1 Timothy 2:11-14: Silence!

5:00 AM

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. -- 1 Timothy 2:11-14
A good while ago I listened to a leader of the patriarchy movement teach on the role of women in the church. I understood I was to say nothing -- not a peep -- and that's all. No further elaboration on the roles and responsibilities of women in the body of Christ. That talk gave this passage a humiliating twist. Whenever I read it, I felt reminded that my words were disruptive and unwanted, and my heart easily deceived. For a curious girl with a heart for teaching and discipleship, that crushed me. I think I wrestled with this passage more than any other: I was fine submitting to a husband who loved me, but to be silenced in a place where discipleship opportunities were rampant? Ouch. Why, God?

Thankfully, I was introduced to better hermeneutics (praise God for David Platt!). In order to properly interpret and apply this passage, we've got to understand three key concepts:

-- Context, context, context.
-- Audience.
-- The rest of the Bible.

We must understand where a passage falls (under law or under grace, in what book, between passages, in what argument, in what train of thought, etc.), who the passage was originally meant for, and what the rest of the Bible says about the same topic.

In this case, the passage lies right before the qualifications for overseers/elders. The entire of book of 1 Timothy deals with combating false doctrine and maintaining order in the church. There's a little bit of routine housekeeping: taking on disruption, addressing interpersonal communication, caring for widows and overseers/elders. Timothy is the audience, of course, a young pastor with a church beset by false teaching.

It turns out that the Ephesian women weren't much better than the Corinthian women. The false doctrine of asceticism roamed quite a bit in the Ephesian church, forbidding marriage and creating the problem of idle gossipers. For whatever reason, women (perhaps since the culture offered little else to them) bought into these false teachers. They didn't settle to just believe them, however: they spread that false doctrine (maybe on their daily gossip routes -- who knows?). False doctrine provoked these women to buck the authority of the local church. They were not listening quietly to sound doctrine, and they certainly weren't submissive to that authority. The Ephesian church was not the only one beset with gossips and quarrelers (male and female), and Paul addressed this problem in the Corinthian church as well.

That's the context. To set the church right-side up again, Paul lays out proper church order: the women (and men not in leadership) are to sit quietly under elder authority.

Some have tried to teach that women are to zip their lip in church, but that contradicts Scripture: women are encouraged to pray, prophesy and speak in tongues in the assembly under the authority of elders and their husbands (1 Corinthians 11) and in guidelines with general church structure (one at a time, no pushing and shoving, etc.). On numerous occasions Paul recognizes women as vital parts of both his ministry and local churches. There is evidence that there were deaconesses, that churches met in women's homes and that some women held enough prominence to be mentioned by name. The infamous Euodia and Syntyche must have held some sort of prominence in the local assembly for their quarrel to be of importance to Paul.

Women are even allowed -- and commanded -- to teach. Everyone's familiar with older women teaching younger women (Titus 2), and it's common practice for women to teach children (as with Timothy's mother and grandmother). But women are also seen teaching men: Priscilla and her husband Aquila took the passionate but ignorant Apollos aside and taught him sound doctrine (Acts 18:26).

So which is it -- silence or teaching? Submission or authority?

Remember the context of the passage and the audience it was written to. This is right before the qualifications of overseers/elders; this is smack dab in an epidemic of false doctrine and disruptive women. Paul is saying that he does not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man as an elder or overseer. Instead, she ought to be submissive to the overseers/elders' authority and to not subvert the sound doctrine they teach. In case anyone asked, Paul pointed to the creation order for his reason: Adam was created first, Eve second; Adam was charged with protecting his wife from deception. That order carries into the church: the overseers/elders are charged with protecting the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, women and men, from false doctrine. Women and men who are not overseers/elders submit to that servant leadership and protection.

Proper church order slows down false doctrine: false doctrine is easier to spot and dismantle ASAP. In all his pastoral epistles, Paul aims for this goal: to aid the proclamation of Christ's Gospel by good church order. This passage does not silence women; instead it empowers all believers to function together in the church for the glory of Christ Jesus.

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  1. Hello, how do I follow your blog?

    God Bless you,

    Flame of Jah


  2. Ordinarily, you'd click the "Join the Club" button on the left, but it's not working for me right now. You can manually manage the blogs you follow by going to your Blogger dashboard and entering this blog's URL. Hope that helps!

