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Progress up to this point. The Cross & Christian Unity (1:10-4:16) Christian Sexuality & Marriage (4:17-7:40) Christian Freedom & Responsibility in Relating to the World (8:1-11:1) New Essay – Good Christian Meetings ( 11:2-14:40). Women leading in Christian meetings.

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progress up to this point
Progress up to this point
  • The Cross & Christian Unity (1:10-4:16)
  • Christian Sexuality & Marriage (4:17-7:40)
  • Christian Freedom & Responsibility in Relating to the World (8:1-11:1)
  • New Essay – Good Christian Meetings (11:2-14:40)
historical religious views
Historical Religious Views

ORAL RELIGIONS:

  • Almost invariably paternalistic and repressive of women
  • See ritual prostitution in connection with fertility rites.
historical religious views1
Historical Religious Views

Judaism:

  • “Woman is the origin of sin, and it is through her that we all die. Do not leave a leaky cistern to drip or allow a bad wife to say what she likes. If she does not accept your control, divorce her and send her away. . .For out of clothes comes the moth, and out of woman comes woman's wickedness.”
historical religious views2
Historical Religious Views

Judaism:

  • “Better a man’s wickedness than a woman’s goodness; it is woman who brings shame and disgrace.”
  • “Better that the Torah be burned than to fall into the hands of a woman.”
  • “(a woman) may be divorced...according to Hillel, ‘for any reason whatsoever.’...the husband could reject her if she accidentally served him food that had been slightly burned, or if at home she talked so loud that the neighbors could hear her.”
historical religious views3
Historical Religious Views

Hinduism:

  • “In later Hinduism...a widow was prohibited from mentioning any man's name but that of her deceased husband. Even if she had been a child bride or had never consummated her marriage, the widow was not to violate her duty to her deceased husband and remarry. . .If she did, she would bring disgrace on herself in the present life and enter the womb of a jackal for her next rebirth…”
historical religious views4
Historical Religious Views

Hinduism:

  • “In such a social position, many widows must have felt that they had little to lose by throwing themselves on the husband’s funeral pyre.”
  • “Even suttee, though, was not simple. If the widow did not burn herself out of pure conjugal love, her act was without merit.”
  • “In Hindu society, women were not eligible for moksha; the best that a woman could hope for was to be reborn as a man. . .”
historical religious views5
Historical Religious Views

Hinduism:

  • “To ritualize her attitude of devotion to her husband, orthodox Hindu authors counseled wives to adore the big toe of their husband’s right foot, bathing it as they would an idol, and offering incense before it as they would to a great god…”
  • “The birth of a girl was not an occasion for joy. Hindus attributed it to bad karma in a previous life and frequently announced the event by saying, ‘Nothing was born…’”
historical religious views6
Historical Religious Views

Islam:

  • “Your women are a tillage for you; so come unto your tillage as you wish.” (The KoranSura 2:223)
  • “Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them.” (The KoranSura 4:34)
historical religious views7
Historical Religious Views

Islam:

  • “For many men, the best part of the heavenly Garden was the hur: dark-eyed, buxom virgins. In addition to his earthly wife, each male in heaven could expect to have seventy hur. They would never be sick, menstruating, pregnant (unless he wished), bad-tempered, or jealous.”
historical religious views8
Historical Religious Views

China:

  • “The Chinese ritual of foot binding was a thousand-year-old horror show in which women were grotesquely crippled from very early childhood. . .the means by which the Chinese patriarchs saw to it that their girls and women would never ‘run around.’”
  • “A Chinese woman was primarily her husband's source of sons. The ideal Chinese woman was retiring, silent, and fertile. Female infanticide was common.”
historical religious views9
Historical Religious Views

Christianity:

  • Jerome “As long as woman is for birth and children, she is as different from man as body is from soul. But when she wishes to serve Christ more than the world, then she will cease to be a woman and will be called Man.”
historical religious views10
Historical Religious Views

Christianity:

  • Tertullian “Do you not know that each of you [women] is also an Eve? You are the devil's gateway, you are the unsealer of that forbidden tree, you are the first deserter of the divine law, you are the one who persuaded him who the devil was too weak to attack. . .How easily you destroyed man, the image of God. Because of the death which you brought upon us, even the Son of God had to die.”
historical religious views11
Historical Religious Views

Christianity:

  • Thomas Aquinas “Concerning the conception of a female child, “Woman is misbegotten and defective, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex...”
historical religious views12
Historical Religious Views

Christianity:

  • Thomas Aquinas “Concerning the conception of a female child, “Woman is misbegotten and defective, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex...”

Most of this is rooted in flawed interpretations of biblical texts…and unchallenged cultural traditions.

historical religious views13
Historical Religious Views

Christianity:

  • Thomas Aquinas “Concerning the conception of a female child, “Woman is misbegotten and defective, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex...”

Most of this is rooted in flawed interpretations of biblical texts…and unchallenged cultural traditions.

What about Paul? Male chauvinist or liberator of women?

acts 17 1 4
Acts 17:1-4

Then they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and showing that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” 4 Then some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including a great number of God-fearing Greeks, as well as a number of the leading women.

1 cor 11 2 16
1 Cor. 11:2-16

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. 6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

1 cor 11 2 161
1 Cor. 11:2-16

7 A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9 And man was not created for woman, but woman for man. 10 This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.

1 cor 11 2 162
1 Cor. 11:2-16

13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.

1 cor 11 2 163
1 Cor. 11:2-16

13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.

What on earth is he talking about???

1 cor 11 2 6
1 Cor. 11:2-6

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. 6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

1 cor 11 2 61
1 Cor. 11:2-6

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. 6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

1 cor 11 2 62
1 Cor. 11:2-6

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved.6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

1 cor 11 2 63
1 Cor. 11:2-6

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved.6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

In their culture, a woman with no head-covering in public meant seduction & disrespect to her husband

1 cor 11 2 64
1 Cor. 11:2-6

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved.6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

In their culture, a woman with no head-covering in public meant seduction & disrespect to her husband

What does a woman with no head covering mean in our culture?

paul s argument
Paul’s Argument

3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 

  • Kefale has 3 meanings:
    • The cranium (“My head hurts.”)
    • The authority over (“Ms. Williams is the head of the company.”)
    • The source or origin of (“The lake is the head of the river.”)
paul s argument1
Paul’s Argument

3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 

  • Referring back to Genesis 2 & the order of creation…
    • Traditional view is that the man is placed in authority & of first importance because he was created first, then woman was created out of man.
    • Difficulty with this is that the creation account moves from the lesser forms of life and moves to more advanced forms of life
paul s argument2
Paul’s Argument

3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 

  • Referring back to Genesis 2 & the order of creation…
    • Traditional view is that the man is placed in authority & of first importance because he was created first, then woman was created out of man.
    • Difficulty with this is that the creation account moves from the lesser forms of life and moves to more advanced forms of life

Are plants in authority over humans? Are they superior to humans because they were created first?

paul s argument3
Paul’s Argument

7 A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory.

paul s argument4
Paul’s Argument

7 A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory.

  • Gen. 1:26-27 -- 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.
  • Man = males sometimes, but humankind other times
  • “Humankind is God’s image and glory.” (pinnacle of creation)
paul s argument5
Paul’s Argument

7 A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory.

  • Gen. 2:21-23 -- 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. 22 Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man.
  • “woman is the pinnacle/final creation & thus the glory of humankind”
paul s argument6
Paul’s Argument

8For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.

  • Apparently some in the church were using the argument of origins from Genesis 2:21-23 to propose that women were inferior leaders
  • Paul counters this with an obvious fact…
    • 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.
paul s argument7
Paul’s Argument

8For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.

Why do women exist?

  • To serve men… “helper” (traditional view)
  • Based on both tradition & based on a particular translation choice of the text
  • 9 And man was not created for woman, but woman for man. 10 This is whya woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because ofthe angels. 
paul s argument8
Paul’s Argument

8For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.

Why do women exist?

  • 9 And man was not created because ofwoman, but woman because ofman. 10 Because of this a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 
  • “Eve was not the one who was lonely & needed help managing creation, Adam was the one in need of help. So Eve was created as a helper.”
paul s argument9
Paul’s Argument

8For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.

Helper?

  • Often used for God when He comes to help or save Israel
  • Not a lowly assistant, but a powerful figure who comes to help/save someone who is in trouble
  • John 16:7 -- But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
paul s argument10
Paul’s Argument

10 Because of this a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

  • Because of how God chose to meet Adam’s need by providing a noble & needed partner (Eve), woman ought to keep this sign of authority (God’s authority) on her head . . .
  • “Because of the angels”???
paul s argument11
Paul’s Argument

10 Because of this a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

  • Because of how God chose to meet Adam’s need by providing a noble & needed partner (Eve), woman ought to keep this sign of authority (God’s authority) on her head . . .
  • “Because of the angels”???

Maybe Paul was on drugs???

paul s argument12
Paul’s Argument
  • “The angels praised God in creation (nobody else was there to do it), are praising God in the redemption provided by Christ (which is a mystery to them), & they will praise God forever with us. A glimpse of this occurs now because, though Eve was deceived and used her words to deceive Adam, now her words can be used to bring truth & glory to God!”

10 Because of this a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

  • Because of how God chose to meet Adam’s need by providing a noble & needed partner (Eve), woman ought to keep this sign of authority (God’s authority) on her head . . .
  • “Because of the angels”???
paul s argument13
Paul’s Argument

11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.

  • Women are an awesome provision of the Lord, but this does not mean they don’t need men!
is this really paul s argument
Is this really Paul’s argument?
  • Why would so many women (powerful women) be drawn to Paul’s teaching if he just endorsed the heavily patriarchal culture surrounding him?
  • Why would Paul name & honor women leaders at the end of various letters if he was not for women leading in positions of authority?
is this really paul s argument1
Is this really Paul’s argument?
  • Why would so many women (powerful women) be drawn to Paul’s teaching if he just endorsed the heavily patriarchal culture surrounding him?
  • Why would Paul name & honor women leaders at the end of various letters if he was not for women leading in positions of authority?
  • Romans 16:1-2 -- I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.
is this really paul s argument2
Is this really Paul’s argument?
  • Why would so many women (powerful women) be drawn to Paul’s teaching if he just endorsed the heavily patriarchal culture surrounding him?
  • Why would Paul name & honor women leaders at the end of various letters if he was not for women leading in positions of authority?
  • Why would the Corinthian church have an issue with women praying & prophesying without their heads covered publicly unless women had been freed to teach & lead?
is this really paul s argument3
Is this really Paul’s argument?
  • Why would so many women (powerful women) be drawn to Paul’s teaching if he just endorsed the heavily patriarchal culture surrounding him?
  • Why would Paul name & honor women leaders at the end of various letters if he was not for women leading in positions of authority?
  • Why would the Corinthian church have an issue with women praying & prophesying without their heads covered publicly unless women had been freed to teach & lead?
  • And if Paul had issue with it, why would he not have clearly put a stop to it?
paul s argument14
Paul’s Argument

13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.

helpful thoughts from ken bailey
Helpful thoughts from Ken Bailey

“Let the men and the women continue to pray and prophesy – only ladies, please, be reasonable! Cover your heads as you do so! Don’t send the wrong signal to the worshipers, male and female. Do not distract them with your beautiful hair. If you don’t like my solution, I have an alternative. Cut it all off. Appearing bald will solve the problem. If you would rather not go that route, then why not give my suggestion a try? Covering your heads when you lead in worship is not a putdown. Eve helped Adam in his weakness and need. Male and female need each other.

helpful thoughts from ken bailey1
Helpful thoughts from Ken Bailey

Let the head covering be a sign for female prophets of their authority to exercise their prophetic gifts in leadership along with the male prophets. Do it because of the angels. The angels praised God at the first creation. Let them praise the wondrous fact of your restored status in the new creation, and let the image of God in which you were created shine forth through your prophetic word. This way you will preserve your rightful leadership role and will not distract or upset the congregation in the process.

helpful thoughts from ken bailey2
Helpful thoughts from Ken Bailey

You must know that a woman’s hair, exposed in public, is seen as a come-on in sections of the society in which you live. I am not asking you to cover your heads every time you leave home. My suggestion only applies when you are leading in worship and all eyes are on you. I am asking for sensitivity to your cultural setting. Love for harmony in the church must be a key part of how you exercise your new freedom.”

-Kenneth Bailey in Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes

how does all this apply
How does all this apply?
  • Men & women need each other by design
  • This interdependence applies to church leadership
  • However, while leading, be sure not to make it more about you than others…keep the focus on God and give up some of your freedoms if these stand in the way of others growth.
  • Don’t dress stupidly or arrogantly!