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Bless your heart for being honest and still manage to be gracious as well.  I would have ranted a whole lot more!  Guess I need a lot more sanctification =/ 

Yes, what you share resonates (I'm on the west coast as well)....disconnect...resentment...frustration.    so that's all I'll say before I say things I probably shouldn't...  God's working on me to honor the crc as part of His Bride. and some days I really struggle for various reasons...

fyi, Rich, Dennis Fuqua will be in B'ham for a 4 hour pastors prayer summit on Monday, Oct. 3 from 8-12 if you are interested/available...

http://lowpc.org/summit 

 

 

A brief break from lots of words... I came across this video in my research for sources of authente type words... he also shares around 7:50 another possibility of the meaning "authentein"... (yup, there has been a lot of work on this specific word in the last 30-50 years!)

(755) Why Women Must Learn in Quietness and Submission: Xenophon of Ephesus and 1 Timothy 2 (Gary Hoag) - YouTube

I had completely forgotten about the Ephesiaca document... this video shares why it has been largely ignored until the last 20 years or so due to erroneously dating of the Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus to a century or more post Paul... in 1996, it was determined it was written about 50AD... this 1st century contemporaneous document confirms the correctives that Paul is writes Timothy in 1 Tim 2... again, this is an example of the information that has come out post Synod 1996.  @ 5 minutes, Gary talks about how teaching/learning happened in the temple of Artemis (I said I hadn't researched that part much, but I had heard this concept somewhere before, just didn't remember the details...)

ps... I do have the hupotage comment drafted... so you will see that later!

oh my!!!  so far have watched about 6 -7 hours of the 11 hours (I've been sick, so this was something I could do to keep my mind off being tired & miserable)... now I know a bit of what others feel like reading my long posts... but there is so much to cover that is being brought to the table for the first time especially in the last 5 years or so on this!

here's a few more thoughts so far...

So I did watch the last hour of the 4.5 hour chapter on 1 Tim 2:12... this hour pretty much dealt with the "oude" word & I had mentioned this in a 12.26.23 response on Rob's #2 concern: Secondly, if Paul meant this word in such a negative way, why does he couple it with didasko (teach) which is a positive term throughout the Bible? 

I agree with MW that Kostenberger makes a strong case that oude makes either both positive or both pejorative, however, I still believe they are both negative in this usage. I don't think it became considered commonly neutral/positive until the gnostics started using it to describe their all powerful divine being in the 2nd cent AD, but even then it could be considered negative bc the Gnostics believed their "authentia" was supreme over the Hebrew God, so BIG problem!

a bit disappointed with both sides, lots that needs further work recognizing most of this material has only recently come to the attentions of both sides - the pantheon of gods/goddesses in that region have been mostly ignored over the ages for a lot of reasons, including there was very little information that could be accessed until recently on how these cults impacted Ephesus & surrounding regions... This context of Artemis/Diana, etal (& to make it even more confusing there are some significant differences b/t Artemis of the Ephesians & several variations of the Greek Artemis aka Roman Diana aka Egyptian Isis aka Persian asherah aka OT Queen of heaven are all different culture's manifestations of a fertility type goddess), the specifics of these cults have really only started to be researched, with exception of the Kroeger's 1992 Suffer not a Woman, in the last 20 years or so & probably most of it in the last 5 years or so with increased realization that Artemis is a significant aspect of the Ephesus culture, despite what MW has concluded (unfortunately the Kroeger's book was dismissed by scholars as bizarre & farfetched bc it dealt with bizarre & farfetched rituals of the mystery religions (aka witchcraft) that were secret... no one seems to want to touch that! Some egals are distancing themselves from any bizarre fertility rites (aka witchcraft!!!) going on in Ephesus region!  Well, it does make one cringe as emasculation seems to have been part of the process for some of the male priests of some of the goddesses like cybele & it seems like she had an altar/statue in the temple of Artemis...

MW right away dismisses the negative uses of authentein for a variety of reasons & some of his reasons don't make sense. Like well, men shouldn't teach false doctrine (or murder) either, so that can't be what authentein means, since that doesn't just apply to women, all the while ignoring that Paul switched from plural women to singular woman, yet seems to believe whatever the prohibition is should be applied to only women!

even 6-7 hours of MW's work has a lot of information that needs to be looked at. I haven't watched any of his other videos, but I know others have responded to his earlier videos... What Winger Presently Gets Wrong: The Head Covering Debates (1 Cor 11) - Terran Williams

& they haven't had time to process these 11 hours yet  A First Response to Mike Winger’s 11½ Hrs Video on 1 Timothy 2 - Terran Williams

so far, did not see any mention of the Gnostic influence as one of the false teachings being spread in Ephesus... also did not hear any reason why Paul/Holy Spirit would have chosen authentein, which is such a rare word, if he really intended a general authority.  He would have known authentein would probably have been kind of shocking to those who heard it. Using this here for exercise authority doesn't make sense even if it was just becoming common at the time, instead of exousia or kurieous, words that were common & had already been used by Paul in other letters. 

