December 5, 2020

Send In the Clowns

To the contrary….my friend Wyman Richardson says it’s a tempest in a teapot.

ONE MORE: A life well lived.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s Beth Moore’s (excellent) website. I don’t see the announcement anywhere that she is a teacher for women only. Looks like she’s a Bible teacher for anyone who wants to be taught.

UPDATE AGAIN: Bill Mackinnon writes “Ten Questions For Complementarians.” I’d like to read some answers. In fact, I wonder where the detailed theological exposition on the Southern Baptist doctrine on authority of men over women is laid out in Southern Baptist theology. Have I missed that one?

UPDATE: Just so you can see what the other side of this issue actually looks like with a human face…Pastor Julie Pennington-Russell is pastor of Decatur First Baptist (CBF, formerly SBC). Atlanta Magazine did a major piece on her and her pastoral ministry. (Please Lifeway, don’t shut down my website!)

Rereading the story of the story of Lifeway Christian stores pulling from sale a magazine with five female pastors on the cover, I was really overwhelmed with the vacuity of evangelicalism.

At what point is someone allowed to say that in those same Lifeway stores, the #1 selling Bible teaching marterials are the resources published by Lifeway by Beth Moore? When are we supposed to notice the dozens and dozens of Beth Moore books and workbooks? The Beth Moore aisle in most Lifeway stores? When are we supposed to notice that Beth Moore’s materials in Lifeway DWARF any male pastor or teacher? When do we get the exercise in pretzel logic that explains there’s no inconsistency in having a female Bible teacher with an audience larger than any pastor in a denomination that opposes women pastors?

When are we supposed to notice the howling hypocrisy of chattering endlessly about the tragedy and threat of women pastors, but pocketing who knows how much money from Beth Moore’s Bible teaching?

Moore can teach more individual Southern Baptists and in more churches (via video, etc) than any other Bible teacher, but as long as we have our Pharisaical lenses on, it can all be explained as within the boundaries we’ve drawn.

And you wonder why people equate evangelicals with an inability to think critically. It’s this kind of nonsense that makes any pretense to principle comedic. It’s the authority of the Bible….as we creatively construe it.


  1. Aaron Armitage says

    How exactly do the actions of Lifeway or Beth Moore in 2008 illuminate the meaning of what Paul wrote sometime in the 40s or 50s or 60s?

  2. Nicholas Anton says

    To those who hold to the idea that Paul did not permit women to speak, teach and take authority because of their lack of education, pray tell, where is the evidence? I would rather suggest that the concept is conjecture, revisionist history and hyperbole. Not only were there educated women, but also plenty men in the Roman empire who did not have much education. Nowhere in Scripture is formal education listed as a prerequisite for teaching, preaching and leading. Nowhere is the lack of it cited as a disqualifying factor. What would you say if the same conjectures were made in our day regarding illiterate blacks (men and women) in tribal Africa, or some other aboriginal tribes? There are many segments of society in which the literacy rate of all, with the exception of the missionaries, is very low.

    Second, the Pauline thesis and command is based on the creation order and fall, (1 Tim. 2:11-14) as well as that it is “…the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).

    Third, in the list of qualifications for Christian workers (1 Tim. 3), those of the “women” listed in 1 Tim. 3:11, which many egalitarians suggest are women deacons, does not include the ability to teach and lead (both qualifications however are required of leading elders, and one [the ability to lead] of deacons/servants of the churches).

    Fourth, It seems that women of the time were not as uneducated as is frequently supposed.
    “Although the role of women in ancient Rome was primarily child-bearing, women also played an important in raising the children. This differed greatly from the Athenian tradition which placed both the cultural and educational facets of raising boys exclusively in the hands of men. In the Roman world, women were encouraged to teach the children Roman culture. When the boys grew up, the mother would spend her money and time to advance their political careers. Even the girls would receive this sort of home education because they would be expected to teach their own children one day. In The Elements of Oratory, Quintilian reports that Cornelia, mother of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, played a major role in their education and cultivation. Roman women had children, but they were not exclusively “tools of reproduction” they “were also a fundamental instrument of the transmission of a culture … [and] it was their job to prepare them to become cives romani …”

