Outline Old Testament Jesus, the Gospels Acts Paul, the letters 1 st Century Unity FXCC
OT Genesis and creation – Equals (helpmate/meet) – Sin – The whole world is now screwed up, including male- female relationships Some OT women of note – Sarah – Miriam – Deborah – Esther – Prophetesses (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah, Isaiah’s wife)
OT There does seem to be some clear “hints” at the intent for male leadership Adam was told to guard (in the end he didn’t do it) Levitical priests were only male However, judges and prophets were NOT limited to men
Jesus & the Gospels Jesus never explicitly addresses the topic – NEVER Jesus was counter-cultural in his interactions with women – The text never tells us why – Our opinion, Jesus was doing what was right He had female disciples (a true rarity) Yes, the 12 (and Paul) were all male
Acts Acts 2, the prophecy of Joel Acts 16, Lydia Acts 18, Priscilla Acts 21, Philip the evangelist’s 4 daughters
Paul & the Letters Most every reference to women in the letters is positive – Not seen as inferior or subordinate – Paul praises, acknowledges many women who worked and served with him and various churches in spreading the gospel
Paul & the Letters Paul praises and acknowledges many women who worked and served with him and various churches in spreading the gospel Rom 16 – Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Junia, Typhaena & Tryphosa, Rufus’ mother, Julia, Nereus’ sister, Olympas I Cor 1 – Chloe and I Cor 16 - Prisca Phil 4 – Euodia and Syntyche Col 4 - Nympha II Tim 4 - Prisca Philemon - Apphia
Paul & the Letters Timothy’s upbringing – II Tim 1:5 Grandmother Lois and mother Eunice – His father was Greek, his mother a Jew (Acts 16) There is no hint that any particular spiritual gift was restricted to males
The 2 passages I Corinthians 14:33-35 I Timothy 2:8-15
I Corinthians Chapter 14 is part of a long continuous text beginning in chapter 11 – Chapter 11 Women, head coverings, praying, prophesying Lord’s Supper – Chapter 12 is about spiritual gifts and unity – Chapter 13 is the solution to the problems – Chapter 14 is the practical application of 13
I Corinthians Chapter 14 is part of a long continuous text beginning in chapter 11 – All related to how Christians are to behave when assembled together – The church in Corinth had several problems – Some of those problems showed up during their meeting times
I Corinthians When looking at Chapter 14 you can’t ignore chapter 11 – Paul wrote both of them – They are in the same letter – They were written at the same time Chapter 11 is clear that Corinthian Christian women were praying and prophesying (vss 5 and 13) and those actions are NOT condemned
I Corinthians Chapter 11 is clear that Corinthian Christian women were praying and prophesying (vss 5 and 13) in the presence of men and those actions are NOT condemned If this were not public, it would not be a problem Chapter 11 is not something happening in private, but when the church is meeting together
I Corinthians So whatever is happening in Chapter 14 is not simply because women are speaking – Because chapter 11 implies their speaking is OK! Chapter 14 is all about abusing privilege, abusive use of spiritual gifts – Considering self more important than anyone else – Prophets, tongue speakers, women
I Corinthians The prophets and tongue speakers were being rude and domineering – They are told to sit down and shut up In that context (14 and 11) our conclusion is that some of the women were also being rude, disruptive, interrupting – They are also told to sit down and shut up
I Corinthians 14:33-35 33 for God is not characterized by disorder but by peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak. Rather, let them be in submission, as in fact the law says. 35 If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home, because it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.
MSS Evidence In at least 6 MSS, vss 34-35 appear after vs 40 In all other MSS they appear where they do in all your Bibles No MSS omits these 2 verses What does that mean?
I Corinthians 14:33 is not straight forward – 33a “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” – 33b “As in all the churches of the saints” – Everyone agrees that 33a goes with vss 26-32 – Not all agree about what to do with 33b – Does it go with 26-32? – Or does it go with 34-35?