At about 6:02 MW notes that Clement with his classical background, uses both negative & positive uses of authentes bc he would have known both attic & koine Greek, why can't we use the same logic for Paul for those who think it had a positive common meaning at the time?!? Paul most likely also had a classical background & was a complex intellectual, he knew & possibly quoted the Wisdom of Solomon in Romans 1.  There are a number of significant aspects that still have not been addressed... granted I have about 4 -5 more hours to watch

MW addresses artemis of the ephesians to a point & completely missed that the Greek word tx as busybodies in 1 Tim 5:13 is the same Greek word for workers of magic in Acts 19.. No reference at all to hecate who I believe is also alluded to in 1 Tim as the crone goddess of witchcraft. Cybele is another significant influence that had very bizarre & bloody rituals.  MW mockingly dismisses "murders" as any possible meaning of authentein even though just a few paragraphs earlier he specifies 2 kin murders, manslayer & refers to himself as violent (I think most probably knew he was also guilty of murder via persecution!). as one fairly well known egal that MW mentions said to me "murder was definitely not on Paul's mind"... I disagreed & said "murder definitely was on Paul's mind"... based on chapter 1!

Bees are somehow part of the cult of Artemis of the Ephesians,. Those who mate w queen bees die in a gruesome way.... the "regalia" of Artemis of the Ephesians has significant meanings that we have barely looked at. I think Clinton Arnold was very uncomfortable thinking about the possibilities of what those strange large eggshaped objects on Artemis are! 

These cultic practices were secret for millenial, there's a reason many cults are connected with "mystery religions".  I believe there was a 2nd temple of Artemis close to Ephesus that was specifically for where the mystery rites were practiced. Rev 2 talks about the deep things of satan aka mystery rituals. Evidence of spells & curses have been found in Western Asia Minor including re poisoning husbands. 

So there are still other considerable aspects of the culture that need to to be looked at.  around the turn of the era, there was a syncretism of judaism + sorcery + astrology => secret knowledge aka mystery religions... later Christianity was added into the mix, this eventually developed into what we now call gnosticism. the Gnostics co-opted the use of "authentes"... this very likely influenced how early church fathers, including Jerome understood it.

the myths & geneologies (1 Tim 1:3) of the cults & the gnostics are pretty bizarre with probably more overlap than we know bc of the secret mysteries associated with them both... it gets into the essenes (started 2nd BCE), the naassenes & their snake worship venerating satan in the garden bc the serpent gave humans, specifically EVE, the key to KNOWLEDGE! The creation story gets blasphemously twisted by the gnostics & some of their ideas seem to have started in the 1st cent BC. probably not your typical SS class!!!

The following is evidence of the gnostics (Cerinthus was considered an early gnostic, part of the Simonian school - yes that Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8) being a problem in Ephesus at the time of the Apostles....Here's an encounter of the Apostle John at a bathhouse in EPHESUS per Irenaeus as told to him by Polycarp his mentor who was a student of John...

In Asia, early Christian writers identify Cerinthus as an adversary of the Apostle John. According to Irenaeus, his teacher Polycarp, himself a student of John,[15] told the story that John rushed out of a bathhouse at Ephesus without bathing when he found out Cerinthus was inside, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is inside!"[16][17] Irenaeus also relates that John sought by proclamation of his gospel "to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men".[18]  Cerinthus - Wikipedia

Hope you found it a bit enlightening & entertaining!  Against Heresies by Irenaeus is something that might need to be read to better understand the gnostics... The gnostic writings found in 1945 added a new dimension to this discussion in the last several decades as their translations did not become released into the broader public until the late 80s & gradually became a part of the general academic discussion over the next few decades. Again, after the 1995-1996 synod decision re women.

Blessings to everyone in this New Year! Praise God His mercies are new every morning, not just once a year! 

well, after 2 weeks of holiday gatherings & our rhythm is settling down again, I've been meaning to post my response on hupotage, but it hasn't happened yet, so I'm going to give a spoiler on hupotage for now... I said I would post on hupotage next but I have been sitting in ICU with a friend so she's not alone, & took my laptop with me tonight so I can work on some things including following up on this discussion. However, my hupotage draft comment is on my home computer...  so in the meantime... 

