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Malaikah
04-13-2007, 11:52 AM
Greetings...

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

1 Timothy 2

Please clarify... is this putting the blame on women? And making them seem inferior? :mmokay:

Aren't women allowed to teach men?:?
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Keltoi
04-13-2007, 03:32 PM
Gender roles were very important in ancient times, and some would say they still are. In Biblical society, the tradition was that women dress modestly, wear their hair long, and were required to wear the gender-appropriate head covering. It would have been quite a scandal for a woman to take a leadership role.

When asking the Christian perspective on this issue one has to concentrate on the New Testament though. All of Jesus's disciples were male, and they were sent to the land of the Gentiles knowing they would have to find food wherever they could and face probable martyrdom. This wouldn't have been an appropriate task or role for a female in their traditional culture. The Bible is very explicit that women should not take the role of minister or priest.

The Apostle Paul proclaimed that all people were equal in God's sight. This isn't simply Paul's belief, as Jesus Christ defied convention and allowed women into His larger circle of disciples. The important change to the conventions of Biblical culture was summed up quite nicely in the following passage:
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NIV, Galatians 3:26-29)
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don532
04-13-2007, 05:22 PM
Romans 16
1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant[a] of the church in Cenchrea. 2I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3Greet Priscilla[b] and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus
Servant as refers to Phoebe, can also be translated deaconess. So we have an example of a woman in church office in Romans.
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lolwatever
04-13-2007, 08:06 PM
^ but that doesn't explain the quote malaikah put which sentences women to subservience n utter silence.

^^ keltoi, but don't you agree that the quote malaikah provided suggests that women have pretty much no role at all :| ?
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IbnAbdulHakim
04-13-2007, 08:55 PM
oops :D (Md Mashud)
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don532
04-13-2007, 09:46 PM
Usually when I ask for an explanation of a verse in the Qur'an, the explanation starts out by telling me I need to look at the context. Well guess what. We need to look at the context the passage was written in.

Paul explicitly identifies the presence of different teaching within the church at Ephesus as the primary reason for writing to Timothy. “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith” (1 Tim. 1:3-4). His instructions are directed to both Timothy and the church (1 Tim. 1:18; 3:14-15). The nature of this different teaching remains relatively ambiguous, in part because the letter itself is the primary source for our knowledge of what the different teaching entails. Parallel descriptions within 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus suggest that a similar issue is being addressed, although the setting and time frame vary. While a precise description of the different teaching continues to elude scholars, several elements are discernible from the text.
Paul’s alarm about the propagation of this different teaching appears to be directed towards people within the church itself. Those who occupy themselves with this different teaching have “deviated from,” “renounced,” “missed the mark,” or “wandered away” from the primary goal of Paul’s instruction (1 Tim. 1:4-6; 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:15; 4:4). Several individuals are named, presumably because they are known by people in the church (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:15, 17-18). Concern about the character and behavior of leaders within the church (1 Tim. 3:1-13; 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9) alludes to Paul’s earlier warnings that “some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them” (Acts 20:30). The danger that some leaders may “fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil” appears to be very real (1 Tim. 3:6-7).
Paul characterizes the different teaching that is pervading the church as meaningless talk, disputes about words, and profane chatter (1 Tim. 1:6; 6:4, 20; 2 Tim. 2:14, 16). This idle talk, which breeds senseless controversy and promotes speculation, is furthermore described as “contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Tim. 1:4; 6:4, 20; 2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 1:10; 3:9). On the one hand, Paul asserts that those promoting this different teaching do not really understand what they are saying; on the other hand, this idle talk is a direct result of deception (1 Tim. 1:7; 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; Titus 1:10). This inability to understand the truth is likened to being caught in the snare of the devil and held captive to do his will (1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 2:15-26).

Reading 1 Timothy 2:9-15 within its literary context demonstrates that Paul’s instructions for women are integrated with his larger purpose for writing Timothy: a proper response to the presence of different teaching in the church. Women, most likely the younger widows, were involved in some way with the promotion of different teaching, and Paul seeks to prohibit them from continuing to deceive others. Paul’s overarching concern that women reflect godliness through good works acts as a counterbalance to the deceptive temptation and destructive effects of the different teaching. Paul’s response is consistent with both his instructions for the entire church and his concern for Timothy, thereby indicating that he is not addressing women here simply because they are women.

The relevance of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 for the life of the contemporary church is grounded within the purpose of the entire book. Instead of using a selective “cut and paste” approach to application, the significance of this passage emerges out of a holistic reading of the text within its context. The correction of those who were caught in deception was to be done with gentleness because “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Sometimes the appropriate response was even to “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in faith” (Titus 1:13). Paul’s instruction in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 is an example of his correction of women who were involved in promoting different teaching in the church. In the face of threats to the faith of the church, the goal of Paul’s instruction was the call to godliness: true knowledge of God reflected in a consistent lifestyle. Godliness is to be evidenced by self-control, quietness, submission, and continuing in faith, love, and holiness.
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Keltoi
04-13-2007, 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by lolwatever
^ but that doesn't explain the quote malaikah put which sentences women to subservience n utter silence.

