Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

This post is the second one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day. While Paul gets to experience life in the 21st century, Doug, a strong complementarian, is given the opportunity to interview the Apostle Paul on the hard passages about women in the bible.  The first interview is located here.  In the second interview Doug wants to revisit 1 Timothy 2:12 before moving on.

interview on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Doug: Hello brother Paul.  I am so glad that we are able to continue with our interview.  Did you enjoy taking the pulpit for John MacArthur?

Paul: I loved it!  Well, actually I didn’t take the pulpit.  I just spoke to the congregation from the floor because I wanted to encourage everyone to speak and use their gifts.  That was the way it was meant to be.  After all we are all brothers in Christ and we can learn from each other.  Unfortunately I don’t think they will be having me back anytime soon.

Doug: Your kidding!  What happened?

Paul: Things were going really well when I spoke about our inheritance in Christ and I shared my writings from the book of Ephesians with them.  They loved it…that is until I gave them a bit more information than they wanted to hear.  I asked if anyone had any questions they would like me to answer.  One feisty young man asked me who actually wrote the book of Hebrews and so I told them.

Doug: Yes??

Paul: Then they ushered me out of the building.

Doug: No way!  So who authored the book of Hebrews?

Paul: I am keeping tight lipped on that one.  People in the 21st century just can’t take it.  Let’s just set that one aside and talk about the next scripture you wanted to ask me about.

Doug: I want to wait for the next scripture because I have been thinking about what you said about 1 Timothy 2:12 and I still have more questions.  Can we continue with this passage?

Paul: Sure go ahead.  What problems do you have with this passage?

Doug: I didn’t think I had any problems with this passage until you showed up.  You said that there would have to be a second witness if this passage was stopping all godly women from teaching the bible to men.

Paul: Yes that is right.  And don’t forget that I always made a habit of repeating all the important things.  Repetition is for your safety.

Doug: Isn’t it just a rule for a court proceeding that requires two witnesses before a person can be found guilty?  How can you now apply the rule of two or three witnesses to the law itself?

Paul: No problem, brother Doug, it is much more than that.  Let me ask you a question from a passage and I think you will see it for yourself.  Look at John 5:31

John 5:31  “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.

Why was Jesus’ testimony not considered true if there was only one witness?  Was Jesus in a court of law testifying against people?

Doug: No, he wasn’t in a court.  He was giving testimony that he was the Son of God and that he had life in Himself.

Paul: That’s right.  Jesus showed that the law of two or three witnesses went beyond just charging people with sin.  He applied it to his testimony to make it a documented and established fact.  When Jesus said that he is the Light of the world, the Pharisees accused him with being only one witness and thus they said his testimony was not true.

John 8:12  Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
John 8:13  So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.”
John 8:14  Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
John 8:15  “You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.
John 8:16  “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.
John 8:17  “Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true.
John 8:18  “I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”

Paul: Can you see that Jesus’ witness that he is the Light of the world needed to be documented by another witness?

Doug: Why should the Son of God need another witness?  Isn’t His own witness good enough?  After all He is the God who made this world.

Paul: God has set a principle for our safety.  Take a look at Deuteronomy 19:15.

Deut 19:15  “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.

Paul: God has established the need for a matter to be confirmed.  When you look up the meaning for the Hebrew word translated “matter” you will see that it means word, speech, matter and it is used for a command or royal decree, a legal cause and most important of all was the use of this word to convey divine communication.  The Ten Commandments were literally called the ten words of the Lord.  So literally Deuteronomy 19:15 says that “on the evidence of two or three witnesses a word or commandment shall be confirmed.”

Doug: Okay.  So are you saying that these important divine communications all had a second or third witness to confirm them?

Paul: Yes!  Take for example the ten words of the LORD God – the ten commandments.  This “matter” was spoken from the mouth of God and then God wrote them on stone tablets.  After that Moses broke the tablets when he came down from the mountain but God wrote them once again on stone.  Then after that they were communicated again throughout the scriptures.  God made sure that these commandments, His ten “words” were repeated for our benefit.  Brother Doug, can you think of even one law of the LORD that is not repeated in the scriptures?

Doug: Hmmm…I can’t think of any.  It seems to me that all laws were repeated.

Paul: Good then you get it!

Doug: Wait…wait!  But doesn’t 1 Timothy 2:12 give the reason as the creation?  Doesn’t this mean that the OT has a law that forbids women to teach men?  Wouldn’t that mean that there is a second witness?

Paul: No.  1 Timothy 2:13, 14 gives a reason for the prohibition that I gave for the situation at Ephesus and it is all about deception.  The fact is that the first one created was not deceived.  The second one created was deceived.  The reason for my stopping the teaching is all about deception.  It isn’t about leadership or any “law” from the Old Testament.  Did you find a “law” that forbid women to teach men in the OT?

Doug: No, I didn’t but some have speculated that you may have been referencing the words of God at the fall.

Paul: God didn’t tell Eve that she wasn’t allowed to teach Adam.  God didn’t tell Adam that he wasn’t allowed to be taught by Eve.  There is no such “law” in the creation or the fall.

Doug: Then why did you bring it up?

