Debate audio between Matt Slick and Cheryl Schatz

Debate audio between Matt Slick and Cheryl Schatz

Hey all,

If you didn’t get a chance to hear the debate regarding women Pastors between Matt Slick of CARM and myself, you can hear it at this link.

The next debate is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26th.  The topic on that debate will be how do we know that the woman of 1 Timothy 2:12 is a specific woman in the Ephesus congregation and why is the reason for stopping her tied into the creation of Adam and Eve?  It should be another hot debate.

As far as Matt’s treatment of me tonight – I did not take any offense by his words.   I believe that he is deceived in this issue and so I am willing to cut him a lot of slack because of this.  I consider it a privilege to be able to say even one thing that will help women to be set free in Christ to celebrate their gifts and use them for God’s glory by benefiting both men and women in the body of Christ.

Any thoughts on this debate?  I am going to copy teknomom’s summary of this debate that she posted previous to my putting up this post.

(Additional note May 2009: Even though I tried my hardest to treat him with respect during the two radio appearances I had with him, he has publicly denounced me as the one who was attacking him.  Since that time he started many posts on his discussion board attacking my person and calling me a heretic and he allowed his vice-president Diane Sellner to call me names and to even question my sanity and all this because I accepted an invitation to talk about women in ministry.  I tried my best to get resolution to the misrepresentation and the name calling and my report on the Matthew 18 meeting I had with Matt Slick in August 2008 is found here.)

113 thoughts on “Debate audio between Matt Slick and Cheryl Schatz

  1. Hoo boy! I don’t know how, but I managed to listen to the whole debate. Cheryl, you had much more patience and poise than I would have had.

    I took some quick notes, and here are the main things I put down:

    – Slick doesn’t know the difference between grammatical gender and biological gender (linguists all know this)

    – He only wants to “dig” if it suits him

    – he only wants to consider society in context if it suits him

    – he wants a “checklist” only when it suits him

    – he says “A CHRISTIAN SHOULD KNOW BETTER”. I couldn’t agree more!!

    – he wants to dish out ad hominem but not take it; accused you of listening to “worldly” reasoning

    – he appears ignorant of scholarship on Greek word meanings

    – at about 30 minutes he starts groaning, sighing, and getting high-pitched and emotional, then can be heard laughing

    – he allows women to teach men but “not as elders or pastors”, as authorities, and gives “Adam was made first” as the reason!

    – he refused to back up his “federal headship” when pressed whether Eve would have been charged with sin if only Adam had sinned

    – rejects Jesus taking away all sin! (Calvinism cited as basis– “limited atonement” heresy!)

    – accused you of misrepresentation

    – called you a CULTIST in style… BECAUSE YOU DIG INTO SCRIPTURE!!

    – called you DECEIVED

    – wants to pick his personal choice for what AUTHENTEIN means even while admitting no other scripture uses it

    – can’t get past believing “pastors and elders have authority”

    Slick would be very hard-pressed to prove that last one. You may be interested in a discussion on this topic at my message board.

    For example, “pastor” is a gift, not an office. Only “elders” can be appointed, and he should know better than to claim the word for “elder” in Titus 1 is only referring to males; it is simply the plural form and does not mean only males. In Chapter 2 we see the words “male elders” and “female elders”, and no contextual reason to change the meaning there to “older men” and “older women”, especially given the overall context of the entire letter. And the word “appointment” is given in regards to the “female elders”! Age cannot be appointed!

    That seems to be his big sticking point.

    Overall, he acted the way I fully expected him to, and he could barely contain his frustration with frequent sighing in the background. You had him on the ropes Cheryl, whether he’ll ever admit it or not. I only hope that the women listening will at least check out the calm and uninterrupted DVD set, or the many fine articles available at your blog and other sites.

    Kudos for the effort!

  2. Cheryl, I’m looking forward to listening to the debate, from the audio file which I downloaded. May God bless you for patiently explaining what you believe to be true.

  3. Cheryl,
    Respectfully, you’re problem is that you arrived at your conclusion first and then you went to the Bible to interpret passages to fit your conclusion. You read meaning in to passages that are not there. This is called eisegesis and it is wrong.

  4. Cheryl

    wow – i am exhausted just listening to the discussion after the fact…

    congrats on staying so calm.

    one thing that has consistently struck me about how you approach this whole difficult topic – whether in writing or verbally – is the grace you show in your communication. it’s all too rare on ‘both’ sides of the debate. thank you for leading the way in this attitude.

    may the Lord Jesus give you strength and patience to go another round next week!


  5. As I said in the other post, Slick made a very big deal about “authority” in a “church” setting, especially “the pulpit”. The word “pulpit” or its equivalent is not found in the NT at all. Neither are “pastors” ever shown as having authority. And in the link to my message board there’s a good discussion on the fact that Elders are not “preachers” or people having authority **over other believers**.

    This is the most fundamental flaw in all complementarianism: “lording it over”. Of course they say they don’t do this, preferring instead to call it “servant leadership”, but actions speak louder than words. They are **usurping authority** that does not belong to them! It’s part of the larger problem of hierarchy in the churches, where a clergy class is invented from thin air. The NT never hints at any such thing.

    It’s all about Pride. How can “submit to one another” be twisted to “women must obey men”? How can it not be called Pride to put one half of the Body of Christ over the other? That is not “leadership”, it’s domination, and it’s against what Jesus said and did and what the apostles taught.

    Dr. Rebecca Groothuis made an excellent case against such hierarchy in her book “Good News for Women”, especially in quoting the phrase “hermeneutical gerrymandering” to describe the imaginary line these prideful men draw around women’s activities in the church. (see This Link for my review of her book)

    Press Slick to define from scripture where these lines of authority are drawn. Ask him where it says certain men have authority over other men. You already tried to get him to prove that all women are forbidden to teach “authoritatively”, which he simply asserts and does not prove, but he has not yet shown where the Bible defines “authoritative teaching” in the NT church. The only such “auth. teaching” I can find is where Acts says the people “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching”, aka our NT epistles.

  6. Okay, one more thing… 🙂

    Dr. Katherine Bushnell, in her book “God’s Word to Women”, points out something very important about the Genesis passage, in which Slick emphasized “he SHALL rule over you”. Genesis 3:16 should read: “A snare has increased your sorrow and sighing, in sorrow you will bring forth children. Your turning will be to your husband, and he will rule over you.” Bushnell Lessons 13-19.

    (see for more)

    That article shows that God never COMMANDED Eve’s subordination (“shall”), but simply warned her of what would happen (“will”) if she elected to follow Adam out of the garden. Eve was never ordered out; it specifically states “the man”. Eve was being BLESSED by God with the promise of the Savior through “her seed”. Why would anyone think God immediately turned to cursing her with servitude? Eve had told the truth! Adam blamed Eve but Eve simply reported what happened. She did disobey God but freely admitted her sin. That is precisely why Jesus had to be born of a woman, a virgin (“her seed”). It was a prophecy and a sign because of Eve’s admission of sin by being deceived.

    (Cheryl, you’d be interested in the “sign” aspect as one of those cases of “a second witness”. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a **sign**: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” The immediate context there would not understand “a young woman” as any kind of sign, but a “virgin” is an unmistakable sign! So this sign confirms the prophecy in Genesis 3.)

  7. Joe,

    Thanks for being respectful!

    You said:

    Respectfully, you’re problem is that you arrived at your conclusion first and then you went to the Bible to interpret passages to fit your conclusion. You read meaning in to passages that are not there. This is called eisegesis and it is wrong.

    How would you know that I arrived at my conclusion first and then went to the Bible to interpret the passage? If you listened carefully, I said that I was challenged that women weren’t allowed to teach the bible to men and I went to the bible to find out what it said and what it meant. Since I didn’t start with a conclusion, please tell me what you used to make this judgment call?

    Also you said that I read meaning into a passage that isn’t there but you didn’t give an example. Please explain what you mean otherwise your comment isn’t helpful to us on this discussion.

    I agree that eisegesis is wrong. What evidence do you have that I was doing that? I think I went a long way to prove that Matt was doing the eisegesis. Matt reads “elders” into 1 Timothy 2:12 saying that this verse forbids women from being elders yet the verse does not use the term elder, pastor or overseer. It merely says that “a woman” is not allowed to “teach” or “authenteo” “a man”. That is the simple words without the eisegesis or “spin” that Matt was trying to add.

  8. teknomom,

    Thanks for all the great points! I have to continue to work on setting an outline in my head so I can follow through with all the points in the “heat” of the battle. It ain’t so easy when you are up against someone who doesn’t want to let you talk and keeps interrupting you. Several times I tried to follow a line of reason and I was stopped. Another time Matt desperately didn’t even want me to read a scripture about how “anyone” can mean male or female. He tried hard to say that “anyone” as singular masculine means only males and I was able only to read one scripture to prove him wrong. I had many more, plus I had references from respected lexicons that proved him wrong, but once again the one who has the mike is the one who ultimately calls the shots and who can shoot down the messenger. It is my sincere desire to remain calm and respectful. If I tried to bully my way through the conversation I could have gotten more points through, but then I would have lost my goal of being respectful. I believe with this debate I got further than I had even hoped and this was evidenced by all of Matt’s groaning and sighs. His frustration with me was evident.

    Let’s see if I can get him past the groans and sighs for the next debate. We will certainly come back to the “authority” issue as that is key to the debate although I want to tackle the authority issue from 1 Timothy 2. This passage pulls back the curtain on the root of the prohibition and without 1 Timothy 2 as ammunition, 1 Timothy 3 is nothing less than a shadow, a “normative” according to Matt’s words and not a prohibition.

  9. teknomom,

    Yes, what a great reminder about the second witness and the “sign”. Thanks!!

    I didn’t want to get into Genesis 3 with Matt on the first debate because we would then be on to others things, but I am willing to continue the debate until all the scriptures are covered. That may take many, many debates to do this.

    I got a call back from the producer of Matt’s radio show and she said that everyone in the studio was very interested in this debate and they are excited about listening to next week. That means to me that is Matt is willing to continue, I am willing to continue and we can “have at it” and get through all of Matt’s objections to women in ministry. Maybe these subsequent debates will bear much fruit and getting past the first jitters of the fear of live radio will help me to keep my mind in gear for what will come next.

    Thanks for staying with the debate and listening to it all. I can use all the support I can get as I get raked over the coals. I am willing to take anything that Matt anger will throw my way for the sake of the women in his audience who need to know the truth about God’s view of women, authority and teaching the truth of the bible to men.

  10. Cheryl,

    I’m very encouraged to hear of the interest of people in the studio in the debate. Yes, you stayed calm and he didn’t, which I’m sure wasn’t easy. And you didn’t let him intimidate you either.

    But I have to say his attempt to equate your exegesis with that of the JWs was a cheap shot and a low blow. He should be ashamed for doing such a thing. I could easily level that same charge against him, not only on this issue but also on his Calvinism.

    Authority, grammatical vs. biological gender, and using English translations as the “plain” reading of scripture seem to be his main weaknesses.

    U go girl!

  11. It was sad that you were never allowed to lay a foundation for your teaching without being constantly interrupted. It is like building a house, the foundation must be built first, and it must be built soundly in order to maintain the rest of the structure. If you had been allowed the time and space to prove one point convincingly then the rest of your apologetics would have been more credible (but Matt was not that gracious.) I found it incredulous that in the middle of the debate that he began to sigh and laugh. I guess this was to let the listening audience know that he should be commended for putting up with such a frustrating woman this long. Cheryl, you deserve a commendation for your composure, manners and Christ-like disposition. I think your good manners even compelled him at one point in the discussion to be more mindful of his own.

    God Bless and I look forward to hearing the next debate.

  12. The man was excessively disrespectful to you, but this is to be expected. I have found that the majority of men who believe that women are subordinated to men, giving men the privilege of leadership authority in church and home, have a certain disdain for women who do not believe men have been given that privilege by God. You are challenging his pedestal and it’s pretty high.

