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Category: Old Testament scriptures

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? to enter the digital future

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? to enter the digital future

WIM digital

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? will soon be available online!

I am working on a new video project at the moment, but I am also working to convert each of the 4 DVDs of Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? to a lower quality online downloadable product. We are working hard so that those with computers around the world may also have access to the DVDs.  The entire set will be available for purchase online or each DVD in the 4 DVD set will be available individually as a video download.  We have upgraded the security on our website and we are presently working through all of the logistics to make this all possible.  it is a huge step forward for our ministry.  If all goes well, we will start offering the downloadable version this fall (2012).  Please watch this blog for further information for the launch of the downloadable version.

The DVDs also include audio bytes from those who disagree with women in ministry and we break down the arguments and compare the arguments to the Scriptures.

The 4 DVDs are broken up into scriptural passages as follows: 

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What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

Ruler or ruled? Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

What did God intend at creation?

It seems that everywhere we look these days, complementarian men are quoting the act of creation as God’s intention to put the women underneath the rule of the man.  They are also quick to note that there are two different kinds of rulership of the male. The first kind of male rule is that of an autocrat, tyrant or despot who rules in spite of the woman’s own will or intention.  This kind of rule, they say, is not what is taught by Christian men. The second kind of rulership is described by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as headship and this is defined as “two spiritually equal human beings, man and woman, the man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction.” (pg 95 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a Response to Evangelical Feminism edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem).  The difference between the two rulerships is that one allows the man to rule the woman for his own benefit and the other rulership has the man ruling the woman for the benefit of God as a God-ordained spiritual leader.

Let’s unpack this down to the presuppositions that are required to form the foundation of the God-ordained male rule. This post will consider the first two claims of male-only rule: 

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Complementarians, why let women lead Bible studies?

Complementarians, why let women lead Bible studies?

Woman Bible Teacher from Women in Ministry - Cheryl Schatz

CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) has set itself up as a go-to organization for those complementarians who have not been able to figure out from the Bible which things are allowable for women and which things are not.  But does their counsel exceed the Bible?  I would like to present the evidence and then let you decide.

In a sermon preached by J Ligon Duncan III and reproduced on CBMW’s web site, Ligon Duncan writes that the “teaching office” of the Church is restricted to men.  But what is the “teaching office” of the church?  According to Ligon, the “teaching office” is “ministry of preaching and teaching in the church is undelegatably vested in the men who serve as the elders of the church.”  So the on-going preaching and teaching to the body of Christ is to be done by men.   The problem really gets sticky for complementarians when it comes to women teaching other women. 

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Adam and Eve, the sin nature through the man, and women in ministry

Adam and Eve, the sin nature through the man, and women in ministry

Hung out to dry on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The question has come up on this blog whether Adam had a sin nature at the fall that would have been passed on to all of us and if this is an issue that is important regarding women in ministry.  After all we need to know why it is that only Adam would bring sin into the world and if all of us have something “hanging” onto us from just on man, why is that? We need to know why sin didn’t come into the world through the woman.  Is this because she was “under” the man so that anything she did was not placed on her account but on his account?  These questions and more will be answered in this post. 

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Common objections to women in ministry: Eve usurped Adam's authority

Common objections to women in ministry: Eve usurped Adam's authority

man's authority on Women in Ministry Blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our continued topic of common objections to women in ministry, we come to the claim that Eve usurped Adam’s authority when she spoke to the serpent. To deal with this claim, we will be looking at both the claim that Eve rebelled against Adam in the garden and the claim that God gave Adam a responsibility to lead that He clearly denied to Eve.

In chapter 3 of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr headship is defined as a right that the man possesses to lead women in a God-glorifying direction. Ortlund writes

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Puzzling question: Why was Eve "punished" when she was deceived?

Puzzling question: Why was Eve "punished" when she was deceived?

punish2 on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In our discussions on Genesis there has been one puzzling question.  If Adam alone sinned willfully and the woman fell into sin through deception, then why did God punish Eve so severely for her sin?

I would like to propose that we have misunderstood what happened when God dealt with Adam, the woman and the serpent.  There are only two acts by God that deal with guilt and curses and not three as tradition has taught us.  Let’s look carefully at the passage.  First of all let’s look at how God dealt with the serpent: 

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Putting women in their place

Putting women in their place

The woman's place, from Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

The November 17, 2009 CBMW blog post by John Starke that we started to evaluate last post, is an amazing “piece of work” that exalts the 17th century writings of a Puritan named Richard Baxter who attempts to put women in their place.  Starke continues to summarize Baxter’s writings:

2. Discontentment. There is something about the sinful heart that is always wanting something other than the place in which God has placed him or her. When something other than God is the desire of the heart, it begins to desire more than the portion granted. The sinful cravings of the heart are deceitful and can justify sin or can explain away divine instruction. Baxter’s appeal to wives is to find your contentment and treasure in Christ and you will recognize the joy in resting in his purposes. (emphasis is mine).

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Does God prefer men?

Does God prefer men?

Does God Prefer Men? Women in Ministry blog Cheryl Schatz

Recently I had a woman write me who was troubled by some Bible texts that seemed to indicate that God preferred men.  I felt that the questions she posed and the answers I provided would be good to put on line in case there are other women out there who also have been troubled by these same questions.

Question: I have been struggling with a question for the past several weeks.  Do I as a woman, have less worth in God’s eyes than a man does?  Given that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law…I was (and still am) struggling with several scriptures where women are concerned and the seemingly “double-standard.” I could not fathom why in Leviticus there is a law that states that women who give birth to male children would only be unclean for 33 days, but if they give birth to female children they would be unclean for 66 days.

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Did Adam rule the animals and the woman at Creation?

Did Adam rule the animals and the woman at Creation?

kittens on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Those who argue for the permanent subordination of women will frequently use the argument that  Adam named the animals and that this showed his unique “role” given to him by God.

In a CBMW article written by Bruce Ware, Dr. Ware makes it clear that Adam was given an authority in the beginning of creation that the woman was not given.

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Adam's sin imputed to Eve?

Adam's sin imputed to Eve?

Cheryl Schatz Adam's sin 4

 

One of the most bizarre teachings of CBMW is the one taught in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in chapter 3 written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.  Here Mr. Ortlund states that God pronounced the death sentence on Adam alone so that Eve died not because she ate of the forbidden fruit.  According to Ortlund she died because of Adam’s sin.  On page 110, Mr. Ortlund writes:

The fourth point here is that God told Adam alone that he would die.  But Eve died, too.  Why then did God pronounce the death sentence on Adam alone?  Because, as the head goes, so goes the member. [emphasis mine]

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King Uzziah and women lepers?

King Uzziah and women lepers?

girl_cook on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In an interesting blog post on Pyromaniacs the February 10th post, author Dan Phillips tries to link the rebellion of King Uzziah and his punishment of leprosy with the “unfaithful” act of women who apparently are committing treachery against God by becoming pastors.  Is this really true?  Are women pastors committing treachery against God?  First let’s look at Dan Phillip’s article to see how he equates women pastors with illegally burning incense on the altar.   Taking the opposing view for effect he says:

Surely King Uzziah had every bit as much right to burn incense on the altar as… well, as women have to be pastors in our day!

No matter how wonderful it (women pastors) looks, treachery is still treachery.

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Adam and his Ms. organ

Adam and his Ms. organ

Cheryl Schatz Adam and his Ms. organ

The creation account has been used by many as a foundation to produce myths and stories.  While this post will concentrate on modern day myths, it is also helpful to understand some of the historical myths about the creation of male and female.

One of the myths of creation comes from Plato where the androgynous sex existed as what humans were in the beginning. Here is the edited speech at the Banquet by Aristophanes (189e-193b of Plato’s Symposium):

“Anciently….the androgynous sex existed…coupled back to back…till jealous Jupiter divided then vertically …as people cut eggs with hairs…after then, these divided and imperfect folk ran about over the earth ever seeking their lost halves to be joined to them again…and the reason being that human nature was originally one, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love…..”

Another version is concerning Hermaphroditos who was a Greek androgynous deity.

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Did the first man give woman her self-understanding?

Did the first man give woman her self-understanding?

