The salvation of women

RublevRublev Shipmate
edited March 17 in Kerygmania
'For Adam was created first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty' (1 Tim 2: 14-15).

This strange text sounds like something out of The Handmaid's Tale (a nightmare vision of how the scriptures could be abused by a Christian version of the Taliban).

What does childbearing have to do with salvation?

How should this passage be interpreted?

Comments

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited March 17
    As away with the fairies Christian fundamentalism. Christian women won't die in child bearing if they're faithful, loving, holy and modest enough. Maybe they didn't then. What with Peter's shadow and all. What's strange about it?
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    That might explain why Peter fades out of the Book of Acts. He was kept too busy attending the early Christian childbirths of holy and modest women.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    It was of its time and should be left there imo.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 17
    I agree with @Boogie that Paul's argument is of its time and should be left there.

    That said, the best explanation I have heard of this precise part of the passage is that the (singular) "she" in "she will be saved" is a reference to Eve and the protoevangelium i.e. the promise of salvation through her descendance, i.e. Jesus, after which Paul reverts to talking about the believing women ('they', plural) who he is saying should be allowed to learn ("let the women learn...").

    On my reading Paul is notorious for stream-of-consciousness writing/dictating during which his original chain of thought gets interrupted by a related but tangential train of thought; the resulting not-quite-fully-worked-out thinking of either train of thought has keept theological book publishers in business ever since.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    This is the kind of text that can create unnecessary pastoral anxiety if left unaddressed - such as 'Have I committed the unforgiveable sin?' or 'outside the gates of the city (of heaven) are the dogs.'

    Very often people don't articulate their fears so they just fester away and undermine their faith. So it is better to get the difficult texts and knotty problems out on the table so they can be unpicked and openly discussed.

    Even Peter thought that Paul was difficult to understand (2 Pet 3: 16). And he should know because he knew him in person.

    Interpreting the text as a reference to Eve is a good explanation because it harks back to God's admonition at the Fall that she would suffer in childbearing (Gen 3: 16). Although it doesn't mention anything about salvation.

    Paul does have an interest in describing Jesus as the second Adam (1 Cor 15: 45) but he has very little to say about Mary and doesn't refer to her as the second Eve, although the medieval theologians took that up with enthusiasm. However John in his resurrection narrative does seem to reference this idea in the encounter of Mary Magdalene with the Risen Christ at the garden tomb when she mistakes Him for the gardener (John 20: 15).
  • MamacitaMamacita Shipmate
    edited March 18
    Rublev wrote: »
    'For Adam was created first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty' (1 Tim 2: 14-15)
    [snip]

    What does childbearing have to do with salvation?

    It has nothing to do with salvation, even in Paul's own theology. Paul is the one who writes of salvation by God's grace, through faith.

    Authorship of the two Timothies is debated. I'm inclined to go with those who say it's pseudepigraphical.
    How should this passage be interpreted?
    (As others have already said:) As a product of a particular time and place.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    N.T. Wright suggests a different way of reading this text (at the end of this piece). It’s rather long to summarise effectively here. He argues for reading it with an Ephesian context in mind, and as breaking down gender stereotypes.

    He suggests that Paul is arguing first that women (and not men only) should be allowed to learn undisturbed - but that should not then lead to a stereotypically male pattern of ‘lording it’ over others. (‘Full submission’ is not full submission to men, but to God.) And secondly that the obvious dangers of childbirth are not a sign that women are under a special curse, nor is childbearing to be regarded as an evil part of an inferior material creation and therefore to be avoided by those who seek salvation.

    The whole piece is worth a read, I think.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    He suggests that Paul is arguing first that women (and not men only) should be allowed to learn undisturbed

    This was also part of the explanation I heard (see above). There are a series of imperatives in the text: "let all men everywhere lift up holy hands..." "let the women learn".
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    @BroJames

    Thank you for posting this very interesting article. It suggests that childbirth should not be seen as God's curse upon women because of Eve's disobedience - but as a sign of salvation for contributing to God's creation in fulfilling the command to go forth and multiply (Gen 9: 7).

    It also explains the scandalised angels text as avoiding the appearance of any unholiness during worship when they would be present with the believers.

