The Apostle among the Amazons -- By: S. M. Baugh

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 56:1 (Spring 1994)
Article: The Apostle among the Amazons
Author: S. M. Baugh


The Apostle among the Amazons*

S. M. Baugh

* Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger, I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11–15 in Light of Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992. 253. $12.95). Some abbreviations used in this review are: OCD for The Oxford Classical Dictionary (ed. N. Hammond and H. Scullard; 2d ed.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1970); IEph for the (repertorium) collection of Ephesian inscriptions: Die Inschriften von Ephesos (ed. Wankel, Merkelbach, et al.; 8 vols.; Bonn: Rudolf Habelt, 1979–84); JÖAI for Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wien; ZPE for Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik; and New Docs for the series New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity (ed. G. H. R. Horsley and S. R. Llewelyn; 6 vols.; Macquarie University, 1981–92). Abbreviations of ancient authors and their works, when used, are those of the OCD.

Not long ago, Marcus Barth said in regard to Pauline Ephesus: “The cult of the Great Mother and the Artemis temple stamped this city more than others as a bastion and bulwark of women’s rights.”1 Echoes of this speculation have formed the foundation of a popular egalitarian argument that the prohibition of women “teaching and exercising authority over a man” in 1 Tim 2:12 was only designed to correct a radical situation at Ephesus (cf. 1 Tim 1:3).2 “The gospel [was] struggling in Ephesus with gnostic-influenced women trumpeting a feminist reinterpretation of Adam and Eve as precedent for their own spiritual primacy and authority.”3 In other words, because “the Ephesian women were radical feminists and trying to dominate men,”4 Paul merely objects to Ephesian women teaching and exercising authority.

Up to this point, no one has established historically that there was, in fact, a feminist culture in first-century Ephesus.5 It has merely been assumed.6 Enter Richard and Catherine Kroegers’ I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11–15 in Light of Ancient Evidence. As the subtitle suggests, the chief purpose of this book is to support the egalitarian restriction of You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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