^^ keltoi, but don't you agree that the quote malaikah provided suggests that women have pretty much no role at all :| ?
As I stated, the Bible is fairly specific that women aren't allowed to be ministers or priests. However, the meat of the issue is whether one takes these instructions as the cultural norm of the time, or a direct commandment from God. I, and many others, take these instructions to be the cultural norm of the time, like head covering. Jesus Christ never made any statement about the submissive role of women, but He did allow women to be a part of his larger group of disciples. Personally I see it as a cultural issue, and not necessarily a religious one.
Reply

don532
04-13-2007, 10:12 PM
I agree with Keltoi there is some cultural influence here. However, I don't think we can ignore the context of the purpose of Paul's letter.
Reply

YusufNoor
04-13-2007, 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
Greetings...

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

1 Timothy 2

Please clarify... is this putting the blame on women? And making them seem inferior? :mmokay:

Aren't women allowed to teach men?:?
A`udhu Billahi mina Shaytanir Rajeem,

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Assalamu alaykum wa'rahma-tullahi, wa'barakatahu,

if a woman wanted equality, she'd become a Muslim! :D

Gender roles were very important in ancient times, and some would say they still are. In Biblical society, the tradition was that women dress modestly, wear their hair long, and were required to wear the gender-appropriate head covering. It would have been quite a scandal for a woman to take a leadership role.
if we change one word:

Gender roles were very important in BIBLICAL times, and some would say they still are. In Biblical society, the tradition was that women dress modestly, wear their hair long, and were required to wear the gender-appropriate head covering.

sounds kind of Islamic, eh?? :)

When asking the Christian perspective on this issue one has to concentrate on the New Testament though. All of Jesus's disciples were male, and they were sent to the land of the Gentiles knowing they would have to find food wherever they could and face probable martyrdom. This wouldn't have been an appropriate task or role for a female in their traditional culture. The Bible is very explicit that women should not take the role of minister or priest.
2000 years later and people still want to ignore Mary of Magdala...:enough!:

no wonder the planet earth required further guidance from Allah(SWT)!

:w:
Reply

lolwatever
04-14-2007, 12:36 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
As I stated, the Bible is fairly specific that women aren't allowed to be ministers or priests. However, the meat of the issue is whether one takes these instructions as the cultural norm of the time, or a direct commandment from God. I, and many others, take these instructions to be the cultural norm of the time, like head covering. Jesus Christ never made any statement about the submissive role of women, but He did allow women to be a part of his larger group of disciples. Personally I see it as a cultural issue, and not necessarily a religious one.
Hi Keltoi :)

do you have evidence to indicate that it is only cultural and not religious? also, if the bible is th word of god, why would he ordain/allow things that are the anti-thesis of justice? (e.g. being fully submissive, not allowing others to learn from her even if she's right.. etc)
Reply

Keltoi
04-14-2007, 01:24 AM
Originally Posted by YusufNoor
A`udhu Billahi mina Shaytanir Rajeem,

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Assalamu alaykum wa'rahma-tullahi, wa'barakatahu,

if a woman wanted equality, she'd become a Muslim! :D



if we change one word:

Gender roles were very important in BIBLICAL times, and some would say they still are. In Biblical society, the tradition was that women dress modestly, wear their hair long, and were required to wear the gender-appropriate head covering.

sounds kind of Islamic, eh?? :)



2000 years later and people still want to ignore Mary of Magdala...:enough!:

no wonder the planet earth required further guidance from Allah(SWT)!

:w:
I wasn't ignoring Mary Magdalene. As I have repeated, Jesus Christ accepted women into his general group of disciples, but the 12 apostles, the original disciples, were all male.
Reply

Keltoi
04-14-2007, 01:27 AM
Originally Posted by lolwatever
Hi Keltoi :)

do you have evidence to indicate that it is only cultural and not religious? also, if the bible is th word of god, why would he ordain/allow things that are the anti-thesis of justice? (e.g. being fully submissive, not allowing others to learn from her even if she's right.. etc)
Evidence? I suppose the traditional cultural norms that existed at the time. It isn't like Biblical times were special in that regard, the role of women has always been deemed a more "submissive" role throughout human history. It has only recently undergone a major change.

Why does God allow anything that we deem to be the "anti-thesis" of justice? Do you believe since God doesn't interfere in the slaughter and death that exists in the world it is an endorsement? Not that I'm comparing this to genocide or the like, but hopefully you get my meaning.
Reply

Malaikah
04-14-2007, 01:29 AM
How far does the restriction of not allowing women to teach men go? Can a women teach her son or husband?
Reply

don532
04-14-2007, 01:34 AM
One verse taken alone and out of context in either the Bible or the Qur'an can sound very negative toward women.

Such as in the Qur'an:[4.34] Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Now we know there are many other verses in the Qur'an that speak very positively of women.

