21 Aug 2007

Women on the Family Tree: What Does the Bible Say Women DID??

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Contemporary Ethics, Exegesis, Hebrew Bible, Hermeneutics, Ministry, Preaching

Women on the Family Tree

The only subject that will engender controversy and division faster than the issue of “women in the church” is unity! Both subjects are laden with passion but passionate love for those of another view is usually absent from discussions of either subject. Thus it is with a certain amount of trepidation that I respond to a series of questions about women.

It seems the moment one offers any opinion on the subject of women in the church that some one will brand you as a heretic and as an unbeliever in the Bible and its authority. Those who hold what might be called a “traditional” view accuse those who harbor a non-Traditional view as loose postmodern deconstructionists. Those who hold a non-Traditional view accuse those cherish the Traditional view as canonizing not Scripture but culture and highly selective reading. It is getting to the point where these groups cannot even talk to each other.

Is it possible to go to the Scriptures and just see what women did there? Can one be “un” biblical if he or she says women can do exactly what God let them do in the “Bible days?” So what if we simply ask this question: “What do we see women actually doing in the Scripture?” Isn’t this the place to start? Is this what a Bible believer should do? So when we look at our rule of faith what do we see? Here is a quick list of things (roles) I see women actually doing:

1) I found women that were wives (Eve, Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth, etc)

2) I found women that were mothers (Eve, Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth, etc)

3) I found women that ruled countries (Ataliah, 1 Kgs 11; 2 Chr 23; Queen of Sheba, 1 Kgs 10; 2 Chr 9; Mt 12.42; Esther, whole book)

4) I found women that worked outside the home as entrepreneurs (Pr 31.10-31)

5) I found women that were professional sages, that is a class of “wise people” in the Ancient world (Abigail, 1 Sam 25; Wise woman of Tekoa, 2 Sam 14; Woman of Abel, 2 Sam 20.14-22, there is considerable scholarly literature on these women in the ancient world). In fact Women are used as the very symbol of God’s own personal Wisdom (Pr 8)

6) I found women that were prophets (Miriam, Micah 6.4; Ex 15.20; Deborah, Judges 4-5; Huldah, 2 Kgs 22, 2 Chr 34.22ff; Isaiah’s wife, Isa 8.3ff; Anna, Lk 2.36-38; at Pentecost, Acts 2.17-18; Philip’s daughters, Acts 21.8-9; and Corinthian women, 1 Cor 11.4-5)

7) I found a woman that was a Judge and “lead all Israel” (Deborah, Judges 4.4)

8) I found at least one woman called a deacon, in fact the only deacon with a name in the Bible is a woman (Phoebe, Rom 16.1-2)

9) I found one woman called an apostle (Junia, NRSV, Rom 16.7)

Women are Not Second Class Humans in Scripture

When I went to the Scriptures I found lots of women on the family tree. I found them being faithful to God as mothers and wives. But I also found women being faithful to God through running a business and using their gifts of wisdom to help even men, even kings and priests! I also found women who glorified God through leading his people as prophets, judges, deacons and more. There was a time in my life that I did not know or believe a woman could be any of those things nor any of these texts.

As I looked deeper into the text, my eyes fell upon things that had always been there but for some reason I had failed to see. I noticed, really noticed, for the first time that entire books in the canon concern women … Ruth and Esther. Did a woman write Ruth? Esther? It is certainly within the realm of possibility and considering the content we might say likely. At least part of Esther, and the rules for Purim, come directly from the authoritative hand of a woman,

Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim … Esther’s decree confirmed these regulations about Purim, and it was written down in the records” (Esther 9.29, 32)

It would seem from this text that God used a woman to regulate the entire feast of Purim whom he empowered to write with “full authority.” This text in Esther claims a lot.

