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  1. HYMN TOLOVE #4: Meetings #4: Meetings #3: Freedom #5: Resurrection #2: Sexuality #1: Unity

  2. HYMN TOLOVE Gifts & the Body Gifts & the Body Order : Lord’s Supper Order : Spoken Words Women: Leading Women: Speaking

  3. HYMN TOLOVE Gifts & the Body Gifts & the Body Order : Lord’s Supper Order : Spoken Words Women: Leading Women: Speaking

  4. Women & church roles 1 Corinthians 14:33b-40

  5. 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36 As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. 36 Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?

  6. Common Interpretations Women should be silent when the church gathers as a demonstration of their submissive role within creation. Interpreters who take this position further clarify what they think this “silence” means. • The minority group maintains that the command is absolute and universal – women should never utter any word when the church is gathered. • The majority group maintains that this reading is too strict and that Paul was really referring to women not teaching within the gathering.

  7. Look at context… Paul had just talked about women in leadership • 1 Cor. 11:3-6 -- 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.

  8. Look at context… Paul had just talked about women in leadership • 1 Cor. 11:3-6 -- 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. The common interpretations both make Paul contradict himself in a manner of just a few paragraphs.

  9. This text connects to a broader essay… • In this essay, Paul repeatedly corrects specific abuses he has heard are occurring when they gather… • The driving application Paul comes back to throughout this essay is the call to love one another & build one another up… • Our interpretation of this text must fit with the flow of the broader essay… • If an interpretation stands outside of this flow, then the burden of proof is on the one espousing this interpretation.

  10. This text connects to a broader essay… • In this essay, Paul repeatedly corrects specific abuses he has heard are occurring when they gather… • The driving application Paul comes back to throughout this essay is the call to love one another & build one another up… • Our interpretation of this text must fit with the flow of the broader essay… • If an interpretation stands outside of this flow, then the burden of proof is on the one espousing this interpretation. The minority position (that women should NEVER speak when the church gathers) is hard to jive with the call for women prophets to speak with sensitivity...and it is hard to jive with the rest of the NT.

  11. This text connects to a broader essay… • In this essay, Paul repeatedly corrects specific abuses he has heard are occurring when they gather… • The driving application Paul comes back to throughout this essay is the call to love one another & build one another up… • Our interpretation of this text must fit with the flow of the broader essay… • If an interpretation stands outside of this flow, then the burden of proof is on the one espousing this interpretation. What about the majority position (that this is really saying that women should not teach)?

  12. We need to read what this text says and does NOT say… “As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting.” • Does NOT say anything about teaching • Does NOT say anything about leadership roles

  13. Preliminary conclusion… Therefore, we should throw out BOTH the common minority & majority interpretations. • Because he can’t be telling all women in all places to be totally silent in church meetings and ALSO be telling women to pray aloud and prophesy • Because he can’t be telling women never to teach and ALSO be telling women to teach or prophesy respectfully • Because these verses say nothing about teaching, but are referring to common speech

  14. Preliminary conclusion… Therefore, we should throw out BOTH the common minority & majority interpretations. • Because he can’t be telling all women in all places to be totally silent in church meetings and ALSO be telling women to pray aloud and prophesy • Because he can’t be telling women never to teach and ALSO be telling women to teach or prophesy respectfully • Because these verses say nothing about teaching, but are referring to common speech It DOES say women should be silent…submissive…and if trying to learn they should ask their husbands at home.

  15. So what is Paul talking about? • Apparently, in addition to throwing off the cultural hair & head covering norms discussed in ch. 11, another problem was that some women were distracting the meeting by badgering their husbands with questions while someone was teaching. • Paul is in essence saying, “save your questions for home instead of distracting the meeting.”

  16. So what is Paul talking about? • Apparently, in addition to throwing off the cultural hair & head covering norms discussed in ch. 11, another problem was that some women were distracting the meeting by badgering their husbands with questions while someone was teaching. • Paul is in essence saying, “save your questions for home instead of distracting the meeting.” Women were largely uneducated in 1st century cultures.

  17. So what is Paul talking about? • Apparently, in addition to throwing off the cultural hair & head covering norms discussed in ch. 11, another problem was that some women were distracting the meeting by badgering their husbands with questions while someone was teaching. • Paul is in essence saying, “save your questions for home instead of distracting the meeting.” Because of societal norms, men & women were often seated separately in meetings.

  18. So what is Paul talking about? • Apparently, in addition to throwing off the cultural hair & head covering norms discussed in ch. 11, another problem was that some women were distracting the meeting by badgering their husbands with questions while someone was teaching. • Paul is in essence saying, “save your questions for home instead of distracting the meeting.” 1st century Roman & Jewish cultures both were very strict in their approach to women & their public roles.

  19. Does this interpretation jive? • Male & Female Prophets(be respectful & silent when others are talking) • Male & Female Tongue-Speakers(be respectful & silent if there is not interpreter) • Married Women(be respectful by waiting to ask your husband questions later)

  20. Application must be live-able… The common minority interpretation has some serious challenges. • That means women can’t speak in casual conversation if believers are gathered together. • They can’t speak in order to teach and train children and other women (which Titus 2:3-5 holds up as model behavior). • They can’t speak by singing songs.

  21. Application must be live-able… The common majority interpretation has some serious challenges. • What typically follows from this line of reasoning is an endless list of arbitrary environments in which women are permitted to teach or speak. • The problem with this is that such a distinction is unsupported by this text and foreign to the Bible. • Thus, those that push for a literal (i.e. “just read what the words say”) interpretation of these few words seem to be trapped by their own methods.