Here is what I found on my journey of discovery re hupotage/hupotasso...

there was a military and a NON military context for the use of hupotasso & related words like hupotage! It seems the NON military meaning has almost been completely lost since who knows when! 

Hupotasso (hupotage is based on hupotasso) does NOT mean submit in a NON military context = ie marriage & the church as brothers & sisters in the Lord, as the priesthood of all believers.  It means COoperation & sharing responsibilities & burdens... a mutual collaboration! how beautiful is that!

Hupotasso Meaning - Greek Lexicon | New Testament (NAS) (biblestudytools.com)

I hope to post more on this tomorrow sometime... for me, this makes so much sense with the 59 one another commands & Jesus saying multiple times, if we love Him, we will keep His commands... 

Your Creator takes GREAT delight in you & REJOICES over you with LOUD, JOYFUL, EXUBERANT singing!

Strong's Hebrew: 7440. רִנָּה (rinnah) -- a ringing cry (biblehub.com)

What Exactly is High Praise? | CRC Network (crcna.org)

Please join me in prayer for God's best for ALL!  men, women, young, old, rich, poor, every tribe, tongue, people & nation! FOr our good & His glory!

Here's a recent find that is an example of what I lament regarding how women's voices have literally been disregarded over the ages, especially because so many complementarians have said comps have a "high regard of the Word" compared to egals who I have heard a number times that comps believe have a low view of the Word, which has been used to discredit the egal position. Yet, it seems translational biases like this get a free pass by comps instead of lamenting & repenting of how some translations have partially nullified the Word of God regarding women through limiting the Greek ALL THESE to exclusively men...

Acts 2:7 Astounded and amazed, they asked, "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? (biblehub.com)  (Berean Standard Bible; click link for parallel translations)

Acts 2:7 in the 1984 NIV also specifies men when the Greek is an inclusive ALL THESE... There were women in the upper room, including Mary the mother of Jesus per Acts 1:14!  ALL 120 were speaking in tongues, not just the men...

here's the Greek...  Strong's Greek: 3956. πᾶς (pas) -- all, every (biblehub.com)

 all, the whole, every kind of... 

3956 pás – eachevery; each "part(s) of a totality" (L & N, 1, 59.24).

3956 /pás ("each, every") means "all" in the sense of "each (every) part that applies." The emphasis of the total picture then is on "one piece at a time." 365 (ananeóō) then focuses on the part(s) making up the whole – viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts.

Strong's Greek: 3778. οὗτος, (houtos, hauté, touto) -- this (biblehub.com)

this; he, she, it.  (Seems very inclusive to me, yet it has been made exclusive in some translations, including the 1984 NIV which has been the primary version used in the CRC for decades!)

Again, I hurt & weep with the women who have received a message in various ways & for various reasons that they, their gifts, voices, should be excluded in ways in the church, unless they are obedient, silent, submissive Miss Marthas instead of mutually ministering/prophesying together with one another as brothers & sisters in the Lord, as co-laborers, working together seeking His Kingdom first!

Kathy, thanks for joining in this discussion (& Hetty as well)! I know you have been on the front lines of this debate for decades!  I appreciate your experience and perspective. I agree on using broader principles of scripture as a lens. That's why I love the "one anothers"...  we need both/and... & we can trust God's best for us on this journey of seeking His heart/truth!

so how do we reconcile when there are two different views?  We need to take another look... the information that has become available in the last 25 years or so since Synod's decision in the mid 90s, needs to be tested and discerned in this discussion. For example, Josephus was unheard of in the 90s for the most part... so why is his name familiar to many now in 2023? Well, there was this place called Caesarea Philippi that Josephus wrote a LOT about how amazing it was! The scholars, theologians thought he was a nut case because they were not aware of evidence of such a fantastical city...

until....

archeologists discovered significant parts of this amazing Caesarea Phillipi in the late 70s & 80s that validated what Josephus had written... then it took about another 10 years for Josephus writings' to make it through acadamia & be accepted as accurate & credible & become more commonly known in our study of biblical history. So, we basically only started including Josephus' work in the last 20 years or so. 

There is other information that is now more commonly available that gives a different story of women in the early church... why did councils ban women from being ordained as elders in the 4th century? Because women were functioning as elders & deaconesses in the early church. This history needs to be looked at, the Council of Nicea seems to be a turning point on what women could do in the Church. Up until then, history & archeological evidence show women involved in ways that are now not allowed by comps.

So both comps & egals have work to do. Both sides need "peithesthe", a Greek word that means to be open to being persuaded/convinced by another's view. Someone shared with me that "peithesthe" was the word that opened debates in the Greek forums. 