    Regarding the “husband of one wife” phrase in 1 tim. 3, I have come to a different conclusion. Rev. Bruce C. E. Fleming has a book “Familiar Leadership Heresies Uncovered”. Rev. Bruce Fleming in two books has put forth what I believe a more correct interpretation. He quotes Lucien Deiss (notes to the French Bible, the TOB, Edition Integrate, p. 646, note a) “This Greek phrase was used in Asia Minor, on both Jewish and pagan gravestone inscriptions, to designate a woman or a man, who was faithful to his or her spouse in a way characterized by “a particularly fervent conjugal love”.”

    The discussion around page 126 concludes that Paul lists characteristics, not physical qualifications. He notes 12 points of good character. I can quote them if you like.

    I believe he may have illustrated for us all where we got the colloquial phrase “he is a one woman kind of guy” or “she is a one man kind of woman”. And the meaning is clearly: to be “faithful”.

    The first time I read this, I remember wondering how we could have ever thought that Paul would be recommending someone be married by such a round about the bush route as to say he “must be a husband of one wife”. No one talks like that. But we do have a very ancient colloquial phrase that praises faithfulness by saying “he (or she) is a one woman kind of guy”…. ergo “husband of one wife”.

  13. For Joe Montana: I must respectfully submit sir that Cheryl has done admirably with the time honored grammatico-historical method of biblical hermeneutics. If anything, it is the hierarchalists who have imported a foreign ideology into the pre-fall Genesis account as a mandate. Nowhere in the accounts of Genesis 1 & 2 is male headship established. It must be read into the account. So until you can show me otherwise, Cheryl’s objection is sustained, yours is overuled.

  14. Cheryl, you did very well.

    Matt’s constant demeaning moans and groans and relentless interruptions would be difficult for anyone.

    May I recommend that you ask God how to respond without letting him steer you quite so much. Perhaps, instead of responding to some of his interruptions, you can do a sort of ignore with an “OK, but as I was saying” or something to that effect. There has to be a way that you can finish your thought patterns in spite of his trying to cut you short all the time.

    I was a bit put off by his comparing you to the Jehovah Witnesses Watch Tower methods. Disruptions. Perhaps, that is his power in debate. hmmmmm. Good debaters come up with methods that will cause them to appear to win, nothing whatsoever to do with true discussion looking for truth. You have to get around that. I’m sure you will with God’s help. 🙂

  15. Joe, I suggest you buy Cheryl’s CD series on this before you jump to that conclusion.

    Terry wrote: “It is like building a house, the foundation must be built first, and it must be built soundly in order to maintain the rest of the structure.”

    Terry, I agree totally. I am wondering if that ‘foundation’ really lies in a true NT understanding of ‘authority’. All authority. Sometimes when I read the NT, I can only wonder what happened to our churches? The church today resembles more of an OT gathering than a NT gathering. Where in the NT is a pulpit? The office of ‘pastor’? Where is the big building? Where is the ‘chain of command’ we see in so many churches?

    I see Paul persuading, rebuking and pleading in love, not demanding or giving orders.

    We really are to be a Holy Priesthood. All believers are ‘ministers’ in some form.

  16. I developed the distinct impression of Mr. Slick as an impatient teenager. (I’m sure that he’s not, but that’s the impression…) All of that “under his breath” sighing was very childish. He’s difficult to estimate because he seems to rush everything. It’s difficult to understand whether or not he’s processing anything you say and on what level. He just seems rushed and distracted.

    It’s interesting that he accuses you of ad hominem tactics but then likens you to the Watchtower. That did not make him look very good, I’m afraid.

    This was a good learning experience for me. I tend to become too emotionally extroverted or collapsed when people start with the insults.

  17. justa berean,

    You said: “May I recommend that you ask God how to respond without letting him steer you quite so much. Perhaps, instead of responding to some of his interruptions, you can do a sort of ignore with an “OK, but as I was saying” or something to that effect. There has to be a way that you can finish your thought patterns in spite of his trying to cut you short all the time.”

    I accept that suggestion and will be more than willing to stay away from his rabbit trails. I really do want the Lord to shine through me in love. This was my very first debate and although I have listened to many, many debates, I can see how hard it is to get your point across when you are allowed to speak. I think what I need to do is summarize my point first and then when I am allowed to fill it in. At least that way I get my point through at the beginning. Matt just is not going to give me time to construct my argument as I have in this blog. A debate is a completely “different animal” and I believe that as I give myself to the molding of the Holy Spirit that I will learn and grow in this way.

    Thanks again for such a good suggestion!


  18. clap clap clap, Wow what a debate!
    You did very good Cheryl 🙂

    It wasn’t difficult to hear that Matt got frustrated and angry, its a common reaction I guess when your beliefs are challenged and especially when you have such a good case.

    There were delivered some low blows, but you took them gracefully, cudos to you. I like it when you compliment Matt for all the good he has done and is doing, keep on doing that.

    I pray to our God that He will make His word come forth of your mouth and that His love will grow in you throughout all of this. May you be a blessing and humble yourself before the Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Martin Willemoes Hansen

  19. Under Much Grace,

    Thank you for your insight. I too got the impression that Matt was frustrated and I don’t know if I imagined it or not but over the phone on my end it sounded like he was tapping his fingers on the desk like he was very impatient at the conversation.

    You said: “This was a good learning experience for me. I tend to become too emotionally extroverted or collapsed when people start with the insults.”

    I too can be very distracted by insults and this was a very good learning experience for me too. What helped me is that I have heard Matt do this many times before so I was prepared. What also helped is my very great love for women who have been called by God to serve in the body of Christ in teaching the word of God in the pulpit or any other place. The authority is with the word of God not in the messenger. The Holy Spirit gifts each one of us and we have authority to use our gifts but the idea that there is an “authority” in the pulpit or in the preacher is foreign to scripture.

  20. Justa Berean,

    You are right in that 1 Timothy 3 lists characteristics of those who are mature in the faith and who may be appointed as an elder – a mature believer. For one to charge a woman with sin for being a Pastor when they do not charge an unmarried man with sin is just plain prejudice. Either we are going to be consist and make every one of the qualities as requirements or we can see that “must be” is talking about qualities that are evident “if” the elder is married and “if” they have children. Otherwise we have Paul contradicting himself when he tells us that unmarried people have more time to serve God. So the ones who have the least time (married men with children and a job!) are the ONLY ones who are allowed to serve the congregation as an overseer? One can have all the necessary characteristics and choose to be single if we understand that the list is “normative” and not a check list that requires a person to have children, etc.

  21. Terri,

    You said: “If you had been allowed the time and space to prove one point convincingly then the rest of your apologetics would have been more credible”

    I fully agree with you. Matt seemed to view me not so much as a Christian to agree to disagree with, but a person holding a heretical teaching. In fact that is what his web site says about the women’s issue. The teaching that a woman can be a Pastor is a heresy. That is a very strong word and it is something that divides Christians. How can we say that a Christian holds to heresy and still call them our brother/sister in Christ? A heretic is to be exposed and shunned.

    Another thing that Matt constantly said was that I was being influenced by the world. I should have asked him where he gets that from? If I am going to the bible for my understanding on the women’s issue, then how can I be influenced by the world?

    Yet it is odd in that the in the majority of the third world, women are kept silent and they are not to teach men. Hmmmm…. is this view not part of the worldly way? And I am the one influenced by the world???

  22. Lin,

    I question the churches idea of “authority” too. I do agree that we all have authority to use our gifts as God gives them to us. We have authority to be servants (who would want to take that authority from us?) But we do not have an authority to lord it over anyone. Those who say that a woman cannot teach the bible with authority have yet to realize that no one has any authority to tell anyone that “God says” without their also being checked out by God’s word.

  23. Martin,

    Thank you for the kudos. I am not sure that I deserve anything at this moment although I was very pleased to get out alive and not be forced to get angry. Our precious Lord Jesus was there helping me to talk to a fellow brother in Christ who has no idea that he is hurting anyone. When his eyes are opened he will see things differently. I pray for the Lord Jesus to anoint Matt’s eyes to see gifted women teaching the bible in the pulpit as a godly thing.

  24. Cheryl,
    Also, the way you applauded his good works in other areas was very very well done. I noticed he got really quiet then. 🙂 Too bad he couldn’t have reciprocated.

  25. Cheryl,

    I listened to the debate earlier today while driving and I was absolutely appalled at Matt’s behavior towards you. In spite of his adamant disagreement with your biblical egalitarianism, such prideful, disrespectful, and sadly, ungodly behavior can never be justified, no matter how strong the disagreement. This past Sunday I taught about “The Essence of the New Heart” (John 13:34-35) and I have two pertinent quotes from that teaching that are appropos here:

    “Paul says that we are to “. . . admonish one another.” (Rom. 15:14), “comfort one another . . .” (1 Thess. 4:18) and “encourage one another and build up one another” and “always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people . . .” (1 Thess. 5:11-18). And so, we are to diligently seek the good of both believer and non-believer.

    Because all believers are “ministers” (believer-priests) who have been spiritually gifted by God with the ability to lovingly build up their spiritual brothers and sisters and encourage them toward spiritual maturity, the ministry of elders and deacons must be viewed against the backdrop of the general priesthood of *all believers.* Elders and deacons serve an important part in the building up of the body, but they are not the only sources of edification in the body. A harmonious church that exhibits body-love by doing the “one-anothers” of Scripture will also will be a light to the world, attracting unbelievers to the light of salvation through trust in Jesus (John 12:32). This is how Jesus said that the unbelieving world will know that you are His people. Again, He said,

    NAU John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    I began this teaching with the following,

    ” . . .the New Testament never talks about two classes of Christians – “minister” and “laymen” — like we often hear in churches today. According to the Bible, the people (laos, “laity”) of God comprise all Christians, and all Christians by exercising their spiritual gifts should be doing good deeds for each other as a part of the “work of the ministry”. So, if we want to be biblical, we will have to say that all Christians are laymen (God’s people) and all are ministers of some sort who are performing good deeds that glorify God and benefit His people as well as showing love to those who don’t know Jesus. This is why the clergy-laity distinction is unbiblical and invalid. It developed with the ancient Christians of church history and actually marked a drift away from the biblical teaching of our need to do the “one-anothers” of Scripture. Because of this, it has almost rid the church of the much needed Christian intimacy, mutual ministry, and strong accountability and most importantly, body-love. This is what Jesus was emphasizing when He said that people will know you are His disciples by the love that you show for each other (John 13:34).”

    Why reproduce this in this combox? Because brother Matt (and all of us, including me!) needs to remember what Jesus said in John 13:34-35 and what Paul said in Romans 15:7, 14 in light of the disrespectful and ungodly way he behaved.

    Here are some mental notes that I made in regards to some of Matt’s arguments (I’ve taken 3 years of graduate-level NT Greek, so much of this information is readily available to me either through daily translation or via frequently used lexical resources):

    (1) It is *NOT* true that the plural interrogative pronoun tines means that Paul “designating men” (i.e., males only) since Greek grammarians readily state that tines can refer to both male and female gender. Tinas is correctly rendered in 1 Tim. 1:6 as “certain persons” (ESV), and “some” (KJV, NET, NIV, NKJV). This is clearly taught in introductory Greek grammars.

    Greek Grammarian Ray Summers lists the plural interrogative pronoun tines under both masculine and feminine gender headings on p. 119 of his introductory grammar titled Essentials of New Testament Greek, (Nashville, TENN: Broadman Press, 1950), 119.