Was the first man needed to give woman her self-understanding?  According to Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, the answer is yes.

ray_ortlund1

Ortlund has written chapter three of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood CBMW’s book. In this chapter,  Ortlund says:

In designating her “Woman” the man interprets her identity in relation to himself.  Out of his own intuitive comprehension of who she is, he interprets her as feminine, unlike himself, and yet as his counterpart and equal.  Indeed, he sees in her his very own flesh.  And he interprets the woman not only for his own understanding of her, but also for her self-understanding.  God did not explain to the woman who she was in relation to the man, although He could have done so.  He allowed Adam to define the woman, in keeping with Adam’s headship.  (emphasis mine)

Let me ask a couple of questions.  Who explained to the man who he himself was for his own self-understanding?

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Raymond Ortlund says creation order needed to not obscure nature

Raymond Ortlund says creation order needed to not obscure nature

distort1 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our discussion of CBMW’s book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, continuing on in chapter 3 in the writings of Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Mr. Ortlund redefines the creation account in such a way that God’s creation of the male first is said to be necessary in order that the nature of the male and female is not obscured.  Ortlund writes on page 102:

God did not make Adam and Eve from the ground at the same time and for one another without distinction.  Neither did God make the woman first, and then the man from the woman for the woman.  He could have created them in either of these ways so easily, but He didn’t.  Why?  Because, presumably, that would have obscured the very nature of manhood and womanhood that He intended to make clear. (emphasis is mine)

Ortlund’s presumption here is quite clear from this chapter.  God made man first, according to Ortlund, to show that woman-

…was not his (man’s) equal in that she was his “helper”.

and

A man, just by virtue of his manhood, is called to lead for God.  A woman, just by virtue of her womanhood, is called to help for God. (my emphasis)

When Ortlund says that creating man and woman at the same time would have obscured the very nature of manhood and womanhood, what is he talking about?  Ortlund is not defining “manhood” as being male or “womanhood” as being female.  He is defining “manhood” and “womanhood” by the preconceived “roles” that he has assigned to each one.   “Manhood” is now the responsibility to take dominion over the female and to lead her in ways that she supposedly was created to need leading in.  Roles then, assigned by the timing of the creation of humanity, are what separates the genders and what creates the priority for the male.  But is this truly why God created the male first?  Was God giving us a hint that there was a priority in rule and leadership given to the male because he was created first from the dirt?

Let’s reason from the scriptures and think these things through thoughtfully and carefully.  First of all, we have to agree with Ortlund that God could have created the man and the woman from the dirt at the same time.  We also can ask the same question, why did God choose from his own sovereign will to create the man and the woman at different times and in different ways?  Why did God not create the woman from the dirt just like he had created the man?

First of all let’s look at all the bible verses that say that the male is to have leadership over the female because of his first creation.  There are exactly zero verses in the scripture giving first creation status to the male for leadership over the female.  The only verses that talks about a cause and effect regarding the order of creation are in 1 Timothy 2:13, 14.

1 Timothy 2:13  For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:14  And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Here we see that the discussion of the second one created is tied to deception and the first one created is tied to not deceived.  There is zero connection to male leadership.  The fact is that male leadership would have to be read into the passage instead of pulled out of it because leadership of the male is certainly not in the passage.

So if the first one created is never tied into leadership, then what was the point of creating the man first?  Why couldn’t Eve have been created at the same time right there beside Adam from her side of the dirt bed?

The reason is because God sovereignly chose to create the woman from the man’s body for two reasons and the reasons have absolutely nothing to do with leadership.

1.  The woman was created from the man’s body in order for her to be identified as belonging to him in a one-flesh union with the man in the most intimate of relationships.

If the woman had been created from the dirt beside the man, she would not have been flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.  So if God wanted the woman created not as separate flesh, but in an unmistakable identify with Adam, God had to create him first so that there was a rib that could be taken out to create the woman.  By creating the man first and by allowing him to take on a task designed to show him his lack of a mate, the man was prepared to receive his one-flesh partner.

2.  The woman was created from the man’s body in order for her to be a physical descendant of Adam through whom the Messiah could come but without the taint of Adam’s sin.

Before God created Adam and Eve, he knew that the fall would happen and it was his own plan and design that the Word of God would come to take on the flesh of humanity as a true Kinsman Redeemer.  This Redeemer was to be both God and man, but it was also necessary for the Redeemer to have a physical blood line back to Adam, yet without the taint of sin.  In God’s divine plan, it wasn’t an option that Eve was created from Adam’s body, but an absolute necessity because of the pre-planned salvation of mankind.  You will need to click on the image below or on the highlighted words  to go to the illustrated post where God’s sovereign plan is diagrammed showing how the Messiah came as a son of Adam but without the taint of Adam’s sin.

Adam and Eve 2

After viewing the diagrams of God’s wisdom in the order of creation, isn’t God’s plan for mankind and the redemption of mankind marvelously revealed through the Designer’s plan of Eve’s creation from Adam’s own body?  When you viewed the illustrated post linked above, were you able to see God’s ultimate design plan that was designed to effectively bypass the stain of Adam’s sin?  Does this  make much more biblical sense than the unscriptural idea of assigning the role of  “leader”  to the first one created when God never assigns this role to the male in creation?   Can you see how the physical connection of Eve back to Adam is not an unplanned side thought but rather God’s wonderful pre-planned design?

Instead of considering the plan of salvation that was designed before the world was created, Ortlund sees the first creation of the male as a sign of power and rule and primary responsibility.   He reasons that having woman created at the same time would “obscure” manhood and womanhood because then primary “roles” could not be assigned to the first and the second.  For Ortlund, having Adam and Eve created at the same time with both of them from the dirt would be a missed opportunity for God to hint to us that the second one created was made to be “inequal” in leadership behind the first created.  But may I respectfully say that what Ortlund has completely failed to present in his chapter in CBMW’s book is the redemptive reason for Eve’s creation second as God’s pre-thought-out creation to come from Adam’s own body.

Instead of giving the Designer praise for the plan of redemption mirrored in the order of creation, Raymond C. Ortlund’s focus is on a prideful “royal prerogative” extended to the man.

Next post we will be continuing on in chapter three of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and I will throw out for discussion the different theories about what came out of Adam that was used to become the woman.

The Emperor has no clothes

The Emperor has no clothes

Emperor on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, chapter 3 is written by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr. and called “Male-Female Equality and Male Headship Genesis 1-3” but honestly, I think it could be retitled “The Emperor has no clothes” a thoughtful comment from a child in the fairytale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes“.  This chapter in CBMW’s book is one of the most fanciful reworking of the Genesis account that I have ever seen.  Take for example the reworking of sin to be “operating on Eve’s mind” even before sin entered the world.

On page 106 Ortlund writes:

Eve hadn’t even known that there was a “problem”.  But the Serpent’s prejudiced question unsettles her.  It knocks her back on her heels.  And so the Serpent engages Eve in a reevaluation of her life on his terms.  She begins to feel that God’s command, which Adam had shared with her has to be defended…Eve’s misquote reduces the lavish generosity of God’s word to the level of mere, perhaps grudging, permission…

After the words “which Adam had shared with her”, Ortlund inserts a note number 39 and the end notes from chapter 3 note 39 reads:

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Did the serpent have more knowledge than man?

Did the serpent have more knowledge than man?

serpent2 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has published a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and on page 73, John Piper and Wayne Grudem write that Adam was ordained as the one responsible for the life of the garden.  The reference is in response to a quote from 1 Timothy 2:14 where Adam is said to have not been deceived. Some take this as a proof that women are more gullible than men and easier to deceive, but Grudem and Piper say that this is not so.  Instead, CBMW brings a new meaning to “not deceived”.  They say “not deceived” means that Adam was not approached by the deceiver.  They write:

If this is the proper understanding, then what Paul meant in 1 Timothy 2:14 was this:  “Adam was not deceived (that is, Adam was not approached by the deceiver and did not carry on direct dealings with the deceiver), but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor (that is, she was the one who took up dealings with the deceiver and was led through her direct interaction with him into deception and transgression).”

Since when does “not deceived” mean that you must have a direct interaction with the deceiver? 

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Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak?

Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak?