Peithesthe/Be persuaded/convinced by those who lead (by their example, including character, experience, maturity) and willingly choose to follow their Godly example because it is God's best for you, so that these Godly believers, who watch out on your behalf (including your soul), can rejoice in your testimony of faith, instead of grieving when you choose not to follow God's best for you... based on the Greek in Hebrews 13:17

I will respond to other aspects of Kathy's comments in reply to Rob's response. 

Thanks for your response Kathy... I also struggle with the refusal of leaders to publicly admit where we/they have been wrong &/or ignorant in some of our understanding/translations of Scripture. The silence has been deafening! I actually wrote to the NIV publishing company asking for them to publicly apologize for the harm the 84 NIV caused to women because of all the added male references that are NOT in the Greek! No response! (I understand the 2011 NIV corrected that, but can't they publicly admit that the 84 NIV included a bias regarding women?) So comps say they have a high view of scripture, yet many continue to use the 84 NIV & now the ESV which was intended to be a "comp" version!

I have found I have been wrong about 100+ things that I have been taught over the years in the reformed tradition. It's a very painful but profound journey. (I call this my long list of laments) God's truth is beautiful; however, traditions of man/elders have nullified His truth/word in various ways over the ages, including in translations. Speaking His truth brings clarity, healing & flourishing. Continuing to ignore our errors brings confusion and further harm, especially for the vulnerable & oppressed & maintains the status quo that perpetuates abuses of power. 

Malachi 2:16 is another example that has caused much harm to women in abusive marriages, especially in contexts where the pastor/elders have a permanence in marriage belief no matter what!! 

The traditional translation that God hates divorce needs to be corrected & the traditional view on divorce only in the case of abandonment and adultery needs to be intentionally expanded to include abuse/treachery/violence & recognized that God hates the treachery that causes the divorce.  

Malachi 2:16 "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel. "He who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence," says the LORD of Hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not break faith. (biblehub.com)  Berean Standard Bible

“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful***. 2011 NIV

***  Strong's Hebrew: 898. בָּגַד (bagad) -- to act or deal treacherously (biblehub.com)

***this word includes so much more than just being adulterous/unfaithful...

acted deceitfully (1), acted treacherously (2), betrayed (1), betrays (1), deal (1), deal treacherously (10), deal very treacherously (1), deals treacherously (1), dealt treacherously (8), dealt very treacherously (1), faithless (2), treacherous (15), treacherous one still deals treacherously (1), treacherous deal (1), treacherously (1), unfairness (1).

Treacherous:  involving betrayal or deception; marked by hidden dangers, hazards, or perils

The permanence of marriage & refusal to recognize abuse as a biblical reason for divorce needs to be reconsidered!  Amazingly Wayne Grudem did change his mind several years ago... now praying for John Piper & others like him to admit they were wrong as well! A well known reformed theologian privately admitted they believe abuse is a biblical reason but were not willing to publicly say it! This is how these harmful distortions are perpetuated!

Grounds for Divorce: Why I Now Believe There Are More Than Two - Wayne Grudem

Hebrews 13:17 in the 84 NIV is another example that needs to be looked at & publicly corrected... here "obey" 2x + "authority" + "men" are added as the Greek does NOT support these words & has been used as an authoritarian weapon to intimidate & silence concerns re abuses of power that maintain the status quo that perpetuates & gives permission to abuses of power/authoritarian lording it over! This verse has a number of red flags when comparing it to the Greek! I found 10 flags in the 84 NIV translation of this one verse alone! This verse seems to be used as the very opposite of Jesus telling us NOT to lord it over or exercise authority over our brothers & sisters in Christ!

Finally… Here we go on hupotasso…

excerpt from Rob's response:

In the same way, fourthly, the context for authentein (v. 12) is obviously the preceding verse (v. 11) which says that women should learn "in all submissiveness" (hupotage). What is the opposite of authentein? Contextually the answer must be hupotage—submissiveness. This is the same positive word used in 1 Cor 9:13 "... they will glorify God because of your submission (hupotage) that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ..." So, Paul is saying, "Women should not exercise authority (authentein) rather they should be submissive (hupotage)." To me, this means: women should do the opposite of authentein. What is that? Hupotage

again note that Paul uses singular woman in v11&12 compared to the plural women in v9-10... there is something unique going on here that is specific to one woman that is being a bit of a problem in the ekklesia of Ephesus as part of the Way. 1 Timothy 2:11 A woman must learn in quietness and full submissiveness. (biblehub.com) 

Ok, (I wrote this last week before I posted the spoiler yesterday ;) let's take a look at the meaning of "hupotage" a form of hupotasso... it's kind of a game changer when we consider a little known understanding about hupotasso: there is a military context & a non-military context. For various reasons, it seems the military meaning has been the one that has been almost exclusively used over the ages (see 1-6 below) & the non-military almost completely lost over time (see bold below). I came across the non-military meaning a few years ago, then tried to find it again & it took me a bit, as the military meaning has overwhelmingly been the default.