Female voices punctuate the biblical text. They are not silent in Scripture as they are in many churches. The author of Samuel and Kings records Hannah’s voice in prayer (1 Sam 1). Question: Can we join our voice to hers as she prays? Judges records Deborah’s great song that predates his (?) material by centuries (Judges 5). The wisdom recorded by Lemuel is that of a woman (Pr 31.2-9). Luke records Mary’s Magnificant and let her lead the church in praise for centuries (Lk 1.46-56). In the Psalms, many scholars believe that the content of Psalm 131 sounds like a female voice rather than masculine … and this should not bother us since we sing Fanny J. Crosby all the time. And Paul tells us about some women who shared their voices in prayer at Corinth (1 Cor 11.4-5). So as I learn about women on the family tree I have discovered that it is very likely that women even helped write the Bible!

When we argue about women in the church do we come to the argument fully embracing the roles that God called women to in Scripture itself? Another question we should ask is … before we argue about what the Scripture says, do we really know what it does say? All of it? How do we integrate these women from the family tree into our doctrine and our practice? I don’t know all the answers … but I am overwhelmed by all the women on our family tree.

FYI … the image at the top is from January 1901 showing what many think the proper role of a woman to be …

If you are interested in some previous thoughts on Women in the Family Tree look at these posts:

What Did God Say? Genesis 2.18b and Man’s Helper


Huldah Who?? The Forgotten Ministry of a Female Prophet

This last post is the essence of my lecture at the ACU lectures.

More Later.

Bobby Valentine

27 Responses to “Women on the Family Tree: What Does the Bible Say Women DID??”

  1. Steve Puckett Says:

    We’ve always told our daughters that they can do whatever God calls them to do. We visited at Highland Street in Abilene on Sunday and it was truly refreshing to see women taking an active part in the service with Bible reading, prayer and sharing.

    Sarah Sumner’s book, Men and Women in the Church, is truly a watershed book in that it actually presents a solid case for full participation of women in ministry and leadership and it’s written by a scholarly woman with a tremendous godly spirit.


  2. Jim Frost Says:

    Women and unity certianly are issues of division.

    “unity” an issue of division”?

    You have landed on hot grounds for discussion.

    Waiting for “more later”

  3. johnny r melton Says:

    Women were the first approved human witnesses of the empty tomb, the first to see the resurrected Lord, and the first to announce this good news–and the announcement was made in an assembly that included male disciples (the Eleven among others) on the first day of the week. While this may not qualify as preaching; it is certainly testifying. These women shared their experience of the gospel with other disciples on Resurrection Sunday.

  4. preacherman Says:

    Your post is very interesting. I love how you back it up with scripture. I know that the women at our church do very much. Cook meal for funnerals, sick, take cakes and cookies to visitors, write encouraging notes to those who are in the hospital and need encouragement. The women in our congregation send flowers to those who are in the hospital in our church and in the town. The women prepare communion. Alot of the women go and visit those who are sick and pray with them. Some of the women rotate teaching the teen class. And one is doing a fantastic job teaching our boys. Some of the oldest women in the congregation add to the discussion in class and give it a fresh approach that I would have never seen before. Older women very wise and spunky. I love it. Bobby, great post on this issue. I really like the scriptures that you use. I hope you have a great week.

  5. Steve Says:

    I was convinced long ago but I profited from what you uncovered and how you put it together.

  6. cwinwc Says:

    I remember Carroll Osburn starting his lecture on this subject at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures by saying, “I’d rather eat a great big bug than do what I’m getting ready to do.”

    It is a shame that we can’t discuss any subject without some of the things you mentioned in the early part of your post.

    To discuss “women’s role in the church” is to already prejudice the subject. It reminds me of a story where a church was discussing if women could serve on the Lord’s Table on Sunday. Supposedly an older lady spoke up and said, “If we’re not allowed to serve on the Lord’s Table it will be the only meal we don’t serve around here.”

    I look forward to more thoughts on this subject and the book Steve mentioned is well worth the read.

  7. Falantedios Says:

    Great thoughts, Bobby. You should incorporate Johnny’s points as well, along with the female missionary in John 4.


  8. Alan Says:

    > It is getting to the point where these
    > groups cannot even talk to each other.

