Rank your Patriarchy level

One of the things I’ve been mulling over for a while now are ‘level’ of controversial statements about women in the New Testament in contrast to today’s culture. Dalrock’s what is the blue pill and Cane’s for the love of the game gave me a bit of more inspiration to create this post.

Here’s a few of the short list.

  • Wives submit to your husbands (Eph 5, Col 3, Tit 2, 1 Pet 3)
  • Women are not to teach or exercise authority over men in the Church (1 Tim 2)
  • Women are to stay silent in Churches and ask their husbands at home (1 Cor 14)
  • Women are to wear head coverings in prayer. And no, hair itself does not count as a head covering. (1 Cor 11)

I put this list together for fun to rank your level of Patriarchy, but there is some general truth to how seriously you take God’s Word.

Here are the rankings. I tried to add some colorful, true commentary to each of the levels.

  1. Patriarchy Level 0 – You agree with none of these and practice none of these. You probably call yourself an Biblical egalitarian but in reality you are a loud and proud feminist. You look for ways to conform the Bible to your cultural influenced opinion rather than God’s Truth. Your responses to Biblical arguments are “but muh equality” or “it says there’s mutual submission right there in Eph 5!” or “[insert long-winded made-up story about how Paul and Peter were saying things that are only culturally relevant]”
  2. Patriarchy Level 1 – You agree with one of these and practice one of these. You are a unknowing closet feminist and likely a conservative complementarian like most Evangelical Christians. You probably claim to practice “wives submit to your husbands,” but in practice she mostly wears the pants. You’re very easily dragged to and fro by your wife’s emotions, but still claim you’re loving her for trying to placate those emotions instead of admonish her when she’s going off track. You will probably be offended by reading this section passage if you are in this group.
  3. Patriarchy Level 2You agree with some of these and practice one of these. Your eyes are starting to be pried open from the deception of complementarism and chivalry to patriarchy. You already knew that liberals don’t care about God, but you can start to see that conservatives don’t either.  You’re comfortable calling out men on their sin but still hesitate calling out women on their sin though you occasionally understand when to do it. You may or may not wear the pants in your relationship or marriage, but you understand that you should and are trying to act as the head of your marriage.
  4. Patriarchy Level 3 You agree with all of these and practice some of these. You reject egalitarianism, complementarism, and chivalry. You consider complementarianism worse than egalitarianism because at least egalitarians admit they’re Biblically disobedient. You’ve probably studied these passages in depth both exegetically and hermeneutically, but you’re still cowardly about taking a stand in front of your family, friends, and the Church. You wear the pants in your relationship or marriage and are fairly comfortable calling both men and women out on their sin.
  5. Patriarchy Level 4You agree with all of these and practice all of these. You are a true Biblical Patriarch. Feminists gnash their teeth at you. Sometimes “Christians” will talk to your family to try to convince them not to do some of these things. You might get weird looks or get called a cult leader by people under their breath. You wear the pants in your relationship or marriage and in most cases your family loves you and will defend you vehemently.

I will painfully admit that I am still level 3 instead of level 4. The process of sanctification is continual and still occurring in me.

Questions to my readers:

  • What stage are you in? Single or married is fine. Also, wives can comment too about the status of their husband’s stance in their marriages.
  • What additional commentary can be added to each of these levels?
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109 Responses to Rank your Patriarchy level

  1. Lexet Blog says:

    3. Unmarried, but agree with all 4 principles. I’d actually agree that women aren’t to practice authority over men period. They are to keep the home.

  2. KPP says:

    I’m at Level 3 as well. It’s the headcovering one that keeps me from being a Level 4. That said, I have been considering implementing that in my family. It doesn’t seem to be presented as one of those “optional” things, seeing as it is presented as something grounded in the creation order. For years (decades, really) I’ve used the excuse of not being clear if it’s an external covering vs long hair as an excuse not to deal with it. That is not satisfying to me now and I’m beginning to view it as an issue of simple obedience whether I understand it or not.

    There is also another aspect of this as well – although I am at a Level 3, I tend not to reveal my thinking on many of these issues, as I know I am in the minority and sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it. Thankfully, we attend a good church with a right-thinking pastor and body, so I can be at ease there. But to say that I think all women should be homemakers/home entrepreneurs? Or challenge typical feminist thought at my place of work? I can see the writing on the wall, so I’m working on becoming anti-fragile in my income streams. I don’t like this feeling that I’m compromising simply for remaining silent.

  3. I have a feeling this is going to turn into an argument about hair & coverings. haha

  4. @ KPP

    I’m at Level 3 as well. It’s the headcovering one that keeps me from being a Level 4. That said, I have been considering implementing that in my family. It doesn’t seem to be presented as one of those “optional” things, seeing as it is presented as something grounded in the creation order. For years (decades, really) I’ve used the excuse of not being clear if it’s an external covering vs long hair as an excuse not to deal with it. That is not satisfying to me now and I’m beginning to view it as an issue of simple obedience whether I understand it or not.

    Same. I’ve talked about it with my wife, but I have not implemented it yet.

    But to say that I think all women should be homemakers/home entrepreneurs?

    Proverbs 31 shows a wife who has priority on her home and children but still has the time for business. I don’t think it’s wrong for women to work in any sense of that (especially if the husband wants his wife to as the head), but there obviously should be a priority order to spend time on the most important things. Relationships and family more than money.

    I can see the writing on the wall, so I’m working on becoming anti-fragile in my income streams. I don’t like this feeling that I’m compromising simply for remaining silent.

    A wise decision and so am I.

  5. @ Looking Glass

    Haha.

    I think the tier list that everyone goes as they accept things are:

    1. Wives submit
    2. No women in leadership
    3. No women speaking at all
    4. Head coverings

    Maybe 3 and 4 could be reversed, but most modern Christians seem to react the most strongly to head coverings.

  6. @DS:

    I think, for most, #3 & #4 would be flipped. Head Coverings can be traditional/interesting outsider approach (literally trendy), but the enforcing no talking from Women is the big hurdle.

    However, the real hurdle is accepting the consequences of the poison within the Church. Truly brutal consequences flow from that.

  7. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Maybe 3 and 4 could be reversed, but most modern Christians seem to react the most strongly to head coverings.”

    In my experience #3 and #4 are switched. It’s also possible to have just #1 and #4, at least according to the specific way you’ve defined the categories. As I understand what you mean by #3, I’ve never seen that in practice.

  8. @ LG & Derek

    Do you think you would sooner get *all* women in a Church with head coverings or to be silent?

    I think you could be right in regard to Protestant Churches, but not in Catholic or Orthodox.

    In Catholic/Orthodox you already have the leg up with no leadership as women, so enforcing silence from women is much easier.

    Headcoverings generally require also the cooperation of the rest of the husbands (though a good Church should teach about it).

  9. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Do you think you would sooner get *all* women in a Church with head coverings or to be silent?”

    If a head covering is cultural, like any other fashion, then it isn’t that difficult to implement. So I’ve been to many churches where head coverings were the norm. My mother wears a head covering, but she isn’t silent in church.*

    * I presume by silent you mean not uttering a word while inside a church? Or do you mean something more nuanced, such as allowed to talk or sing, just not to ask questions?

  10. Halley Reed says:

    I’m at level 4. Unfortunately, there have been several Christians (mostly women) who call me oppressed or suppose that I’ve been abused into taking this stance. As an unmarried woman, I truly appreciate your blog. Biblical masculinity and femininity, though counter-cultural, are foundational to our lives. God bless!

  11. El says:

    My guy is level 3 I suppose because he does not desire head coverings on me.

    Women don’t preach in our church but they do sing in the choir and make the occasional announcement, which my husband thinks is Biblically acceptable.

  12. @ Derek

    If a head covering is cultural, like any other fashion, then it isn’t that difficult to implement. So I’ve been to many churches where head coverings were the norm. My mother wears a head covering, but she isn’t silent in church.*

    True, in other cultures where it is still ‘traditional’ it would be easier to implement than others.

    I presume by silent you mean not uttering a word while inside a church? Or do you mean something more nuanced, such as allowed to talk or sing, just not to ask questions?

    I don’t know the official stance of the Catholic or Orthodox Church on this topic, but I would assume that any ‘specific corporate thing’ like songs, hymns, and/or some liturgy would include women.

    1 Cor 14 seems to specify a time during gatherings for possible individual expression — “26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

  13. Jack says:

    I’m not sure where I stand on this best. I would say I am a 4, because “Christians” have called me “sexist”, but my wife is somewhere between 0 and 1. Since the “level” of the marriage requires her cooperation, I can’t really say that I practice 4, because of her behalf. But sometimes I can achieve 2 or even 3, depending on her mood. I think the important thing is to be making progress.

  14. Derek Ramsey says:

    “I would assume that any ‘specific corporate thing’ like songs, hymns, and/or some liturgy would include women….1 Cor 14 seems to specify a time during gatherings for possible individual expression”

    Ok, well then this is complicated.

    By this definition, I’ve spent about half my life in a level 4 church. Like El’s husband, I chose not to pursue a woman who would wear a head covering. However, according to some definitions I’m a Level 1. I don’t find the definition to be offensive—amusing, perhaps, in its non-applicable caricature. I’m sure I can find also people (e.g. in the comboxen of Dalrock) who would say I’m a level 0, because my marriage is based on mutuality and oneness (and wouldn’t work otherwise). At the same time, I’ve never stuck with a church that ordains women ministers and your clarification on being silent of church isn’t objectionable. So maybe I agree with and practice three of them.

    As our previous discussion made clear, we disagree on a lot of the details.

  15. Lexet Blog says:

    5 years ago I would not have objected to wives working outside of the home. However, I have seen and heard of too many affairs/sexual activity in the workplace to ever be ok with sending a woman into the workforce

  16. Derek Ramsey says:

    “I have seen and heard of too many affairs/sexual activity in the workplace to ever be ok with sending a woman into the workforce”

    Ha! In addition to our two biological children, my wife and I adopted three non-infant children, all with physical needs (missing limbs, etc.). Not only does she work (part time) to help cover the extra costs that come with this, but we had to split up the children and live separately for 4+ months 1,000 miles away (in different states) due to my daughter’s extensive surgeries to correct her rare birth deformity. We may have to do it again (dreading that).

    I’m not sending a woman into the workforce, I’m sending my wife who is a part of me and whom I trust without question. Our marriage would not work without complete and utter trust. A man should probably not get married if he can’t trust his wife.

    Our marriage would not work if we had to shoehorn ourselves into strict traditional gender roles either. That’s why I laugh when I read the parts about “wears the pants.” If it’s a biblical requirement, then it creates a contradiction with the requirements for our family as a consequence of following James 1:27. I basically reject the notion that “wives submit to your husbands” means that a woman can’t be an equal part of the team and make her own decisions according to her skills.

  17. KPP says:

    As far as headcoverings go, it’s clear to me that the I Cor passage refers only to only needing a covering when praying or prophesying. Some groups say women should wear the headcoverings at all times, as that’s the outward sign she’s under the authority of her husband. I don’t see that in the passage.

    Regarding women and silence in the church, it’s important to look at the context.

    “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

    As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

    Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.”

    Note that the context is about order in the church and the things he addresses before stating that women should be silent are revelatory things: speaking in a tongue (with interpretation) and prophesy. I think that the mention of “a hymn” and “a lesson” are just part of the introduction to this section and not the subject – the subject he’s been talking about the whole chapter is tongues and prophesy and that’s what he continues with. Since he immediately follows with a command that women should be silent and then continues talking about those revelatory functions, it’s just plain good hermeneutics to conclude that it is part of the entire teaching. Some have claimed that those darn Corinthian women were just causing a commotion and Paul just wants them to settle down, but that argument is untenable. Paul is saying that in the church proper, prophesy and tongues are off limits to women and they should be quiet. Did you see that Paul said the exact same thing to the person who had a tongue without an interpreter? “Let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.” Women who are commanded to be silent are not commanded to be inactive – they have access to the riches of God. We know from other Scriptures that women did prophesy and speak in tongues (and we know they covered their heads while prophesying!) but this is not their role in church. It is a point of order and it’s something all churches of God adhere to.