Jesus' actions as recorded in the Bible did not belittle women. Jesus' radical treatment of women is shown many times in the Bible.

Christ overthrew many centuries of Jewish law and custom. He consistently treated women and men as equals. He violated numerous Old Testament regulations, which specified gender inequality. He refused to follow the behavioral rules established by the three main Jewish religious groups of the day: the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees. As Metzger stated, Jesus' action towards women were therefore revolutionary."

Some examples are:
He ignored ritual impurity laws: Mark 5:25-34 describes Jesus' cure of a woman who suffered from menstrual bleeding for 12 years. In Judean society of the day, it was a major transgression for a man to talk to a woman other than his wife or children.

He talked to foreign women: John 4:7 to 5:30 describes Jesus' conversation with a woman of Samaria. She was doubly ritually unclean since she was both a foreigner and a woman. Men were not allowed to talk to women, except within their own families. Jesus also helped a Canaanite woman, another foreigner, in Matthew 15:22-28. Although non-Jews were described as "dogs", he was willing to talk to her, and is recorded as having cured her daughter of demon-possession.

He taught women students: Jewish tradition at the time was to not allow women to be taught. Rabbi Eliezer wrote in the 1st century CE: "Rather should the words of the Torah be burned than entrusted to a woman...Whoever teaches his daughter the Torah is like one who teaches her obscenity."
Jesus overthrew centuries of tradition. In Luke 10:38-42, he taught Mary, sister of Martha.

He used terminology which treated women as equal to men:
Luke 13:16 describes how he cured a woman from an indwelling Satanic spirit. He called her a daughter of Abraham, thus implying that she had equal status with sons of Abraham. "The expression 'son of Abraham' was commonly used to respectfully refer to a Jew, but 'daughter of Abraham', was an unknown parallel phrase...It occurs nowhere else in the Bible." It seems to be a designation created by Jesus.

Luke 7:35 to 8:50 describes how Jesus' forgave a woman's sins. He refers to women and men (i.e. "all" people) as children of wisdom.
He accepted women in his inner circle: Luke 8:1-3 describes the inner circle of Jesus' followers: 12 male disciples and an unspecified number female supporters (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and "many others.") It would appear that about half of his closest followers were women.

He appeared first to one or more women after his resurrection: Matthew 28:9-10 describes how Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" were the first followers of Jesus to meet him after his resurrection.

Women were present at Jesus' execution: Matthew 27:55-56 and Mark 15:40-41 describe many women who followed Jesus from Galilee and were present at his crucifixion. The men had fled from the scene. (John 19:25-27 adds John as being present with the women.)

He told parallel male/female stories: The author of the Gospel of Luke and of Acts shows many parallel episodes: one relating to a woman, the other to a man. For example:
Simeon and Hannah in Luke 2:25-38
Widow of Sarepta and Naaman in Luke 4:25-38
Healing of a man possessed by a demon and the healing of the mother of Peter's wife, starting in Luke 4:31
The woman who had lived a sinful life and Simon, starting in Luke 7:36
A man and woman sleeping together in Luke 17:34
Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11
Dionysius and Damaris in Acts 17:34
Lydia and the jailer's conversion in Acts 16:14-34

The book "Women in the Earliest Churches" lists 9 additional parallels. Author Ben Withernington III quotes H. Flender:

"Luke expresses by this arrangement that man and woman stand together and side by side before God. They are equal in honor and grace; they are endowed with the same gifts and have the same responsibilities."

He expressed concern for widows: Jesus repeated the importance of supporting widows throughout his ministry. The Gospel of Luke alone contains 6 references to widows: (Luke 2:36, 4:26, 7:11, 18:1, 20:47 and 21:1)

Divorce: In Jesus' time, a man could divorce his wife, but the wife had no right to divorce her husband. This practice is supported by seven references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) in which a husband can unilaterally give his wife a bill of divorce. There were no references to a woman giving her husband such a bill. In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus overthrows this tradition and states that neither spouse can divorce the other; he treats the wife and husband equally.

Honestly, I can find no verse in the Bible that says specifically women should be teachers. Perhaps I am wrong, but in the Biblical account of Jesus' life, I do not find any indication he specifically limited their participation in his ministry because of their gender.

Perhaps the apostles being male gave them more credibility because of the Jewish culture of the time regarding women. That is conjecture on my part, but nevertheless a possibility to consider.
Reply

lolwatever
04-14-2007, 01:35 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
Evidence? I suppose the traditional cultural norms that existed at the time. It isn't like Biblical times were special in that regard, the role of women has always been deemed a more "submissive" role throughout human history. It has only recently undergone a major change.
Heya Keltoi,

I disagree, if we look at pre-Islamic Arab history, women and other segements of society where very unfairly treated and also had extremely submissive roles. When Islam came on stage, Allah explicitly condemned all that and new laws where put in place (e.g. wrt trading wives, freedom of choice wrt marriage, mother having higher status than father wrt obedience etc...).

Clearly to Allah justice is time independent and doesn't depend on the norms of society, Islam is there to change society and not to leaev it with whatever injustice it already carries.

