Buried Talents: 1 Tim 2, Usurping Authority — Adam and Eve

I believe that there would be much less controversy over this passage but for the references Paul makes to Adam being made before Eve and Eve being the first to sin. While these are true statements, they hardly argue for all women to be subordinate to all men.

After all, although Adam was made first, he was made incomplete (and hence imperfect) — without Eve. And while Eve sinned first, Adam sinned as well.

And in Romans 5 Paul gives Adam the blame for the Fall of Man (Rom. 5:12: “sin entered the world through one man … .”). The world was condemned through the one man, Adam, according to Paul.

And God gave the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge to Adam, before Eve was even made (Gen. 2:16-17). Adam can hardly claim the moral high ground over Eve!

Why does Paul seem to blame Eve here and Adam in Romans? Why has Paul seemingly interpreted Genesis 2 and 3 inconsistently?

I suggest outlining the passage as follows (with a’ explaining point a and b’ explaining point b):

a women should learn in quietness and full submission

b do not teach or exercise authority (in a domineering way), but be peaceable

For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

This structure is called a chiasm and was commonly used by the ancients in their writings. (The idea for a chiastic reading is from Osburn. My interpretation is a bit different from his.)

a. The reference to Eve being deceived makes the point that women should learn so as to avoid following Eve’s bad example in being deceived. When women do not study, they allow themselves to become victims of false teaching, and they can’t count on their husbands’ learning to protect themselves, any more than Eve was protected by Adam from the serpent’s lies.

This is exactly what was going on in Ephesus at the time, and it continues to be sound advice. Paul’s first command is that the women “should learn.” Only by learning can the women avoid following in Eve’s footsteps.

Paul uses the account of Eve’s deception to make essentially the same point to all Christians in 2 Corinthians 11:3 —

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

As in 1 Timothy, Paul sees Eve’s sin as a warning to Christians against being led astray by false teachers.

b. The argument from the creation order does not indicate subordination. After all, in Genesis 1, man — male and female — was made last, but that hardly argues for subordination of the man to the animals! Moreover, we’ve already seen that the subordination of women begins with God’s curse of the Creation.

Thus, the point must be found in the purpose behind the order of creating men and women. Man was not good alone. He needed a suitable complement. God made women to complement their husbands. Therefore, if a wife domineers, she fails to be the complement that God intended. The order of creation argument therefore supports the command for wives to submit to their husbands that we are already well familiar with.

Thus, Paul says that women should learn because Eve was deceived (and women should not follow her bad example) and that wives should not domineer over their husbands, because they were created to be suitable complements, not dominators.

Nothing in this passage teaches that women are gullible or more gullible than men. Indeed, if being compared to Eve’s sin makes a gender gullible in God’s eyes, then both genders are gullible because both men and women are compared to Eve in 2 Corinthians 11:3.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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0 Responses to Buried Talents: 1 Tim 2, Usurping Authority — Adam and Eve

  1. Alan says:

    The argument from the creation order does not indicate subordination. After all, in Genesis 1, man — male and female — was made last, but that hardly argues for subordination of the man to the animals! Moreover, we’ve already seen that the subordination of women begins with God’s curse of the Creation.

    Paul described things that women should and should not do. Then he says the reason for that is the order of creation and the sequence of the fall. Your post basically argues that you feel Paul's reason is not valid.

    To me, the post really reads as if you are arguing with Paul. It sounds to me like you're saying that either (1) you don't understand Paul's reason, or (2) you don't agree with the logic of it.

  2. Brian says:

    The reason Pauls order does make since to me is that Eve was not created of dust like the animals and Adam. Eve was created from Adam's rib. (Gen 2:23)

  3. Jay Guin says:

    No, my post argues that we've misunderstood Paul's reasoning.

    Arguing that a given interpretation of Paul's logic is invalid, as inconsistent with other things said by Paul, is not to argue that Paul is wrong — but that the interpretation is wrong.

    There's no way that Paul blames Eve for the Fall, when he blames Adam in Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15:22.. (Hosea blames Adam, too. Hos 6:7). Therefore, Paul is saying something else.

    Nor is it consistent with Paul's thought to suggest that all women must bear the sin of Eve for all time as punishment. That's not gospel thinking. It's a very anti-Pauline interpretation.

    Just so, Gen 2 deals with the relationship of husbands and wives, as Paul argues in Eph 5 (and implicitly in 1 Cor 7). It's very unlikely that he sees all women as suitable complements for all men.