    And it makes reference to the radical equality of baptism which was offered inclusively to all believers - and to my mind is the main justification for the ordination of women.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    (‘Full submission’ is not full submission to men, but to God.)

    That point is particularly helpful. I have so often heard that passage read as 'in full submission to me...' Whatever one might think of the passage and Paul's writing generally, that is simply not there in the text.

    AFZ

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    I agree with @Boogie that Paul's argument is of its time and should be left there.

    That said, the best explanation I have heard of this precise part of the passage is that the (singular) "she" in "she will be saved" is a reference to Eve and the protoevangelium i.e. the promise of salvation through her descendance, i.e. Jesus, after which Paul reverts to talking about the believing women ('they', plural) who he is saying should be allowed to learn ("let the women learn...").

    On my reading Paul is notorious for stream-of-consciousness writing/dictating during which his original chain of thought gets interrupted by a related but tangential train of thought; the resulting not-quite-fully-worked-out thinking of either train of thought has keept theological book publishers in business ever since.

    That doesn't budge my minimal take for me. Simpleton that I am. These explanations have the feel of allegorical interpretation.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    That doesn't budge my minimal take for me. Simpleton that I am. These explanations have the feel of allegorical interpretation.

    Well, I think dismissing Scripture as "away with the fairies fundamentalism" is to miss a lot. Just because it doesn't make sense the way you were originally taught it doesn't mean it makes no sense at all or has nothing to say to us at all.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    What's to miss in a minimal reading of what Paul said? Along with the other weird, away with the angels thing he said? I was originally taught the here a little there a little approach - wherever the Spirit blew, imputing occult meaning by nuances of ancient Greek and making connections and doctrines and dogma where none exist.

    Sound familiar?

    What Paul said makes plenty of sense as superstition saying nothing to us at all. Where's the rationality, the warrant in claiming otherwise?
  • Yes, this does sound familiar.

    Either we take seriously the proposition that Scripture still has something to say to us or we dismiss the whole thing - including about the Christ event - as primitive thought so bound to superstition and ancient cosmology as to be saying nothing to us at all.

    My way of squaring this circle, as you know, is indeed to allow room for the Spirit to blow, based on texts history has handed to us as having authority, in our interpretive process. The way to avoid deriving occult meaning and seeing things that aren't there is to become more familiar with the Scriptures, not throw them away.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    ISTM that both the ‘fundamentalist’ and extreme ‘liberal’ approaches to scripture take the same ‘flat’ approach to reading the Scriptures as if they were a straightforward instruction manual written in our own language and from our own culture.

    The ‘fundamentalist’ says we just have to believe and obey them tout court. The ‘liberal’ says they are just bronze- or iron-age artefacts reflecting a primitive/pre-scientific superstitious mindset, and with our contemporary understanding of the world we don’t have to give them any credence today.

    Neither approach IMHO has given adequate attention to reading and understanding how the text spoke in its original context, nor to the translational, linguistic and hermeneutical issues of reading a complex text written in another language and culture nearly two millennia ago, or more.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Yes, but I'm sure that can be done and we will finally enter into the mindset and world of St Paul and the evangelists. Perhaps when we finally gain the mind of Christ?
  • @BroJames absolutely.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    ISTM that both the ‘fundamentalist’ and extreme ‘liberal’ approaches to scripture take the same ‘flat’ approach to reading the Scriptures as if they were a straightforward instruction manual written in our own language and from our own culture.

    The ‘fundamentalist’ says we just have to believe and obey them tout court. The ‘liberal’ says they are just bronze- or iron-age artefacts reflecting a primitive/pre-scientific superstitious mindset, and with our contemporary understanding of the world we don’t have to give them any credence today.

    Neither approach IMHO has given adequate attention to reading and understanding how the text spoke in its original context, nor to the translational, linguistic and hermeneutical issues of reading a complex text written in another language and culture nearly two millennia ago, or more.

    Couldn't agree more. So what would an extreme 'liberal' interpretation of Paul's superstitions look like?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    The extreme ‘liberal’ view tends to take the line that Paul was a patriarchal misogynist, possibly having had a difficult experience of women or a woman. But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of his writings which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The extreme ‘liberal’ view tends to take the line that Paul was a patriarchal misogynist, possibly having had a difficult experience of women or a woman. But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of his writings which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.