The story of Deborah and Barak in the book of Judges has caused many hierarchists to assign the God-given work of judge delivering the people of Israel to Barak while denying that God raised up Deborah as a deliverer.   By assigning a calling to Barak that scripture never assigns, it appears that the example of Deborah and Barak is a clear example of reading into the text the tradition of men and failing to identify in the text God’s own inspired words which give the calling to Deborah.  In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s (CBMW) Journal article, Barbara K. Mouser writes concerning Barak:

Barak is a weak man who does the will of God when paired with a righteous and wise woman. He does the job of deliverer-judge, makes the roll call of faith, but suffers a loss of glory because of his lack of zeal and obedience.

Barbara Mouser also denies that Deborah is a God-given judge who is raised up by God to deliver Israel:

Deborah is Not a Judge

She is not a judge in the sense that the book of Judges defines a judge; she is not a military deliverer.17 Rather she is a prophetess, and as a prophetess, she commands and exhorts Barak with God’s own words and authority.

The amount of “reading into” the text is astounding in this article.  For example, where is Barak said in scripture to be “raised up” by God as a judge?  Barak is never called a judge but Deborah is and Judges chapter 2 makes it very clear that all the judges were raised up by God.

Judges 2:16  Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.

The raising up must include all of the judges and in this account of deliverance it is only Deborah that is identified as a judge, not Barak.

Next the CBMW article identifies women as a sign of degeneracy:

Isaiah tells us that the rule of women is a sign of degeneracy, not liberation (Isa 3:12).

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Are women leaders used to judge sinful men?

Are women leaders used to judge sinful men?

It is very common for hierarchists to explain away Deborah’s position as Judge in the nation of Israel as merely a judgment by God.

The men in Deborah’s day were very weak and cowardly. This is seen in the fact that Barak, the captain of the armies of Israel, refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with him. The woman had to remind him that God had said it is time to fight; the woman had to encourage and challenge him to go; yea, the woman had to go with him!

Obviously it was a period in Israel’s history during which God could find no man to do His will, so He used a brave, willing woman. We can praise God for women like Deborah who are willing to be strong when the men are weak.

In general the leaders are weak and seem entirely lacking even in common sense. They cannot control their little children and women rule over them (compare Is. 3:12). This is God’s judgment because of the apostate condition of professing Christians.

Is it really true that women ruling the nation represent God’s judgment?  The only way that we can know for sure is to see what God had to say.   Several nations were used by God as a judgment against Israel and their sin.  The thing that we can notice in all of the cases of judgment is that the nation who was used as a judgment by God against Israel always hurt and destroyed Israel.  Israel was taken captive many times and this was God’s judgment.  But what about Deborah?  Was she used by God to punish Israel and hurt Israel or was she one of the many godly Judges that God raised up and sent to deliver Israel?

Judges 2:16  Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.

Judges 2:18  When the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them.

The Judges were all sent to deliver Israel from their enemies.  This means that it was impossible for Deborah to be a judgment against Israel when she was sent to deliver Israel.

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Was Eve mistaken?

Was Eve mistaken?

In our continuing discussions on the fall of man we have dealt with the issue of Adam as guardian of the garden and the charge against Eve that she added to God’s word.  In this post I will deal with the position that Eve did not sin by adding to God’s word but she was merely mistaken regarding what God said.

Let’s start with a question.  If Eve was mistaken, what caused her to be mistaken?  Let’s consider the options.

1.  Adam heard the command from God but he added to God’s word when he told the woman that God said “You (plural) shall not eat from it or touch it…”  Eve was mistaken because Adam lied to her.

Is this a viable option?

If it was Adam who added to God’s word, then it was Adam who sinned in this way in addition to eating the fruit.  If this is true, we can ask the very same questions as we did when we considered if the woman added to God’s word.  How can we charge Adam with this sin if there is no charge of adding to God’s words in the text?  Who is a witness against Adam?  Did God say anything about this sin to Adam?  No he didn’t but he should have reproved him if Adam was guilty.

Deuteronomy 12:32  “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

Deuteronomy 4:2  “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Proverbs 30:6  Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

Since there are no witnesses at all to convict Adam, without any evidence to indict Adam of adding to God’s words, and God himself said nothing about this “sin”, we must see Adam as innocent of this charge.

Let us look at the next option.

2.  Adam added his own command to his wife after God’s command.  Adam heard the command from God and gave the command to his wife exactly as it was given to him in Genesis 2.  However after giving her God’s command, he added his own command to his wife that she was not to touch the fruit and it was this command from Adam that the woman mistook as God’s command.

Is this a viable option?

If we are to believe God’s word exactly as it is written, this option is also not viable.  Why not?  It is because the inspired words are a double plural “you”.  The inspired text from the Hebrew says “not you (plural) shall eat from it and not you (plural) shall touch it…”  See the literal Hebrew words and grammar here.   If the inspired words are both the plural “you”, then they cannot be a mix of what God said (“you” plural) and what Adam would have said to his wife (singular “you”).  If Adam had added his own command it would either be you (singular) or we (plural).  It would not be the plural word “you”.  For those of us who believe that God’s word is inspired without error with inspired words and inspired grammar, this option does not appear at all to be a viable option.

Let’s look at the next options.

3.  The woman was mistaken because she was hard of hearing.

This option is nothing more than speculation since the woman was created as a completely whole person with all of her faculties in place.

4.  The woman was mistaken because she had a memory problem.

Again this option is speculative and since the woman’s brain did not have mental deterioration and she was created as a completely whole person with all of her faculties in place, we can reject this one as well.

5.  The woman was mistaken because she was childlike and couldn’t get a simple command correct.

This option would refute the fact that God created the woman as a “helper” for the man.  God himself is often called a “helper” in scripture and it is a word of strength describing a person who brings aid to one who is in need of the aid.  If she was the one who provided aid to meet Adam’s need, she couldn’t have been a drainer – one who by her very nature needed to be constantly supervised so she wouldn’t mess things up.

None of these options fits the biblical text.  What can we conclude?  We must conclude that to say that Eve was mistaken about what God said is a view that is without any solid biblical support.

Is there a much better option?  Why don’t we just believe the woman’s testimony?  Let’s think this one through a little more.

In Genesis 1:29 we know that God spoke to both Adam and Eve about what they had permission to eat.  The Hebrew has God speaking to “them” in verse 28 and God used the plural word “you” in verse 29.  See the Hebrew grammar here.  If God did not give Adam the charge or obligation to instruct Eve on what she had permission to eat, why would we think that God would withhold his own personal witness to Eve about what she was forbidden to eat?  We already know from Genesis 1:29 that the prohibition is incorporated into the permission to eat.  See more about this topic here.

We have no direct witness in scripture saying “And God said to Eve…” but we know for sure that the woman knew about the prohibition because she defended God when the serpent charged God with withholding his best from them. At that time the woman said they were forbidden to eat from one particular tree in the middle of the garden.  There were two trees in the middle of the garden but only one tree had fruit that was forbidden for them to touch.

If God cared enough about the woman to give her personal instructions about testing the fruit to know what she could and couldn’t eat, then why would we assume that it was Adam who told the woman about the prohibition?  Where do we have any words of instruction quoted in scripture that Adam gave to his wife?  We have not one word of instruction from Adam to his wife.  However we do have personal instruction from God to the woman.

Here we are once again at the bottom line.  It always boils down to what we are going to do with the woman’s testimony.  She said “God said…”  Who caused us to mistrust her testimony?  Is there anything in scripture that would tell us that she lied or that she was mistaken?  Or have we fallen prey to our world’s tradition that automatically distrusts a woman’s testimony and calls it into question?

For those of you who are yet unconvinced, let me ask you to explain to me how the woman came to be mistaken?  There must be a logical and scriptural option for the mistake of the woman or else we have nothing else but mere speculation and innuendo against the woman.

If we are going to be  God’s people of faith, we must walk in the direction of allowing women to testify about God.  God has already said that in the last days he will fill both male and female with his Spirit.

Joel 2:28  “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.
Joel 2:29  “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

If God has filled his female “sons” with his Holy Spirit just as he has filled his male “sons”, then let us also release women with our blessing to testify about what “God said…” and let us as the body of Christ believe their testimony.