    Given the many inconsistencies between the traditional interpretation and Paul, it only makes sense to look for another interpretation that is more consistent with Paul's own words.

    The chiastic reading gets us there, requiring no disagreement with the Paul of Romans, Ephesians, 1 Corinthians — or 1 Timothy.

    Meanwhile, I'm waiting for a hierarchical interpretation that explains why a supposed ontological subordinate of all women to all men occurring in Eden only matters in church.

  4. Alan says:

    No, my post argues that we’ve misunderstood Paul’s reasoning.

    That misses the point. This series of posts is not merely constructing a better understanding of Paul's reasons. Instead it is rejecting Pauls' reasons, and substituting others. Paul said nothing about women in Ephesus being particularly subject to deception, and therefore needing to learn. Yet you propose that as the real reason for the instructions Paul gave.

    What I see going on here is what John Mark Hicks describes as Baconian Hermeneutics:

    Thus, ultimately we can build a system where missing blocks (where there is nothing explicit) are created by deduction (inference). Further, what is deduced becomes a lens by which to read other texts in Scripture with the result that the “plain” meaning of a text is recontextualized by a deduced truth. In other words, the text cannot mean what it appears to say because it would contradict one of the truths we have deduced. It must, therefore, mean something else. Anyone heard that before?

    This series of articles has inferred, based on an innovative interpretation of Geneses 2-3 that there is no hierarchical relationship between men and women prescribed in scripture. It has further inferred that the curse of Genesis 3 is removed from the present world by the cross. That is at best an inference — it certainly is not stated in scripture anywhere. And based on those inferences, in Hicks' words,

    the 'plain' meaning of a text [1 Tim 2:11-14] is recontextualized by a deduced truth. In other words, the text cannot mean what it appears to say because it would contradict one of the truths we have deduced. It must, therefore, mean something else.

    IMO the conclusions in this series of articles place far too much confidence, and far too much weight, on the assumed soundness of a long chain of novel and complicated interpretations (inferences), and far too little weight on the literal words in the inspired text.

  5. Nick Gill says:

    1) The curse was not a list of rules. It was a statement of a new reality. Before the curse, none of the things in the curse were true. After the curse, all of them were true. A curse is a list of effects, not a list of instructions.

    2)
    Isa 43:18-19 – "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"

    Isa 65:17 – "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind."

    Matt 6:10 – Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

    2 Cor 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

    Nick here – what Isaiah promises for the whole creation, what Jesus teaches his disciples to pray (and work) for, begins with believers!

    Gal 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"

    Nick here – According to your reading, Alan, Gen 3 would be considered Torah – Law, from which Paul says we have been redeemed.

    Eph 4:22-24 – put off your old [cursed] self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

    Nick here – Paul here parallels his message to the Corinthians above.

    Rev 21:5 – "Behold, I am making all things new." What began with believers is now consummated with all things. What is true in the eschaton is true in the kingdom now.

    With reference to your concluding sentence, I do not see curse reversal as any sort of inference at all. It looks like explicit, clear, definitive statements that have been treated as ancillary when they are actually foundational.

    Complication / Simplicity is A) in the eye of the beholder, B) a pejorative concept, and C) nowhere suggested in Scripture as a means of discerning God's will.

    Novelty is perhaps an accurate accusation with reference to both concepts, but if we've been assuming 2+2=5 for years on end (1900 on curse reversal and 5000+ on the subjugation of women), perhaps it is time to try "novel" math. Campbell and Stone (and Luther and Calvin, and Jesus and Paul) were accused of novel interpretation too!

  6. Nick Gill says:

    I've GOT to stop hitting "submit" before I reread!

    I meant to add also Rom 12:2 – "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

  7. Alan says:

    With reference to your concluding sentence, I do not see curse reversal as any sort of inference at all.

    For that to be accurate, you would have to have a scripture that says "As a result of the cross, husbands no longer rule over their wives as Genesis 3:16 said" or something equivalent. None of the passages you quoted even come close to saying that.

    And you left out the most relevant passage to the discussion, Rev 22:3. There we learn that the curse will be eliminated in the new heaven and new earth — not in this era.

  8. Alan says:

    Gal 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”

    Nick here – According to your reading, Alan, Gen 3 would be considered Torah – Law, from which Paul says we have been redeemed.

    Context, context… Gal 3 explicitly tells us what "law" is being discussed. It is the law that was added 430 years after the promise to Abraham (Gal 3:17).
    That law was a curse. All who relied on observing the Law were under a curse (Gal 3:10). So he was referring to the Law (rules) which they were expected to follow, but failed. And therefore they were under a curse. As Paul reminds us, from Deut 27:26, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."