  3. Unlike your excellent analysis on headcovering, this argument feels to me like grasping at straws to get this passage to not say what (I think) it says. Paul does not say "the women (and men not in leadership) are to sit quietly under elder authority." He only says women are supposed to do that. He says women should not " teach or [. . .] exercise authority over a man" Women are not supposed to teach *men*, especially in areas of doctrine. Titus 2 does not conflict with this because that is women teaching women. Likewise it is fine for women to teach children. The example from Acts 18:26 shows a woman teaching a man, but she is doing it with her husband, and that is key. You say women are encouraged to pray, prophesy and speak in tongues in the assembly *under the authority of elders and their husbands*. Basically I think you are correct that the passage should be read in the context of trying to prevent the spread of false doctrine, but I think the implication is that women are more easily led astray by false doctrine than men. I think the reference to Eve being deceived both makes that implication clear and is provided as evidence that this is the case. Women can teach, but by limiting their teaching of men to only under the authority of a man, Paul is trying to reduce incorrect doctrine being spread. I think he feels women, like Eve, can be led astray, and then can influence men to behave incorrectly.

    I don't think the passage is intended to require that women be silent in church all the time as you were taught by the patriarchy leader (or at least gathered from his teaching), but I do think it says women should not teach doctrine to men without being under the authority (and guidance) of a man. The guiding man does not need to be an elder and I don't think there is any implication that men need to always be under the guidance of an elder when teaching doctrine.


    1. My thoughts exactly Adele. Bailey when you want so badly, you will be in a mindset to believe oneone other than Gods word, or twist it to fit your needs and desires. God ordained a natural order of creation and its simple, women should never give direction to a man who were made to lead a women.

  4. You are right that women in this passage are allowed to teach under male authority -- their husbands' first and more broadly their elders'. The reason I concluded that a woman is not to teach as an elder/overseer instead of a woman is not allowed to teach men, period, is because there are clear examples of the contrary -- Priscilla, for instance. She, under the authority of her husband, was teaching a man. When a woman prophesies or speaks in tongues in the assembly, she is delivering God's Word -- slight difference than teaching, true, but equally susceptible to false doctrine. Paul allowed women to do so under the covering of their husbands and/or elders...which is why the head covering issue impacted the order of worship.

    It is not true that any man can hold authority or teach in the church. A man holds authority over his own wife, but even his authority must be subject to the elders and deacons. There were strict requirements for elders and deacons -- good teachers, experienced in the faith, sober, of good report, etc. Any man who did not qualify for an elder had to sit under the elders' authority and teaching. If a man does not qualify for a deacon or elder, he should not be teaching in the assembly...period. That's why I said that all women and all men who did not qualify as elders had to listen quietly under their teaching. It was an inference from my understanding of the rest of Scripture and not immediately presented in this passage.

    Regarding women being more susceptible to false doctrine...there is an element of that, but if that is Paul's point, why entrust women with any teaching role at all? Surely if women succumb to false doctrine (more so than men), they shouldn't be teaching susceptible women and children. To be honest, I'm still unsure just what Paul means by referring to women as "weaker vessels" and hinting at they are more easily deceived. That's something I'll have to look up. :)

  5. Before jumping into argument, let me say that I really appreciate your well-thought post. :)

    Like Adele, I'd say that Priscilla and Aquila teaching Apollos is not really an example of a woman being a teacher in the church. Yes, she was teaching a man, but in my mind, that she and Aquila were doing it as one makes it so different. If it had been Priscilla walking up to Apollos and starting to teach him ... that would have been something else altogether.

    By referring to women as "weaker vessels" and hinting that they're more easily deceived, I think he means exactly that. It doesn't really confuse me. Or did I miss your sarcasm? :)

    I do agree with your point that men who do not qualify as elders shouldn't presume to teach, either.

  6. loved this. :]

    I apologize in advance for not having anything of intelligence to offer in this comment, but I believe you've said it all. :]

  7. Allison, I'm not quite sure I'm making my position clear. Sorry!

    Priscilla is not an example of a woman exercising an authority or teaching role in the church assembly -- correct. I don't believe that a woman should be an elder/overseer/head pastor because that is exercising authority over a man.