The body of Christ, marriage & family relationships are not the military... so what might that mean if we recognize that there is a different meaning in non-military usage that is probably more appropriate in the Church? I get quite a range of interesting responses when I share this non-military context meaning with people, so I have no idea how anyone is going to respond to this! for some it's a huge relief, for others, it ticks them off... but I'm not making this meaning up, here is a Greek Lexicon that includes the non-military meaning...

Hupotasso Meaning - Greek Lexicon | New Testament (KJV) (biblestudytools.com)

Hupotasso

hoop-ot-as'-so

Verb

  1. to arrange under, to subordinate
  2. to subject, put in subjection
  3. to subject one's self, obey
  4. to submit to one's control
  5. to yield to one's admonition or advice
  6. to obey, be subject

A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, COoperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden". (My emphASis added)

Non-military: CO prefix: together, mutually, in common; When you cooperate with another person, you work together with them to accomplish something.

Military context: SUB prefix: under, beneath... accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person:

& FYI, here’s some of the definitions of responsibility! the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization; also, a moral obligation to do what’s right & being accountable. Interestingly, burden can refer to a problem, difficulty &/or responsibility that one carries.

For me, the non-military meaning makes so much sense with the 59 one another commands in the NT while the military meaning seems to be what Jesus is specifically saying not to do - "do not rule/lord it over like the Gentiles do"! Unfortunately, the military meaning has been used abusively & harmfully in far too many relationships. "Submit" has been used as a weapon to control those that are more vulnerable. (PS: this is some of the abuse / bad fruit that Kathy referred to)

So Biblical language like one another Strong's Greek: 240. ἀλλήλων (allélón) -- of one another (biblehub.com), brothers & sisters in the Lord (adelphos is gender inclusive, siblings from the same womb; Strong's Greek: 80. ἀδελφός (adelphos) -- a brother (biblehub.com)), royal priesthood (of ALL believers), holy people/saints Strong's Greek: 40. ἅγιος (hagios) -- sacred, holy (biblehub.com), co-laborers/fellow workers type of language Strong's Greek: 4904. συνεργός (sunergos) -- a fellow worker (biblehub.com) indicates this collaborative use.

Interesting, that last Greek word reminded me of synergy: the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.

I do NOT believe Paul is saying, "Women should not exercise authority (authentein) rather they should be submissive (hupotage).” Both Greek words here need a careful reexamination of their meaning, along with wrestling with why did Paul switch to a singular woman. Also, v12 is not a command.

It seems in v11 Paul is commanding Timothy to let a woman learn in an appropriate manner (calmly & cooperatively that is conducive for all people to learn) & in v12 he is saying in this situation with this specific woman he does not allow/permit/"epitrepo" (this Greek word seems to be always used in a case by case basis from what I have found in my research so far) this woman to teach (bc she's teaching something inappropriate/negative) &/or force her will/dominate, possibly harm (again some inappropriate/negative behavior) a man with her teaching/actions. This woman is doing something very inappropriate in the Body of Christ (but possibly ignorantly as in Ch 1 where Paul shares he was ignorant when he lists how he was the chief example of violent inappropriate sinful behavior), so Paul is telling Timothy do not permit her to continue in her harmful teaching/behavior until she learns differently & knows better.

My conclusion: The way in the Body of Christ is a loving, mutual, collaborative relational sharing of responsibilities based on a variety of dynamics. That is the non-military application of hupotasso/hupotage which I believe is more appropriate for the Body of Christ in our relationships with one another!  If we are following the one anothers, then we will be praying together as well & when we pray together there is a unity that the Spirit brings...

Teach and counsel/exhort/admonish one another (Colossians 3:16a - no restrictions on gender!)

Mutual edification: encourage and build up one another (Romans 14:19b; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

I am so sorry Hetty! I cry too! So many women harmed & limited by lies of the enemy over the ages (it is only in the last 50 years that some are accepting women as equal in value, not inferior as has been the belief for 1000s of years)... The refusal to recognize these translational errors is the very opposite of saying we have a high view of God's Word!  as Beth Moore shared, some only want to use their version/interpretation to support their view...

A Letter to My Brothers - Living Proof Ministries Blog Living Proof Ministries Blog (lproof.org)

BOQ: Then early October 2016 surfaced attitudes among some key Christian leaders that smacked of misogyny, objectification and astonishing disesteem of women and it spread like wildfire. It was just the beginning. I came face to face with one of the most demoralizing realizations of my adult life: Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.

