):). He is the final decision maker when it comes to our family if we can't agree on something (which is extremely rare). I trust him with everything and he does the same with me. I love him:).

And congrats on the 38 years! That is excellent! We're working on 16 over here:).

Greg, I didn't understand half of what you said up there so I am just going to thank you for the kind thought and bring my dictionary with me next time I sit down at the computer. LOL! You must be emergent. I am always amazed at the vocabulary I find on emergent blogs. I have to wade through the big, obscure words to find the meaning of a simple sentence and I was an English major in college!:):):). Do word loving intellectuals gravitate towards emergent blogs?:):):)

Greg Anderson said...


Sorry for the wording, I should have recalled my English Prof's advice many years ago that it's better to say something in its simplest words for general consumption.

No, I'm not emergent, they will distance themselves from me just as readily as any self respecting fundamentalist would. I am not welcome in conservative or liberal camps.

All I can say is that over the years, I have rejected patriarchy as taught by conservative protestantism, and that for me, it will not stand up under the rigorous lens of reason or scripture interpreting scripture.

Carlos said...

Greg, welcome and i'm glad to see another male voice that resonates with my spirit and support tia...

Tia Lynn said...

Hey Greg! Your welcome here!

Tonya said...

Yes, Greg:). You are welcome here. We are an eclectic bunch, Tia's friends. Sorry to label you. I always ask people not to do that to me and here I went and did it to you. Please forgive me. Emergents seem to have their own vocabulary that no one else understands so as soon as I got confused, I assumed. And you know what assuming does.....:):):).

Please stick around and join in the discussion. We look forward to your input. Just use smaller words for the sake of us peasants:):):).