“The Lord giveth the word: the women that publish the tidings are a great host” Psalm 68:11 (R.V.)

We hope this section will give you a better understanding of the plight our white brothers and sisters face world wide as well as the knowledge that there is an unstoppable force moving throughout America. Fanned by the wrath of God against our enemies, The Knights is taking the fiery light of White Christian Revival through the land. Pastor Robb will tell you that time is short for our people, that we must unite and stand together or face the destruction of our children’s future.

Pastor Robb is speaking the truth. Our people must unite and come together. As Pastor Robb points out, the very reason they don’t want whites to have pride is because of the tremendous power our people can yield if they are united under a banner of racial pride. While we aren’t trying to say our people are perfect, we don’t, on the other hand want to be cast into the same situation as Essau who despised his birthright. Our people must come together as a united front to save our culture, faith, and homeland.

However, my white brothers and sisters, our enemies have driven a wedge between between us, to keep us from working together for a better world. My brothers and sisters, I am referring to the destruction of white Christian womanhood.

Our Plight Begins

Beginning in the garden with Eve, many women have been tricked into not fulfilling their full Christian potential. Likewise many men have been deceived into giving women less credit than they deserve.

The period between A.D. 100 and 1000 is known as the Patristic period. These “fathers,” along with the rulings of the first Church councils, were tailored after Judaism. Many of them were outspokenly negative toward women and worked to exclude them from all church service. It’s sad that many contemporary Christian leaders quote some of these fathers as their source and authority for silencing women in the Church.

The Early Church Comes under Rabbinical Influence

(Note: You will most definitely want to read “An Amazing Connection” on this site. It is well documented and is historically accurate that the Christian church was founded in the British Isles. Christ spent his 13 “missing” years here. His mother Mary and several of the women who traveled with him in and around Palestine are buried in the Isles and some of the apostles lived their remaining lives there where they are buried. Furthermore, our white ancestors, over more than a thousand year period, migrated from their origin in the middle East, through the Caucasus mountains into Europe and founded the European nations. Yes, my white sisters, we are the daughters of the King and descendants of the Israelites. It should then come as no surprise that the ancient laws of the British Isles and the other white nations of Europe were very favorable toward women and treated women with the utmost respect and highest esteem. It is because the laws of Moses and the acceptable attitude toward women were carried along with our people through their migration. In ancient times of the Isles women had property rights, rights to their own money, right to conduct business, right to speak publicly, voting rights for married women, authority in the rearing of their children, and the right to hold a husband accountable for ill treatment. These are rights that our ancient Israelite sisters enjoyed and kept for thousands of years until their new European homeland was invaded and ultimately subdued by the Romans and the Catholic church. This is not an attempt to belittle Catholics, but merely a statement of fact. Christianity flourished in Britain long before Rome. And because the Roman church became under the influence of Judaism in its early stages, it had monumentally destructive effects upon the women, family, and economy of Europe as Rome subjugated the people of Britain and then all of Europe. The laws given to our people by God through Moses does not infringe upon the God given rights of women, but upholds them. The effects of Judaism on the Church has caused some scripture to be twisted and is not Godly or Christian.

The Fathers are divided into two groups of men, the Latin Fathers and the Greek Fathers. The Latin Fathers include Tertullian, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great. The Greek Fathers include Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Dionysius the Great, John Chrysostom, Epiphanium, and Cyril of Alexandria. (don’t forget these are not the fathers of Christianity, but are the fathers of the “Catholic” church which took hold of Europe” There were many others, but the men noted above were the most prolific writers of these groups. A brief look at some of their works will reveal a gradual shift away from biblical truth into religious confusion and tradition.

Clement (150-215) headed the Catechetical school of Alexandria. He is often associated with the Gnostics, who distrusted the physical body. His writings reveal a magnificent intelligence and reasoning ability, but he apparently was insecure about his own masculinity. He wrote, “Man is stronger and purer since he is uncastrated and has a beard. Women are weak, passive, castrated, and immature…”

Origen (185-254), one of Clement’s students, succeeded him as the head of the school at Alexandria. He also was influenced by Gnosticism, the philosophical dualism which taught that the spirit was pure while the flesh was evil and earthly. To Origen, women were the opposite of spirit. Some of his writings were bent toward the philosophies of the ancient rabbis, “It is not proper for a woman to speak in church, however admirable or holy what she says may be, merely because it comes from female lips. ”

Tertullian (160-225) was the first Latin father. He was a prolific, polemical writer whose work are second only to those of Augustine. According to Jerome, Terutllian left the priesthood and joined the Montanists, who discouraged marriage. This continued to influence his thinking. Many of his lectures were anti-woman, and, like the rabbis, he blamed Eve for bringing sin and death into the world: “You are the devil’s gateway, you are the unsealer of that forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack, You destroyed so easily God’s image, man.”

Ambrose (340)-397), Bishop of Milan, was instrumental in the conversion of Augustine. Like the Judaisers, Ambrose believed women to be inferior to men and, influenced by Gnosticism, related them to the flesh. Like the Greek Church Fathers, he considered women equal to men after conversion. he said. “thus woman is inferior to man, she is part of him, she is under his command. Sin began with her, she must wear the sign, the veil ”

Augustine (354-430) was a clever , clear thinker who has been credited with laying the groundwork for a Roman catholic theology that lasted for a millennium. After his conversion, he taught that flesh stands for the woman and the spirit for the husband; the latter rules and the former is ruled. He proclaimed that woman stands under the lordship of man and possesses no authority to teach or be witness. His only proof was the oral law of the Jews!

These famous patricians were products of the thinking of the age in which they lived and studied. As a result there was a progressive decline of woman’s rank and acceptance in the Church after the middle of the second century. The influence of Judaism is discernable in many areas of this tradition, especially in regard to the hiarcheal structure of the Church. The Fathers adopted the Jewish male-superior attitude, following the same faulty reasoning based on untruths, and superstitions. Most were celibates with a distaste for marriage. By the fifth century, the church’s mistrust and misunderstanding of women was complete.

The concept that every believer should witness and minister was exchanged for a professional priesthood. The Holy Spirit was systematically shut off from the public services and His people were excluded from all ministry.

Records reveal however that the Western Church continued to ordain women deacons well into the second century, While the Eastern Church continued the practice into the fourth century.

Many white Christian women are tired of the plight of being considered second class persons by government bureaucrats and resent being classified with non-whites in Affirmative Action and civil rights laws. Discouraged from participating in many positions of church leadership, some have pursued other avenues of Christian expression. Florence Nightingale said she would have given the church her head, her hands, and her heart, but the church would not have them.

White Christian women long for understanding in this new twisted world of globalism. Did God intend for women to have a secondary place in society?

In The Garden

In the beginning, the only thing that was “not good” was man’s aloneness; the woman was fashioned to be man’s help meet. God’s creation was not complete without woman. The first chapter of Genesis states God’s original intent in creating men and women. Woman weren’t an afterthought, but a part of God’s original plan:

In Genesis we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth”. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep” The darkness that was on the face of the deep, and the earth being without form, and void, are rather interesting passages. The writings of the ancients, in the areas of early Hebrew, tell us that the condition that made the earth without form, and void, was the hand of God placing gigantic forces in operation, to void great evil and tremendous transgression and to bring catastrophe and judgment and elimination of people from earth bondage. The Webster dictionary tells you the word void means the aftermath of judgment by great power. To void a thing is to remove or efface it as it was. You may void an entry in your checkbook, it doesn’t mean the entry was never there, but that you are returning it to its original account. We are first told that God made the heavens and the earth, and then we are told that it was voided. Could this be due to the fact that the Almighty cast one third of the rebellious angels to another realm where they corrupted his creation? In the book of Ephesians it tells us that we are pilgrims in the earth and pre-existed with God. In Jeremiah 4:23, Jeremiah, through a vision, remembering his previous home with God says, “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it BECAME without form and was void; the heavens had no light. I beheld the mounts, and they trembled, and the hills did move. I beheld, and , lo, there was no man, for the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld the fruitful place that was a wilderness, and all the cities were broken down from the presence of God and His anger.” This certainly explains ancient ruins in the lower strata (layers) of the earth, artifacts and tools that are millions of years old.

Adam was not the first man. In Genesis 1:26-28 we read, “Male and female created He them” and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and REplenish the Earth.” This was on the 6th day or 6th AGE of creation. There had been an earlier creation, which was destroyed of which we have already spoken. The male and female, speaking plurally, were to REplenish what had been destroyed. Plenish is an obsolete English word that means “to fill” They were to REfill the earth. You can not refill what has not already been filled. For instance, you can fill the ice cube tray for the first time, but to REfill the tray denotes its earlier state of having ONCE been filled.

The new creation was to be fruitful and multiply and this occurred millions of years ago. Now you know why there are to be found the remains of Negroes, Asians, and other similar peoples that date back to 1,500,000 years old. Yet no white man or woman has ever been found to date further back than 6000 years.

And then in the seventh age, God rested and his creation multiplied and again spread across the face of the earth.

There are two Hebrew words translated to “create”. One is bara, which means to make something; like an artist might sculpt something. The other is “yatstar” which means to bring forth out of one’s self. God created the red, yellow and black races and gave them dominion over the animals of the earth and yes, he did and still does love his creation.

You may now ask, well where does Adam and Eve come into the picture? We will find them appearing on the 8th day. When God said, I have no man to till the soil. In Strong’s concordance “till” means to serve, to set in order, compel, bring to pass, to supervise. God had already created the red man, the yellow man, and the black man, but he wanted someone to compel his earlier creation to a productive work., to rule, to bring order to the earth. And he created (yatstar) brought forth issue – his child, his genetic legacy. He called them Adam and then separated the woman from Adam and she was now called Eve.

Adam and Eve were not the progenitors of all races. Isn’t it amusing how on one hand the modern church fights against the idea of evolution and than on the other hand wants us to believe that all races evolved from one source.

Now why didn’t God give a woman of another race of the earlier creation to Adam? If she is to be “but the servant of the man” as Wharton’s Laws from the first half of the 19th century says, than any race would have been fine. It doesn’t take a genius to clean a home, mend clothes, fix a meal, etc. (I am not demeaning these activities) But God did not want a help-mate for Adam he wanted a help-MEET. Meet means “a counterpart, a person very closely like or corresponding to another person.” In the dictionary we find the word meet means fitting, made to fit, akin (of one kin; related, having similar qualities, suitable, appropriate, proper. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law state that a woman’s normal sphere is that of advisor and counselor. A true help-meet is man’s image and must mirror his image. She must be of the same race.

The facts stated above have been taught and regarded as truth by Gods people throughout the centuries although at times when it was disregarded it brought God’s wrath.

In this last age we begin seeing this truth destroyed. Justin D. Fulton, a Boston minister popular in liberal circles wrote in 1869:

“Much is said against amalgamation, as though it were a crime. There is no crime in it or about it. There is much of prejudice, but no crime. If a white man loves a black woman, there is no law in God’s code forbidding the union. God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth. Complexions may differ, owing to climate, or temperament, (evolution) but the blood is the same. The races have a common Father in God. In this intermingling of races, coming to this land from all climes, we perceive the seedling of a glorious hope. The future American is to be the product of this blending of the distinctive features of all the various races of earth. Against this result there is an immense amount of prejudice; but in Europe it does not exist. Many a white man has found his help-mate in a black woman, and many more will find help-mates from the same source.”

He continues in his assault upon white women with the following:

“Think of Miss Anthony (Susan B.) and Mrs. Stanton in the train of George Francis, perambulating the country in favor of the ballot. These are the leaders; but let it not be forgotten that they sided against the ballot for the Negro, and proved their utter worthlessness and untrustworthiness by trailing the banner committed to their keeping in the slime of a convention which went for the repudiation of the national debt, the defeat of the party of progress, and for the overthrow of the Republicans (Republicans at that time were in the forefront of full Negro-White equality). Had woman possessed the ballot, and had the course pursued by the leaders of this movement exercised an influence over the majority, this wonderful victory over the rebellious spirits of the land would not been achieved; but, in its stead, the stars and bars would have resumed their way, and the stars and stripes, which now kiss the breeze, and greet the rising hopes of uncounted millions, would have been furled in gloom and night.”

Genesis2:18 says Eve was Adam’s “help meet.” The woman was created to help, surround, protect, and aid the man. The word “meet” indicates she was to be in the presence of the man, fronting or facing him, because as his corresponding counterpart and appropriate mate they would answer to each other. The Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) translates “help meet” with the word homios, which means “of the same nature, like, or similar,” and signifies equal force or rank. Various Bible translations reveal Eve to be Adam’s own race and kind, a counterpart, a helper suitably equal -intellectually, morally, and physically fit- for matching him.

“Help” is frequently used in reference to the Lord Himself, especially in the Book of Psalms. Therefore it is not a degrading position for the woman. Fifteen times it is used to mean “superior strength.” Its verb form indicates aid or supply which the individual cannot provide for himself-the woman is the “help meet” for the man.

Woman wasn’t created just as man’s assistant or server. She was to be his associate, a co-worker with full rights and privileges. she was added strength to fill his weaknesses.

A few men have argued for the subordination of women based upon the creative order since woman was created after man. However the animals and trees were created before man yet they are not superior to man.

Eve completed Adam-she was derived but not inferior. She was not created to serve Adam, but to serve with Adam. As a woman works and rules, side by side with man she doesn’t lose her femininity but rather regains it.

Joint Heirs of the Kingdom

Man and woman have the same destiny though the road there may be different.. In first Peter 3:7 the apostle did not say the wife is the “weaker vessel,” but that her husband is to treat her “as” the weaker vessel. The devil walks about “as” a roaring lion, but he isn’t one. The apostle was teaching each husband to defer to his wife, be kind and gentle, to have knowledge of her, to maintain an awareness of how to relate to her. In the economy of the family, the man must be the protector and provider. The woman can and should also protect her family and when necessary provide. But, it is the man’s first responsibility. In non white nations the women are forced to do the drudge work and is virtually the slave of the husband, but God did not intend for this. The woman must be able to guide and oversee the home or home estate. The man must work to make this possible. Together, husband and wife are joint-heirs of the grace of life!

Genesis2:21 says Eve was taken from Adam’s side, but the woman was not created just to be man’s sidekick! The word “rib” is a mistranslation and should read “side” or “chamber.” The Greek word for this in the Septuagint is pleura. It is used to describe our Lord’s “side” from which the wife of the man Adam was taken.

Eve was called “Woman” or Isha, the feminine form of ish, which means ” a notable man of high degree.” This noblewoman was man with a womb. But Eve, the mother of our precious white race points to the Bride of both testaments, often referred as the Bride of Christ.

One commentator of Scripture wrote, “If man is the head, she (woman) is the crown, a crown to her husband, the crown of the visible creation.. The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam/ not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.”

Gen.2:18, KJV

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone…

This verse is void of any aspect of man’s authority over woman. Its immediate context is reproduction, not masculine preeminence. Had God created woman first he would have created man for the same reason: Neither can reproduce alone. Paul summed this up, ruling out any primal position of the man over the woman:

1Cor. 11:11-12, KJV

Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

White women have always been treated better than women of other races. The Mosaic law of the old testament protected the weakness of the woman, preserved her freedom, and promoted her rights.

Compared with her heathen neighbors, the Old Testament white woman had greater liberties, more varied tasks, more important work, and a more respected position. Sadly, the evolution of Jewish religious tradition replaced the Old Testament laws given to Moses by God. But New Testament Christianity reinforced the emancipation of womanhood. Wherever Jesus Christ is preached and obeyed, the woman is esteemed as man’s beloved companion and confidante, a joint-heir of grace and truth.

The Jewish Talmud ( not a translation of the Scripture, but a compilation of Jewish tradition un-related to the Bible. It is the official holy book of Jews) placed “ten curses” upon Eve. But nowhere does the Bible say that god cursed either the man or the woman! Genesis 3:14-17 says the serpent and the ground were cursed. Adam and Eve were told the consequences of their sin: death.

The “Fall”

After the fourth chapter of Genesis, Eve is never referred to again in the 0. T., and Adam is mentioned only twice,–in Job 31:33, “If I, like Adam, covered my transgression, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom,” and Hos. 6:7, (R. V.), “They, like Adam, transgressed the covenant.” But when we come to the N. T., there is a striking contrast between the estimate put upon Adam’s and Eve’s conduct. Of Adam it’s plainly said that his conduct brought sin into the world. Theologians infer disastrous results to the world from Eve’s conduct, but there are no clear statements to that effect in the Bible. We presently discuss the lawfulness of these inferences.

We will place all passages referring plainly to Adam and Eve in the N. T. in parallel columns:

ADAM.
EVE.

1. “Adam was not deceived,” –1 Tim. 2:14.
1. “The woman being [thoroughly] deceived was [literally, “became”] in the transgression.” Weymouth renders this, more accurately, “was thoroughly deceived, and so became involved”
— I Tim. 2:14.

2. “In Adam all die,” –I Cor. 15:22.

3. “By one man [person] sin entered into the world,” -Rom. 5:12.

4. “Through the offence of one many be dead,” –Rom. 5:15.
2. “the serpent beguiled [literally, “thoroughly deceived”] Eve through his subtilty.”
2 Cor. 11 :3.

5. “–it was by one that sinned,” –Rom. 5:16
Both these passages employ the same verb in the Greek original,–“to deceive,” with a prefix meaning “thoroughly.” The verb itself is the same one which is used of Adam in our first quotation regarding him, excepting that in Adam’s case there is no prefix, as in Eve’s case We give the sole references to Eve in the Bible, after the Genesis story. Nor is Eve even remotely referred to elsewhere in the Bible.

6. “The judgment was by one to condemnation,”–Rom 5:16

7. “By one man’s offence death reigned,-”

8. [death reigned] “by one,” -Rom. 5:17.

9. “By the offence of one judgment came
upon all men to condemnation,” –Rom. 5:18.

10. “By one man’s disobedience-” –Rom. 5:19.

11. “Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.”–Rom. 5:14.

Eight times over, Paul declares “one person” alone was accountable for the Fall, and twice mentions that person as “Adam.”

Some one may claim that “Adam” and the “one” spoken of in the Roman passages means “mankind.” But anthropos, not “Adam” is the Greek, or the N. T.. equivalent for “mankind.” Besides, Paul’s argument is this: “What one did of mischief, another One [Christ] is well able to undo;” and if we conceive, that, after all, Paul means “two,” we reduce Paul’s forceful statement to insanity. The Bible here teaches that “one person,” whom it explicitly states to be Adam, caused the Fall, or else no meaning can be found for its words. All the teaching of the N. T., in which Adam and Eve are mentioned, is to the effect that Adam was the chief offender, as the one “not deceived,” when the forbidden tree was partaken of. The greater culpability of Eve as causing the Fall is taught by tradition only.

But remember, we are now discussing the conduct of Adam and Eve at one point-in one incident only-of their lives. But that incident is the sin which has been held to have produced the Fall of our people. We again assert: The Bible nowhere holds Eve accountable for this particulate deed; and it does, in the plain, definite language we have just quoted from the N. T., hold Adam accountable for that deed.

It is not by one single verse, such as Gen. 3:16 (the correct translation and interpretation of which is doubtful-see future lessons), that Eve’s greater culpability can be established, in spite of clear statements to the contrary, and many other incidental Scriptural proofs. For instance, God asked Adam, “Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat” and He lays no such charge of express disobedience at the door of Eve. And also note that whereas the Almighty told the Serpent that his creeping gait, dust for his food, and his final mortal injury were to be “Because thou hast done this;” and whereas the Almighty told Adam that his drudgery, his fight with thorns and thistles, and his final return to the dust out of which he was made, were to be “because” Adam has done thus and so, God nowhere says that Eve’s sorrowful and oppressed part is “because” she has done anything. Rather, from the highly honoring words regarding Eve the Almighty has just addressed to the Serpent we have sufficient reasons for concluding that all this might result to Eve because God has elevated her to the honorable position of an enemy of Satan and progenitor of the coming Messiah. William Law says that Adam’s sin, which brought ruin to the world, “is not to be considered as that single act of eating,” but “his express open, voluntary act and deed” of “refusing to be that which God created him to be.” On Rom. 5:14, where “Adam’s transgression” is spoken of as causing death to the entire race, that high authority, Bengel’s Gnomen says, “Chrysostom on this passage shows exceedingly well, what Paul intended to prove by his argument, ‘that it was not the very sin of the transgression of the law [Eve transgressed it, under deception], but that of the disobedience of ADAM, this was what brought universal destruction.”‘ God holds accountable those with the most responsability. To whom much is given, much is required. Adam failed to protect Eden and Eve became entrapped. We can see the same thing happening today. The men, who do have the responsibility of protecting their wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters, did not put an end to the radical feminists of the 60’s. (not to be confused with women who simply want their God given rights and to be the associates and counselors to the men in their lives- but rather women who want to rule and subdue men and have a deep hatred for men) True Christian women should have as much love for their sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers and they do for their female relatives. True Christian women will not support abortion, lesbianism, no fault divorce, sexual promiscuity, reduction of men in the work force who are or at least should be working to bring money home to the wife and family, (employment is a responsibility of the husband – but earning money is a privilage of the woman) If feminists have their way, wives will be forced to pay alimony to men, women will be registered for military draft, other people will tell you how to raise your family, victims of domestic abuse will be expected to just get as strong as the man and then fight back, children will have the right to “divorce” their parents, and prostitution will be legalized. None of these things will benefit women. The men had a duty to protect their daughters from these harmful ideas, but did not. Now, the colleges are ripe with courses designed to instill hatred in women toward men. Hatred by men for women or by women for men is no way to run a healthy nation.

The rest of the story (excepting Gen. 3:16, which we next explain), on the very face of it, bears evidence of Eve’s favor with God, through her confession and faith. After the eating, God assigns to Adam his particular vocation (Gen. 3:19). Adam was to earn his bread by tilling the soil, “till thou return unto the ground, for out of it thou wast taken.” Eve was not taken out of the ground, in the same sense as Adam; when she became an identity apart from Adam, it was by God’s taking her out of Adam (Gen. 2:21).

DID GOD CURSE WOMEN?

Can anything be accomplished by clearing the reputation of one so remote in history as Eve? Much, in many ways. The false teaching that God is in some way punishing women for the sin of Eve, at certain times of anguish, has robbed women of much sympathy, and also furnished a cloak for sensuality, and for much unnecessary cruelty to women, throughout past ages, and up to the present hour. The teaching that God punishes Christian women for the sin of Eve is a wicked and cruel superstition, and unworthy the intelligence of Christians. But in addition to this, the doctrine has laid a blighting band upon woman’s self-respect, self-confidence and spiritual activity.

Woman had been constituted by God, in words addressed to Satan: (1) The progenitor of the coming destroyer of Satan and his power; (2) and in her own person also an enemy of Satan. This latter is a point of much importance to women, and generally passed over very lightly. With such an appointment as this to fulfill in life what would Satan, who knew it, wish done to woman, his enemy? It is not difficult to conjecture; he would have her so crippled she could not contend with him successfully. How better could he cripple her than to incite her husband,–the one living closest to her who has strength to do it–to hamper her activities as much as possible? And then, knowing of a Seed whose coming would be his doom, Satan would aim his sorest blows at her function of motherhood, (It is for this very reason that it should be clear – Satan is behind Feminism and its avowed destruction of motherhood) and torture her by every means that could be devised, in her child-bearing. How he would hate her every time she was about to become a mother!

Now all this, which common sense tells us Satan would most certainly wish to do, most Bible expositors (as we are about to show), tell us GOD DID. For once then, if God did so, God and Satan would be found working on the same side, for the same result. Can we imagine such a thing as this? God and Satan working harmoniously together in the treatment of women, after the same fashion, from the Fall in Eden as long as this world lasts?

Although Eve had given the evidences we have mentioned of having become one of the Household of Faith; although God had exalted her to a relation with believers equal to Abraham’s; although God had put enmity between her and Satan, so that she was no longer associated with God’s great enemy, yet the Bible commentary represents that God now turned and pronounced a curse, or several curses upon her. We are sure that if anyone would curse her under such conditions, it would not be God, but Satan, her enemy. Surely God and Satan would not unite to curse.

It is not necessary to translate the language addressed to Eve by the Almighty on this occasion, as our English Bible translates it. This teaching that God cursed Eve, and through Eve all women, comes over into theology from the Babylonian Talmud. Scripture nowhere says Eve was cursed, or women either. We do not accept as an authority that book of fables, the Talmud. Jesus Christ trampled the “traditions” of the Jews under His feet, and Paul warned solemnly against them, more than once. Our own spiritual experience as women, and the witness of the Spirit in our hearts, testify: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” As Christian women, we refuse to address ourselves to the task of working out Eve’s “curse” for sin, if indeed she ever had one. We will not deny the faith; we will not discount the sufficiency of the atonement.

But first, as to what theology teaches: The comments of Dean Alford-not the harshest by any means quite fairly represent the line of many, but not all theological teaching here, “I will greatly multiply the pain of thy pregnancy,” is his translation and he adds: “And yet, though this shall be so, the woman, as a second curse, shall desire again the occasion of this pain; and thirdly, [that is, note his words, in accordance with a third curse, “though the subject of all the suffering which accompanies the propagation of the race, she shall be subordinate, and ruled over by man.”

But what does all this mean if not that Adam, or man, is to be wonderfully rewarded for his part in that Garden fruit-eating? He is to be allowed to dictate, by his own whims, how much or how little physical suffering she is to endure, as the price of his fleshly indulgence! And has God so honored man for all time as to give him this, which often amounts to the power of life and death over a fellow creature, because Adam accused God of unwisdom and sheltered Satan from blame? We know very well who, if anyone, will reward man thus, if only we will exercise common sense,–the one whom Adam favored, Satan. If God and Satan both award man thus, here again we find for a third time these, two working together for the same result. We said a moment ago if anyone caused Eve to suffer, or cursed Eve it was her enemy, Satan; if anyone rewarded Adam for shielding Satan, it was Satan again.

Notice that Dean Alford names at least three curses from which, he says, woman is to suffer. But why did he not set forth all ten of them,–especially that one that declares that man was also to be awarded the privilege of practicing polygamy because of Eve’s sin? Christian theology dares not set forth the whole of the Talmudic teaching as to the “curses” of woman, in these enlightened days. It only ventures as far as the subordination of woman to the sensuality of man. To set forth the whole ten curses would effectually secure the condemnation of the whole, including the parts theology would keep. The “ten curses of Eve” will be found on p. 137 of Dr. Hershon’s “Genesis with a Talmudic Commentary” (Bagster, London), found in most of our large libraries. We will not soil our pages with all its filthy details, but one would have thought that any portion of such a document would have been considered so debased by corrupt association as to unfit it for incorporation into Bible instruction. We number them:

“TEN CURSES WERE UTTERED AGAINST EVE by the Jewish Talmud

1. ‘Greatly multiply’ refers to menustration etc.;

2. ‘thy sorrow’ in rearing children;

3. ‘thy conception’;

4. ‘in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children’;

5. ‘thy desire shall be unto thy husband’; [followed by language too coarse for reproduction. leaving no doubt of the rabbinical interpretation of “desire”] ;

6. ‘He shall rule over thee’ [more, and fouler language] ;

7. she is wrapped up like a mourner, i. e.

8. dares not appear in public with her head uncovered;

9. is restricted to one husband, while he may have many wives;

10. and is confined to the house as to a prison.”

The teaching of the Babylonian Talmud, in the “ten curses of Eve,” and in parts of it unfit for quotation, has since 1528 been allowed to settle the meaning of an obscure word in Genesis 3:16, as “desire”–and that against all the testimony of the most ancient versions of Scripture. We will bring out this point clearly. The teaching of the seventh and eighth curses has also been allowed to cast a shadow forward into the New Testament, and to pervert the meaning of St. Paul’s words about veiling in worship, in the 11th chapter of lst Corinthians.

THE FALSE INTERPRETATION.

But the need of a different translation and interpretation of Genesis 3:16 will scarcely be realized by those not familiar with the usual teachings to be found in our Bible commentaries, which defy principles of morality and justice, as well as outrage the sense of the original words, as can be proved by the ancient versions. Browne says, “Desire here expresses that reverential longing with which the weaker [woman] looks up, to the stronger.” Addis says “Woman is to desire man’s society, notwithstanding the pain and subjection which are the result.”

The assumption is more or less general that morbidly intense sensuality, when it displays itself in the female character, is of Divine manufacture. Knobel interprets God as saying, “Thou shalt be possessed by passionate desire for him.” Keil and Delitzsch, “She was punished with a desire bordering upon disease.” Dillmann comments on the passage: “The special punishment of the woman consists in the evils by which she is oppressed in her sexual vocation, in the position she occupies in her relation to man,” and yet, doubtless he would scarcely hesitate to pronounce such a relation “Holy Matrimony!” Driver declares “She shall desire his cohabitation, thereby at the same time increasing her liability to the pain of childbearing.” If this sensuality were the state of woman’s mind in general it would not be necessary to put a check upon their mental development.Calvin says, “This form of speech is . . . as if He [God] said, ‘Thou shalt desire nothing but what thy husband wishes’. She had, indeed, previously been subject to her husband, but that was a liberal and gentle subjection–; now, however, she is cast into servitude.” In other words, Calvin would have us believe God first ordained marriage, but afterwards substituted “servitude.” (We in no way wish to detract from the magnificent work of Calvin. His involvement in the Protestent Reformation brought spiritual freedom to men and women) Patrick, Lowth, etc., in their commentary declare of the husband that he shall have the power “to control thy desires,” but we have never known of a husband who could do more than control the outward acts of his wife. Poole elaborates this decree into, “Thy desires shall be referred to thy husband’s will and pleasure, to grant or deny them as he sees fit.” Dr. Adam Clarke says: “It is a part of her punishment, and a part from which even God’s mercy will not exempt her . . . Thou shalt not be able to shun the great pain and peril of child-bearing, ‘thy desire shall be to thy husband.’ . . . Subjection to the will of her husband is one part of her curse; and so very capricious is this will often, that a sorer punishment no human being can well have.”

But the astounding part of this teaching is, that these men fail to see that, if a wife must be under a “curse” because she is under a husband who exercises the cruelties that constitute that curse, this is equivalent to saying that God has ordained that man and marriage shall be a curse to woman. Such teaching relieves a husband of the duty to observe nearly the entire decalogue, if only the person he practices his transgressions upon happens to be the one he has vowed, before the marriage altar, that he will “love and cherish.” The truth is that a husband and family is intended by God to be a wonderful blessing to the woman.