Why does God allow anything that we deem to be the "anti-thesis" of justice? Do you believe since God doesn't interfere in the slaughter and death that exists in the world it is an endorsement? Not that I'm comparing this to genocide or the like, but hopefully you get my meaning.
Because Allah puts the onus on humankind to remove the injustice, there's natural laws that Allah put in place, as well as the laws that he sent down in teh form of the Torah, Injeel and Quran which command us to eliviate the injustice. With the promise that those who don't work towards removing injustice in this life by implementing his laws, will be punished in the hereafter (severely).
Reply

lolwatever
04-14-2007, 01:36 AM
don, could u space out ur reply a bit so it's more readable.. im happy 2 read it n reply.. but its a bit unreader friendly atm.
Reply

don532
04-14-2007, 01:41 AM
Originally Posted by lolwatever
don, could u space out ur reply a bit so it's more readable.. im happy 2 read it n reply.. but its a bit unreader friendly atm.
Thank you for pointing that out. I edited the spacing for readability. I hope that helps.
Reply

lolwatever
04-14-2007, 01:57 AM
Hi don :) , thx4 that, read thru ur reply.

you quote a number of reports of women, but non of them contradict the verse malaikah posted. or atleast prove that women can teach, or should not be obedient 'just becasue they ahve to' etc.

as for the verse u posted from the quran, there's threads out here that deal specifically with it, but there's a difference between a punishment for being rebellious (and as a last resort, and as ibn abbas explaiend, with a miswak-tooth brush-), and dooming somoene to silence, subservience and inability to teach even fi they're right. :)

all the bset.

ps: personally i don't believe God revealed commandments like that, if anything it's the word of man and not God. Sicne Allah would never allow cultural norms to prevail if they're not inline with principles of justice.
Reply

Keltoi
04-14-2007, 02:05 AM
Originally Posted by lolwatever
Heya Keltoi,

I disagree, if we look at pre-Islamic Arab history, women and other segements of society where very unfairly treated and also had extremely submissive roles. When Islam came on stage, Allah explicitly condemned all that and new laws where put in place (e.g. wrt trading wives, freedom of choice wrt marriage, mother having higher status than father wrt obedience etc...).

Clearly to Allah justice is time independent and doesn't depend on the norms of society, Islam is there to change society and not to leaev it with whatever injustice it already carries.



Because Allah puts the onus on humankind to remove the injustice, there's natural laws that Allah put in place, as well as the laws that he sent down in teh form of the Torah, Injeel and Quran which command us to eliviate the injustice. With the promise that those who don't work towards removing injustice in this life by implementing his laws, will be punished in the hereafter (severely).
You say Islam changed injustice, but are women allowed to be clerics in Islam? What did Islam change as far as women's rights that other societies haven't done?

As far as the "anti-thesis" of judgement topic, you basically answered your own question. It is up to human beings to change the norms of their society if they are not in the spirit of justice.
Reply

lolwatever
04-14-2007, 02:17 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
You say Islam changed injustice, but are women allowed to be clerics in Islam? What did Islam change as far as women's rights that other societies haven't done?
Yes they are, Ibn Qayyim is one of the most popular scholars of Islam, he had *dozens* of female 'sheikhs' (i put sheikh in quotes coz sheikh is for male, female version would be '3alimah..).

If you're referring to prayer, there's wisdoms behidn why she can't be an Imam, men would prob be thinking about her instead of what she's saying... if u get wat i mean. Other than that there's no limits to what she can do in the field of Islamic dawah and education. Aisha, Julanaar and others are a great example amongst others.

As far as the "anti-thesis" of judgement topic, you basically answered your own question. It is up to human beings to change the norms of their society if they are not in the spirit of justice.
I agree, but if people believe that God supports injustice like the one quoted by malaikah, then why should it be changed if its already "condoned by god"?

tc all the best
Reply

don532
04-14-2007, 02:18 AM
Hi!
I only quoted that verse from the Qur'an as an example of something out of context. I know beating women isn't acceptable and my readings in the Qur'an indicate the fuller meaning of the Qur'an would not intend such treatment of women as shown in many places in the Qur'an. The Qur'an when read objectively seems quite progressive on this subject as I understand it.

I also think the question posed is certainly a reasonable one to ask, and discuss.

However, I still believe the verse malaikah posted is one in which there was a specific situation in the church that was being dealt with, as reflected in my first post.

And as I stated, I admit I find no verse in the Bible which specifically instructs women to be teachers. But on the other hand, I find none that prohibits such a position for a woman in the light of the context of the verse that was posted and the example set by Jesus.

I have had many respected teachers in church that were women. One of the leaders of a Bible study I have attended is a very knowledgeable and respected woman in our church.

Now for some of my personal beliefs:
There have been, and still are, cultures that treat women subserviently. My personal belief is that this is one of the reasons some cultures do not advance and stay in the stone age, so to speak. To not educate women and treat them badly is a detrimental influence to the next generations as they grow, which impedes progress, social justice, reasonable thinking, manners and respect of other people. Reasonable people should strive to correct those injustices whenever we are able.