The silence of Adam was it a sin?

The silence of Adam was it a sin?

In our continuing discussion about the fall of man, we have seen that there are no witnesses and no charge of sin against Eve for adding to God’s word.  Therefore we must conclude without any charge of sin, that the woman did not add to God’s word.  Can the same be said about Adam regarding his charge to guard the garden?  Is there also no witness to Adam’s “sin”? Let’s have a look at the scriptural account.

In Genesis 2:15 we find out why God put Adam in the garden in the first place.  Remember that man was made outside the garden and then brought into the newly planted Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.  The Hebrew word “shamar” means to guard or to protect.  Obviously if a garden needs to be guarded and God set forth a watchman over the garden, there was a need for protection.  Let’s move on to God’s interaction with Adam to see what we can learn from God’s words.

Genesis 3:9  Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

In the Hebrew it clearly shows that the LORD God is calling out to the singular man not to both Adam and Eve.  Here we can see God calling out to the watchman.  What is God’s appointed watchman doing?  The watchman is hiding.  Will this watchman be called to account?

Genesis 3:17  Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

God says two things to Adam.  He says “Because you have listened….”  “and have eaten”.  There are two things that Adam is being called to account for.  The first thing is that Adam listened to his wife’s voice.  When did Adam listen to his wife’s voice?  The only recorded mention of Eve’s speaking is when she was speaking to the serpent.

The watchman is required to guard from the enemy and to protect the innocent.  God also made Ezekiel a watchman to Israel.

Ezekiel 3:17  “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.

A watchman is required to warn.  When one warns about sin, this provides protection to both the innocent and the sinner.  In my first article about the unfaithful watchman I showed how a watchman was to warn the wicked about their sin.  Yet there is another job of the watchman and that is to protect the innocent from falling into sin.

Ezekiel 3:20  “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Ezekiel 3:21  “However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”

The righteous person is to be warned so that they do not fall into sin.  However we find that Adam did not confront the serpent about his sin and he did not warn the woman about the trap that was being set before her.  He was silent.  Now think about this.  If a city is vulnerable to attack and they set a watchman to sound the warning so that they can defend themselves when the enemy arrives, what is a watchman to be charged with who is silent when he sees the enemy approach?  That watchman is to be charged with treason.

Treason is the betrayal of a trust or confidence, a breach of faith; treachery.  This is exactly what God said about Adam’s actions.  In Hosea 6:7 God says that Adam acted treacherously.

It is an act of treason to say nothing and let the plunderer in to plunder and take captive.  Adam listened to the voice of his wife as she was taken captive.  He committed treason as he did not give out God’s words and he did not warn of danger.

God said “Because you listened….”  There is no other sin that comes from listening alone other than treason.  Treason is the sin of saying nothing when you have been appointed as a watchman who is required to sound the warning.

Ezekiel 33:1  And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 33:2  “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,
Ezekiel 33:3  and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,
Ezekiel 33:4  then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.
Ezekiel 33:5  ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.
Ezekiel33:6  ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’
Ezekiel 33:7  “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.

God, the righteous judge, has charged Adam with treason.  A watchman who is silent when the enemy comes in like a lion has committed treason and he has allowed the innocent to be taken captive.  God said “because you listened…”  The charge is clear that listening without action is an act of treason. Treason is one of the reasons why sin entered the world through Adam and why the earth was cursed on his behalf and not on behalf of the woman.

God judges all of his watchmen the same.  There is one standard because God is a God who is not a respecter of persons.  Was God required to judge Adam as a God-appointed watchman?  Absolutely!

The silence of Adam, was it a sin? Absolutely and God justly judged Adam’s silent treason.

The unfaithful Watchman

The unfaithful Watchman

In the last article we saw that God gave additional information to Adam and his wife regarding what they were allowed to eat and God gave freedom for them to be fruit inspectors as he gave them a test to know what was good food.  In another post we will talk more about Eve’s words to the serpent and what happened that caused her to change her method of testing fruit.

In this article we will be discussing God’s requirements for Adam as watchman and the reason why God held Adam accountable for bringing sin and decay into the world. In Genesis 2:15 God sets up Adam as the very first watchman of the garden of Eve. God said:

Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

The Hebrew word translated as “keep” is “shamar” which means guard or protect as a watchman or doorkeeper.

Darby’s translation renders Genesis 2:15 this way:

(Darby) Genesis 2:15  And Jehovah Elohim took Man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to till it and to guard it.

The exact same word is used in Genesis 3:24 as God sets up the second watchman in the garden of Eden after the sin of the first watchman.

Genesis 3:24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

The word translated “guard” is once again the Hebrew word “shamar”. Whenever God appoints someone as a guard, that one is held responsible for guarding and sounding the warning.

Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
Ezekiel 3:18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.

God required Adam to be loyal to him and to be a faithful watchman. In Hosea 6:6, 7 God speaks about a level of unfaithfulness that God calls treacherous.

Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

God specifically identifies Adam was the one who dealt treacherously against God. Adam was the one who was found unfaithful. Here God likens the treacherous actions of those who knew the truth but who did not act on the truth to the action of Adam in the garden. Adam knew the truth about God but he did nothing with the knowledge that he had.

Instead of guarding the garden against the enemy, Adam was silent. Remember Paul identifies Adam as the one who was not deceived in 1 Timothy 2:14. Adam knew the truth but he kept silent. Is a watchman supposed to keep silent?

Read again from Ezekiel 3:17 and 18 to see that a watchman is required to warn of danger. Adam was required by God to warn of danger and guard the garden against danger. Adam failed God and his failure was a spiritual abandoning of his wife. Adam failed to defend God and he failed to defend his wife.

Adam’s covenant relationship with his wife started when God created a special mate for him from his very own body and personally brought her to the man. Adam accepted her as his mate and as one who was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. God then sets the parameters of this one flesh union.

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

God says “For this reason” the man is to be joined to, cleave to or “be glued to” his wife. The reason is found in the previous verse, that the man accepted her as his wife and this acceptance brought a marriage covenant relationship. This means that he is to treat her with love and respect as his very own body. Adam failed to love and respect his wife as he allowed her to be led astray.  In essence Adam not only sinned against God by eating the fruit but he sinned against his wife by spiritually abandoning her with no intervention at all, into the “hands” of the serpent.

God especially holds Adam accountable for his failure as watchman.

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

God identifies the sins that results in a curse on the earth.  God said that because Adam listened to the voice of his wife, and because Adam deliberately ate the fruit, God curses the ground that Adam was taken from.  Adam was an unfaithful watchman. God held Adam accountable for the blood of his wife and God identifies his listening (but without actions as a faithful watchman) as treacherous.

Next post we will continue with the words of Eve to the serpent and God’s words to her after the fall.

Adam and Eve as fruit inspectors and God's prohibition

Adam and Eve as fruit inspectors and God's prohibition

In my last post I showed how in Genesis 1:29 God spoke to both the man and the woman directly and told them both what they were given permission to eat. This effectively destroys the argument that Adam was the one delegated to give direction to the woman regarding what she could and couldn’t eat. God did not delegate this important instruction but took the initiative to make sure that the woman also knew from his own mouth what was permitted. In the permission given in Genesis 1:29, God said that they could eat from two different categories of food. The first category was an addition to what God had previously told Adam. God added permission to eat the plants of the field that yielded seed. The second category of food was the qualification which added the information that they could eat from every tree that had fruit yielding seed. This was additional information given to both the man and the woman but not given by God to Adam alone when God first created Adam. God had not stated at that time any information about the seed bearing fruit neither did he say anything about permission to eat from seed bearing plants. Thus more information about permissible food was given at a subsequent time and God saw no problem in repeating himself or adding additional information. The permission given by God in chapter one in essence made the woman a fruit inspector. She was to inspect the fruit to see if it qualified as good food permissible to eat.

