Eve At Ephesus (Should Women Be Ordained As Pastors According To The First Letter To Timothy 2:11-157) -- By: Aída Besançon Spencer
Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 17:4 (Fall 1974)
Article: Eve At Ephesus (Should Women Be Ordained As Pastors According To The First Letter To Timothy 2:11-157)
Author: Aída Besançon Spencer
JETS 17:4 (Fall 1974) p. 215
Eve At Ephesus
(Should Women Be Ordained As Pastors According To
The First Letter To Timothy 2:11-157)
Should women be ordained as pastors according to the First Letter to Timothy 2:11–15 Scholars have traditionally interpreted this text in three ways: as applying at face value directly to women everywhere (thus they should not be ordained pastors); or as not applying to any women in the present age either because the text is not authoritative (Paul probably did not write it) or his imperative only refers to women in the first century (it was a cultural mandate). I would imagine that women and men who tend to favor the last two interpretations do so because the imperative in First Timothy seems inconsistent with the contemporary educational achievements of women or with the concept of a loving God. Yet if the text is interpreted as solely relevant to the first century,1 have we not dismissed the author’s references to the universal criteria of Adam and Eve (verses 13–14) in establishing models for ecclesiastical behavior? Also, could all of Scripture then be set aside as simply “cultural?”
Indeed this passage causes many serious readers to disclaim the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles. Many argue it is inconsistent with Paul’s teachings and the gospel message. Often the following passages are cited as contradictory to I Timothy 2:11–15.
Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11)
For he (Christ) is ourpeace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, … (Ephesians 2:14)
In Ephesians he urges spouses to “be subject to one another out of reverence to Christ” (5:21), and the First Letter to the Corinthians states,
(Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.) (11:11–12)
Paul also assumed women would prophesy in the public meetings (I Corinthians 11:5). Galatians 3:28 is the text most often cited.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor...
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