Thursday, November 30, 2006

Women in Ministry: Stan Gundry could change

I have just come across an interesting piece by Stan Gundry, entitled Women in Ministry: Can we change? In it Gundry tells how, with the help of his wife Pat, he moved from believing that women should be entirely submissive and silent in church to an egalitarian position on this issue. He is by the way Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Group at Zondervan Corporation, who publish the TNIV Bible.

Thanks to Codepoke for this link.

Codepoke has also written about 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, one of the most difficult biblical passages for egalitarians. Wayne Leman has also written about this passage at the Better Bibles Blog, and created a storm of controversy in the comments. Both Codepoke and Wayne argue that this passage was not written by Paul, but is a quotation from the letter which the Corinthians had sent to Paul. Well, I discussed such quotations in 1 Corinthians in part 3 of my recent series on Paul, Sex and Marriage, and I didn't list 14:34-35 as such a quotation. But it now seems to me quite likely, but not certain, that these verses, which contradict what Paul writes elsewhere, are a quotation from the Corinthians' letter and so should not be understood as Paul's teaching.

2 Comments:

At Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:30:00 pm, Blogger chuck grantham said...

"Wayne Leman has also written about this passage at the Better Bibles Blog, and created a storm of controversy in the comments."

I've followed the controversy, and I've been amazed at the number of people willing to attempt to find a Talmudic realtionship when so many scholars are so leery of relating Talmud to New Testament, due to the Talmud's uncertain dating as a composite document relating opinions spread over generations. And of course, the sages of the Talmud were no more united in their interpretations than Christians, or Buddhists, or Moslems. Some were pro-women, some very anti-women. Still, the old story about the different kinds of rabbis, one type who bruised themselves running into things because they kept their eyes closed around women for fear of being tempted by the mere sight of a woman indicates a facet of sexual prejudice in old Judaism.

I always find it interesting that the liberal stream of Jewish interpretation, founded on the school of Hillel, is not always the wondeful thing it would seem. For all the stories of proselytes praising Hillel for converting them to Judaism, rather than running them off like his opposite Shammai, it was Hillel who ruled that the interpretation of the verses on divorce allowed a man to divorce his wife for much more minor reasons than Shammai's school.

 
At Friday, December 01, 2006 9:17:00 am, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Thank you, Chuck. I have avoided taking a position on whether Jewish sources really say such things about women as I don't have the data about it. But it seems clear to me that there is a huge bulk and variety of Jewish writings, and that some of them say some rather negative things about women although no doubt others are more positive. I suppose Wayne's original point was that Paul's opponents in Corinth may well have picked up and quoted some of the very negative things that Jews were saying at that time, and which were later written down. That is certainly a plausible source for the apparent quotation from the "law". But as with so many such matters this is highly speculative.

 

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