    As for singing – well, hymns are mentioned as something that “each one” has, so that’s certainly wide enough to include women. And Colossians 3 states: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” The passage refers to all Christians, not just men. Whether woman can sing those songs in the church gathering I’ll let you argue about, but it seems to me permissible.

  18. KPP says:

    “I basically reject the notion that “wives submit to your husbands” means that a woman can’t be an equal part of the team and make her own decisions according to her skills.”

    I doubt you’re going to find any of us ascribing to that definition of “wives submit to your husbands.” It’s a straw man. Just reading Proverbs 31 shows us a woman who isn’t sitting around waiting for her husband to make every little decision for her.

    Most of us would also describe our marriages as a team to some extent. But just as every team has members with different skills and strengths where it makes sense to let them act independently, every team needs a process to deal with issues when the team members are at odds with one another. A team where everyone just does what they please is a team with serious weaknesses.

    Granted, there are lots of areas in life where the impact of a decision is minimal, but some decisions can have a huge impact. It’s great when a husband and wife are in agreement – the decisions then are easy. But what if there is no agreement? What if there is an issue where the impact to the family is going to be huge and the husband and wife are at odds and it’s not an issue in line with the skills of either spouse? If inaction is not an option, someone has to make the call.

    The Scriptures say the husband is the one responsible for his family. He is the head. He may defer to his wife based on her input – any good leader looks for input from subordinates. If it works out, fantastic! But if it turns out to be the wrong decision, it’s on him, not his wife. The same as the chain of command in the military, or as Harry Truman said: “The buck stops here.”

  19. Derek Ramsey says:

    “But what if there is no agreement?”

    As I understand it, it’s not a strawman because DS rejects the tie breaker argument. Perhaps I misunderstand?

    “Most of us would also describe our marriages as a team to some extent. But just as every team has members with different skills and strengths where it makes sense to let them act independently, every team needs a process to deal with issues when the team members are at odds with one another. A team where everyone just does what they please is a team with serious weaknesses.”

    When DS and I were debating over the last couple months, I made similar points. My wife and I are a team, it makes sense to play off the skills and strengths of each member (i.e. mutual submission).

    The question is what to do when conflict arises. Some think that conflict is perfectly natural and the solution is just for the man to break the tie and for the woman to go along with it. I never liked that because it doesn’t actually eliminate conflict or lead to unity. Whenever I make unilateral decisions, I pay for that conflict and disharmony. It’s my responsibility to make sure it is a mutual decision and when it isn’t mutual, that’s a failure on my part.

  20. theasdgamer says:

    The whole “silent” thing is because women have a tendency to chatter instead of listening, so Paul wrote his admonition specifically to the chatterers in one church. Women aren’t to keep silent when it comes to singing, praying, or exercising their spiritual gift. I recall that Luke mentions in Acts that somebody had daughters who were prophetesses, so they must have spoken aloud in church.

  21. @ El

    My guy is level 3 I suppose because he does not desire head coverings on me.

    Interesting. I don’t know where the Biblical line is on that.

    Women don’t preach in our church but they do sing in the choir and make the occasional announcement, which my husband thinks is Biblically acceptable.

    Seems OK given the context of 1 Cor 14. I haven’t studied that one in as much depth as the others though.

  22. theasdgamer says:

    If you consider Paul’s description about women covering their head in 1 Cor. 11, it’s in the context of a discussion about displaying glory in church. Since a woman’s hair is her glory, the hair should not be displayed in church. And woman is man’s glory, so her distinctiveness (her hair) should not be displayed in church. But man is Christ’s glory, so men should not cover their heads in church. If a woman covers her head, her glory and man’s glory are hidden, but her nature of being part of mankind is not hidden and Christ is glorified.

    Paul starts with discussion about head, which is confusing to modern readers. He is talking about head in relation to glory. God is the head of Christ and Christ is the glory of God. The glory springs from the head. A woman’s glory (her hair) springs from her head. Man is the head of woman and woman is the glory of man. Man is glorified by woman. Woman is glorified by her hair. God is glorified by Christ. Christ is glorified by man.

  23. @ Derek

    Our marriage would not work if we had to shoehorn ourselves into strict traditional gender roles either. That’s why I laugh when I read the parts about “wears the pants.” If it’s a biblical requirement, then it creates a contradiction with the requirements for our family as a consequence of following James 1:27. I basically reject the notion that “wives submit to your husbands” means that a woman can’t be an equal part of the team and make her own decisions according to her skills.

    Wears the pants = headship/authority. I delegate my wife authority to act in my stead in a number of things. In other things, she helps: gives me input, looks for my blind spots, keep track of certain things.

    It is the right of those in authority to delegate authority. I’ve said before I think it’s ‘legit’ for a husband to delegate his authority in half to his wife, but I think it’s also ‘foolish’ because he’ll then be judged by how his wife uses it. However, if you trust her that much and she’s faithful then that’s probably only a good thing. That’s my speculation, but I’m not God.

    Also, I don’t think strict traditional sex roles are all that either. In most societies, many (if not most) women had to work in the family business as well. It’s only in the industrial age where you see men as ‘sole’ breadwinners much of the time.

  24. @ KPP

    Agree on praying and prophesying. However, Paul notes that Christians in 1 Thess 5 are to be ‘praying without ceasing’ so I assume that’s why much of the Christian tradition is/was most if not all of the time.

    Tentative agreement on the rest of the passage from me.

  25. KPP says:

    “The whole “silent” thing is because women have a tendency to chatter instead of listening, so Paul wrote his admonition specifically to the chatterers in one church. Women aren’t to keep silent when it comes to singing, praying, or exercising their spiritual gift. I recall that Luke mentions in Acts that somebody had daughters who were prophetesses, so they must have spoken aloud in church.

    Really? Paul is talking about prophecy and tongues for the entire chapter, then takes a break to rebuke the chatterers and then returns to prophecy and tongues to close it out? Particularly when he tells others to remain silent just a few verses earlier? And he never says anything about women chattering or making any sort of disturbance before he rebukes them?

    The “chatterers” theory has been out there for some time, but the problem is, the text doesn’t actually say that. It’s supposition that doesn’t fit the theme of the chapter.

    Philip’s daughters in Acts are spoken of like this: “He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied.” That’s it. Nothing else about them. It never says they prophesied in church. If you read on, another prophet comes and prophesies about Paul and it doesn’t seem that it’s happening in the church meeting. So women who prophesy don’t necessarily have to do so in church.

    We must be very careful when we use supposition to decide what “must” have happened. Particularly when our suppositions just happen to line up with modern societal expectations.

  26. Cane Caldo says:

    Women silent in church means no teaching, no preaching, no leading corporate prayers, no readings, i.e., she is never given the podium or the floor. If there is a time during church worship for individual expression, it is never time for a woman.

    Head coverings while praying or prophesying means she needs to put a cover on her head while she prays or prophesies. It does not mean long hair. To say otherwise is to make nonsense of Paul’s statement.

    1) It is *nonsense* to say short-haired or bald women should cut off their hair to show their shame at having short-haired or bald heads.
    2)You can’t put on or take off your hair. “Ok, done praying. Now I’m just going to slip out of this long hair covering God gave me.”

    These things aren’t hard. We just don’t like them. We don’t like them because we’re chivalrous. Do not be concerned that other cultures (Islamic, for example) practice head coverings. Paul says nature teaches that a woman’s head should be covered. Muslims can see nature too.

  27. theasdgamer says:

    The theme of chapters 11 and 12 is order in the church. Chatterers were a distraction and this was a common problem that had to be remedied. Church was far less formal than we see today. No podiums, no lectern, no choir, etc. Just chairs where the church met in people’s homes.

  28. theasdgamer says:

    Edification normally happens in church because that’s where people gather for edification. Spiritual gifts are designed especially for edification. Prophecy is one of the more valuable spiritual gifts for edifying the church. Ergo, it’s not much of a stretch to say that women prophesied in church *with their heads covered*. Kind of makes God seem stupid to give women a valuable gift if they weren’t supposed to use it to edify the church, doesn’t it? If women cover their heads, they seem more like men (if wearing a modest garment). When women prophesy with their heads covered, their sex is muted and we could almost say that only men speak in church. So women must keep silent in the churches, the exception being when they pray or prophesy with their heads covered. Group singing is not within the bounds of Paul’s admonition.

  29. Bruce says:

    The Catholic discipline/practice is governed by canon law. As far as the Western Rite goes (I don’t know about the twenty something other rites) the requirement to cover the head was left out of the 1983 code of canon law. Traditionalist Catholics say that since covering the head wasn’t explicitly rescinded (merely left out) it is still in effect. Progressive Catholics say that since it was left out, it is rescinded. Since I don’t know much about canon law I don’t know who is right.
    Are there any common Protestant denominations that practice head covering? The only place I’ve ever seen it is in some traditional Amish/Mennonite Churches.

  30. “I have a feeling this is going to turn into an argument about hair & coverings. haha”

    Haha.

    Without having to dive deep into all of the context then sort things out, I’d just fall into the traditional view of Women should wear head coverings in church. I also need a good argument most Churches wouldn’t be improved if the Pastor was also silent.

    One practical note on the silence part, if the Women don’t have respect for the surroundings, they’ll sit at the front in a group chatting away. This is actually where a lot of the “Sunday Morning Nightclub” stuff came about. It’s those Women. However, it’s generally a practical result from female psychology. Just wanted to note it.

  31. Novaseeker says:

    The head covering is, I think, the hardest of these because it is very visible (it’s either there or not, no wiggle room) and is loaded with cultural baggage as well, and not just from Islam.

    In mainstream Catholic parishes it’s extremely rare to see women with covered heads (other than in winter gear or something like that which isn’t worn for religious reasons) – in the traditional Latin mass communities, it’s typical that women have head coverings, but the total number of people in those communities is very small as compared with the mainstream parishes.

    In North American Eastern Orthodox parishes, it depends on how “traditional” the parish/jurisdiction is. In the typical, say, Greek Orthodox parish down the street, it’s not very common to see head coverings. You may see more of them in a more traditional type parish (often these are Russian background, but not always). In the Orthodox world, it’s much more common to see headcoverings, but it still varies by country and city somewhat.

    As for the participation in the liturgy, again the mainstream Catholics have women lectors who read from the OT and non-Gospel NT at Mass, and it’s very common for women to be leading the singing. On the Orthodox side, the less traditional parishes may have women chant the Epistle reading during the liturgy (whereas in the more traditional ones this will always be a man), and women are in the choirs everywhere. There is no opportunity for women to preach in either the Catholic or Orthodox settings during liturgical services.

  32. Daniel says:

    A woman’s long hair is a natural sign that she was made for man. When a woman shaves her head or cuts it short, she is in rebellion against her station – she declares that she was not made for man, she is for herself. Women naturally want to wear their hair long to be found attractive by men.

    The head covering is an additional layer worn when she prays to God. It is an addition symbol that she is submitted to God, as well as subject to her husband in obedience to God.

    I tend to agree with theasdgamer in that ” women must keep silent in the churches, the exception being when they pray or prophesy with their heads covered.” Godly women should be included in mixed prayer meetings with their heads covered.

    The women in my church do not cover their heads. But they also do not pray aloud or prophesy. They are totally silent. I told my wife that I want her to wear a head covering. Since none of the other women do, she would be the only one, and that really upsets her. So I have left it alone for a while.

  33. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Seems OK given the context of 1 Cor 14. I haven’t studied that one in as much depth as the others though.”

    Verses 34-35 are subject to textual problems. While they are attested in every manuscript, in some they occur after v40. Many scholars believe they were an early marginal gloss (by a later copyist or Paul himself). The vocabulary of the verses is not Pauline-like. When included, the verses break the flow of the text and seem awkward (try reading without those verses). At best they appear parenthetical. Consider how certain commenters here struggle to make those verses fit the surrounding and broader context.

    A strict, unnuanced reading (as per Cane Caldo’s stance) creates a number of apparent contradictions.

    First, women were speaking in the religious setting, including prophesying and praying. The “at church” vs “not at church” distinction is anachronistic, as ‘church’ is just a gathering of believers for religious purpose. For women to prophesy or pray implies that it was “at church.”