    My main point was that I do not believe, as many people do, that women are to exercise no authority in or vocalize nothing during the church assembly. Women are allowed to pray, prophesy and speak in tongues under their husband's authority, as well as operate as deaconesses. On the surface, it seems to contradict Paul's command for silence. If he's speaking of silence and submission in a specific context -- such as not exercising authority as an overseer/elder -- that solves the dichotomy between this passage and the rest of his teachings.

    So while a woman cannot preach the sermon or lead the church as a whole, I see nothing wrong with her teaching a mixed small group (especially as a tag team with her husband), leading worship, praying aloud, etc., provided she is under the authorization of her husband and the elders and does not usurp that authority.

    The reason I'm confused about Paul implying that women are more easily deceived is that, in my experience, is not necessarily true. There are just as many weak, led-astray men as there are women. There are many women who are wise, capable and well-versed in Scripture -- women who won't fall for false doctrine. That's the only hesitation for me. Frankly, it's offensive too. :P Don't get me wrong -- I'll swallow the offense and believe it if it's proved without a doubt that's exactly what he means, but there are alternate interpretations, and I would like to look into those.

  8. Study the word "weaker" in the original context. I have heard it taught that "weaker" is in the sense of the finest most valuable thing you may own - like very fine china. So special and held in such high regard that by its very nature you desire to protect it. Women are physically weaker than men and need men's physical protection, but God does not give the man authority to hold that physical weakness over the woman he is to cherish her and provide for her and protect her because she is physically weaker than he.
    I would be remiss to not point out that men and women also have very different spiritual strengths and weaknesses. The example of Eve is used because scripture states that Eve was led astray but Adam was not, he chose to eat of the fruit.
    Study the differences in the very make-up of the male and female brains. Women are more inclined to make emotion based decisions and most women are quicker to act upon those decision. That is not always a bad thing, a trite example, a child falls and gets hurt, more often than not it will be a woman who runs to his aid. She more quickly acts on the emotion of the moment. Therefore, God put her in the very important role of raising the children and handling the matters at home. That is where her apparent "weakness" becomes a strength.
    Men generally will ponder things long before they every speak them and are much slower to act until they have thought through every angle and know precisely how they would handle each scenario. While this can drive a woman mad at home, it becomes a strength when handling matters in the church.
    God does not authorize the male and female roles because men are ultimately strong and women are ultimately weak. He authorizes these roles because He, as the creator of both men and women, knows where each ones strengths are best utilized.
    In this context, "weaker" is not offensive and it allows a woman the opportunity to REST in her husband's/elder's authority. I use the word rest because any woman who has dedicated herself to homemaking and the efficient scriptural management of the home doesn't have a whole lot of energy left for running the church also!

  9. Hi Bailey,

    Thank you for your response. I did some more reading too and I think you are correct that Paul was focused on women not teaching from positions of authority in the church as opposed to never teaching any subject to any man ever. I was being too broad in my interpretations of the restrictions put on women by this passage. (And if there are people who believe women must be absolutely silent and never say anything in church, then I heartily agree with you that this passage does not support that at all.)

    However, I do think the passage is, in fact, offensive, and I still hear you actively looking for an interpretation that gets around that. That is what I meant when I said I felt like your argument was grasping at straws. You seem to accept that women are not allowed positions of authority in the church as perfectly reasonable: "I don't believe that a woman should be an elder/overseer/head pastor because that is exercising authority over a man." I think we need to really look at why Paul thinks women should not exercise authority over men. I think he believes it is true that women are more easily led astray that men *as a general rule*. It is like saying women are physically weaker than men. Most people would not disagree with this statement, but most people would also acknowledge that there exist some specific women who are physically stronger than some, or even most, men. Likewise, some women have a better understanding of theology than most men could ever hope for, and would never be led astray, but Paul believes these women are exceptions. Thus, the church standard that elders of the church, the theology "experts" whose teachings have the weight of "authority" should be men. This might be expedient, but I think those women who are exceptions ought to be allowed positions of authority in the church and Paul clearly is not allowing for that. Hence, my offense.

    I think there is also a related concern that Paul has about interactions between men and women. I think he feels most men could hear something from a man and immediately recognize that it is bad doctrine, but when hearing the same thing from a woman who is, say, his wife, his feelings for her could cloud his judgement. Eve was deceived by the snake. Adam was not deceived, and I think Paul believes he would not have been even if the snake had approached him, but in the end he did the exact same wrong action as Eve. She, sincerely believing what she said and not attempting to deceive, convinced him it was ok. I think this might also be part of what Paul is trying to prevent by saying women should not teach men. I find his premise that most women would have been deceived, whereas most men would not, to be offensive.