    And what would be the via media twixt this Scylla and Charybdis?
  • Mine :smiley:
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Recognising the cultural context, and allowing Paul to be a person of his time and speaking to his time. Seeking, in the light of that, and in the wider textual context not only of Paul’s writings, but also the New Testament especially and the Bible as a whole, to understand what Paul’s words meant in his time (both connotation and denotation), and then, having used our best efforts to do that, seeking to discern what they might signify for our time.

    But certainly not simply reading him as if he were a 21st (or 20th) century western writer directly addressing our culture and circumstances.
  • Thanks for a more complete answer than mine ;)

    I would add: let the simpler parts serve as a guide to dealing with the more complicated parts and not the other way around.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The extreme ‘liberal’ view tends to take the line that Paul was a patriarchal misogynist, possibly having had a difficult experience of women or a woman. But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of his writings which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.

    Patriarchal misogyny was impossible to transcend. Even by Jesus by our minority privileged demanding liberal criteria. Which are right for us to demand of ourselves. But not for then. Or for others now. I find the idea of finding anything of them distasteful absurd. And I certainly wouldn't engage in parlour psychoanalysis of Paul.

    There's nothing liberal about the view that Paul was talking helpless enculturated superstitious bollocks which was a yearning transcendent cut above worse.

    And E. all I can say is that Jesus gave us a leg up, a kick up the trajectory, which we wouldn't otherwise have had. Despite the primitive thought so bound to superstition and ancient cosmology as to be saying nothing (with any authority) to us at all that we can interpret. Paul even less so.

    There's nothing to interpret. So the interpretation that is sold by the pound is worthless.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    Recognising the cultural context, and allowing Paul to be a person of his time and speaking to his time. Seeking, in the light of that, and in the wider textual context not only of Paul’s writings, but also the New Testament especially and the Bible as a whole, to understand what Paul’s words meant in his time (both connotation and denotation), and then, having used our best efforts to do that, seeking to discern what they might signify for our time.

    But certainly not simply reading him as if he were a 21st (or 20th) century western writer directly addressing our culture and circumstances.

    And the conclusions you draw thereby are what?
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 20
    Alleging that Paul was talking helpless enculturated superstitious bollocks sounds like helpless enculturated superstitious bollocks to me.

    Besides, Paul did transcend patriarchal misogyny. He wrote that in Christ there is neither male nor female, and in doing so, helped begin its undoing. Imagine how revolutionary that verse in Galatians - no difference between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, either - must have sounded to first-century ears. And that text has a far clearer, further-reaching import than the one in 1 Timothy.

    Of course, by 1 Timothy Paul himself hasn't worked through all the implications of that, or finds he has to meet his surrounding culture half way, but nevertheless he is exhorting the church to let the women learn - again sowing another fundamental and quite revolutionary seed that could only, ultimately, have one result.

    But to notice that, one has to actually pick up a Bible and see what the text actually says, not reflexively project one's worst prejudices onto it and dismiss it ('nothing to interpret') before reading it at all.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    KarlLB wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    Recognising the cultural context, and allowing Paul to be a person of his time and speaking to his time. Seeking, in the light of that, and in the wider textual context not only of Paul’s writings, but also the New Testament especially and the Bible as a whole, to understand what Paul’s words meant in his time (both connotation and denotation), and then, having used our best efforts to do that, seeking to discern what they might signify for our time.

    But certainly not simply reading him as if he were a 21st (or 20th) century western writer directly addressing our culture and circumstances.

    And the conclusions you draw thereby are what?
    Well, in relation to the OP on this thread, I think Tom Wright’s piece referred to in my post above does the job pretty well.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Alleging that Paul was talking helpless enculturated superstitious bollocks sounds like helpless enculturated superstitious bollocks to me.

    Besides, Paul did transcend patriarchal misogyny. He wrote that in Christ there is neither male nor female, and in doing so, helped begin its undoing. Imagine how revolutionary that verse in Galatians - no difference between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, either - must have sounded to first-century ears. And that text has a far clearer, further-reaching import than the one in 1 Timothy.

    Of course, by 1 Timothy Paul himself hasn't worked through all the implications of that, or finds he has to meet his surrounding culture half way, but nevertheless he is exhorting the church to let the women learn - again sowing another fundamental and quite revolutionary seed that could only, ultimately, have one result.