    That is the most disturbing part of the problem. Neither side respects the other side. Why not instead practice Rom 14, and give up our rights when necessary in order to avoid placing an obstacle in another Christian’s path?

  9. Falantedios Says:

    Dear Alan,

    It seems to be because each side is demanding that THE OTHER SIDE give up THEIR rights. This boggles my mind because EACH SIDE thinks that the other side is the weaker brethren, and so each side should be willing to surrender for the sake of the other.

    There is no mutual submission for the sake of the Lord or the gospel.

    in HIS love,

  10. Greg Says:

    My eyes were first opened by Dr. Osborn at Pepperdine and later at a Zoe conference in Nashville. I’m proud to say our elders at Long Beach have not only embraced what the Bible teaches regarding women, but have taught it in classes and allowed it to be preached. I refuse to allow my eyes to ever be closed on this subject again. Interestingly, though, with the freedom to be more involved in the public worship at Long Beach, very few choose to do so. So we refuse to make an issue where non exists.

    Good thoughts and well presented.

  11. Gardner Hall Says:

    All the points about Deborah, Huldah, Esther, etc. are valid for those who would deny women the right to teach or influence others under any circumstance. (I remember some of them from my days in Eastern Kentucky in the 1970’s!) Your points about Esther are new for me and worthy of consideration. I preached about Deborah last Sunday.

    However, we’re still left to wrestle with simple and plain texts like 1 Timothy 2:11,12 which obviously regulate the actions of women in some situations, differentiating their roles from those of men. Do we just toss these texts or try to render them meaningless through overanalysis? I fear that is what has happened in some circles. God calls us to obey this passage, whatever it is saying.

    It is easy to caricaturize the ideal role of women as homemakers with century-old drawings. And yet, in the year 2007 Titus 2:5 still encourages women to be “workers at home” (NAS) While this text has certainly been abused by extremists to make laws that God hasn’t made, it does describe an ideal that should still be respected.

    May God help us sort through these issues with the loving spirit you have shown and without the name calling that has characterized too many exchanges through the years.

  12. Greetings From Tucson Says:

    Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking article! I too heard Carroll Osburn at the Pepperdine Lectures. I am convinced that many of us take sides, not only on the issue of women but also on other issues, while only reading the transliterated version of our English Bibles. If we could all read the original text and understand it, we might all come to different conclusions. Thanks for your thoughts.

  13. Dee O'Neil Andrews Says:

    Thanks for the excellent scriptural post, Bobby. And thanks to all of you guys who are so understanding and open minded toward us women.

    I mean that. From the bottom of my heart.

    I think that Proverbs 31 pretty much sums up what all a woman can do or not do, and there’s not much there that she can’t do or doesn’t do. I hold it up as my prime example of Christian womanhood in this world and it’s a wonderful example.

    The Proverbs 31 woman works from her home and home base, but also is well known in the community and afar for her business acumen.

    I am very blessed with a wonderful husband who treats me with total equality in all things. He loves me deeply and doesn’t think that there is anything I couldn’t do if I wanted to.

    I, on the other hand, defer to him and gladly so, as that is the way of love. To try to always give consideration to the other person above ourselves.

    I certainly wish there were more opportunities for women in the church here to participate fully in.

    Keep preaching, Bobby! We all need to hear these things.

    Cheers & Blessings to you all today! Dee

    of Finding Direction: The Wind Vane Chronicles

  14. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Thank you everyone for reading along as I think “out loud.” And that is all I am doing … thinking and investigating. I know more now than I did before.

    Johnny thanks for the good point about the resurrection witnesses. The woman “evangelist” in John 4 is also significant. Thanks for commenting.


    I am delighted you have joined my thinking out loud session. I really appreciate your input. I appreciate you acknowledging the relevance of Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, etc. But I have found that many do not see them as relevant. With the wave of a wand these women disappear as if they never were. Most simply refer to 1 Cor or 1 Tim as if those two texts did not have a context themselves or as if they were the only words scripture has on the matter.