    Second, prophesy is greater than teaching. It is inspired or revealed teaching. It is second to apostolic teaching (i.e. scripture). It doesn’t make sense to say that women can prophesy and that they must remain completely silent.

    Third, Paul seems most concerned about chaos, disorder, and distraction.

    Fourth, if Paul were really teaching that women were to never speak in church, then this would contradict 1 Tim 2. Timothy was Paul’s traveling companion. If Paul consistently taught that women were to be silent in all churches, there would have been no need to give Timothy a restriction, let alone a nuanced one, in 1 Tim 2.

    “If women cover their heads, they seem more like men (if wearing a modest garment)”

    and:

    “One practical note on the silence part, if the Women don’t have respect for the surroundings, they’ll sit at the front in a group chatting away.”

    Certain interpretations of 1 Cor. 11, 1 Cor 14, and 1 Tim 2 presume men and women cannot be co-equal. However, if women should be above men (by disrespectfully chattering or usurping teaching authority), then decorum and modesty bring women back into the fold. For example, a hair covering and modest dress keeps distracting sexuality out of religious observance.

    “…it’s generally a practical result from female psychology”

    Paul seems to be noting that women, for whatever reason, are practically predisposed to such behaviors.

    “Are there any common Protestant denominations that practice head covering? The only place I’ve ever seen it is in some traditional Amish/Mennonite Churches.”

    Indeed. I’ve never seen it elsewhere. It is so unusual that my mother is sometimes mistaken for a Jewess.

  34. Bruce says:

    “Since none of the other women do, she would be the only one, and that really upsets her.”

    I think this is the most common reason among women that, in principle, accept what the Bible teaches. They don’t want to stand out by being the only one.

    Don’t know if it’s a “I don’t want to be seen as the only one under submission” reaction or they don’t want to be seen as being a holier than thou/display my holiness type.

  35. Bruce says:

    Anyone over attend Church of Christ? They’re supposed to be one of these “we do everything in the NT and only what’s in the NT” type churches but I don’t know if they use headcoverings.

  36. theasdgamer says:

    Women wearing hats to church was common until about 1965, IIRC. I see Mennonite women out wearing bonnets in daily life.

  37. KPP says:

    Chatterers were a distraction and this was a common problem that had to be remedied.

    If this is true, show me. What verse says anything about chatterers? It’s supposition that you’re bringing to the text, not anything found in the text itself.

    First, women were speaking in the religious setting, including prophesying and praying. The “at church” vs “not at church” distinction is anachronistic, as ‘church’ is just a gathering of believers for religious purpose. For women to prophesy or pray implies that it was “at church.”

    There most certainly was “church” vs “not at church.” The section immediately following the section on women using a headcovering in I Corinthians 11 declares this: “In the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you.” Paul then rebukes them for not waiting for one another to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Acts talks about the disciples meeting together on “the Lord’s day,” the first day of the week, Sunday, to “break bread” and Paul further talks of the Christians setting aside charity on the “first day of the week.” Additional evidence from outside the Scriptures comes from Pliny, the governor of Pontus and Bithynia, who wrote to the Emporer Trajan during one of the early persecutions: “[The Christians] asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food–but ordinary and innocent food.” Pliny states he tortured two deaconesses to confirm the information. This aligns perfectly with Paul’s statements about the Church gathering for a meal and the idea of meeting at a fixed time. While we can certainly allow for informal gatherings, there was a formal gathering of the church, and Paul says the Lord commands certain things regarding it.

    First, women were speaking in the religious setting, including prophesying and praying.

    I’m afraid you’ll have to clarify what you mean by “the religious setting.” No one has argued that women are left out of the gifts of prophesy, nor that they should not pray. We are discussing why Paul says, “Hey, here’s how you use these gifts in the gathering of the Ecclesia. And as in all the Ecclesia, women should remain silent, for it’s shameful for them to speak. It’s not just me talking, this is the Lord’s command. Anyone who disagrees should be disregarded.”

    There is a place for women to prophesy, speak in tongues, and pray aloud. It’s just not in church.

  38. theasdgamer says:

    If people are going to insist on women being absolutely silent, then women aren’t allowed to participate in group singing. If we admit that Paul isn’t saying that women must be absolutely silent, then we must consider the context where Paul says that women must be silent in the churches.

    The context discusses that women should ask their men questions at home, so we can infer that Paul was discussing distracting questions from the women or perhaps chattering among themselves that proved to be distracting.

    I think that it’s clear from Scripture that women aren’t allowed to be in authority over men. Yet God gave the gift of prophecy to women, and perhaps teaching as well. It seems to me that such women are allowed to prophesy in church and to teach women and only women. Prophetic utterances must be tested, as Paul recommended. So, women aren’t allowed to be church leaders, but they can be church employees as long as they don’t supervise men.

    In the home, women are encouraged to be excellent managers and they have authority in the home as regards children and servants and caring for the needs of the household.

  39. KPP says:

    “Are there any common Protestant denominations that practice head covering? The only place I’ve ever seen it is in some traditional Amish/Mennonite Churches.”

    When I was in high school, I took part in a career program that put me at a child care center run by a charismatic group. They were not Amish or Mennonite. The married women wore their hair up with head coverings. I remember this young unmarried woman who worked there who had beautiful long hair and then she got married and arrived with her hair up and covered. I’ve also been at churches where a sub-set of women use a prayer scarf that they put on when prayers are offered, but not all the women did that.

    There may be a difference between being required and being encouraged. I imagine that even in an environment where it is being just encouraged, there would be a good degree of social pressure to conform. I would think that woman would rather be at a different church than be viewed as unsubmissive and disobedient.

  40. Cane Caldo says:

    Derek Ramsey insists on presenting nonsense as if it were tricky matters of interpretation.

    First, women were speaking in the religious setting, including prophesying and praying. The “at church” vs “not at church” distinction is anachronistic, as ‘church’ is just a gathering of believers for religious purpose. For women to prophesy or pray implies that it was “at church.”

    This is false. The NT clearly times of the gathering of the Body of Christ (“at church”) versus times when the members of the Body of Christ interact (“not at church”). When Paul visits Philip and his four prophetess daughters, we are told he visits them at their home. There is no reason to think they prophesied while the Body of Christ was gathered for worship. And when we pray and eat and bathe at home, we are not “at church” or “taking the Lord’s Supper” or “baptizing”.

    We don’t even need to get into the precedent set by the Tabernacle and the Temple for establishing that time and place mattered for worship, but those exist as well. The result would be chaos if we listened to Derek Ramsey. It is no harder to understand the Biblical concepts of “at church” and “together, but not at church” than it is to understand “every day belongs to the Lord” and “the Lord’s Day”.

    “Hey Bob, I’m here for the gathering of saints!”
    “Uh, it’s Tuesday, Frank. I gather with the saints on Fridays.”
    “Oh, bummer. Ok, I’ll go see Tom.”
    “Sorry, Frank, but Tom is a Monday gatherer. You missed his gathering.”
    “But Bob, Tuesday belongs to the Lord!”

    When I go eat at a Christian brother’s house and we pray before we eat, Christ is there with us as He promised. Yet every one understands we are not at church.

    Second, prophesy is greater than teaching. It is inspired or revealed teaching. It is second to apostolic teaching (i.e. scripture). It doesn’t make sense to say that women can prophesy and that they must remain completely silent.

    It doesn’t make sense to someone who can’t tell the difference of being at church from being with members of the church. To those of us who have ordered thinking in continuance with what is revealed in the Scriptures it makes perfect sense. Women can pray or prophesy when not at church (with their heads covered) and still bless those who hear it even though we are not at church.

    Third, Paul seems most concerned about chaos, disorder, and distraction.

    This is a great example of abusing the truth to make it of no use. Women who do not display submission at church create chaos, as does general disorder and distraction.

    Fourth, if Paul were really teaching that women were to never speak in church, then this would contradict 1 Tim 2.

    Since 1 Timothy 2 (a passage in a letter from Paul to the new bishop Timothy about how to conduct himself and church gatherings) confirms women should be quiet in church this statement shows how ludicrous is Derek Ramsey’s false talk. The rest of Ramsey’s comment is more abuse of the truth to make it of no profit. Yes, modest dress keeps down distracting sexuality and yes women are sometimes tempted to distract with their sexuality. Those are not reasons to deny the clear teaching that head coverings are symbols of authority that women should wear while praying or prophesying, and they are not hurdles for women to clear so that they may be allowed to speak in the congregation. It is not to be permitted, period.

  41. Cane Caldo says:

    @KPP

    There most certainly was “church” vs “not at church.” […] There is a place for women to prophesy, speak in tongues, and pray aloud. It’s just not in church.

    Nailed it.

  42. Cane Caldo says:

    @Bruce

    Anyone over attend Church of Christ? They’re supposed to be one of these “we do everything in the NT and only what’s in the NT” type churches but I don’t know if they use headcoverings.

    I live in Church of Christ country and none of their women cover their heads at church.

    @KPP

    When I was in high school, I took part in a career program that put me at a child care center run by a charismatic group. They were not Amish or Mennonite. The married women wore their hair up with head coverings. I remember this young unmarried woman who worked there who had beautiful long hair and then she got married and arrived with her hair up and covered. I’ve also been at churches where a sub-set of women use a prayer scarf that they put on when prayers are offered, but not all the women did that.

    Perhaps they were Pentecostal. That’s where I’ve seen that.

    It’s a good demonstration of how we want to modify clear instruction. Paul says “women” and doesn’t discriminate from “unmarried” to “unmarried”, but he does discriminate between “praying and prophesying” and “at work”. My church just ignores head coverings altogether so we’re no better. I have seen a few women at Anglican services with their heads covered, but they are the exceptions by far.

  43. KPP says:

    If people are going to insist on women being absolutely silent, then women aren’t allowed to participate in group singing. If we admit that Paul isn’t saying that women must be absolutely silent, then we must consider the context where Paul says that women must be silent in the churches.

    I haven’t heard anyone here say women must be absolutely silent and upthread I discussed why there would be an allowance for singing. I agree we must consider the context and the context specifically is the use of tongues and prophecy in church. It’s the subject of the entire chapter from verse one through the very end. It is not a general discussion about “order in the church.” Paul is dealing with a very specific issue. To take one verse and “infer” a meaning that is outside the entire theme of the chapter is very poor hermeneutics. When Paul is talking about women keeping silent, he is using it in the same way he is telling those with tongues to be silent in verse 28 and those with prophecy to be silent in verse 30. If he included women in those verses, he would not have made a general command to women four verses later.

    The context discusses that women should ask their men questions at home, so we can infer that Paul was discussing distracting questions from the women or perhaps chattering among themselves that proved to be distracting.

    All fine and good to infer, but that ignores the verse before – that wives should be silent to show their submission. Any inference must take submission into account. Being a chatterer is not a submission issue. Unless you’re going to “infer” that the husbands had tried to keep their wives quiet and failed so now they’ve asked Paul to get them in line with Apostolic authority.

    I think that it’s clear from Scripture that women aren’t allowed to be in authority over men. Yet God gave the gift of prophecy to women, and perhaps teaching as well. It seems to me that such women are allowed to prophesy in church and to teach women and only women. Prophetic utterances must be tested, as Paul recommended.

    What does Paul say women should do in 1 Timothy? “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Again, women are to remain quiet. They are not to teach or exercise authority over a man, so this precludes them from teaching in the general church gathering. But as you state, they may teach women: Titus 2 tells us that that is a function of older women (not younger women), but what they are to teach them is limited and specifically spelled out. If women want to learn doctrine they should go to their husbands, as Paul commanded.

    In the home, women are encouraged to be excellent managers and they have authority in the home as regards children and servants and caring for the needs of the household.

    I’d agree that the woman has authority. Some of it is innate, such as authority over her children, but her authority is always a subject authority: she is always under the authority of her husband.

