Print Page | Close Window

1 Timothy 2 and the "silent" women

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Interfaith Dialogue
Forum Discription: It is for Interfaith dialogue, where Muslims discuss with non-Muslims. We encourge that dialogue takes place in a cordial atmosphere on various topics including religious tolerance.
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5113
Printed Date: 20 December 2014 at 4:13am


Topic: 1 Timothy 2 and the "silent" women
Posted By: AnnieTwo
Subject: 1 Timothy 2 and the "silent" women
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 10:17am
Someone on another thread had a problem understanding 1 Timothy 2:11-14.  I am please to explain it to all who are interested.

<>1 Timothy 2 in context: 

8Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.  9Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,  10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.  11A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.  12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.  13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.  14And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.  15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.  NASB

 

These verses do not fit with what we see in the rest of the New Testament, where women were first witness of the resurrection; where Paul speaks of women as apostles and deacons (Romans 16); where he expects them to be praying and prophesying in the assembly (1 Corinthians 11), where 'there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave not free, no male and female, since you are all one in Christ Jesus' (Galatians 3:28).  In particular it does not fit with the practice of Jesus himself.

 

The key to these verses is to recognize that it is commanding that women, too, should be allowed to study and learn, and should not be restrained from doing so (verse 11).  They are to be 'with entire submissiveness'; this is often taken to mean 'to the men,' or 'to their husbands,' but it is equally likely that it refers to their attitude, as learners, of submission to God, which of course would be true for men as well.  Then the crucial verse 12 need not be read as "I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man."  It can equally mean:  "I don't mean to imply that I'm now setting up women as the new authority over men in the same way that previously men held authority over women." 

 

But why might Paul need to say this?  When interpreting Paul or anyone else for that matter, you need to know what was going on at the time.  We have only Paul's side of this; what was going on to make him say these things?

 

There are some signs in the letter that it was originally sent to Timothy while he was in Ephesus.  And one of the main things we know about religion in Ephesus is that the main religion—the biggest Temple of Artemis (that's her Greek name; the Romans called her Diana) was a massive structure which dominated the area.  As befitted worshippers of a female deity, the priests were all women.  They ruled the show and kept the men in their place.  [What a turn of events!!]

 

Now if you were writing a letter to someone in a small, new religious movement with a base in Ephesus, and wanted to say that because of the Gospel of Jesus the old ways of organizing male and female roles had to be rethought from top to bottom, with one feature of that being that the women were to be encouraged to study and learn and take a leadership role, you might well want to avoid giving the wrong impression.  Was Paul saying that women should be trained up so that Christianity would gradually become a cult like that of Artemis, where women did the leading and kept the men in line?  That is what verse 12 is denying.  Paul is saying, like Jesus in Luke 10, that women must have the space and leisure to study and learn in their own way, not in order that they may muscle in and take over the leadership as in the Artemis-cult, but so that men and women alike can develop whatever gifts of learning, teaching and leadership God is giving them.

 

The first verse (8) is clear.  Verses 9 and 10 follow, making the same point about the women.

 

What's up with Adam and Eve?  Why does Paul bring them into this?  Remember the basic point is that women too must be allowed to learn and study as Christians.  Well, the story of Adam and Eve makes the point.  Look what happened when Eve was deceived.  Women need to learn as much as men do.  Adam, after all, sinned quite deliberately; he knew what he was doing, he knew that it was wrong, and he deliberately went ahead.

 

The last verse about childbirth:  Paul does not see it as punishment.  Childbirth is not a curse.  God's salvation is promised to all, women and men alike, who follow Jesus in faith, love, holiness and prudence.  And that includes those who contribute to God's creation through childbearing.

Annie

PS: I intend to interpret some verses that someone else brought up in regard to 1 Corinthians and 1 Peter 3.  Maybe tomorrow.

 




-------------
14If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 1 Peter 4




Replies:
Posted By: DavidC
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 11:42am
The early Christians saw women as gateways to sin.  Sex was to be avoided except for procreation, and even that was not considered such a good idea.  Women were used a deacons because baptisms were done in the nude, but the idea of women as portals of sin was universal at that time.

Thankfully scripture has been revealed more fully since then, but AnnieTwo's theories are suppositional.


-------------
David C.


Posted By: AnnieTwo
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 3:15pm
Originally posted by DavidC

The early Christians saw women as gateways to sin.  Sex was to be avoided except for procreation, and even that was not considered such a good idea.  Women were used a deacons because baptisms were done in the nude, but the idea of women as portals of sin was universal at that time.

Thankfully scripture has been revealed more fully since then, but AnnieTwo's theories are suppositional.


Please define "early Christians."  We are discussing what is in the New Testament and not what men did afterwards, sometimes hundreds of years afterwards.