    In 1874, when the first _________ settlers came to _________ ________, Canada, after the first years of severe hardship, some of the prominent men were ready to pull up stakes and move to the U.S. One of the elderly women, upon hearing this, asked the men, “Do you not believe that God directed us to this land”? They replied to the affirmative. She then asked, “If we believe that God directed us to this land, can we not trust Him to take care of us in it?” The men saw her point and their lack of faith, took her advice, and thus the __________ remained in _________. Perhaps we can credit a wise woman for the present city of _________. Nevertheless, the women of that day did not see their authority to include making the final decision to move or not to move, only to point out the truth and make suggestions when the opportunity arose, as did Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Martha, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla and many others in both the Old and New Testament.

  3. Rob: I normally don’t post comments that condemn that fact that we are having a discussion on a topic. You’ve made your point. thanks.

  4. Imonk,
    For what it’s worth under the “about Beth moore section of her website it says this, “Beth founded Living Proof Ministries in 1994 with the purpose of teaching women how to love and live on God’s Word.” Just wanted to point out that they claim the ministry was founded to teach women specifically.

  5. is it ok for a smart, loving, theologically sound, single mother raising her son(s) to teach them the written word of God in order they may know the Living Word of God? I hope so…

  6. Our evangelical church has historically been complementarian, in the sense that we believed it was OK for women to teach other women, and children.

    We had one mother who wanted our Jr. High director (a woman) to resign, because now that her son was old enough to be a man (according to her understanding of ancient Jewish culture), he should not be under the teaching of a woman. BTW, this kid needed all the teaching he could get. I have no idea if the mom exerted any training or discipline at home once he hit age 13.

    And I don’t know how we resolve this verse for women Sunday School teachers teaching boys: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” What is the magic age in complementarian churches when a woman teaching boy ceases to be commendable, and becomes a sin?

    In practice, we’re becoming more “don’t ask-don’t tell” egalitarian.

  7. I really think that slamming my head into my desk repeatedly would be a more productive use of my time than taking part in this conversation.

    But, I must point out that the Greek word diakonos, which is translated as deacon or minister for men is translated servant for women. Oh gee – some deliberate distortion of the original text by translators? Maybe.

    Young’s Literal Translation translates Romans 16:1 as, “And I commend you to Phebe our sister — being a ministrant of the assembly that is in Cenchrea”

    Also, let the record show that Mary Magdeline was, in fact, the firt person to preach the Gospel (the news that Jesus was raised from the dead), and all those know-it-all men did not believe her.

    Furthermore, I thought SBC claimed to believe in the WHOLE Bible, not just a few references by Paul that were written to a specific time and place, and honestly probably wasn’t meant to be for all time. Paul was writing to people who came from one of the most mysongenist societies in the ancient world. He was not going to let a women’s movement in the church hinder the spread of the Gospel – which is EXACTLY what would have happened.

    But, I give to you Deborah – a judge and a leader of Israel. I give to you Phoebe a deacon/minister in the church. I give to you Prisca – Acts 18:26 tells us that she and Aquilla BOTH taught Apollos the ways of God. Anytime, Paul mentions Aquilla he mentions Prisca. Their names are always in tandem, and she is credited as doing all of the things her husband did. They were a team.

    Finally, these never ending discussions about the role of women in the church is nothing short of soul killing for many women. As someone pointed out, it sounds more like a discussion worthy of the Taliban. How many women either 1) won’t come to Christ because you all portray the church as a mysogenistic boys club, or 2) have left the church because of it? Wasn’t there a post a while back from a former woman pastor who now says she is camping in the yard of the church?

    You base your entire world view on two verses by Paul when the entire rest of the Bible – including other writings of Paul’s – would support the idea that – Yeah, women can be in these roles. Really, this rates up there with when certain denominations (SBC included) used scripture to justify slavery. You need to feel superior to someone. It can’t be blacks anymore, so you’re going to demean women.

    I’m going to go bang my head on my desk for awhile.