    But I would argue that Paul cannot be understood in such a way that makes him contradict the obvious import of what we see God doing in and through women throughout history. The fact is that women DID exercise authority over men. Women DID in fact “teach” men. Women DID in fact lead men. Deborah did it. Esther did it with “full authority.” Huldah did it … and both the Chronicler and historian of Sam-Kings record her while they are nearly stone silent on the ministries of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, etc. Huldah is incredibly important in the story of God’s people.

    A few notes on your comments: I do not think Titus 2.5 presents an “ideal” as the sphere of a woman’s work. The word Paul uses is a NT hapax but its meaning is clear women need to be “busy” … like Proverbs 31. This text, in my opinion, says nothing about a woman’s proper sphere (as if it was limited to the home).

    I appreciate your mention of 1 Tim 2.11,12 too. I am not sure what you mean by “over analysis.” I want to know what the text meant to the best of my ability and do what God intends. My first step is to see Paul in the big picture … that big picture may suggest that Paul is dealing with a specific issue at Ephesus (because we have women “not silent” in 1 Cor 11.4-5 and throughout the biblical text).

    But the word you use to describe 1 Tim 2.11-12 is “plain.” That is a problematic word. What does that mean? Richard Lints in a book called “The Fabric of Theology” stated (not commenting on our text here):

    “[I]t is easy enough to affirm that any given passage of scripture means what it says. But it can be a good deal more difficult to determine exactly what a text is saying …” (p. 295)

    There is some wisdom there. How, for example, is v.11 any more “plain” than v.15? or v. 9? or for that matter v.8? or 1 Cor 11.4-5 or Huldah?

    But what if it is no more plain than any of those texts. What if we have been blind to what the text is “plainly” saying? What if, for example, Paul is dealing with some incredibly arrogant and male hating women which in light of the goddess Artemis and her sacred priestesses seems to be the case. Would this help ground the text in a specific situation?

    What if v 8 and v 9 are part of the exact same sentence (which they are dispite the fact the NIV breaks them) and the “subject” of v.9 is in v.8. The connection with Artemis would also explain the concern over dress in vv 9-10. This would show that women are praying in Ephesus just as they are in 1 Cor 11.4-5.

    What if the word “silent” does not mean silence … and in fact does not have speech as its primary meaning? It would be important to know that term in v.11 is the same as in 2.2 that is translated as “peaceful and quiet” (NIV). It is an attitude or state of mind.

    What if the word “authority” in v.12 is not the normal word for “authority” used by Paul or the rest of the NT. Indeed Paul uses a harsh word that is only used here in the NT (it is used in the LXX in the Apocrypha). Paul’s normal word is proistemi (used in 3.4-5, 12; 5.17) or exousia (many places). Here he uses authenteo which normally means to “domineer” and in a few places even means to “murder” (as it does in the Maccabean literature). It seems to me that Paul did not suddenly decide to show off his vocabulary but chose this word because it suited the occasion. Something abnormal is going on with THESE women. If that is the case that would also explain why Paul uses the present indicative in v.12 which can be translated as “I am not allowing …” rather than I do not allow …

    At any rate these questions, which I raise in order to “think out loud” rather than prove you wrong. I have come to the conclusion that this text is not quite as “plain” as I previously thought.

    I am not over analysing though. I am wrestling and trying to understand to the best of my ability.

    Thank you for challenging me and and being kind to me. Keep me in your prayers. May we study together can come to a fuller knowledge of what God desires.

    Bobby Valentine

  15. Gardner Hall Says:

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful response and especially for your loving spirit. Here are a couple of comments in return as we “think out loud” together:

    (1) I agree with you 100% that Deborah, Huldah, Esther and other godly women of the Old Testament are extremely relevant to sorting all this out because of what Paul said in 1 Cor. 14:35, that the principle of subjection he was giving by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was the same as that given in the law. Therefore, if godly women under the law like Esther, Huldah and Esther were approved by God, then godly women today will also be approved when following their examples. I’m with you on this point.

