Women in the Church

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Jasher, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Women in the Church

    Dear CF - This is part one

    I guess the other thread on women that was closed brought this to mind. Being a newcomer I didn't get a chance to post there. I wanted to because I have new information for you to consider. This post is just a preface to the subject in order to establish the historical problem of the supression of women.

    A former pastor once said, "Rather than look at how far people need to go, look back to see how far they have already come." Here are some quotations for us to ponder as we take that look backward in time.

    Here is a sampling of the common male attitude toward women over the millennia.

    "Whoever teaches his daughter the Torah is like one
    who teaches her obscenity. Rather should the words of the
    Torah be burned than entrusted to a woman."
    Ancient Rabbi

    "It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men."
    Ancient Rabbi

    "The woman is in all things inferior to the man. Let her be
    accordingly submissive."
    Josephus - Historian

    "All females, both animal and human, are inferior
    to males. We should look upon the female as a
    deformity in nature."
    Aristotle - Philosopher

    "Woman is defective and misbegotten. For
    the active power in the male seed produces
    a perfect male likeness. A female comes from a
    defect in the male seed or from some indisposition
    such as the south wind being too moist."
    Thomas Aquinas - Church father

    "God's sentence hangs over the female sex,
    and His punishment weighs down upon you.
    You are the devil's gateway. You first violated
    the forbidden tree and broke God's law. You
    shattered God's image in man, and because
    you merited death, you had to die."
    Tertullian - Church Father

    "It brings man shame even to reflect on
    woman's nature. By no means shall
    women exhibit any part of their person
    lest men become excited and look and fall."
    Clement - Church Father

    "It is part of her punishment and a part
    from which even God's mercy will
    not exempt her. Subjection to the will of her
    husband is part of her curse."
    Clement - Church Father

    "Take women from their housewifery and they
    are good for nothing."
    Martin Luther

    "Women have narrow shoulders and broad hips
    to sit upon, so they ought to stay home,
    keep the house, bear and raise children. The
    woman differs from the man; she is weaker in
    body, in honor, in intellect and in dignity."
    Martin Luther

    "If a woman take upon her any office which
    God assigned to man, she shall not escape being
    cursed. Women are weak, they are frail, they are
    impatient and feeble and foolish. They are
    inconstant. They are changeable, they are cruel.
    They lack spirit and counsel. Woman in her
    greatest perfection was made to serve and
    only obey men."
    John Knox

    "One hundred women are not worth a single
    testicle." Confucius (551-479 BCE)

    "The five worst infirmities that afflict the female are indocility,
    discontent, slander, jealousy, and silliness... Such is the
    stupidity of woman's character, that it is incumbent upon her,
    in every particular, to distrust herself and to obey her husband."
    The Confucian Marriage Manual

    "A proper wife should be as obedient as a slave."
    and "The female is a female by virtue of a certain
    lack of qualities - a natural defectiveness."
    Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

    "In childhood a woman must be subject to her father; in youth
    to her husband; when her husband is dead,
    to her sons. A woman must never be free of subjugation."
    The Hindu Code of Manu (c. 100 CE)

    "Among all savage beasts, none is found so harmful as woman."
    St. John Chrysostom (345-407 CE)

    "Men are superior to women."
    The Koran (c. 650)

    "Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give
    birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself
    guilty of that many murders."
    St. Augustine (354-430 CE)

    "Do you know that each of your women is an Eve?
    The sentence of God - on this sex of yours - lives
    in this age;
    the guilt must necessarily live, too. You are the gate of
    Hell, you are
    the temptress of the forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the
    divine law."
    Tertullian in 22 CE

    "Woman in her greatest perfection was made to
    serve and obey man, not rule and command him."
    John Knox (1505-1572)

    "The souls of women are so small that some
    believe they've none at all."
    Samuel Butler (1612-1680)

    "What a misfortune to be a woman! And yet,
    the worst misfortune is not to understand
    what a misfortune it is".
    Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