  44. @ Derek

    Verses 34-35 are subject to textual problems. While they are attested in every manuscript, in some they occur after v40. Many scholars believe they were an early marginal gloss (by a later copyist or Paul himself). The vocabulary of the verses is not Pauline-like. When included, the verses break the flow of the text and seem awkward (try reading without those verses). At best they appear parenthetical. Consider how certain commenters here struggle to make those verses fit the surrounding and broader context.

    Did you read the rest of that article?

    The only started off with the “some scholars recommend removing it” because they wanted to address some of the background on the passage.

    The whole rest of the article they pointed to evidence that suggested Paul wrote it into the margin like he did for some things in other places on the original document and that he probably signed it so people knew it was authentic. However, some scribes didn’t know where to put it or didn’t have the margins so it got shuffled around a bit.

    So those verses are still legitimate.

  45. Bruce says:

    I believe there was a controversy that Tertullian addressed around 200AD. Certain Christian women interpreted scripture as indicating that virgins did not have to cover their heads. Tertullian wrote to them asserting that they did have to.

  46. Bruce says:

    “I have seen a few women at Anglican services with their heads covered, but they are the exceptions by far.”
    Me too. I got the impression that it was a fashion statement among old women (I never saw a young woman wear one at an Anglican mass.). Some of them seemed to like to wear those Kentucky Derby -lookin’ hats to show how genteel they were.
    The only place where I’ve ever witnessed the real thing is at a Latin Mass with Mel Gibson type Catholics.

  47. Cane Caldo says:

    @Bruce

    I have seen zero old women with head coverings in Anglican churches. I’ve seen I think six women total: two young women in two different churches, and then my three daughters and wife.

  48. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Did you read the rest of that article?”

    Of course I did. The best citations are the ones from respected scholars that defend the position that you disagree with, which is why I chose it. The article establishes a few things:

    (1) It is likely a marginal gloss, but there is disagreement on who made it. He assumed, but did not (and cannot) prove, that it was Paul.
    (2) It should be treated as a parenthetical or footnote. Interpreting within the immediate context is presumptive and questionable. This strengthens the argument made by theasdgamer who cited the context of chapter’s 11 and 12.
    (3) The verses have legitimate textual concerns; even those who accept it as fully authoritative scripture acknowledge this. His argument is speculative. This doesn’t make it invalid, but it does make it a subject for legitimate debate.

    If you approach these two verses with the understanding that there is a not insignificant chance they are not authentic and that they are most likely marginal glosses that don’t belong where they are placed, then this should influence your exegetical and hermeneutical approaches.

  49. Bruce says:

    @Cane

    For reference, where I observed this is in continuing Anglican Churches, one ACA/TAC and one APA.

  50. @ Derek Ramsey

    Text on the margin sure. Should be a footnote, no. I don’t see the textual concerns.

    The fact that it is in all texts means it was placed in that particular area of the verse… whether at the end of the chapter v40 or v33-34 it carries the same meaning.

    The early Church fathers accepted its veracity and its placement, so I’m not too sure how you’re making several big leaps in trying to do away with it.

    For the summary of evidence on early Church fathers, I found this:

    https://etimasthe.com/2017/10/02/evidence-for-the-authenticity-of-1-corinthians-1434-35-part-1/
    https://etimasthe.com/2017/10/09/evidence-for-the-authenticity-of-1-corinthians-1434-35-part-2/
    https://etimasthe.com/2017/10/13/evidence-for-the-authenticity-of-1-corinthians-1434-35-part-3/

  51. SirHamster says:

    Single, level 3. Coincidentally, our adult Sunday school has spent the last 3 weeks in 1 Cor 11, some of it contentious.

    We have one newer believer who insists that it’s a local custom, that we just don’t know what the passage means, and that we can blame Paul for making things complicated and unclear.

    Another is a mature believer who suggested that the covering is just hair, and is reluctant to excite people over the related controversies of female submission.

    And me, the youngest, seeing wrong church-wide interpretation and practice. I won’t lack for work.

  52. KPP says:

    If you approach these two verses with the understanding that there is a not insignificant chance they are not authentic and that they are most likely marginal glosses that don’t belong where they are placed, then this should influence your exegetical and hermeneutical approaches.

    But the article indicates that they ARE authentic. The author closes with, “We are thus compelled to regard the words as original, and as belonging where they are in the text above.” That’s his conclusion. It’s a “remarkable, unique” text that is included in every ancient source, and accepted without any question from the copyists. Not only that, all of the early Church Fathers accepted it as it is in our Bibles today. That it ended up in a slightly different place in some manuscripts can easily be accounted for – one copyist puts it in the wrong place and the following copies are also in the incorrect place. Though it’s not clear from the article, I checked and it’s later manuscripts that have it in the different position. That said, even if the location was at the end of the chapter, it doesn’t change the reading one bit.

    As to exegetical and hermeneutical approach, it often is that where you start from certainly determines where you end up. While there are some conservative scholars who question these verses, I discovered this comment when I was looking at this issue:

    “H. Conzelmann (246) argues that the whole of 1 Cor. 14.33b-36 is a non-Pauline gloss, inserted to reflect the “bourgeois consolidation of the church” presupposed in the Pastoral Epistles (esp. 1 Tim 2.11ff), which he also supposes to be non-Pauline.”

    See? Just reject the parts of the Scriptures you don’t agree with and it all becomes clear. Not all of those scholars involved in questioning these verses have pure motives.

    I found this quote from Søren Kierkegaard the other day and it has really given me pause:

    The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.

    We explain away head coverings. We explain away the role of women in church. We explain away headship. We explain away so many things. We can’t take what it says at face value, we have to “infer,” and “suppose,” and have a “reasonable reading.”

    I am counting the cost on what it means to really follow through and “act accordingly,” without trying to weasel around the difficult parts. God help me.

  53. Ame says:

    i find this discussion interesting; great input and discussion/debate.

    my late Mentor became a Christian late in life – 30’s if i remember correctly, and immediately began studying the Bible. she later began teaching and mentoring women and continued till she passed (a very sad day for me 😦 ).

    1. she did not teach unless she was being taught. she attended a weekly bible study taught by a man.

    2. through that teaching she learned about head coverings, and from then on wore some sort of head covering every time she taught as a symbol of submission and being under the authority of her husband. she is the only woman i’ve ever known to wear a head covering, and she was the first person to ever bring it to my attention. previous readings of the bible, for me personally, the concept went over my head and filed into “that was a cultural thing for that period of time.”

    3. every decision she made was under the authority of her husband.

    4. she had a submissive spirit.

    5. she taught me that we should never ask to teach but that we should wait until asked, and then only if the Lord leads us to do so. all that, of course, under the authority of her husband.

    – – –

    i admit i have yet to study this thoroughly and will do so before/if i teach women again someday in a formal teaching setting.

    – – –

    i have the gift of prophesy and to a lesser extent teaching. it is not a selfish gift, nor is it one i can choose when and how to use. it’s one where the Holy Spirit always works and speaks through me. it’s … powerful. and i never, ever, ever want to take credit for it or to abuse it. what i’ve noticed is that it is often not what i actually speak but it is how a person hears what i speak … and this has shown me that it was the Holy Spirit using my voice at a particular time for a specific reason in that person’s life, so it is ALL about God and absolutely NOTHING about me.

    – – –

    i am concerned about the number of women in senior leadership positions in churches. every time i research churches in my area (have not attended a formal church in ten plus years), i’m discouraged by the number of women in senior leadership positions. i’m concerned about the amount of deference given to women in church.

    i am also concerned about the popular women’s bible studies out there … the workbook bible studies … the video bible studies … the bible studies that cap the number of women welcome to attend. among other issues, they’ve lost touch with simply opening the bible and studying what it says.

  54. Derek Ramsey says:

    “…whether at the end of the chapter v40 or v33-34 it carries the same meaning.”

    How can you say that? The former strengthens theasdgamer’s argument. It is irrelevant and carries the same meaning only if you’ve already decided what the meaning is (i.e. circular reasoning). A parenthetical gloss can be a new or semi-independent thought, but at v33 it (perhaps) directly applies to the immediate surrounding context, rather than, say, the document as a whole or a new thought. Even if Paul wrote the gloss, someone else incorporated it.

    “The early Church fathers accepted its veracity and its placement”

    Yes, in the third century. The gloss was added to a source document behind our existing copies sometime after the document was written and before the mid-second century. The vocabulary suggests that the gloss was written in a different hand than the rest of the document.

    It is a logical fallacy to conclude that because a passage is quoted that it is authentic. The quotations may indicate that their copies included the gloss, but even this doesn’t prove authenticity. It only indicates that the gloss was added early. And that’s presuming that the documents of the cited founding fathers are themselves authentic. For example, the oldest manuscripts of Tertullian (as cited in the links you provided) are from the 8th century.

    “trying to do away with it”

    I never said that. You’ve presumed that because I acknowledge the textual difficulties that I’m trying to do away with the text. Similarly, KPP has suggested that this is a matter of rejecting the parts of scripture that I disagree with. These are both nonsense and basically presume that the original text did in fact include it when that is the very thing under debate (i.e. circular reasoning). I didn’t manufacture the textual and exegetical issues and it is silly to impugn my motives for acknowledging this. Given the doctrinal importance, it matters that great emphasis is placed on contested sections. This places it in risky hermeneutical territory.

  55. Derek Ramsey says:

    @KPP

    Let’s consider Daniel B. Wallace’s arguments.

    He supports the argument that Paul wrote the gloss, signed it with his name for the purpose of authenticating it, and copyists thus didn’t complain. DS also endorses this view. This is a speculative theory and a convenient one at that: starting with where one wants to end up. If I’m supposedly using circular reasoning by acknowledging the issues, then this is certainly a much more blatant example of the fallacy.

    There is a second logical error he makes. If the copyists didn’t complain because there was a signature in the original, then this implies that the gloss was added to the text the first time the documents were copied, otherwise the signature/authenticity argument is logically invalid (if the signature was forged into copies, this calls the authenticity into question). However, he’s willing to accept the gloss in the Western Vorlage (or one of its ancestors). This is logically contradictory. It can’t be both a later document and the first copy. Moreover, if the gloss was added to the text at the first copying, then there is no good explanation for placing the verses in two different locations.

    He notes that it is because of the Western tradition of putting it after v40 that we know that it was a gloss precisely because it didn’t fit anywhere in particular. That location was a natural break in the text and the most logical place to put it. I agree. Interestingly he still prefers the v33 placement because it is has the majority attestation, even though the v40 attestation is the evidence used to indicate that it is a gloss. This is a contradiction: if we know it is a gloss because of the authority of those manuscripts, how can we then discount the authority of those same manuscripts when it comes to placement choice? Moreover, if it is a gloss, then breaking up the existing flow is incorrect, whether the majority did it or not.

    He says it is difficult to explain why no scribe hinted at any inauthenticity. While an asterisk could throw question on its authenticity, citing the lack of asterisk is an argument from silence. His difficulty explaining it yields no logical force upon the argument.

  56. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Cane Caldo

    Strong’s and Thayer’s begins to show the anachronism. Consider Colossians 4:15 in particular. As yours is a common opinion, I’ll link back here if I ever write a blog post on the subject and DS allows the pingback.

  57. When we were first married, we went to a church where my wife was always the only woman covered. She was often asked why she wore the veil, and asked me how she should answer. I told her she should answer “because my husband wants me to.”

  58. KPP says:

    Similarly, KPP has suggested that this is a matter of rejecting the parts of scripture that I disagree with.

    I did no such thing. I quoted a whacked-out “scholar” who rejects these “bourgeois” verses and also rejects the pastoral epistles. I just found it interesting. Had nothing to do with you or your opinion.

    Yes, in the third century. The gloss was added to a source document behind our existing copies sometime after the document was written and before the mid-second century. The vocabulary suggests that the gloss was written in a different hand than the rest of the document.

    Well, you go your way and I’ll go mine because I can see we won’t see eye to eye on this. I spent more time today than I should have digging into this and I thank you for bringing the issue to my attention. I still don’t see any justification for considering the verse as anything but authentic, with the full weight of Scriptural authority, in the place where the early church had it, and as the Church Fathers explained how it was practiced.

  59. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Had nothing to do with you or your opinion.”

    My misunderstanding. I apologize for the misrepresentation.