This is where I cry foul and not for my own sake. Most of my life is behind me. I do so for sake of my gender, for the sake of our sisters in Christ and for the sake of other female leaders who will be faced with similar challenges. I do so for the sake of my brothers because Christlikeness is at stake and many of you are in positions to foster Christlikeness in your sons and in the men under your influence. The dignity with which Christ treated women in the Gospels is fiercely beautiful and it was not conditional upon their understanding their place. EOQ

Not saying that all men are complicit, but the abdication of pursuing justice on behalf of women, along with being compromised with sin (ie porn which is included in human trafficking where women & children are the primary victims) & the silence of many continues to harm women around the world!

Church/priesthood of ALL believers/family of God, we can & must do better!

Peithesthe!

be discerning & test everything... 

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

The CRC's decision in 1995/1996 regarding women was a landing place for something that has been a source of contentious concerns, intense debate, & voluminous writings over the decades & centuries. I can see why the view of women was not clear back then, with both sides seeking to follow God's heart in scripture... however since then, there seems to be a continuing undercurrent running just below the surface regarding each other's view that shows up when we get both views in the same "room"... instead of trying to resolve the different views, each side seems to be getting further entrenched & divided, finding new alliances that agree on their particular view. The egals seem to be focused on the big picture principles & want to move forward, no longer looking at the difficult scripture passages that the comps cite as "clear" and "plain" & the comps seem to be getting more entrenched that the difficult passages are clear regarding women, through groups like CBMW, Together for the gospel (T4G), Sovereign Grace, the Gospel Coalition, etc. type of groups that are all "complementarian" in their view of women, promoting the "created order" as the end all of the discussion, finding alliances with other comps despite many historic differences that have separated denominations over the ages.

I agree with aspects of compl, egal & feminism, but also disagree with aspects of each. I believe tradition of man/elders has elevated authority, power, titles, hierarchy, degrees, institutions at the expense of the Spirit & ALL the gifts especially prophecy (for both men & women), at the expense of the one another commands/principle, at the expense of the priesthood of all believers, at the expense of Jesus saying we (men & women) are not to "lord it over"/exercise authority over in the Body of Christ. Both sides need to consider giving up the idea of traditional hierarchical leadership power structures. If that possibility make you uncomfortable, ask yourself why. These are the way of the world based on business models, based on man's way, based on traditions of man/elders- including the eternal submission of the Son (thanks to George Knight lll & Wayne Grudem) that literally nullifies God's word in ways per Matt 15/Mark 7! This is an entire discussion on its own! Is this a systemic threat to the status quo? definitely! But God's way is so much more beautiful when we cooperate & collaborate together, loving one another instead of lording/ruling/exercising authority over one another! God's best for us as His family, is to flourish and thrive in our journey of faith following our Lord & Savior, that we can have abundant life in Christ (this is John 10:10b, not the prosperity gospel).

Rob mentions that being pragmatic is secondary to God's word... I was thinking about this & I had to laugh... God forming Eve from Adam is very pragmatic! the only time God said "it is not good..." during creation is after Adam was created, when Adam was alone... the only time God said "very good" is after He created Eve! Problem solved! We are mandated to steward/rule over creation together, not over each other!

The pragmatic fruit Kathy shared is part of what helps us test what is good & what is not as scripture encourages us to do... unfortunately the LGBTQ views adds confusion to the views on women & has been used to dismiss valid support for women. Lumping these 2 together is not helpful & causes confusion. of course, everyone is going to say whatever they believe is good! I agree there has been a correlation between egal view of women & SSM that needs to be discussed. But there is also a correlation between compl & patriarchy that adds to the confusion & should be discussed! Both views have aspects that add to the confusion! God warns us around 30 times in the NT to not be deceived. It's a (painful) prayer we all can pray for God to show us where we might be being deceived. I have a long list of answers! the key is being open & humble to being wrong! (this reminds me of something I compiled re metanoia that maybe I will share in a new post)

I have also experienced & witnessed the "feminist" label (& other labels) used as a way to dismiss legitimate questions, information, quest for God's best for His people, similar to the LGBTQ comparison, instead of taking an honest, humble look at the information. The enemy uses all kinds of tactics to cause chaos & confusion... that's why we need the discerning of spirits gift of the Spirit along with prophecy...

I will address the abuse aspect in another response... it's complicated, but there's plenty of reason the (not so) good old boys club is a reality!

for now... The Inner Ring from CS Lewis... Innerring - CS Lewis Society of California

the quest for power & positions of influence is an age old battle... As followers of Jesus, He asks us to do the opposite.