    "Let us set our women folk on the road to goodness
    by teaching them to display submissiveness." "Every
    woman should be overwhelmed with shame at the thought
    that she is a woman."
    St. Clement of Alexandria in 96 CE

    In the year 584 CE, in Lyons, France, forty-three
    Catholic bishops and twenty men representing other bishops,
    held a most peculiar debate: "Are Women Human?" After many
    lengthy arguments, a vote was taken. The results were:
    thirty-two, yes; thirty-one, no. Women were declared human by one vote!
    Council of Macon

    "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God and King of the
    Universe, that thou didst not create me a woman."
    Daily prayer, still in use, of the orthodox Jewish male

    "Woman should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and
    bear and bring up children."
    and "If a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from child bearing,
    it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it."
    Martin Luther (1483-1546)

    End of Part One
  2. Jasher..... You know, as a woman, you are opening up a big can of worms here.!!!:):) LOL.

    How times have changed...... Woo ---hoo !!!!

    My favourite The souls of women are so small that some
    believe they've none at all."

    Samuel Butler (1612-1680)

    Hello ????
  3. Well, this has been one of my pet peeves over the years and I have been through it many times. So I have a lot of thick scar tissue from past fights. It's usually the conservatives and legalists that beat up on me. This is the group who tend to take the Bible hyper literally. My problem is that the Spirit that is inside of me says that literal interpretation does not always ring true. So then you look for a historical context that does seem to ring true.

  4. [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Part Two[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]With this kind of really negative attitude (expressed in part one) among the male population over the Millennia Is it really difficult to believe that the historical record of women's participation in the leadership of the Church has mostly been expunged from history by the "Selective memory," of the male scribes of that day? [/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Jesus and Paul lived in a culture of male domination. This practice followed into the Church after Pentecost although some women were leaders in the synagogues in that day. A lot of Christian women were poor, but some were also wealthy: like Lydia. Women were managing their own households, which often had a lot going on like maintenance of property, running a business, managing a family along with its many responsibilities and supervision of slaves in some cases. The early Church was basically run by women as they simply extended their homes in order to host the Church, which met in homes during the first and second centuries. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]During the third and forth centuries as the church slowly became institutionalized, the women were displaced and the leadership became masculine dominated. There were women in leadership before the purge took place. The best example extant is Junia mentioned by St. Paul as an Apostle. Translators “Corrected†the female name to that of Junias - the male form. There is no historical male name “Junias.“ The evidence of early Female leadership remains mostly in the fraises, mosaics, and grave markings in places like the catacombs. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Another example: There is a mosaic in a Basilica that depicts four women, Mary the mother of Jesus, Prudentiana, Praxedis, and a forth woman whose name was Theodora Episcopa - Bishop Theodora. Episcopus is the male form and episcopa is the female. It is also noteworthy that the ending letter of the word episcopa in the mosaic was partially defaced - I wonder why? As a side note, the image of Theodora had a square halo instead of a round one like the other three women, which symbolically indicated that she was still alive when the mosaic was made. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]If there was one women Apostle - and not just an apostle but an outstanding one - why couldn't there have been many more? No womens contribution to leadership in the ancient Church has been purposely expunged, minimized, or ignored. I think too many people confuse the roles of women in the home with that of the Church.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]And there are many more examples. I find the book “When Women were Priests†by Karen Jo Torjesen - very informative as to the history of female leadership in the Church. Highly recommended. Also "The Lost Apostle." by Rena Pederson - (The search for Junia.) "I Suffer not a Woman." by Catherine Kroger [/FONT]
  5. Yes things have changed for todays women..but was it for the good for not? I am a women and I really wonder wether it was a good thing or a bad thing.
  6. women can,t preach in the church.this is Gods word.no if,s no buts but truth.:jesus-sign:
  7. Part Three
    Our negative attitude toward women in the Church comes from two hard to understand passages from St. Paul. After much reading on the subject I have concluded that in both cases he was addressing local errors in the Church and was not making a general statement for all time. Here is the first of the two questionable passages.
    (Read in a mocking, sarcastic voice.)
    1 Cor. 14:34-37 (KJV) [34] “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” [35] “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]The passage then continues… Loudly...and in a rage...[/FONT]
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive][36] [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]What?[/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? [37] If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]In 34 & 35 St. Paul is [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]quoting [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]the words of someone in the Church probably a "Judiazer," someone from the Circumcision Party, who opposed Paul at every turn - who in judging from the text - considered himself a prophet in that local body. In vs. 36 & 37 Paul is giving an angry response to the quote of 34 & 35. Obviously he limited his comments probably because he only wanted to correct this person - not destroy him.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]The following is a quote from Dr. John Gustavson.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]"Professor Sir William Ramsey, the most widely accepted authority on St. Paul in the early 1900's says "we should be ready to suspect Paul is making a quotation from the letter addressed to him by the Corinthians whenever he alludes to their knowledge, or when any statement stands in marked contrast either with the immediate context or with Paul's known views."[/FONT]Considering Paul's views on the ministries of Priscilla, Phoebe and others referred to earlier, it is clear that Paul believed in equality of women in ministry.