    “Well, you go your way and I’ll go mine because I can see we won’t see eye to eye on this…I still don’t see any justification for considering the verse as anything but authentic…”

    Fair enough. I appreciate the chance to dialogue. My goal is to make the issues known (successful at that) and show that disagreements on these issues can be genuine and in good faith (don’t know if I was successful at that). May God bless you.

  60. white says:

    I love going to church these days so christians like Derek can tell me which parts of the Bible he thinks are not authentic and which parts he declares are divinely inspired.

    1 Cor 14:36

  61. @ Derek

    How can you say that? The former strengthens theasdgamer’s argument. It is irrelevant and carries the same meaning only if you’ve already decided what the meaning is (i.e. circular reasoning). A parenthetical gloss can be a new or semi-independent thought, but at v33 it (perhaps) directly applies to the immediate surrounding context, rather than, say, the document as a whole or a new thought. Even if Paul wrote the gloss, someone else incorporated it.

    No, it would still pertain to the same passages that came before it. v33 is about order and so is v40.

    1 Corinthians 15:1 is a clear break in the narrative of ‘order’ in the Church.

    Yes, in the third century. The gloss was added to a source document behind our existing copies sometime after the document was written and before the mid-second century. The vocabulary suggests that the gloss was written in a different hand than the rest of the document.

    It is a logical fallacy to conclude that because a passage is quoted that it is authentic. The quotations may indicate that their copies included the gloss, but even this doesn’t prove authenticity. It only indicates that the gloss was added early. And that’s presuming that the documents of the cited founding fathers are themselves authentic. For example, the oldest manuscripts of Tertullian (as cited in the links you provided) are from the 8th century.

    John 7:53-8:11 is another example where most scholars believe (or rather know) that it was “added” there after the original gospels. It is still likely an authentic story that was ‘floating around’ and placed there. Grammatically probably from Luke but in the manuscripts it’s all over the place in John and not in some of older copies.

    We can see that it is also likely authentic anyway consistent with the character of Jesus as well.

    http://www.tektonics.org/af/adulterypericope.php

    This is of similar scope and it is included in canon and the early Church fathers. None of the gospels nor 1 Corinthians have ever been in questioned to be anything but inspired canon from day 1 or taught differently.

    I don’t see a problem exegetically and hermeneutically standing on what the Church has taught from the time of Jesus until very recently about it.

  62. Mark Strong says:

    Regarding the textual arguments, I will reproduce Bruce Metzger’s brief comments from his Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament which provide more thoughts than the article discusses. Note his explanation does not require positing the verses as a later addition:

    “Several witnesses, chiefly Western, transpose verses 34-35 to follow ver. 40 (). Such scribal alterations represent attempts to find a more appropriate location in the context for Paul’s directive concerning women.”

    He then goes on to discuss a manuscript including a footnote of sorts, along with a possible reason, also not discussed in the article posted earlier:

    “The evidence of the sixth-century Codex Fuldensis is ambiguous. The Latin text of 1 Cor 14 runs onward throughout the chapter to ver. 40. Following ver. 33 is a scribal siglum that directs the reader to a note standing in the lower margin of the page. This note provides the text of verses 36 through 40. Does the scribe, without actually deleting verses 34-35 from the text, intend the liturgist to omit them when reading the lesson?”

    For my part, I am persuaded this text is likely to be original. Note that I am not generally biased towards longer readings, quite the contrary given I reject the originality of the pericope adulterae and other similarly debated texts.

  63. theasdgamer says:

    If there is a time during church worship for individual expression, it is never time for a woman.

    One wonders based on your interpretation how it was ever discovered that women had the gift of prophecy.

    26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
    27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
    28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
    29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

    And what use were women supposed to put their prophetic gift to if not in a meeting of the church? Notice that this passage is addressed to women as well as to men. Notice also that prophets were to be tested by the other prophets. This is how prophetic gifts were discovered and confirmed.

    1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
    2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

    3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
    4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.

    How do these scriptures fit with your claim, Cane?

  64. theasdgamer says:

    @kpp

    All fine and good to infer, but that ignores the verse before – that wives should be silent to show their submission. Any inference must take submission into account. Being a chatterer is not a submission issue.

    But being a chatterer is an order issue, which is the broader context. Paul relies on the Law for authority that women should be in submission to men in pursuing his general aim of order in the Corinthian church. One can imagine the Corinthian church as one where women were speaking in tongues at the same time that a man was attempting to preach or teach. And they were likely talking among themselves or asking their husbands or other people questions about a preacher’s point. Very disorderly. This is likely what Paul was aiming to correct.

  65. Mark Strong says:

    @theasdgamer The passage is not addressed to women as well as men, at least not in the way you claim: “Τί οὖν ἐστίν, ἀδελφοί;”.

  66. Derek Ramsey says:

    “No, it would still pertain to the same passages that came before it.”

    and:

    “The passage is not addressed to women as well as men, at least not in the way you claim: “Τί οὖν ἐστίν, ἀδελφοί;””

    Let’s illustrate the circular nature of this argument in light of everything said so far about the placement of the gloss. In this article in favor of your position, Michael D. Marlowe writes:

    “Sometimes it is important to recognize that the writer is focusing on males when he addresses the congregation. For example, in 1 Corinthians 14:39 Paul says, “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy,” but in verses 34-35 he says “women should keep silent in the churches” and “it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” Clearly, the vocative adelphoi in verse 39 must not be gender-inclusive. It makes no sense for Paul to be telling the sisters to “be eager to prophesy” in church after he has prohibited them from speaking.”

    The plural adelphoi can refer to brothers and sisters if the context allows. Here the author uses the placement of the v34-35 as contextual proof that the v26-v40 refers just to men because it would be an apparent logical contradiction otherwise. This, I believe, is not lost on Cane Caldo who insists that it means women may not speak at all under any context. But as we’ve seen with the discussion on the gloss, this begs the question.

    So, as I have said previously, the placement of those verses on the margin (or more practically after v26-40) changes the exegesis. The arguments by Mark Strong and theasdgamer are largely influenced by this issue. It affects significant doctrinal issues and is thus anything but minor and unimportant.

  67. Novaseeker says:

    An interesting discussion. As an Eastern Orthodox, we do not have these concerns, because we follow what the Church teaches about this kind of thing, and that has not changed, either regarding the praxis itself or the “gloss” that underlies it.

    But as an outsider looking into this textual discussion between Protestant Christians it is interesting to note, I think, that the discussion around the text only arose in a specific cultural context — namely a culture that was concluding, quite apart from the churches, that any intentional disparate treatment of women was unacceptable socially and, in essence, immoral in the eyes of public morality. This is the cultural reason why women stopped wearing headcoverings in churches, and it occurred even in churches, like the Catholic and (in the the West) in many Orthodox churches, who made no change to their teaching or the underlying scriptural text. It’s in this broader cultural context that the arguments start to be made about readings of the various NT scriptures that relate to women in “new” ways (i.e., ways contrary to how the church has read them for millennia). This of course does not mean that the actual arguments need to be addressed on their own terms in the Protestant Churches, based as they are on textual interpretation, but it also seems relevant to stress the cultural context in which these arguments were initially raised, as well as the related motivations for raising them.

  68. Daniel says:

    And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy… Acts 2:17-18

  69. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Novaseeker

    Textual debates have been happening since the first writings. It is not exclusively a Protestant issue, nor is the biblical debate about the role of women a modern cultural creation. Some examples:
    1) In Mark 3:31, the “mother and brothers” was altered to read “his brothers and his mother”. The Byzantine texts upon which the KJV was written includes this alteration.
    2) In Acts 17:12, the text was altered in the Codex Bezae (5th century) to minimize the prominence of women.
    3) In Acts 17:34, the Codex Bezae does not include the line about the woman Damaris.
    4) In Acts 18:26, the names Priscilla and Aquila are swapped in some manuscripts to reduce her prominence.
    5) In Romans 16:7, Junia (a woman) was changed to Junias (a man) in the manuscripts. Some argued that Junia is a man’s name.
    6) In Colossians 4:15, Nympha (a woman) was changed to Nymphas (a man) in the manuscripts and shows up in the KJV. The passage implies that Nympha was a leader in the church.
    7) 1 Corinthians 14:33-34 is a marginal gloss that may be a forgery. Its placement has exegetical significance.
    8) Secular scholars claim that 1 Timothy, and thus 1 Tim 2, is a Pauline forgery.

    The debates may arise in culture, but that doesn’t imply dishonesty. All sides are “guilty” of their own biases. It is historical fact is that different groups disagreed on how to interpret the works of Paul.[1] We may know who won the historical debate, but it is the victors who write the history.

    [1] In discussion the of the “Acts of Paul and Thecla”, Tertullian notes that a presbyter of Asia forged it “for love of Paul.” He reports that people were using the book to show the right of women to teach. This highlights that there was a not insignificant belief in the 3rd century that Paul permitted women to teach.

  70. Mark Strong says:

    @Derek

    I haven’t looked into this variant as much as you have. Can you point me to a manuscripts which include the questionable verses as a marginal gloss (not in the text body), or is your argument simply that the best explanation for the uncertainty in location is that it was originally a marginal gloss which was later incorporated?

  71. Novaseeker says:

    It is not exclusively a Protestant issue

    It is in the sense that the Orthodox Church as a whole determines what is scriptural and what isn’t for Orthodox Christians, and individual believers do not have this authority in the Orthodox Church. So if the Orthodox Church were to change its current teaching about the various scriptural references you cite, I would follow that teaching as I currently follow its current teaching — but I don’t follow the arguments of individual believers about the biblical texts, nor do I participate in the details of them, as an Orthodox — they’re not relevant for me. There very well may be some Orthodox scriptural scholars who are engaging in various analyses of the NT texts (in fact I am fairly certain that they are), but they are also not determinitive for individual Orthodox believers — the ability to make judgments about the scriptural canon of that type in a binding way on all Orthodox believers lies with the Orthodox Church as a whole, or at least the ultimate hierarchy of one’s own Orthodox Church (the Holy Synod), and not with individual scriptural scholars and controversialists who may be Eastern Orthodox.

  72. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Novaseeker

    It’s a fair point. This whole discussion is somewhat orthogonal to the application (or not) of these concerns. There would be no sense in arguing otherwise.

    @Mark Strong

    There are no extant manuscripts where the verses are in the margins. The marginal gloss hypothesis is the apparent best explanation for the uncertainty in location, the difference in vocabulary, and the exegetical difficulties created by its present placement in the text. Indeed, as illustrated by Daniel B. Wallace, presuming that it was a marginal gloss provides an argument that it isn’t a forgery. Let me explain the difficulties with assuming it is not a marginal gloss:

    1) As Michael D. Marlowe and Cane Caldo illustrated, this would imply that women should never, under any circumstance, speak “in church.” Since 1 Corinthians was written first and Timothy was a traveling companion of Paul, this calls into question 1 Timothy 2, which oddly only speaks of teaching. This is an unresolved contradiction. It also calls into question authenticity of all of the Pastoral Epistles. This also creates other potential contradictions with some of the NT passages that discuss the role of women in the early church (e.g. Nympha, Priscilla, and Junia). As others have mentioned here, the first century women were prophesying, singing, and perhaps other speaking, in church. It would also effectively condemn most Christians, as very few practice absolute silence for women.

    2) In textual criticism, when a section shows up in multiple locations, this is evidence that it might be a forgery. Saying it is a marginal gloss helps avoid that charge (in combination with the argument that Paul signed it) and also implies an earlier date of addition.

    3) The difference in vocabulary is also evidence that it might be a forgery. In other cases when Paul wrote in his own hand, he said so explicitly. Saying it is a marginal gloss avoids that charge.

    4) Accepting it as is creates an apparent contradiction with 1 Corinthians 7:8 (“asking their husbands” vs “to the unmarried…remains even as I”). This problem goes away if theasdgamer’s thesis is accepted.

    5) Exegetically speaking, v36 would seem to best apply to the v30-33, not v34-35.The implication is that the women of Corinth thought that the Word of God came only to them or out of them (v36), but there is no historical evidence to support this novel idea. This suggests that it is a forgery because it doesn’t “line up” with the context. Saying it is a marginal gloss avoids this problem.

    6) In general, scholars have long noted that these verses break up natural flow of the passage. Reading it without those verses is considered clearer than reading it with those verses. Treating it as a marginal gloss avoids this discussion entirely.

    7) The women of Corinth wore head coverings as a sign of authority over them. This is historical fact as well. This indicates that they were mostly properly submissive. Paul addressed the doctrinal question with a calm tone of instruction. By contrast, Paul breaks his discussion on prophecy to harshly rebuke the women of the church.

    It seems to me that the traditionalist wants it to be a marginal gloss. This is bias, of course, but it isn’t unreasonable given the evidence.

  73. theasdgamer says:

    @Derek

    Two questions and some points.

    First, it is plain that Paul was emphatically advocating that prophets speak because prophets edify the church. We know from a couple of verses that the church recognized some women as prophets (Anna at the temple, Miriam (Aaron’s sister), Deborah, and Philip’s four virgin daughters. It seems strange to conclude that women weren’t supposed to prophesy in order to edify the church if God had given women the gift of prophecy.

    Second, we in our culture tend to forget about the slaves who were present in the church. What were female slaves supposed to do if they had questions? Obviously, slaves weren’t allowed to marry, so female slaves couldn’t ask their husbands questions, because they had no husbands. This is not a minor point, but is quite significant. There were lots of slaves in the church.

    And a point to the main post. It seems to me that DS is building his entire argument on a highly controversial text, which weakens his argument.

    And a point about straining gnats and swallowing camels–do even male believers really each speak in church one by one in order to build up other believers? I don’t see it much in either Protestant or Catholic churches. There simply isn’t opportunity given for it in most churches.

    Really, it seems to me that the only issue is over female prophets speaking in church. I think that there is substantial agreement which we shouldn’t ignore.

  74. Ame says:

    i am interested in your opinions … esp since there are such diverse opinions shared:

    it seems to be agreed women should not hold the lead/senior pastor position in a church.

    are you okay with women in the following leadership positions in church (interested in all opinions):

    – Music Minister
    – Women’s Minister
    – Youth Minister
    – Children’s Minister
    – Children’s Bible study/Sunday school Teacher – boy and/or girls
    – Youth Bible Study/Sunday school Teacher – boys and/or girls
    – Adult Bible study/Sunday school Teacher – men and/or women

    would your opinion of any of these positions change if the role was outside the church building or an official church service?

  75. @ asdgamer

    And a point to the main post. It seems to me that DS is building his entire argument on a highly controversial text, which weakens his argument.

    I’ve made no such argument if you look at my replies. I’ve mainly been discussing the veracity of the passage. You’re thinking of other people.

    The closest I’ve said to anything is this:

    I don’t know the official stance of the Catholic or Orthodox Church on this topic, but I would assume that any ‘specific corporate thing’ like songs, hymns, and/or some liturgy would include women.

    1 Cor 14 seems to specify a time during gatherings for possible individual expression — “26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

    What applies or not given the context of other Scripture I’m open to discussion.

  76. @ Ame

    are you okay with women in the following leadership positions in church (interested in all opinions):

    would your opinion of any of these positions change if the role was outside the church building or an official church service?

    I don’t think this is an ‘either or’ question either.

    Overseers and deacons seem to be the main positions actual “positions” in the Church. The Church leadership delegating someone responsibility to do something (either man or woman) with oversight of them is not out of the question.

    However, if there are those actual “positions” which hold authority in a Church, I think a qualified man in the lines of 1 Tim 3 is the ideal for all of them.

  77. Ame says:

    However, if there are those actual “positions” which hold authority in a Church, I think a qualified man in the lines of 1 Tim 3 is the ideal for all of them.

    “ideal”

    after ‘ideal’ … what are you, personally, comfortable with?

    are you comfortable with a woman being the worship leader/minister in a church under the authority of a male pastor?
    are you comfortable with a woman being the youth leader/minister in a church under the authority of a male pastor?
    are you comfortable with a woman being the children’s leader/minister in a church under the authority of a male pastor?

    do you have an opinion on Women’s Ministry leaders in a church under the authority of a male pastor?

  78. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Ame

    I reject traditional 1 Tim 2 interpretation(s) for various reasons. I don’t in principle reject women teaching, however, qualified women pastors are rare and unusual. While not all men have the necessary qualifications, vastly fewer women do. Men and women are naturally different. We know this from psychology, sociology, biology, etc. I’m not legalistic/pharisaical like some, but I come to the same conclusion. A church without a significant majority of male leadership is probably a dying or apostate church. I’ve attended *one* church with a woman pastor that didn’t immediately ring alarm bells. On the other hand, biblically sound women can make excellent teachers of younger children. They can be good choir directors or worship leaders too.

  79. Ame says:

    thank you, Derek.

    so you are comfortable with qualified women in any and all leadership positions in the church, including lead/senior pastor?

  80. Derek Ramsey says:

    @theasdgamer

    “…couldn’t ask their husbands questions, because they had no husbands”

    Whether slave or free, 1 Corinthians 7:8 is in tension with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. The logical way to resolve the tension is to interpret the latter as women being disruptive, that is, it is their actions not their identity that is the problem.

    “…building [the] entire argument on a highly controversial text”

    This bears additional consideration. Consider the primary NT patriarchy texts:
    1) 1 Corinthians 11:1-15
    2) 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
    3) Ephesians 5:22-33
    4) Colossians 3:18-19
    5) 1 Tim 2:11-15
    6) Titus 2:3-5
    7) 1 Peter 3:1

    1 Corithians (#1 and #2) is an undisputed work of Paul, but the authenticity of #2 is debated and the exegesis of #1 is confusing and broadly debated. 1 Peter (#7) is accepted as authorized by, but not written by, Peter. Ephesians (#3) and Colossians (#4) are among the debated works of Paul, but are generally accepted. 1 Timothy (#5) and Titus (#6) are considered to be forgeries by many scholars and #5 is one of the most difficult and broadly debated passages in the Bible. In short, many of the patriarchal doctrines are based on controversial texts, especially #1, #2, and #5.

    Now I’m not suggesting that we can’t use these for doctrine. Rather it is good hermeneutics to require multiple witnesses: you don’t want to base your doctrine on one or two isolated passages or primarily on passages with problems (e.g. difficult grammar, obscure cultural references, textual issues, hapax legomenon, etc.). Focus on the strongest passages first. I’m suspicious of doctrines that begin with the weakest passages.

    “And a point about straining gnats and swallowing camels–do even male believers really each speak in church one by one in order to build up other believers?”

    Some Anabaptist congregations used to do this, but it’s become rare. I’ve never attended such a church.

    It’s difficult to find consistency between doctrine and practice. I alluded to this general problem when DS and I debated. Is Genesis 2-3, Ephesians 5, 1 Tim 2, and 1 Corinthians 11/14 about the husband/wife or all men/women? Conflating these causes contradictions.

  81. @ Ame<

    If it has gotten to the point where you need a Deborah (who had to call Barak to lead Israel), you're already in trouble.

    after ‘ideal’ … what are you, personally, comfortable with?

    My wife will also teach my children growing up so I don’t see a problem with some level of delegated responsibility in similar cases (such as women teach some Sunday school).

    However, it obviously cannot violate other Scriptural commands like 1 Tim 2.

  82. Derek Ramsey says:

    @ame

    “…so you are comfortable with qualified women in any and all leadership positions in the church, including lead/senior pastor?”

    Eh, yes and no. I may sound ultra confident in my arguments, but that’s just presentation. In reality, I am often uncomfortable with the idea of even a qualified woman as lead pastor. Is this just my strict traditional upbringing or is it because I’m coming to the wrong conclusions interpreting the scripture? This is one reason I engage in these debates, to see if my conclusions can be successfully challenged. If I’m wrong, I want someone to prove me wrong.

    If I take a leadership position in the church, I know it is fine for me to do so. My wife isn’t going to take a leadership position because she’s not a leader. So practicing male-only leadership personally is very easy. I’m a metaphorical armchair quarterback.

  83. @ Derek Ramsey

    This bears additional consideration. Consider the primary NT patriarchy texts:
    1) 1 Corinthians 11:1-15
    2) 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
    3) Ephesians 5:22-33
    4) Colossians 3:18-19
    5) 1 Tim 2:11-15
    6) Titus 2:3-5
    7) 1 Peter 3:1

    1 Corinthians (#1 and #2) is an undisputed work of Paul, but the authenticity of #2 is debated and the exegesis of #1 is confusing and broadly debated. 1 Peter (#7) is accepted as authorized by, but not written by, Peter. Ephesians (#3) and Colossians (#4) are among the debated works of Paul, but are generally accepted. 1 Timothy (#5) and Titus (#6) are considered to be forgeries by many scholars and #5 is one of the most difficult and broadly debated passages in the Bible. In short, many of the patriarchal doctrines are based on controversial texts, especially #1, #2, and #5.

    I’m not really seeing what you’re seeing here.

    Although #1 has some confusing sections, others are clear: 1 Cor 11:6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.

    #2 we’ve covered here. It’s canon in all texts. You can argue it applies to certain contexts of the congregation or broadly. Sure, I can see that argument.

    1 Peter has always been accepted as canon regardless of authorship (probably not Peter and just as Mark is likely based on Peter’s eyewitness testimony). Like 1 Corinthians, no one debates Ephesians or Colossians or any of Paul’s other epistles as canon (even though Ephesians may have been a general letter to all Churches rather than just Ephesus).

    1 Tim, 2 Tim and Titus are considered not be authored by Paul, but they are also not “forgeries” like the Gospel of Thomas (unless you meant solely that a it’s a ‘forgery in Paul’s name). Like Hebrews, no one knows who authored, though traditionally considered to be authored by Paul. However, they are obviously still considered to be inspired as canon by the councils with a bit of debate.

    It’s worth noting that all of the verses of submission of wives to husbands are established from no-question canon texts of the NT except Titus.

    None of these texts are controversial EXCEPT to modern sensibilities. That is one of the most damning arguments. Christians have lived according to orthodox interpretation for almost 2 millennia and then suddenly we want to try to explain away stuff in terms of modern thought. That’s a no from me, and I’m generally all for as much freedom as possible in Christian actions. God is unchanging.

    If anyone was wondering about how the canon came to be you can view this as a good summary:

    In any case, this is another one of those topics like authority and marriage that push me further to converting to Orthodoxy or Catholicism.

  84. Derek Ramsey says:

    “It’s worth noting that all of the verses of submission of wives to husbands are established from no-question canon texts of the NT except Titus.”

    Indeed. This is why Patriarchy Level 1 is much more common. We’ve disagreed on the nature of that submission, but not submission itself.

    “Christians have lived according to orthodox interpretation for almost 2 millennia and then suddenly we want to try to explain away stuff in terms of modern thought. “

    This is a fallacious appeal to authority (and wishful thinking). Moreover, I’ve already shown that this was an issue for 2nd or 3rd century Christians and continued to be an issue for a couple hundred years at least.

    “…this is another one of those topics like authority and marriage that push me further to converting to Orthodoxy or Catholicism.”

    You clearly have an affinity for centralized, top-down authority and post-scriptural sacred tradition, including the councils you referenced. This involves large amounts of circular reasoning.

    “None of these texts are controversial EXCEPT to modern sensibilities. That is one of the most damning arguments.”

    The genetic fallacy is hardly a damning argument. It’s also incorrect. Have you seriously examined the breadth of theological opinion on 1 Corinthians 11:1-15, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and 1 Tim 2:11-15?

  85. @ Derek

    This is a fallacious appeal to authority (and wishful thinking). Moreover, I’ve already shown that this was an issue for 2nd or 3rd century Christians and continued to be an issue for a couple hundred years at least.

    Hardly. The Scriptures themselves are an example of well-conserved tradition.

    You clearly have an affinity for centralized, top-down authority and post-scriptural sacred tradition, including the councils you referenced. This involves large amounts of circular reasoning.

    “The bottom-up, community-based sacred tradition of the Jewish people, early Christian church, and Protestants stands at odds with the development of a top-down, episcopal sacred tradition.”