    That is the curse we were redeemed from according to Gal 3:13 — namely, we were set free from the commandments which condemned all mankind, because no one kept the entire Law. That's what the passage explicitly says.

  9. Nick Gill says:

    If Galatians 3:13 refers ONLY to the Law of Moses, I find it ironic that you make MY conclusion for me – "we were set free from the commandments which condemned all mankind…"

    The Law of Moses never condemned all mankind.

    All mankind was never party to the Sinai covenant.

    Only genetic Israel and YHWH were parties to that covenant. How could it condemn all mankind?

    But, since you want to pick apart my reference to Galatians, I suggest that you consider what exactly is the agreement with Abraham (Gal 3:16-17) if not the beginning of curse reversal, the beginning that will be consummated in Rev 22:3 when the curse will be utterly and completely eradicated from ALL CREATION in the new heavens and new earth. I did not deny that in any way, and Jay's exegesis of 2 Peter 3 agrees with that as well.

    What I am saying is that when we allow the curse to continue to direct our lives IN THE KINGDOM, we are living by our old Eph 2:3 natures.

  10. Jay Guin says:

    Alan wrote,

    … Paul said nothing about women in Ephesus being particularly subject to deception, and therefore needing to learn.

    I don't think I ever argued that this was the basis for Paul's instructions in Eph 5. Rather, as to wives, Paul is building his case on the role of wives as suitable complements in Gen 2. Isn't that what I said?

    Yet you propose that as the real reason for the instructions Paul gave.

    Not in Eph 5. In 1 Tim 2, Paul urges women to learn to avoid being deceived. He urges them to be in submission because of Gen 2 — same as Eph 5.

    What I see going on here is what John Mark Hicks describes as Baconian Hermeneutics:

    Thus, ultimately we can build a system where missing blocks (where there is nothing explicit) are created by deduction (inference). Further, what is deduced becomes a lens by which to read other texts in Scripture with the result that the “plain” meaning of a text is recontextualized by a deduced truth. In other words, the text cannot mean what it appears to say because it would contradict one of the truths we have deduced. It must, therefore, mean something else. Anyone heard that before?

    I have to say, I've never been accused of Baconianism before.

    The point Hicks is making is that we have to be true to the overall context of scripture, right? Obviously, we are all guilty of "inference." It's no sin. Indeed, Hicks argues,

    Our creatureliness means that it is “interpretation all the way down.” We interpret everything–there are no “brute facts.” We are hermeneutical beings.

    So, yes, I interpret. The point is that we can't recontextualize. We must work in the actual context — First Century Christianity built on a foundation of Old Testament teaching.

    Now you may disagree with my conclusions, but surely I've worked hard at the scriptural and historical context. Go back and look at all the posts. I'm not finished, but I've patiently started with Genesis and worked forward. How else would one do context?

    In Hicks' most recent post he declares,

    The goal is to explore the story of God in such a way as to participate in it. Rather than building a temple, this method explores the temple (Scripture) God has given in order to imbibe his mission. The pattern for the church is the redemptive work of God in history through Jesus Christ. The New Testament (in continuity with the Old Testament and only fully understood in light of the Old Testament) is a historical record of the mighty acts of God which call us to imitate God’s work in Jesus. The pattern is Christological in character and as disciples we follow Jesus in order to participate in God’s mission in the world.

    Now, my next post will be on Gal 3:28, which will make this element of my argument much more explicit. We move from 1 Tim 2 to Galatians (the whole book, I'm afraid) and 1 Cor 12.

    Now, notice I'm the one arguing that the New Testament can "only be fully understood in light of the Old Testament," consistent with Hicks. You are the one arguing the opposite way.

    This series of articles has inferred, based on an innovative interpretation of Geneses 2-3 that there is no hierarchical relationship between men and women prescribed in scripture.

    I'd find no embarrassment in being "innovative," were it true. But I'm not. In fact, my interpretation of Gen 2 and 3 is ancient — consistent with most systematic theologies taught from many perspectives. It's just that many change interpretations when they talk about women.

    It has further inferred that the curse of Genesis 3 is removed from the present world by the cross. That is at best an inference — it certainly is not stated in scripture anywhere.

    Yep. It's an inference. It's inferred from lots and lots of scriptures by lots of people. It's really quite orthodox and far from novel. It's just that lots of people refuse to be consistent when talking about women.

