This is the fifth and final response to Matt Slick’s article called Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority
Matt quotes Matthew Henry who said:
“They [women] must be silent, submissive, and subject, and not usurp authority. The reason given is because Adam was first formed, then Eve out of him, to denote her subordination to him and dependence upon him;”
Scripture never says that Eve was formed out of Adam to denote her subordination to and dependence upon the man. Rather scripture shows that Eve was created out of Adam so that they would be a one flesh union. Adam recognized this fact when he said that Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He did not say that she shall be called woman, because she is a subordinate to him. She was his flesh and bone, not his subordinate. In this area Matthew Henry and Matthew Slick are both wrong.
Matt also quotes from D.A. Carson from CBMW as saying:
“The prohibition of women teaching men seems to belong to the same context, although Paul here appeals more to what is appropriate and cites the Genesis story of creation. Two facts are brought out—Adam’s priority and Eve’s weakness in being deceived.”
1 Timothy 2:11-15 does not say that Eve was weak and this is the reason that she was deceived. This is reading into the passage a conclusion that the apostle Paul does not make. In 2 Corinthians 11:3, Paul again talks about Eve and his conclusion is that it was the craftiness of the serpent that deceived Eve, not her weakness of character.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
Sound doctrine will keep us safe from deception. One’s gender (i.e. male) will not keep one safe from deception. In the same way, it wasn’t Eve’s gender that caused her to be deceived and Paul never makes this claim.
Lastly, Matt quotes K. Weust as saying:
“This prohibition of a woman to be a teacher, does not include the teaching of classes of women, girls, or children in a Sunday School, for instance, but does prohibit the woman from being a pastor, or a doctrine teacher in a school….The reason for the above position of the man in the Church and that of the woman, Paul says, is found in the original order of creation, and in the circumstances of the fall of man.”
“Can this be any clearer? I don’t see how it could be.”
The problem is that it would be far too clear and would give us far too little evidence to use women at all. If a universal prohibition is what Paul meant, then would it not be “clear” that taking it back to creation would affect the entire world not just the church. How so? It is because if Paul was really stopping a woman from teaching because of the original order of creation and because of the circumstances of the fall (i.e. her weakness) then it is unreasonable to allow women to teach children (who are the most impressionable members of our Society and who would be influenced by the deception of women) and other women (who apparently would also be easily deceived). An appeal to the circumstances of the fall does nothing to allow women to teach anyone especially those who are easily misled. Someone who is easily deceived isn’t qualified to teach men or children or other women. However if Paul’s reference is not to a universal application taking the deception of one woman deceived by the craftiness of the evil one, and applying that to all women, then it is understandable that it is applicable in the context to a specific situation in Ephesus that both Paul and Timothy were aware of.
Under “Objections answered” Matt writes that:
“Men who abuse their authority are in sin. The Bible clearly teaches that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. It is not the patriarchal teaching that promotes male abuse, but the failure of men to live all of Scripture in that of selecting only parts of it to justify their sin.”
While this is a common “answer” to an egalitarian objection, the fact is that “taking authority” over a wife against her will is abusive even if it is done with a belief that one is doing it as a loving act. Jesus did not take authority over his disciples to force them against their will to do what is right. Jesus lovingly spoke the truth and persuaded his disciples concerning what is right. Jesus did not make decisions for his disciples against their will. Anyone who believes that the scripture gives them the right to “take authority” over their wife against her will is not following true biblical love and the “authority” that they are exercising is not godly authority.
Lastly Matt deals with point #3 the objection that authority was not shown in Genesis before the fall. This is a straw man argument. No one says that authority was not shown in Genesis before the fall. God certainly showed his authority over creation and he gave the man and the woman authority to rule God’s creation. The question is whether authority of the man over the woman was shown before the fall. The answer is “No”. There is nothing in scripture that would show that God gave Adam authority over his wife. Matt says:
“God gave instructions to Adam and Adam gave God’s instructions to Eve. We know this because in Genesis 3 we see where Satan tempts Eve and Eve repeats the instructions God gave to Adam in Gen. 2:16. This means that Adam transmitted the instructions of God to Eve and Eve repeated them to Satan. Adam served as God’s authoritative representative to Eve.”
The fact is that scripture does not say that Adam gave God’s instructions to Eve. Rather, scripture shows that Eve’s testimony is that “God said…” not “Adam said…” Also Eve’s testimony is that God said that she wasn’t even to touch the fruit. These are not the same words as were given to Adam in Genesis 2:16, however they are words that Eve testified that God said. Either Eve’s testimony is true that God said these words to her or she lied or she added to God’s word. Since God did not accuse Eve of lying or adding to his words and the only thing that she was judged for is eating the fruit, we can be sure that God did indeed speak to Eve and give her the prohibition just as he also gave the prohibition to Adam. For more information on this subject, go to the post “Wasn’t Adam the only one given God’s prohibition in the garden?”
The issue of primacy and authority was settled by God in Genesis chapter 1. God gave both Adam and Eve primacy and authority over creation. Man may not take away what God has granted. While some men would like males to have preeminent rule over women given to them not by the sinful nature inherited at the fall but by God himself as a part of the original creation, scripture shows that the man’s sinful rule that made him want to dominate, control, rule and take authority over the woman was not an authority given to him by God.