    That’s an ironic thing to say when Protestants rest on the same canon foundation, except we are to believe that some of the books should be removed at behest of a some of the reformers.

    In this particular point, neither are correct. The Holy Spirit is needed for what has become the Bible. However, more broadly top down more closely resembles God’s own authority structures in the Church, family, and community.

    We know that that Paul send a 3rd Corinthians letter to Corinth. If we discover it and it is verified to be Pauline in authorship then I’m sure it would be added as canon for all of the Churches.

    The genetic fallacy is hardly a damning argument. It’s also incorrect. Have you seriously examined the breadth of theological opinion on 1 Corinthians 11:1-15, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and 1 Tim 2:11-15?

    Yes, I have, but I’m open to reading more (if/when I have time). In almost everything I’ve read, the ones that side with the feminists are thoroughly unconvincing and require reading other passages or words out of context.

  86. theasdgamer says:

    @DS

    Ready for some controversy? lol

    If we’re going to talk about modern sensibilities versus ancients, we need to recognize that ancients considered sex with slaves as no big deal (not sexual immorality!), while a woman marrying without her father’s consent was considered extremely immoral and was the second worst form of sexual immorality in ancient thought, adultery being the worst.

    Ancients would have considered a free man and woman living together to be married, vows or no vows.

    As regards extramarital sex, Paul didn’t consider it the best option, but as long as it wasn’t with pagan temple prostitutes, it wasn’t sexual immorality either. The idea of “courtly love” and the Victorian Era pushed chivalry far beyond its original aims (ht Dalrock) and this led to the church characterizing all extramarital affairs as “sexual immorality.” I think that the Gnostics early on had an impact on some church leaders, leading to some “anti-flesh” teaching.

    If you look up adultery, you find that it means, “In Scripture [adultery] designates sexual intercourse of a man, whether married or unmarried, with a married woman [who is not his wife].”(https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/adultery/) The purpose was to prevent cuckolding. This points out the different, unequal situations between men and women. Men cannot cuckold women, but women can cuckold men.

    Considering married or unmarried men having sex with an unmarried woman to be “sexual immorality” is adopting modern sensibilities in preference to ancient sensibilities and is going far beyond the Law of Moses which never prohibits extramarital sex except for adultery and incest.

    Marriage seems to have been intended for practicality when you wanted free children and to be able to pass an inheritance to them.

    I know, it was a shock to me when I did the research.

  87. theasdgamer says:

    However, more broadly top down more closely resembles God’s own authority structures in the Church, family, and community.

    So you can explicitly find authority structures laid out in Scripture where you have Monseniors,
    Archbishops, Metropolitans, Cardinals, and a Pope?

    In scripture you find church employees (deacons & deaconesses) and church managers (elders or bishops), but it’s a minimal structure for practical reasons.

    I can’t find any scriptural mandate for specific community authority structures, so that community authority seems to be a hodgepodge of manmade and divine authority.

    Marriage is supposed to mirror the relationship of Christ and His Church, so the authority is “divine over creation”. It’s a theological thing.

    Certainly, scriptural canon was developed without authority structures and councils merely recognized what was already in place.

  88. Derek Ramsey says:

    “That’s an ironic thing to say when Protestants rest on the same canon foundation, except we are to believe that some of the books should be removed at behest of a some of the reformers. In this particular point, neither are correct. The Holy Spirit is needed for what has become the Bible. However, more broadly top down more closely resembles God’s own authority structures in the Church, family, and community.”

    From your comment I must assume you either didn’t read my commentary in the link I provided or the internal link to my other detailed discussion of sola scriptura. I specifically discuss the first three sentences of your point above and refute the last for a few reasons (e.g. circular reasoning; sovereignty of God).

    I’m a bit busier this morning than yesterday, so you’ll have to forgive my shorter response. I’ll write more later.

  89. @ theasdgamer

    If we’re going to talk about modern sensibilities versus ancients, we need to recognize that ancients considered sex with slaves as no big deal (not sexual immorality!), while a woman marrying without her father’s consent was considered extremely immoral and was the second worst form of sexual immorality in ancient thought, adultery being the worst.

    There’s lots of things that are ‘cultural’ both back then and now that do not conform to the Christian worldview. It’s simply easier to pick out things when they don’t conform to Christian ethics while some things that seem to conform to them like chivalry are harder to spot.

    Considering married or unmarried men having sex with an unmarried woman to be “sexual immorality” is adopting modern sensibilities in preference to ancient sensibilities and is going far beyond the Law of Moses which never prohibits extramarital sex except for adultery and incest.

    You’re off here. The Law of Moses is not a be-all end-all. We know that Jesus was concerned not just with “not breaking the Law” but with the state of the heart and subsequently elevated the standard far beyond the Law of Moses Himself.

    He took the standard from Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself and transformed it to “Love one another as I have loved you.” Given we know Jesus is perfect what a high standard we are called to.

  90. @ Derek

    From your comment I must assume you either didn’t read my commentary in the link I provided or the internal link to my other detailed discussion of sola scriptura. I specifically discuss the first three sentences of your point above and refute the last for a few reasons (e.g. circular reasoning; sovereignty of God).

    I read that. My point still stands.

    What matters is that the process is inspired by the Holy Spirit. God can do it any way He wants, and He did it through inspired councils.

    True, the Catholic argument may be classified as “appeal to authority,” but God is the ultimate authority so an appeal to Him is True.

  91. Derek Ramsey says:

    “The Law of Moses is not a be-all end-all. We know that Jesus was concerned not just with “not breaking the Law” but with the state of the heart and subsequently elevated the standard far beyond the Law of Moses Himself.”

    I agree with this. If I might make a more technical argument to make the same point?

    theasdgamer has made a common anachronistic translation error. Ancient Hebrew and Greek are highly context sensitive languages (e.g. the adelphoi discussion in this thread). Individual words lack the specific precision that English words typically have. Preventing cuckoldry was a purpose, not the purpose. Certainly the 6th commandment did not only have male cuckolds in mind.

    When DS says that the Law of Moses is not all-inclusive and that Jesus called us to the heart of the matter (the spirit of the law), it reflects this use of language.

  92. OKRickety says:

    Ame,

    – Music Minister – No. Don’t think should have this, anyway.
    – Women’s Minister – No. Don’t think should have this, anyway.
    – Youth Minister – NO!
    – Children’s Minister – No.
    – Children’s Bible study/Sunday school Teacher – boy and/or girls – Yes, but only up to, say, ten years old.
    – Youth Bible Study/Sunday school Teacher – boys and/or girls – No.
    – Adult Bible study/Sunday school Teacher – men and/or women – No.
    For the children and youth I would accept a married couple IF the man is the primary and the wife is his helper/co-teacher.

    One reason being that men should be the leaders and teachers (elders are specifically called to teach and how many of them do that?). Another reason is that the more often women are seen in these positions, the more accepted it becomes, and the more likely it will be argued that a woman should be an elder or head minister.

    I extend this concept to all physical locations and all church-related activities. And all Christian parachurch “ministries”.

  93. Derek Ramsey says:

    @DS

    “Hardly [a fallacious appeal to authority and wishful thinking]. The Scriptures themselves are an example of well-conserved tradition.”

    Let’s review:

    “Christians have lived according to orthodox interpretation for almost 2 millennia and then suddenly we want to try to explain away stuff in terms of modern thought.“

    First, it’s wishful thinking because it’s not an accurate portrayal of history.

    Second, it’s an appeal to the authority of orthodoxy and a defense of that authority (i.e. 2 millenia). It’s fallacious to accept tradition because it is authorized.

    “the Catholic argument may be classified as “appeal to authority,” but God is the ultimate authority so an appeal to Him is True.

    This is a sloppy, question begging, statement. An appeal to authority is fallacious, no matter who the authority is.* That’s the point. If we agreed that the Catholic church had God’s authority, it wouldn’t be a fallacy, but we don’t agree on that because the Catholic church’s authority is defined circularly. They created the canon which contains the passages that they interpret to show that they have God’s authority to create canon and interpret it.

    * It’s not an argument if it is an appeal to authority, it’s an assertion of truth, an article of blind faith. I fully accept the right of people to choose their own beliefs, but they can’t use those beliefs in a logical argument. Since no argument can be made, we can only agree to disagree.

    “In almost everything I’ve read, the ones that side with the feminists are thoroughly unconvincing and require reading other passages or words out of context.”

    Our debates have been rational and open-minded, but this seems unusually biased. “Reading other passages” is something that we do all the time when interpreting scripture. When performing exegesis, we cast our net wide. We look at the grammar, syntax, context (within the passage, within the book, within the culture, within the literary genre, allusions and citations of other works, etc.), commentaries, etc. Regarding context, when I debated 1 Tim 2 at Dalrock, inconvenient context was rejected while convenient context was insisted upon (i.e. cherry picking).

    Regardless, to move forward I’ll try to present some arguments that do not rely on feminist bias and, wherever possible, cite scholars who disagree with me.

    “However, more broadly top down more closely resembles God’s own authority structures in the Church, family, and community….What matters is that the process is inspired by the Holy Spirit. God can do it any way He wants, and He did it through inspired councils.”

    So says the councils. The episcopal church structure is a post-biblical invention. Prior to that it was a broad community-based authority structure centered on scripture alone, the same authority structure that Jesus acknowledged when he gave his followers the duty to bind and loose, that is, declare what God had already done.

    Consider 1 Kings 13:7-22. God’s word is its own authority. There is no other. Following the authority of others is no excuse for not following the word of God. God’s word inspires itself. It needs no councils and you are responsible for following God’s word even if the councils are wrong. Appeals to human authority are worthless.

    The inspiration of scripture starts and stops at the Holy Spirit. There is no other authority. To wit:

    “scriptural canon was developed without authority structures and councils merely recognized what was already in place.”

  94. theasdgamer says:

    @DS, it seems strange to me that the LoM doesn’t prohibit what moderns call “fornication.” Surely such activity was not uncommon in Moses’ time. One would expect that Moses would have run into that situation and would have written his opinion into The Law.

    Matthew 19:9 is the only place that I can find which might call it “adultery” for a married man to have sex with an unmarried woman. There are eight variants of that passage, some with good manuscript evidence. The language of the passage allows for the interpretation that the second woman is divorced (‘kai’ can mean ‘even’ in the appositive sense) and that marrying a divorced woman is prohibited, although the passage doesn’t require that interpretation. Certainly, there is nothing prohibiting sex between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman.

    Hanging your argument on Matthew 19:9 is relying on a single weak peg. Or maybe you know of another passage?

    Certainly, there is nothing requiring polygamous families to pare down to one man and one woman and there is nothing prohibiting polygamy in the Bible, although polygamy is discouraged, which is weaker than prohibiting it.

    @Kevin

    Based on the Hebrew language (which I have not studied, so I rely totally on others), ‘adultery’ necessarily includes a married woman but does not necessarily include a married man. There is lots and lots of evidence based on passages from the Bible that adultery involved married women. There is one controversial verse (with many readings) that adultery can involve a married man. I could not use that weak evidence to convict any married man of adultery. Now I could still be wrong, but I prefer to err on the side of freedom.

    It is still adultery for a married man to have sex with a married woman who is not his wife. That is not in question.

  95. @ Derek

    This is a sloppy, question begging, statement. An appeal to authority is fallacious, no matter who the authority is.* That’s the point. If we agreed that the Catholic church had God’s authority, it wouldn’t be a fallacy, but we don’t agree on that because the Catholic church’s authority is defined circularly. They created the canon which contains the passages that they interpret to show that they have God’s authority to create canon and interpret it.

    Appeal to authority is only a logical fallacy insofar as the scope of the authority. Appeal to human authority is fallacious as humans can be wrong. God’s authority transcends creation and logic. Although we mostly understand it through logic it is not bound by logic, or we would not know what is inspired or not. Otherwise, Elijah’s appeal to God’s authority on mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal was a fallacious appeal to authority.

    In any case, I was dumb to start arguing any of this. I don’t particularly care about the (current) Catholic argument or Protestant argument. The canon and councils were made before any of the Schisms of the Church.