    Thanks for another really interesting, thought-provoking topic!


  10. Adele, I have been thinking about what you said, thinking through what I believe, thinking through what I wrote...just thinking in general.

    You're right -- I was grasping at straws. The passage struck me as at odds not only with my personal observations and my womanhood but also with other things I know for a fact that Scripture teaches -- that PAUL taught, even. It was the line of reasoning a very respected pastor used, but when I tried following it myself, I kept bumping into more questions. I should have come clean on my ignorance and confusion instead of dancing around the issue, pretending I knew exactly what I was talking about. That was dishonest of me, and I'm sorry.

    I'm still not convinced Paul believes that all women everywhere are more easily deceived than men. The line of reasoning just isn't making sense: Eve was deceived but Adam sinned deliberately, so therefore men should be the leaders. ??? BOTH sinned. BOTH failed. BOTH fell prey to faulty thinking.

    I wonder if this passage pertains more specifically to a certain problem in the church that we aren't privy to -- the entire passage is just that confusing. I know that false teachers were targeting women and that the women were being led astray. Is Paul making a connection between these particular women and Eve or between all women everywhere and Eve? I don't know. Was there such an epidemic of women trying to thwart authority and spread false theology that Paul called them out on it (while allowing the stronger Corinthian women to pray, prophesy and speak in tongues under proper authority)? I'm not sure.

    This is all I know: the traditional interpretation, the egalitarian interpretation and my interpretation are all off somehow. I'm not sure where.

  11. Wow. What a topic, and what a great discussion we have going on here.

    I could respond to a lot of things, but I think I'll try to keep this simple and move forward from there.

    I think in this discussion we've overlooked another important verse by the same author- 1 Cor. 14:35.

    "If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church."

    Are we perhaps making this issue too complicated? Are we forcing what we think, "our own understanding," or the messages of our culture onto The Text?

    I think we do some serious semantical dancing when we say that these texts mean something other than they do because of culture or context. In these passages, Paul pulled no punches, and the resulting letters are pretty point-blank. The statements are made so bluntly that any context would be hard-pressed to repeal their apparent interpretation.

    I do believe that Paul is telling women to remain silent during assembly time.

    And I believe that it is a good, Godly, loving, beautiful thing.

    I'll just leave it at that for now and see what y'all have to say. :-)

  12. Gabriel, what about 1 Corinthians 11? What is the point of Paul insisting that women wear headcoverings while praying and prophesying in the assembly if women are to remain 100% silent?

  13. First off, let's start with the part that is more clear. I would say the silence passages are much more unilateral and point-blank than the head-coverings passage.

    There are different ways that we could take that- I'm not entirely settled on the answer.

    Advocates for physical head coverings say that the "praying and prophesying" refers to the praying and prophesying time during the assembly- so any woman who doesn't cover her head when the men are praying and prophesying disgraces her head.

    Sounds like a bit of a stretch to me, though it does make sense.

    I haven't done enough study, but I lean towards the idea that when women are praying and prophesying- which they aren't to do during the assembly time, so maybe we're talking about "women's meetings" and the such- they should cover their heads to show that even though their husband/father isn't there, they still are under his protective authority.

    All that to say, I'm honestly not sure how all that works out, but I would rather err on the side of the two passages that seem very clear to me.

  14. Bailey,

    No need to apologize. Your posts are usually rigorously scholarly, particularly by internet standards, and your logical analysis flawless. I only noticed and pointed out a possible vulnerability in the original argument in this post because it was such an exception to the rule for you.

    I think this is a extremely difficult passage. Gabriel, you suggest that we are making the issue too complicated, and you may be right. I mean that sincerely with no sarcasm. However, if I take that perspective and read what Paul says in this passage as literal and universally applicable, I am left with the inescapable conclusion that Paul was a misogynistic jerk and everything he had to say should be systematically tossed out as garbage. In other words, that we (and by we I mean women) ought to take offense at this passage and there is no valid interpretation where the passage is not offensive to women.