    Moreover, ICor 14:34,35, if taken totally literally, cannot refer to the Old Testament Scriptures when speaking of the Law for [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]there is not one trace[/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] from Genesis to Malachi of any such prohibition of women to literally keep silent in the church nor is there a single word in the whole "law of Moses" dealing with the subject. Therefore the words, "it is not permitted" and "as also saith the Law" roust refer to some "rule outside of Scripture." There was no other but the Oral Law of the Jews appealed to by the Judaizers in the church in their efforts at that time to bring Christianity back within the confines of Judaism. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]The Jewish Oral Law did teach the silencing of women. The Talmud also taught that it was "a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men". However, the Oral Law of the Jews is not Scripture. Again, the reference to the "law" is, of itself, sufficient to show that the Apostle who labored so earnestly to free the Christian Church from the very shadow of Judaism was not expressing his own conviction in the language attributed to him. [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]Paul never appealed to the "law" for the guidance of the Church of Christ,[/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] but, on the contrary, declared that believers were dead to the law by the body of Christ" (Ro 7:4) that they might serve in newness of spirit and not the oldness of the letter (v.6).)"[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]Some translations like the KJV and the Amplified Bible insert the word What! at the beginning of vs. 36. This is an expression of outrage at the previous verses or quotations (33-35). Verses 36 - 37 should be read with an element of anger. Verse 37 continues where he is upbrading someone who thought themselves to be a Prophet in the Church. Obviously the person he quoted in vs. 33-35. As Ramsey suggests, 1CO was probably written in response to a letter sent to him by the Corinthians.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]In summary, because the quote was given in a Sarcastic tone, it simply means that the [/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]exact opposite[/FONT][FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive] was true because he was mimicking them and not making a statement. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]Dr. John Gustavson's papers - part one and two on Women in the Church...[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]www.ncinter.net/~ejt/women1.htm[/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, cursive]www.ncinter.net/~ejt/women2.htm[/FONT]
  8. maybe it is because women go with the flow,like job,s wife.if God says something then listen.maybe men are more equiped with understanding,or stubborness who knows ,but if God tells us then it is right.:read-bible:
  9. I vote for stubbornness. :D
  10. this might be our saving grace.:)
  11. Part Four