    Our debates have been rational and open-minded, but this seems unusually biased. “Reading other passages” is something that we do all the time when interpreting scripture. When performing exegesis, we cast our net wide. We look at the grammar, syntax, context (within the passage, within the book, within the culture, within the literary genre, allusions and citations of other works, etc.), commentaries, etc. Regarding context, when I debated 1 Tim 2 at Dalrock, inconvenient context was rejected while convenient context was insisted upon (i.e. cherry picking).

    I did go into it with an open mind, but all I saw was faulty arguments which has persuaded me to my current position.

    So says the councils. The episcopal church structure is a post-biblical invention. Prior to that it was a broad community-based authority structure centered on scripture alone, the same authority structure that Jesus acknowledged when he gave his followers the duty to bind and loose, that is, declare what God had already done.

    No, it’s not.

    In Acts 15 at the “council of Jerusalem,” the apostles and elders gather in Jerusalem to hash out what is orthodox and what is not: “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”

    This is exactly the same as other councils of the broad Christian leaders which came together to determine what is orthodox canon or not.

  96. @ asdgamer

    @DS, it seems strange to me that the LoM doesn’t prohibit what moderns call “fornication.” Surely such activity was not uncommon in Moses’ time. One would expect that Moses would have run into that situation and would have written his opinion into The Law.

    The Bible doesn’t prohibit masturbation or pornography either, but it’s not that hard to understand that these things are “deeds of the flesh” as they gratify the flesh rather than strive toward the fruit of the Spirit such as self control.

  97. Ame says:

    OKRickety –

    – Music Minister – No. Don’t think should have this, anyway.

    curious … is this a denominational thing for you?
    what specific leadership positions should a church have?

    Women’s Minister – No. Don’t think should have this, anyway.

    i remember the beginning of the women’s ministry movement; i was a part of it in the church we were members of at the time. but it morphed into something crazy, imo. there was a time i would not have agreed with you, but i do now.

    Youth Minister – NO! – i agree.

    – Youth Bible Study/Sunday school Teacher – boys and/or girls – No.
    – Adult Bible study/Sunday school Teacher – men and/or women – No.

    is there no place for women to only teach girls and/or women within the church or under the umbrella of church?

  98. Ame says:

    Derek –
    Eh, yes and no. I may sound ultra confident in my arguments, but that’s just presentation. In reality, I am often uncomfortable with the idea of

    i wonder how prevalent this is out here … people stating they believe something with ‘ultra confidence,’ but their reality and how they’re actually living is not quite so ‘ultra confident’ or compatible with their written stance.

    Is this just my strict traditional upbringing or is it because I’m coming to the wrong conclusions interpreting the scripture?

    it’s a good question to ask yourself … until/unless you force the question until you get the result desired by the discordant part of you – it’s something i battle with in my own soul.

    If I take a leadership position in the church, I know it is fine for me to do so. My wife isn’t going to take a leadership position because she’s not a leader. So practicing male-only leadership personally is very easy. I’m a metaphorical armchair quarterback.

    this is a great observation that touches a lot of people. what is the role of a man who is not a natural leader and whose father did not teach him leadership skills (for whatever reasons including that he wasn’t around to do so, the mother squashed all desire of such out of him, etc)?

    then … what should a woman do who does have natural leadership skills? should she be given the freedom to take off and lead how she wants without any boundaries or authority over her?

  99. theasdgamer says:

    You are at odds with Bruce Metzger and other canon historians with your novel position.

  100. OKRickety says:

    Ame,

    I consider Biblical leadership to be elders and deacons. Practically I think there should be a lead minister who is under the authority of the elders (too often it seems the minister is the one in charge). I think the elders are to be the spiritual leaders and should have the gift of teaching, so I think they should be in charge of ministry as needed, with each “official” ministry having one elder with specific (but not total) responsibility for it. If a congregation is large enough to justify it, I would accept a Youth minister and perhaps a Children’s minister (still under a specific elder’s direct responsibility).

    I just remembered that I would consider a counseling minister to be a valuable resource, but those are rare and seem to be far down the priority list of most churches.

    I think the importance of music ministry is important but overrated (especially so today where the music seems to be a performance not an aid to worship). I attended a church with a maximum Sunday attendance of 350 who had a full-time music minister whose primary responsibility each week was two relatively identical services. How is that a full-time job?

    “is there no place for women to only teach girls and/or women within the church or under the umbrella of church?”

    I used to be more open to this idea, but considering the Bible’s statements, I am now more opposed to the idea but not yet completely opposed. One major practical problem with the idea of women teaching under the umbrella of male church authority is that a woman could teach falsely if there is inadequate supervision. Complete supervision would require the constant presence of male church authority and I expect most women today would consider that to be unacceptable. A lack of elder supervision, even if only indirect, is commonly found in ladies Bible studies. That is especially true in parachurch ministries such as those of Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer, and blogs such as Sheila Wray Gregoire. It seems that many of these women consider themselves to be spiritually superior to the vast majority, if not the entirety, of all males in Christendom. With that perspective, I am hardly surprised that they have some very poor, if not entirely false, teaching that many of their followers will then believe.

    I think the strongest argument for women teaching other women is found in Titus 2:3-5. But what does this passage mean? In it, older women are to teach what is good. This is the only usage in the Bible of this word (in comparison, the word for teach used in 1 Tim. 2:12 saying women are not to teach men is used over 90 times), and an alternate translation is “a teacher of goodness”. In the context, this seems to be a better wording. I think the behavior described is what I think happened in years past when women met together in groups for quilting, cooking, baby showers, wedding showers, etc. and in the process taught younger women how to behave in all areas of their lives. These weren’t Bible studies but sharing of the practicalities of applying Biblical teaching to their everyday lives.

  101. Mark Strong says:

    @Derek Thanks for laying the argument out clearly.

    I did some more reading. Comfort (in NTTTC) reviews Payne’s and Fee’s arguments for (already stated), and Niccum’s and Miller’s arguments against (Western text is known for transposition..), and concludes it is “fair to consider [it] might be a gloss”, but “there is no clear extant textual evidence to suggest that it is”, which is basically what you said, and he doesn’t really give a judgment. However, the NLT (partially his work) includes the verses as-is.

    I have some feedback on some of your points:

    “As Michael D. Marlowe and Cane Caldo illustrated, this would imply that women should never, under any circumstance, speak “in church.” Since 1 Corinthians was written first and Timothy was a traveling companion of Paul, this calls into question 1 Timothy 2, which oddly only speaks of teaching. This is an unresolved contradiction. … absolute silence for women.”

    This were an extreme interpretation of the passage, and I have not read a commentator who takes that view. Here’s Gill on the passage, hardly a softy (sorry I don’t know how to embolden):

    “for it is not permitted unto them to speak; that is, in public assemblies, in the church of God, they might not speak with tongues, nor prophesy, or preach, or teach the word. *All speaking is not prohibited*; they might speak their experiences to the church, or give an account of the work of God upon their souls; they might speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; or speak as an evidence in any case at a church meeting; *but not in such sort, as carried in it direction, instruction, government, and authority*.”

    I do not consider prophesying to be on the authority of the one speaking, rather to bear the authority of the Holy Spirit, so a woman prophesying would not fall under Gill’s injunction.

    So they are not contradictory but rather saying the same thing.

    > The difference in vocabulary is also evidence that it might be a forgery. In other cases when Paul wrote in his own hand, he said so explicitly. Saying it is a marginal gloss avoids that charge.

    If there is difference in vocabulary, then it is in doubt that Paul wrote the gloss, which does not avoid the charge it is a forgery. I obviously can’t speak to the substantive point about vocabulary. Note neither Metzger not Comfort even mentioned this difficulty. There is the possibility that the compiler of the work added the gloss, which could account for a discrepancy of this type.

    > 4) Accepting it as is creates an apparent contradiction with 1 Corinthians 7:8 (“asking their husbands” vs “to the unmarried…remains even as I”). This problem goes away if theasdgamer’s thesis is accepted.

    This isn’t what contradiction means. Saying “asking their husbands” and “not asking their husbands” in the same context would be a contradiction. What you have presented is not a contradiction.

    > The implication is that the women of Corinth thought that the Word of God came only to them or out of them (v36)

    This is not a necessary reading at all, and is quite unlikely. Notice vv26-40 Paul uses “you” (second person) when referring the “brothers” (which may include sisters) and “the women” and “they” (third person) when referring to “the women”. Paul does not clearly change his object of address between v35 and v36, so in v36 Paul can’t be addressing “the women”.

    Regardless of these arguments, if Paul wrote it as a gloss, he chose to insert it in that location (otherwise why would it appear there if it “breaks up the natural flow” – when things are inserted it is generally scribes’ seeking to reduce textual friction, not increase it; see also Metzger’s comment I reproduced above) and was apparently happy to leave the surrounding text unamended. Therefore, you must deal with the reality that what you read is what Paul wanted you to read – that is, whether it was a signed gloss or written (dictated) inline in real time, your exegesis need not change.

  102. karenjo12 says:

    You and all patriarchs are tyrants and wife-beaters and I hope to see all of you crushed, alone, sick, and suffering in dire poverty. I hope you outilive your children. I hope you are left alone in a filthy nursing home dependent on people you despise and who openly despise you. I hope you experience all the pain you inflict on others. Every breath you take makes the world worse.

  103. Lost Patrol says:

    Ah yes, the old ‘flak is always thickest directly over the target’.

  104. Paul says:

    @karenjo12 “your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries”

    Thank you for the good laugh.

  105. Paul says:

    A bit late to this interesting discussion, seems it is not finished yet.

    As for Church traditions; if we would only repeat what is already taught in major denominations, that would not leave much room for discussion on this blog. It is clear that most denominations are at least in some points at odds with a plain reading of the texts, and it is also clear that it certainly goes against the modern feminist ideology. It is also clear that most modern people have issues with these exactly because of what it at least seems to teach. I would confidently defend that most differing viewpoints are EXACTLY because of such emotions. As such, having differing explanations for these texts does not prove anything. Even Paul admitted there would have to be factions among church members to show who are the genuine believers. For the scope of this blog the best thing we can do is look at these texts and raise some questions as where they seem to differ from current traditions, and ask ourselves if the church is still true to God’s Word, and allows itself to be corrected if wrong.

  106. Paul says:

    As to answer the original question; since about a year I would consider myself “a level 3 patriarchy adherent”, mostly because it’s impossible to be a level 4 on your own, if your surroundings disagree.

    Before that time I would follow common cultural norms, including common cultural Christian norms. It started to change when I noticed I not only questioned these texts, but actively avoided them, and wished they weren’t saying what they seemed to be saying. Once I detected that wrong attitude in myself, I then decided to leave my personal opinion or that of others aside, and focus on re-discovering God’s truth about men and women. Happily I found other people who also had a similar journey and were also trying to learn what God is teaching in His Word.

  107. @ Paul

    Before that time I would follow common cultural norms, including common cultural Christian norms. It started to change when I noticed I not only questioned these texts, but actively avoided them, and wished they weren’t saying what they seemed to be saying. Once I detected that wrong attitude in myself, I then decided to leave my personal opinion or that of others aside, and focus on re-discovering God’s truth about men and women. Happily I found other people who also had a similar journey and were also trying to learn what God is teaching in His Word.

    I think that is a common theme for a lot of us. At least it is for me too.

  108. Paul says:

    As for the comments on how women should behave in church, I think a lot of people are missing the historic context, where in many cases gatherings were men-only. In exegesis a critical point is the translation of ‘adelphoi’, brothers. Many modern interpreters and even translators assume in many cases it includes women, hence “sisters”, but is that really true? The same holds for “anyone”/”each one of you”. If we allow for the possibility for a difference in behavior in church for men and women, we must also consider the implication that some texts might be speaking to men-only, and do not address men AND women. The same for verbs that are traditionally speaking of ‘he’ or ‘him’; are these limited to men-only, and are we reading TOO inclusive by interpreting that it is also talking about women? And in such cases where an NT writer addresses a group by ‘you’, could it be he is only addressing men?

    I need to go back and read some texts again…

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