    But to notice that, one has to actually pick up a Bible and see what the text actually says, not reflexively project one's worst prejudices onto it and dismiss it ('nothing to interpret') before reading it at all.

    You mean women were protected by angels for having long hair? And similar for 1 Tim 2: 14-15?

    And yes I'm aware that he yearned, that he tried DESPITE the helpless bollocks.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 20
    Martin54 wrote: »
    You mean women were protected by angels for having long hair?

    That kind of proves my point. Read the text carefully and tell me where it says that. Your prejudices are making you forget what the text actually says. If you're going to blast it, at least blast it for what it says, not for your half-remembered recollection of what it says.
    And similar for 1 Tim 2: 14-15?
    I think the fact that Paul appealed to contemporaneous culture and cosmology to support his arguments does not prevent us from drawing out some sensible principles from what he wrote. The principle in 1 Corinthians being that of having some mutual respect in corporate worship. In 1 Timothy, while it can be read as a misogynist manifesto (and is by the Gospel Coalition lot), it can equally be read as an assertion of women's legitimacy alongside men. Reading it thus has as much to do with culture in the intervening centuries as it does with the text.
    And yes I'm aware that he yearned, that he tried DESPITE the helpless bollocks.

    Perhaps, but are you aware that you and I are in exactly the same position?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    It's me age. Which isn't true. It's me ignorance: exousian is the word; (under a symbol of) authority, not koma; hair.

    So, I do see that Paul was struggling to transcend his time, having had one of the greatest kicks up the trajectory of all time.

    I don't yet see 'some mutual respect in corporate worship', but that's my lack.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The extreme ‘liberal’ view tends to take the line that Paul was a patriarchal misogynist, possibly having had a difficult experience of women or a woman. But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of his writings which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.

    I am probably the most liberal person you can find. When someone points out such an obscure passage to prove that Paul is a patriarchal misogynist, I would say it does not fit with what Paul said in Gal 3:28, that in Christ there is neither male nor female. It also does not fit with the many greetings he gives to his female supporters (usually at the end of his epistles), nor does it fit with him identifying at least two females as being in the ranks of the apostles. Either Paul is being inconsistent with what he has written or someone else may have written it, or someone else wrote it. In the case of the Letters to Timothy, I would says someone else wrote it.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited March 20
    Yes. I omitted to include that possibility from a liberal POV. It still leads to the conclusion in the second paragraph you quoted
    But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of [the epistles] which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.
    There are things which could be consistent with it not being Pauline, but IMO they don’t outweigh the evidence that it is.

    It’s interesting that these considerations
    Either Paul is being inconsistent with what he has written or someone else may have written it, or someone else wrote it.
    don’t include ‘maybe I have misread or misunderstood it and need to re-examine my interpretation of the passage’.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    Yes. I omitted to include that possibility from a liberal POV. It still leads to the conclusion in the second paragraph you quoted
    But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of [the epistles] which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.
    There are things which could be consistent with it not being Pauline, but IMO they don’t outweigh the evidence that it is.

    It’s interesting that these considerations
    Either Paul is being inconsistent with what he has written or someone else may have written it, or someone else wrote it.
    don’t include ‘maybe I have misread or misunderstood it and need to re-examine my interpretation of the passage’.

    There is plenty of evidence that suggests the letters of Timothy were written by someone else.

    1) They were addressed to a specific individual. Paul's letters were addressed to congregations.

    2. They are not listed in the earliest canons of Paul's Letters

    3. They presuppose Paul was imprisoned in Rome a second time. Other sources say he was imprisoned in Rome only once.

    4. In Corinthians Paul encourages widows to stay single. The letters to Timothy encourage them to remarry.

    5. In the Pauline letter's Paul recognizes the leadership roles of women (as I pointed out); but in the Letters to Timothy they are expected to be submissive to men. The one exception being Paul supposedly directing women to keep silent in the Corinthian church--but that particular passage is not found in the earliest manuscripts of Corinthians.

    6. There are differences in the church structure in Paul's letters--more congregational.. The Letters to Timothy indicate a more hierarchical structure; and, most importantly to me:

    7. The syntax, grammar, and sentence structure are quite different.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    I don't yet see 'some mutual respect in corporate worship', but that's my lack.