    And based on those inferences, in Hicks’ words,

    the ‘plain’ meaning of a text [1 Tim 2:11-14] is recontextualized by a deduced truth. In other words, the text cannot mean what it appears to say because it would contradict one of the truths we have deduced. It must, therefore, mean something else.

    Hicks' point isn't that the apparently "plain" meaning of a scripture is always right. In fact, he quite plainly criticizes "common sense" interpretations that overlook literary and historical context. And that's really his point — don't recontextualize!

    Now (referring to Hicks' language I quoted most recently), my view is redemptive. Jesus redeems us and the creation from our fallenness, originating in Gen 3. My view begins in the Old Testament but isn't fully realized until the New Testament (your approach is exactly the opposite). I constantly call us back to God's mighty act in creating Adam and Eve — and the meaning explicitly given that act in Gen 2.

    Moreover, I make a Christological argument — Jesus institutes God's reign (the kingdom of heaven), not fully realized yet but here — and we participate in the kingdom by doing God's mission on earth — which is, among other things, working to reverse the Fall by (among other things) bringing more and more people to redemption.

    If redemption means working to reverse the effects of the Fall, then our mission includes reversing the Curse on women.

    IMO the conclusions in this series of articles place far too much confidence, and far too much weight, on the assumed soundness of a long chain of novel and complicated interpretations (inferences), and far too little weight on the literal words in the inspired text.

    Actually, it's been long. I admit that. But it's not a chain. Rather, it's a lot of cumulative evidence. The chain is quite short. God made a perfect world in Eden. Adam and Eve blew it, leading to the Curse. Jesus came to reverse the Curse. When we joined with Jesus, we joined in his mission. That's it.

  11. Alan says:

    Though there are things I'd like to say on many points, these comments are getting a bit long so I won't try to respond to everything. I'll try to respond to the big picture.

    Now, notice I’m the one arguing that the New Testament can “only be fully understood in light of the Old Testament,” consistent with Hicks. You are the one arguing the opposite way.

    Not at all. If you recall, I didn't agree with some of the conclusions you drew in Genesis. So it is not surprising that we see these NT passages differently, since they build upon Genesis.

    I have to say, I’ve never been accused of Baconianism before.

    Whether you see it or not, you are practicing that form of logic. You and I are both hopelessly rooted in an Enlightenment style of biblical interpretation. It is evident in every post. I just pointed out one clear example where you used your inferences (with which I don't agree) to re-interpret a passage to mean something other than what it seems to say based on its own context. That's a flaw in Baconian hermeneutics which Hicks was pointing out, and which is illustrated by this article.

    God made a perfect world in Eden. Adam and Eve blew it, leading to the Curse. Jesus came to reverse the Curse. When we joined with Jesus, we joined in his mission. That’s it.

    The curse involved more than husbands ruling over wives. It also involved the pain of childbirth, painful toil and sweat, thorns and thistles, eating plants of the field, and death itself. We can make those things more tolerable, and we should do so. But the curse is not removed until God removes it in the new heaven and new earth (Rev 22:3). We still die. Child birth is still painful and full of risks. We still must work so we can eat, and we are subject to crop failures. The curse is alive and well.

    But we can make it more tolerable. Husbands are commanded to love their wives, to treat them gently. That doesn't change the order of Genesis 3. Instead it makes living under that order more pleasant. We can sometimes postpone death, and we can sometimes make a dying person more comfortable. We can make childbirth less painful. We can make it easier to earn a living and to feed the population. And we can make the subordinate role of women a pleasant experience. Those are all good things.

    If wives are no longer subject to their husbands, why is there no NT scripture saying so? Did God leave it up to us to discover the necessity of such a dramatic reversal? Why the difference in Paul's instructions to husbands versus his instructions towards wives in Eph 5? Why are wives called to be like Sarah who called her husband lord, but husbands are not so instructed?

    The correct hermeneutic for understanding scripture has to work in the context of the average first century Christian hearing Paul's letter read in a public assembly. The recipients of Paul's letters didn't embark on a study such as you have laid out in this series of posts, in order to understand his letters. The letters were read to the congregation, and Paul expected them to hear and to understand and to obey. Given the depth of understanding of the average first century Christian in those churches, hearing Paul's letter was enough to understand what he meant. That was their hermeneutic.

  12. Mike Nance says:

    Given our current cultural understanding and definitions: Is God a sexist? Does christianity embrace sexism? What do these terms mean?

