Comment: Women & the New Testament

9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (1 Timothy 2:9-15, New Testament NIV translation)

Is this the inerrant Word of God?

These quotations present problems for Christians. If they view the Bible as strictly God’s Word and therefore inerrant, how do they can they possibly reject authority of this passage from 1 Timothy of the New Testament. Hopefully most believers do using modern sensibilities about how to treat women. But doing so negates the belief that all the books of the Christian bible are strictly the Word of God. Implicitly they are acknowledging that the Bible books have been written and edited over 1000+ years by people who have the usual range of human weaknesses. It comes down to personal choice which parts believers accept or reject. It sounds like the dreaded “relativism” that religious leaders so commonly rail against.

On the other hand if believers accept this quotation as truth, heaven help women.

Alex McCullie

As a further note many use this passage to proclaim Paul as a misogynist even though his other writings support women having active roles in the early Christian church. Today many biblical scholars believe that 1 Timothy and the anti-female text of 1 Corinthians were not from Paul but fraudently added or assigned at some later period (St. Paul and Women: A Mixed Record).

News: Afghan women jailed for being raped

The Independent news report (Monday, 18 August 2008):

In Lashkar Gah, the majority of female prisoners are serving 20-year sentences for being forced to have sex. Terri Judd visited them and heard their extraordinary stories

Monday, 18 August 2008

Beneath the anonymity of the sky-blue burqa, Saliha’s slender frame and voice betray her young age.Asked why she was serving seven years in jail alongside hardened insurgents and criminals, the 15-year-old giggled and buried her head in her friend’s shoulder. (more)