    (2) For the purposes of a reductio ad absurdum, if the semantic range of tines is confined to the male gender only, then the following types of absurdities occur:

    a. Jesus could only have compassion on the male portion (“some”) of the crowd of Mark 8:3.
    b. Jesus used tines of the “some women” in both Luke 8:2 and 24:22 which must mean that either (1) they really weren’t women, which would mean that (2) Jesus was wrong, or (3) tines is an interrogative pronoun that is used to designate “some” or “certain ones” of either male or female gender. I’ll go with option # 3!
    c. If tines refers to males exclusively, then unbelieving Jewish women do not fall under the condemnation of Romans 3:3.
    d. If tines refers to males exclusively, then only unbelieving Jewish males were broken off from the true root in Romans 11:17 and Jewish women are still grafted into the root even if they are unbelievers in Yeshua.
    e. If tines refers to males exclusively, then repentant former lesbians, female drunkards, etc., still cannot be saved because they are female according to 1 Cor. 6:11.

    There is more I could point to, but I think I’ve made the point exegetically. As Greek scholar Ray Summers points out, tines is a plural interrogative pronoun that can refer to either males or females.

    Therefore, Paul’s use of the plural tines is *not* exegetically significant and Matt has been exegetically sloppy.

    The idea of an “illegitimate totality transfer” of the various meanings possible for a Greek word only applies when either (1) the meaning suggested is *outside* of the semantic range of meanings for the particular word in question, (2) when the suggested meaning has neither internal or extrabiblical lexical support, and/or (3) when the meaning suggested for the word *is* in the semantic range of meanings, but clearly does *not* fit the greater context and causes insuperable difficulties that are otherwise avoided by way of another semantic meaning.

    You broke none of the above rules in the discussion of the hapax legomena authentein, which, in extrabiblical contemporanoues Greek literature of Paul’s day carried the idea of “dominating so as to murder/slay”. See Linda Belville’s excellent scholarly treatment of 1 Tim. 2:11-12 in “Discovering Biblical Equality.”

    Also, if brother Matt takes a traditionalist understanding of 1 Tim. 2:12, then Paul was preventing women from teaching men under *all circumstances* (lest he be inconsistent by having women teach as long as it’s not from a “pulpit”, something that is totally foreign to Scripture; especially in light of the fact that the early church focused on mutual, interactive participation in church meetings. Cf. 1 Cor. 14:26ff) and therefore, we have Prisca (Priscilla) sinfully teaching Apollos the way of God more accurately!

    Remember what Paul says in 1 Tim. 2:12 (lit. translation from Gk.), ” But I am not presently allowing a woman to teach nor to dominate/rule over a man.” This means that if a traditional, complementarian interpretation is taken, a woman not only is not to “dominate/rule over” in the role of a pastor/elder/overseer (which, according to Scripture, nobody should *ever* do in the first place.), but that she cannot teach men at all since Paul used the negation particles ouk and oude translated usually “neither . . . nor” respectively. Under a classic traditionalist understanding of 1 Tim. 2:12, she cannot instruct a man under *any circumstances,* whether as a pastor/elder, or off to the side in an informal conversation, bible study, or Sunday School class. Thus, Matt’s own interpretation refutes his own position where he said, “Women CAN teach men . . .” IMHO, this is where consistency gets the complementarian every time!

    So the 64 million dollar question is this: Does God consider it a sin for a woman to teach true doctrine to a man under any circumstance? If I hold to a complementarian position on 1 Tim. 2:11-12, I’d be forced to say yes (!) . . . and that is so awkward, foreign, and inconsistent when compared to what I observe occurring in the rest of the NT (i.e., Acts 18:26; 21:9; 1 Cor. 11:5, and 1 Cor. 14:26ff.).

    And one other thing, much of what I heard in this interaction demonstrates a problem that I think inevitably occurs when you have institutionalized, hierarchicalism that manifests itself in what I call the great “church office syndrome.” There is no warrant for the idea of inserting the concept of “church office” (with its authoritarian, dominating, dictatorship understanding) into the NT meaning of the *function* of elder/overseer/pastor or deacon. I realize that Matt would not hold to this either (at least not to this degree), but he would hold that there are specific “offices” in the church ( i.e., elder/deacon) that need to possess some kind of authority over the congregation. This is probably *the* root problem of complementarianism because when you realize that spiritual leaders in the NT churches are to have the “authority” of slaves (Matt. 20:25-27; 23:8-12; Mk. 10:42-44), then you realize that the entire idea of * anybody*, whether male or female, “usurping authority” is absolutely ridiculous in the first place!

    Thanks for your efforts Cheryl. You did a great job of showing Christ-like love for this brother with a huge dose of sanctified patience while still effectively presenting God’s truth. God bless you my sister!

  26. justa berean,

    Thanks! I don’t think Matt has any soft spot for a woman in ministry or me for that matter. But I am not giving up! Next week should be quite interesting!

  27. Dusman,

    Pastor, it is people like you that really warm my heart! Your Christ-like love and patience in exhorting are very, very important to my heart today. I cannot tell you how much.

    Today Matt’s callers said that he did a really good job with me on the debate and that he was kind and held himself back. I could be wrong and stand to be corrected if I am, but his kind of “kindness” just doesn’t touch my heart.

    But my heart is touched by the women in the audience who have never heard anything but the complementarian side. If I have to suffer abuse to reach even one, it is SO worth it for me.

    So next Wednesday we are back to the debate. Please pray for me. I had so much prepared but didn’t get to present much at all. Pray that the Lord helps me to be brief to get the point out quickly before he cuts me off again.

    Pastor, you have been such a blessing to me! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  28. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t it say in Acts 15:19&20 (spoken by James) and then again in verses 28&29 in the form of a letter sent to Antioch by the council of Jerusalem and accompanied by Paul as verbal witness that there are only four “essentials” that we as believers are charged with observing? If so, how come there are so many today who say it’s heresy for Godly women to teach sound Christian doctrine to men? If Acts 15 removed a yoke that as Peter said “neither we nor our fathers were able to bear”, does it make sense that Paul would turn around and slap a new yoke on the church restricting the “roles” of women? No it doesn’t. Now I can understand how E.W. Bullinger (hardly a militant feminist) could write in his introductory notes in 1 Tim.: “To Timothy were given the earliest instructions for orderly arrangement in the church, these instructions being of the simplest nature, and as Dean Alford well observes with regard to the Pastoral Epistles as a whole, the directions given “are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind.” These directions afford no warrant whatever for the widespread organizations of the “churches” as carried on today.” (from: The Companion Bible p-1799 first published in 1922) Regardless of what Bullinger and Alford say, scripture interprets scripture and from the vantage point of Acts 15, we have the freedom and liberty in Christ Jesus to allow Godly women to exercise their gifts as they are called by the Holy Spirit.

  29. Greg,

    Thanks for your thoughts – very insightful.

    I am often amazed as i read about the Jerusalem council in Acts 15…how simply huge it was for the apostles and elders to agree to overturn what had been understood as the absolutely non-negotiable ‘need’ (command by God – Gen 17) for physical circumcision that had been part of their religious culture since Abraham. I mean this was a big call, was it not, to ‘let go’ the whole covenant sign thing that had been in play for nearly two millennia?! Paul goes into bat saying that circumcision should not considered part of the Christian faith… He ‘wins’ the argument and the Council agrees to no longer demand the practice -then what does Paul do a “few verses” later in Acts 16:2…? Paul circumcises Timothy! (Poor Timothy is all I can think!) Why? Paul is (and i believe we are also meant to be) all about seeing the message of the gospel not being hindered by ‘unnecessary’ social/cultural offence. Sure there are the ‘non-negotiables’… we can’t ‘not’ preach the cross and Christ crucified… or salvation by grace. But it seems to me as I read Paul’s/Peter’s (God’s) words we are told consistently to try and live ‘quiet’ lives and be at peace with those around us so as the message of the Gospel can be furthered – not hindered. This will mean that we as Christians need to be willing at times to give up some of our ‘privileges’ in Christ – ie we don’t ‘demand’ to live out all the freedoms we have the ‘right’ to in Christ (that is, to choose what we eat/drink/wear hats or not etc – eg 1 Cor 10/11). I know we can only ‘suppose’ – but what advice would Paul give to the churches in our 21stC western society today regarding women being allowed to speak/preach/teach/ share equal rights and leadership in marriage? Whatever the ‘church’ looks like – it must remain at it’s very heart ‘missional’ in nature…

    I think, as Cheryl often asks, it is critical to work out “is it a sin for a woman to preach good doctrine to a man”? Is this issue ‘critical’ to salvation? What does the bible say? I would certainly agree with her, NO it’s not a core doctrine (though some do amazingly make this a doctrine of salvation)…If not, then I believe Paul would advise the church to practice what forwards the work of the gospel in the culture – this surely is not (at least in contemporary western culture) to have women sitting on the sidelines unable to use their God-given talents because of their gender alone? (However, if one was working in a Moslem culture it would be absolute stupidity to have a woman get up unveiled in public and preach the gospel to the masses – right? The hearts of the people would be shut – not opened to the gospel by such culturally offensive behaviour). Yet some choose to ignore this clear, strategic, repeated, scriptural approach for mission and “church” in the NT and give superior “weight” to a tiny handful of individual verses (1 Tim 2:12-15; Eph 5:21-24; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:6; 2:4) that arguably contain serious lingual (grammatical or metaphorical) and cultural-context challenges.

    Just my rambling thoughts … any comments?


  30. Cheryl said:
    Today Matt’s callers said that he did a really good job with me on the debate and that he was kind and held himself back. I could be wrong and stand to be corrected if I am, but his kind of “kindness” just doesn’t touch my heart.

    What this really means is that Matt held himself back ***from his usual level of abusive behavior***. It does NOT mean he held himself back as a mature Christian should, so you have nothing to be concerned about.

    He is used to deaing with very abusive atheists and cultists, and is quite capable of dishing out abuse in return. That is the sort of debate environment he’s used to. But he has no idea what to do with a fellow believer who is polite and logical. Ironically, while he is quick to point out numerous logical fallacies used against him, he uses them himself against you (ad hominem at the very least).

    Personally, I believe harsh treatment is justified (but of course not demanded) with people who are themselves behaving poorly or attacking our faith. By both example and teaching, Jesus and the apostles were kind to the humble but very nasty to the proud (one of the rare times I agree with a Calvinist catch-phrase!). By that rule, Matt would feel justified in being harsh to you since he views egalitarianism as heresy. But that is countered by the fact that *** this is the very heart of the debate. *** In other words, he cannot claim heresy until it has been proven, so until such proof is established he has no right to be abusive.


    Thank you for putting additional “teeth” in what I’ve been saying for quite a while now. The Institution as it is sometimes called comes straight out of ancient Greek and Roman paganism and civic order. I searched the entire Bible once for “pulpit” and only found it in the KJV in the Old Testament, and it was a poorly translated meaning of “platform”. The special building/temple, altar, raised platform, rituals, and even choirs all come from paganism. (This is not to say choirs are evil! Only that they are not a Christian invention and were in fact used in pagan religions.)

    I also talked in my message board about gifts vs. offices and what authority looks like among believers. But I should point out that there are many in the house church movement who are even stricter against women than The Institution. Women are not allowed to utter a sound during “services” and have to wear head coverings. I am astounded that people who can see the errors of Churchianity are so blind to this misogyny.

  31. Lin,

    The strongest believers in hierarchal relationships between women and men base everything on levels of authority. Some complimentatrians will conceed that woman can have authority and responsibility but it can’t be over men and that a woman can’t presume to have a knowledge or annointing that surpasses the men. This effectively keeps women in the background and sidelined in ministry. Sure a woman can be called into the ministry as a secretary of Pastor so and so because hierarchal men see that as a secondary role and one in which they deem acceptable for women. But, they must constantly edify the woman in this role of secretary to assure that she does’nt aspire or seek after a better gift in the service of God. The Pharisses desired the best seats in the synagogues because thier hearts were not right, and also that they may be perceived as some great man of God by the people. But, God tells us to take the lowest seats ( which women are usually GIVEN because of thier gender) and that he will bring us forward to a place of honor in due time and in His time. Women have been sweet talked by male leaders into taking the lower seat and staying there. If you have ever heard the saying, “They will give you a crumb hoping you won’t ask for the whole loaf”, it applies here.

    I did notice in the debate between Cheryl and Matt that he had no problem with letting his wife teach a mixed assembly of men and women but, Cheryl did quickly add that it was out of his (Matts) teaching material. This would be techincally ‘OK’ in his eyes, because she was teaching his thoughts and interpretations from the Bible but, she was’nt teaching directly from God’s word.

    This was what was wrote on carmorgpodcasting about Matt and Cheryls debate.

    “What and interesting discussion. It is amazing what people will do in manipulating verses in scripture and attempts to ignore the plain teaching of Gods Word to make it fit thier personal opinions or what they want the Word of God to say. Matt does point this out to the caller many times in the conversation that the caller is simply refusing to believe what the Bible says.

    Oh by the way, this is Diane and I am not held down or “silenced” by anyone in the ministry 🙂 The Lord has blessed me with MUCH WORK (emphasis mine) to do in his service, and I certainly do not need to be ordained as an Elder in order to be USED (emphasis mine) of God :-)” (Notice the writer of this little post did’nt even use Cheryl’s name, Cheryl was just “caller”. Either she did’nt know Cheryl’s name or just felt it was irrelevant.)

    The fact that Cheryl had sent her DVD’s to Matt over a year and a half ago was quite telling. Cheryl knew much about Matts teaching but he knew nothing about hers. He did not even take the time evidently to research anything for the debate…….that tells me alot about him.

  32. Cheryl,

    I noted the little “AHA” (now I know where she is going) when you finally were allowed to talk about the passage in 1 Timothy and the usage of the singular toward the end of the debate. He might decide (now) to research those passages a little more (and thats good).

  33. Great discussion, guys!


    Two things…Matt has had my DVDs for a year and a half now and although he said that he didn’t watch them, after I told him that I knew he did because he wrote me within days after receiving the DVDs insults about the DVDs (calling them “slick” and insulting my exegesis although NEVER refuting it!), he changed his mind and said that he didn’t remember anything about the material in the DVDs. Now I find this very, very odd. Yes, I know he is busy. He is doing a very good work with CARM in a lot of areas and I commend him for his work. However part of his “work” is to stop women from teaching doctrine to men. On yesterday’s program he said that he allows women to teach bible studies “depending” on how they do it and the context. You rightly pointed out that he allows women to teach if they are teaching his material (therefore his own biblical thoughts). However does he allow women to teach doctrine? He does not allow them to teach doctrine from the pulpit and I will pose this question to him regarding his assistant whether he allows her to teach doctrine to men. I think the answer to that will be quite revealing. The point is the same as CBMW teaches. No woman is allowed to correct doctrine or even question doctrine given in the pulpit. That is something for men alone.

    Matt also mentioned that he has the answer to 1 Timothy 2 about “she” and “they”. My, my, that should be interesting. He hasn’t had the “answer” for a year and a half and not a single complementarian Pastor nor any one of the complementarian apologetic organizations that I sent WIM to had the answer. In fact the only “answer” I got from them was either silence or a statement that we would have to agree to disagree. That is so sad for men who should be correcting me if I am a heretic and teaching heresy. It should be really, really interesting to hear Matt’s answer to this grammatical problem in the passage that is only answered by taking “a woman” as a single person that is stopped by Paul.

    At any rate, I really look forward to having another opportunity to debate Matt. He is a brother in Christ, but he is a brother who is in error. That error needs to be corrected before any other woman is hurt and discouraged from ministry.

  34. One other thing, brothers and sisters in Christ…If Matt is adamant in saying that a woman Pastor is sinning against God (or a woman doing the “role” of a Pastor by teaching scripture authoritatively), then he should be able to correct me on 1 Timothy 2:12 from the context of the passage. How can we charge sin to a person and refuse to back it up? Where does scripture ever list a woman Pastor as a sin that needs to be repented of? This is a very serious thing, my friends. We are not to judge unfairly. Matt is going to have a very difficult time in 1 Timothy 2 and please be in prayer for me that I continue to treat him as a dear brother in Christ and that I do not respond to his insults and accusations. God’s word is the important thing and when one does not have an answer to God’s word my opponent is likely to attack me personally. But a personal attack can be seen by all as a cheap shot and God does not get the glory. Please pray for me that I may endure yet through it all get the time to speak God’s wisdom for God’s glory!

  35. “You are right in that 1 Timothy 3 lists characteristics of those who are mature in the faith and who may be appointed as an elder – a mature believer. For one to charge a woman with sin for being a Pastor when they do not charge an unmarried man with sin is just plain prejudice.”

    Cheryl, you are absolutely correct. I heard you trying to make that point with Matt. But it is a major point as it shows not only the confusion of gender hierarchy interpretations, but the prejudicial treatment of Scripture. If the one is true, then they should be using the same method of interpretation and render the other points as requirements also. ?

    “If Acts 15 removed a yoke that as Peter said “neither we nor our fathers were able to bear”, does it make sense that Paul would turn around and slap a new yoke on the church restricting the “roles” of women? No it doesn’t.”

    Greg, Well said. In addition the incongruity of a NEW rule, that was supposedly silently instituted at creation, but never observed by God is an amazing leap of logic. That one gets me all the time.

    Also, Greg, I appreciated Deal Alford’s insight … the directions given “are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind.” You have a 1922 Companion Bible? That’s cool! ?

    ps….. Cheryl, is there any way to get html code for comments?

  36. justa berean,

    I asked my son to see if he can set it up and he said that he can so when he gets time it should be set up. Thanks for suggesting that.

  37. Here are a few other tidbits of information that I believe would be helpful in light of this radio discussion/debate.

    Matt emphasized the masculine pronouns in the English translation of 1 Tim. 3:1 (i.e., NAU 1 Timothy 3:1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any *man* aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work *he* desires to do.)

    1. As Cheryl tried to carefully point out, the Greek word translated “any man” in the NASB is tis. Tis *is* a masculine, singular pronoun that is used throughout the NT to denote not only males, but also females and even both genders as a collective group. Cheryl ably demonstrated one example of this in her WIM DVD series with Luke 9:23 where Jesus said, “. . . “If *anyone* [Gk. tis] wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me”. It is obvious that Jesus wasn’t saying that *only* males could be saved or that to be saved *only* males had to “deny themselves” and take up “his cross.

    Also, all of these verbs (“wishes”, “deny”, “take up”) are 3rd person singular verbs that can be correctly translated either “he/she/it wishes”, “he/she/it denies” and “he/she/it takes up”. This brings me to point # 2.

    2. The “aspires” and “he desires” of 1 Tim. 3:1 are also 3rd person singular verbs (oregetai and epithumai respectively). Now, in NT Greek, non-participial verbs can be translated either “he”, “she”, or “it” depending on the context because those verbs in and of themselves do *not* carry any specific gender. This is Greek 101 folks! Why is this important? Well, lo and behold, this means that these verbs could also be correctly translated [without violating the context of 1 Tim. 3] “If anyone aspires [fem.] to be an overseer, it is a fine work *she* desires to do.”

    3. Matt wanted to argue that having female elders/pastors/overseers is impossible because Paul made reference to the “husband of one wife”, etc. and that what follows from verse 2 onward shows that Paul was clearly teaching that only males can be elders. And so, he would necessarily argue that the verbs in 1 Tim. 3:1 should be correctly translated “any man aspires . . . he desires”. However, for strategic purposes, we could play that game too by saying, “Brother Matt, if you are going to argue that the verbs of 1 Tim. 3:1 should be translated in the masculine to say that only males can be pastors and that this is backed up by the masculine character qualities in 1 Tim. 3 (i.e., “husband of one wife”, “manages *his* own household well, keeping *his* children under control with all dignity . .”) then we could just as easily say, “Yeah but the word translated ‘overseer’ in 1 Tim. 3 (episkopes) is a *feminine singular noun* so I guess that means that Paul was also teaching that both males and females can be pastors and now you’ve got a defeater for your position!”

    4. It seems to me that there are four “logically possible” interpretations of the phrase “of one wife [the] husband,” or “a one-woman man” in 1 Timothy 3. (1) The overseer (synonym for pastor/elder, etc.) must be married and cannot be childless (from v. 4). From this it follows (for some) that he cannot even marry again if his wife dies, because that would mark him as the husband of two wives and so he would be automatically disqualified. (2) The proscription is really about excluding polygamists. (3) It refers to faithfulness to the spouse you are married to. Even divorce would be forgiven if it happened before one’s conversion since the current marriage would be validated by the new birth (1 Cor 7:14, etc.) or, (4) It merely indicates that the overseer should be married, a common conservative interpretation.

    The first (1) is logically impossible because it would exclude Paul (but not Peter) from the Apostleship, since Peter was an Apostle and an Elder (1 Peter 5:1). Paul elsewhere extols singleness as a good thing for those called to do it for the purpose of being more freed up to engage in the gospel ministry (1 Cor. 7:32-35). The principle here is that the Christian is NEVER at liberty to interpret a dubious text for which several possible meanings can be suggested, in a way that is in logical conflict with other perfectly plain texts elsewhere in Scripture. This is one of the main reasons that 1 Cor. 14:34-35 cannot possibly Paul’s own teaching, since it plainly contradicts other statements of Paul’s in the very same letter (1 Cor. 11:5).
    It seems to me that (2) is at least possible, but polygamy was unusual in the 1st century Greco-Roman world, and not common among Jews, either, although it was not unknown. Men had concubines, hetairi, temporary morganatic marriages, mistresses, etc., but rarely polygamy, so this is pretty unlikely. (4) is excluded for the same reason as (1). This leaves (3), which I have come to agree with, leaving (2) as a derivative implication, but not the primary intent. As has been mentioned elsewhere on this blog, Lucian Deiss’ research supports this.

    Hope *tis* helps. (pun intended!)

  38. Dusman,

    Excellent post! Thanks!

    One point, where you said: “Yeah but the word translated ‘overseer’ in 1 Tim. 3 (episkopes) is a *feminine singular noun* so I guess that means that Paul was also teaching that both males and females can be pastors and now you’ve got a defeater for your position!”

    I hadn’t thought about this one and it is certainly a great point to pose to Matt. Thanks!

    And, yes, I DO like puns!


  39. In one of Matt’s broadcasts, he says that he is reading the comments here. But he must be speed reading and not stopping to ponder anything he disagrees with….. 🙂

    Apparantly he thinks he has “THE” answer to solve everything…. and he’s not saying it on the radio. LOL Smart move. Actually, he’s an interesting fellow.

    He does make some unusual statements. I think he said in one place that the apostle Junia mentioned in Rom. 16 could have been a slave who took the name of her master, or something to that effect. I’ve heard of taking the name of a master, but certainly not the commissioned title. This is similar to some who thought the prophetesses of old were just the wives of the prophets. Creative, but not reality. There were women prophets whose husbands were not prophets.

    He also considers Deborah, THE Judge of the nation, to be merely a civil judge with nothing to do with religious matters. Amazing. Never mind that Deborahs judgements were equal to the High Priests and anyone who refused to obey was put to death. Never mind that as THE Judge (not a lessor civil judge) chosen by God to lead the nation (she’s in the book of Judges for pity’s sake) and as such she teaches the Torah to God’s people. Such teaching from THE Judge over the nation who led the people by the influence of God, was authoritative….. very.

  40. justa berean,

    You said: “Apparantly he thinks he has “THE” answer to solve everything…. and he’s not saying it on the radio. LOL Smart move. Actually, he’s an interesting fellow.”

    If you only say you have the answers, but you don’t give them, you don’t have to defend anything. I find it amazing that now he has an answer to refute me after a year and a half of silence and several emails to him to please show me where he disagrees with me and why. I am going to be very attentive to his very “simple” answer. Should make for a very interesting show next time.

    And if anyone is interested in calling in the next day to give Matt feedback on his radio show, his radio call-in number is 208-377-3790. The show is on from 5-6 pm Pacific time Monday – Friday which is 6-7 pm Mountain time, 7-8 pm Central time and 8-9 time Eastern time.

  41. “One point, where you said: ‘Yeah but the word translated ‘overseer’ in 1 Tim. 3 (episkopes) is a *feminine singular noun* so I guess that means that Paul was also teaching that both males and females can be pastors and now you’ve got a defeater for your position!’

    I hadn’t thought about this one and it is certainly a great point to pose to Matt. Thanks!”


    This would be useful *only* for the purposes of constructing a defeater for his position through taking the same *eisegetical* tact that he does to determine the meaning of 1 Tim. 3:1.

    I am *not*, repeat, *not* advocating the false motion that proper exegesis is done through referring to the gender of specific words alone out of context.

    What I am advocating per the above scenario is that you *can* effectively reduce his position to absurdity by drawing the exact *opposite* conclusion supporting your own position by using the selfsame eisegetical process that he did to draw his conclusions, thus showing that if “word-study” games are played, then we can prove anything! . . . and brother Matt knows this is *not* the proper way to do exegesis.

  42. Just a little point I felt compelled to make, as I’ve been reading through The Source NT and am at 1 Timothy right now.

    If Matt claims that “provide for household” must indicate a male, remind him of the woman of Proverbs 31. She is described as PROVIDING for her household, and she does this in many ways, not limited to financial income.

    I highyly recommend finding a printed copy of this NT as the Greek notes are invaluable, especially on 1 Timothy 3. This chapter’s notes happen to be the only ones available for FREE online at This Link.

  43. Don’t forget 1 Timothy 5

    4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and[a] acceptable before God.5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    Verse 8 is stated in the middle of twelve verses about widows. Verse 8 is in reference to the widow that if she has any any children or grandchildren that need her, she is worse than an infidel if she does not take care of them. Verse 16 covers people taking care of widows and even that is not addressed to men only but to “any believing man or woman”.

    So really, anyone thinking to claim that “providing for one’s own household” only refers to men, just has not read their Bible thoroughly.

  44. Cheryl,

    I am listening to this debate now. You Go head, Girl!!!!!

    I applaud your faithfulness to the Word of God and you gentleness, patience, and grace!!

    You held your ground. Slick was a bit emotional. He couldn’t separate “What the Scriptures says”, and “What the Scripture means”.

  45. Teknomom,

    I just ordered the .pdf version of “The Source NT” by Dr. Ann Nyland and the lexical/historical footnotes are absolutely excellent. Thanks for the link.

  46. Glad to help, Dusman. I’d say The Source and Bushnell’s God’s Word to Women are two of the most important books I’ve ever read, not only on women’s issues but on good exegetical practice. I’ve also learned quite a lot from them on how the Biblical texts have been monkeyed with, not only in translations but sometimes also in official versions of original language texts. (GWTW can be read FREE online at This Link.

    There’s also a very eye-opening blog article on tampering at The Better Bibles Blog, especially this part:

    When the minuscules (using lower case Greek letters) appeared, Junia was accented with a character which indicates the feminine form of the name. Despite the Roman Aegidus, the feminine form of the name was in the Greek text of Erasmus’ critical text in 1516 and in all critical Greek texts, with the exception of Alford’s 1858 edition, until 1928 when Nestle inexplicably (read, he didn’t explain it in the apparatus) went to the masculine form. This remained the case until the 1998, when the edition just as inexplicably went back the other way and the masculine is dropped as even an alternative (not in the apparatus). Hence, the textual weight is for the feminine name Junia, which most scholars accept.

    When the official original language versions used by translators are tampered with like this, we can see how deep and ugly this bias against women really is. If even the Word itself is not sacred to these men, what is?

  47. “If even the Word itself is not sacred to these men, what is?”

    Well, it just goes to show that all if us, even with the best intentions, tend to mess things up quite nicely due to our sinful proclivities. I’ve done things like this (although not to quite this degree insofar as the Holy Scriptures are concerned) many, many times and had to repent for it. Nevertheless, tampering with text-critical information is nothing new, and it just means that we have to work harder to be accurate with the sacred text and avoid our *own* biases from creeping in and mutilating God’s precious word.

    Again, teknomom, I appreciate the plug and am enjoying the historical footnotes to my new .pdf “The Source” NT by Nyland.

  48. New comments button:

    My son added a comments button just below the place where you add your comments that is supposed to allow you to get an email whenever someone else enters comments. I hope it works 🙂

    If you add a comment and then check the comment button to receive an email when someone else posts and do not get an email when someone else comments on the post, please let me know. This is the only way to check to see if the button works properly.

  49. Checking “notify” feature…

    Also, another thought on the tampering issue:

    When it comes to essentials of the faith, we have “checks and balances”– denominationalism! The very thing most people cite as a fault in Christianity turns out to be a safeguard against most attempts to alter the Word of God, because each group will insist that others will not get away with obvious meddling.


    There is no such safeguard on women’s issues. Male supremacism crosses denominatonal lines, as well as inter-religious lines. Somewhere I read that a committee discussing how to word the part about Junia being “outstanding among the apostles” decided that their assertion of females being forbidden to be authoritative trumped what the Bible actually said in Greek! They started with their bias and bent the Word around it.

    This kind of thing, to use a ‘Slick’ quote, is what the cults do.

  50. “There is no such safeguard on women’s issues. Male supremacism crosses denominatonal lines, as well as inter-religious lines. Somewhere I read that a committee discussing how to word the part about Junia being “outstanding among the apostles” decided that their assertion of females being forbidden to be authoritative trumped what the Bible actually said in Greek! They started with their bias and bent the Word around it.

    This kind of thing, to use a ‘Slick’ quote, is what the cults do.”

    I remember reading how translators would deliberate over Rom. 16:7 to the point of suggesting translations that actually make the original language say the exact opposite. Indeed, this is no different than what the JWs have done with the NWT, especially as it relates to the passages concerning the deity of the Lord Jesus.

  51. Congratulations for giving us a great example of hesuchia. You display the attributes of a warrior of God. Keep it up.

  52. Don,

    Wow! Thanks! I get that hesuchia has something to do with a soldier/warrior, but honestly I don’t know what it means. But if it is a good thing, I’ll be doing the “hesuchia” thing again on Wednesday because Matt and I need to wade through 1 Timothy 2. It is a key passage that is used to teach that women are in sin for being a Pastor (Matt’s view) or for teaching men (CBMW’s view).

  53. Don,

    Okay, now I get it. Hesuchia means quietness. (Thanks Pastor “Dusman” for giving me an head’s up education!)

    It is my belief that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. My husband would teach his co-workers that when you are communicating you always need to cc Dr. A

    This is a way to remember the essentials. We need to treat each person with:
    C – care and
    C – concern with
    D – dignity and
    R – respect and
    A – affirmation

    You may have noticed that I tried hard to let Matt know that I valued him as a brother in Christ. This was the reason I told Matt the “story” about a very stressful time in my life when I found out that good friends were being influenced by a former Pastor who had become a Universalist and was recruiting people (including my friends) who were attending a Calvary Chapel church. I found Matt’s web site and got some very valuable information on Universalism that helped me refute the former Pastor. In this way Matt was very helpful to me and his ministry work was very needed.

    I didn’t want Matt to think that because I was coming against him on the women’s issue that I was coming against his ministry. Affirmation is very important when you are in a position to refute someone else. I used the same kind of thing in my DVD series when I knew that I was going to be refuting very influential people in the body of Christ. I did not want people watching my DVD to think that I was attacking the person and so I took the time to affirm those whom I would disagree with so that people would realize that these men are not my enemies but beloved brothers in Christ.

    I just wish Matt knew how to cc Dr. A 😉

  54. hesuchia is the repeated word that forms an inclusio in 1 Tim 2:11-12 which means 1 Tim 2:11 and 2:12 are to be taken together, like they are together with a parentheses around them.

    Inclusio and charism are 2 data structures that are used a lot in the Bible but are not common today. Since they are not used today, many do not recognize them in the Bible, but part of the meaning is conveyed by the authors using them.

    G2271 hesuchia
    Feminine of G2272; (as noun) stillness, that is, desistance from bustle or language: – quietness, silence.

    In other words, you have a gentle spirit, like the woman who is the object of the command of being able to learn in 1 Tim 2 was to have.

  55. Duh!, not charism (which means gift), but chiasm or inverted parallels structure which forms an X (chi in Greek) as in A B B’ A’, etc.

  56. Don,

    Good teaching! Yes, I got that this is what you meant. Good job in letting us all know that there is more to see in the text than our English minds can pick up through just a translation!

  57. Don said re: Cheryl’s disposition during the radio debate/discussion,

    “Congratulations for giving us a great example of hesuchia. You display the attributes of a warrior of God.”

    I gotta tell ya, Cheryl’s disposition is such a breath of fresh air in an age where whoever can talk the fastest, spin truth the quickest, and speak over the other the most is considered the possessor of truth.

  58. Below are a list of qualities that I think Cheryl displayed during the radio debate. These come from the last teaching that I gave to the folks at our church:

    In light of the exhortation for each of us to be “quick to hear,” what are some vital attitudes that we must cultivate in our body relationships?

    1. We must be open to learn from Christians in various traditions. We all tend to stick to a denominational party-line and turn our heads away from information outside of our comfort zone. A.N. Groves wrote in 1833 concerning his relationship with J.N. Darby, “I do not think we ought to propose to be modeled unlike every sect, but simply to be like Christ; let us neither seek nor fear a name. I wish rather to have from every sect what every sect may have from Christ.”[13] Are we willing to “listen” to multiple sources and discern from them what might help us discover the mind of Christ? Are we really open to be challenged by others to search the Scriptures and see what is indeed so? Thomas Dubay notes in this regard: “Since no one of us mortals, affected as we are with original sin, is perfectly pure in his desire for truth, no one of us is exempt from some degree of close-mindedness. It is only our God who is truth than can cure our reluctance to embrace all of his truth, however he speaks it.”[14]

    2. “We need to be humble,” says Dubay, “small in our own estimation. Finding the solution to a mathematical problem is possible without humility, but finding God’s will is impossible without this virtue. James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud but gives grace (and light) to the humble”.[15] Whenever a group of believers bathed in humility gather together, great things can be expected; but, as James 3:16 notes, where “jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” The truly humble believer puts others ahead of themselves, and they can do this when they carefully listen and pay attention to what they hear from others.

    3. We must always have a “willingness to be changed by what is going to be said.[16] One listens wholly only if he is willing to modify his present position if the evidence warrants it. People who are set in their thoughts and determined not to change their behavior do not listen to contrary evidences (Dubay, p. 11). If we admit that we don’t know anything like we should, then we will be open to new light from our fellow Christian. We must listen to possible new evidence that has escaped our attention. As I’ve said earlier, the church must always be open-ended toward God’s truth in Christ.

    4. We must “grow in awareness that the person speaking is important, even a precious one of “God’s beloved” (Rom. 1:7). We pay attention to important people. To the proud person other people aren’t important and so he is not inclined to take them seriously nor listen to them. Even more, we value the opinions of those we love. If I do not really care what my brother thinks, I had better doubt that I love my brother” (Dubay, 11). I have seen so many cases in churches, on the internet, and in e-mails where those who articulate things with razor-sharp logic bulldoze over the little person, and pooh-pooh any concerns they have. You may think that a question or concern coming from another is immature, or ill-timed, or very low on your list of priorities, but if you really love that person you must give your ears and heart to that fellow-believer who is precious to Christ. We must highly esteem the input of every part of the body, or we run the risk of missing the voice of Jesus speaking through them in our midst. In Christ’s body we are instructed to heap more honor on those parts that seem to be weaker and less honorable (1 Cor. 12:22 -24).

  59. Another example of Paul’s non-mention of a name is in 1 Cor 7:11, which is often missed due to translation away from the Greek. A good translation is “If she did leave, she must either remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.”

    The past tense “did” (the aorist in a conditional provides a snapshot of something in the past), is often translated as “does”. This obscures the truth that Paul is writing to flesh and blood people.

    As Cheryl wrote, Paul does not name people who might do wrong things when deceived (like the woman in the garden east of Eden), but does mention bad examples by name when they were doing it deliberately. I think this is a good principle for all Christians to follow.

  60. Don…
    “hesuchia is the repeated word that forms an inclusio in 1 Tim 2:11-12 which means 1 Tim 2:11 and 2:12 are to be taken together, like they are together with a parentheses around them.”

    Subconsciously I’ve always considered vs 11 to be the main point, with vs. 12 in parenthesis or indented as a subpoint. Thus, in her learning the woman is not to be attempting to teach or take over the teachers role, but to remain in the silence of vs. 11.

    That’s what you mean, right. 🙂

  61. 1 Tim 2:11 IS the main point, as the verb is an imperative, while the verbs in 1 Tim 2:12 are not. The imperative (should) always take precedence in any understanding of a passage, this is the part that would have an exclamation or be in bold letters. This is the radical counter-culturual statement that turns pagan society upside down.

  62. Thanks Don. I’d forgotten that “Learn” is in the imperative. Good thing to remember. 🙂

  63. 1 Tim 2:11-12 have many challenges in translating them into English. Many translations do not adequately show the imperative in verse 11, while he verb in verse 12 can be translated to seem like an imperative or at least the point of the passage, when it is actually subordinate to verse 11.

  64. I have listened to the podcast and read through (briefly, wow!) the comments on this site. I will try not to offend…but I usually fail 😉

    I think you all could argue the original meaning until Jesus comes back (and you probably will). I personally agree with Matt’s look at scripture, but I don’t hold those who disagree with less regard.

    The big question I have is why would you want to teach? I am a man and I do not want this authority (and I am full on type A personality). When it comes to church I am perfectly happy studying scripture, teaching my family, serving in my church, and worshiping God (not in that order necessarily, but they were the thought order). Why would you want to teach? Why are you arguing so much to take the office of Elder/Pastor? Why don’t you take this energy and fight issues that keep people out of heaven?

  65. If I may…

    Nobody here is saying “Waaa, I wanna teach!” What we are saying is that one half of the Body is telling the other half what they cannot do, and it has nothing at all to do with the gifting of the Spirit. This is unbiblical, to say the least. More importantly, it does great damage to the Body, and we are compelled to get the truth out so the Body can be well.

    What we object to is Pride, Power, and Prejudice. No one, man or woman, is to “lord over” the other believers.

    There is no “office of Pastor”; that is a manmade invention. There is a GIFT of shepherding, of guarding the weak, but this is not a position of authority. Our authority is God, and His Word alone. We are led by and filled with the Spirit, not anyone’s law.

    Sin is sin, and we are commanded to expose it. Pride is most definitely sin, as is telling other believers not to use the spiritual gifts they’ve been given. In addition, women who are gifted to teach, shepherd, lead, etc. are being called heretics and sinners.

    Would you think we should stand idly by while believers for whom Christ died are called heretics when scripture does not so designate them? Are we to ignore injustices in the assembly? Can we grieve the Holy Spirit by telling Him He can’t give certain gifts to certain people?

    Christian women are being called sinners for teaching the Truth! They are being held in bondage to man’s rules, and this results in many who would have heard the gospel to lose out. Many remote tribes throughout history would still be in deepest darkness were it not for those few brave women who defied male supremacism and obeyed the Spirit’s leading, no matter what it cost them. And many of them were brutally tortured and killed for this– by their own “Christian” brothers!

    None of us seek our own glory, but only to be free to go where the Spirit leads. Is this so much to ask?

  66. Some people (male and female) are called to teach by God, the question then becomes whether they obey God or not.

    God is the one who gives the gifts and when God gives a gift (including the gift of leadership) God intends it to be used for the benefit of the body of Christ.

  67. ccanuck,

    Thank you for disagreeing agreeably my friend. As an elder of a local church, I have to ditto what has been said earlier by Teknomom and Don. Namely, that being a pastor/elder/overseer is a gift and not an office. An office is something that cannot be found in the NT, was created by men, and is bestowed by men. But, having the desire and aspiration to oversee God’s flock is a gift that is sovereignly bestowed by our dear Lord upon whomsoever He wishes. In light of that fact, Jesus said that those who are the greatest amongst us should have the same “authority” as slaves and children,

    Luke 22:24-26 “And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 “But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.”

    Matthew 23:1-12 “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5 “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    That means that no hierarchy should exist in the body of Christ. We certainly will have those within the body that have identifiable gifts, but no hierarchy. This is probably the first crucial aspect to the entire complementarian/egalitarian issue, the second can probably be boiled down to this one question: “Is there any law in Scripture that prohibits a godly adult woman from teaching true doctrine to an adult male?” (cf. Acts 18:26)

    Thanks for your willingness to post in a combox where your position on this issue is the minority report, but we trust that you will be a Berean, which means that we don’t ever adopt a “first-glance” theology; for this is the stuff cults are made of.

  68. For Teknomom:

    Do you have an example of Christian males killing Christian females for preaching? Wow, I am betting that they weren’t really Christians….

    On another note:
    There must be some sort of limit to where the spirit leads to teach. Certainly I can’t just go wherever I please and teach whomever I want. I am a married man, I shouldn’t be going into the home of a young single female alone to teach her. There isn’t a specific verse that outlines this but it is a principle I would build up from scripture.

    I don’t think you can say that you should as you put it “be free to go where the Spirit leads”. My flesh would like to go teach that young lady in private but Jesus’ clear teaching on adultery of the heart would tell me otherwise.

  69. to Don:

    I totally agree with what you have said. I would add though that God also gives those gifts and then put boundaries on how and where they are to be used. For example, the teachings on prophecy and tongues in 1 Corinthians.

  70. To Dusman,

    If there is no heirarchy then who makes decisions? Who decides what the church has as a faith statement, or what time they will meet?

    There does need to be someone in charge, certainly many churches have organized in a variety of fashions, some with a Pope (RC) others in a type of democracy (SBC). However they all have people in charge.

  71. ccanuck,

    teknomom answered you: “In addition, women who are gifted to teach, shepherd, lead, etc. are being called heretics and sinners.”

    I think there are two basic issues here. The first is that sisters of ours are being hurt in the body of Christ. This may not hurt me personally because I am not a Pastor of a church, but if I really do love them, then I am required to stand up for those who are being mistreated.

    The second issue is that we need to practice following God with all our heart and encourage others to do the same. If God has gifted us in teaching then we are expected by him to use that gift for the benefit of the body of Christ. To insist that women only use their gifts for women and to be prejudiced towards men (not allowing their teaching to be given for the benefit of men) is not a godly thing to do.

    If you are not one who separates yourself from women teachers (who do not discriminate against men), then that is a godly thing that you are doing. Not everyone is like you. I personally have been shunned and treated with disrespect and anger because I do not discriminate again men. I could let that affect me and cause me to hold back in serving God, but I choose to follow Paul’s instruction in 1 Cor. 14. Paul said:

    1Co 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
    1Co 14:38 But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

    The “things” that Paul wrote as the Lord’s commandment are multiple commandments in chapter 14 about everyone being allowed to use their God-given gifts. Paul says that those who do not recognize the commands to release men and women to use their gifts for the body of Christ are themselves to be disregarded or “not recognized”. So if someone is stopping women from ministering their gifts in the body, I do not need to pay attention to them because they are not recognized as speaking for God.

    Next Paul goes on to once again affirm that we are to seek to edify the church through desiring to prophesy.

    1Co 14:39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.

    He has already told us earlier in the chapter that prophesy edifies:

    1Co 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

    Lastly Paul tells us that all things must be done properly and in order:

    1Co 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

    But Paul does not say that the gifts are to be held back or the members of the body to be held back. Although Paul said that only two or three people may speak in tongues in any one meeting, the reason was so that those who were not believers would be edified too. Paul did not say that women or Gentiles were to be stopped from speaking in tongues. Anyone could speak in tongues, they just needed to wait their turn.

    So limiting the people speaking at any one service is in no way reflective of stopping anyone from exercising their gift in turn. It certainly does not equate to the stopping of women teaching the bible to men.

    Does any of this make sense?

  72. ccanuck,

    You said,

    Do you have an example of Christian males killing Christian females for preaching? Wow, I am betting that they weren’t really Christians….

    I assume you mean the killers weren’t Christians. That is not for us to judge, is it? Personally, I don’t see how a true believer could do this, yet if we say killers can’t be believers then Calvin was an unbeliever. So whichever way you see it, be consistent.

    Some examples can be found in the book, “Ten Lies the Church Tells Women” by J. Lee Grady, a man. It’s not easy to read the chapter on how women were treated. Here is an excerpt:

    We have no idea how many women have been physically, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually abused by their husbands wielding the submission verses as a weapon. When they finally tell their pastor about their husband’s rage-outs and physical assaults, they are often not believed, and sometimes they are told that if they would learn to submit the violence would stop. Then they are counseled that it would be a sin to separate and hold the husband accountable for what is a crime! Some abused women, who feared for their lives, have actually been told, “Don’t worry. Even if you died you would go to be with the Lord. So you win either way. Just keep praying for him. But you are not allowed to leave.”

    A comprehensive study on domestic violence in the church in the mid 80’s revealed that 26 percent of the pastors counseled an abused wife to keep submitting and trust that God would either stop the abuse or give her the strength to endure it. About a fourth of the pastors believed that abuse is the wife’s fault because of her lack of submission! And a majority of the pastors said it is better for wives to endure violence against them than to seek a separation that might end in divorce.{12} I respectfully suggest that separation with the goal of reconciliation is often the only way to motivate an abusive husband to get help.{13} Just as we cast a broken limb to enable it to heal, separation is like putting a cast on a broken relationship as the first step to enable change and healing.

    And another article on Christian men abusing women:

    And then there are the well-known attitudes of Luther and other church fathers, who held women to be mere animals or birthing machines. “Products of their times”? Not for Christians, and even less for those who call themselves leaders. We are to hold leaders to a higher standard, not a lower one. So you see, there are many men who call themselves Christians who batter and kill women and think the Bible says they can! Needless to say, atheists use this “fact” as one of the reasons they reject Christianity. Had Christianity been treating women Biblically, who knows how many atheists would have been saved?

    You said,

    On another note:

    There must be some sort of limit to where the spirit leads to teach. Certainly I can’t just go wherever I please and teach whomever I want. I am a married man, I shouldn’t be going into the home of a young single female alone to teach her. There isn’t a specific verse that outlines this but it is a principle I would build up from scripture.

    I don’t think you can say that you should as you put it “be free to go where the Spirit leads”. My flesh would like to go teach that young lady in private but Jesus’ clear teaching on adultery of the heart would tell me otherwise.

    Why must there be limits? Do you think men have limits too? If so, are there different limits for women, and where are the verses that say so? And if the Spirit is the one doing the leading, dare we tell Him where His limits are? Also, wouldn’t it be equally wrong for a female leader to go alone into the home of a male to teach? The key lies in your statement, “My flesh would like…”. We’re talking about the Holy Spirit’s leading, not the flesh’s leading. So the question for you is, given the Spirit is leading, can you justify telling only women not to go where He leads?

  73. In the example given above, about the wisdom of a male elder not going alone into the house of a single woman, this can be a good reason for there to be female elders. In my church there are 3 paid pastors and 3 unpaid pastoral associates. Each set of 3 are composed of 2 men and 1 woman. I assume the numbers might be different, but the idea of including both genders was deliberate.

    It is true that everything in church should be done decently and in order.