20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and knelt down to make a request of Him. 21“What do you want?” He inquired. She answered, “Declare that in Your kingdom one of these two sons of mine may sit at Your right hand, and the other at Your left.” ...

24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. 26It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Hi Rob, thanks for your response... after being sick for almost 2 weeks, then being out of town quite a bit the last few weeks, along with a number of crisis situations connected to ministry that came up where my help was requested, I am now working on catching up on what I got behind on over the last month, so it might be a bit before I get back on this in more detail! I remember waiting for my son a few weeks ago & thinking, finally, I think things have calmed down a bit & not even a half hour later got a text re a crisis, along with several more since then! It's been a pretty chaotic year so far! We don't talk about spiritual warfare much in the CRC, but it seems like 2024 has had its share already! PTL, that as believers, God works all things for our good & His glory, & even though it's often a painful journey, it's profound as well!

So a few general thoughts for now, (I was trying to make this a quick/short response, but no surprise to anyone I'm sure, that didn't happen ;)...

there are a number of inconsistencies/errors on both sides of the comp/egal discussion. For example, I wonder why is this type of energy not directed to ALL MEN raising their hands in PRAYER as a UNIVERSAL behavior per 1 Tim 2:8 if comps are trying to make 1 Tim 2:12 UNIVERSAL for ALL WOMEN? & let's talk about the pathetic stats on PRAYER in the Church, something EVERYONE is CLEARLY COMMANDED to do, privately AND collectively, especially for those considered elders (Acts 6:4)! Prayerlessness is a SIGNIFICANT sin in the Church! Even the CRC title of "Minister of the Word" based on Acts 6:4 should be Ministers of the Word AND Prayer with seminaries training pastors/elders to have a balanced emphasis on both (generally not the case from the conversations I have had with pastors & with those who have talked/connected with multiple seminaries to address this gap)! Prayer is a primary calling for everyone, yet the stats are heartbreaking (Avg about 3-5 minutes/day, pastors avg about 7-8 minutes/day, only about 5% of churches have a collective prayer meeting outside of praying during the worship service) & the lack of much good fruit is pretty obvious as we are living in a time when evil is blatantly being called good & good being called evil! I could say a whole lot more about this as prayer has become a primary focus in my life since 2006! All that to say, why not at least have an equal focus on challenging prayerlessness, not just the roles of women, when we are looking at 1 Tim 2:8-15? Because prayer creates a unity we cannot explain... Ie the divorce rate for couples who consistently pray together drops from 1 in every 2-3 marriages to 1 in TEN THOUSAND! (see link for stat) This unity can also happen when we pray together as families & as sisters & brothers in the Lord! 

The Enduring Impact of Prayer in Marriage | Abounding in Hope with Lyme

Back to roles of women in the Church... 1 Tim 2 regarding women is not clear (you shared you see an 80% / 20% possibility of different meanings of authentein which indicates some of the confusion in this passage, v15 has historically been considered by scholars to be one of the most difficult passages of scripture), especially when we examine the cultural context of the pantheon of gods & goddesses & their practices (incl witchcraft) along with the early gnostic beliefs (incl. bizarre creation stories that elevate Eve & denigrate the Hebrew God, YHWH) & practices (incl astrology, sorcery, syncretism) that have gotten very little attention over the ages as far as I can tell & seem to get dismissed fairly quickly by comps when it comes up re 1 Timothy.

There are other hapax legomenon in 1 Timothy (as well as other NT books) that I hope to dig into this year that I want to further research, however, my time is limited & my background with Greek is limited. Authentein was the first Greek word that introduced me to becoming aware of hapax legomenon in the NT & that was at some point about 5-6 years ago & it's only in the last 3 years or so that I have looked into other hapax legomenon in the NT that have raised questions for me about the translations of these rare words! I hope to pursue this research when I can have some help from someone that is far more knowledgeable & experienced with Greek. At this point I would say most of the Body of Christ does not even know what a hapax legomenon is or are aware that authentein is one, & that an entire doctrine regarding women has been heavily impacted by this one very rare, strange word that has a complicated & confusing history, & is anything but "clear", despite what comps say! 1 Tim 2:12 is often (not always) the first verse referred to by comps & a good share of the attention/energy is often focused on this verse (ie Mike W's 11+ hour video after a year of research! even though, I appreciate him taking time to look into this bc it needs to be done, it shows how complicated & confusing the support for limiting women in various roles in the institutional church is).

