Based on what I said in previous posts, from Paul’s own (authentic) letters, his attitude toward women in the church may seem inconsistent, or at least ambivalent. Women could participate in his churches as ministers, prophets, and even apostles. But they were to maintain their social status as women and not appear to be like men. This apparent ambivalence led to a very interesting historical result. When the dispute over the role of women in the church later came to a head, both sides could appeal to the apostle’s authority in support of their views.
On one side were those who urged a complete equality between men and women in the churches. Some such believers told tales of Paul’s own female companions, women like Thecla, who renounced marriage and sexual activities, led ascetic lives, and to taught male believers in church. On the other side were those who urged women to be in complete submission to men. Believers like this could combat the tales of Thecla and other women leaders by portraying Paul as an apostle who insisted on marriage, spurned asceticism, and forbade women to teach.
Which side of this dispute produced the books that made it into the canon? Consider the Pastoral epistles from this perspective, letters allegedly written …
It’s a major issue: does the New Testament slight and belittle women and their participation in the Christian community? Did Paul himself? To keep reading, you’ll simply need to join blog. And why not? You benefit and so do the charities we support. Little is more important these days!