    As a non-Christian, I personally would be ok with that, and I am not at all sure that it isn't the historical truth of the matter. However, I think we should start from the premise that Paul was NOT a misogynistic jerk whom we should ignore. As Bailey points out, there is good support for this premise to be found in Paul's other writings. Given this starting premise, I have to conclude that there is more to this passage than the easy, simple, literal interpretation. On the other hand, maybe Paul's opinions just changed or maybe what he said really did vary a lot depending on the audience. I don't know, but it is fun to think about. :-)


  15. "I am left with the inescapable conclusion that Paul was a misogynistic jerk and everything he had to say should be systematically tossed out as garbage."

    If we allow our emotions and opinions to dictate what The Text says, then why read It, study It, or follow It at all?

    If we're interpreting a certain passage a certain way because we feel better about that interpretation, we're treading dangerous ground.

  16. Gabriel, I suppose -- depending on which direction one leans -- that a more obscure passage like 1 Corinthians 11 holds no weight. It's fair to recognize our biases. Adele understands my position: it is offensive to me that women should shut up in church. I am complementarian and yet it still offends me -- quite frankly it's devastating to entertain the thought that God created me intellectually inferior and gullible.

    I have explored the relevant passages from that position and questions resulted. I'm now exploring it from the position that Paul isn't as chauvinistic as he comes across. There are holes in many egalitarian arguments, as well -- so I'm just thinking aloud here.

    The reasons I think we can't brush off 1 Corinthians 11 as obscure are these:

    First off, women are given the gift of prophecy. In OT times, men inquired of Deborah and Huldah as to the Lord's will, and the men recognized their spiritual authority. There was no shame or stigma associated with asking a spokeswoman of God, "What saith the Lord?" God raised up these women. If there was a strict prohibition on women from prophecy and leadership, I believe God would have raised up male prophets -- as he raised up many of the judges, kings and apostles, regardless of their flaws.

    NT prophecy was itself prophesied about in Joel 2:28 -- daughters would prophesy. Philip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.

    There is therefore no evidence that prophecy was a spiritual gift reserved to men.

    Secondly, prophecy itself was meant for the edification and instruction of the congregation. That's why Paul favored it over speaking in tongues.

    With those things in mind, why would women be given the gift of prophecy if they are forbidden to speak in the assembly? It is unprecedented that prophecy be given for personal enlightenment, and there is no evidence that women went off in their circles to prophesy and that their prophecies were not binding to men.

    If that is true, then it's reasonable to question whether Paul had something different in mind than totally silencing women.

  17. Don't have time to respond to it all right now, but:

    "it's devastating to entertain the thought that God created me intellectually inferior"

    Come on, now, Bailey, you know better. No one is talking about inferiority here.


  18. I don't consider roles, submission and differing responsibility as inferiority. It does imply inferiority to say that women are denied specific types of authority because they are gullible and more easily deceived than men.

    Hooray! I'm naive! Praise God!


    Now do you see where I'm coming from? :)

  19. Another thought.....

    You talked about feelings influencing one's interpretation of the text, and you're right -- we ought to be careful.

    But when we read an offensive, startling passage that seems to contradict other clear things in Scripture(and let's not play the good Christian kid...there are many in the Bible that appear so), it is not improper to question traditional interpretations.

    Take, for instance, Paul's admonition to slaves to obey their masters. Since he doesn't condemn slavery, some concluded that he endorsed it -- and thus slavery continued. It took someone who read this passage and said, "You know what? This doesn't square with the equality of everyone in Christ, with human dignity, with loving one's neighbor as oneself. Perhaps Paul wasn't endorsing slavery but was merely making accommodations for the current cultural practice."

    I see it as very similar with this issue: I read this passage, that (on the surface) says women are gullible and thus cannot lead and should be silent in church, and I'm thinking, "Um, what about unity in Christ? What about women possessing equal dignity with men? What about Adam's transgression? What about women possessing the gift of prophecy? What about women being submissive to their own husbands, not the entire male population in church? What about the OT prophetesses and the NT deaconesses and workers with Paul?"

    It's a valid complaint. Rarely does anyone interpret these passages as requiring the permanent silencing of women -- not even outspoken complementarians like Mary Kassian, John Piper, Wayne Grudem and David Platt.

    That isn't to say that they're right. It's just to say that we're not crazy. ;)

  20. I see where you're coming from, but I heartily disagree. Having a certain weakness particular to either gender has nothing to do with inferiority, if it's a matter of how God made us!