  74. Teknomom,

    I am sure the situations you are describing are terrible, they sound like failings of men. Typically this comes when men disregard scripture and only look at what they want. They ignore the verses that tell them they are to love thier wives. Brutal, and unless they repent they will not be held blameless.

    I read your post differently. I saw you saying that there were women who wanted to go on mission’s trips and that men killed them to stop them from spreading the gospel.

    I agree it would be equally as wrong for a woman to meet a man privately, so wouldn’t this be a limit?

  75. Limits only apply to the flesh, but we’re saying the Bible places no limits on the leading of the Spirit. As I said, if the leading is from the Spirit, do you have any reason to put limits on it? And do the same limits apply to men and women? That’s what I’m asking.

    Also, re. your question to Dusman, I disagree that “someone has to be in charge”. The assembly is not a business or a military unit, but a Body and a family. Parents lead their families, not as military commanders, but as guides and teachers. Their goal is to raise the children to be parents and leaders themselves. Their “authority” only reaches to the extent that the children need their protection and guidance.

    In the same way, Elders are to protect the weaker believers from doctrinal error. The weaker ones are instructed to listen to them for their own good and out of respect. However, what is practiced in the churches is not this kind of teaching and guarding, but bossing and “lording over”. Just as it’s bad parenting to tell the children “Do as I say, not as I do” or “Because I said so!”, it’s bad leadership to tell people they must not question you or fail to obey your “final word”.

    My husband and I are soon to celebrate our 18th anniversary. We are a team; we always talk things over and neither of us feels “in charge”. Yet we make many important decisions, without a “leader” and a “follower”. We’re both adults and recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses. That’s a healthy relationship.

    So it should be in the Body. Each part has a vital contriubtion. For any group to say certain people must be in charge is not spiritually or mentally healthy. The NT knows nothing of “faith statements” beyond the scriptures, or strict schedules, business meetings, liturgies, or any of the other trappings of “Churchianity”. All adult believers (not “members”, as all believers are “members” already of the Body) are capable of participating in the direction of the group and must not be excluded. The Spirit speaks through whomever He wills, not whomever people elect.

  76. Cheryl,

    I do see your point and 1 Cor 14 26-40 is one section I have studied in great depth, I am in a charismatic church and error often creeps in.

    Yes this deal with the idea that there is an order to worship. That there are limits and guidelines to be followed.

    Paul wasn’t saying that if someone has a different view they shouldn’t be recognized, he was saying that if someone wants to be a prophet or speak in tongues they need to acknowledge what he just wrote and follow the rules. (Sorry but I have to go here) but it would include verse 33-34:

    33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
    As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.

    There are many areas to serve God, many places that need focus and leadership.

    To me it always comes back to the idea from the garden. God said they could eat from any tree in the garden and there were many trees, but there was one tree that had a limit. Why is that one tree the one that is desired?

    I know that probably will aggravate some reading this, but this is my view of things. I don’t think a study of the Greek will help on this issue, it always comes down to the heart. Many men with evil intent have taken what was a beautiful balance and corrupted it, they have taken the responsibility given to them and abused it, they will answer for this.

  77. Vs. 34-35 are a quotation from the Corinthains which Paul strongly refutes with “What??” There is no law, even in the OT, which commands the silence of women. This is a rabbinical tradition, not God’s law, and Paul refuted those who tried to make it a law for the believers.

    We’re not arguing against Godly, Biblical leadership, but against bossy, fleshly leadership. And I strongly disagree that a study of the Greek is not helpful; it is vital! It would be eisegesis to impose English word meanings onto the original Greek.

    And you still have not answered my simple question: can you limit the Spirit’s leading? And can you tell women (or any believer) not to obey the Spirit’s leading?

  78. In fact the expletive of repudiation term “eta” occurs twice in 1 Cor 14:36. As one way to show the repudiation is to translate it as “Bunk!” I call this Paul’s missing double bunk, as a pun to help me remember.

  79. Another thing to see is that 1 Cor 14:26-40 form a chiasm, and this data structure is not used much today so people can easily miss it.

    The center of the chiasm, the most important part is the part 33b:38. This is so important to get right, as people that do not implement it are not to be recognized as being spiritual.

  80. Another thing to see is that 1 Cor 14:26-40 form a chiasm, and this data structure is not used much today so people can easily miss it.

    The center of the chiasm, the most important part is the part 33b:38. This is so important to get right, as people that do not implement it are not to be recognized as being spiritual.

    On the expletive of repudiation in 1 Cor 14:36, see, for example, Alan F. Johnson’s book on 1 Corinthian, part of the IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

    On the chiasm AND the expletive of repudiation, see “Why Not Women?” by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton (altho I believe Hamilton misses some aspects, he does see the chiasm).

  81. Don,
    I don’t recognize 33b as part of it. This sentence….

    For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints…

    I consider to be one whole thought. I’m thinking that vs. 34-35 are Paul quoting another’s words and they don’t include 33b. My reason in part for saying vs. 33b is not included with 34 is because of the words “in the churches”. If it were one whole thought, they wouldn’t be repeated.

    It may be Epp that has some discussion on it in his book “Junia-the first Apostle”.

  82. ccanuck asked earlier,
    My friend Steve Atkerson (who is a complementarian 🙂 wrote an excellent article titled “Concensus Governing” and it can be found here:

    In a nutshell, Steve shows from a careful examination of the NT, that things were sorted out *publicly* in the early ekklesia when a great need arose, not behind closed doors with only leaders present. Early Christian churches were small enough to fit in houses and everybody knew everybody else and enjoyed intimate fellowship one with another. This type of structure allowed for elders to guide as necessary the entire congregation into a consensus when making decisions because the elders ensured that the entire congregation understood the situation and the issues involved. Thus, the early churches were elder “led” instead of “elder-ruled”.

    It is clear by the testimony of all church historians that the church moved from simplicity to increasing complexity and so eventually, the ability for churches to function in this way was lost. The dynamics of the Spirit were all but lost as the ecclesiastical bureaucracy became fixed in concrete. Dependence on the Spirit in the early days of the ekklesia was replaced by inflexible, clergy-dominated traditions as time went on. The minority who were seeking to be led by the Spirit were generally treatly harshly by the hierarchy in place. Isn’t it safe to say that Spirit-led dynamics are all but shut down when NT perspectives are crowded out by human traditions and dominating clerics? When church came to be about control then it is no wonder that the vulnerability attendant with trusting the Spirit was lost and hence, a heirarchicalism developed.

  83. ccanuk said:

    Paul wasn’t saying that if someone has a different view they shouldn’t be recognized, he was saying that if someone wants to be a prophet or speak in tongues they need to acknowledge what he just wrote and follow the rules. (Sorry but I have to go here) but it would include verse 33-34:

    Actually you missed something. Paul said:

    1 Cor. 14:37 (ALT) If anyone thinks [that he] is a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge what I write to you*, that they are commandments of [the] Lord.

    The Greek is plural (commandments) and Paul is saying that if one does not accept that what he writes are the commandments (plural) of the Lord, then that person is not to be acknowledged. What are the commandments (plural) that Paul gave?

    1Co 14:1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

    “Pursue” love is in the imperative and so is “desire earnestly” spiritual gifts. These commands from God and the result is edification of the church.

    1 Cor. 14:26 says that all things are to be be done for edification. This is another command. Verses 27 and 28 are also commands regarding the edification of the church. Verse 29 is another command regarding judging prophesy and in verse 31 Paul gives permission for all to prophesy for the edification of the entire body of Christ.

    1Co 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;

    Now after all of these commands, what does verse 35 & 36 say?

    1Co 14:34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
    1Co 14:35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.

    This “command” contradicts Paul’s other commands that allow women to prophesy in the body for the edification of both men and women. What’s wrong with this command? It doesn’t take us long to find out. In verse 36 Paul promptly refutes the “saying” that is quoted in verses 34 & 35. Paul says:

    (AMP) What! Did the word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians], or has it reached only you?

    The wording in the Greek is clear that Paul’s refutation in verse 36 is following what he is refuting. (Paul has been quoting from the letter that the Corinthians wrote to him. He quoted their sayings and gave correction.) Paul is saying that God’s commands are for all Christians to be given freedom to prophesy and all are given freedom to use their gifts to edify the church. Verses 34 & 35 stop women from edifying the church and they stop women from learning God’s word. But Paul says that all may learn. This includes women. Paul also said that all may prophesy. This too includes women and Paul is not going to allow the Corinthians to disregard God’s word. This is where Paul demands that those who consider themselves to be prophets and spiritual MUST recognize that the commandments throughout chapter 14 are from God and these commands contradict the Jewish tradition that stops women from learning in public and stops them from participating in giving out God’s word.

    Paul’s word still rings true today. Those who refuse to believe that women are gifted by God for the edification of the entire body of Christ are to be ignored. Their view doesn’t count because God’s view is spoken by Paul. The commands (plural) are all for the edification of the church and for the godly use of God’s gifts. Verses 34 & 35 stand in sharp contrast to the commands of God through Paul. Verse 34 & 35 are a Corinthian quote that must be refuted and put to rest. God’s commands are all for the edification of the church and man’s command restricts people because of gender. May it never be that we would seek to follow after the way of the Corinthians instead of the way of the Master!

  84. On 1 Cor 14:33b and whether it fits with the idea before or after, I believe it fits with the idea after better, but I could be wrong. It depends on how one interprets the phrase “As in all the churches of the saints”. In my understanding, this is better rendered “As in all the congregations of the Jews…” as we know that many synagogues had rules to keep women quiet.

    That is, once you see 1 COr 34-35 as a quote from (Judaizing) legalists, it would make sense for them to say “This is how we have always done it.”

  85. 1 Cor 14 Chiasm
    A 26 All believers can have a verbal contribution
    B 27-28 Tongues – be silent if no interpreter
    C 29-33a Prophesy – be silent if another speaks
    D 33b-35 Legalists: “Women be silent”
    D’ 36-38 Paul “Bunk! Women can speak”
    C’ 39a Prophesy – desire to prophesy
    B’ 39b Tongues – do not forbid
    A 40 All things done decently and in order

    By reverse engineering, one can hopefully see that the problem was chaos in the Corinthian church setting. Some legalists proposed doing what the synagogues did, namely keep women quiet, this reduces the potential speakers by half. Paul will have none of that, but he does give guidelines so things will be done in order.
    The underlined be silent shows the same word being used in the Greek. The underlined all in the A-A’ shows the paired concept.

  86. Good job on the Chiasm.

    I’d like to keep that and incorporate it into my teachings when I teach on that chapter.

    I haven’t compared Paul to Peter or James, but I do appreciate the patterns in Pauls thinking and writing.

  87. Don, on 1 Cor. 14:33b….. I guess it really could go either way. I see your point.

    However, there is a way to check it out. Verses 34-35 have been placed in different places in some manuscripts. Epp discusses this in his book “Junia, the First Woman Apostle”, pages 14-20. It seems that some manuscripts had placed it after verse 40, and some had them in the margin. Gordon Fee also has written about his research on it, not sure if he included his findings in his 1 Cor. book or not. So, all we’d need to do is find out if they included 33b or not in the different places it was found in the manuscripts.

    🙂 It’s not a point I worry on though. Sometimes I get too analytical and nit picky. LOL

    Blessings. I’m really really appreciating all the input here.

  88. Yes, I know about the moved verses in some manuscripts. I think some copyists did not know what to do with them, as they seemed out of place to them. Recall that our chapter and verse numbering system is a human invention, so one way to read the Bible is to deversify. That is, verse numbering can be helpful and hurtful at the same time. Also recall that the earliest manuscripts did not have much punctuation in order to save space.

    1 Cor 14:33b is NOT a crucial aspect to the argument, but (as I see it) tieing it ot 1 Cor 14:33 is saying something that does not really need to be stated. If God is not the author of confusion, then the congregations of God ought not to demonstrate confusion, this is self-evident (at least it seems that way to me).

