Historical context is needed to understand why Paul told Timothy, in a letter to Timothy, not the church at Ephesus, needed to address the problem. First, we’re dealing with a Greek culture where women were greatly and grossly under-educated. They could barely read, if they could read at all. They had, and probably still were, segregated from the men in their lives. Their rank in the world was less than that of slave. When they went to church they gossiped. They talked, and they interrupted the service because they did not know how to behave in public. They were ignorant in the ways of the world, which, until they became Christians, had been entirely a man’s role. Once married, they were probably never even allowed outside the women’s section of their homes, ever. Suddenly, they were liberated.
“…Don Rousu: “The translation hinges on the Greek verb, authentein. The problem is that this verb is found nowhere else in the Bible. From years of studying biblical languages, I know that translators learn the meaning of a word by studying it in other Bible passages. Where there are no other Bible passages, they must look in comparative literature of the same time period. Although most translators of I Timothy have interpreted authentein to mean ‘to usurp authority’ over a man, or ‘to have authority’ over a man, such a translation violates both the context of Paul’s writing and the first century usage of the word in other literature…
“Around the time the New Testament was written, the most common meaning of authentein was ‘to be, or claim to be the author or the originator of something.’ To underscore the point with a pun, this appears to be the authentic translation of authentein, the crucial verb of I Tim. 2:12.
“Not only have translators overlooked the prevailing meaning of the word authentein at the time the New Testament was written, but they also seem to have missed the cultural context in which Paul wrote his letter to Timothy.
“Timothy was in Ephesus. Ephesus was the world center of paganism governed spiritually by the female deity Artemis, whom the Romans called Diana. The cult of Artemis taught the superiority of the female and advocated female domination of the male. It espoused a doctrine of feminine procreation teaching that this goddess was able to bring forth offspring without male involvement. The cult was characterized by sexual perversion, fertility rites, endless myths, and elaborate genealogies traced through female rather than male bloodlines…
“Also present in Ephesus was a contingent of Jewish Gnostics who represented the first century’s equivalent of the New Age movement. The Greek word for ‘Gnostic’ is gnosis meaning ‘knowledge.’ Gnostics acknowledged spirit guides and combined the teachings of Artemis with the teachings of the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve.
“In the most prevalent Gnostic version of the story, Eve was the ‘illuminator’ of mankind because she was the first to receive ‘true knowledge’ from the Serpent, whom Gnostics saw as the ‘savior’ and revealer of truth. Gnostics believed that Eve taught this new revelation to Adam, and being the mother of all, was the progenitor of the human race. Adam, they said, was Eve’s son rather than her husband. This belief reflected the Gnostic doctrine that a female deity could bring forth children without male involvement.
“In light of the authentic meaning of the word authentein and of the social context within which Paul wrote his letters to Timothy, let me offer what I believe is an appropriate rendering of the text in I Timothy. I believe Paul is saying, ‘I am not allowing (present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man authentein.’ Do you see how this translation offsets false doctrine?
“The word that is frequently translated ‘silence,’ hesuchia, also means harmony, peace, conformity or agreement. I therefore suggest Paul goes on to say, ‘she must be in agreement,’ meaning agreement with the Scriptures and with sound teaching in the Church.
“He continues in this vein saying, ‘Adam was formed first, then Eve.’ This statement militates against the doctrine of Eve as progenitor. He also says, ‘Adam was not deceived, but the woman was! And sinned!’ This statement directly contradicts the notion that Eve was the ‘illuminator,’ and carrier of new revelation.”