  8. Not that I think any of the men who need to see this and my last post are *listening,* I’m sure they tuned out the minute I identified myself as female. But, here’s two other scripture references:

    “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and DAUGHTERS will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and WOMEN, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and THEY WILL PROPHESY.” Acts 2:17-18

    “The older WOMEN likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, TEACHERS of good things.” Titus 2:3

  9. Well said Nicholas Anton!

  10. Michael, can you combine a couple of posts? I’m writing from work, so I’m choppy – but, notice how few women even bothred to take part in this discussion. It was the same way when The Young Anabaptist Radicals discussed it not long ago. Like I said, this is an issue that is nothing short of soul killing for many.

  11. Curtis: Does it appear to you that Beth Moore’s teaching is only for women?

    And if so, where does the Bible say that a woman can teach the Bible to anyone?

  12. Curtis: Again, I think one of the neglected factors in this discussion is that Beth Moore, even if she were only instructing women, is exerting tremendous authority in the teaching ministry of the church.

    Let’s assume that Beth Moore only has a ministry of teaching women. The fact is, she has much more AUTHORITY in the lives of many women when it comes to Biblical understanding than their male pastors. I have seen this myself in the local congregation, where her videos and conferences are the dominant form of teaching that women live by. If the issue is authority, she’s got it!

  13. To anybody reading this forum who thinks women have no right to share the faith, how do you respond to somebody like Aliasmoi?

    Doesn’t what she’s saying make sense? More than make sense, isn’t it a little mortifying, like God was trying to tell you something?

  14. In first grade…God showed me the generations of death by way of a vision. In the same vision He showed me that the worldly existance is indeed “death.” In the third grade..during summer Bible School…He manifested Himself to me in a physical form and told me in an audible voice, “you haven’t sinned yet but you are about to and you need Me to fight “him” (looking downward to the hardwood church floor) for you.” I looked down to see where He was looking. I saw a horrified, 2-inch-tall, bumpy, naked, trembling……creature of a man with both forearms raised as he attempted to hide himself from the Christ. Later that year…God taught me through a series of three visions that we indeed pass from death unto life

  15. Male and female equal…..Man. There is neither male nor female….all are one in Christ. Fifty years of numerous visions and encounters with my Heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have qualified me to fulfil the calling and destiny He purposed for my life. No other opinion is relevant.

  16. N.T. Wright writes on this issue. I don’t think he answers the question completely – actually – he kind of dances all around it. But, something he points out that I never knew/thought about was that the person described in Romans 16:7 as an apostile, Junia, is female. Of course, part of the reason I’ve never known it is because my own prefered translation, New American Standard, describes her and the other person mentioned as Paul’s kinsmen – implying they are both male. But, other translations simply say kin or relative.
    Wright even makes mention of a fuss in the translation of the NIV when they wanted to mistranslate and make it appear that she was male – which is apparently exactly how the NASB decided to handle her.

  17. Hello. The question of female pastors ought to be first and foremost an exegetical issue. But that is usually not the track that those promoting women ministers take. Its sad. In my view those folks still have some heavy lifting to do when it comes to the text.

    A lesser and secondary consideration is to inquire into the church’s tradition on this subject. Does the church have a consistant witness throughout the ages? It does. Should our contemporary culture overturn that? Well…if it was a biblical “slam dunk.” But its not, not by a long shot.

  18. Carolyn, are you feeling okay?

  19. “A lesser and secondary consideration is to inquire into the church’s tradition on this subject. Does the church have a consistant witness throughout the ages?”

    Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men. Mark 7:8

    The church used to have a consistant witness on slavery, race relations, etc. Guess what? It was wrong.

  20. Aliasmoi,

    I believe that you asked why more women don’t respond to threads like this.

    I suspect several reasons, some of them mine.

    Lack of detailed knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to argue accurately.

    Tiredness, because we have been there/done that too many times.

    Knowledge that whatever we say probably won’t change any one’s mind, and may put a higher barrier between them and God. (Never a good thing)

    Hurt, because we have been abused by male leadership, and would rather just go and do.

