17 Comments

  1. Gary

    Yeah, and while you’re at it, all those Midianite women need to be exterminated too. How dare they tempt our poor Israelite youth with their pagan religions. I assume we still have Israelite youths, and maybe some Midianite women roaming around someplace. We’ll show them. We’ll do a DNA test on them, and anyone with positive Medianite DNA, that are non-“our religion”, we’ll eliminate. And these are God’s words???

    Reply

  2. May I recommend “What’s with Paul and Women” by John Zens? He makes a good point of how many sayings of Paul like that are parenthetical.

    Reply

    1. I do think that Paul uses a sort of parenthetical system – although I’m not sure the pastorals were written by Paul.

      Reply

  3. Interesting to note that Timothy himself appears to have learned much from the instruction of women – both his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois (2Tim1:5).

    And doesn’t the phrase ‘given by God for our instruction’ Hearken to 2Tim3:15, which clearly refers not to the letters of Paul or even the Gospels but to the Hebrew prophets, Psalms, etc?

    This whole fuss about women speaking in church may refer to settings in which the wife of the congregation’s elder was interpreting for the women during the readings of the OT, and possibly being overheard in the men’s section (I’m assuming very few early churches followed Jesus in the acceptance of women).

    One thing is almost certain – the need for Paul to say anything at all signifies that the gospel had ‘got the women talking’ in church, and that I think opens an historical window onto the power the gospel was having for the liberation of all.

    Reply

    1. Correction: my parenthesis about ‘acceptance of women’ doesn’t say enough – I was referring to the maintenance of split sections for worship (male and female) as in the old dispensation.

      Reply

    2. Good point about Timothy receiving instruction from the women in his life!

      Reply

  4. In this case, it seems to me that there was a (known) problem with certain women, documented by Paul in other epistles (for example, Corinthians), where some women (possibly rich benefactors) were abusing their position, in this case it seems that they were probably interrupting the lessons or preaching or what ever, and causing division. We know about the proto-gnostics and what they did, so its likely to be a similar issue.

    What Paul is saying is “you know those women who keep interrupting, and trying to force their view on everyone? Don’t let them, they should be quiet and listen respectfully like everyone else, and then discuss it later, at a more appropriate time” – something like that anyway,

    Reply

    1. I agree. The Corinthian epistles were written to the Corinthian church specifically, not as a universal rule.

      Reply

        1. Ant, the only problem is, this is in Timothy, not Corinthians. There were issues at Corinth though, which help explain the kind of thing Paul might be referring to here.

          Reply

  5. But I think Timothy was in Corinth at the time, or at least in Asia Minor. I have to check. But he may have been reminding Timothy about the things which Timothy had witnessed with Paul.

    Reply

    1. The tradition is, is the Timothy was in Ephesians. If Paul wrote the letter, I mean

      Reply

      1. Or timothy might have been dealing with a similar issue, and Paul is reminding him of how he dealt with it, or more correctly, how people should behave, and therefore what Timothy has a right to “enforce”…

        Reply

        1. Agreed, but Timothy would pass through Troas on his way to Rome to visit Paul in prison in the Winter of 68 AD. And also Paul and Mark had become friends now! They kissed and made up 😉

          Reply

  6. Hi Joel – This is my first visit to your website. I came from a link to a link to a link when reading about the Challies post. Thank you for what you wrote. I’ve been following and writing about the post as well.

    I did want to offer one small word of clarification. There are many churches in the Reformed Tradition that DO allow women to participate fully in church services. I’m currently a member of a Christian Reformed Church congregation (CRC) and women actively participate in the service – reading Scripture, bringing the children’s sermon, offering the congregational prayer, etc. The only thing they don’t do at this point is serve as elder (although some CRC churches have opened that up as well to women).

    It’s really unfortunate that a small group of vocal bloggers have given those who are Reformed a bad name. Not everyone who would consider themselves Reformed is obnoxious, arrogant and rude as is too often seen in the blogosphere. I know you probably know that, but it always distresses me when I see people speak negatively of the Reformed tradition when there are many kind and meek people who love the Lord and serve Him faithfully in Reformed churches.

    Thanks! :-)

    Reply

Leave a Reply, Please!