Now let’s explore this further and look at what transpired in Genesis chapter 3.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

Here the serpent questions God’s permission for their provision. What the serpent was saying is “What are you doing? Hasn’t God told you that you do not have permission to eat from the fruit of any of the trees in the garden?” Remember that God spoke directly to the woman in Genesis 1:29 and gave her permission to eat from every tree that has seed bearing fruit. The serpent is not directly questioning the prohibition of one tree, but questioning the permission to eat at all. He is questioning the goodness of God as their provider and source. The woman’s answer reflects the permission that she has been given:

Genesis 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;

How does she know that she is allowed to eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden? She knows that she is allowed to eat because God has given her permission to be a fruit inspector. She is to inspect the fruit, see that it is seed bearing and then understand that this fruit has been given to her by God’s permission to eat. From the woman’s answer we can understand that she has been busy as a fruit inspector because she knows that she has permission to eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden.

The next piece of information is once again an addition to the basic information that God gave Adam. The woman continues:

Genesis 3:3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden…

In chapter 2 after God had created Adam and placed him in the garden, God caused the growth of the fruit trees:

Genesis 2:9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Here we have identified two trees in the midst of the garden that are outside of the normal fruit trees. They were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was told that there was only one tree that had fruit that was not given by permission. God did not say the location of the tree but that would not have been needed since Adam was there when God created and named the trees including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While these trees were created after Adam was placed in the garden, the woman was not there to see the creation of the trees. She was the one who needed to know where this special tree was located.

The woman identifies that the location of the tree was given to her by the words of God. It is her testimony that “God has said”. The woman now identifies to the serpent the only exception to her position as a fruit inspector.

Genesis 3:3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”

The woman said that “God has said” that they (plural) may not touch the fruit from this special tree. If they are not allowed to touch this fruit, then it is to be noted that they must now accept by faith that this fruit does not have seeds. They were allowed to inspect all of the fruit for seeds on every tree except for this one. All of the other trees had life in their seeds, but the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did not have the life seed in it. We know this by putting together the two pieces of information that God has given at different times from Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 2:16, 17. God now is giving them a test of faith. They must accept that there is no life in that fruit without having to inspect it for themselves. They are not allowed to touch this fruit and so they are not allowed to inspect the fruit for seeds.

In this account we have the opportunity to learn several important things about God. We can learn that God gives his permission and lack of permission in several different ways and at different times. We can see that God added permission regarding what to eat when Adam and his wife were both together in his presence. God gave them additional food to eat when he added permission to eat from seed bearing plants. We can also see that God gave additional information to them about testing for seed bearing fruit as God added information previously not given to Adam alone. God chose not to give this important information to Adam alone but waited until both Adam and his wife were together.

In addition to the new information added in Genesis 1:29, the woman also reveals that God gave them both more information about the prohibition. In Genesis 3:3 she reveals that God gave the location of the forbidden fruit and God also gave a restriction that disallowed them from touching the forbidden fruit thus forbidding them to test the forbidden fruit to see if it had seeds. They must now believe in God’s testimony that this one fruit did not have life because it was the only one without seed bearing fruit. They were to accept what God said by faith.

What we can see from this added information from Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis 3 is that God is capable of adding information regarding his permission to eat and he is not restricted from the words given originally to Adam alone. The information that is added in Genesis 1:29 to both the man and the woman is not a contradiction of the information given to Adam in chapter 2. God gave the basics to Adam and added to it later. That is God’s prerogative and it is one way that God repeats the important information for their benefit (Phil 3:1 Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit confirms that repetition is a safeguard for us).

There are some who try to make the woman’s words in Genesis 3:3 to be a fabrication by the woman to add to what God himself had said. They take this position because they have been taught that the man alone has been given the words of God and he was given authority over his wife to instruct her in God’s words. Because they focus on God’s words to Adam alone and they assume that this is all of God’s revelation to the man and the woman, they make Eve out to be an unfaithful witness. To those who believe this way, I would like to ask these questions:

1. Where does it say that God gave Adam authority to be the priest represent God to the woman?

2. Why do we test the woman’s testimony only by what God told Adam in chapter 2? Shouldn’t we consider that Genesis 1:29 shows that God is capable of adding to the word that he gave to Adam?

3. What reason did the woman have to lie about what God said?

4. Why did God not mention the woman’s addition to his words when he confronted her? Is it not a principle of God’s that he will reprove those who add to his words? Was the woman found to be a liar by God? No. God did not charge her with this sin.

The woman directly quoted God. Is there any reason not to accept the testimony of a woman who was sinless at the time, who was not accused of the sin of adding to God’s words by God himself, and had no reason to sin?

Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

Was the woman found to be a liar by God or did his silence about this “sin” show that she was innocent of the charge of adding to God’s words and thus she was a true witness of words that God himself spoke to them after her creation?

5. If God trusted both the woman and the man to be fruit inspectors and spoke to them both about his permission for them to eat, then why have we accepted the tradition that God speaks to the woman through the man? Have we not added to the scripture and invalidated its truth by our own traditions?

Matthew 15:6 … And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

We must not test the woman’s words by only one witness that God gave to Adam alone. God has shown us through scripture that he has multiple testimonies and all these testimonies are true and do not contradict each other. God is capable of adding to his permission and adding to his restriction and this is clearly what he did with Adam and his wife.

Now let’s consider another claim of hierarchists that Eve was not lying but that she was mistaken about what God said. Is this possible and is there any evidence of this from the context? First of all we have already considered that Eve heard directly from God about what was permissible for food and what was not permissible. We also know that God gave the woman to be a helper to Adam. A helper in scripture is one who brings resources to the one who has a need. If God had made the woman to be a childlike one who could not get a simple command straight, how is it that she could be a helper to Adam? The truth of the scripture is that the woman was never charged with being mistaken, wrong or lying. No one made a charge that she did not get God’s command right including God himself. Without a charge from Adam (that she misrepresented him) or God (that she misrepresented God), we are forced to conclude that there is no evidence at all to believe that she was either lying or mistaken about a very simple command that a child could understand.

Another question that some ask is why Eve is given a command that is different that the one we have recorded in scripture by God’s command to Adam? Eve is not given a different command than was given to the man. The woman clearly said that God said “…you shall not eat from it or touch it” and this is the plural form in Hebrew showing that it was spoken to both of them. There is no different rule for man than for woman. The rule is the same. It is an addition from what was stated to Adam in chapter 2 but in God’s sovereignty he can add to his own commands without contradiction. We cannot assume that God spoke only one time about his permission and his non-permission when the text says otherwise.

In another post we will be talking about the consequence of sin, Satan’s strategy and how hierarchists have distorted the events of the fall.

Eve and God

Eve and God

One’s world view can cause one to have presuppositions that bring set patterns of reasoning that have nothing to do with the text of scripture. One of these areas is with Eve’s relationship with God and whether God placed the man in charge of her basic knowledge. Some think that God created the woman to be led by Adam so that Adam was given the responsibility to tell the woman God’s prohibition. Hierarchists (or complementarians as many call them) start with the world view that God gave Adam authority over the woman and this gets factored into their view. Let’s take one step away from our presuppositions and look at a question that many have not pondered before. The question is “Who instructed the woman on what she could eat”? Note this is not a question on what she could not eat, but regarding what she could eat.

So who instructed the woman on her diet? Was it God or was it Adam? Hierarchists normally assume that it was Adam. After all if God gave Adam authority over his wife, instructing her on the things that God had already spoken to Adam about, would seem to be obvious. But rather than assuming things, why don’t we look at scripture to see what God has revealed?

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Was Adam a type of Christ?

Was Adam a type of Christ?

Recently I received a request to post my ideas on why Adam chose to sin when he was not deceived. The writer went on to ask:

“Could it have been intentional (prophetically typical of Christ), and as sacrificially paying the cost to be with his beloved. Paul also then confirming that the redemption from that sacrificial love would ultimately come from progeny through their union? What were Adam’s choices? Would God have cast her out, and taken another of Adam’s ribs for Eve number 2? Would that have been the end to humanity?
Also—if Adam (even the first Adam) is a type of Christ, that puts Eve as the type of the Church, which is both male and female.”

There are a lot of questions here that deserve to be answered in a thoughtful and biblical way. I have heard pastors preach that Adam ate the fruit because he was acting in a sacrificial way to be with his wife. She had already sinned by eating first and so it is said that he lovingly stands by her side and chooses to die with her.

While this view of the events is very romantic and sounds good as a story, it has a problem in matching up with the actual facts recorded for our benefit. (1 Corinthians 10:11) Let’s start with what we know for sure and move to what we can rightly surmise from the events.