    Grin alert. I was very much a woman’ libber in my younger days, including a sit in protest at a Baptist college. And now, I find myself Catholic where there is no chance for women priests. And yet, I have found that there is really more chance for women in ministry, and some of our most respected saints are women who told the Pope that he was behaving badly.

  21. So, does anyone have any recommendations for Bible translations? I don’t feel like I can use the NASB anymore, and I’ve been using it for 15 years.

  22. I’m using the ESV and the NLT. I think it’s wise to use two differing translations and these are both excellent.

    What’s wrong with the NASB? It’s very accurate. Combined with a more dynamic, readable version like the NLT or NIV, you’d have a good balance.

  23. NASB apparently mistranslated Romans 16:7 to make Junia a male. They not only refer to her as Kinsmen, but call her Junias – a name that didn’t even exist at the time of Paul. Now, one of the articles I read on this subject tries to lay the blame on Boniface VIII because he was apparently the first to insist that Junia was really Junias because heaven knows a woman couldn’t possibly be an apostle. But, I don’t buy that, and here’s why: All of the modern translations – including NASB – claim to have translated from the oldest available manuscripts all of which pre-date Boniface VIII by hundreds of years. Plus, if you believe N.T. Wright there was a dust up during the revision of the NIV because some of them wanted to deliberately mistranslate that verse as well, but ultimately they did the right thing. That means those b**tards DELIBERATELY mistranslated to make the Bible fit their own prejudices – to put their own doctinal slant on it.

    I realize that this might not seem like a big deal to you – a man. But, as a woman who has been demeaned for her entire life by having to listen to this same arguement again and again and again this perversion of scripture is just another example of the church at large as a mysogenistic boys club and how men won’t let a little thing like truth stand in the way of their objectives. The truth doesn’t support their position? Well, they just changed the truth! And, I feel violated!

  24. >I realize that this might not seem like a big deal to you – a man.

    Please don’t pull that line out on me, aliasmoi. Sheesh. Being offended doesn’t excuse that kind of rhetoric. I’m not a gender. I’m a person made in God’s image seeking to follow Christ.



  25. The doctrine of male headship (in the family, and the local church) is not based on two verses. It is present in many places, starting in Genesis.

    It is not to be like the rulers of the world, who lord over one another. Godly leadership is sacrifice and service (deacon means servant, and should be separate from leadership roles). For a man to ask a woman to sacrifice for him is selfish and cowardly.

    Men should lead, because it is hard and unrewarding. Leadership should not be about puffing up (which, sadly, it all too often is). The fix is to have leaders act Biblically.

    Patrick: women can share the faith. The prohibition of teaching does not apply to unbelievers.

  26. Sorry Michael, but I really do think that a lot – if not most men really don’t understand why a woman would find something like that so upsetting.

    I read just enough Greek to cause trouble at church, and I don’t read any Hebrew at all. I depend on my English translations to be accurate, and NASB was supposedly the best.

  27. I just read a blog where a pretty predominant evangelical posted a comment deriding the new “Britney” Barbie doll – leaving open the implication that the original Barbie was somehow more compatible with evangelical tastes.

    Evangelicals – despite all their rhetoric, enslave women in a hopeless battle with vanity, fleating nature of physical beauty, and relegation to subservant roles (just stand there and look pretty). I have not heard of many even women evangelical leaders who do much to refute this stereotype.

    I’m going out on a limb with this comment, so don’t shoot me too many times: I think the confusion over women’s role in the evangelical church is directly related to its phobia over Mary. I have a catechism book which calls Mary (not the improper honor for Mary) idolatry. Mary herself! What role models does that leave women? Well, they are expected to be just like men (Peter, Paul, James, John…)! So, when an aspiring, talented woman actually becomes a pastor (a typical man’s role), we get upset?

    History is full of incredible women who lead both men and women, perhaps not in a pastoral role. St. Theresa of Avila is considered a doctor of the church – right up there with Acquinas and the other boys.

    I am most concerned that no one can make a distinction between the example set by Mary and the one set by Barbie; I think in most peoples minds they both represent quiet, passive, brainless servitude to men; nothing could be further from the truth. Mary is historically considered the mother of the church – and not because she sat around baking cookies for the apostles.