    1 Tim. 2:12-15 (KJV)
    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. [13] For Adam was first formed, then Eve. [14] And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. [15] Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Any one doing an in depth study of this topic may want to read the book "I suffer not a woman". It has good historic background and a thorough look at the passage of 1Timothy 2:11 15.The authors were Richard and Catherine Clark Kroeger.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]One of the difficulties with the interpretation of the afore mentioned passage is the Greek word "Authentein" (To dominate or rule over). It is only used once in the Bible so there is no frame of reference for this word inside of scripture. Words change in meaning over the years and this is a point in Kroger's book. They believe this passage was written in answer to heretical Gnostic error which was invading the Church. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Here is a comment based on Kroegers Book.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]QUOTE: In light of the authentic meaning of the word "authentein" and of the social context within which Paul wrote his letters to Timothy, let me offer what I believe is an appropriate rendering of the text in Timothy. I believe Paul is saying, "I am not allowing (present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man (authentein)." Do you see how this translation offsets false doctrine?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]The word that is frequently translated "silence," "hesuchia", also means harmony, peace, conformity or agreement. I therefore suggest Paul goes on to say, "she must be in agreement," meaning agreement with the scriptures and with sound teaching in the Church.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]He continues in this vein saying, "Adam was formed first then Eve." This statement militates against the doctrine of Eve as progenitor. He also says "Adam was not deceived, but the woman was! And sinned!" This statement directly contradicts the notion that Eve was the "illuminator," and carrier of new revelation.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I submit that this translation is possibly the most legitimate because it fits the social context, is true to the Greek, speaks to the troubled situation, and lines up perfectly with all of Paul's other teachings and practices concerning women. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]CLOSE QUOTE:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]This doctrine of a woman progenitor or “Goddess†- the originator of man smacks very much of the false doctrines of Babylon and Simeramus – wife of Nimrod. This verse was not a general statment for all time but rather a correction of a local situation.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho is the pastor of the largest church in the world. He said that his ministry would not be what it is today were it not for his mother-in-law and for women who were willing to pastor the many cell groups of which his church consists. He claims that 6,000 women were leading cell groups before he found the first man who was willing to do the task[/FONT]
  12. I guess you had to be there to know. Take the Churches in Galatia for example. The life expectancy for men was 45. Women was 38. Disease and malnutrition were commonplace. The towns were dirty, smelly, and unsafe. If the men could find work for the day they would earn a Denarius, which would barely buy a days food for a family.

    Half of children died before age 10. Twenty five percent of children died before their first birthday. Women married in early teens and raised families until past child bearing days. There was little contraception, so as soon as one is weaned expect another. Your children were your Social Security plan back then. The literacy rate was about ten percent - so the kids didn't go to school and were underfoot all day long.

    Light was a smokey small oil lamp. Air conditioning was a window. Toilet was a privy. Water had to be carried from the local supply - which may be distant in many cases. There was little medical care, so if you got appendicitis - you died. No radio, electric,TV, cars, or anything. Women were pretty much a posession and could be divorced for any reason. Girl babies were often "Exposed" or abandoned if the parents were poor. Etc.

    Oh for the good old days. :)
  13. pawns in a bigger war.:confused:
  14. That's incredible !!! Yea for the women.!!! I got to toot my own horn.:bow::bow::bow: Interesting comment.... women are rising to the task all over the world and God is blessing and calling women.

    Thanks Yasher for all that info. Very interesting. God Bless.:preach::preach::preach:
  15. :israel::dance::bow::israel:

    How 'bout that! Women are NOT worthless in church! Hallelujah!

    Thanks for the info Yasher. :amen:
  16. The only problem I ever had with a woman in church is the elderly lady behind me whose voice cracked whenever she sang, and it sent shivers up my spine.:p

    I don't see in Scripture where--in the context of modern day society and as an absolute--women cannot participate fully in church. I have less of a problem with a righteous female pastor than I do an unrighteous male pastor.
  17. :bow::bow::bow:
  18. Ha Ha ........ Maybe that was me. !!!!!!:israel::israel::israel:
  19. Dusty! I have a good sense of humor!!!
  20. Hi, to everyone. My first post. I use to be very strict on this subject.

    However, the only restriction I see is being a pastor of a local church. The sky is the limit outside that in this order God first, Family Second and all the rest. The interesting thing is if a man or woman puts God first they will respect all members in the family take second place to the other. There are examples of women in ministry in the NT. Why then should anyone forbid them? A husband, I would think, would be filled with joy to see his wife on fire for the Lord to do ministry.

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