    My divergence with you might be over how they taught and led. I still don’t see in their examples anything that would justify the women in the pulpit, the eldership or other roles that feminists try to draw from their examples. Rather, I still see in their leadership the spirit of submission and humility that is completely in line with the most simple and basic interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11,12. Though you are right that they exercised a kind of authority, it seems to me that it was more of a moral authority, not a directorial type of authority over the man that 1 Tim. 2:12 prohibits.

    Deborah probably gives the best illustration of the type of distinction I’m trying to make. She simply sat under her palm tree and gave advice and judgment to those wise enough to seek it. There she could still attend to her family and domestic responsibilities. When she identified herself in her amazing song, it was simply and humbly as a “mother in Israel” (vs. 7). However, when the time came for the more aggressive type of military leadership, she realized that such would be out of place for her and relayed God’s message to Barak that he take leadership of the army. Barak was no macho man, but rather agreed to do God’s bidding but only if she accompanied him. So, we have Deborah providing the moral authority for the people of God, even as she asks Barak to provide the directorial authority over the group of men in the army.

    I think in the case of Deborah we have in a nutshell God’s plan for women’s leadership. They give primary importance to their families but also dispense advice and judgment to those wise enough to seek it. They do this while being careful to be in subjection and avoid seeking out positions that would be inconsistent with that spirit. That’s real leadership! If men had any sense (how do you like that broad stroke?), they would be like Barak and refuse to proceed without the moral leadership of the godly women who are at their side who often have more sense than they do. However, women can exercise this leadership without violating 1 Tim. 2:11,12 and 1 Cor. 14:34,35.

    Huldah, didn’t seek to give discourses to hundreds and to thousands, but rather, quietly taught a group of men that came to her asking about God’s will for Israel. No violation of 1 Timothy 2:11,12 or 1 Cor. 14 here. I agree with you about the great relevance of Huldah’s work and the honor she deserved, but simply wonder if her example justifies women in the pulpit, eldership, etc. I don’t think so.

    (2) I suppose I’ll stick to my guns (pardon the violent metaphor) that 1 Timothy 2:11,12 is plain, although I can’t say the same thing about verses 13-15. (Some portions in a teaching context may be “plain,” while others may be tougher.) Perhaps, I’ll modify that just a bit by saying it’s plain to me, but then again, who am I? Of course, that doesn’t mean that no analysis is necessary, but I think all will admit that just looking at several translations of the passage will leave the first time reader with the impression that women shouldn’t teach or have authority over the man. The O.T. texts help us to see that surely she can teach him in some contexts, but not in such a way that she takes a position of authority over him. (Perhaps the word “over” which is probably implied in “authenteo” is key here, implying the directorial type of authority as opposed to moral authority.) I see no reason to question the common translations of the verse, but feminists usually feel compelled to.

    When I talk of over analysis, I will confess to something that I probably have done. I read a verse and say, “surely that can’t be saying what it seems to be saying. Surely there is something in the context or in extant Greek usage that will show that the translators have it wrong.“ And usually, if I dig enough I can throw enough doubt on an issue to make it become quite hazy in my mind, even though it seemed pretty direct at first. We see this done all the time on the (pardon the expression) plain passages about baptism for the remission of sins.

    I think you’re right about the word “silent” in some translations of 1 Tim. 2:11 because of the NIV’s translation and the use of the same word in texts like 2 Tess. 3:12.

    On the word “authenteo,” (“take authority over”) let me just recommend Jack Cottrell’s comments in his book, “Gender Roles and the Bible: Creation, the Fall, and Redemption.” It’s published by College Press. He is much more qualified than I to deal with this point and analyzes it in great detail.

    (3) Of course Titus 2 doesn’t prohibit women’s working outside the home, but to use Dee’s terminology in her beautiful post, I think it does imply a “home base,” a priority given to the home even as influence is exercised elsewhere. I admire women who make economic sacrifices to dedicate as much time as they can to their homes, their children, their husbands, needy children in the community, the sick and shut ins of the congregation, Bible study, etc. I don’t see anything wrong with calling this an ideal arrangement, though few of us, either men or women, are able to spend as much time as we would like in these domestic areas of service.