  28. Jeremiah Lawson says

    The Christian tradition on slavery shouldn’t be confused with how Americans rationalized a particular kind of slavery. Mark Noll’s The Civil War as a Theological Crisis covers this briefly but thoroughly aliasmoi. Christian thought about slavery and how it was applied is not as uniform as some accounts have had it.

  29. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Re “Gender (TM)”:

    In classical English, “gender” is a property of INANIMATE nouns. The same property of ANIMATE nouns is called “sex”.

    I understand humans (like all vertebrates on Earth) come in two SEXES, determined by the presence of an X or Y chromosome in the DNA.

    (All you who want to start in about intersex/herm genetics, log off now. Humans are normally XX or XY; the other combinations – X, XXX, XXY, XYY, etc – are rare freaks and sports.)

    That’s two SEXES defined by DNA and reproductive genetics, not a dozen or more “genders” defined by “Which do you FEEL best describes you?”

  30. OK, I’ve been mulling this over and here’s what I think. Perhaps a bit too optimistic, but whatever–

    So, you’ve got the passages in the Bible which, depending on interpretation, can disqualify women from any or all ministerial roles. Depending on your viewpoint, these can be specific directives from Paul for a specific time and specific conflicts…or universal truths intended to be upheld for the ages…or somewhere in between.

    Which of course raises the questions that have been discussed here…if a woman says something and a man happens to learn something, is she sinning for teaching, or is he sinning for allowing himself to be taught, etc etc etc (ad nauseum).

    And somewhere along the way, as denominations were forming and making their charters & bylaws and whatnot, the issue of women in ministry came up and they addressed it as they saw fit. Hence the SBC’s (and others’) written policies about the roles and extents of women in ministry.

    iMonk, your most recent update, “A Life Well Lived,” brought it into focus for me. There are all sorts of ways to gain power and influence, but the only way to gain true, godly authority is through servant leadership. And the Bible is very clear that we are all to be servants first, ESPECIALLY those who are called to lead.

    So the SBC or whomever can write policies saying women can/cannot do this or that, and these things are reserved for men only, and such…and within local churches and even entire denominations to an extent they can enforce it.

    But take someone like Nina Poage, or Beth Moore (who I know little about but from what I’ve heard I have a lot of respect for her), or any number of male leaders. Genuine, humble people who are not trying to “lord it over” anyone but are simply living and serving out of their God-given gifts. People respond, and they gain influence in their respective circles (and some peoples’ circles can get pretty big).

    Obviously there are many leaders who gain influence by false promises of prosperity, control/intimidation tactics, etc. But I’m talking about the God-given authority that can only come from servant leadership.

    Hence, women like Beth Moore with huge audiences of both genders clamoring for more, regardless of what a denomination says about women in ministry.

    In my opinion yes, this exposes the hypocrisy of these policies, because when it comes down to it, all the written policies can’t stop people from listening to this sort of authority. When God moves, sometimes he is simply bigger than any of it, and authority that results from a life of service goes way deeper than any sort of “formal” authority.

    “I realize that this might not seem like a big deal to you – a man. But, as a woman who has been demeaned for her entire life by having to listen to this same arguement again and again and again this perversion of scripture is just another example of the church at large as a mysogenistic boys club and how men won’t let a little thing like truth stand in the way of their objectives. The truth doesn’t support their position? Well, they just changed the truth! And, I feel violated!”
    Enough of the victimhood already! Can’t we just get on with living in the Image of Christ and put that attitude away. I am sorry that you’ve been hurt in the past, but when God’s children behave badly, let Him deal with it. He both convicts and restores. When denominations behave badly, shake the dust off your feet. Jesus calls you to a bigger world in which to serve. When culture behaves badly, look to the Word…and live what you see. When corporations like Lifeway/Zondervan/Word/_______ behave badly…quit supporting them with your $$$.

  32. aliasmoi….

    I’m a woman. I don’t take part in these conversations very often because I feel like the men I am “arguing” with just don’t get it. That doesn’t mean all of the men in the thread, just the ones who are particularly invested in very strict view of complementarianism.