    I think he's saying in that bit in Corinthians, basically, that there are minimum dress standards and etiquette to be observed when gathering as a church. Don't dress like a tart, don't dress up as something you're not, don't get pissed on communion wine, and make sure everybody has enough to eat, don't brag about shagging your mother-in-law, etc.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited March 21
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    Yes. I omitted to include that possibility from a liberal POV. It still leads to the conclusion in the second paragraph you quoted
    But we don’t need to give heed to those parts of [the epistles] which we find distasteful because they are simply the expression of different (primitive) superstitions and cultural values.
    There are things which could be consistent with it not being Pauline, but IMO they don’t outweigh the evidence that it is.

    It’s interesting that these considerations
    Either Paul is being inconsistent with what he has written or someone else may have written it, or someone else wrote it.
    don’t include ‘maybe I have misread or misunderstood it and need to re-examine my interpretation of the passage’.

    There is plenty of evidence that suggests the letters of Timothy were written by someone else.

    1) They were addressed to a specific individual. Paul's letters were addressed to congregations.
    However, Philemon, which is addressed to an individual, is generally accepted as Pauline. In which case it is obvious that Paul might have written other letters to specific individuals. The generalised statement that ‘Paul’s letters were addressed to congregations’ simply cannot stand.

    2. They are not listed in the earliest canons of Paul's Letters
    The earliest extant canon containing Paul's letters is from the 2nd century compiled by Marcion, the founder of Marcionism. Marcion did not include any of the modern Gospels… He includes ten epistles by Paul, omitting the Pastoral Epistles (Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy). His can hardly be seen as a reliable guide to NT canonicity. whereas Polycarp (69–156 AD) quoted from 2 Thessalonians but also the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, Acts of the Apostles, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy….

    Bruce Metzger has stated "One finds in Clement's work [(150–215 AD)] citations of all the books of the New Testament with the exception of Philemon, James, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John.”

    The authenticity of Pauline authorship was accepted by Church orthodoxy as early as c. AD 180, as evidenced by the surviving testimony of Irenaeus and the author of the Muratorian.

    3. They presuppose Paul was imprisoned in Rome a second time. Other sources say he was imprisoned in Rome only once.
    It is true that Acts only records one imprisonment, but I am not aware of any source which stated that Paul was imprisoned only once. There is no evidence either way as to what may or may not have happened to Paul after the end of the account in Acts.
    4. In Corinthians Paul encourages widows to stay single. The letters to Timothy encourage them to remarry.
    In Corinthians Paul expresses a view that widows will be happier if they remain unmarried. In Timothy he advised that those for whom the unmarried state is problematic should marry. This is not inconsistent - just pastorally sensible.
    5. In the Pauline letter's Paul recognizes the leadership roles of women (as I pointed out); but in the Letters to Timothy they are expected to be submissive to men. The one exception being Paul supposedly directing women to keep silent in the Corinthian church--but that particular passage is not found in the earliest manuscripts of Corinthians.
    First, as I have argued above, this is a misreading of Timothy. Secondly, the text in Corinthians is found in all the manuscripts of Corinthians - just not in the same place in all of them. Further what Paul says about women keeping silent has been widely misinterpreted. N.T. Wright in the work I cited above offers an understanding of what was happening based on the work of Kenneth Bailey and then says this
    What the passage cannot possibly mean is that women had no part in leading public worship, speaking out loud of course as they did so. This is the positive point that is proved at once by the other relevant Corinthian passage, 1 Corinthians 11.2–11, since there Paul is giving instructions for how women are to be dressed while engaging in such activities, instructions which obviously wouldn’t be necessary if they had been silent in church all the time.
    6, There are differences in the church structure in Paul's letters--more congregational.. The Letters to Timothy indicate a more hierarchical structure;
    While the letters use the terms overseers (sometimes translated ‘bishops’) and elders, there is no clear differentiation of roles or delineation of hierarchy.
    and, most importantly to me:

    7. The syntax, grammar, and sentence structure are quite different.
    Style and language can vary for reasons other than differing authorship, such as the subject of the letter, the recipient, the circumstances of the times, a different amanuensis, or simply maturation on the part of the author. There are no differences in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus which can’t reasonably be accounted for in this way. In the same way a letter I might write to the congregation I serve would look significantly different from that addressed to an assistant minister in temporary charge.

