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God’s Calling to Women

August 4, 2009

Click Here to view the article “God’s Calling to Women” in PDF


A Woman’s Place: Keeper at Home

August 3, 2009

A Woman’s Place: Keeper at Home

In Titus 2, Paul instructs the aged women to teach the young women to be “keepers at home”. What does this mean? The Greek word translated “keepers at home” (KJV) or “homemakers” (NKJV) is oikouros. This is a compound word from oikos– house, household, family; and ouros– a guard, be “ware”, guardian, a watcher, a warden. Let this sink in for a moment: the word “oikouros” translated “keepers at home” carries the meaning of “watching the house, of a watchdog” {source}

The commission to “keep” was first given by God to Adam in Genesis 2:15: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” In this case, we are looking at the Old Testament and a Hebrew Word. The Hebrew word in Gen 2:15 (adam’s assignment)= shamar which is translated keep , observe, heed, preserve, beware, watchman, wait, watch, regard, save. The next occurance of the word shamar is in Genesis 3:24 where “Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”

Can you see similarity in meaning of the Hebrew word “shamar” translated “keep” and the Greek word “ouros” translated “keeper”? The “keep” commission of Gen 2:15 and that of Titus 2:5 are about protecting, watching, guarding.

From what danger do you suppose Adam was supposed to “keep” the garden? (Remember, he was given this assignment before the fall: before thorns, weeds, thistles, decay.) Is this “keep” directed to Adam a mere calling to domestic servitude as a gardener? The Titus 2 admonition to be “keepers at home” is no more a reference to domestic servitude than was God’s “KEEP” commission to Adam.

Fulfilling God’s commission to “keep” is a way in which male and female reflect the image of God who is referred to in scripture by a Greek word which means the “keeper above all”.

1 Peter 1:5 in several versions:
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” KJV

“who, in the power of God are being guarded, through faith, unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time” YLT

“who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” NIV

“who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” NAS

The Greek word for each of the underlined translations above is phroureo:
oureo=KEEPER ; phr= before; above

Head of the Household

The reader may question a wife’s authority to “KEEP the home” in the sense expressed above. My understanding of a wife’s authority was revolutionized by understanding the meaning of one Greek word in Scripture. Katherine Bushnell lifts the veil on the well kept secret. Quoted from paragraph 368-369 of Lesson 48 :

Men often talk of the father and husband as the “final authority” in the home. What says St. Paul on the point? The Greek word for “despot” (despotes) furnishes us with our English word. Its meaning is precisely the same in Greek as it is in English. It means an absolute and arbitrary ruler, from whom there can be no appeal. It was the title slaves were required to use in addressing the master who owned them as property. Please read all the passages in which this Greek word despotes occurs. It is rendered “Master” in the following places: 1 Timothy 6:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 2:18; “Lord” in Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 4; and Revelation 6:10.

Oikos is a very ordinary word in Greek, meaning “house.” These two words, oikos and despotes, unite to form the word oikodespotes, which, as you can see, means “master of the house,” and it is so rendered, Matthew 10:25; Luke 13:25 and 14:21. Now the Apostle Paul makes use of a verb corresponding to this noun oikodespotes,¾namely, “to master the house,”¾oikodespotein. He says, 1 Timothy 5:14, “I will that the younger women marry, bear children, oikodespotein, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” After the analysis of this word, we can all see how it should have been translated. The A. V., however, translates, “guide the house” the R. V., with a little more justice translates, “rule the household.” Now whom, if anyone, does St. Paul make the “final authority in the home?” The woman. But we believe that Paul would teach that God alone is final authority in a Christian home.

A visit to the online Greek lexicon resource of Tufts University will confirm the definition exposed by Bushnell some 100 years ago: oikodespot  from 1 Tim 5:14 to be master of a house or head of a family, to rule the household

Have you ever heard before that WOMEN are to be “master of the home”/ “queen of the castle”? What motivates the silence?

Author’s Note: To illustrate “Keeper”, I used a photo of Princess Eowyn of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Enjoy the following memorable clip from the movie as an allegory of the power unleashed when God’s Women are willing to overcome the obstacles and bravely engage in spiritual warfare.


“head of the wife”

May 7, 2009

“but even as the assembly is subject to Christ,
so also [are] the wives to their own husbands in everything”
Eph 5:24 (YLT)

From head of the wife this observation:

Regarding the “let … be“: As the italics indicate, these English words do not represent any Greek word or words. So the verse would be more literally translated this way: “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives are to their husbands in all [matters].”

Just as “the husband IS the head of the wife” is  DESCRIPTIVE not PRESCRIPTIVE,
likewise: Being “subject to their husbands in all matters as the church is subject to Christ” is something a wife IS, not something she DOES!

Do you hear the difference? She can’t help it! She is controlled by  her “head”.

Makes me lean even more toward verse 32 being the real truth about this passage. Paul is not speaking of flesh and blood marriage here. He is speaking of how Jesus needs to be my husband and my head so that I am controlled by Jesus, not by a fallible man.

“Bridehood”  is gender neutral.  🙂
Jesus also needs to be my husband’s ‘husband” and head so he is controlled by Jesus and not by a fallible man.

“you do not need anyone to teach you”

May 5, 2009

Putting any (hu)man where the Holy Spirit should be is a form of idolatry.

Once people can hear and learn from the Holy Spirit instead of putting their trust in earthy “authority figures” they will learn TRUTH.

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:27
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13

But you have not so learned Christ,  if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: Eph 4:20-21

Qualifications of Church Leadership

March 9, 2009

one woman man

I’ve heard the argument that because 1 Timothy 3:2,  1 Tim 3:12, and Titus 1:6 use the expression translated as “husband of one wife” therefore, deacons, elders, bishops are unqualified unless they are MALE.  Click the above link to see the Greek transliteration from all three passages.  It would be better translated “one woman man” and the meaning is a faithful husband OR wife!

This is proven by the fact that female Phoebe is not disqualified by Paul based on her gender.  In fact she is commended by Paul in Romans 16:1 using the exact same “diakonon”[deacon] word he used in Rom 15:8 for Christ, Romans 15:25 for himself, and 1 Thes 3:2 for Timothy.  (see link)

And there is this from 1 Tim 3:1 “ei tis episkopēs” translated “if any man desire the office of bishop”.  Click the link to look at other occurrences of ei tis.  It doesn’t mean “any man“.  It means anyone!

Apostle Paul is NOT a male chauvinist!

March 6, 2009

Apostle Paul is NOT a Male Chauvinist (pdf)

Note: Hyperlinks are in Brown Font

Personally, I think Paul is very deep and rather hard to understand.  There are those who think applying a historical grid to Paul’s writings clarify them.  They might say, “Paul spoke to a culture where women were chattel”.  Personally, I believe that God’s Word speaks powerfully across every culture in every time.  Nor do I believe that God would make HIS Word inaccessible to all but scholars who can study and understand “historical context”.    God’s Word is accessible to common people, not by “man’s wisdom… they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:13-14).  God’s Word is  “alive and active sharper than any double edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12; see also Romans 15:4, James 1:21) .  Even Paul’s contemporary and fellow Apostle- Peter- said he was hard to understand (2 Peter 3:15-16).   In Paul’s writings, there’s a lot more there than first meets the eye (ie the truth is veiled).

Using only Scripture- taken as God-breathed and inerrant (in its original autographs), I present a way of understanding Paul which removes the charge of “chauvinism” against him.  First, I will dig into Scriptures where Paul’s metaphors are defined.  Then I  apply that grid of proven Biblical Pauline metaphors to two passages Paul wrote which have traditionally been interpreted and applied in ways which are demeaning to women.

Paul’s metaphors:

In Ephesians 5 where Paul speaks of “marriage” and “the husband wife relationship”, he clearly states that he is speaking of Christ and the church. (Eph 5:22-32).  Christ being the “husband”/”Man” and the church being the “wife”/”woman”.

Our walk with Christ should bring us to a place where “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:28.  Gender, status, race are FLESH-ly distinctions which count for nothing in the spiritual dimension.  As long as we regard the flesh [race, status, gender], we are “yet carnal”

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Cor 3:3

Paul identifies a symptom of carnality: “are ye not yet carnal, and walk as men?”  The “men” there is the Greek anthropos which would be better translated “people” as it  includes male and female people.  Mature, spiritual people should be walking as Christ, “and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil 3:2-7)

In Gal 3:28, Col 3:9-11 the division into male/female, slave/free, etc is symptomatic of an unrenewed, unregenerate perspective. Here Paul speaks of our fleshly body as a “seed” or “grain”: 1 Cor 15:36-38 We each have a fleshly body, a seed, a grain.  How do we sow? If we sow to the flesh, we will from the flesh reap destruction, but if to the spirit we will reap everlasting life Gal. 6:7-8.  In 1 Cor 15:42-50 Paul speaks of transformation, of the “natural body” and the “spiritual body”, of  “bearing the image of the heavenly”.  I don’t think he is just speaking of natural death here.  I think he is speaking of death to self and the formation of Christ within.  See verses (Rom 8:29, Rom 6:4-6, Gal 2:20, Gal 5:24-25, Phil 3:10-15, 2 Corinthians 4:11).

In 2 Cor 11:2-3 Paul uses Eve as a figure of the church.  While this is addressed to the Corinthians, I believe it is also addressed to you and I whether male or female.

Paul uses Child Birth as a metaphor for the formation of Christ (Gal 4:19).  Note that Paul speaks of himself as the one in the travail here, so these “pangs of childbirth” are not limited to flesh and blood women only.  Paul’s use of Child Birth echos Jesus use of the metaphor (“proverb”)- see Jesus’ words to His (male) disciples in John 16:16-25

A man is one who has grown up- not in terms of flesh/physical maturity, but in terms of spiritual maturity.  No longer “babes” (Romans 2:20, 1 Corinthians 3:1), one who has reached maturity/ given up childish ways (1 Cor 13:11-12), crucified the flesh (Gal 2:20), been renewed in the mind (Eph 4:23), put on Christ, become a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:16-17), been born from above/born of the spirit (John 3:6)

Ephesians 4:13-15 (King James Version)

13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Paul speaks of Jesus as  “the last Adam”

A Reading of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 through the grid of Paul’s metaphors.

Let the unrenewed learn in quietness with all subjection.
The unrenewed, I do not permit to teach or have authority over the mature, but to be in quietness.
For Adam (Jesus) was formed first, then Eve (the church/you and I whether male or female).
And Adam (Jesus) was not deceived, but Eve (you and I whether male or female) having been deceived, into transgression came,
and she (you and I whether male or female) will be saved through the child-bearing (the formation of Christ within) if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety. (Read “they” as the union with the second Adam, so if Eve/church/you and I remain united with CHRIST “in faith, and love…”, she/Eve/church/you and I will be SAVED)

1 Corinthians 11 through the grid of Paul’s metaphors.

1 Cor 11: 2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Paul starts out by speaking of the “ordinances” or “traditions” he has delivered to them.   Wouldn’t his use of metaphors be part of that?  I think so.

My theory is that when Paul says the following in 1 Cor 11

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God but the woman is the glory of the man

we should read that with an immediate RED FLAG since we are ALL supposed to be “renewed in knowledge after the image of our creator” and we are not supposed to “exchange the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made to look like corruptible man [or woman]“.

This  jumped out at me as I was re-reading the larger context of the 1 Corinthians passages:

“But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?” 1 Corinthians 14

I did a word study on the veiling of 1 Corinthians 11 and 2 Cor 3. To veil is kalypto.

To pull down the veil is katakalypto (renditions of which occur repeatedly in 1 Cor 11).

To lift up the veil is anakalypto– a conjugation of which occurs in
2 Cor 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

To separate/remove the veil is apokalypto– revelation.

Following this “veil” thread of Paul’s was enlightening!  Could the Apostle Paul be speaking metaphorically in 1 Cor 11 where woman and man are metaphors for phases of our Christian walk or phases of glorification?  In other words:  “woman” was me in the place when my sight was “veiled”, when I was not seeing things very clearly, and when I was looking at human authority for guidance and affirmation. “man” is me when that veil is lifted off and I can look directly at Christ for guidance “with unveiled face”. “man” is me when I am further along in the process of having “put on Christ” (Rom 13:14), and being “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29).

1 Corinthians 14- by Don Johnson

March 3, 2009

1 Corinthians 14- by Don Johnson