-for son, her husband exhorted her to center it, rather, upon himself, saying, “Am I not better to thee than ten sons?” Hannah did not obey the expositor’s teaching as to Gen. 3:16, and God blessed her in this sort of “disobedience” to her husband, by sending the son. So we might go on illustrating the fact that. But does this teaching accord with the general tenor of Scriptural morals? Not at all. Abraham, once upon a time, desired to maintain a polygamous household, and Sarah objected. Did God speak to her about the matter, and say: “Remember Eve, and the penalty: Thy desire shall be thy husband?” He spoke to Abraham, saying: “In all that Sarah saith unto thee, obey her voice” (Gen. 21:12). The word rendered, in English, “hearken unto,” in this passage means obey, and it is translated “obey” in very many other passages,–such as Gen. 22:18. When Hannah centered all her “desire” upon a hoped for son, her husband had shown no zeal in enforcing this supposed “law” of His. But one quotation is sufficient to entirely destroy the fallacious interpretation of Gen. 3:16, and that is the well-known Golden Rule, uttered by Jesus Christ: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.” We have never yet found the man who longed to be ruled by the will of his wife. All men led by the Spirit of Christ obey this Golden Rule, which sets at defiance the so-called “law” of Gen. 3:16, as interpreted by these expositors.

But three passages speak to us against the specific sense that has been put upon that word “desire,” by most of the commentators. Lev. 20:18 is a law which punishes the wife, with the husband, if she should yield her will to his under improper conditions. This law necessitates the view that God holds woman as a free agent in the marriage relation. Further, the Apostle Paul, 1. Cor. 7:4, makes the authority of the wife precisely equal to the husband’s in the marriage relation, saying. “The husband hath not authority over his own body, but the wife.” We are quite aware that this verse has been reduced to a mere sophism by Bible commentaries. But “authority” does not mean “authority” at all, unless it comprehends the idea of being able to act with perfect independence either one way or in the precisely opposite way. The third passage is found in three of the Gospels (Matt. 24:19, Mark 13:17, Luke 21:23). It is the “Woe” of the Lord pronounced upon mothers (not fathers), found “with child,” or with sucklings at the time of the Great Tribulation, yet to come,–for, as Fronmiiller has said (referring–to these with other passages), woe is “an utterance . . . of frequent occurrence in the speeches of our Lord, expressive of pain and indignation, and conveying the threat of punishment.” It can by no means be given an exceptional meaning here.

It must, then, impress reasoning minds that the interpretation of Gen. 3:16 has had a history something like this: Men of old found a phrase here that seemed to have to do with woman’s relation to her husband, but it was beyond their comprehension. Unconsciously these men of olden time have consulted their own ideas of what a wife should be, in her relation to her husband, and inserted those ideas into their interpretation. The interpretation has been accepted by other men, without challenge, because it conformed to their unsanctified wishes, and handed on from generation to generation, until it became weighty through “tradition.” No effort, scarcely, has been put forth to reconcile such teachings with the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is not the intention to amend the verse but rather the interpretation and translation. Prejudice blinds men, even in their treatment of the Word of God, if a faulty rendering coincides with their preconceptions.

The Bible nowhere uses such an expression as “the curse” regarding women. We get the teaching about the woman’s “curse” wholly through tradition. Pain is invariably an outcry of God’s natural law against abuse; and pain must be contrary to God’s will. This is as true regarding the pain of childbirth as it is regarding any other sort of pain. If this were a lesson in Physiology, we could abundantly account for such suffering as some women endure periodically and in childbirth, quite apart from the fiction that God Himself inflicts such pain upon women.

SATAN’S LYING IN WAIT.

A clock needs a most careful fitting of all its parts. It is quite conceivable that a typewriter wheel might be used for other purposes, but it could never be fitted into a clock, to take the place of a broken clock wheel. It would be too heavy or too light; the rim too thick or too thin; the hub too big or too little, and the cogs too many or too few. It would prove to be a misfit all around; the clock would not keep proper time. So it is with Scripture: “Every word of God is tried,” and if we attempt to insinuate a false interpretation into it, it proves, on close inspection, a misfit all around. We shall demonstrate, by the misfit all around, that the usual interpretation of Gen. 3:16 is not correct. It bears a resemblance to the correct interpretation as a typewriter wheel may resemble a clock wheel, but it does not fit accurately anywhere.

As introductory, we go back to verse 15, “It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” “Bruise” is an obscure word; to quote Dr. Tayler Lewis, “The general sense of this passage is plain, but there is great difficulty in fixing the precise action intended by the Hebrew word shuph, in consequence of its occurrence but three times in the Bible.” The two other places are Job 9:17, “breaking,” and Psa. 139:11, “cover.” Now what word, could imply, according to its context, either bite, crush, break, or cover? That is the question,–for our verse certainly means that the serpent will bite the heel, and the “seed” of woman crush its head.

The sense “bruise,” so unsuitable for the figure of a biting serpent, has been fixed upon on account of St. Paul’s words, Rom. 16:20, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” But we have no proof that Paul meant to translate the word shuph; he may have meant merely to give the general sense of the phrase, as it relates to man’s part, which is clear to us all, whatever shuph means.

Some of the ancient versions translate, here, “lying in wait,” or a kindred idea; and on the strength of this the R. V. gives us this as an alternative meaning in the margin. But this leaves the thought incomplete–to say merely that the “seed” will “lie in wait for his head.” In that case, the seed of woman might in the end be defeated, while the real force of the prophecy is one of victory. No, shuph means something else, but we must leave the matter unsettled.

But why was the thought of “lying in wait” ever brought in here? This is an interesting point to raise. We hold that verse 16 should have been rendered, “Unto the woman He said. A snare hath increased thy sorrow,” –the word “snare” being, literally rendered, “a lying-in wait.” Instead, it is rendered, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow.” The difference between the two in Hebrew lies wholly in the interlinear vowel-signs of comparatively recent invention.(1) This would explain why the idea of “lying in wait” still clings to the passage, though it can scarcely be the meaning of the word shuph.

The thought was obliterated from the opening expression of verse 16, by the words being construed as “multiplying I will multiply” (literal for “I will greatly multiply”), and then it was reflected backwards as a possible sense for the obscure word shuph. In this connection we must recall that originally Hebrew had no divisions into verses, or even words.

We have said, and shown, that the idea of God’s passing a punitive sentence upon Eve, after the wonderful prophecy regarding her in verse 15, is inconsistent. But the rendering which we give is perfectly consistent with the context. We know that the Serpent was pronounced “subtil,” and Eve was said to have been “beguiled,” or deceived. Here, then, is a perfect fit in place of a misfit. This, as we believe, the correct rendering, became lost to us in the “days of mingling” – when the first version–the Greek–was made; when, as we have shown, the natural tendency would be, and was, to conform the story of Eve to the story of Pandora which would have been wrong.

We must now consider another portion of Eve’s so-called “sentence”,–“and thy conception;” especially that last word. When our Lord was on earth He promised us that, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”

We have before us such a case as this, in this supposed law of retribution upon all womanhood, because Eve sinned. The “sentence,” I will multiply . . . thy conception,” This word is spelled, in Hebrew HRN,–but that is not the correct Hebrew way to spell “conception.” The latter occurs, and correctly spelled, in Ruth 4:13 and Hosea 9:11, and nowhere else. The real word, “conception,” as it occurs in the above passages, is spelled HRJWN. This word in Genesis comes two letters short of spelling the word. All Hebrew scholars know this. For instance, Spurrell says: “It is an abnormal formation which occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament.” Our highest lexical authorities (Brown, Briggs and Driver) call it a “contraction, or erroneous.” While it is possible that the W of this word might be omitted in this particular formation, the J is a consonant of the root, and cannot be lost or omitted, particularly at the end of a phrase where the voice pauses or rests for awhile upon it; such is the Hebrew rule in an instance like this. The Septuagint gives the correct reading here, which is, “thy sighing,”–the whole sentence meaning, then, “A snare hath increased thy sorrow and thy sighing.” Many ancient authorities agree with the Septuagint.
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1. The difference is, between HaRBeh, AaRBeh, “multiplying I will multiply,” and HIRBah AoReB, “hath-caused-to-multiply,” (or “made great”), a lying-in-wait.”–the verb, an usual preceding Its nominative. The capital letters, alike in both phrases, alone constitute the original text. This participial form, ARB, occurs fourteen times In Joshua and Judges. It is translated “ambush,” and , liers-in-wait,” or “in ambush.” It is possible that we should read, here, “A lyer-in-wait (the subtil serpent) hath Increased thy sorrow.” Satan still attempts to set a snare for women by leading them in the wrong direction by insisting that they can find enduring and lasting love outside of marriage. Do not give in to men who are too sensual to wait until marriage demanding or beguiling you for things they shouldn’t. Satan is only using them to break your spirit. Stay on the side of Christ instead and only look toward real Christian men. They are out there – I have met many in The Knights.

GOD’S WARNING TO EVE

The N. T. teaches us that “He that committeth sin is of the devil….. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin….. In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil” (1 John 3:8-10). Eve repented; but there is no inference that Adam repented at this time, for he was expelled from the garden. What must have happened, after this? Before Cain could have been born (Gen. 4;1) either Adam must have repented and become again the child of God, or Eve must have turned from God and followed Adam out of Eden. The fact that Cain was a murderer certainly argues that Eve followed Adam.

Eve was, then, the first woman to forsake her (heavenly) kindred for her husband. She reversed God’s marriage law,-” Therefore shall a man forsake his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife.” Had Eve remained steadfast with God, Adam might through the double influence of God and Eve, have returned to God.

God spoke warningly to Eve at this time, telling her that she was inclining to turn away from Himself to her husband, and telling her that if she did so her husband would rule over her. The correct rendering of the next phrase of Gen. 3:16 is this: “Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he will rule over thee,”-not as it has been rendered, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband.” This assertion, as to the correct meaning of the phrase we shall now prove. As we have said before, a misinterpretation of a passage of Scripture can be proved by the misfit. The usual construction put upon the language of this verse fits accurately nowhere; the correct interpretation fits all around.

The original word used here is teshuqa, and as it only occurs three times in the Hebrew language, its sense must be fixed (1) by studying its relation to other words in the sentences where it occurs: (2) by studying its derivation and structure: (3) and by studying the way it is rendered in the ancient versions of Scripture.

To study its relations to other words, we will leave it untranslated, but, write it in its proper sentences, inserting the noun equivalents for the pronouns used.

Gen. 3:16, “-and-to-Adam, Eve’s teshuqa.”

Gen. 4:7, 11-and-to-Cain, Abel’s teshuqa”
(or perhaps sin’s teshuqa,

Sol. Song 7:10, “-and-to-the-Church Christ’s teshuqa”
(as usually interpreted).

Now compare. No verbs are expressed. The conjunction is one for all and also the preposition. This is true of the Hebrew original also. In fact there is no variety in the three sentences, excepting in the proper nouns implied in the pronouns used. The sense of the three passages must be similar.

All the stress of teaching woman’s supposed obligations to man is in the “shall be,” which is supplied by the translators. The force of the mandatory teaching, then, rests upon a hiatus in the sentence. If it be contended that the context proves that this is an imperative, then the previous sentences must be imperative, or the following. Must woman bear children in sorrow, whether she wishes to rejoice or not? Must the serpent bruise the heel of the woman’s seed, whether he will or not? As to the following clause: Must man rule woman, whether he will or no? We think women have more liberty in Christian countries than heathen because man loses the disposition to rule his wife when a Christian. (There is a difference between leading and ruling. A kind husband will lead his wife. But isn’t it said that a real leader leads without the led feeling like they’re actually being led. In other words, its not “you do this and you do this because I say so – As a parent may do {a parent does rule} but by Christian conduct, example, appreciation toward, protection of interests, and raising up a wife to enjoy life at his side – that is leadership – not rulership)

If this be a commandment of God, and man must rule woman, the more carnally-minded a man is the better he keeps that sort of “law!” But the Apostle Paul says: “The carnal mind . . . is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). Thus we see that the context does not prove that this “shall be’ of the sentence translated, “thy desire shall be to thy husband” is imperative. We can assert positively that this sentence is a simple future or present, warning woman of the consequences of her action. So it is rendered in all the ancient versions; never as an imperative. As a prophecy it has been abundantly fulfilled in the manner in which man has often ruled over woman, especially in heathen lands. But Jesus Christ said, as much of women as of men: “NO ONE can serve two masters.”

Compare again: The word teshuqa does not necessarily refer to the appetite between male and female, for it would then be out of place in the second sentence. And it does not necessarily imply the subordination of Eve to Adam, as the marginal reading of the A. V. puts it; for then, in the third sentence, Christ is subordinated to the Church, or according to the other interpretations of the Song of Solomon, the man is, at any rate, subordinated to the woman.

Nicholas Fuller, an eminent scholar, wrote an interesting chapter on this subject in a Latin work entitled Theological Miscellany, published in 1612. In reply to those who hold that the sense of the passage is, “the appetite of the wife is about to be in the power of the husband and subdued by him,” he says: “Just as if nothing would be longed for by the wife excepting what would be pleasing to the husband. Absurd notion! Others again wish the appetite to be understood as that by which a woman seeks marital dominion. And yet it is not very probable that this yoke is sustained by spontaneous longing for it . . . This is not effected by longing, then, but it is suffered because not declined. Besides, Scripture saith not, ‘The appetite of the wife shall be inclined to the dominion of the husband,’ but ‘to the husband’ himself. Wherefore, if teshuqa is allowed to be translated ‘appetite’ certainly this appetite is common and by nature reciprocal, and bending each in like manner to the other. Therefore, it displays a more equitable condition of life than dominion. Nay, moreover, if this form of speech declares the appetite for a ruler, Christ would adopt the Church as His ruler, for in the same manner the Church speaks, when, of Christ as a Spouse, in, ‘I am my beloved’s, towards me is His appetite,’ as indeed they would there translate.”

Lewis’ note in Lange’s Commentary declares: “The sense of this word [teshuqa] is not libido, or sensual desire.”

As to the structure, and derivation of teshuqa, apparently it is derived from the verb shuq, meaning in its simplest form “to run.” The prefix, te, gives the word an abstract sense, and it corresponds to our termination, –“ness,” in such words as “goodness,” “kindness,” etc. The ending a, is added to give the word the feminine form usual to Hebrew abstract nouns. If this word is taken from the intensive form of the verb, it would bear the sense “to run repeatedly,” that is “to run back and forth.” But to keep running back and forth would necessitate frequent turning, and hence the word might easily have the derived sense of “turning;’ and an abstract noun be derived there from, not meaning a literal “turning,” but a quality of the character, a “turning,” The sense “desire” has come to us from the Talmud, in the “Ten Curses of Eve.” All the most ancient versions, :is we will show in our next, give the idea of “turning,” and that alone, for this Hebrew word “teshuqa.”
THE ANCIENT RENDERINGS OF TESHUQA.

The SEPTUAGINT GREEK version of the Old Testament is the most important of all the versions. It is also the most ancient. Tradition says it was the work of seventy-two scholars, and its name means “seventy.” Made at Alexandria, about 285 B. C., certainly more was known about Hebrew then than at any time since. The version was much in favor among the Jews until the Christians used its translation of the prophecies to prove that Jesus was the Messiah, when it fell under Jewish displeasure. Nearly every quotation from the Old Testament to be found in the New, is an exact reproduction of the Septuagint reading. This accounts for N. T. quotations not seeming always accurate. Dean Stanley says: “If there ever was a translation which, by means of its importance, rose to a level with the original, it was this. It is, not the original Hebrew, but the Septuagint, which is the Bible of the evangelists and the apostles of the first century, and of the Christian Church for the first age of its existence . . . Whatever may be the value of the Hebrew text itself, or its value in the present Jewish Church, or the present Church of Western Europe, the Septuagint was the text sanctioned probably by our Lord Himself, certainly by the apostles.” The Pentateuch of the Septuagint is especially esteemed for its accuracy. This version renders teshuqa into the Greek word apostrophe in both passages in Genesi. The former word, apostrophe, is familiar to us all: it means “turning away,” and the latter, “turning to.” The teaching is, that Eve is turning away from God to her husband, and, as a consequence of that deflection, Adam will rule over her.