    Thanks for much for your loving spirit and patience with someone like me who is not so nearly as well read nor as formally educated as you are. The fact that you respectfully consider my inexpert opinions, reflects well on you and the openness of your mind. I love you for it!

    Your companion in over anlysis, Gardner

  16. Gardner Hall Says:

    correction: That’s “over analysis”

  17. brad Says:

    I had a friend who had a very colorful past. He returned to the Lord later in life, and became an incredible influence to all who came in contact with him.

    Then came time for selecting elders. He knew his name would come up. He knew that many of the things in his past could cause debate over whether he was qualified or not. And, as all good shepherds know how to do, he was able to simply diffuse the situation by excusing himself from the selection process.

    Therein is the “Jesus” answer to all of this:

    “Don’t sit at the head of the table…”
    “To be the greatest, be the servant of all…”
    “Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought…”
    “Humble yourself, and he will lift you up.”
    “I may speak with the voice of angels, but without love, it’s kaput.”

    I might know that I could preach better than the pastor. But God has called that pastor to the pulpit because he’s working on that very weakness in him. I shall encourage the pastor, and be a part of building him up by praying for him.

    The nature of the fallen man is to get nothing done, to be lazy, to let others do their work for them. But God has called him to the opposite: to lead, and give up all of themselves for others.

    The fallen women knows she’s great at leading, a lot better than that good-for-nothing fallen man. But she has been called to do the opposite: Let the man lead out, and encourage him in his attempt to do so, especially when she already knows better.

    “The role of women in the church” is not an issue, as much as a symptom of a lack of love (as in, “service”; “looking out for the best interest of others, etc.”). Men who serve and pray for women are cultivating a harvest of women who respect the men for being so much like Jesus. Likewise, women who pray for (and trust God to lead) the men in their lives are not in a position of needing to be assertive about ministry.

    God-fearing men see, value, and encourage anyone with a gift, regardless of gender, and trust that the Lord will shape that person’s gift within the Lord’s own rules.

    God-fearing women see, value, and encourage the leadership potential in the men, and trust that the Lord is in charge, regardless of where things “seem” to be headed at the time.

    Churches that struggle to deal with the “issue” of “women’s roles” are probably dealing with a different issue altogether: God’s role in the church.

  18. John Mark Hicks Says:

    I think “workers at home” has little if anything to do with whether one works outside of the home or not. It was not until the industrial age that that issue was every a really “hot” question.

    Rather, I think “workers at home” refers more to the idea that younger women should be industrious in their life (as opposed to lazy) just as their husbands should be as well.

  19. Danny Says:

    You are so right about being branded something no matter where you fall on this, but that should not prevent us from- as you have done- seeking out God’s perspective.

    Thanks for this post. I will lead a month-long study later this year on this topic and your post will now be a resource.

    Just wish I could be at the ACU lectures.

  20. Kristi Says:

    Oh..wow! I love your thinking out loud! What thorough references you gave for me to explore on my own. Many times I’ve squelched the Spirit’s urgings in my life…only to do what was “right!” I appreciate the view and support!!!

    Loving God!

  21. laymond Says:

    Bobby sit down and hold on to your seat, I totally agree with what you said. have for many years, God does not restrict women/anyone in the work they can do for him.