I Corinthians Silence – We do not interpret “silence” to mean never utter a sound, yet Paul says “keep silence” – Singing, confessing Jesus at baptism, reading scripture in unison, greeting, interpreting, etc – This Greek word when normally used in the NT means a temporary silence Luke 9:36; 20:26; Acts 12:17; 15:12-13; Rom 16:25 I Cor 14:28 (tongues), 30 (prophesy) & 34 (women)
I Corinthians I Cor 14:28 “keep silent in church” (tongue speakers) I Cor 14:30 “be silent” (prophets) I Cor 14:34 “keep silent in the churches” (women) Vss 28, 30 & 34 all use the same Greek word No one concludes that the prophets or tongue speakers were to never open their mouths again in worship
I Corinthians I Cor 14:34 “should be in submission as the Law also says” The OT never demands/requires a women to not speak and/or “be in submission” – Submit to who? We do not know what Law Paul was referring to. – Mosaic (No), Gen 3 the curse (No), Gen 2 one flesh (maybe), some other (??)
I Corinthians Women or wives Gune is the Greek for both Most do not accept the idea that all women must submit to all men Context has to decide and context is NOT always 100% clear Most believe it means wives
I Corinthians It is our conclusion that – Chapter 11 tells us women can pray and prophesy in the assembly – Chapter 14 is telling disruptive women (wives) to be quiet – Chapter 14 is NOT a restriction on all women, in all places at all times
I Timothy 2:8-15 8 So I want the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands without anger or dispute. 9 Likewise the women are to dress in suitable apparel, …, 10 …, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 11 A woman must learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first and then Eve.
I Timothy 2:8-15 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.
I Timothy 2 Admittedly this one is harder to work thru In general I Tim is Paul’s advice on how to handle false teachers in Ephesus – I Tim 4 (old wives tales) and 5 (busybodies or “practitioners of magic arts” per Acts 19) – II Tim 3 women (weak willed)
I Timothy 2 The words for usurp/have authority and silence are important Is this about all women in relation to all men, or wives and husbands? – Gune (woman/wife) and aner (man/husband) – Easier to understand if it is wife and husband – In 1 st century culture almost all adult women were wives – Not a valid assumption in 21 st century America
I Timothy 2 The Greek word for silence here is different than the one in I Cor 14 – This word normally means quiet, peaceable – It is used 3 times in chapter 2 - vss 2, 11, 12 – Some translations vary btwn 2 and 11,12 – No good reason to vary the translation
I Timothy 2 Exercise/usurp authority This is the only occurrence of the word as a verb in the NT Paul normally uses another Greek word for this concept A better translation (used by some) is “domineer” vice “usurp authority”
I Timothy 2 So our conclusion is that women can teach, but not in a domineering way A domineering way would actually be inappropriate for anyone
I Timothy 2 The rest of chapter 2 re – Order of creation – Eve being the one deceived – Saved by childbirth There is NO consensus among Bible scholars on how to interpret that or how it applies
Worship/Assembly, Nature of NT has no complete description of a “worship service” There is in fact nothing in the NT even called a “worship service” 1 st century church met how/where? Why do we think women were in general non- participants?
Worship/Assembly, Nature of If the “church” met in your house, who would do the serving of the meal? – The Lord’s Supper was part of the meal in the 1 st century Why do we think any meeting in a home was a formal affair? There were no church buildings until the 4 th century!
Worship/Assembly, Nature of How might meeting in a home be different than meeting in a building which has a front, a stage, a lecturn, etc? The earliest Christians met most of the time in their homes, NOT in large public venues
John 17 20 “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, 21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – 23 I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
Unity What is more important than unity? During the last supper (John 17) a main concern of Jesus was the unity of His disciples then and forever Paul also speaks of unity
Unity Eph 4 – Vs 3 “making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Vs 13 “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God – a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature. “
Unity What is more important than unity? We will NEVER agree on everything So do we split apart into a million different churches?
Unity Or do we learn to live, love, and worship/assemble together with those we disagree with? Rom 14-15 is about how to handle disputes over opinions Basically Paul tells both sides to suck it up and get along He also tells them to not put each other down
Unity We all answer to God individually for our lives (beliefs and practices included) We now have hundreds of “Christian denominations”, because of a myriad of doctrinal differences The price/result? An unbelieving world.
Conclusion The FXCC elders have concluded that it is okay for women to be involved in public worship in several ways – Prayer, praise team, announcements, serving communion, communion talks – Teaching adult classes They have also concluded that pulpit preaching and song/worship leading are to be male roles
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