Next in order of excellence is the SYRIAC PESHITTO of the second, or perhaps first, century after Christ. This version gives the same sense, rendering, “thou shalt turn,” (Gen. 3:16); “will turn” (Gen. 4:7), and “turning” for the third passage. We have only the Pentateuch in the SAMARITAN version. It translates both the passages in Genesis, “turning.” The OLD LATIN version gives “turning” in all three places. We have a COPTIC (Sabidic), of not great value, which gives the same rendering for the first and third passage; and the more valued BOHAIRIC COPTIC which so renders the passage in the first two. These two copies are not complete Bibles, but fragments. The AETHIOPIC version of about 500 A. D. renders all three passages by words signifying “turning.” In fact, as regards the third passage, all the ancient versions without any exceptions whatever, give no other sense but “turning” for teshuqa.(1)

Now as to some variations in the rendering of the passages in Genesis: The Talmud, as we have shown, sets forth the teaching that God pronounced “Ten Curses” upon Eve; but the Talmud is not a translation of the Scriptures, but a compilation of the traditions of the Jews. The fifth, sixth and the ninth of these “curses” supply the sense “lust” for the Hebrew word teshuqa, together with the teaching that woman must center her “desire” upon her husband alone; his “desire” could wander away to other women. From this immoral teaching the English rendering has its sole original authority, so far as we have been able to trace, after very much research. After the Septuagint came into disfavour with the Jews, AQUILA, a proselyte to Judaism, in close touch with Jewish scholars of the second century after Christ, made a Greek translation of the Hebrew, to offset the errors, as was claimed, of the Septuagint. His translation does not exist, so far as known. But Origen compiled a work called the Hexapla, in which he gave the variations between the Septuagint and Aquila’s renderings. According to the Hexapla, Aquila has rendered this word “coalition,” or “alliance”–a not unnatural sense, since Eve is represented as turning from God to form an alliance with her husband. Origen gives information also in his Hexapla of two other Greek versions made shortly after Aquila’s, both of them, likewise, under the influence of Judaism. Of these, SYMMACHUS follows Aquila in Gen. 3:16, according to some authorities, but other manuscripts use another Greek word here, namely, horme, “impulse,” and there is strong testimony that this latter word was employed by Symmachus in Gen. 4:7. We have not yet mentioned the third Greek translation: All we know of THEODOTION’S renderings is, that he used “turning” in Gen. 4:7.

Jerome’s LATIN VULGATE was made about 382 A. D. He went to Palestine and studied Hebrew under Jewish rabbis. He renders the first passage, “Thou shalt be under the power of a husband, and he will rule over thee.” The first phrase is mere guess-work; it is no translation of the original words. The second passage reads, “his appetite,”–whatever that may mean in a relation between brothers. The third passage reads, ‘his turning.” The ARABIC is of most uncertain date; probably not earlier than the tenth century. It renders the word teshuqa in the three places, respectively, “direction,” “moderation” and “turning.”

A TARGUM is not a translation, but a paraphrase,–the Synagogue explanation of the sense of Scripture. The TARGUM of ONKELOS, or Chaldee Paraphrase, was published at Babylon, and therefore would, conform quite closely to the traditions embodied in the Babylonian Talmud which teaches the “ten curses of Eve.” This Targum–the most reliable one–relates only to the Pentateuch. It renders, “lust” in the first passage, and “turning” in the second. A very unreliable Targum, accredited wrongly to “Joseph the Blind,” of about the eleventh century, renders “lust” in the third passage.

Wiener says: “The coincidences of truth are infinite. In other words, the true hypothesis explains all difficulties.” Let us apply this scientific test to our claim that teshuqa means “turning:”

Aquila and Synunachus assume that Eve “turns” to make an alliance with her husband, hence they translate “alliance.” Or, according to other readings, Symmachus assumes that the “turning” is rather, as yet, an impulse, than an act,–he translates “impulse.” (This Greek word for “impulse” does not necessarily imply a sensual impulse. It is used in Acts 14:5, and translated “assault,” and in James 3:4,–not rendered in the A. V., but the R. V. reads: “whither the impulse of the steersman willeth.”) The Arabic reasons, “If Eve is about to turn away from God, it must be in some direction;” so it renders, “direction.” Jerome plainly shows he does not know what teshuqa means, but since the latter part of the phrase refers to the man’s part,–“he will rule over thee,”–he concludes that the beginning of the passage must refer to woman’s position, and renders, “Thou shalt be under the power of a husband.”

Likewise, the sense “turning” reconciles the three passages one with another, whereas the sense “desire” puts them in utter conflict. Eve is “turning” from God, and He warns her that if she does this, she will fall under the dominion of Adam. Abel is “turning” toward Cain, in all the confidence of a younger and unsuspecting brother. God warns Cain prophetically that this confiding approach of his brother will be a temptation to slay him in his defenselessness. The third passage is a joyful boast of the bridegroom’s favor and attention, “He is turning to me.”

Prof. H. G. Mitchell of Boston University, in his book, The World Before Abraham,” has well represented the general sense of the phrase translated, “thy desire shall be to thy husband.” He says, “This interpretation, however, is not altogether satisfactory. The word here used is found only in two other places in the 0. T., Gen. 4:7 and Cant. 7:10. In the former of these two passages, if it means anything, if must mean mere inclination, or something equally removed from sensuality: and in the latter, where a man is the subject, it has the force of affection, devotion. There is therefore ground for the opinion that the author in this passage intended to make Jehovah say that the very tenderness ‘ of the woman for the husband would [eventually] enable him to make and keep her his inferior.
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1. [Later Note:] We may count here also the ARMENIAN versions, I think, of the fifth century which affords the sense “circuit” for all three passages

HISTORY OF THE TRANSLATION OF TESHUQA.

Were the teaching true that all women must suffer pain and servitude for the sin of Eve, then it were pertinent to ask, Why must they suffer thus,–because they are Eve’s offspring? Are not men equally the offspring of Eve? The only answer is, “Because they are female offspring.” But who made them female offspring, –women or God? GOD. Then are we taught that God is punishing women, not for their own fault, not because they are sinners, not even because Eve sinned; God is punishing women for what He Himself made them–because they are women, not men. Away with such an attack upon God’s reputation for justice! And further, the idea that “sorrow,” in this verse means labour pains, or periodical suffering in women, is far-fetched; the same word is used of Adam in the very next verse. This word is not used for such suffering anywhere in all the Scriptures.

Since this passage in Genesis, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband,” has been the cause of much immorality among men, in the cruelty and oppression they have inflicted upon their wives; since this false translation has been the cause of much degradation, unhappiness and suffering to women; and since this translation has been made the very keystone of an arch of doctrine subordinating woman to man, without which keystone the arch itself falls to pieces; and since the Apostle Paul’s utterances on the “woman question” are always interpreted as though this perversion of the sense of Gen. 3:16 was his accepted foundation upon which he builds his super-structure, it behooves us to review again the history of the ancient translation of the word teshuqa, and this we will do with the aid of the appended table:

RENDERING OF TESHUQA IN ANCIENT VERSIONS

Name of the Ancient Version
Approximate date
Translation of Tesuqua
Gen. 3:16, Gen. 4:7, Cant. 7:10

1. SEPTUAGINT GREEK
285 B.C.
turning
turning
turning

2. SYRIAC PESHITTO
100 AD
to 50 AD
wilt turn
wilt turn
wilt turn

3. Samaritan,of the Pentateuch only
turning
turning
turning

4. The Old Latin
200 A. D.
turning
turning
turning

5. Sahidic
300 A. D.
alliance
unknown
unknown

6. Boharic
350 A.D.
turning
turning
unknown

7. Aethiopic
500 A.D.
turning
turning
turning

8. Arabic
Uncertain
direction
moderation
turning

VERSIONS MADE UNDER RABBINICAL INFLUENCE:

9. Aquila’s Greek
140 A.D.
alliance
unknown
unknown

10. Symmachus’ Greek
160 A.D.
alliance
impulse (1)
unknown

11. Theodotion’s Greek
185 A.D.
unknown
turning
unknown

12. LATIN VULGATE
382 A.D.
power
appetite
turning

PURELY RABBINICAL TEACHING:

BABYLON TARGUM
Pentateuch only
Babylon Talmud

800 A.D. (2)
lust

lust
turning
lacking

From this Table we readily see that of the twelve ancient versions, 10 furnish us with the rendering”turning”, in at least one passage.

Of the 28 known rendering of teshuqa, in the above Table, the word is rendered “turning” 21 times.

In the 7 remaining renderings, only 2 seem to agree; all the others disagree.

With such testimony as this before us (and we have quoted every ancient version we have been able to find, and none of importance, as likely to shed the least light on the meaning of this word are omitted from the list), we can see no justification for rendering this word “desire.” Even the Babylonian Targum renders it “turning” in the second passage (Gen. 4:7), and thus lends its authority to this sense. Nothing but that rabbinic perversion and addition to the Scriptures, teaching that God pronounced ten curses on Eve (something that Scripture nowhere teaches) seems to be at the bottom of this extraordinary reading. A hint of such a meaning for teshuqa as “lust” seems to have crept into the Bible through Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. But even he did not give the sense “appetite” for the word as relates to Eve, but as to Abel; and further, even Jerome adds his authority, in his translation of the third passage, to the sense “turning”, and for 3:16, in his writings.

But let us now trace the adoption of “desire” into the English versions. In 1380 appeared the first English version by Wycliffe. It was not made from the Hebrew original, but from the Latin Vulgate, and it follows its readings in all three places. The Douay Bible, of 1609, of the Roman Catholic Church, is also a reproduction of the Latin Vulgate. Putting these two on one side as mere translations of the Vulgate, we turn to the others.

After Wycliffe’s version, and before any other English Bible appeared, an Italian Dominican monk, named Pagnino, translated the Hebrew Bible. The Biographie Universelle, quotes the following criticism of his work, in the language of Richard Simon: “Pagnino has too much neglected the ancient versions of Scripture to attach himself to the teachings of the rabbis.” What would we naturally expect, therefore? That he would render this word “lust,” and that is precisely what he does in the first and the third place; in the second, he translates, “appetite.”

Pagnino’s version was published at Lyons in 1528. Seven years later, in 1535, Coverdale’s English Bible appeared, published at Zurich, probably. Tyndale’s version, in sections, had appeared in the time between Pagnino’s and Coverdale’s, published at Cologne and at Worms. It is to be noted that these were days of persecution, when no English Bible could have been published in England, and this may in part account for these versions being influenced by Pagnino. At any rate, from the time Pagnino’s version appeared, every English version, excepting the two Vulgate translations we put on one side, has followed Pagnino’s rendering for the first passage, up to the present day. As to the second passage, Cranmer’s Bible (1539) first introduced “lust” into this place, which was later followed by the Geneva Bible, and the Authorised and Revised versions. But Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew (John Rogers) and Cranmer all retained “turning” in the third passage. But the three latest Protestant Bibles, Geneva, Authorised and Revised, have obliterated all trace of any other sense but “desire.” The reading of the older English Bibles which follow Pagnino is, “Thy lust (or lusts) shall pertayne to thy husband.”

Now will you please turn to the Title Page of your Bible. If you have an Authorised Version, you will read the assurance given to the reader, that the Book has been “Translated out of the original tongues; and with the former translations diligently compared and revised.” If you have a Revised Version of 1884, it will claim to be “the version set forth A. D. 1611 compared with the most ancient authorities and revised.” These assurances do not hold good, in this case where the status and welfare of one-half the human race is directly and vitally concerned; and the highest good of the other half just as vitally concerned, if even more remotely and less visibly. Pagnino’s word has been retained against the overwhelming authority of the ancient versions.

ADDITIONAL NOTE.

It Is to be noted that the Church Fathers seem to be ignorant of any other sense but “turning” for this word. We have noted that the following employ “turning,” in one, two, or all three passages: Philo (a Jew–not a Ch. Father died 60 A. D.), Clement of Rome (d. 100), Irenaeus (d. 202), Tertullian (born 160), Origen (b. 186), Epiphanius (b. 310 in Palestine), Jerome (b. 335,–in both Genesis verses, in spite of his. own different renderings), Ambrose (b. 340), Augustine (b. 354), and Theodoret (b. 386).

In spite of the plain sense of the Greek words apostrophe and evistrophe, and ‘the Latin rendering of teshuqa, conversio (all conveying, in their root, the sense of “turning”), the well known translation of the Church Fathers, published by T. and T. Clark of Edinburgh, renders the word “desire,” in these passages. But these words cannot be lawfully rendered thus.
1. or alliance

2. We give this date for the publication of the Talmud on the high authority of Prof. D.S. Margoliouth, M.A., of Oxford, in his valuable work, Lines of Defense of the Biblical Revelation. The date has often been fixed as early as 300 A.D.

At the point where this immoral teaching begins to find an entrance into the Bible (but not in the first but second passage, Gen. 4:7), in the second century, are three versions of the Greek made by Jews and Judaizers with the express object of emphasizing the teachings of the Jews, where they differed from the Christian teachings. Jerome who translated the Latin Vulgate Version, was instructed for his work by rabbis, and shows the same influence.

Notice particularly that this teaching,–“thy desire shall be to thy husband,” first got full expression through an Italian Dominican Monk, Pagnino (written Pagninus in Latin). Shortly after his version, several English versions appeared; and following his reading they use the word “lust,” softened to “desire” in the later English versions. What do we know of his translations? Richard Simon, quoted in the Biographie Universelle, declares: “Pagnino has too much neglected the ancient versions of Scripture to attach himself to the teachings of the rabbis,”–just what we should have expected to learn. Following him, to the neglect of ancient versions, the English translators have not, in regard to Gen. 3:16, set forth the proper sense of teshuqa.

They Were To Be One

Prior to their transgression, the man and the woman were one. There was no need for rulership – it was swallowed up in the simplicity of their union! To the extent that grace works in the heart of the male, he loses the love of any preeminence of the desire to rule over his wife.

Before the fall, the authoritarian man and submissive woman aren’t visible. The frustrated woman withstanding man’s aggressiveness came after sin and death had gained control of mankind. Before the fall, none of this existed. There is not a single Scripture that indicates it was there.

There is something greater than obedience. The operation of authority and submission necessitates two wills-one must come under and submit to the other. Thus, obedience is not the ultimate order of things. The highest order of anything is to become it! God wants more than our obedience. He desires us to become one with His will..His one will.

Jesus Christ was the pattern for this. In His incarnation He descended from the realm of perfect order and worship into this lower realm of chaos and death, that He might deliver his children from it. Jesus identified with broken and sinful humanity by lowering Himself into a relationship of authority and submission to the Father. Before His incarnation, He and the Father were one. Jesus humbled Himself even further and submitted to Joseph and Mary, and to the law.

Some may suppose these thoughts to belittle the truth of authority and submission; to the contrary, they put this vital principle in its proper perspective. Spiritual authority is the only biblical truth that will experientially bring us out from under the curse! By this primary principle Jesus Christ in His sonship walked out from under bondage and futility, bringing us up and out with Him!

God’s ultimate intention is for man and woman to be one within the rent veil, within the Most Holy place, the place of Jesus’ finished work. When the will of the man is one with the will of his God, and the will of the woman is one with the will of her God, their name or nature becomes one. Authority and submission is then swallowed up in singleness and union-the will of the man and the woman harmonize in complete agreement with the Lord. Two become one in the purest and fullest sense of the word.