Peace.
Reply

Keltoi
04-14-2007, 02:35 AM
Originally Posted by don532
Hi!
I only quoted that verse from the Qur'an as an example of something out of context. I know beating women isn't acceptable and my readings in the Qur'an indicate the fuller meaning of the Qur'an would not intend such treatment of women as shown in many places in the Qur'an. The Qur'an when read objectively seems quite progressive on this subject as I understand it.

I also think the question posed is certainly a reasonable one to ask, and discuss.

However, I still believe the verse malaikah posted is one in which there was a specific situation in the church that was being dealt with, as reflected in my first post.

And as I stated, I admit I find no verse in the Bible which specifically instructs women to be teachers. But on the other hand, I find none that prohibits such a position for a woman in the light of the context of the verse that was posted and the example set by Jesus.

I have had many respected teachers in church that were women. One of the leaders of a Bible study I have attended is a very knowledgeable and respected woman in our church.

Now for some of my personal beliefs:
There have been, and still are, cultures that treat women subserviently. My personal belief is that this is one of the reasons some cultures do not advance and stay in the stone age, so to speak. To not educate women and treat them badly is a detrimental influence to the next generations as they grow, which impedes progress, social justice, reasonable thinking, manners and respect of other people. Reasonable people should strive to correct those injustices whenever we are able.

Peace.
Absolutely. That is why I tend to look at these questions in a cultural context. You can't separate the cultural norms during the Biblical period from its effect on religious writings. I suppose the confusion stems from the fact that Muslims look at Holy Books as the literal and practically "hand-written" Word of God. While Christians believe the Spirit of God runs throughout the Bible, I don't think many Christians would label every statement, especially those written for church politics, as being some form of divine instruction on the matter. The early Christian church had to deal with alot of cultural norms and go against many of them.

*By "church politics" I'm referring to the instructions given to the Apostles for the way in which they were meant to interact with the nations they encountered. Cultural norms and all that.
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Malaikah
05-12-2007, 10:34 AM
Hi, I have some more verses about women in Christianity which I would like to have clarified:

1 Corinthians 14:34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

1 Corinthians 11:5-10: "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels."

1 Corinthians 11:13: "Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God (with her head) uncovered?"

I am especially interested in the covering of the head part for women.

Thanks in advance.
Reply

Umar001
05-12-2007, 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
As I stated, the Bible is fairly specific that women aren't allowed to be ministers or priests. However, the meat of the issue is whether one takes these instructions as the cultural norm of the time, or a direct commandment from God. I, and many others, take these instructions to be the cultural norm of the time, like head covering. Jesus Christ never made any statement about the submissive role of women, but He did allow women to be a part of his larger group of disciples. Personally I see it as a cultural issue, and not necessarily a religious one.
But what makes you sure, I mean Paul never states 'in our culture' does he? And does he is preaching the Gospel of Jesus? I mean just because it is a cultural norm of the time doesnt mean that Paul only said it because of that norm.

Originally Posted by don532
One verse taken alone and out of context in either the Bible or the Qur'an can sound very negative toward women.

Such as in the Qur'an:[4.34] Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Now we know there are many other verses in the Qur'an that speak very positively of women.

Jesus' actions as recorded in the Bible did not belittle women. Jesus' radical treatment of women is shown many times in the Bible.

Christ overthrew many centuries of Jewish law and custom. He consistently treated women and men as equals. He violated numerous Old Testament regulations, which specified gender inequality. He refused to follow the behavioral rules established by the three main Jewish religious groups of the day: the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees. As Metzger stated, Jesus' action towards women were therefore revolutionary."

Some examples are:
He ignored ritual impurity laws: Mark 5:25-34 describes Jesus' cure of a woman who suffered from menstrual bleeding for 12 years. In Judean society of the day, it was a major transgression for a man to talk to a woman other than his wife or children.

He talked to foreign women: John 4:7 to 5:30 describes Jesus' conversation with a woman of Samaria. She was doubly ritually unclean since she was both a foreigner and a woman. Men were not allowed to talk to women, except within their own families. Jesus also helped a Canaanite woman, another foreigner, in Matthew 15:22-28. Although non-Jews were described as "dogs", he was willing to talk to her, and is recorded as having cured her daughter of demon-possession.

He taught women students: Jewish tradition at the time was to not allow women to be taught. Rabbi Eliezer wrote in the 1st century CE: "Rather should the words of the Torah be burned than entrusted to a woman...Whoever teaches his daughter the Torah is like one who teaches her obscenity."
Jesus overthrew centuries of tradition. In Luke 10:38-42, he taught Mary, sister of Martha.

He used terminology which treated women as equal to men:
Luke 13:16 describes how he cured a woman from an indwelling Satanic spirit. He called her a daughter of Abraham, thus implying that she had equal status with sons of Abraham. "The expression 'son of Abraham' was commonly used to respectfully refer to a Jew, but 'daughter of Abraham', was an unknown parallel phrase...It occurs nowhere else in the Bible." It seems to be a designation created by Jesus.