Also, I mentioned this in another comment/response, the recognition of women as equal in value is a recent shift. That has not been the traditional belief for 1000s of years! Women have not been protected & provided for, instead often been abused (1 in 3 sexually abused by age 18, let alone physical/emotional/verbal abuse) & exploited (porn/prostitution/human trafficking) with men often adding to the harm or abdicating seeking justice on behalf of the women abused & exploited! How did the Church get the value of women wrong for so long? Why did it take women's voices to advocate on behalf of other women to bring the abuse & exploitation of women (& children) to the attention of others?

Part of my lens based on several key principles of scripture is that the Body of Christ is meant to be a cooperative (mutual submission per Eph 5:21), collaborative (synergos/co labors per Paul), prophetic (1 Cor 14 +), loving (& 40+ other) one another (The Case for "One Another" (See These 59 Commands in the Bible) | CRC Network (crcna.org) ), seeking justice (Micah 6:8 + tons more), walking humbly as servants (Micah 6:8+) & the royal priesthood of ALL believers, not lording it over or exercising authority over others in the Body of Christ (per Jesus)!

Somehow, from my perspective, it seems tradition has focused on men being superior & exclusively allowed to exercise authority as pastors (poimen) / elders (presbuteros) / deacons or ministers (diakonos) / bishops or overseers (episkopos) over inferior women through hierarchy (over/under, authority/submission) & titles at the expense of these KEY scriptural principles of mutuality/one another, justice, etc!

This is one possible way God's word can be nullified over 1000s of years by commandments/traditions of man/elders per Matt 15 & Mark 7!

I would rather be responding to your comments more in depth but need to get back to the backlog that accumulated over the last few weeks, especially since it includes bills & taxes!

This response is a Bit of a switch of pace to share a bit on Deborah & Barak... 

BARAK: HUMILIATION OR HERO

Judges 4:9 Commentaries: She said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. (biblehub.com)

A few years ago, I remember coming across an article about Deborah & Barak, that made me take another look at the understanding that I had picked up in the CRC over the years. What I found stunned me! 

I read something that the glory was always going to go to a woman, but what I had been taught was that the glory was going to a woman BECAUSE Barak was a weak cowardly man & God was using a woman to humiliate and shame him for not being the man he was supposed to be.  God was using a woman only because the men refused to step up and do what they were supposed to do!

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh… per NIVs

Many of the commentaries back up this idea of Barak being a timid coward… here are a few samples from the bible hub link above:

This was a prediction which Barak could not understand at the time; but the strain of it conveyed a rebuke of his unmanly fears. Per Jamieson Fausset Brown

To enter into the force of this we must remember the humble and almost down-trodden position of women in the East, so that it could hardly fail to be a humiliation to a great warrior to be told that the chief glory would fall to a woman. Per Ellicot

It is greatly to the honour of a conqueror to take the general of the enemy’s army, or to kill him with his own hand; which, she tells him, should be denied him, as a small punishment for his diffidence and reluctance to comply with her directions; and as he would not go without a woman, so a woman should take away his honour from him. per Benson

However, what I found was pretty much ALL the other versions used “nevertheless”, “notwithstanding” that doesn’t place the blame and shame on Barak.  Several commentaries support this view:

Those who in God's name call others to their duty, should be ready to assist them in it. Barak values the satisfaction of his mind, and the good success of his enterprise, more than mere honour. Per Matthew Henry

Lest Barak’s hopes should soar too high, the prophetess foretells that the crowning glory shall not be his but Jael’s. It is doubtful whether any blame of Barak is implied: the words mean simply ‘thou wilt not gain the honours of the expedition.’ Per Cambridge Bible

So after taking another look at this story, the Hebrew used, along with looking at the Song of Deborah and Barak in Judges 5 where Barak is celebrating, not hanging his head in humiliation and shame, AND that Barak is listed as a HERO OF THE FAITH in Hebrews 11, I now believe this was a test for Barak, whether he would do what was right and needed to be done even if he didn’t get the glory…

I love Matthew Henry’s commentary on this:

Barak values the satisfaction of his mind, and the good success of his enterprise, more than mere honour.

HE PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS!

Judges 4:14-16

Then Deborah said to Barak, "Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. At Barak's advance, the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera's troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. (NIV)

1 Samuel 12:11

Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, BarakJephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety. (NIV)

Hebrews 11:32

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, BarakSamson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets. (NIV)

I now believe God always intended to give the glory to a woman, as part of the justice for the women of Israel who had been sexually violated by Sisera’s soldiers per Judges 5, a common practice in war per Sisera's mother.

I now see this as a powerful picture of men and women COLLABORATING and CELEBRATING together under the prophetic leading of the Spirit resulting in justice and safety for the common good & for the glory of God…

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