“They shall be one flesh” (Gen.2:24; compare Deut.6:4). The word for “one” is ‘echad and means “united.” This is a compound unity rather than a single entity. It takes more than one thing to make an ‘echad-a united togetherness. The word for single or solitary is yachiyd. Adam was yachiyd. Eve was yachiyd, but God joined them together to become an ‘echad! Paul quoted this verse in Ephesians 5:31 to describe the relationship between Christ and His Church.

Women Can Make Decisions

Men have often, even to the present time, been unable to see the truth of God regarding women, as revealed in the Word. Smith’s Bible Dictionary, under the topic, Law of Moses, subhead, Husband and Wife, makes this sweeping assertion as regards women: “The power of a husband (was) so great that a wife could never be sui juris (a law unto herself), or enter independently into any (!) engagement even before God.” The whole proof of this astounding assertion, as given by the writer of these words, is in Numbers 30:6-15. This is not a solitary instance by any means in theology of “tracing the ever-widening spiral ergo from the narrow aperture of a single text.”

Please open your Bibles to this passage. The first instance cited is that of a daughter, in the father’s house, vowing a vow. The two kinds of vows here mentioned seem to include vows of abstinence and vows of giving. The nature of some of these vows is described in Gen. 28:20, a vow to give; and 1 sam.14:24, Psa. 132:3,4, 5, vows to abstain. Here we have the provision: “If a woman voweth a vow . . being in her father’s house in her youth; and her father heareth her vow . . and holdeth his peace at her: then all her vows . . shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; none of her vows . . shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.”

Now please observe: first, the express reading of this statute permits a daughter to make a vow on her own initiative: second, the father could only disallow that vow by action taken immediately upon the information reaching him; third, there is no provision requiring her to carry the information that she has made the vow to her father. Moses’ statute relating to this matter would not be broken, then, should a girl make a vow entirely independently of her father, without his knowledge or consent.

It is quite likely that in the use of the words “in her youth,” “childhood is scarcely contemplated, the child, whether male or female, probably being assumed to be incapable under any circumstances of making a vow. The class contemplated…would consist of young marriageable but unmarried women.” Now let us suppose a case. Without arguing that it would be right for a girl to conceal her vow, we can imagine that a young woman might, if her mother were ill, say, “Oh, Lord, heal her, and I will take to the Tabernacle for sacrifice this choice little lamb.” The mother gets well, and the grateful daughter, having an uneasy feeling that her father will not consent, goes quietly and makes her offering, not letting him know that she has made such a vow.

The father hears of the deed accidentally, and rushes after the daughter. But already the priest, who is covetous, has offered the lamb, and taken his share, without caring to know whether the father consents or not. The angry father then makes his way to the head of his tribe, and lays the case for the recovery of a lamb before him. Now judge of this Mosaic statute from precisely the same standpoint that we would judge a law of this country today, and what would the lawyer say to the father?

“I am very sorry for you, sir. You have lost a fine lamb. Your daughter has done wrong, and the priest has taken advantage of the situation. But I am bound to say, the law will not help you out, and I cannot advise you to bring the case into court. I think that statute sadly needs amending. You see, it makes no provision requiring consultation with the father before a vow is made by a daughter; and again, it does not oblige her to let her father know, when she makes a vow. He has to find out in the best manner he can; and if he does not find out in time, he has to take the consequences, and there is no redress, and will be none until we get this law amended.”

But that Mosaic statute never was amended; so when Dr. William Smith, in his Bible Dictionary, asserts that a woman “could never be sui juris, nor enter independently into any engagement even before God,” and quotes this law to prove it, he has quoted a Mosaic Law which proves nothing of the sort. For as we shall presently show, the case of the wife is very similar. The provision made here is somewhat like a certain provision relating to the solemnization of marriage in the United States, where the publication of the marriage in advance is not required. At the marriage ceremony, in the presence of the witnesses and assembled guests, the minister utters the following: “If anyone knows cause, or just impediment, why these two should not be joined together, let him declare it here and now, or forever after hold his peace.” Someone might know a real cause, a very just impediment, but if that certain person did not know when the wedding took place, or neglected to be on the spot to object, what could he do afterwards? Just so, the father of the girl who “vowed a vow” under this Mosaic statute, excepting that the Mosaic law did not even provide that the officiating priest call for objectors to the sacrifice. To claim all that Dr. Smith does under this statute for the subordination of the daughter to the father, or the wife to the husband, would be as great an exaggeration as to claim that a young man in the United States “could never be sui juris or enter independently into any engagement even to marry a young woman.”

This statute was never enacted with the object of strengthening a father’s rule over his daughter, but for quite a different reason ,i.e., to protect the inexperienced, and to protect property from covetous priests, who might influence the inexperienced to make rash vows. The conclusion of the matter, in case the father disallows the vow is as follows: “The lord will forgive her.” Why is she forgiven; because it was a rash vow? The Bible does not so state. Because she has repented that she did not inform her father of the vow she made? The Bible says nothing about such offenses here, as it certainly would have done, had the law been designed to strengthen the father’s power over the daughter. “The Lord shall forgive her because her father disallowed her,” the text says.

“If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a person hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor.8:12). This is the teaching of this Mosaic statute.

Leviticus 27:1-25 tells us a great deal about the nature of vows. These might consist of the offering to the service at the Tabernacle of (1) persons; (2) cattle; (3) houses; (4) and fields. There was also the more unusual vow of abstinence, probably referred to in Numbers 30:13, in the words, “binding oath to afflict the soul.” this word for “bond,” verses 3,4,5, etc., in Numbers thirty, is found nowhere else in Hebrew, though the corresponding verb “to bind,” is not uncommon. It goes with the womanly nature to practice these forms of abstinence and self-affliction in all religions; and in this chapter, at this point, we may find a merciful provision to put a restraint upon excesses in such vows, needed in the case of women, but not so much in the case of men.

Vows, though entirely voluntary in the making, could not be left unperformed, (Deut.23:22,23), no matter how rash (Lev.5:4), without incurring guilt. The Speaker’s Commentary tells us: “A large proportion of vows would always relate to the presentation of…. offerings.” Such offerings, together with other offerings, went to the support of the Tabernacle service, and to the maintenance of the priesthood, so that covetous priests would have an interest in their kind and richness. We have an extreme case of this covetousness recorded in the sons of Eli, 1 Sam.2:17.

Says the same writer quoted above: “It is probable that this fresh legislation [relating to woman’s vows] was occasioned by some case of practical difficulty that had recently arisen, and it is addressed by Moses to the heads of the tribes; who would in their judicial capacity have to determine questions on these subjects: and would also represent the class specially interested in obtaining relief…from vows made by persons in their families who had no independent means.” We could have said all this ourselves, but then we might be accused of going beyond the legitimate inferences to be drawn, to conform them to our conclusions.

There is real significance in the fact that widows and divorced women were held, like men, to full responsibility for their vows. Hence we know that it was no mere teaching of the subordination of woman to man which led to this piece of legislation. The word translated “widow” means in the Hebrew femme sole, that is, “the solitary woman,” and would doubtless have applied also to any mature unmarried woman of those times who owned property. These were supposed to have absolute control over their own property, to vow it away (Num.30:9).

In those days as in these, the young daughter and the wife would not have much property under their own control, and hence the father and husband would stand in such relation to them as to be able, to a large extent, to control their vows. But as we said previous, this statute in no wise obliges the woman to consult her father or husband before determining to make a vow, or determining the form or value of her offering. Nor does the statute compel or direct her to convey the intelligence to her male relative as to the vow she has made. In fact, the precise form of words used would seem to imply as much. According to Grey, verse 4 should read. “and her father comes to hear her vow,” and the Speaker’s Commentary says, further, “It would almost necessarily be brought to his knowledge when the time for performance of it arrived, If not sooner.” The real object, then, of these statutes, is to provide a proper time when the one who controlled the family property might show reason why he objected to relinquishing that control to the extent that daughter or wife might make a suitable offering; and doubtless his refusal to relinquish that control could be justified only by his showing that the offering was in some sense not suitable, to the satisfaction of the “heads of the tribes,” to whom the enforcement of the statute had been committed by Moses.

The objection must be made “on the day that he heareth,” in the case of either father or husband (verses 5,12). This expression is defined further in verses 14, “from day to day,” an expression which means “within a few days.” In the case of the husband, who was dealing with a woman of sufficient maturity to be his wife, it is significant that if he “broke her vow,” (for that is the precise meaning of the word “made void”), after he had been silent for awhile, “then he shall bear her iniquity,” verse 15.

But someone will say: “Why did not Moses give the mother and the wife an equal control over the son’s and the husband’s vows? Then the case would be equal, and equality of the sexes maintained.” Moses did not create this matter of control by the husbands and fathers; and he could not have created an equality of this sort, between women and men, had he wished it. Here is where the mistake is made, in quoting Moses as the author of these things. Law is made to control lawlessness; its object is negative; law cannot by enactments, create a non-existent good. It inheres in the nature of things that women who marry and devote themselves to domestic pursuits must be more or less dependent upon the business activity of their husbands, just as men are dependent upon the domestic activity of their respective wives. And so must the young daughter be dependent on the father’s business activity.

These vows extend to the right even to vow away children to the Tabernacle service. The case of Hannah who vowed away her son Samuel, compared with the case of Jephthah, who dedicated his daughter to perpetual service as a virgin at the Tabernacle, is most instructive. Jephthah, all men would say, vowed without consulting the mother of his daughter, Judg.11:30; and likewise Hannah’s husband does not seem to have been consulted, when she vowed, any more than Jephthah’s wife,1 Sam. 1:9,10,11. If the mother of Jephthah’s daughter seems to have had no part in this dedication of his daughter, so the father of little Samuel seems to have had no part in Samuel’s dedication. This account of the dedication of a son to a life-long pursuit, without the father being described as taking any part in the same, is strikingly unlike the theological description of those times, which declares that the wife “could not be sui juris, or enter independently into any engagement even before God;” and we believe that if the Bible had wished to teach any such thing concerning those ancient days, the story of Hannah would have been written after this fashion: “Having fully gained her husband’s consent, Hannah vowed a vow and said.’… ‘If thou wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then, with my husband’s permission, we will together give him unto the Lord;” and verse 22 would have read, “I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then, “since you are willing, “we will bring him, that he may…abide there forever.” And she and the father, Elkanah, would later have stood before Eli, while the father said: “My wife prayed for this child…therefore, at her earnest desire I have consented to dedicate the child to the Lord.” But nothing of this sort is recorded, and therefore we have asserted that Dr. Smith teaches Bible students to draw sweeping conclusions from small premises, in the conclusions he draws from Numbers 30. 1. We accept Dr. Adam Clarke’s refutation of the popular idea that Jephthah’s daughter was sacrificed as a burnt offering; she was merely dedicated to the Tabernacle service with a burnt offering, and this is all Jephthah’s vow implied. However, in many popular college women’s study courses they will tell you that the Bible taught this exact perversion – the father so powerful that he could sacrifice his daughter while receiving the approval of God. What a lie – a Satanic lie.

Must a Wife ALWAYS Obey?

This should be studied with both an Authorized and Revised Version at hand. Two words are constantly confused in reference to woman’s duties, “subjection” and “obedience”. But these words do not in the original Greek cover the same scope of meaning, although sometimes subjection may go all the lengths of blind obedience. The verb “to be in subjection” is from hupo, meaning “next after” or “under,’ and tasso, “I arrange,” and means “to arrange after” or to “arrange under,’as soldiers are arranged, file after file, or under a captain. The noun “subjection” is not found (in Classical Greek) outside the N.T. and we are left to infer that it was coined to describe a relation peculiar to believers. Had the word merely meant “obedience,” such an invention would have been needless. The verb itself is comparatively rare outside the Bible. The A.V. often translates it as “obey” and “submit,” but the R.V. carefully translates these words as “subjection” and “be in subjection” wherever they occur, distinguishing them in sense from “obedience”. See the difference between the A.V. and R.V. at 1 Cor.14:34, Tit.2:5, etc.

The true sense of the word describes the Christian grace of yielding one’s preferences to another, where principle is not involved, rather than asserting one’s rights. Schleusner’s Greek-Latin Lexicon to the Septuagint declares that this verb does not always “convey the thought of servile subjection”. Jesus, as a boy, was “subject to His parents”, yet we know that He did not even consult them when He was “about His Father’s business”, Luke.2:49,51.

Two men cannot be long in partnership in business unless willing to be “in subjection” to each other. They must yield preferences; they must “in honour prefer one another;” they must harmonize their views, one to the other, or else they will soon be obliged to separate. They cannot better the situation if a question arises and one assumes the right to command the other. To obey orders like this is not “subjection” but servility, and man refuses to be servile, for that would be degrading to character. This indicates the difference in sense between the two words, as applied to the relation of believers. In 1 Cor.15:28 we are told of a time when Christ will become “subject” to His Father. But we certainly know that Christ will never be less than equal with the father in the Godhead. There was a time when, as Son of man, for our sakes, “He took on Him the form of a servant”, but since then, “God hath highly exalted Him”, and He will never again become reduced in rank, nor will He ever pass under the Father’s coercion. This word speaks of loving harmony, not of impassable ranks, superior and inferior.

That “to be in subjection” does not mean “to obey” necessarily, is shown because the Apostles, who so plainly taught “subjection” to the “higher powers”, Rom.13:1,5; Tit.3:1; 1 Pet.2:13, were constantly getting into difficulty with these same powers through disobeying them. The Apostles were not guilty of the inconsistency of teaching one thing and practicing another. When they could harmonize their conduct with human laws and not injure their work, they did so. But this very Peter who commanded, “Be subject to every ordinance of man”, when brought to account for a manifest disobedience to the commands of Jewish and Roman rulers, answered merely: “We ought to obey god rather than men” (See Acts 5:29). If “subjection” meant always all that “obedience” means, no monstrous tyrant could ever be dethroned by righteous revolution on the part of Christian citizens. Disobedience to human rule may become one’s highest duty to God and our fellow-beings. “Subjection” would teach a humble, a conciliatory spirit, not a servile one.

In Eph.5:21, the Apostle says, in exhortation to all believers, without regard to sex, “Subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ” (R.V.). Peter says to all believers, without regard to sex, “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility”, 1 Pet.5:5. These passages clearly enjoin “subjection” upon men, yet all feel instinctively that they cannot mean that men must pass under the arbitrary control of each other when they become Christians.

In Phil.4:3 the Apostle Paul says: “I entreat thee…help those women who laboured with me in the Gospel”. We know, from Rom.16:1,2, that Phebe had laboured with the Apostle, in certain ways of helping. In Rom.16:3 Priscilla is called by Paul “my helper”, (“fellow- helper”,R.V.); at verse 12, Tryphena and Tryphosa are mentioned as women “who laboured in the Lord”, also Persis, who “laboured much in the Lord”. These were all women; yet the Apostle, at 1 Cor.16:16 says: “I beseech you, brethren… that you submit yourselves” (“be in subjection”,R.V)…”to everyone that helpeth with us and laboureth”. He had just come from Corinth, where he had been labouring with Priscilla and Aquilla, and there, as well as at Ephesus, whence he sent this letter to Corinth, his chief helper was Priscilla. Here then is a very clear command which at least included men, to “be in subjection”, to women, who were certainly included in the body of “every one that helpeth with us and laboureth’. It seems clear that “subjection” in this case cannot mean exactly the same as “obedience”.

Yet after all this, when we come to the three instances where the Apostle exhorts wives to be in subjection to their own husbands. The word “subjection”, as we have shown, has not been interpreted as obedience where the relation is that of man to man, not where the “subjection” may mean of man to woman, as in 1 Cor.16:16. Furthermore, each time where the relation of wives to their husbands, of children to their parents, and of servants to their masters is prescribed, a careful distinction in the use of words is made. The word “obey” is generally used for servants and always for children, but the word “subjection” always for wives. If the sense is the same, why such care in the choice of a different word? As to the duty of wives, see Eph.5:22; Col.3:18; Tit.2:5 (R.V).. As to children, Eph.6:1; Col.3:20. As to servants, Eph.6:5; Col.3:22, in the R.V. in each case.