Luke 7:35 to 8:50 describes how Jesus' forgave a woman's sins. He refers to women and men (i.e. "all" people) as children of wisdom.
He accepted women in his inner circle: Luke 8:1-3 describes the inner circle of Jesus' followers: 12 male disciples and an unspecified number female supporters (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and "many others.") It would appear that about half of his closest followers were women.

He appeared first to one or more women after his resurrection: Matthew 28:9-10 describes how Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" were the first followers of Jesus to meet him after his resurrection.

Women were present at Jesus' execution: Matthew 27:55-56 and Mark 15:40-41 describe many women who followed Jesus from Galilee and were present at his crucifixion. The men had fled from the scene. (John 19:25-27 adds John as being present with the women.)

He told parallel male/female stories: The author of the Gospel of Luke and of Acts shows many parallel episodes: one relating to a woman, the other to a man. For example:
Simeon and Hannah in Luke 2:25-38
Widow of Sarepta and Naaman in Luke 4:25-38
Healing of a man possessed by a demon and the healing of the mother of Peter's wife, starting in Luke 4:31
The woman who had lived a sinful life and Simon, starting in Luke 7:36
A man and woman sleeping together in Luke 17:34
Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11
Dionysius and Damaris in Acts 17:34
Lydia and the jailer's conversion in Acts 16:14-34

The book "Women in the Earliest Churches" lists 9 additional parallels. Author Ben Withernington III quotes H. Flender:

"Luke expresses by this arrangement that man and woman stand together and side by side before God. They are equal in honor and grace; they are endowed with the same gifts and have the same responsibilities."

He expressed concern for widows: Jesus repeated the importance of supporting widows throughout his ministry. The Gospel of Luke alone contains 6 references to widows: (Luke 2:36, 4:26, 7:11, 18:1, 20:47 and 21:1)

Divorce: In Jesus' time, a man could divorce his wife, but the wife had no right to divorce her husband. This practice is supported by seven references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) in which a husband can unilaterally give his wife a bill of divorce. There were no references to a woman giving her husband such a bill. In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus overthrows this tradition and states that neither spouse can divorce the other; he treats the wife and husband equally.

Honestly, I can find no verse in the Bible that says specifically women should be teachers. Perhaps I am wrong, but in the Biblical account of Jesus' life, I do not find any indication he specifically limited their participation in his ministry because of their gender.

Perhaps the apostles being male gave them more credibility because of the Jewish culture of the time regarding women. That is conjecture on my part, but nevertheless a possibility to consider.
All I understand from this is that Jesus said one thing and Paul said another.

Out of curiousity, for the divorce, are you sure that neither can divorce the other?

Originally Posted by don532
Usually when I ask for an explanation of a verse in the Qur'an, the explanation starts out by telling me I need to look at the context. Well guess what. We need to look at the context the passage was written in.
Thank you for shedding the light on the context, though, even with this context what I understand is that there was some trouble, and basically women were told be submissive and not to teach anyone.

I really think I have misunderstood the context as I see that it makes hardly any difference since Paul neither indicates that SOME women should do this, nor The women who are making trouble but rather women as a whole.

Regards Eesa.
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Grace Seeker
05-13-2007, 07:47 AM
The verses (collective) which you cite are interpreted differently by different schools of thought.

The strict literalist -- Women are NOT allowed to teach men, period. That means a woman cannot be a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, teach men in her home, or correct her husband. She should not speak unless spoke to. This person is rare, and there is debate if Paul ever intended his comments to be taken that way.

The less strict literalist -- Women are not to have the primary teaching role in the church of pastor, but they can serve in other capacities, including teaching in Sunday school or serving on church boards as long as they are not exercising authority over men.

The pure culturalist -- Well, that was then and this is now. Women were oppressed then, and Paul was just like the rest of men. We know better now, so we don't have to listen to Paul any more. This person really isn't all that rare. Many of these people simply cherry pick throught the Bible and everything they like is inspired by God and everything they don't like is inspired only by culture.

In between you have those who try to wrestle with how much of the text did Paul write to deal with a specific situation and thus applies only to that situation, and how much of it was based on general guiding principles that would still be valid today. Even granting that God guided Paul, we need to answer these other questions to know whether God means the same thing for us today or not.

Now the Church I am a part of has decided that indeed the letter was rooted in the context of the first century church, and not even then applicable to all churches. We see that there were women in leadership roles in the early church. Much more so than in Judaism of that day, or even a later age. So, the church was granting more leadership opportunities to women than ever before. The command for women to be silent in Corinth seem related to proper decorum in that local church -- they had a problem with people interrupting the service for a variety of things, asking the women to be silent in church (and presumably ask any questions they had once home with their husbands) was one of many things done to improve the quality of worship for all. The statements about an elder needing to be the husband of one wife should not be taken too literally or it would mean that single men could not be elders in the church. It really meant, not more than one wife. But it also doesn't say that women can't be elders; it just gives the rules with regard to men who are married.

