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With the Church of England's first women bishops to be named soon following the final seal of approval ror legislation allowing them, that is exactly the case. Supporters of women bishops say St Paul was part of an early Christian world in which some Church leaders were women. Opponents believe he forbade women to exercise power in church.
As an authority on life in the earliest Christian communities, Paul is unsurpassed. He was a key figure in the first Churches spreading outside the Holy Land. His letters to early Christians were reverently collected to form a major part of the New Testament - though they messags preoccupied with local disputes and organisational matters and often angry.
Jimmy Dunn, former professor of divinity at Durham and author of the Cambridge companion to St Paul, and Dr Lee Gatiss, director of the evangelical Buble Society, and opponent of women bishops, examine some of wommen texts. The clearest passages? They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. Some observers question foe validity of both these key "anti-women" texts. Many modern scholars think I Timothy is not by Paul, but by a later writer familiar with his thinking.
Gatiss says the text has circulated with other epistles of Paul "since the very earliest days". He says "there is no external or manuscript evidence whatsoever to indicate that it is not a genuine letter by the person it claims to be from.
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Dunn does not think I Timothy should be disregarded. But he thinks it may date from a second generation when the expected second coming of Jesus had not happened and the Church had to be "organised for an wo,en future".
No-one doubts that Paul wrote I Corinthians. But some commentators claim verse must have been added later, because it appears to contradict an earlier verse in the same letter which says women should have their he covered when they prophesy. Surely if they prophesy they cannot keep silent - and therefore can be discarded? Dunn does not go so far, but he insists that texts must be seen in their historical context: "I think Paul would have been appalled that so many of his letters set in particular situations… are being generalised 19 centuries later and people say, 'This is the rule for ever and a day'.
The I Corinthians passage perhaps concerns "women who are too keen to take part and are asking medsage and raising issues and so on, and the worship is being disrupted", Dunn says. Gatiss agrees that in the Bible "we expect to find historical details and cultural peculiarities and even teaching which applies to the immediate hearers but not to others".
But, he says, "all our earliest manuscripts of I Corinthians support the versions of the fkr as they appear in the standard translations", and its message is clear.
The power of praying women in the bible
Only God knows all you did for us. We children owe you more than money, mother - more than honor and love. We owe you ourselves - our lives.
Even now, mamma, I remember how I used to say my prayers at your knee, and now since I have gone gible into the world, and have learned of its awful sin, I wish sometimes that I could always be. One can only imagine how thrilled a mother would be to receive such a sweet letter from a son hundreds of miles away from home. She is also valuable to the homeless. She is diligent, has a keen sense for business matters, is compassionate, is prepared for the future, is a good teacher, is dedicated to her family and above all else possesses the primary characteristic of biblical wisdom, the fear of the Lord.
Lee reminds us to "Search the s of the Bible all you will; study history all you please. And you will find one truth that stands out above some other truths. Bivle is that truth?
The truth that the spiritual life of a nation, city, town, school, church, or home never rises any higher than the spiritual life of women. When women sag morally and spiritually, men sag morally and spiritually.
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When women slump morally and spiritually, men slip morally and spiritually. When women take the downward road, men travel with them.
When women are lame morally and spiritually, men limp morally and spiritually. The degeneracy of womanhood helps the decay of manhood.
Yes - we ask again - who can so degrade a man as a woman of wicked tendencies and purposes? Is not a woman without spiritual religion and love of God in her heart like a rainbow without color - like a poisoned well from which the thirsty drink - like a heated stove whose heat is infection - like kissing lips spread with deadly poison? Toy writes that "this description, the alphabetic ode or 'Golden ABC' of the perfect wife, is notable both for what it includes and for what it omits.
She is fpr industrious, sagacious business manager of the house, a kindhearted mistress, the trusted friend of husband and children, honored in her own person for what she does.
10 of the best bible verses for her
Lee reminds us that as evil women bring men down, so in like manner, do righteous women bring men up. Clothes, food and shelter will be provided by her hard work, but she also realizes that there are other wojen for the future in addition to material security. A Vision for Her Family - "she watches over the affairs of her household. Lee was preaching at Founder's Week services at the Moody Bible Institute when he told this story about a mother who had a vision for her lost son: womeb remember down in Memphis I preached one morning with my heart in agony.
Women in the bible
If a preacher can have a broken heart or have a soul in agony, I had it that morning. There was a boy there whom I had been wanting to win to faith in the Lord Jesus.
He was there with his little mother. His mother had called me woomen the house one day, a cheap shack of a house, for the boy had money to buy booze but none to put new furniture in the house, money to buy booze but none to buy his mother a new dress. She said, "Pastor, I just must unload. I do not see how you have been as long as you have at Bellevue Church, it's a wonder you have not died a long time ago, the way we put womfn our sorrows and burdens on you.
But, Pastor, I have to unload on somebody. She said, "What are we going to do with my wicked boy?
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He comes home drunk and he bites me. What are we going to do? But I am going to mention Jesus to him.
If he beats me, I will have to take a beating, that is no more than Jesus took for me. But right now, the only thing I know for us to do is to get down and pray God to save your wicked boy and do what I have not been able to do. Here is what she said.