The Old Testament sense in which “to be in subjection” is sometimes used, is highly suggestive and instructive. Psalm 62:1 reads in the English, “truly my soul waiteth upon God; from Him cometh my salvation”. At verse 5 of the same Psalm, we read: “My soul, wait thou only upon God”. In Psalm 37:7 we find the words: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him”. The words “wait” in the first passages, and the word “rest” in the last are all three represented in the Greek version by the single word hupotasso, “be in subjection”, while the literal sense of the Hebrew original word is “be silent unto”. Compare this with 1 Pet.3:1,2, where wives are exhorted to win unbelieving husbands by “subjection”. Surely Peter is not here exhorting wives to blindly obey unbelievers, for if heathen, they would at once remand them back to the worship of the gods; or back to Judaism. Rather, they are to win them away from these by their “manner of life’, “without the word”,actions speaking louder than words. “Coupled with fear”,such fear of God as would cause these women, so gentle, quite and patient in daily life, to be as adamant in their truth to God; and the husbands so overawed by their quite maintenance of principle, whereas they are so ready to yield to their husbands when principle is not involved, that the husbands dare not try to compel their wives to violate conscience, and thus are themselves gradually led into the Christian faith.

The word “obedience,” hupakoe, is quite different from the word “subjection.” Its corresponding verb, from which it comes, is hupakouo, and means literally, “to listen to,” with the derived sense of “to obey.” It has always been translated “obey” in the New Testament excepting at one place, Acts 12:13, where Rhoda comes “to listen to” Peter’s knocking. This word has been used nowhere in respect to the wife’s duty to her husband, with one safe exception, in an illustration. In 1 Pet.3:6 the Apostle points women to the example of Sarah, who “obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord,” or “Sir,” as the same is often translated (Matt.13:27; John.12:21,etc). So did Jacob call Esau “lord,: though it was God’s revealed will that Jacob should hold the place of superiority; and Aaron called Moses, his younger brother, “lord;” and Moses called the striving Egyptians “lords” (Gen.33:8,14; Exod.32:22; Acts.7:26). There was a rabbinical saying which Peter may have known and quoted, here: “The wife of Abraham reverenced him and called him lord.” It is to be noted that Peter’s admonition is “subjection;” his illustration is subjection carried to the point of obedience. When giving a pattern for incitement we are very apt to take an extreme case, “Be unworldly; as Francis of Assisi, a wealthy young man, who renounced all his inheritance, and lived on alms,” By these words the spirit of Francis is the point urged; not the literal copying of his acts. So with Peter’s words here. And that spirit becomes all Christians alike. “In honour preferring one another.”

As far as Abraham and Sarah are concerned, we are left in no doubt as to this relation of obedience and respect being mutual and reciprocal; God commanded Abraham to call Sarah by the very respectful name meaning prince Gen.17:15; and the strongest passage in the Bible seeming to enjoin obedience, as between husband and wife, is at Gen.21:12, “And God said unto Abraham….in all that Sarah saith unto thee, obey her voice.” The Hebrew verb used here, translated into the English, “hearken unto,” is the same word translated “obey” at Gen.22:18. It means “to listen to,” as does the Greek word “to obey,” but it has been translated “obey” in 89 places in the Old Testament, and carries the sense “obey” as proved by the context, in scores of other places, just as it does in this passage, concerning which there is no doubt that Abraham was to obey in what Sarah told him to do,”Cast out the bondwoman and her child.”

The question naturally is asked: “But in the unique relation existing within the marriage bond, is not the wife bound to unquestioning obedience?” We do not so read the Bible. Turn to Lev.20:18, where exists a commandment to prevent unhygienic conduct within the marriage relation. There is no question here but that God held both man and woman equally responsible for trampling upon this hygienic law; and this could not have been the case had the wife been bound to unquestioning obedience to her husband in this matter. In both the Greek and the Catholic Church, we understand that in the marriage service the conditions laid upon the bride and bridegroom are identical. In the United States the word “obey” is seldom used in the marriage ceremony. If, under the Mosaic law, the obligations and responsibilities of the matrimonial relation were identical for man and woman, as the passage cited from Leviticus seems to prove, it is exceedingly difficult to believe that the Gospel message is meant to place women on a lower plane of moral responsibility than the Mosaic law did.

Paul did not need to resort to what he himself spoke of with utter contempt, “Jewish fables” and warned Timothy to shun, to find a pretext for silencing women. If he did silence them, he had an honest reason for doing so, and could have found proper language in which to express that reason. A grave responsibility rests upon those who subject Paul to ridicule, and the Bible to suspicion as to its worth, by trying to support sophistries by lame apologies for Paul. We do not admit for one moment that either the Apostle or the Bible in needs any apology. Let the expositor consent to give up the attempt to prove egotistical and foregone conclusions, and Paul’s language becomes perfectly lucid and consistently Christian. We have shown that Paul did not argue for the subordination of woman to man; he did not argue that Eve was more guilty than Adam. He only recommended temporary “quietness” on the part of women in the Church because there was special peril to the Church and to woman in contrary conditions. The Neronian persecutions were on, and the virtue of Christian women threatened.

Yet, still persisting in the inference that Paul silences and subordinates all women, for all time, Prof. Ramsay, in The Expositor, in the year 1909, pronounces Paul’s language in this place, “A quaint example of the way in which the Jews were wont to derive arguments from Scripture, and to twist and torture its words, in order to support the opinions which they were stating. Even where Paul is expressing a truth which he sees clearly with direct and unerring intuition, he sometimes draws from the Old Testament arguments which to us seem tortuous special pleading and quite valueless as reasoning. The Jewish mind reasoned in a totally different way from us; and by its line of reasoning often offends us. But we must not identify the truth of the opinion with the validity of the reasoning, or conclude that, because the argument is so unconvincing, the opinion is therefore untrue. Accordingly, we may set aside as not appealing to our minds, and barely intelligible to us, the argument drawn from the conduct of Adam and Eve. So far as it is intelligible, it fails to strengthen Paul’s case in the judgment of modern readers. But his case is quite independent of the argument.” Professor Ramsey tries to apologize for the quirky way Paul expresses himself. First, he makes the mistake of believing Paul to be a Jew (Jews – mixed race – author of the Babylonian Talmud – they came out of Bablyon along with the tribe of Judah and Benjamin to Jerusaelm. Paul had been a student of Judaism before his conversion to Christianity – but racially was a white Israelite. It was his personal knowledge of the perverse ideas of the Jews that caused him to warn us of “Jewish Fables) Paul didn’t explain anything in a quirky or Jewish fashion – only Jews have twisted his teaching and it appears to be explained in an odd manner – because theologins try to make it say what it doesn’t really mean.

We are very glad that “in the judgment of modern readers” the case for the subordination and silencing of women, has not been strengthened by the arguments attributed to Paul, for we now take hope that the expositor will presently perceive that such flimsy arguments are not Paul’s at all, but the work of manipulators of Paul’s language. Paul has not twisted Scripture; rather, men have twisted Paul’s arguments out of conformity with Scripture. But there is hope, if expositors once begin to acknowledge the twist in the language. Prof. Ramsay assumes that Paul’s argument is bad, but his conclusion from the bad argument is true. But a bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Hence we conclude that between the two courses, either to admit that Paul was arguing for something else, or to contend that Paul was arguing dishonestly, by twisting Scripture (for the silencing and subordination of woman), it is far more honouring to Paul and reverent towards God and His Word, to repudiate the latter view of the case and to accept the former.

We have shown that a consistent, worthy sense can be found in Paul’s words to Timothy about women, quite apart from the idea that he is upholding rabbinical sophistries. But Prof. Ramsay, not to quote others of like views, accuses Paul of “tortuous special pleading” in order to support the teaching (which belongs to rabbinism) that woman is subordinate to man. No one can deny that tortuous special pleading has been employed in enforcing such teaching by means of this Timothy passage. That fact is self-evident: but we deny that Paul is the guilty party, who has handled the word of God deceitfully. We lay the charge at the door of the “Judaizers” of the early church; whose mischievous influence in the church, Paul himself contended against daily throughout his entire ministry. He warned and prophesied against them as follows: “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29), He denounced them and their teachings a score of times in his various epistles; and after Paul’s day, Peter wrote warning the Christians against those who wrested the words of Paul’s epistles “unto their own destruction,” 2 Pet. 3:15, 16.

Paul declared himself, in 2 Cor. 4:1, 2: “Seeing we have this ministry . . . we . . . have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully.” In order to accept the view that Paul fell into “tortuous special pleading” such as characterized the “Judaizers” of those days, we must believe, then, much more than merely that Paul “twists and tortures” (to use Prof. Ramsay’s words) the language of Scripture. We must believe that the Holy Spirit who inspired Paul’s writings, has given way to a lying spirit, and that when Paul makes this declaration concerning himself, he was not truthful; and we hold no such opinion of Paul.

Women Can Teach

The Apostle Paul speaks twice, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, concerning the public ministry of women, in 1 Cor.11:3-16, and 14:29-40. We shall treat of the second utterance, as the simpler, first. Please read these two passages in turn, and note that they occur in the same letter, and if the writer was not interrupted, he wrote the second in the next breath after the first, that is, one could not have been written more than fifteen minutes or a half hour after the other. This point is important. Next note that if St. Paul veiled women he did not silence women, for, according to this interpretation he ordered them to veil only when prophesying or praying, not at other times; so that, if they were silenced they were left unveiled, so far as Scripture teaches. Yet the general idea and teaching is that Paul both veiled and silenced women.

Now turn to the second passage: Fix your attention, for a moment, on verses 31-36. Does it not seem strange that unless Paul means “all,” he should have repeated “all” three times over? It is probable that the women far outnumbered the men in these early churches, held in the homes of the people, for they have usually outnumbered the men throughout Church history even since meetings have been held in public churches. Now if only a small fraction of the attendants (the mature men released from business so that they could be at home meetings), were allowed to prophesy (Paul says nothing about mere Sunday meetings), then why did the Apostle say, “Ye may all prophesy, one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted?”

Again, at verse 34 he says, “It is not permitted…as also saith the law.” Who did not permit it? Where was it not permitted? The O.T. says absolutely nothing from Genesis to Malachi to forbid women to speak. No “law” can be found anywhere in the Bible forbidding women to speak in public, unless it be this one only utterance here by St. Paul. And besides, we know perfectly that the O.T. permitted women to speak in public (Num.27:1-7), and Jesus Christ did also, without rebuke, Luke 8:47, 11:27, 13:13.

What is actually known about the situation which occasioned the writing of this Epistle to the Corinthians? We gather from the Epistle itself that the Corinthian Christians had written Paul a letter (7:1) and he is answering it. There were divisions among them (1:11). He had enemies at Corinth, who disputed his right to be called an Apostle (9:1), and criticised him and his companions for leading about a woman with them (9:5) and he declares that “we” have as much right to do it as “the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas.” Who was this woman? Doubtless Priscilla, who with Aquila her husband had left Corinth, in company with the Apostle, shortly before (Acts 18:18),the woman whom Paul mentions before her husband. She was, all are bound to agree, a very able person, and well known to: “all the churches.” (Rom. 16:4), and how could that be if she was altogether silenced and veiled? Paul was probably writing this very Epistle in her home at Ephesus (1 Cor.16:19). Here we have the proper setting for these words addressed to the Corinthians.

Aquila was an Israelite (do not confuse with modern Jews) of Pontus in Asia Minor, converted to Christ, and his wife probably also a native of Asia Minor (Acts 18:2). Here women were held in great honor, as Professor W.M. Ramsay of Aberdeen University clearly shows in his valuable books, The Church in the Roman Empire, and The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia. This woman would expect to take her position with her husband, and the attempt to do so on her part would at once arouse the ire of the Palestinian Jews who pursued Paul wherever he went, the so called “Judaizers,” bent on winning the Church back to Judaism. We believe this is what stirred up the “woman question” at Corinth, and led to Paul’s two famous utterances in the Epistle.

Says Prof. Ramsay: “The honours and influence which belonged to women in the cities of Asia Minor form one of the most remarkable features in the history of the country. In all periods the evidence runs on the same lines. Among the dispersed Israelites, women took an unusually prominent place.” But later, when Priscilla was at Corinth, she was in a totally different atmosphere, as regards the position of woman. Here, all she did would be subject to severe criticism by the “Judaizers,” and by the Jews, who must have hated her for having instructed Apollos so well that he was converting many to Christianity (Acts 18;26,28, and 19:1); and St. Paul could not have given a woman such prominence under any circumstances without angering the Jews, for the latter (of a later date at least, and probably by this time), forbade that women should even learn the Scriptures, much less teach them.

For candid scholars admit that, according to the best manuscript authority Acts 18:26 should read as in the R.V. (not as in the A.V.)that is Priscilla and Aquila expounded” unto Apollos the Way of God; and Dean Alford says. “There are certain indications that he himself (Aquila) was rather the ready and zealous patron than the teacher; and this latter work, or a great share of it, seems to have belonged to his wife, Prisca or Priscilla. She is ever named with him, even in acts 18:26, where the instruction of Apollos is descibed.” When first met with, and comparative strangers to St. Paul and Luke, the husband is mentioned first, according to usual custom (Acts18:2,) but quickly the order changes: after eighteen months acquaintance (Acts 18:11) Priscilla is mentioned first (Acts 18:18,26; Rom. 16:3; 2 Tim.4:19 ) with a single exception (1 Cor. 16:19 ).

For a statement as to Priscilla’s position in the Apostolic Church. Prof. Harnack of Berlin says “In any case she must have been associated with and more distinguished than her husband. That is verified from Acts 18:26 and Rom 16:3, convincingly. For according to the former passage not only Aquila, but she also instructed Apollos. One is allowed to infer from it that she was the chief instructor; otherwise she would scarcely have been mentioned. And in the Roman Epistle Paul calls her and Aquila not the latter only his ‘fellow-laborers in Christ Jesus.’ This expression, not so very frequently employed by Paul, signifies much. By its use Priscilla and Aquila are legitimised official Evangelists and Teachers. Paul adds, moreover the following: ‘Who for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Israelites’ To what heroic service the first half of this clause refers we unfortunately know not. From the second part it follows that the Christian activity of the couple was genuinely ecumenical work. Why all the churches were obliged to thank Priscilla and Aquila, Paul does not say.”

