In this thread I’ve been laying out the view that in Paul’s own churches, women were granted places of prominence, possibly because they had been prominent at times from the very beginning, going back to the ministry of Jesus. But eventually women were silenced – as evidenced in the Pastoral epistles and the interpolation of 1 Cor. 14:35-36 by a later copyist of Paul’s letter. I continue this line of thought again by referring to the discussion of my Introduction to the NT, based on what is a broad consensus among scholars of antiquity who study such things:
So… why did the Pauline churches move to the position embraced in these later texts (wrongly assigned to Paul), restricting the roles that women could play in the churches, insisting that Christians be married, and making Christian women submit to the dictates of their husbands both at home and in the church? It would be easy enough to attribute this move simply to male chauvinism, as much alive in antiquity as it is today. But the matter may be somewhat more complicated than that. In particular, we need to consider what male domination might have *meant* in an ancient context. For odd as it might seem, not everyone means the same thing when they speak about gender relations, and most people in the ancient Roman world thought about these relations in terms that are quite foreign to those of us who live in the modern Western world.
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