    I make these points not because I consider that they are unanswerable, but just to say that it is perfectly reasonable to come to a different opinion about the authorship of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I don't yet see 'some mutual respect in corporate worship', but that's my lack.

    I think he's saying in that bit in Corinthians, basically, that there are minimum dress standards and etiquette to be observed when gathering as a church. Don't dress like a tart, don't dress up as something you're not, don't get pissed on communion wine, and make sure everybody has enough to eat, don't brag about shagging your mother-in-law, etc.

    Agreed. He's definitely circling the square, bringing egalitarian standards of decorum to communion and beyond, successfully, for all time: church worship services have been formalized, sacred ever since, even 'gospel' and 'charismatic' ones.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited March 21
    Paul wanted everthing to be done in a fitting and orderly way. His pastoral advice is usually moderate but it can be jarring to modern ears. I often wonder if his famous admonition about silence is because the C1 equivalent of the Mothers Union gossiped through his sermon one day and exasperated him. But I don't think he was intentionally promoting the repressive attitudes of The Handmaid's Tale because of all the women that he actively released in ministry whom he greets at the end of his letters. And his first convert in Europe was Lydia.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Secondly, the text in Corinthians is found in all the manuscripts of Corinthians - just not in the same place in all of them. Further what Paul says about women keeping silent has been widely misinterpreted. N.T. Wright in the work I cited above offers an understanding of what was happening based on the work of Kenneth Bailey and then says this

    This is from Zondervan Academic which does suggest it was an interpolation.

    Besides, it seems to contradict what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2: 5 where he allows that women can prophecy (which is in the assembly of believers) as long as her head is covered.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    It does seem to, but see the N T Wright piece I referred to above.

    If it seems to be contradictory to us, then we should consider that if it really was it would have been apparent to the original writer or a later interpolater. It seems to me that our first port of call should be to re-examine our interpretation.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I read the article. I disagree with Wright. Wright seems to draw criticisms from many venues of Christendom. He has been called the most dangerous theologian today. He is entitled to his perspective, but I would not consider him the sole authority on the passages in question.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Dangerous? How? Anyone Piper criticizes is invariably right in whatever regard. Wright is an oxymoronic liberal Evangelical bending over backwards to make Paul work now. The desperate contrivance shows. It's nearly as bad as when I started on the complete works of Francis Schaeffer. I gave up on the first page. Why would you (not)? The danger is giving up the will to live.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited March 21
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    <snip> He is entitled to his perspective, but I would not consider him the sole authority on the passages in question.
    No. Although in this case it’s not his sole opinion, it’s drawn directly from the work of Kenneth Bailey. I’ve simply quoted Wright because his work is accessible online and I know where to find it.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    I had no idea that Tom Wright was considered a dangerous theologian. How is it that he is not on SOF? Then again - perhaps he is! Anyone want to make a confession?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I think his perspective on Paul (which is not the same as the New Perspective on Paul) is unwelcome in some quarters, and his generally fairly conservative approach to scripture is unwelcome in others.

    I think it’s the former group who have labelled him dangerous.
  • If Paul were among us today and could review all that has passed since his time, I think he might want us to forget all that he said about the relationship of women and men, and the status of women, and focus only on Galatians 3:25:
    "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,
    for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

    It is interesting that Paul sought to implement the part about Jews and Gentiles by tearing down the wall of separation in suggesting that they should have table fellowship with one another, but did not implement what he said about women or slaves all that much.

  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    Or some women [me] might focus of Rev 12:6 "The woman herself flew into the wilderness wher she was to be looked after..."
    I have even designed a Tiny House for it, my duffel is packed and I am ready
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    @JamesBoswellII

    I think you are right and Paul would change his views. But he could have written very differently about the role of women in ministry and changed the history of the church. His letters frequently conclude with expressions of thanks to various women deacons.

    Paul's letter to Philemon doesn't challenge the idea of slavery but seeks to persuade the slave owner instead. There isn't a story of Jesus encountering a slave in the gospels, unless the centurion's servant was one. The OT Law provided for Hebrew slaves to be liberated after 7 years and for all slaves to have a Sabbath rest. So it mitigates the conditions of slavery rather than contesting it.
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