    However, tieing 1 Cor 14:33b to 34-35 (to my way of thinking) is the legalists/traditionalist (that is, those who would put restrictions on participation by women) way of claiming that this is the way things have been done before.

  89. May I put my two cents worth in this line of thought?

    If we take Paul as saying that God is not a God of confusion and then Paul quotes from the letter from the Corinthians which is a source of confusion and restriction of women, then we rightfully have Paul correcting the confusion in verse 36. i.e. God is not a God of confusion so the confusing contradictions of the Corinthians cannot be from God. Paul’s commands (plural) then from verses 1 to 33 are from God because God is a God of peace (tranquility and a lack of dissension) and the dissension that comes in verses 34 & 35 is not from God but from man. Paul is not going to let men divide themselves from the women in this church and thus bring dissension into the Corinthian church (and into the body of Christ!) In this way Paul is saying that all the other churches have peace.

    I am not saying that this is the only way to take Paul, but the fact that there is no record of dissension against women in any of the other churches tends to make me find support to the view that “as in all the churches of the saints” is a word from Paul not the Corinthians.

    Again, I could be wrong, but a quote that starts with “as in all” seems to be misplaced if it is a Corinthian quote. It is also missing support of women’s suppression in all the churches if the quote is from the Corinthians. The other important thing to consider if this is part of the Corinthian quote, is that it is a misplaced sentence. It should read “Women are to keep silent in the churches as in all the churches of the saints”.


  90. One thing we need to be aware of is to try not to “auto-transport” our 21st century assumptions back into a 1st century text. This is so easy to do without even realizing we are doing it, that I try to take active steps to avoid it. Part of that involves translating ekklesia as congregation rather than church, the Greek term simply means assembly. It might be a church congregation, but it might be a Jewish congregation, aka a synagogue. Similarly, saints (holy ones) might be church members, but it might also refer to Jews when contrasted with pagan gentiles.

    I do not think it makes a big difference in the interpretation either way. Missing the double “Bunk!” in 1 Cor 14:36 DOES make a big difference in the interpretation.

  91. Agreed Don. Missing the double “Bunk” does make a difference. Although, I rather like “rubbish” as The Source has it translated.


    Agree also regarding translating ekklesia as “assembly” rather than church. For the same reasons I prefer “minister/servant” and “ministering/serving” for the forms of diakonos rather that the transliteration “deacon” in some places, “servant” in other places and “helper” in another place. Too much interpretive translating on some words, not enough on others. Regarding the phrase “one wife husband” I think it would be more appropriate to do an interpretive translation as The Source has it, and a big footnote about the fact of it being a colloquial phrase that doesn’t translate well into English. In fact we should have such notes on all places where there are colloquial phrases.

  92. The Source actually translates the Greek eta as “Utter Rubbish!” which is correct in meaning, but loses the short expletive nature of the expression. I think perhaps the closest in English is “Pffft!”. “Hogwash!”, “Garbage!”, “Bunk!” and similar are also possible, as bunk is the shortest and yet is a word (unlike “Pffft!” which some people may not know and/or mishear when spoken).

    The basic idea is to repudiate the statement made before, in a short expression of dismissal.

    As The Source points out, Paul uses the term quite a big in 1 Cor. So much that it is one of the clues that he is reproving some Corinthian idea when he uses it in a conversational style. Recall that most could not read, so the letter would be read aloud to the congregants. I have read elsewhere that when Scripture was read aloud, Jews considered that the person themselves was with them in spirit.

  93. Wonderful point made by Don Johnson: “One thing we need to be aware of is to try not to “auto-transport” our 21st century assumptions back into a 1st century text. This is so easy to do without even realizing we are doing it, that I try to take active steps to avoid it. Part of that involves translating ekklesia as congregation rather than church, the Greek term simply means assembly.”

    This is what was so wonderful about learning NT Greek from a believer raised as a conservative Jew. (He started reading the Bible with a flashlight under the covers at night so his parents wouldn’t find out!) So much is overlooked when one just glibly reads and believes they understand the Word on all levels. I was amazed at the extra dimention that learning how the Jews used the Greek language brought to my understanding of the text. There was so much more to learn on a cultural level as a result, the original language almost seemed to obsfucate some doctrinal questions at times. (I can imagine the smile spreading on the faces of many. I took Greek to clarify, not to open things up to more schools of interpretation. Praise God for the guidance of His Spirit to illuminate His text.

  94. There are many Hebraisms in the Greek NT, after all, everyone but Luke was a Hebraic thinking Jew and Luke was a disciple of Paul, certainly one of the best Jewish scholars of all time. And of course the entire OT is totally from a Hebraic perspective. This means that Greek thinkers, like me, have an additional challenge to overcome in order to understand as best we can what the sentences meant to the original readers.

  95. Well, well, well…

    First I’ll just dump my hasty notes I took as I listened, then post my comments:

    M– one woman not fit context of 1 Tim 1-2

    C– subject can change, not an issue 1 tim 2:11 has grammar shift from falsehood to leadership, plural to singular; makes v15 make sense

    M– if “a” woman can’t teach falsehood to “a” man, claim H & A as false teachers

    C– they are deceived but know better;

    (M showing signs of impatience at 7 min.)

    M– mere opinions and philosophy, not scripture (he ignores scriptural basis)
    M– calls sincerety in the heart is FALSE and RCC; relies on Calvinism here
    M– moaning at 11 min.
    M– still doesn’t get it, that people can be shown mercy because they are sinning in ignorance; accused C of teaching Palagianism

    M– change subject to “the word ‘quiet'” hezukia=”subdued, quiet (not silent” = sagao)
    M– argues that can’t be about false teaching cuz she’s told to be “less false” instead of “less quiet”
    M– back to “husband of one wife” = must be a man
    M– wants to bring in other passages to this one, but won’t let C do it
    M– back to “less false”; still doesn’t get that “be quiet” applies to the teaching, not the fact that she should sit down and learn instead of teaching
    C– tries and tries to explain her point; M doesn’t get it
    C– Paul never says “stop women from teaching anything at all”
    M– interrupting, voice getting higher, moaning at 24 min.; still going on about the meaning of “silent”; cut C off on this point

    M– hetera didasko kaleto = false teaching, but not in 1 tim 3, so this can’t be about false teaching
    M– compares her to JW again over this
    M– keeps going on about CHAPTERS which are not in the originals
    M– more moaning at 28 min;
    M– she can still teach heresy while she learns! (“whew” at 30 min.)
    M– wants to ‘red herring’ by asking C how things are in her marriage
    C– “Im shy by nature” M– “oh really?” under breath
    M– unsatisfactory, fabricating, reaching, answers from C
    M– Paul has a pattern of using didasko only concerning true teaching (won’t let C cite patterns)
    C– so she can’t teach / authority over men in CHURCH
    M– suddenly doesn’t want didasko to mean ALWAYS sound teaching; never answered Q about women teaching correct doctrine
    M– keeps waffling on whether women can teach correct doctrine

    M– Adam had priority cuz Eve was “helpmeet”
    C– Adam not deceived cuz first created, Eve deceived cuz created second; nothing to do with priority at all
    M– Eve sinned cuz she didn’t go to her BOSS Adam to ask him what God meant (wow!)
    M– didasko for true teaching but no, I didn’t say woman can’t ever teach true doctrine
    M– “household of God” == CHURCH (oy)
    M– cuts C off cuz he thinks she’s just babbling and telling “stories”
    M– C can’t come back unless she stops with the “stories”; expects C to be an experienced debater like him or she “doesn’t know what you’re talking about”; he wants only short answers
    M– more sighing at 43 min.

    M– going on more about “in the church” and “authority”
    M– women cant teach authoritatively in the church; elders have “authority”
    C– why ALL women not allowed to teach from this passage?
    M– C’s logic not good; back to “male” words in text, appeals to OT, STILL doesn’t know diff between grammatical and biological gender, men failing in taking authority “in the church”
    M– Adam authority over Eve
    M– men RULE well
    M– created order = order of supremacy
    M– C is teaching falsehood and hogging the show she was invited to; “it’s my show”
    C– offered her dvd for hearing the other side
    M– didn’t like her plugging that
    M– thinks C is undermining the church and the home, deceived, says she should be absolutely silent
    C– woman teach with authority sin? M won’t answer with def. ‘yes’
    M– admitted she is in sin finally
    C– am I sinning?
    M– “I listen to heretics all the time, and C is one!”; don’t know if C is allowed back or not
    M– back to “you know better” as in first debate; blamed C for not knowing Greek; keeps interrupting
    M– long answers “drive me up the wall”; wants always short answers or nothing
    M– women can’t have spiritual authority on basis of the flesh alone
    M– said C used term “authority” illogically
    C– OT did not stop women from teaching
    M– all OT and NT teachers are male so end of story

    M– wants a formal debate instead; still won’t commit to continuing here
    C– why more patient with atheist than a sister in Christ
    M– atheists are more polite than C; called her “dear”
    M– “I can’t get a word in edgewise” (!!!)

  96. General comment: Matt’s arguments are very basic, predictable, standard male supremacist fare. No surprises, no apparent awareness of the many scholars who have written rebuttals to them. (Maybe their writings are too long, eh?)

    I’ll wait for others to comment before dealing with specifics. But Cheryl, once again you held up well and didn’t get flustered as he did. But I honestly think further debates with him would be a waste of time. He has become so deaf to what you’re saying that he’ll only continue the interruptions, insults, and put-downs, and this won’t help the listening audience. You planted a seed and from here we must trust God to make the crop grow.

    I still stand amazed that any believer can want to RULE over other believers, especially on the basis of one’s physical appearance and not spiritual gifting. His foundational premeses are all about male pride and anecdotal evidence which HE SHOULD KNOW BETTER than to use since it’s a logical fallacy. I had hoped he would have shown some of the mutual submission he knows the Bible commands, but instead I heard his heart hardening and his heels digging in.

    He wants a formal debate because he knows he can beat you with rules and regulations since you are not experienced in that. What he does NOT want is written documents that people can sit and read (the ones who like more than short answers that is). Writing and DVD are your elements; fast talking and controlling the mic are his. Don’t let him lure you to his arena.

    You did us all a great service and God will richly bless you. Satan of course would dearly love to shut you up as Matt would. Keeping women silent is Satan’s wish, but we all rest in the finished work of Christ, the “seed of the woman”, and “greater is the one who is in us than the one who is in the world”. God bless.

  97. After listening to this, there are a few preliminary points that I think would be helpful to make in regards to this discussion. Matt kept asking Cheryl why this woman was not told to sigao (to be completely verbally silent – same word used in 1 Cor. 14:34) in 1 Tim. 2:12 if she was teaching false teaching to her husband.

    The reason is because vv. 11 & 12 both go together (as Don J. has already emphasized over and over) and in verse 11, Paul *first* commands that this woman is to learn with a teachable, orderly disposition. He then goes on to say that in verse 12 she is to remain this way while she is being prevented from dominating her husband with false teaching (see use of hesuchia at end of v. 12). In other words, it is as if Paul is saying:

    “11 This woman is to learn in a quiet and orderly way with all submissiveness. 12 For I am not now permitting [this] woman to teach or dominate her husband, but to be quiet/orderly.”

    The “quiet and orderly” of verse 11 and the quiet/orderly” of verse 12 are the same Greek word hesuchia. If Paul would’ve used sigao, (1) the chiasmic structure (the literary parallel) would’ve been lost , (2) Paul would’ve actually been teaching that this woman had to sit and shut her mouth without uttering a peep, which further contradicts what he just commanded in verse 11, and (3) when people learn, they necessarily need to be able to ask clarifying questions, and the use of hesuchia prevents her from further dominating her husband with this teaching, but also allows her to ask clarifying questions while maintaining a teachable disposition as Paul commanded in verse 11.

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