Different attempts have been made to reconcile Paul’s directions about women “praying and prophesying” in Chapter 11 of 1st Corinthians, and the seeming command, “Let the [not your] women keep silence in the churches,” of Chapter 14, such as the following: (1) “Paul is meeting a purely local difficulty of some sort, in these latter words, of no importance outside of Corinth, or to us in our day.” Objection: We must not quickly assume that any point in Scripture has only a local application (though sometimes such is the case), lest we weaken the authority of the Bible. (2) “Paul changed his mind, and decided in the end to forbid women speaking at all.” This is the usual claim made by present-day expositors. Objection 1. He changed it quickly, then, with scarcely time for fresh consideration or fresh light, or deep thought on so momentous a subject, which has surely affected for all time, in a most profound manner, the progress of the Christian church. Objection 2. A merely human writer might even be so fickle as this, though one could at least expect, under such circumstances, some intimation of a change. But, if these words are inspired, the Holy Spirit who prompted the writing of these words could never be so fickle; the Spirit knew from the first sentence of the Epistle all that was to follow, and did not need to correct His mind. (3) “He forbids the women ‘babbling’ and ‘chattering’ in church, but does not forbid them prophesying.” Objection: Those who hold this view generally refer to the disorderly way women in Eastern churches, recently out of heathenism, conduct themselves. But there is no proof that Corinthian women misbehaved after this manner. But the most serious obstacle to the last view is this: The Greek word here “to talk” (laleo), may be employed in the sense of “to babble,” but the Apostle never uses it in this sense elsewhere, and he uses the word 23 times in this very chapter for solemn utterance under Divine inspiration. (4) “He only forbids them to speak to ask questions; they must do that at home.” Objection 1. It is not known that even men asked questions in church, as the Jewish men did in the synagogue. Objection 2. As to asking questions of their husbands at home, some of these Corinthian women would be widows, some perhaps divorced on account of their Christian faith, some with heathen husbands, some not married at all. And so would it be in the Church throughout all subsequent ages of its history. Paul is represented as sending all these to their “husbands.” If Paul did so foolish a thing, he drove some back to heathenism for spiritual help; many others he deprived of all opportunity to get their questions answered, since they had no husbands. In fact, a majority of the Christian women would have been left in ignorance of important spiritual truths, by such a ruling. We do not believe Paul went about giving the Bread of Life to all men, and a stone of bread to many women, after this partial manner.

Besides, he makes use of the phrase, “it is not permitted,” clearly implying that others besides Paul have, before him, forbidden this thing, yet, not one trace of any such prohibition can be found anywhere in the Bible, until these very words of Paul. This raises the important question, where and by whom was it not permitted? Gen.3:16 is the only reference to “the law” given in the marginal references, and it will not do for two reasons. (1) If husbands command their wives to speak in public, then they must speak, if Gen.3:16 means, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (2) But few of the Corinthian Church members, if indeed any of them, would know this sense for Gen.3:16, since they used the Septuagint Version. St. Paul quotes this version almost exclusively in this Epistle; he only once quotes clearly the Hebrew text, in his seventeen references to the O.T. Therefore the Corinthians would read the verse, “Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he will rule over thee,”a sense that has no application to the Corinthian passage.

Before reaching the superficial conclusion that St. Paul’s one utterance about “silence” closes the mouth of every Christian woman or that Paul meant it so, read the account of Miriam (Ex.15:20); of Deborah (Judges chs.4 and 5); of the immense assembly of important personages addressed by the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-7, where it is expressly said the Lord approved of their message); the reference to Huldah the prophetess (2 Kings 22); the references to women who prophesied in song (1 Chron.25); and to women who “prophesy out of their own heart,” where the rebuke is as to what is prophesied, not as to the prophesying itself (Ezek. 13:17). This incidental mention of a considerable body of women prophets, implies the existence of many women prophets who were not false. Then read in the N.T. of Anna, (Luke 2:36-38); of the women Christ caused to speak in public (Luke 8:47, Luke 13:13); the utterance of Peter as to women prophesying (Acts 2:16-18); and the reference to Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9).

Next ask yourself this question: If this one only utterance of St. Paul’s is to be set up as a Scriptural “law” to silence women, then what is to be done with the hundred and one other “laws” in the O.T. opening the mouths of women, such as “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” “Praise ye the Lord” (repeated about a hundred times in the Psalms alone), “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” “Declare His doings among the people,” “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord,” “Tell of all His wondrous works?” For it is simply impossible for men to set up an effectual claim, that all these admonitions and exhortations in the O.T. were meant for themselves only. It was not so understood or taught for thousands of years. This over zeal of certain religious teachers for such an interpretation of a single sentence of Scripture sets at defiance a hundred or two of other Scriptural utterances (rather than an attempt to harmonize the one with the many), should warn us against accepting their interpretation too hastily. Why, for instance, have not such sticklers for a literal and universal application of a single phrase here been equally sticklers for a literal and universal application of Paul’s authority where he says it is good for unmarried females to remain so (1 Cor. 7:8,34,35)? But no! they are usually the very persons who advocate marriage and domestic pursuits as the one and only calling for women. (though we must not forget that marriage is the only time in which sexual relations is permitted – and there is much work especially in helping others that can be done by single women such as was the case with Florence Nightingale)Why do they not claim that the phrase, “Let all the earth keep silence before Him,” (Hab.2:20), should close, not only the mouths of women, but of the entire church?

St. Paul, here in the words, “it is not permitted” refers to some rule outside, not inside Scripture. The question is, where shall we find this rule of silence? The great German lexicographer, Schleusner, in his Greek-Latin Lexicon, declares the expression “as also saith the law,” refers to the Oral Law of the Jews. Here are his words: “The oral laws of the Jews or Jewish traditions …In the old Testament no precept concerning this matter exists,” and he cites Vitringa as showing that it was “forbidden by Jewish traditions for women to speak in the synagogue.” But think again! It is not likely that the Apostle Paul would quote the traditions of the Jews, and refer to them as “the law,” and as constituting a final authority on a matter of controversy in the church. He spent a large share of energy battling against these very “traditions” of the Jews, as did his Master, Jesus Christ. Paul warns against “giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Tit.1:14). No, the Apostle Paul is here quoting what the Judaizers in the Corinthian Church are teaching, who themselves say women must “keep silence” because Jewish law thus taught.

That the Talmud, unlike the Old Testament, did remand women to silence is of no doubt. “Out of respect to the congregation, a woman should not herself read in the law.” “It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men.” “The voice of a woman is filthy nakedness.” These are some, out of many, of its sayings. As to asking questions: A wealthy Jewess ventured to ask once, of the Rabbi Eleazer, “Why, when the sin of the golden calf was but one only, should it be punished with a three-fold death? We imagine the question was beyond his stock of knowledge, for he replied: “A woman ought not to be wise above her distaff.” One Hyrcanus protested, aside, to R. Eleazer, because the lady who was thus reproved might withhold her tithes, in retaliation, and they amounted to considerable. R. Eleazer replied: “Let the words of the law be burned rather than committed to woman.” This was accepted as a sort of judicial utterance, for future generations, among the Jews.

To repeat: We are driven to believe the Apostle was not uttering his own views in verses 34 and 35 of 1.Cor. ch.14, which read: “Let the woman keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. And if they would learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (R.V.) We believe this is the language of Judaizers at Corinth, which has been reported to Paul, and which Paul quotes to answer back in the words: “What! came the word of God out from you! or came it unto you only?”with what follows to the end of the chapter.

Now for the evidences that Paul quotes the Judaizers here, and then answers that false teaching as to women keeping silence: First re-read what we said previous about the Situation in Corinth, the prejudice that had been aroused there against Paul’s having Priscilla “laboring in the Gospel” with him. These Corinthians had written Paul a letter, all agree to that; Paul was answering a lot of points that had been submitted to him for decision, in this Epistle. Listen, please, to what Prof. Weizsäcker writes, in his book, The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church, on this First Epistle to the Corinthians, and Paul’s method: “And now [at chapter 7] begins a new letter, or at any rate a new section of the letter…What follows, therefore, bears a wholly different character; the language is now comparatively calm, official, instructive and hortatory, and treats of a whole series of affairs belonging to the life of the Church. And as an answer to the Church’s enquiry, the discussion furnishes a subject new in form as well as in matter. The reference to the question is repeated whenever a new point is taken up…. Under each heading a discussion is given as has been desired, and therefore the matters are discussed one after the other and each by itself.”

Now let us see what this means. At 6:12 occur the words, “All things are lawful unto me.” Paul is here expressing not his own views. This is his quotation from the Corinthians’ letter to him; he has quoted it as a subhead, to answer it. This he does in the next sentence, “But all things are not expedient.” Then he repeats the “heading” again, in order to give another answer, namely: “But I will not be brought under the power of any.” The Corinthians were justifying license by these words, because Paul had taught, “Ye are not under law, but under grace.” At 10:23 he again reverts to their claim, “all things are lawful,” and repeats his first answer, then adds a third reply. “All things edify not.” Again, at 8:8, he takes words (probably his own originally, but being misapplied), “Meat commendeth us not to God,” from the Corinthians’ letter as his text, and comments on them thus: “But take heed lest this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.” We merely wish to show that this idea that Paul makes quotations from the letter he has received and is answering, is no novel idea, invented by us to suit a prejudiced view. Prof. Sir. Wm. Ramsay says, on this subject: “We should be ready to suspect Paul is making a quotation from the letter addressed to him by the Corinthians whenever he alludes to their knowledge, or when any statement stands in marked contrast either with the immediate context or with Paul’s known views.”

Our case answers to all of these tests. Following our guide, we will apply the three points of Prof. Ramsay’s rule. I. “Whenever he alludes to their knowledge:’ Paul alludes to their knowledge in verse 37; and in 38 he declares if anyone still remains ignorant of his meaning he is past being enlightened. II. “When any statement stands in marked contrast with the immediate context:” Verses 34, 35 are in marked contrast to verse 31 and to verse 39, for it is impossible to hold that Paul’s use of the word “brethren” applies only to the male sex. III. “When any statement stands in marked contrast with.. Paul’s known views:” A command on the part of the Apostle for women to “keep silence” would put him in direct conflict with what must be inferred from what he has just written in chapter eleven, about women veiling.

Paul’s reply to all this caviling of Judaizers and their efforts to strengthen their case by quoting the Oral Law of the Jews, is; “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” Then, in verses 37-40, he expresses his own mind, which is the mind of the Holy Spirit, on the subject. Psalm 68:11 (R.V.) declares: “The Lord giveth the word; the women that publish the tidings are a great host.” The “word” therefore, when women prophesy, comes out from God, and comes unto women. Expositors attempt to show that here the expression “the word of God,” in Paul’s language, refers to church customs. But such an expression has never been used in this sense. This is far-fetched. The expression “the word of God” and “the word of the Lord” have a definite and specific sense in the N.T., as referring either to the Gospel, or to prophetic utterances given from above. See Luke 3:1,2, “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.. the word of God came unto John the son of Zecharias in the wilderness.” Thus, Luke 5:1; John 10:35. Compare 1 Kings 12;22, 1 Chron.17:3, Jer.2:1, Ezek.34:1, Jonah.1:1. See Paul’s use of the expression, Rom.9:6, 1 Thes.1:8, 2:13, 2 Cor.2:17, 4:2.(1) Paul’s contention is, that the spirit of prophecy, which is “the word of God,” did not, as its very terms imply, come forth from anyone but God, to attempt to control prophecy (not merely the foretelling of a specific event but it means to ‘proclaim a message’) by restrictions as to who may utter it, means a dictating to God as to what instruments He may employ. As a matter of fact, Scripture teaches us that “the word of God” has come to kings (1 Sam.10:10), and also to women (Judges 4:6, 2 Kings 22:15, 16, Luke 1:41,42,etc.).

On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit was poured out upon “all flesh,” that is, not upon every human being, but as is precisely told us, upon old and young and upon male and female alike. And in these words, “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? Paul seems specially to refer to that day of Pentecost, when about 120 persons, many of them women (Acts 1;14,15), were assembled, and the Holy Spirit, that is, the spirit of prophecy, came upon “each of them” (Acts 2;3), and they all “began to speak… as the Spirit gave them utterance;” and Peter said, “This is that which hath been spoken by the prophet Joel… your daughters shall prophesy… and upon my hand-maidens… will I pour out of my Spirit.” So that there is no possibility of denying that at the time of the inauguration of the present Gospel dispensation, the “word of God” “came out” from God, not from man, and it “came unto” women, and not unto men only.

This is Paul’s indignant protest against these Judaizers, who, by quoting the Oral Law of the Jews would silence women, and interfere with Divine order.

The Apostle then declares: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandment of the Lord.” He here contrasts “the commandment of the Lord” with the “precepts of men,” which the Oral law of the Jews taught. In other words, a true prophet, or a spiritual person, would perceive, Paul claims, that his ruling in this matter accorded with Scripture, while the ruling of the Jewish rabbis did not. What was Paul’s ruling? It was given just before, in directions relating to veiling in worship, which clearly show that he permitted women both to preach and to pray in public. He gave the same permission in his universal rule but a moment before, at verse 31: “Ye ALL can prophesy… that ALL may learn, and ALL may be comforted.”

Paul claims that he gives his own ruling, as to the conduct of women in church, on “the commandment of the Lord” (1 Cor.14:37).” By this statement he may refer to some special revelation to himself, but since he states that if they are spiritual they will perceive this matter, he probably refers either to the whole tenor of Scriptural teaching, with its hundreds of exhortations, given without regard to sex, that the redeemed should proclaim the goodness of the Lord to others, or to the Great Commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach my Gospel to every creature,” spoken to women, as well as to men, Luke.24:22, 33-48, Acts 1:8,14, etc., or to the definite commandment set forth in Isaiah 40:9, which, if correctly translated for us into English, would read: “O woman that bringest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; woman, that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up , be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God.” This preaching by women was prophesied of in Psalm 68:11, and in Joel 2:28,29. The fulfilment of the prophecy began on the day of Pentecost, as we are clearly instructed by Peter’s words, Acts 2:16-18. And Paul declares that the spiritual will know this.

The words, “If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant,” are, according to Winer, “A renunciation of further effective instruction.”

He concludes his instructions with verses 39 and 40: “Wherefore, my brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” This would seem a peculiar ending for an argument forbidding women to prophesy, but a very appropriate one with which to end a reproof to those who thus forbade women. We must remember that the word “brethren” was much more like “sisters” in Greek than in English. The difference would be equivalent only to that between “sisteroi” and sisterai,” and besides, masculine and feminine nouns and adjectives very generally had the same form in New Testament Greek. It is only by an effort of thought that women take the word “brethren” to themselves; but not so the Greek word “adelphoi” which New Testament women would quite naturally apply to themselves, and instinctively. Imagine Paul saying: “Let the women keep silence… wherefore covet to prophesy.” “Let the women keep silence… wherefore forbid not to speak.” Why, they represent Paul as concluding a commandment to keep silence with an exhortation to speak out; they represent him as forbidding to speak in one breath, and in the next commanding others: “Forbid not to speak.” Is this consistent? But let us imagine he has just reproved men for silencing women: then it naturally follows that he should say to all, both men and women, “covet to prophesy.” Imagine him rebuking those who would forbid women speaking: and then we would expect him to say, “forbid not to speak.” This view makes of Paul’s language a consistent whole.

The expression “covet to prophesy” deserves special attention here. It is the positive admonition of that which is negatively put by the Apostle in 1 Thess. 5:19,20: “Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophesyings.” It relates not properly to the individual, but to the whole church. “Covet the to-prophesy,” is the literal reading, and it means “covet the prophesying,”that is, the gift itself, not simply for oneself but for others also; covet the existence of the gift in the church, by whomsoever exercised. Paul has used this word “covet” before, at 1 Cor.12:31, “Covet earnestly the best gifts; and yet I show unto you a more excellent way.” No one will dispute that women should heed these words as far as to seek that way of “charity.” Then why should they not also heed the beginning of the verse, and “covet the best gifts,” among which is prophecy, for Paul teaches that this is the best (14:5)? Again, at 14:1, we are told to “Follow after charity and desire (it is this same word “covet”) spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Here again, are women to believe that they are to obey the first half of this commandment and as diligently disobey the second half? The BIBLE does not tell them to treat its commandments thus: and if expositors do, how do they come to know more about the matter than what the Bible teaches? But the Bible warns: “Every word of God is tried… add thou not unto His words, lest… thou be found a liar” (Prov.30:5,6,R.V.).