    I usually make a drive-by comment and leave the discussion. That’s probably bad on my part.

    The truth is that very strict complementarianism is tied up with a lot of other things; strict literalism of everything in the bible, a belief that hardly anything in the bible is cultural, and a fear of questioning anything found in Scripture.

    I once listened to a pastor talk about the OT practice of women spending, I think 66 days, outside of the camp of Israelites after giving birth because of “uncleanness” as simply being a contrast nbetween the “earthiness” of birth and the holiness of God.

    The thing is, the OT required a woman to stay outside the camp twice as long is she delivered a girl. I guess she wouold have been twice as “unclean” for bringing another female into the world.

    As a woman it’s hard to read that in a non-cultural way and not feel as if we are less-than.

    I don’t think most men understand how difficult it is to read things like that in Scripture and wonder if it means God thinks you are less worthy simply because of the type of reproductive organs you possess.

    I’m not sure most men would even pick up on the difference as signicant.

  33. Terri:

    I don’t think most men have any idea what is in the OT regarding women. They take Prov 31, a few NT texts, read them through the eyes a lot of modernity and western culture and then say “it all simply reflects Genesis 1-2.”

    Genesis 1-2 teach equality, harmony and true complementarianism. Genesis 3 tells us that the relationship that formerly witnessed to the image of God is now one where “he will rule over you.”

    And that’s what the OT shows.



  34. Wow. This sparked a big debate! I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry, so I won’t say much. Just that Paul had something to say in his letter to the Philippians that makes me think:
    “Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives…What then? Only that in EVERY WAY, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.” (Phil 2:15-18.
    I love Beth Moore’s teachings, which are accurate, powerful and well-done, so I’m obviously not comparing her to those who preached Christ out of selfish ambition. I do find it interesting that Paul was not even concerned that people were preaching Christ just to get him in trouble! It seems to me that Paul was just happy Christ was being preached.
    I come from a church tradition that believes scripture supports male-leadership in the church, meaning that concrete leadership positions should be reserved for males alone. But I don’t see why this should prevent people from listening to Beth Moore’s teachings, male or female. After all, if Beth Moore’s bible studies ended up in an African village where there were no biblical teachings from men, wouldn’t we rejoice? Would you pull an ox out of a pit on the Sabbath? If we would rejoice about remote peoples finding the truth through Moore’s studies, then isn’t it kind of hypocritical to blame men for learning from her here? Shouldn’t principles be universal?
    So much for keeping this short…
    (BTW, I understand this post was originally about the double-speak of SBC promoting Moore’s studies while condemning women bible teachers, so this is all slightly off topic).

  35. aliasmoi

    “So, does anyone have any recommendations for Bible translations? I don’t feel like I can use the NASB anymore, and I’ve been using it for 15 years.”

    NRSV for the poetic nature of the OT, and the inclusive “Brothers and Sisters” of the appropriate NT passages.

    It’s always good to read aloud in church and say Brothers and Sisters.

    I just got a NLT for a different read, it is also inclusive, but I’ve not really checked it out completely. (It was on sale, 25% off, so I got a hardcover study version 🙂

  36. Lifeway is forgetting something: women do the shopping. I say we boycott the Lifeway stores until they put the magazine back on proper display.

  37. Nicholas Anton says

    “NASB apparently mistranslated Rom. 16:7 to make Junia a male. They not only refer to her as Kinsmen, but call her Junias – a name that didn’t even exist at the time of Paul.”

    Though the Greek text does list Junia as female, it also lists “kinsmen”, and “fellow prisoners”, as male. Furthermore, it is not necessary or even desirable to interpret the verse to suggest that she was an apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ on par with the twelve or Paul. There is neither a Biblical, historical nor textual basis for that assumption. Please note the following verse;
    2Co 8:23;
    “Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the “messengers” of the churches, and the glory of Christ.”
    In this text, the word translated “messengers” could just as well have been translated “apostles”.

    In the Bible, the Greek word “apostolos” is used and translated in numerous ways. There were both;
    1) The twelve Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2) Paul, an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
    3) Messengers of the churches.