For myself, I also think that this message was not intended for all churches, even in Paul's day because Paul himself even commends Phoebe who was a deaconness in a different local church:
Romans 16:1
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. -- NIV

And I commend to you Phebe, our sister, who is in the ministry of the church, that is in Cenchrae: -- Douay-Rheims

I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: -- KJV
The word translated "servant" and "in ministry" is the Greek word διακονον which is the very word Paul uses to describe Timothy when writing about him to the church in Thessalonica. However, in that place it is translated "fellow worker", "fellow laborer", and "minister". If I was to transliterate the letters from Greek to English characters you would immediately recognize it: diakonon or deacon. And it is just another form of the same word that is translated as "deacon" and other times "servant" elsewhere in the scripture. A deacon is one who serves others. A deaconness, as some like to call Phoebe is merely the female form of the word deacon, but the meaning behind the word, whether in its male of female formulation, is the same. And if Paul uses this same term to refer to Phoebe that he does with Timothy, and commend her in the role, then my understanding is that it is perfectly acceptable for women to serve in these types of offices in the church.
Reply

Malaikah
05-13-2007, 08:41 AM
hmmmm..... not so sure what to think... seems rather freaky to think that the culture could have had such a large effect that you can't always be sure what is religion and what is culture...
Reply

Trumble
05-13-2007, 08:56 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
hmmmm..... not so sure what to think... seems rather freaky to think that the culture could have had such a large effect that you can't always be sure what is religion and what is culture...
I would have thought exactly that was true of any religion that includes cultural elements which is true of pretty much all of them to some degree or another. Those who wrote the relevant scriptures must have been subject to overpowering cultural influence, as we all still are. Even the Buddha was, as is shown by his initial refusal to allow nuns to join the order; although he later relented it was still under different rules to those of the men.

I accept that wouldn't apply to God, of course, but then one man's divine revelation must always be another's cultural influence!
Reply

Grace Seeker
05-13-2007, 09:03 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
hmmmm..... not so sure what to think... seems rather freaky to think that the culture could have had such a large effect that you can't always be sure what is religion and what is culture...
Don't blame you. I feel the same way. But I also feel the strict literalists don't have a good handle on reality either. So, we are left with something inbetween and trying to determine where that moving line is, is the art of interpretation.
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Malaikah
05-13-2007, 09:44 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
I would have thought exactly that was true of any religion that includes cultural elements which is true of pretty much all of them to some degree or another. Those who wrote the relevant scriptures must have been subject to overpowering cultural influence, as we all still are.
Well, it seems to apply much more so to Christianity than to Islam, because we believe our Quran to be the word of God and that makes it automatically culture free to Muslims. But the bible was written by men who had a culture and were not prophets (i.e. it was not Jesus who wrote it). If Jesus wrote the bible then it would be fair to assume culture would play a little role, but it was written by men, a large part of it by Paul who had never even meet Jesus, and if they go around making statements that this is allowed and this isn't with out quoting Jesus to back themselves up, how are we meant to know what is religion and what isn't?!

But then we have the problem that Christians claims that the writers of the bible were inspired by God- wouldn't that suggest that everything they wrote was therefore religion and not culture considering it was inspired? :?

Confusing! Grace Seeker, perhaps you could clarify the question about the role of inspiration?
Reply

Trumble
05-13-2007, 11:14 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
But then we have the problem that Christians claims that the writers of the bible were inspired by God- wouldn't that suggest that everything they wrote was therefore religion and not culture considering it was inspired? :?
I don't think so. Why couldn't someone be divinely 'inspired' while still remaining culturally influenced? Personally I think it's impossible to shed that cultural influence, it's too much a part of who we are.
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Keltoi
05-13-2007, 07:38 PM
Culture has a huge impact on everything. It would be hard if not impossible to separate religion from culture. Our culture is the prism through we which view everything, whether we realize it or not.
Reply

Grace Seeker
05-14-2007, 05:14 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
Culture has a huge impact on everything. It would be hard if not impossible to separate religion from culture. Our culture is the prism through we which view everything, whether we realize it or not.
And that gets us to the role of inspiration. (Though, dear friend, Malaikah, I think I am about to make it more confusing for you, not less so.)


As Keltoi has said, culture is the prism through which we view everything. Imagine that one has colorblindness so that one is able to see perfectly well, but cannot distinguish between red and orange. Both look the same to you. Simple things like the old saw about mixing apples and oranges would mean something different to you than everyone else. Likewise a significant portion of the human population cannot discriminate between blue and green. This is so common that there are actually whole cultures that do not have separate words for the two colors. Everything is sort of an aqua for them. The color of the sky and of the grass is the same. Now imagine if someone with the first type of color blindness was to read a travel guide written by someone from the second culture, or if soneone of the second culture was to read a fashion magazine published by someone with the first type of colorblindness. There is much that would be misunderstood by both, and yet they would not even realize that they were talking about/seeing the world completely differently from one another.