    It's interesting that you bring up the daughters of Philip. I think they're a perfect example. They're obviously prophesying, but we have no reason to believe that it was in the assembly, and they were under their father's authority. Further, if I remember correctly, when it came time for a prophecy to be made about the imprisonment of Paul, God brought a male prophet to the scene.

    I don't mean to suggest that you're crazy- just that I think I hear emotion talking, and I think we need to let Scripture speak for itself. :-)

    I suggest that there's a far cry from Paul not condemning slavery and Paul stating repeatedly that ladies need to be quiet in the assembly.

    But if you're looking at this as a burdensome, chauvinistic practice, will you be able to accept it if that's what Scripture commands?

    (Not that Scripture commands burdens and chauvinism- I'm talking about the silence bit, here. :-)

    I can tell you that in our church the men have an opportunity to speak, give testimony, and pray during the assembly and the women remain silent.

    I can also bet you that if you asked any woman in our church about this practice, every one of them would tell you that they love it. They feel so freed.

  21. Enforced silence = freeing. Hmm. . .

    Sounds kind of Orwellian to me.

    On the other hand, Gabriel, you would probably win your bet, because I have no doubt that any women with any brains and self-esteem whatsoever run away from your church as fast as they can as soon as they are able.


  22. "On the other hand, Gabriel, you would probably win your bet, because I have no doubt that any women with any brains and self-esteem whatsoever run away from your church as fast as they can as soon as they are able."

    Hmm, so you are saying that all the women in his church, and many of the women I know personally or through the net, have no brains or self esteem? Do you really mean that? Just because they believe the Bible, you would say that about them. I believe that you must examine all of scripture to get the whole picture. You cannot just look at one verse, you must read it all, in context or you will be confused. Places where it seems to contradict itself, pray over them, and keep reading God will show an open heart the truth, but you have to be open. I believe in the literal interpretation of scripture, read it in English for what it says, and believe it.

    God Bless,

    Flame of Jah

  23. An interesting letter that might add some perspective to this conversation - http://glenscorgie.com/2012/01/17/an-open-letter-to-women-in-seminary/#more-149.

  24. RE: "An interesting letter that might add some perspective to this conversation - http://glenscorgie.com/2012/01/17/an-open-letter-to-women-in-seminary/#more-149."

    I did find this very interesting. Thanks for the link!


  25. RE: "Hmm, so you are saying that all the women in his church, and many of the women I know personally or through the net, have no brains or self esteem? Do you really mean that? Just because they believe the Bible, you would say that about them."

    I think you have misunderstood what was, admittedly, an off-the-cuff and flippant response. I said nothing at all about the women you know personally or through the net. I certainly would never say anyone who believes the Bible must have no brains or self-esteem. Case in point: Bailey believes the Bible and obviously has plenty of brains and self-esteem. I would not follow her blog if she didn't.

    I do sincerely believe that women who are clearly oppressed and yet who maintain that they like their situation are either lying (probably under coercion), or have been brainwashed into thinking males really are smarter and more rational than females (hence my lack of self-esteem comment), or actually are less intelligent than most or all the males they have encountered (hence my lack of brains remark).

    Honestly, my first reaction to Gabriel's comment was one of horror. I pictured his church as a frightening cult that raises girls in such an oppressive and damaging manner that they really do turn into adult women who would find being required to be silent in church "freeing". If that is in fact the case, the men in power in his church are guilty of abuse. After a moment's thought however, I realized I couldn't possibly condemn an entire church based on the blog comment of one naive and immature boy. I considered not responding at all, and perhaps that is what I should have done, but I didn't want to let his comment stand unopposed because that is how dangerous and offensive attitudes toward women are perpetuated.

    Flame of Jah: If you still feel my comment applies to women you know, please consider carefully whether they are trapped in an abusive situation. It does happen sometimes.


  26. Bailey- are you still pondering this? 'Cuz I'm still looking forward to hearing from you. :-)

  27. Not really. :) My mom told me to stop thinking about it after I lost my sleep and joy for about a week...and I'm glad she did. There's much more I could say, but I'm dropping the issue for now.

    Suffice it to say that I agree with how my church interprets these passages and have no need to think theoretically of other local churches. When I'm not consumed with college packing, maybe I'll have another think.

    Thank you for responding graciously, though. You pointed out things I'd forgotten, and I appreciate your adherence to Scripture, even if I do disagree on how you interpret this specific passage.

  28. K!

    I shall look forward to our next conversation with great anticipation. :-)


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