1. We know that Adam was with Eve while she was being deceived. (Genesis 3:6)

2. We know that Adam was not deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14)

3. We know that Adam did not take the blame for his wife or try to shield her from God’s charge. Instead of fighting for Eve, he blamed Eve for his own sin (Genesis 3:12)

4. God charges Adam with dealing treacherously with him and thus deliberately transgressing the covenant with God. (Hosea 6:7)

So here are the questions that we need to ask – if Adam ate the fruit because of his great love for his wife…

1. how come Adam waited until after she ate the fruit before he “gave himself up” for her?

2. how come Adam didn’t try to protect her from God’s anger and judgment?

3. how come Adam wasn’t showing his loving protection of her when he answered God by passing the blame on to Eve?

What the facts show is that Adam failed to show his love for his wife while she was being tempted. The facts also show that Adam was not deceived so he ate the fruit with his eyes wide open. Adam sinned without being deceived so his sin was deliberately disobeying God. Not only did Adam deliberately disobey God, but he did not give himself to save his wife before she ate the fruit. Unfortunately the facts show that Adam ate the fruit for reasons other than his sacrificial love for his wife. Adam’s sacrificial love would have been shown if he would have sacrificially saved Eve by bringing her out of her deception. That did not happen.

Is Adam considered a prophetic symbol of Christ, dying for his bride? No, not at all. Adam did not warn his bride about sin. Christ not only warned his bride but he died to save her from her sin. Only Jesus Christ sacrificed himself as a true godly husband. Where Adam failed his bride, Jesus did not. This next question brings up one of the most important truths of our Christian faith:

“Paul also then confirming that the redemption from that sacrificial love would ultimately come from progeny through their union?”

The truth is that the progeny that saved mankind did not come from the man or his union with the woman. The Messiah was promised to come through the woman alone. The Messiah was not to be tainted by the inherited sin of rebellion and God accomplished through the woman’s seed the destruction of the destroyer himself.

The Messiah is the only picture of the perfect husband. His sacrificial love for us was the true love story and Adam does not qualify to be a foreshadowing of Christ. The first Adam lost it all. The last Adam bought it all back. Adam was not a type of Christ, but Christ is a type of Adam. Christ became the “last” Adam, the one who lived a completely sinless life and was the one who did not abandon his wife but sacrificed for his own bride.

“What were Adam’s choices? Would God have cast her out…?”

God did not cast Eve out when Adam sinned with her. God knew that Eve was deceived and so he extended mercy to her. God judges the intentions of our heart and Eve was not in rebellion when she sinned. Eve fell into sin through deception (1 Timothy 2:14). Being kicked out of the garden was not the original punishment for sin. The punishment was death not removing their garden home. The reason that Adam was kicked out was his rebellion. He had already sinned once by disobeying God’s commandment with his eyes wide open. Would he refuse to listen again when God now withholds the tree of life from them? The fact that God kicks Adam out of the garden shows that God knew what was in Adam’s heart.

The next question is an interesting question.

“Would God have cast her out, and taken another of Adam’s ribs for Eve number 2? Would that have been the end to humanity?”

Adam and Eve both needed a Savior. God promised the Messiah through the woman. Eve did not have to leave the garden with Adam for the Savior to come. After all did Mary need to have a man to become pregnant with the Messiah? No. The promise of the Messiah was through a woman alone. If Eve had stayed in the garden, the Messiah could have come through her without the aid of any man. Eve left the garden not because she needed Adam to have the promised Messiah. She left because she wanted to be with her husband. There was no need for another Eve to be created. God knew that Eve would leave the garden with her husband because he prophesied that her desire (or turning) would be to her husband. He also prophesied that the man would rule over her. I believe that it is fairly clear that Eve left the garden because she wanted to be with her husband and he took his sinful rule over her by demanding that she come with him.

“Also—if Adam (even the first Adam) is a type of Christ, that puts Eve as the type of the Church, which is both male and female.”

Yes, men and women are all part of the “bride” of Christ. Men need to learn how to be part of that “bride” just as women need to learn how to be “sons” of God. All of us can learn from each other. Men need to learn how to submit as well and women also need to learn how to be “warriors” of the faith.

Did the naming of Eve come from God's command?

Did the naming of Eve come from God's command?

This is the third response to the article by Matt Slick called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority“.

The last two responses we have discussed Adam naming the animals Was Authority Withheld from Eve? and Adam’s identifying Eve as “woman”. Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Today I am responding to Slick’s comments regarding the naming of “Eve”. Slick writes:

Also, “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living,” (Gen. 3:20). As God called the light day and the darkness night, so Adam called Eve woman.

There is agreement that Adam took authority over Eve after sin entered the world. The problem is when hierarchists see the naming of “Eve” as if God had commanded Adam to do this before Adam sinned. There is nowhere in scripture that God commanded Adam to take authority over his wife. After Adam sinned, God spoke to Eve and prophesied about what her life would be like outside the garden with her husband who was now a sinner. God did not speak to Adam about granting him authority to rule over Eve, nor did he tell Eve that she must submit to her husband’s rule. He merely stated a fact about what life would be like for her in her sin-distorted relationship with her husband. What hierarchists must do is provide a precedent for God to give Adam authority over another human being (his wife) before sin entered the world. This they cannot do. If Adam was supposed to take authority over her after she was created and before sin entered the world, don’t you think that God would have told him this and recorded it for us to understand? Don’t you think that God would have instructed Eve about what she was supposed to do regarding her “role” if indeed her husband was to have authority over her? It is a significant fact that there is not one word about authority or submission in the pre-fall world except for a mutual authority of Adam and Eve over the animals and the subjection of the animals.

Next Matt Slick points out:

Still, the egalitarians will object and say that an absolute and total equality in all things exists between men and women in the church and the created order and Adam’s naming animals and naming Eve has nothing to do with it. But, is that what is implied in Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 2:12-14?

Notice that in his article he continues to say “implied”. This is significant. The reason he must say “implied” is because there is nothing that says that a man is to take authority over a woman. It has to be read into the text. This is why the best that the hierarchists can say is that is it “implied”. Surely God is capable of issuing a command for a human to rule over another human if he desired it to be that way. The fact that there is no command is very odd if God planned it this way and commanded the first man to rule over his wife. God commanded the man and the woman regarding what they could and couldn’t eat. He commanded them to rule the earth and the animals. He did not give a command regarding Adams right or authority to rule Eve. Did God fail to give a command or is Matt Slick “reading into” the text what God never intended?

Let’s also look at the defense that Adam and Eve gave when they were confronted by God. Did Adam blame the woman for insubordination to his rule? No. In fact he said nothing about her failing to submit to his rule. Eve also did not blame Adam for failing to take authority over her. There is nothing in the testimony of either Adam or Eve that would cause us to imply that Adam had failed in a command to rule Eve or that Eve had failed in a command to submit to Adam. God also did not hold Adam accountable for Eve. Each person was accountable for their own sin.

Lastly, Slick comments about the “divine Zookeeper”:

animals and birds are paraded before the man by the divine Zookeeper for the man to name them, thereby exercising his authority over them.

Not only is calling God a “divine Zookeeper” offensive, but Slick awards Adam with divinely mandated authority over Eve as he implies that the “divine Zookeeper” also paraded the woman before the man. Eve was not paraded before the man in order for him to name her. She was brought to him to be married to him with the blessing of God. Slick has taken a God-ordained marriage ceremony and created a one-woman parade in which the man is given the scepter of rule over her. What a hierarchist can “imply” from the passage is given much more weight than what is actually said in the passage.

Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

This is part two of the response to an article by Matt Slick of CARM called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority” found here.


Since Matt Slick has claimed that he has refuted my arguments on women in ministry, it is only fair for me to provide information that will show how his arguments are invalid and his “refutation” needs a whole lot more work. 😆

In Matt’s article he states that Adam expressed dominance over Eve. Matt writes:

But, since we see Adam expressing his dominance over the animals by naming them and we see that Adam names Eve, we can then conclude that Adam’s expressed dominance over Eve by his calling her ‘woman’ before the Fall and ‘Eve’ after it. Remember, as God brought the animals to Adam, he also brought Eve to Adam.

