Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Women in the Church

Women in the Church
We can see in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament YHVH has an important role for women. I would like to discuss this role in both Testaments.

Old Testament:

Eve: God makes male and female in His image. God uses the rib of the man as a symbol of their equality. An old story of the rib is told by Rabbi Joshua:
"God deliberated from what member He would create woman, and He reasoned with Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam's head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high. If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into all things; if from the ear, she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth, she will talk much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the hand, she will desire to take all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout. Therefore I will create her from the member which is hid, that is the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked."[9] (Wikepedia)
The words used for the creation of the female and her help to man imply equality (Hebrew: ├ęzer k neged). This word is the same word used for help that YHVH gives His people. There is nothing of less importance in this word for helper.

Miriam: She was a leader is Israel. Micah 6:4 -God says He sent Moses, also Aaron and Miriam to Lead the Israelites.

Deborah: A judge and leader of Israel and a prophet. Judges 4:4. Deut 17:9-12

Huldah: A prophet who was consulted by high priests. 2 Kings 22:11-20; 2 Chr. 34:22-28

Isaiah's Wife: Called a prophet (Isa 8:3)

Joel 2: 28-29 YHVH will pour out His Spirit on all people. Sons and daughters will prophesy. YHVH will pour out His Spirit even on men and women servants. Acts 2:16-18 the scripture is fulfilled on Pentecost.

Esther: Was called by YHVH to save her people and to become a leader over them.

New Testament:

Mark 15:40 Luke 8:1-3: Women were allowed to support Yehoshua financially.

Mat 19:4-9 Mark 10:2-9, John 8:7: Men leave their parents to be united with their wife. Women did not leave their family to be united with their husband.

Mat 9:20 Mark 5:25 Luke 8:43: Jewish women were not supposed to speak in public to a religious leader, because of the Greco-Roman influences over the Jewish culture. Yet Yehoshua called her to public dialogue and called her, daughter. He affirmed her faith in public when it was shameful for women to read from religious teachings in public, because of the Greco-Roman influences on Jewish culture.

Luke 13:10-17: Yeoshua called a crippled woman to the front of the synagogue where women were not allowed. He called her a daughter of Abraham when only men were referred to as sons of Abraham.

John 11:27 Mat 12:47 Mark 10:29: Whoever did the will of YHVH was considered His brother, and sister, and mother.

John 11:27 Luke 10:38: Martha had the Revelation that Yeoshua was the Messiah. Yehoshua let Mary sit at his feet which was a phrase, meaning a student learning from a teacher.

Mat 12:42: The Queen of Sheba would rise in judgment and condemn the generation of his day.

Mat 28:8-10 John 20:17 Mark 16:14: After Yeoshua was resurrected, He appeared first to women and gave them the first opportunity to report that he has risen. His disciples were rebuked later for not believing the women.

Col 2:11-12: The mark of the believer changes from a gender exclusive one, circumcision, to a gender inclusive one, baptism.

Acts 1:14-2:4: On Pentecost 120 men and women had received the gift of tongues and began speaking in languages they did not know.

Luke2:36-38: the prophet Anna gives thanks to YHVH for baby Yeoshua at the temple.

Acts 21:9: Luke tells us that the evangelist Peter has four unmarried daughters who prophesied.

Gal 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.

Phil 4:2-3 Paul says there were two women who were at his side the cause of the gospel. Phoebe is called a deacon/minister of the church. Diakonos in the Greek does not mean servant, but of deacon like duties.

Rom 16:1-15:

Ephesians 11: Yeoshua gave gifts to His -people -some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. The word in the Greek for people used here anthropos which means for both men and women.

Rom 16:7 Paul calls Junia an outstanding apostle. Scholars say Junia was a common female name in that day.

The scriptures in question:

1 Cor 14:34-36: women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
This seems contrary to all the information above and in fact there is no law in scripture that tells women to be silent. Jewish oral law said women need be silent in synagogues and it was the influence of the Greco-Roman culture on the Jewish culture that made women second class. Paul speaks about women prophesying and praying earlier without rebuke. There is an additional mark in the Greek after these verses indicating a refutation to what was just said. It is as if these verses were made in sarcasm. Some translations include after theses verse Paul saying, What? As if to say why do you think this way??
It is also likely that Paul was speaking only of the women in that church area who were known for corrupting YHVH's word.
It is seen from Old Testament and New Testament that women are an important part of the church in the teaching/leading/prophesying/deaconship/tongues and take part in all of the spiritual gifts YHVH has given.

1 Tim 2:11-15: A women should learn in quietness and full submission. In that time that was a way of saying being a good student which was amazing since women were not taught at that time.
I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be quiet. The word in Greek for authority here is authentein. Research has shown this word more closely means to have the upper hand or dominate. Women often used their sexual ploys to have an upper hand with men and taught them their corrupted versions of the truth in some church areas.
This behavior was being admonished and corrected here by Paul.
Clearly a woman with good intent, having a strong hold on YHVH's word may teach a man who is in need of truth and may preach the word of YHVH to a congregation in need of it.