So two, some people read the Bible and when God is described as Father, Master, or Lord because of their own life experiences that effect how they relate to those words, they hear something different than the rest of us. It has to do with the filter in place in their lives through which they hear and thus understand/interpret the scriptures. It is hard to comprehend God as a loving Father figure if your own father was a violent tempered man always looking to blame you for his own failings. It is hard to appreciate God as a loving provider if your own father disappeared before you were ever born and you had to fend for yourself all of your life.

Now if these things are true of the readers of scripture, could they also be true for the writers of it?

Well, that depends. That depends on one's view of their role in the composition of scripture. There are some who see those who put pen to paper in writing the Bible as nothing more than automatons. Like robots God spoke to them what needed to be written, and they then wrote it down. The whole process was supervised by the Holy Spirit who worked to prevent the authors from actually including any of their own mind in the text, thus the Bible is wholly and totally the mind of God and not of man at all.

At the other end, you have those who think of the Bible as a piece of art. The artist (or writer in this case) receives inspiration from something in life and then responds to that in a written work that somehow speaks to us about God, but also speaks to us as much about the author as it does about God. In this view we can only get to know the God of the individual author. With many different authors of scripture, there is not one consistent view but many views of God contained therein.

Most Christians fall someplace in between these two extremes. There is one and only one God who makes himself known to people in diverse circumstances of life. Though on occassion he may dictate, in general he simply discloses himself to people who see and report him as they best understand him to be. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives the message, so there is just one author to all of scripture, the author is God. But the message is transmitted through men, men who do have different life experiences and have different people in mind to whom they desire to communicate the message of/from God that has been revealed to them. So it is that some might see the hand of a vengeful God punsihing his disobedient children with the exile of the nation of Israel to Babylon, and others might see in the same event a God who redeems a remnant keeping them pure. Both know that the hand of God is at work in the event, but their personal filter interprets it to bring meaning to the event.

Paul knows that God desires order and unity, not discord in the church. He receives some specifics and some principles. He knows that Holy Spirit has gifted the Church in many ways. He knows that they are for the building up of the body. And so he shares a love principle received from God and his own application as he sees it might be applied in the particular church to which he is writing.

Thus the message is from God. The event observed is God at work. But the interpretation or the application provided also reflects the unique circumstances from or reasons for which the author wrote.

Now that is where I come from. It is probably more liberal than many would accept. For a more common view I share with your the writing of Rick Warren, a famous Baptist minister:
REVELATION -- Revelation means that Gpd has chosen to reveal his nature and his will to us through the Bible. The Bible was written so that God could show us what he is like and what he wants us to be like. An understanding of God comes solely through his decision to reveal himself to us.

INSPIRATION -- Inspiration is the process through which God gave us the Biblel God worked in the hearts of human writers to inspirt them to write down his words. God's words written through these people are perfect, infallible, and trustworthy.

If what I read in the Bible were only the ideas of men, I could take it or leave it. Being convinced that God said these words, what I read takes on the ring of authority.

ILLUMINATION -- Illumination is the Holy Spirit's work of bringing light to the words of the Bible as we read them. Illumination is the means by which we understand the Bible.

Inspiration does not mean simply that the writer felt enthusiastic, like Handle composing "The Messiah." Nor does it mean that the writings are necessarily inspiriing, like an uplifting poem. As a process, it refers to the writers and the writings being controlled by God. As a product, it refers to the writings only, as documents that are God's message.
--Norman Geisler, noted Chritian author

More from Rick Warren:
Inspiration means God wrote the Bible through PEOPLE.

The deatails of how God inspired the Bible are a matter of great debate and conjecture. One things is obvious as you read the Bible: he didn't use people as robots. You can clearly see people's personalities and passions in what they wrote. God created a perfect Bible through real people. He can move them internally to creat a Word that will last eternally.

For those who doubt whether God could create something perfect through a fallible human being, I would remind you that Jesus was born into this world through a faith-filled but imperfect woman named Mary. And Jesus was perfect.


Inspiration means the Holy Spirit is the AUTHOR.

Who wrote the Bible? God did! He worked through people, but ultimately he is the author. The fact that God created a perfect book through so many imperfect people is one of his greatest miracles. Splitting the Red Sea is nothing compared to with that!

We have to be careful, of course, to see that the authority is in God's words and not in our opinions about his Word. God always has a way of humbling us when we try to speak for him rather than allowing himself. A church bishop of a century ago pronounced from his pulpit and i the periodical he edited that heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God. His name was Bishop Wright.... You've already guessed that his two sons were named Orville and Wilbur!

With regard to God's authorship it was both VERBAL and PLENARY.
Verbal: God inspired the WORDS, not just the ideas.
Plenary: God inspired ALL, not just part.


Inspiration means God's Word is to be our FINAL AUTHORITY.

Whenever there is conflict between what the Bible says and the way I feel or what I've been taught or the opinions of others or what seems reasonable to me--whenever I have a difference of opinion with the Bible for any reason--the Bible is always right!
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