  22. So how do we apply vs. 34-35? • We all need to be sensitive to others around us as we gather together in our meetings • We need to be sure we are not unnecessarily distracting others in the way we interact in our meetings • We need to keep talking & dialoguing & learning outside the meetings • Sometimes we need to scale back some of our freedoms in Christ so as not to confuse or distract others • We need to seriously evaluate ourselves to be sure that we are not unnecessarily restricting women’s roles in church

  23. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 8 Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. 9 Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God. 11 A woman should learn in silence with full submission. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent.

  24. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 13 For Adam was created first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed.  15 But she will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith, love, and holiness, with good judgment.

  25. Common Interpretation This text teaches that a woman’s God-ordained (and thus good) place is in the role of a submissive complement to man. Women are equally valued and loved by God, but they are just designed for different roles within society and within the church. She is not to have a position of authority over a man because that is not God’s original design in creation. Adam was created first, and then Eve was created from him to serve as his complementary helper. Women are not to have

  26. Common Interpretation authoritative leadership and teaching roles within the church based on this reality, and also based upon the fact that they have been more historically prone to deception with regard to theological issues. Some also maintain that women are constitutionally incompetent to lead. Paul holds up the case of Eve’s deception and fragility to support this perspective once and for all. A woman’s proper role is one of a nurturing and supportive caregiver to her family and others. If she continues

  27. Common Interpretation along this path she will find joy and the fit she was designed for. The curse in Genesis 3 states that this role will come under attack. Being a wife and mother will be difficult, and a woman’s desire will be to rule over her husband. However, if her hope is in Christ and she is committed to increasingly becoming the woman she is designed to be, she will experience salvation and fulfillment. Any contemporary struggle with these roles comes from our own desires to push against the order of

  28. Common Interpretation creation. These directives are not cultural, but are trans-cultural and timeless since Paul goes back to the original creation account to justify his position.

  29. Problems with this interpretation? It does not do justice to descriptions of women in ministry in the surrounding context of the New Testament. • The first person entrusted with proclaiming the reality of the resurrection of Christ was a woman (Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:11-18). • This was tremendously important content to convey…and to convey to a group of men! • “Yeah, but this is not talking about an ongoing leadership or teaching role…”

  30. Problems with this interpretation? • Mary came and conveyed her theological truth to a gathering of the disciples – most of which seem to have been men. God commanded her to do this. • How is this gathering of disciples different than a gathering of disciples at other times? • If they had officially called a “formal” meeting to order, would God have restricted her from conveying this truth to men?

  31. Problems with this interpretation? • Is there something substantially different about preparing a theological teaching that women can’t handle, but somehow God thought they could handle conveying one of the most difficult theological truths in human history? • When would Mary have been considered “teaching men” and when would she have been “just sharing” with men in a non-authoritative way?

  32. Problems with this interpretation? It does not do justice to descriptions of women in ministry in the surrounding context of the New Testament. • The record of the growth of the early church includes various women who were involved in leadership. • Lydia and the church at Philippi (Acts 16:11-15,40; Philippians 4:2-3) • Priscilla (Acts 18:18-19,26; Romans 16:3; 1 Cor. 16:19). • Big list of 10 women leaders sprinkled in Paul’s farewell in Romans 16

  33. Problems with this interpretation? It does not jive well with other texts on this issue. • 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 & 14:34-35 • Titus 2:3-5 calls for women to invest in other women and their children. • If women are too “deception prone” to teach men (who are supposedly not as prone to deception), then why are women entrusted with the task of teaching other women and children (who are supposedly the most prone to deception)? • Shouldn’t the men be entrusted with this monumental task?

  34. Problems with this interpretation? It attributes to Paul a very suspect use of the Old Testament. • Is Paul arguing that all women from Genesis 3 on have been easier to deceive than men? • If so, he seems to be reading into the text something that is not there. The passage only teaches that Eve was deceived. It never mentions that this deception was or would become inherent to the feminine gender for all time and in all places. • This is a dangerous interpretive precedent to set…

  35. Problems with this interpretation? It attributes to Paul a very suspect use of the Old Testament. • Does Genesis really teach that men are superior to women? • All that the text seems to say is that Adam was created prior to Eve. Thus, Adam does have priority, but not superiority.

  36. Problems with this interpretation? It attributes to Paul a very suspect use of the Old Testament. • Does Genesis really teach that men are superior leaders? • God told Adam about not eating the fruit • Adam was standing there silent while Eve was deceived • It took far less to deceive Adam into eating!!!

  37. Problems with this interpretation? It attributes to Paul a very suspect use of the Old Testament. • If this interpretation of God’s design is correct, then God Himself directly ignored it in the case of Deborah.

  38. Problems with this interpretation? Its applications and assumptions do not seem to square with reality. • Do we actually experience women as more innately deception prone than men? • Has human history shown that men can somehow “see through” deceptions because they are men? • Are there not women who are gifted to teach and who have some things to offer that the entire body of believers would benefit from?

  39. Problems with this interpretation? It inappropriately mutes half of the creation that God created to display His image to the world. • Part of what it means to be created “in the image of God” is that humanity was created “male and female” (Genesis 1:27).

  40. Problems with this interpretation? It inappropriately mutes half of the creation that God created to display His image to the world. • Part of what it means to be created “in the image of God” is that humanity was created “male and female” (Genesis 1:27). So what is 1 Tim. 2:8-15 about? Do some further study!!!

  41. Our current reality & invitation… • We are seriously wrestling with these issues as an elder team (and have been for some time) • We recognize that we are currently living inconsistent with any of the interpretations • We really are seeking to be sure not to restrict the advancement of the Gospel • We fully affirm that God has created us male & female