  13. Alan says:

    Given our current cultural understanding and definitions: Is God a sexist? Does christianity embrace sexism? What do these terms mean?

    Depends on what you mean. God makes distinctions between the sexes. That is his right (Rom 9:21; 2 Tim 2:20) God made different people for different purposes. He made some to be apostles, and most of us not. He made some to be prophets, and most of us not. He made some to be teachers, and some not. And he made some male and some female, with different roles. To some people that makes God "sexist." But God is not prejudiced for or against either gender.

    God has not given every individual all the same gifts, nor all the same roles. Each part of the body has its unique characteristics, but together we make one body. God's grace and salvation are equally provided to all the parts of the body, without distinction.

  14. Nick Gill says:

    But nothing about the gifts you list (apostles, prophets, teachers, etc) naturally places one group of people in authority over another person from birth! In fact, one of the coolest things in Scripture is watching God consistently subvert the law of the firstborn. The God hands out his gifts in such a way as to subvert the way of the world (1 Cor 1:18-29).

    Your reading of Gen 2, which sets the context for your interpretation of all the other gender-role passages, asserts that God established females to be ruled by males.

    Yet you fully agree that this is NOT an eternal arrangement, because you believe that in the new heavens and new earth, males will not have authority over females in worship.

    If Gen 2 establishes male authority, what commandment of God modifies this establishment so that it only refers to worship today?

    If the curse narrative in Gen 3 establishes male rulership, and we are supposed to do our best to ease the effects of EVERY OTHER aspect of the curse, how can we assert that ONE AND ONLY ONE aspect of the curse should be encouraged in the kingdom?

  15. Alan says:

    Your reading of Gen 2, which sets the context for your interpretation of all the other gender-role passages, asserts that God established females to be ruled by males.

    Not quite. As I stated in another comment elsewhere on this series of articles:
    Gen 2 and 3 specifically address the context of marriage. As Paul makes clear, that relationship also applies in the church. Aside from that, we don’t have specific instructions about where it applies and where it does not.
    Back to your questions:

    If the curse narrative in Gen 3 establishes male rulership, and we are supposed to do our best to ease the effects of EVERY OTHER aspect of the curse, how can we assert that ONE AND ONLY ONE aspect of the curse should be encouraged in the kingdom?

    That is thoroughly asnwered in my previous comment. We cannot eliminate any of the elements of the curse of Genesis 3. We can and should show compassion and try to ease the discomfort, including in the area of the subordination of women. But Paul makes it crystal clear that wives are still subject to their husbands in the Christian era. It is not our place to overturn what God has established — just as Jesus said about divorce. God constructed the relationship. It is not our prerogative to change it.

  16. Jay Guin says:

    Alan wrote,

    The curse involved more than husbands ruling over wives. It also involved the pain of childbirth, painful toil and sweat, thorns and thistles, eating plants of the field, and death itself. We can make those things more tolerable, and we should do so. But the curse is not removed until God removes it in the new heaven and new earth (Rev 22:3). We still die. Child birth is still painful and full of risks. We still must work so we can eat, and we are subject to crop failures. The curse is alive and well.

    But we can make it more tolerable. Husbands are commanded to love their wives, to treat them gently. That doesn’t change the order of Genesis 3. Instead it makes living under that order more pleasant. We can sometimes postpone death, and we can sometimes make a dying person more comfortable. We can make childbirth less painful. We can make it easier to earn a living and to feed the population. And we can make the subordinate role of women a pleasant experience. Those are all good things.

    I almost agree. Yes, the curse is not yet defeated. Yes, we still suffer pain in childbearing and weeds in our fields. And, yes, we all die.

    But we don't work for lesser weeds, lesser pain, and lesser rule. We strive to defeat them all, and yet we live with the best we can get in an imperfect world.

    We work alongside Jesus to defeat death — by converting the lost, by serving in God's mission, and by praying for Jesus to come quickly. Death is still with us, but the goal is its utter defeat. We don't intentionally stop short just because we know the task won't be finished until the End.

  17. Anonymous says:

    There is some truth to saying that in the Bible we see a realized relief from the curse in the present time. After all, Noah was named so because the flood would bring a cleansing from the curse.

  18. Alan says:

    We don’t intentionally stop short just because we know the task won’t be finished until the End.

    God put all of those elements of the curse in place. He could remove them all today if he chose to do so. But we can obviously see that he has not. In the case of death, weeds, and childbirth it is an observable fact that he has not. In the case of wives being subject to their husbands, the instructions in the NT make it clear that he has not removed that element either.