Paul: Because the very first woman naively fell into deception just like the situation we were dealing with at Ephesus.  The very first woman was also promised salvation through the coming Messiah so that God sovereignly worked all things for good.  Eve was deceived but she was not out for the count because her seed would eventually destroy the destroyer.  I gave a word of hope to Timothy in verse 15 that there would be salvation in the end for the situation in Ephesus.  She will be saved through the same Messiah that came through the very first deceived woman.  Just as the first deceived woman received hope, so Timothy could see hope for another bad situation.  Timothy was to make sure that she received proper instruction and in the end God will bring good out of bad just like He did for the original deceived woman.  Brother Doug, there is no law that forbids women from teaching the bible to men.  If there was such a law, don’t you think that God would have forbidden women from teaching everyone instead of just men?  After all do we normally send out the deceived to teach children?

Also think about Priscilla.  If there was a law that forbid women from teaching men, do you think that Priscilla would have disobeyed God’s law?  And if she disobeyed God’s law, don’t you think that the scripture would have mentioned that she did something wrong?  How could Priscilla be commended for her work if she found it necessary to disobey God’s law?  Think about it.  Work hard to test all things.

Doug: I can see that there are some things that I hadn’t considered before.  But I still don’t feel that it is right.

Paul: I will let you sleep on it.  Think these things through and if God wills I will be back to answer more of your questions.  In the meantime I am off to investigate a vision box.  I have heard that there are many preachers on this vision box and I want to test their teaching.

Doug: You mean you are going to watch TV preachers?  Oh boy, are you in for a surprise!

(Round 3 of Interview with Paul is found here.)

11 thoughts on “Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

  1. Cheryl, What about the argument that Priscilla was teaching under her husband’s authority. AFter all, he was there while she was teaching Apollos.

  2. Lin,
    This is a good question, but if the patriarchists are correct, which part of 1 Timothy 2:12 permits a woman to teach a man in the presence of another man? It would be giving permission by a man to do something that apparently God forbids.

    The real issue is how patriarchal types can give a woman the ability to teach at all. As far as spirituality goes, it appears to be case closed. Of course we know that women can teach other women how to clean the house and love their husbands. 🙂

  3. Cheryl, this second “interview” with Paul is just as good as the first, and the Scriptural rule that any testimony must be confirmed by two or more witnesses couldn’t have been explained better. And I think your comments on the debate between Jesus and the Pharisees confirms that this rule does not only apply to “legal pronouncements,” but to even the proclamation of the Gospel itself. Consider what the author of Hebrews says on this matter: “Since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will” (Heb. 2:2-4, TNIV). Here the Gospel of God’s Present and Future Kingdom, first proclaimed by our Lord Jesus is confirmed 1) by the Apostles, who were eyewitnesses of all he said and did, and so knew what Jesus proclaimed; 2) by God the Father, who performed signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, showing that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and that his message had divine approval; and 3) the Gospel proclaimed by Christ was further confirmed by coming of the Spirit and his gifting everyone who believed and lived by that message. So here is a most powerful example of a message or testimony being confirmed as true and binding by the three most important witnesses to appear on any witness stand.

  4. ‘It would be giving permission by a man to do something that apparently God forbids.’

    Okay, this point is comical, Cheryl!

    Comp: Women are not to teach men as it is God’s law that they do not, but men may break God’s Law by allowing women to teach other men.

    LOL!!!

  5. Ofcourse they can break the law or permit women to do so because they are the law makers. ;P

  6. Once again Cheryl, great stuff !! Man, I sure wouldn’t want to go up against you as a prosecuting attorney in court. As soon as you gave closing arguments and declared that the defense rests, I’d darn sure be doing some serious damage control.

  7. Doug: Hmmm…I can’t think of any. It seems to me that all laws were repeated.

    This is a claim that needs to be demonstrated and not just claimed as “seems to me”. That is, if you believe this to be true, go thru every command and find its repeat. Then you have an anomaly with 1 Tim 2:12. But if there is a single command anywhere else, you do not and have failed to show your claim.

  8. After I wrote my comment the other day, referring to the testimony of Hebrews 2:2-4 to the Scriptural rule that every word of testimony or declaration must be confirmed by two or more witnesses, out of curiosity, I consulted the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Hebrews and the NIV Application on Hebrews, curious as to the “scholarly” understanding of this passage. The only difference of opinion seems to have been if the author had two or three witnesses in mind in this “courtroom” scene. According to one understanding of Heb. 2:2-4, there are two witnesses, the Apostles, and then God the Father, who confirms Jesus and his message to the world by signs and wonders done among them, and to the church by the granting it the Spirit and his gifts. But according to the other understanding of this passage, which is viewed as being Trinitarian in nature, much like 1 Cor. 12:1-12, it is both God the Father and the Holy Spirit who, in confirmation of Jesus and his message as divinely approved, are the “divine” witnesses who take the stand in the courtroom of the universe. But in either interpretation the Scriptural rule of confirmation by two or more witnesses is still upheld. Nice to know the scholars agree with us, eh?

  9. Greg,
    Thanks for the encouragement!!

    Don,

    Then you have an anomaly with 1 Tim 2:12. But if there is a single command anywhere else, you do not and have failed to show your claim.

    This is exactly what I have challenged many to do. I have never even seen one command that is not repeated. So I challenge people to show me a universal command that is not repeated because I can find the repeat quite easily. At this point I have never been shown a universal command that has no second witness. This does make 1 Timothy 2:12 to be an anomaly and this should raise a huge red flag to those who desire to know the truth. We need to ask ourselves why there would be just one command that has no second witness. It is a true universal command or have we misunderstood what Paul is saying?

    Frank,
    Amen and amen!

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