I think that the "church" used some of what Paul said to suppress women.  I think they knew what Paul meant but misused it to their own uses.  It was a question of men trying to put down women and used Paul to do it. How could they ignore Jesus?   Paul would have abhored that and so would have Jesus.

Women have a very important place in the church and they had that position in the early church as they do today.  Many women are pastors and deacons in the church.

According to my Catholic friends, women are still having a hard time being priests.  This is causing a problem within the Catholic church because men are leaving and/or are getting very old.  Women could fill the void, but are prevented from doing so.  It is not the same in the Protestant churches.  Many women are pastors in their churches.

Sex only for procreation is another subject.  Does this mean that once the wife becomes pregnant that all sex should stop?  Desire stops?  God did not make humans that way.  That in itself should tell us that God intended the pleasure of sex to be more than just for procreation.

Too bad that people cannot use the brain that God gave us, isn't it, David?

Baptisms were done in the nude to signify new birth.  Out with the old, in with the new.

Annie


-------------
14If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 1 Peter 4



Posted By: DavidC
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 5:19pm
By early Christians I refer to the Apostolic Fathers - Marçion, Tertuillian, Justin Martyr, Iraneus etc.

My point was that women were not considered equal in those times, and were actually thought to be dangerous avenues where sin could enter the church.

They were not misusing Paul; Paul's anti-woman message was entirely part of the times.  Paul thought women and marriage were best avoided (1 Corinthians 7).

Scripture has been revealed more fully today, but the early Christians' belief system was quite different.


-------------
David C.


Posted By: Patty
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 6:20pm

Annie said,

"According to my Catholic friends, women are still having a hard time being priests.  This is causing a problem within the Catholic church because men are leaving and/or are getting very old.  Women could fill the void, but are prevented from doing so."

There are very good reasons why women will not be ordained as priests in the Catholic Church.  It is because nowhere did Jesus choose any woman as a disciple, or apostle....and they were the first priests.  If He had wanted women to be priests we have no doubt He would have chosen one while he was here on earth.  But He did not do this.  He gave absolutely no sign and said no words to indicate He wanted women to perform as a priest.

Additionally, as all Catholics know, during the ceremony of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, when men are ordained into the priesthood by the bishops or cardinals, the new priest receives a "mark" on his soul, similar to the one we receive at the Sacrament of Baptism, which can never be removed, NEVER.  The priest acts in "persona Christi", in the place of Christ, when celebrating mass, hearing confessions, or administering any of the other five Sacraments.  Since he is in EVERY WAY the representative of Jesus during the administration of Sacraments and during mass, a woman cannot become a priest. 

However, we perform all other duties within the Church.  The one and ONLY position we do not hold is that of priest, for the reasons I stated above.

God's Peace.



-------------
Patty

I don't know what the future holds....but I know who holds the future.


Posted By: Patty
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 6:30pm

Men are to honor and love their wives:

Prov 12:4  A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones. 

Prov 31:10  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Prov 31:28  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her. 

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

Peace be with you.



-------------
Patty

I don't know what the future holds....but I know who holds the future.


Posted By: AnnieTwo
Date Posted: 04 June 2006 at 5:21am
Originally posted by DavidC

By early Christians I refer to the Apostolic Fathers - Marçion, Tertuillian, Justin Martyr, Iraneus etc.

My point was that women were not considered equal in those times, and were actually thought to be dangerous avenues where sin could enter the church.

Then they obvious did not have a command of the scriptures.

They were not misusing Paul; Paul's anti-woman message was entirely part of the times.  Paul thought women and marriage were best avoided (1 Corinthians 7).

I just read 1 Corinthians 7 and did not get the impression you have.  Paul is saying that marriage is beneficial in order to avoid sexual misconduct.  The ideal would be to remain celibate.  But if a person cannot remain celibate, it is best that they marry.  How else would we have children?  I don't consider anything in 1 Corinthians 7 "anti-woman."  Maybe you could point me to the exact verse.  Thanks.

Scripture has been revealed more fully today, but the early Christians' belief system was quite different.

I honestly don't believe that men didn't understand what the scriptures said in those times.  As I pointed out all they had to do was look at Jesus and his acceptance of women.  They needn't have brought their "misinterpretation/misuse" of Paul into it at all.


Further than that, David, if you set religion aside, you see women being put down all over the place by some men and in some very subtle ways and some not so subtle ways and they aren't using holy books to do it.  I don't know what it is.  Is it a macho thing?  A feeling of inferiority on the part of men?  What I mean by that is: are some men "angry" that they have to rely on a woman for their sexual needs and sometimes the woman says no?  I think there are a lot of men to do not see women as their equals.  I don't know why.