    What God has joined together, let not man separate. God created the marriage relationship, and established its form. It is not our prerogative to change it. Paul's letters confirm that the order is still in effect.

  19. Jon Shelton says:

    Alan said:

    "God put all of those elements of the curse in place. He could remove them all today if he chose to do so."
    and
    For that to be accurate, you would have to have a scripture that says “As a result of the cross, husbands no longer rule over their wives as Genesis 3:16 said” or something equivalent. None of the passages you quoted even come close to saying that.

    And you left out the most relevant passage to the discussion, Rev 22:3. There we learn that the curse will be eliminated in the new heaven and new earth — not in this era.

    I thought those comments were interesting – that IF there was a scripture saying that there was no curse then it would be so. I believe that Alan has just proved the point that it is no longer – the passage from Rev. 22:3 – while being an imaginary picture of heaven of sorts, is at it's core a symbolic picture of the church. That is from the context the main idea of the symbolism used.

    This "New Jerusalem" is the church that Jesus established – and as Alan pointed out, there is no longer the curse under consideration as such.

    Jon

  20. Alan says:

    the passage from Rev. 22:3 – while being an imaginary picture of heaven of sorts, is at it’s core a symbolic picture of the church.

    Let's test your theory. The description of the new Jerusalem begins with this:

    Rev 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

    So, if your theory is correct, we would now have no tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, no pain. The old order would have passed.

    That's not the world I live in. In my world, we are still waiting for the blessings of the new heaven and new earth. So we are still waiting for the removal of the curse.

  21. Mike Nance says:

    Have christians been rescued somehow from the curse? Or are we supposed to be the embodiement of it? No one can deny that men and women of USA 2008 find themselves well outside of Palestine 60. Unfortunate conception leading to intrauterine anatomy is the curse? I doubt that sounds like Good News… but then that isn't the gospel.

    Perhaps those women who have grown up 'christian' may not wrestle with their God-given curse as much as newly converted women executives might. This issue is not going to go away just because we want to be the First Century Church.

  22. Mike Nance says:

    What is the definition of a sexist? sexism?
    Can a woman be an elder?
    No. Why not? Because she is a woman.
    Yes. Because the scriptures that seem to suggest otherwise are misinterpreted, misapplied, only understood by the spiritually mature, relevan only in a cultural context, etc. It does not mean what is says.
    Is God being sexist or is He simply setting an eternal consequence?

    Thus, though a female may be intellectually, spiritually mature, etc equipped to teach and lead better than the alternatives present, she is bound by an eternal edict based on what Eve did and how Paul understood his responsibility to teach the churches until the new heavens and earth may or may not then allow for this. Man must work the fields in order to experience weeds. If you are not an agriculturist of sorts, you can not be reflective to that aspect of the curse. You are outside the curse.

    The blood of Christ can never eliminate the curse, only make it stand out clearer to the world.

  23. Alan says:

    This issue is not going to go away just because we want to be the First Century Church.

    Our job is to understand what the scriptures say and what they mean. Whether our conclusions are convenient or inconvenient should be irrelevant to understanding scripture.

    OTOH, the inconvenience of the conclusion can cause a temptation to reject a true conclusion. When we find ourselves gravitating toward the more convenient interpretation, we should pause and consider whether we are being objective.

  24. Mike Nance says:

    It isn't convenience that is sought. That would chunk most of the demands of the christian walk! It is for truth that connects people to God and God's people to being the salt and light of the world we currently live in. Not simply quoting and English translation, but the truth of His revelation as would have been understood by the original audience that is consistent with all of His will. If the truth is extremely inconvenient, so be it. It is clear that a husband-wife relationship is distinct from my relationship with your wife and you with mine. No harm in hearing God through Paul, not just quoting him.

  25. Jon Shelton says:

    Alan,

    Don't confuse the world that we live in with the church. Read the verses just before Rev 21:4 and notice that this New Jerusalem was comind down out of heaven, it is the holy city, the New Jerusalem is not heaven coming out of heaven, and then in verse 3, NOW the [new city – dwelling of God] is with men. In verse 9, we are shown the Bride of the lamb which is the Holy City.
    That is a symbolic image of the church.
    If you want to get into a discussion about why the "old order of things" caused there to be much deathing a mourning or crying or pain that is one thing – but the new covenant brings life. You can't read literal all of the details when the subjects are symbolic. The church that Christ ushered in did make everything new.

  26. Alan says:

    That is a symbolic image of the church

    I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.

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