Timothy 2:11-12 (Paraphrased and Amplified)
[Now in response to the Gnostic teaching stemming from the worship of Artemis that Eve was the originator of Adam and the goddess of life], let a woman learn (in agreement with sound doctrine) with all submission (to that doctrine). And I do not permit a woman to teach that she is the originator or the illuminator of man, but to be in agreement (with the church). For Adam was first formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived [his was direct disobedience], but woman being deceived [thus not being infallible], fell into transgression [proving that she was human.]…”
The hatred of women has lead to an outright bastardization and corruption of what is truly in the New Testament. Ken Silva, who claims to be a writer and a teacher, a minister to ministers wrote the following sh*t:
“:...However, if a woman were to be in this role she would then have authority over a man. We also know, from the larger context of 1 Timothy 2:12-14, that this was not simply Paul’s personal opinion based on first century culture; because God the Holy Spirit guides His inspired Apostle to appeal to the created order itself in his argument. Verse 12 again — I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. Why is this?…”
It is called Complementarianism. It is preached by Douglas Wilson, Mark Driscoll, and many of the leading ministers in the country. They do not rape women. They do not advocate the rape of women – BUT – they think that women who are ‘asking’ for it can and maybe should be raped. They call it the purity myth. According to author Jessica Valenti, only women who are considered pure can be raped. If a woman isn’t pure, and is raped, it isn’t really rape. If a woman is wearing a short skirt and her drunken husband rapes her, she was asking for it. The victim provokes rape because of her behavior, tempting godly men into lust, drooling, rutting lust.
“…The modesty doctrine isn’t about clothes, it’s about bodies. It’s a method for punishing women who do not conform to an idealized, asexual, inoffensive body type. The “offenders” are women with large breasts, wide hips, or discernible “booty.” The modesty doctrine claims that the right clothes conceal a woman’s figure, and that the wrong ones expose her curves. The problem is, some women have figures that cannot be concealed. Even denim sack jumpers will reveal a curvy woman’s hips or breasts when she moves. When I was rebuked for my clothing as a teenager, it was often identical to the clothing all the other girls were wearing. The only difference was that I had “developed” first. The modesty doctrine defines some bodies as inherently problematic.
The hyper-vigilance of fundamentalist men and women to root out “immodesty” conceals a hatred of female sexuality: secondary sex characteristics should not be visible except in approved circumstances. The system is designed to ensure that the only time a man is “turned on” by a woman is when he is allowed to act on his urges: in the marital bed. In other words, if a woman’s body is visible, it ought to be available for sex. Although I don’t think many men think this consciously, the idea crops up in misogynist rhetoric all the time. “Immodest” women are “asking for it,” or it’s “false advertising” if a woman in a short skirt won’t go home with you, or (in the terms of the Christian patriarchy movement) a woman “defrauds” a man (literally, deprives him of a right or property) by allowing herself to be attractive in a situation wherein sex with her is illicit or unwanted…”
Immodest dress causes rape. Women who are immodest almost deserve being raped. It is about control, about men who are completely uncomfortable with their own sexuality and normal male urges, demanding women drape themselves almost in Christian versions of a burka so that the godly Christian man won’t be tempted into lust. Lust will make him rape. It creates a rape culture.
“...There is beauty in a woman who knows her power and yes Emily, that power includes influencing thoughts and actions. Our Father taught us to use the power responsibly. Think for a moment about the veil principle. It is originally Jewish, go to numbers 30 and discover how God sheltered a woman from exposure while she was unmarried and even when she is married. Our so called freedom is actually rebellion, defying the law of protection over us. I am against any distortion of truth where females and clothing are concerned and we should not use the world standards to bring the noose in the Body of Christ. Cover yourself…”
Once again we see where abject hatred of women causes so-called ‘godly’ men to completely ignore whole passages, changing what they want others to believe. Try Romans 16:1-18. If you read up on the far right anti-women bunch, they have a tendency to completely ignore the book of Romans. Wonder why?
- I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae,
- 2 so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.
- 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus,
- 4and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
- 5Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert in Asia for Christ.
- 6Greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you.
- 7Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
- 8Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
- 9Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys.
- 10Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.
- 11Greet my relative Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.
- 12Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.
- 13Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; and greet his mother—a mother to me also.
- 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them.
- 15Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
- 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
- 17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offences, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them.
- 18For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.
Just these 18 verses completely corrupt the far right he man woman haters out of the water and prove how much they are lying about the role of women in the church. Why? Part of the problem of this brave new corrupt world is the fact that men have dominion over women.
The series concludes with Part V, tomorrow.