Annie


-------------
14If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 1 Peter 4



Posted By: AnnieTwo
Date Posted: 04 June 2006 at 5:26am
Hi Patty,

There are very good reasons why women will not be ordained as priests in the Catholic Church.  It is because nowhere did Jesus choose any woman as a disciple, or apostle....and they were the first priests.  If He had wanted women to be priests we have no doubt He would have chosen one while he was here on earth.  But He did not do this.  He gave absolutely no sign and said no words to indicate He wanted women to perform as a priest.

I think that Jesus showed that men and women were equal.  He had a lot of women followers and many became leaders in the very early church.  So since women were allowed to become leaders there must have been some concensus among Jesus' Apostles that this would be acceptable to Jesus.

Weren't there women leaders in the Old Testament?  I would have to research that.  But if Jesus did not think that women should be priests and pastors I would think that he would have said so and he didn't.

Do you think there will come a time that women will be allowed to be priests in the Catholic church.  My Catholic friends think so.

Good wishes to you,

Annie




-------------
14If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 1 Peter 4



Posted By: DavidC
Date Posted: 04 June 2006 at 6:39am
The subservience of women was universal throughout the early church.  That is a historical fact.  It is reflected in scripture, but when you read the first bishops of the church it is spelled out very clearly.

As to procreation, that was not considered important or even desirable.  The early Christians were trying to avoid the world, not be more involved with it.

Pick up a history of the early church sometime.  You will be quite surprised at how different early Christianity was from our current belief system.


-------------
David C.


Posted By: Patty
Date Posted: 04 June 2006 at 11:32am

Dear Annie,

You said the following:

"I think that Jesus showed that men and women were equal.  He had a lot of women followers and many became leaders in the very early church.  So since women were allowed to become leaders there must have been some concensus among Jesus' Apostles that this would be acceptable to Jesus."

Of course Jesus held women and men as equals.  He loved women, and some of his closest and dearest followers were women.  There was, however, no concensus that women were to be priests.  (Just as men cannot ever give birth.) The priesthood is reserved only for men, because Christ in his human form was a man.  Further, the original 12 disciples went on to follow in the Tradition of Christ and chose all male bishops after them.

"Weren't there women leaders in the Old Testament?"

There were highly regarded women in the Old Testament for sure, but we're talking New Testament here....when Jesus established His Church here on earth.

"Do you think there will come a time that women will be allowed to be priests in the Catholic church.  My Catholic friends think so."

No, I don't believe that will happen.  It is a very anti-Catholic desire by some Catholics....they are considered dissidents, or protestors.  They usually belong to dissident groups who would like to "change the Church", such as Voice of the Faithful, CORPUS, Call to Action, etc.  They are not recognized by Rome, and are getting pretty close to being out of communion with the Vatican.  Some have already been excommunicated as their proposed changes are nothing more than heresy.  I do believe that one day Roman Catholic priests will not be required to take vows of celibacy and will be given the option of marrying.  Right now the Church still believes a celibate priest is more able to focus entirely on his "flock", his parishioners.  If he were married, his focus would be divided between his flock and his wife and children.  That distraction is not what the Church wants at this time.

As I have always said, as long as we follow what our conscience tells us is correct, love God above all else, and love our neighbors as ourselfves, It seems to me that God will take this all into consideration on Judgement Day.  But the Catholic Church will not fall, because Jesus said it would not when he first established it.  So if there are individuals who, after great studying and prayer, find they can no longer can accept the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, my own personal opinion is they should find a church with which they do agree (always remembering they are more than welcome to return at any time.)  Catholics are returning in droves to the Church.  Many left during the 70's, and are now coming back to their Catholic roots.  Also during this year's Easter Vigil, over 200,000 converts were received into the Church in the US alone.

God Bless You Always, Annie!

 



-------------
Patty

I don't know what the future holds....but I know who holds the future.


Posted By: Patty
Date Posted: 04 June 2006 at 11:42am

Annie also stated,

"Sex only for procreation is another subject.  Does this mean that once the wife becomes pregnant that all sex should stop?  Desire stops?  God did not make humans that way.  That in itself should tell us that God intended the pleasure of sex to be more than just for procreation."

Sex was also to bond the husband and wife and refers to marriage as becoming "one flesh".  We are to be "open" to conception.  If God wants the woman to become pregant and she does, great!  If not, it isn't meant to be at that time. 

Annie, if you're really interested in learning what the Church truly teaches and believes, don't rely on friends trying to tell you.  You need a scholar.  One of the best things you can do to inform yourself properly is read the Catechism of the Catholic Church....or at least look up parts on which you have questions.  (I'm not trying to convert you, just offer some suggestions for help.)  I hate to see twisted lies, myths, etc., which are spread far too often about the Church.  It is much better to read it from the Vatican website, than to listen to the biased, horribly uninformed, media....or friends who don't really know Church history or doctrine.  It's very important to know the truth.

Peace and Blessings, Annie.



-------------
Patty

I don't know what the future holds....but I know who holds the future.



Print Page | Close Window