There are several questions that must be asked here and the answers to these questions will be very eye opening. The first question is, who gave Adam authority over Eve? The second question is, for what reason did God bring Eve to Adam? If I could take liberties to answer these questions for Matt, I think his answer would be that Adam’s authority over Eve was not explicitly given by God but implicitly given because of Adam’s actions. I also believe his answer to the second question would be that God brought Eve to Adam just as he brought the animals to Adam, for Adam to name her.

Let’s examine each of these questions and look at the text itself for the answers. Let’s also ask a question that goes back even further. Who gave Adam authority over the animals and did Eve also have equal authority over the animals? The answer will be found in Genesis chapter 1.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God explicitly said to them (plural) that they were to subdue the earth and rule over the fish, the birds and over every living thing that moves on the earth. The command is not for the earth to be in subjection to Adam and Eve, but for Adam and Eve to subject the earth to their rule. The Hebrew word for “rule” used here according to The Complete WordStudy Dictionary by Zhodiates means to exercise domain over those who are powerless or otherwise under one’s control.

While God gave both Adam and Eve control over the animals, did God give Adam special authority and control over Eve? Did God give Adam the authority to exercise domain over Eve just as he had given them the command to exercise domain over the animals? Wouldn’t it appear odd that God would give explicit authority to exercise domain over the animals but only implicit authority for the man to exercise domain over the woman? Wouldn’t this be a failure of God’s to explicitly delegate authority so that we have to guess this is what he intended? It is my contention that God said what he meant and meant what he said. He explicitly delegated authority to both Adam and Eve and there is no explicit delegation of authority to only one of them. The naming of the animals was not a special act of authority to Adam. It was merely the acting out of the command to exercise domain over the animals. Eve, of course could not act out her domain over the animals at the time since she had not yet been created.

So now, let’s have a look at the creation of Eve. There is no doubt that Adam was aware that there would be a mate created for him since God said:

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

So while God said “I will make…” he then went on to make or form the animals from the ground and bring them to Adam. Adam was able to verify the nature of each animal by naming it and he was also able to verify that each animal created was unsuitable for him. God had said that Adam’s “helper” (one who gives aid or assistance) would be one “in front of him” or “facing him”. None of the animals qualified as one who would give Adam aid “facing him”.

Genesis 2:19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

We can see from Genesis 2:18 that God had said that he would “make” a “helper” for Adam. In verse 19 he “formed” the animals and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. It is explicitly said that God brought the animals to see what Adam would name them and it is implied from verse 18 that God was allowing Adam to check out God’s creation to see if any of the animals was worthy of being “in front of” Adam as one who “aids” Adam.

Now we come to verse 21 where God brings the solution:

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
Genesis 2:22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

It is interesting here to note that God fashioned into an “issah” (woman) the rib (inner chamber, board, side) which he had taken from the man. God called her an “issah” or woman before he even brought her to the man. Why? It is because she was taken from the inner chamber or side of the man.

Genesis 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

The Hebrew literally reads “And saying is the human, This was once bone of my bones and flesh from my flesh. This shall be called woman, for from her man is this taken.”

The question we need to ask is this – does Adam’s identifying her as “woman” mean that he is taking dominion over her? Or does identifying her as “woman” mean that he is identifying her nature as equal to his – flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone? There is nothing in the text that says that God gave Adam authority over her. There is nothing in the text that says that Adam was taking his domain over her. The very next verse explains the significance of Adam’s identification of her nature. Genesis 2:24 says:

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

It says “For this reason…” For what reason? Eve’s identification by Adam as “woman” because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone is for the reason of joining together the two to become one flesh.

So why did God bring Eve to Adam? God did not bring Eve to Adam for him to take dominion over her. God brought Eve to Adam so that Adam could join himself with her as a one-flesh union. God brought the woman, but the man is the one who is to leave and join himself to her. “Join” means sticking to or clinging to. Adam shows that he is joining with her by identifying her as the one whom he was looking for. She is “the one” whom God said he would “make” that is the one who will provide him with the help that he needs and the one who will be “facing him” as an equal being. God brought Adam his own DNA mate and Adam joined himself to her. Adam did not take authority over her but joined himself to her.

While people like Matt Slick would like to see this beautiful event as merely a hierarchical reign of the man taking his authority over the woman, in reality it is a man identifying what God has already identified as his equal and joining himself together with her accepting her as one with him.

Do you see what has happened here? Those who are hierarchists like Matt Slick are wanting to see rule and authority and reign and subordination in the text. Yet none of these things is either explicit or implicit in the inspired test. What is explicit is the reason given in verse 24. “For this reason….” God says, man will join himself with the woman to become one flesh. Did God bring the woman to the man for him to take authority over her? Or did God bring the woman to the man for him to join himself with her? The real question should be – what does the text say? The text is silent about the man’s authority over the woman. The text is explicit about the man’s joining himself together with the one whom he has agreed with God that she is identified as his corresponding equal – the only one who measures up to being worthy of a one-flesh union with him.

While Matt Slick may think that he has refuted me and proven that the man was given rule over the woman before the fall happened, he is dead wrong and his work is faulty and incomplete. It is time that we get back to the text actually says instead of placing our own presuppositions into the scriptures. Let’s let God be true though every man be found a liar:

Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”

We have only just started the refutation of Matt Slick’s article so much more to come later.

Thoughts?

Was authority withheld from Eve?

Was authority withheld from Eve?

This article is a response to an article written by Matt Slick of CARM called Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority. The article is found here.

In Mr. Slick’s article, he takes the position that God had different roles for the man and the woman right from the beginning. He says:

“Part of God’s command to Adam to keep the Garden was to name the animals. This was not Eve’s role.”

There are no “roles” mentioned in Genesis and Eve certainly could not have a “role” of naming the animals because she didn’t exist at the time that Adam was given the opportunity to name the animals. God’s purpose was a dual purpose. Not only did Adam get the opportunity to name the animals, but he was given an opportunity to discover that he was the only one without a mate. Every animal had its own mate but he did not have a corresponding mate.

Slick goes on to make a distinction between Eve’s work and Adam’s work. He says:

“She was later made to be a helpmate to Adam and assist him in the calling God had given him, not the other way around. “For indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake,” (1 Cor. 11:9).”

While Mr. Slick makes only the man to have a distinct calling, saying that the woman was created to “assist” the man in his calling, scripture reveals that they both had the same calling from God.

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Gen 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Gen 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Both the man and the woman were given the mandate to rule the animals and both were told to fill and subdue the earth. Scripture does not say that it is only the calling of the male but of them both. Being a “helper” is not a lesser position for the woman since this term is used mostly of God himself in the Old Testament. God “helps” those who need his assistance and who cannot do the job on their own. Adam needed his mate to provide what he lacked. Together they worked on the same mandate to rule God’s creation.

Mr. Slick makes naming the animals as a unique act of authority given to Adam alone.

“Adam named the animals. Eve did not. Naming them was his first act of dominion and it is a sign of authority and it was God who brought the animals to Adam so that Adam could accomplish what God had commanded.”

Now if Adam and Eve had both been around and God had kept the job of naming the animals away from Eve, then men like Matt Slick would have a valid point. However scripture does not say that Eve was kept away from an authority that was kept only for Adam. Scripture is clear that the job of naming the animals caused Adam to see his need for a mate. It is only when Adam saw his need did God put Adam to sleep and create his very own mate from his own body.  But scripture does not say that if Eve had been around that she would have been kept away from helping Adam in the same mandate as was given to both.

So how can we know that Eve was not without an authority over the animals because of the naming of the animals? We can know that God did not place Eve in a lesser position than Adam because God gave them the exact same mandate in Genesis 1. She was given authority over all of the animals just as Adam was given this authority. We can also know that Eve was not held back from exercising her God-given authority because she was not in existence at the event of the naming of the animals. Think about it this way…if God had brought Adam to a pear tree to introduce him to this fruit before Eve was created, would this prove that God gave only Adam the authority to eat from the pear tree? That would seem a little silly wouldn’t it?  Unless God tells us that an authority is withheld from Eve or God shows us that she was held back when both were there and available, we cannot assume something from the text when the text does not say this.  This is an argument from silence.  If God wanted us to know that Adam had an authority over the animals that she did not, God would have told us.

In the next post we will continue to look at what authority is claimed for the man alone when the woman is finally created.

Primogeniture

Primogeniture

In the next of Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry that I will be reviewing is his article called Primogeniture found at http://www.carm.org/womeninministry/primogeniture.htm

Matt gives what he considers to be the meaning of primogeniture:

“Primogeniture, the biblical teaching that the firstborn has preeminence and authority over those that follow in the family.”

I would like to ask where he gets such a definition from the bible? The correct definition of primogeniture from the dictionary is:

  1. The state of being the first born or eldest child of the same parents.
  2. Law The right of the eldest child, especially the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both parents.

Where does it say that the firstborn has authority over those that follow in the family? The bible doesn’t say this and Matt seems to have picked up an error from CBMW that primogeniture is about people having the right to rule others just because they are first born.

While the first one born had the right to the inheritance from the Father, God bypassed man’s system at times to give the rights to one who was not firstborn. For example God calls Ephraim his firstborn in Jeremiah 31:9 even though Ephraim was the second one born and it was Manasseh who was the first one born. Jesus is the ultimate first born and he is called the first born of or over all creation as he is the pre-eminent one because he created all things. However the bible never says that a human creature is given the right to rule others just because he is the first one born.

The issue of primogeniture would not even come into play regarding men and women since Adam was not the first of siblings. Eve was his wife, not his brother. There is no place in Genesis that God gave Adam the right to rule over his wife and it wasn’t until sin entered the world that God told Eve in prophesy that this is what Adam would do to her, but God never said that it was his will nor did he tell Adam to rule Eve. His words were to Eve prophetically, not to Adam as a command or the giving of a right.

Matt’s article fails the test of truth in his effort to prove that God has given man the right to rule over women because man was created first. There is no right in primogeniture to rule over others and Jesus said that lording over others was something that was not to be heard among the followers of Christ. Matt’s article proves that those who seek to dominate and control others will grasp at straws to try to prove biblically their “right” to do so. However Matt’s “proof” of a man’s right to rule has no biblical basis at all.

Why was Adam's sin more serious than the sin of Eve? Part Two

Why was Adam's sin more serious than the sin of Eve? Part Two

While we have seen from part one that Adam’s sin was said to have been a deliberate transgression of the covenant and as a result it was a treacherous act against God (Hosea 6:7) where does that leave the seriousness of Eve’s sin?

God has made a dividing line between those sins which come from a deliberate defiance against God and those sins which are done unintentionally. Numbers 15:22, 27, 30, 31 says:

‘But when you unwittingly fail and do not observe all these commandments, which the LORD has spoken to Moses… Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one year old female goat for a sin offering… But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.’

If one sins unintentionally, it is still a sin, but there is provision given for grace to cover this sin. 1 Timothy 2:14 says that Eve was deceived and fell into sin unintentionally through that deception.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Did Eve experience God’s grace along with his justice? Paul alludes to this in 1 Timothy 1 & 2 as he talks about those who were fully deceived but who received God’s grace in the midst of their ignorance. In 1 Timothy 1:13, 14 Paul says:

“even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.”

In these verses Paul ties in the mercy he received from Jesus with his ignorance so that the one who acted in ignorance was eligible to receive mercy.

Another example of ignorance where a person finds mercy from God is in 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul says Eve fell into sin but because of her deception she found mercy when God promised that the Messiah would come through the seed of the woman. Genesis 3:15 says:

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Satan’s tactic was to deceive the woman, but by that very act, Satan inadvertently opened the door to mankind’s receiving mercy through the seed of the woman. God did not charge the woman with treacherous rebellion as he did Adam, (Hosea 6:7) but because she had been deceived and had sinned ignorantly in her deception, God had the right to bring the Messiah into the world through her lineage.

What was meant by Satan to bring all of mankind into Satan’s own rebellion was turned around by God and was used as the means to destroy Satan. It was through the woman whom Satan deceived, that God was able to bring the sinless Messiah into the world and that perfect, sinless Messiah would in turn crush the head of Satan. The promise was made to the woman and not to the man because she was the one who received mercy.


Adam on the other hand was not deceived and since his sin was a willful sin, his guilt remained on his bloodline. Adam was therefore the only one who brought sin into this world.

To understand more about the necessity of a kinsman redeemer who was born without inherited sin, click here to read the post called Adam as head of the family.

Why was the sin of Adam more serious than the sin of Eve? Part One

Why was the sin of Adam more serious than the sin of Eve? Part One

While some believe that Adam was the representative head of the human race and merely brought sin into the world because he was “head” (i.e. some say he was the covenantal head of humanity) the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin was more serious than Eve’s and it was the seriousness of his sin that brought humanity along with him into inherited sin.

Before we consider the seriousness of Adam’s sin, let’s make sure it was only Adam who brought sin into the world.

Romans 5:18, NASB says:

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men

Who was the one who committed this one transgression? Romans 5:14, 15 NASB:

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

So it is clear that Adam alone brought sin into the world. But what is the “likeness of the transgression of Adam”? First of all let’s understand that it is not the “headship” of Adam that brought sin into the world but the “transgression” of Adam. Romans 5:15 does not say “For if by the headship of the one the many died” but “For if by the transgression of the one the many died”

Why was Adam’s transgression so serious? Hosea 6:7 says:

But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

So Adam willfully transgressed God’s covenant and by sinning in this way he dealt treacherously against God. What does scripture say about those who sin defiantly against God? Numbers 15:30, 31:

‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.'”

Adam broke God’s commandment in a willful way because the scripture says Adam was not deceived by the serpent’s lies (1 Timothy 2:13). Because Adam sinned and broke God’s covenant by disobeying God’s prohibition, scripture says that his guilt was on him. And since we were “in” Adam when he sinned, his sin was passed on to us by inheritance.

But what about Eve? Why was her sin not judged as strongly as the sin of Adam? Why did Eve not bring sin into the world? This discussion will continue in part two of “Why was Adam’s sin more serious than the sin of Eve?”

Does God have one unique law? Part One

Does God have one unique law? Part One

If complementarians are right in their interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:12, then God must have one completely unique law. This “law” forbidding women from teaching the bible to men is not like any other law in the bible.

All of God’s laws have several things in common. Every law is able to be traced back to its origin in the Old Testament.

All prohibitions that are God’s law written in the New Testament are traceable back to the Old Testament law.

But it is an odd thing about the law about women not teaching men-

 

It cannot be traced back to the Old Testament. There is no connection there at all! Now isn’t that odd? The 1 Timothy 2 “prohibition” about stopping women from teaching the bible to men is a unique law, the only”law” that cannot be traced back to the Old Testament!

Now because this “law” is untraceable back to the Old Testament, it cannot be tested. When Paul was teaching the Bereans, he commended them for testing everything that he taught them. What did they test his teachings by? In Acts 17:11 it says:

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

 

So where would the Bereans have tested out this new law from scripture? There is no scripture at all in the Old Testament that confirms that women are not to teach the bible to men!

What other options do we have to interpret 1 Timothy 2:12? We can interpret it in context as a prohibition against a false teacher teaching false teaching, (Paul had already told Timothy he left him in Ephesus to stop the false teachers from teaching false doctrines – 1 Timothy 1:3). If we used that interpretation, then we can find plenty of verses to confirm this prohibition from the Old Testament.

 

 

This interpretation fits perfectly with the Old Testament law.

In part two of “Does God have one unique law?” we will discuss another way that complementarians have made 1 Timothy 2:12 into a unique law that is not able to be tested by scripture. Click here to go to part two.

Isn't the Priesthood in the OT proof that God uses only men?

Isn't the Priesthood in the OT proof that God uses only men?

Q: Isn’t the fact that God only chose men for the Priesthood in the Old Testament proof that God only uses men in leadership? After all the Priesthood is equivalent to the Pastorhood in the church.

A: Although God originally started with only one tribe in Israel for the Priesthood and only the men from that one tribe were eligible, his intention was not for the Priesthood to stay with only one tribe and only the men. In Exodus 19:5-8, God makes a covenant with the nation of Israel.

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