  22. Cheryl Russell Says:

    What a great discussion! I have been a disciple of Christ for eleven years, I am a wife, and a mother. God has given me the gifts of hospitality, service, and teaching. I am not a feminist. I am a follower of Christ and a student of The Way. My heart’s desire is to 1.Love God 2.Love others. and 3.Follow Christ. It always hurts to hear that using and wanting to use the gifts that God has given, makes me lacking in love, disrespectful towards God, and feminist. None of those things are true. The truth is that I, and the other women I know who were given what some would call “non-traditional gifts”, are passionate lovers of God who feel closest to God when we do what we were put here to do. I love teaching, I feel God’s Spirit in my belly when I teach, I feel closest to God when He is using me in this way. It is unfair to characterize women who were called to more public ministry as feminist. Feminists fight for the same rights as men, I do not. The desire to fight for rights died when I gave my life to Christ. My only desire is to be a servant of the Word. I take comfort in God’s Word and the fact that anywhere that Christianity was, the status of marginalized people, including women and children, was raised. I rejoice in the fact that Jesus often seems to NOT practice what some say Paul preached. Paul tells women to learn at home, but Christ broke the traditional norms of His day and taught everyone. I love that Christ’s inner circle was a mixture of broken and marginalized men and women who faithfully followed Him, even when it was neither the religious or societal norm. I am blessed by those dedicated Christian sisters (Phoebe, Lydia, Anna, Priscilla, Mary, Euodia, Syntyche), who labored for the cause of the Gospel during a time when to do so, meant putting their lives on the line. I do not believe that God asks me to choose between home and ministry. He had blessed me with my husband and children, AND and with many opportunitites to use His gifts.

    Finally, I don’t know any Christian mother who would disagree that our home is our priority. However, the most devout Christian men I know feel the same way. Scripture is clear that the home should be the priority of both husband and wife, father and mother.

    Thank you for this opportunity!
    His Peace, Cheryl Russell

  23. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Cheryl this has brought a number of folks “out of the woodwork” so to speak. I am delighted you dropped by and entered the conversation. For what it is worth … I agree with everything you say.

    One caveat: I do not think Paul limited women to the home. You listed a number of women and we know them only because Paul says they worked with him.

    Bobby Valentine

  24. Gardner Hall Says:

    Sorry for offending with the word “feminist.” It is too broad, too loaded and conjures up different images in the minds of different people. I’ll be more careful in the future.

  25. Cheryl Russell Says:


    I agree with your caveat, I meant to communicate that the way that verse is normally interpreted is not consistent with what Jesus practiced.

    I heard about your blog and this particular post from a friend of ours who is a member at Palo Verde. I have enjoyed your posts and the fact that most comments are tempered with a loving Spirit, makes for good dialogue.

    Many Blessings!

  26. Dee Andrews Says:

    Bobby –

    Thanks for “re-posting” this post from FaceBook last night/today. I followed your link from there back to here and am refreshed, once again, in reading all that you’ve written and studied so diligently and all the the thoughtful and excellent comments that followed, including some of your own.

    I’m going to forward this link to my daughter to read because I think it will mean a whole lot to her in the Christian life she is trying to lead out in Texas (I’m still in south Mississippi). She is married to a very brutish man, who is a “Christian” in name, but not in his terrible actions toward her. In fact, he has filed for divorce and treating her horribly in the process.

    Her spirit has been beaten down, leaving her in a fragile place, but I think she will gain much encouragement in reading all that has been said here. She is a very talented young woman who has lived a Godly life and who deserves much better than she has had in a companion. I know you understand such things and can give empathy.

    I so desire for her to find someone who truly loves her and who will be a wonderful, loving husband who treats her as these women in the Bible were treated by God and by Jesus Christ. What wonderful examples you’ve brought us here in this post.

    THANK YOU, Bobby!!!

    Much love to you & Tifani as you start a new life together. I pray my daughter shall find someone like you in her life.


  27. Bradford L. Stevens Says:

    I have always thought that when Adam and Eve were in the garden before the Fall that they probably never had the discussion on the role of women. Genesis 3:16 is the source of the problem. But, if the Messiah came to restore the kingdom, shouldn’t the relationship issues caused by sin be replaced with faith, hope and love in the body of Christ today? The Manhattan Church of Christ has a great resource on it’s website called: A Community without Barriers – A Study Guide that is free to download. I heartily recommend it. The site is here: http://www.manhattanchurch.org/resources.asp

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