1 Timothy 2:11-15 are women banned from teaching?

Most complementarians agree that 1 Timothy 2 is the critical passage underpinning their position restricting what women can do in church. It is one of the most contested passages in the Bible with limited agreement on what it means even among those with similar views on gender roles. I think there is a way through the confusion to a most likely meaning of the passage and it’s application today. The passage poses many questions:

is the ‘teaching’ of any kind at all, or only of a particular kind? If the latter, which? Is ecclesial authority-taking over men also forbidden, or only a particular type of authority, or is a woman in fact forbidden only a particular kind of authoritative ecclesial teaching? Is teaching (and authority-taking) over men in every sphere of life forbidden? Does the author intend the instruction to be normative?[1]

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Men and women on church boards

The New Testament discussion of roles and qualifications is not well defined.  Roles in the NT include apostles, prophets, teachers, leaders, preachers, pastors, overseers/elders and deacons.  Some roles, like Timothy’s and Titus’ are uncertain (probably apostles?).  Within the NT timeframe structures evolved with decentralisation away from Jerusalem.  Many of the early NT roles (being specifically spirit chosen & empowered) are not present today – or perhaps relevant.  Some positions which in some respects have endured (overseers and deacons) have changed.  The NT structures included separation of teaching, leadership and administration – while allowing they could be combined.  The Christadelphian arranging structures similarly lack a teaching responsibility and emphasis collective responsibility rather than individual.

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Parable of the 10 Virgins

The parable of the 5 wise and five foolish virgins is a well enough known parable.  It is found in Matt 25:1-13.  The parable provides ample opportunity for reflection as it asks searching questions of readers.  Such questions can be blunted by overuse of analogy.  What was Jesus saying to his listeners?  What does Matthew want his readers to learn?  The parable concerns the coming of the kingdom of heaven.  But what are we to make of it’s many elements?  The sleep of all virgins, the oil, the lack of spare oil, late night merchants and final rejection of the 5 foolish virgins?  How much should we take from this parable?

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Junia the female Apostle – Romans 16:7

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Was there a female apostle?  Over time English translators have offered up differing opinions.  Romans 16:7 has Paul greeting Andronicus and Junia and calling them famous among the apostles.  Because of debate over the roles of women in the church Junia’s gender and role is debated.  However there should be no debate.  She was a woman and an Apostle.

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The power of reformation – Hezekiah

Hezekiah is a towering figure in the Old Testament.  In the kingdom of Judah he stands as a first rank reformer, a charismatic and determined leader who from the moment he took power was passionately focused on restoring the worship of Israel’s God.  His life is a triumph of zeal for God.  Yet there is more going on.

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Duplication and reuse in Psalms

Psalm 151 Codex Sinaiticus Book 26 https://opensiddur.org/readings-and-sourcetexts/mekorot/non-canonical/exoteric/second-temple-period/psalms-151-as-found-in-the-septuagint-lxx/

The Psalms is clearly a collection of books. Internal evidence demonstrates the collections/books were separated. Material is duplicated and reworked between the books. This raises some interesting questions for models of inspiration.

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Is Covid 19 God’s doing?

There’s not always an explanation for our suffering

Humans love patterns. This has led to both crazy superstitions along with many useful discoveries. Pestilence is not a new thing. Sometimes it is a direct punishment of God (eg Num 25, 1 Chron 21). Other times it was a sign of significant events – like AD 70 in Luke 21:11. But are such events always sent by God for a purpose?

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