Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Pauline Corruption?

1 Timothy 2:11-15

"A woman is to learn in quietness and full submission" 1 Tim. 2:11
Learn in silence? Do not discuss? Do not converse? Full submission in issues of learning? Do not question, do not think, do not educate, but indoctrinate; have blind-faith, but not thoughtfulness?

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." 1 Tim. 2:12
I'm a little confused here. So, who does not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man? Paul, or God?
Paul has already admitted that some aspects of his Pauline Christianity are solely his and not the Lord's:
"...I give this command (not I, but the Lord)..." 1 Corinth. 7:10
"...I say this (I, not the Lord)..." 1 Corinth. 7:12

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one decievd and became a sinner." 1 Tim. 2:13-14
It wasn't Adam's fault. Adam didn't fall, Eve did. It's woman's fault. (Seems to me that Paul completely missed the lesson of "The Parable of the Finger-Pointing" (Gen. 3:12-14).)

"But woman will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety." 1 Tim. 2:15
...however, there is hope for all evil womanhood! She may be saved (or restored) through pregnency! (Although I thought salvation could not be attained by our own merits or actions and was only through the Christ, I guess I was wrong).

Although I don't honestly believe any of these things, it does make me seriously wonder about PAul.
I fully subscribe to the idea that Jesus intended to end all religion (see http://docs.google.com/View?docid=d3jmtfk_29f56gzp), but Paul seemed to heavily focused on creating a new, or at least a hybred religion.

He comes from a very educated background (he was a Pharisee after all), and he seemed to be attempting to merge this new and revolutionary teaching into an older religion he understood. He seemed to want to find a way to "insert" Christ's teachings into the more commonly understood practice of Judaism and Mosaic Law.

I can't help but wonder if JEsus warned us about this very thing:
"And no one pours wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins." Mark 2:22

Is Jesus warning us what will happen if we attempt to insert a "new" God (new wine) into an old religion (old wineskin)? We are plainly told the consequences:
...and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined".

What have we done? What has Paul done?!
But this isn't a "new" God, you say, this is the same old God of the Old Testament.

"...from now one, you do know him,[the Father] and have seen him." John 14:7

Jesus would seem to be implying that we did not "know" Him.


elizabeth said...

i've always thought this too. and my hair looks really good in braids :)

Brother Valentius said...

Yeah, but "...the bible says it, it's completely true, that ends it."

My real question/concern is how do we address this issue (biblically)?

I lean in the direction of Paul was simply pushing his values and hisagenda alongside God's.
(Fact is, I think the same of Moses also, and for that matter also the Prophet Muhammad).

The way I beginning to wonder, is that we have a Pauline corruption (aka Christianity),
a Mosaic corruption (aka Judaism), and an Islamic corruption (aka Islam).
I also believe that Jesus stands outside of these 3 man-made religions, as - not a representative of the one true religion - but as representative of the one ture and Most High God.

(The more I am "putting" this idea out there for discussion the less popular I'm becoming though).

Gina said...

Well as I said on the thread, I found these verses as confusing and troubling as y'all do before I became Orthodox. In fact, I can say I found the Bible's take on women- especially St. Paul- in general confusing and hurtful. This, even though I worked for an organization that, although conservative, takes pains to affirm women in ministry leadership.

For the first time in my Christian life, I've been able to put the whole church vs. women thing to bed, and believe me it is such a relief. So it pains me to see people reading these words of life as St. Paul's dodgy agenda or worse. All I can say is that I hope you'll look at the links I posted and seek to catch a different glimpse.

Brother Valentius said...

Thanks Gina, truly.
As I've said to another poster, I am not overly interested in "being right" as opposed to finding the truth. However, in my never-ending search for the truth, I am willing to entertain the "unthinkable" - to walk where angels fear to tread.
I really hope when you say "...it pains me to see people reading these words of life as St. Paul's dodgy agenda or worse..." that you do not take my comments or thoughts as insults. It was and is never my intention to offend or insult people.
A friend of mine - and coincidentally, unofficial leader of my small group - always tells me I remind him of Nathanael, "in whom is no guile".
I'm told I have a "gift" of, both, asking the really difficult questions, and of stirring the pot.
I hope you can forgive me Gina. I really like you and what you bring to the "table".
(btw, I have every intention of readng your links.)

Gina said...

Please don't ask for my forgiveness, no offense here in at all. St. Paul no doubt understands and forgives. :)

elizabeth said...

i read this piece by NT Wright on women in ministry. it made thing makes sense for me