Gen 3:16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
The rare word translated ‘desire’ in many translations can have both positive and negative connotations. Some (e.g. Walton, Giles, Steinmann) interpret the present verse in the light of Song 7:10, where the word refers to sexual desire. Others (e.g.…
1 Timothy 2:9-15 reads (in the New Revised Standard Version):
9 Also that women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. …
He mentions with favor the following, to many of whom he sends greetings: Phoebe, Prisca, “Mary,” Tryphena and Tryphosa, Persis, Julia, the sister of Nereus, Apphia, Lois and Eunice (see Romans 16; Phil. 4; 2 Tim. 1; Philemon).
He employs women in the service of the gospel (Rom. 16:1–3; Phil. 4:3); specifically, the older widows (1 Tim. 5:9, 10), deacons’ assistants (1 Tim. 3:11), women who are able to support others (1 Tim.
Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Have all gender distinctions been abolished by the gospel?
Longenecker thinks so, calling this verse the ‘The most forthright statement on social ethics in all the New Testament’ (although he agrees that ‘the elimination of divisions in these three areas should be seen first of all in terms of spiritual relations: that before God, whatever their differing situations, all people are accepted on the same basis of faith and together make up the one body of Christ.’…
I have great respect for Ian Paul. So, when he offers a view that I find unpersuasive, I’m glad to give it a hearing anyway.
Here, then, is the gist of his ‘considered summary’, arising from his study of the main biblical texts (Gen 1, 2 and 3, Luke 24, John 20, Acts 18, Romans 16, 1 Cor 11 and 14, Eph 5 and 1 Tim 2). But here are the bare bones.
In Across the Spectrum: Issues in Evangelical Theology, Greg Boyd and Paul Eddy list a number of instances where (notwithstanding the prohibition of texts such as 1 Timothy 2:11-14) we find women exercising spiritual authority over (or alongside) men:
1. …God incorporated the songs and statements of a number of women into his inspired authoritative Scripture (e.g., Exod. 15:21; Judges 5; Luke 1:46–55)…
2. Women were given the same command to “rule” over creation as were men.…
Aída Besançon Spencer identified four broad categories.
First, Jesus’ conversations with women indicate his esteem for them. Jesus openly conversed with women despite the ancient practice of discouraging men from speaking with women in public. For example, in John’s Gospel Jesus has a deep theological discussion with a man, Nicodemus (Jn 3:1–21), followed by a deep theological discussion with a woman, a Samaritan, at Jacob’s well (Jn 4:4–42). She is the first person to whom Jesus discloses that he is the Messiah (Jn 4:25–26), and she becomes an evangelist to her people (Jn 4:28–29, 39–42).…
1 Corinthians 14:33-35 – ‘As in all the churches of the saints, 14:34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak. Rather, let them be in submission, as in fact the law says. 14:35 If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home, because it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.’
Various approaches to interpreting this (notorious?!) passage have been proposed:-
A few scholars think that Paul is self-contradictory. …