Wednesday, November 16, 2005

2+2=5, Why The Sudden Change?

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." 1 Timohty 2:11

When it comes to women in ministry, more notably women in the pulpit, these verses should plague both sides of the argument. Those who are in favor have to ignore Paul’s teaching or explain it away by using well though out assumptions that could hardly be classified as authoritative (in my opinion).

Then there is the traditional conservative interpretation to take this teaching literally thus denying a woman to teach, preach, or have any authority within the church. What puzzles me about this interpretation is the sudden change of hermeneutic. Verses 11 and 12 is treated as literal, applicable for today. The two verses before that lead to this literal interpretation is treated much differently. It reads…

“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. “

The traditional conservative interpretation is to treat “braided hair or gold or pearls, or expensive clothes” as a cultural issues limited to the first century and does not apply for today. What accounts for the sudden change of hermeneutic?

Since I Timothy is short letter is seems that the hermeneutic must remain the same to be honest to the text (or to be “obedient to the scriptures”). To simply change the hermeneutic in the middle of Paul’s thought (like vs. 9-12) is not being true to the text. If denying women the opportunity to speak is to be the literal interpretation then all golden wedding rings are to be removed, flashy jewelry is not to be worn, and hair styles must be monitored upon entry of the worship service.

This line of thought seems silly and fruitless but how can the traditional interpretation be considered honest?

Neither side sits well with me. Both arguments do not add up.

No comments: