Coloratura Christian

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

Monday, November 07, 2005

"Let a Woman Learn in Silence"

I had no idea how many differing view points there could be on one verse...until looking into this passage (1 Tim 2:11). Most of the older theologians say things that are totally shocking to my modern sensibilities, and many of the modern commentators are so PC that I don't really trust them. Judging from the wide variety of views, it seems that even godly, solid men can be influenced by the presuppositions of their culture in regards to women.

One of the most useful (and accessible) books I found on the topic was Women in the Church, edited by Kostenberger, Schreiner and Baldwin.

In this book Daniel Doriani writes an article entitled A History of the Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2 where he notes among others, Jonathan Edwards' view. This drew my attention immediately because Edwards is a theologian that I've really grown to admire. It seems to me that he has something to say on the topic that transcends his culture.

Doriani says:

Edwards discussed the women's issue in the context of spiritual pride in the New England revival. Citing 1 Timothy 2:9-12, Edwards says all persons owe each other a civil reverence, including a "modesty and shamefacedness," which social "inferiors," owe their "superiors," in both civil and spiritual realms. "Not that...women's mouths should be shut up from Christian conversation," Edwards quickly adds. But there is room for women to be reverent toward men, says Edwards.

Doriani then quotes Edwards as saying:

"Tis beautiful for persons when they are at make God only their fear...and to be wholly forgetful that men are present...And tis beautiful for a minister, when he speaks in the name of the Lord of put off all fear of men. And tis beautiful for private Christians, though they are women and children to be bold in professing the faith of Christ...and in owning God's hand in the work of his power and grace, without any fear of men, though they be reproached as fools and madmen...But for private Christians, women and others, to instruct, rebuke, and exhort, with a like sort of boldness as becomes a minister when preaching, is not beautiful."


  • At November 08, 2005, Blogger Dan S. said…

    Thanks for posting on that section of Scripture. Just one question: What does PC mean? It's probably obvious, but I'm one of those red-neck westerners that's pretty slow. All I could think of was Progressive Conservative or Personal Computer. None of those seemed to fit.

    I'll have to find that book tou cited. You may or may not know that the topic of women in ministry has become a hot topic of discussion amongst the elders here at OEFC. Like you , I am mystified at the variety of interpretations on that passage. It seems to me that many of the modern ones come from the erroneous hermeneutic of trying to fit Scripture into culture. For that particular passage in 1 Timothy 2, one has to do perform a top notch gymnastic program to make it say something other than it says.

  • At November 08, 2005, Blogger Christel said…

    Hi Dan,

    By PC I meant politically correct. I probably should have made that clearer. :)

    Thanks for your comment. I think you're right...there seems to be a lot of "gymnastics" going on.

  • At November 09, 2005, Anonymous Justin 'Galotti' said…

    Just wanted to thank you for the joy it brought me to read the name of an Italian biblical scholar! Thanks also for the rest of the excellent blogging. It's been enjoyable to read - for myself and Elisha too.

  • At November 12, 2005, Blogger Christel said…

    Thanks Justin. I guess there aren't too many Italian evangelical scholars currently. When you start publishing I'll be sure to quote you. :)


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