    Number three is like a missionary sent by the churches. There were and are many female missionaries.

  38. Two thumbs up for the NRSV. iMonk had some great earlier posts about a month ago about the strengths and weaknesses of various versions.

  39. If a line is going to be drawn at who, when, and where a *woman* can *teach,* then why teach women to read or write or teach anything? If their sole audience is women, can’t they just sit around in their coffee klatches and “share” verbally? And as for a college education, well. Doesn’t that violate the “Biblical imperative” of “barefoot and in the kitchen”?

    The very notion that a Bible study or other material must be pre-approved by a man prior to a woman reading it is… well… I’d say “Neanderthalic,” but I’m not sure the word has been invented… yet.

  40. “Genesis 3 tells us that the relationship that formerly witnessed to the image of God is now one where “he will rule over you.”

    And that’s what the OT shows.”

    Not quite. Check out “Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home” (Zondervan, 2007). Author and philosopher/apologist Jonalyn Grace Fincher explodes this myth quite nicely.

    For more, check out and

  41. I was saying that’s what the commenters reading of the OT demonstrates if he/she camps on that interpretation. Sorry I didn’t make that clear. But I’d still not put the view of women in Leviticus up as the standard for churches to follow.

  42. My understanding is that Truth does not have a gender. If it did, it probably would be female, like Wisdom in Proverbs.

    Authority comes from the truthfulness of what is spoken, not the gender of the speaker, or who supervises the speaker. The consistency of the speaker’s actions with the speaker’s words adds weight to the truthfulness of what is spoken.

    Sometimes people will only receive the truth if it comes packaged in a particular way. People have all kinds of cultural prejudices. God’s grace sent us his love in a human package we could understand. And by God’s grace we move beyond our prejudices to experience and live in his love.

    Part of living in God’s love is giving grace to those who still live within their own prejudices. In doing so, we experience God’s grace for our own prejudices.

  43. Gene nailed it. Men aren’t engaging in Bible Study. And Pastors arent engaging in preaching sermons that are part of worship.
    In my particular case my time home from work is spent taking care of kids so that my wife can attend “life group”. I work 10 hour days and honestly don’t want to get up at 5 and attend a mens breakfast and hear the local millionaire speak.
    We are afraid of the Bible because our baggage around Bible studies has largely been devoted to studying the metro-sexual Jesus.

  44. In the Bible, the Greek word “apostolos” is used and translated in numerous ways. There were both;
    1) The twelve Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2) Paul, an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
    3) Messengers of the churches.

    Number three is like a missionary sent by the churches. There were and are many female missionaries.>>>>>

    But, in my translation (NASB) is says apostle. As a matter of fact, I think it says apostle in ALL of the translations. Most of the entirely too many articles I’ve read about this now, say apostle is what they meant. But, even supposing that it meant messenger – that would still have her being a preacher which according to a lot of these male types simply could not have been since she committed the unforgivable sin of being born with a uterus.

  45. I would also add that I only know enough Greek to be a pain in the neck at church. But, in Latin and Spanish – if there is both male and female together – then the male form is automatically used. Hence, the desription “kinsmen” in Greek. However, English doesn’t work like that, and translators that were worth their salt should know that.

  46. You know, I didn’t read every single comment here, but I read alot and think I get the point. I had just a couple comments. On my team of Hands on Africa (A IMB/SBC thing) semester missionaries this fall there were 13 other girls and only 3 guys. There are not very many men engaging, at least on the mission field. There is alot of truth to get out there, and alot of people are dying because they haven’t heard truth in a way they can understand it! Who knows? Maybe the men aren’t obeying their call…or maybe God is choosing to use the weak, as He has been known to do from time to time (Gideon, Mary, Ruth, Esther, Jeremiah, Moses…the list is endless). I don’t know or really even care what a denomination or person believes about women teaching men. All I know is that when God says “say it” I’m going to say it, and not look back, or even around to see who’s watching!

    …”Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

  47. PS Maria….AMEN. Thanks for bringing some grace to the conversation!