In fact, by using that word “covet” more than once, Paul touches the sore spot in this objection to women prophesying, on the part of Judaizers, namely, Jealousy. This Greek word “to covet” (zelien) means likewise “to envy,” “to be jealous,” and “to be zealous.” By using here the same word that their Greek Bible (for the Corinthian Church would use the Septuagint Greek Version) uses in Num.11:29, the Apostle would turn their minds to the lesson taught there. God took the spirit that had before rested upon Moses alone and gave it to his seventy elders. Joshua was “jealous” for Moses’ honour, but could say nothing, because God had done it, and it came about in the regular way, upon those who were in the Tabernacle.

But two of the elders were out in the camp, at the time, yet they began to prophesy also. This gave Joshua a pretext for the display of his jealous spirit, for there was something irregular in it, he thought. He ran to Moses saying, “My Lord Moses, forbid them.” But Moses read in him the real spirit that prompted the desire to forbid the prophesying, and replied: “Art thou jealous (the same word Paul uses) for me? And who shall make ALL the people of the Lord prophets, when the Lord hath put His Spirit upon them?” Thus (according to the Septuagint) he prophesied, as Joel did, of that general outpouring of the Spirit upon “all flesh” that is God’s plan for the Gospel dispensation. But that which God Himself does can never be forbidden as irregular or out of order.

The Judaizers at Corinth were really in a rage of envy at the Church, being jealous of its increasing influence under Pentecostal power, and they were eager to bring Christianity back within the confines of Judaism again. Many of these Judaizers were in the church as “false apostles’ (2 Cor.11:13) to destroy it. But none of them could hope to influence the Christians to return to obedience to the traditions of the Jews, by attacking things that were manifestly regular. Like Joshua, the only opportunity lay in something irregular, and this they readily found, in the public prophesying of women.

The Oral Law had said; “It is a shame,” and the Judaizers took up the cry that “The women must keep silence… they must ask their husbands at home… it is a shame for a woman to speak in the assembly; the Oral Law of the Jews says so,” etc. All this was written to Paul from Corinth. He copies it out for his text. He shows up its sophistries, exhorts his converts to be jealous of this gift of prophesying in their Church, and not to forbid anyone to speak to whom the Lord has truly called. He shows us the motive of the objection to women as “jealousy,” and closes with the words, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Women Can Witness

Are we to assume by those who take this out of context that women were to be under authority of non-Christian men. Absolutely not. Yet without properly discerning this statement this is what they would be agreeing to. In fact, women who are married to non-Christians either by a mistake of being unequally yoked or because of conversion after marriage are encouraged to witness and help their husband learn the faith and bring them to the Lord – not to be silent and do nothing. However, let our sisters be reminded not be “self-rightous” acting in the attempted conversion of a husband. The Bible says “without a word” may the husband be won over. Don’t get too “preachy”. Neither men nor women respond well to that. Your actions are the most important thing.

A Warning of the Time

We also must understand the historical and cultural backdrop of first Timothy; these Scriptures also dealt primarily with the local application. The letters were addressed to new Christians living in pagan Corinth and Ephesus. Gnostic heresy was rampant in these cities, (Gnosticism-the teaching that Jesus was only a prophet not the Lord God.) Gnostics taught that the female was a deformed male. Morality standards were diverse, and prostitution was an allowed institution. Pagan and Talmud traditions taught that women were to be owned as if they were cattle. However, Christian women were treated much differently. They were revered and enjoyed equality with their Christian men. However during the time that these letters were written, there was great persecution in the land against Christians. Emperor Nero was married to a Jewish woman. Christian women were free, but Jewish women were not and Nero had thousands of Christians butchered in the streets for their beliefs. Christians could be found out by viewing the habits of their women. Christian women could make decisions, own businesses, property, receive inheritance, and teach the word of the lord. Jewish women were viewed by their own society as filthy whose opinions were not allowed and they lived in bondage to Jewish men and had no rights.

Paul wanted Christian women to pray and worship but not call attention to themselves. He did not want them to do anything that would cause them to be found out. He wanted them to keep a low profile because their very lives and the lives of their families depended on it lest they be murdered by order of Nero and his wife. Soldiers eyed the women to determine who were Christians and who weren’t. For Christian women to publicly profess Christ and teach his word in that day would have jeopardized their families and the whole Christian community.

However, in the catacombs, where believers were living and worshiping, women were actively involved in services. Frescoes in the catacombs have depicted women preaching the word to groups of men and women. The phrase, ” I suffer not a woman to teach…” appears to be timeless. But the verb in the Greek text is present, active indicative and thus reads, “I am not presently permitting a woman to teach…”

Now, for the evidences that Paul’s advice to Timothy was not meant to control all women for all time, we must take time and space to get the historical setting. When Paul was arrested, (Acts 21), and taken for safety to Caesarea for trial (Acts 23), he there appealed unto Caesar (Acts 25:11), and was sent to Rome, where he arrived in A.D.61, in the seventh year of Nero’s reign. He was placed in charge of “the Captain of the Guard,” who, profane history tells us, was Burrus, who treated him with some kindness, allowing him to dwell in his own hired house, and Paul preached to all that came to him, though kept chained to his guard. In time Paul came to have a church gathered about him, almost within the very household of the most infamous potentate that ever disgraced a throne (Acts 28:16-31).

When Paul reached Rome there was less hostility against Christians there than anywhere else throughout the Empire. Nero was young, and his tutors, Seneca the Philosopher, and Burrus, already mentioned, attended to matters of state, while Nero, for the most part, devoted himself to art. But soon a courtier named Otho corrupted the youthful Nero, and the latter fell madly in love with Poppaea, Otho’s wife, a woman of desperate character and a Jewess. She induced Nero to murder his own wife, Octavia, and marry herself. Thenceforward, his fall was very rapid, and his court became unspeakably vile.

Conybeare and Howson, in their most valuable book, The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, (in comments immediately following the Epistle to the Philippians), say of St. Paul: “He tells us [see Phil. 1:13] that throughout the quarters he was well known as a pioneer for the cause of Christ, and he sends special salutations to the Philippian Church from the Christians in the Imperial household [Phil. 4:22]. These notices bring before us very vividly the moral contrasts by which the Apostle was surrounded. The soldier to whom he was chained might have been in Nero’s body-guard yesterday; his comrade who next relieved guard upon the prisoner might have been one of the executioners of Octavia, and might have carried her head to Poppaea a few weeks before. Such were the ordinary employments of the fierce and blood-stained veterans who were daily present, like wolves in the midst of sheep, at the meetings of the Christian brotherhood. If there were any of these soldiers not utterly hardened by a life of cruelty, their hearts must surely have been touched by the character of their prisoner, brought as they were into so close a contact with him. They must have been at least astonished to see a man, under such circumstances, so utterly careless of selfish interest. Strange indeed to their ears…. must have been the sound of Christian exhortation, of prayers, and of hymns; stranger still, perhaps, the tender love which bound the converts to their teacher and to one another, and which showed itself in every look and tone.”

The authors quoted before, Conybeare and Howson, continue: “But if the agents of Nero’s tyranny seem out of place in such a scene, still more repugnant to the assembled worshippers must have been the instruments of his pleasure, the ministers of his lust…The ancient historians have polluted their pages with the infamy which no writer in the languages of Christendom may dare to repeat… suffice it to say that the courtiers of Nero were the spectators, and the members of his household the instruments, of vices so monstrous and so unnatural, that they shocked even the men of that generation, steeped as it was in every species of obscenity.” They tell of the death of Burrus, and of the fact that Paul now passed into the charge of one of these vile instruments of Nero who succeeded Burrus, and then continue: “Another circumstance occurred about this time, which seemed to threaten still graver mischief to the cause of Paul. This was the marriage of Nero to his adulterous mistress, Poppaea … We know from Josephus that she exerted her influence over Nero in favor of the Jews, and that she patronized their emissaries at Rome; and assuredly no scruples of humanity would prevent her from seconding their demand for the punishment of their most detested antagonist.” However, Paul seems to have been acquitted, after a considerable time, to have gone from church to church, in Ephesus, Crete, Macedonia, Miletus and Nicopolis, and probably he was in Spain when he heard of the awful martyrdom of the Roman church under Nero in A.D. 64.

Nero himself burned Rome, wishing to widen its streets and to build more modern houses. Tacitus, a pagan historian of those days, says: “The infamy of that horrible transaction adhered to him… In order, if possible, to remove the imputation, he determined to transfer the guilt to others. For this purpose he punished with exquisite tortures a race of men detested for their evil practices, commonly called Christians …

A number of Christians were convicted, not indeed upon clear evidence of having set fire to the city, but rather on account of their sullen hatred of their kind. They were put to death with exquisite cruelty, and to their sufferings Nero added mockery and derision. Some were covered with skins of wild beasts, and left to be devoured by dogs; others were nailed to the cross; numbers were burned alive; and many, covered over with inflammable matter, were lighted up when the day declined, to serve as torches during the night. For the convenience of this tragic spectacle, the Emperor lent his own gardens. At length the cruelty of these proceedings filled every breast with compassion… It was evident they fell a sacrifice, not for the public good, but to glut the cruelty and rage of one man only.” Indeed Satan must have had tremendous joy over the entire proceeding.

Prof. Ramsay says in his Church in the Roman Empire (page 240,241): “This went on till the Roman populace was sick of it, and began to pity the sufferers… But it can have been no inconsiderable number and no short period which brought satiety to a populace accustomed to find their greatest amusement in public butcheries, frequently recurring on a colossal scale…On these grounds we conclude that if Tacitus has correctly represented his authorities, the persecution by Nero, begun for the sake of diverting popular attention, was continued as a permanent police measure, under the form of a general persecution of Christians as a sect dangerous to the public safety.” Ramsay quotes Sulpicius Severus, a historian of those days, who informs us: “This was the beginning of severe measures against the Christians. Afterwards the religion was forbidden by formal laws, and the profession of Christianity was made illegal by published edicts.” Ramsay continues: “When Nero had once established the principle in Rome, his action served as a precedent in every province. There is no need to suppose a general edict of formal law. The precedent would be quoted in every case where a Christian was accused. Charges such as had been brought against Paul in so many places were certainly brought against others; and the action of the Emperor at Rome would give the tone to the action of the provincial governors: (p. 243-245).

E. Raymond Capt., archeologist and historian of the white race, states in a taped lecturer on the persecution of Christians by Nero that one fact Nero used to prove why Christians were unfit to be citizens or to even live was that they allowed women to hold positions of leadership and speak publicly in front of men. Nero found the practice abhorrent and used the Christian’s treatment of women as one more reason why the Christians were so evil.

This Epistle was probably written in A.D.67. James, the brother of John, had been slain by Herod long before. James, the brother of our Lord, had been done to death by a mob, at Jerusalem; and Peter was at Rome to be crucified, or the deed had already been done. And Paul, having such intimate knowledge of conditions at Rome, as well as the enlightenment of spiritual perception, could well discern “the signs of the times,” and hence his precautionary advice, which related largely to the protection of women from possible arrest. We have shown that, owing to the Jewess, Poppaea, and her influence over Nero, the Jews were in favor in Rome at this time, while the Christians were in the greatest peril. Prof. Ramsay makes the following significant remark: “If the Jews appeared to the Empire to resemble the Christians so much, and yet were treated so differently, the reason for the difference in treatment must have lain in those points in which Christians differed from the Jews, in the estimate of the Imperial Government” and at no point was the contrast greater, at this time, than in the Christian treatment of women.

For there were four points at any rate, in which this difference was very manifest: (1) In the aggressiveness of Christianity, while Judaism was proud, exclusive and unexpansive; (2) in the instruction of women as expressly permitted by Paul, whereas the Jewish Oral Law taught that women were only to be instructed in their own special duties, but not in the law in general; (3) in the many conversions of women; and (4) in their activity in the Apostolic Church. On this latter point Lecky, in his History of European Morals, says: “The general superiority of women to men in the strength of their religious emotions, and their natural attraction to a religion which made personal attachment to its Founder its central duty, afforded an unprecedented scope to their characteristic virtues, account for the very conspicuous position that female influence assumed in the great work of the conversion of the Roman Empire. In no other movement of thought was it so powerful or so acknowledged. In the ages of persecution female figures occupy many of the foremost places in the ranks of martyrdom, and pagan and Christian writers alike attest the alacrity with which women flocked to the Church.”

But this aggressiveness of Christianity, and activity of Christian women, would not only offend Jews, but the complaint against it, on the part of Jews, would make a deep impression, in time, upon the pagan mind and the Imperial Government. Roman law provided a death penalty for those of lower rank who won converts to their faith, and banishment for those of higher rank. Were the enforcement of this law once demanded, then every new convert would mean fresh danger for the Church, and the aggravation would be doubled if that convert were the wife of an unbelieving husband, or the daughter of an unbelieving father.

In another place Lecky adds: “Another cause of the peculiar animosity felt against the Christians was the constant interference with domestic life, arising from the great number of female conversions. The graphic title of ‘earpicker of ladies,’ which was given to a pontiff of somewhat later period, might have been applied to many in the days of the persecution, but to the Roman, who regarded the supreme authority of the head of the family, in all religious matters, as the very foundation of domestic morality, no character could appear more infamous or more revolting.”

The same writer describes the general attitude of the pagan mind on this subject in the words of Plutarch: “A wife should have no friends but those of her husband; and as the gods are the first of friends, she should have no gods but those her husband adores. Let her shut the door, then, against idle religious and foreign superstitions. No god can take pleasure in sacrifices offered by a wife without the knowledge of her husband.” Now let us continue in the words of Prof. Ramsay which have special reference to Paul’s Epistles to Timothy and Titus: “The advice given by St. Paul as to the relations of the Christians to the society in which they are placed, IS ALWAYS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SITUATION WHICH WE HAVE DESCRIBED AS OCCUPIED BY THEM UNDER NERO”

Prof. Ramsay says, further, “The danger about 65-70 AD is that calumnies and false charges be circulated, and the Christians tried for these imputed crimes. In such trials recantation is not sought for, and would be no palliation of the crimes charged against the Christians: (p.247). History has not left us ignorant as to the nature of these calumnies. We have seen that Tacitus spoke of the Christians as “a race of men detested for their evil practices.” We should prefer not to give more precise information as to these calumnies, but it is essential to an understanding of Paul’s words, to know what sort of slanders had to be met, and they were precisely of that nature that would cause Paul to recommend (1), a separation of the sexes; (2), and that the women should be quiet for their own protection. Lecky, in the book we have already quoted from, states: “At a time when the moral standard was very low, they [all Christians] were charged with deeds so atrocious as to scandalize the most corrupt. They were represented as habitually, in their secret assemblies, celebrating the most licentious orgies, feeding on human flesh,…[and worse]. The persistence with which these accusations were made is shown by the great prominence they occupy, both in the writings of the apologists and in the narrations of the persecutions. That these charges were absolutely false will now be questioned by no one” (Vol.1,p.414).

We must not forget that an accusation against a woman’s virtue throughout all time, has generally been treated more severely than a proved deed of the same sort in a man. Moral conditions were most terrible under Nero, who actively encouraged his officers and soldiers in every conceivable form of vileness. Paul had an intimate first-hand knowledge of all these dangers to women, and he knew more; he knew what had actually transpired at Rome, when the little church (that had gathered round him in the friendlier days, only two or three years before) had been wiped out of existence by Nero’s ferocity. Christians were often forced to perform as an actor in a play for the enjoyment of the crowd. We have only a glimpse, in a single sentence contained in a letter which Clement of Rome, a few years later, wrote to the Church at Corinth. We will give the sense of his words in the language of Archdeacon Farrar, from his book, The Early Days of Christianity: “Christian women, modest maidens, holy matrons, must be the Danaids or the Proserpine, or worse, and play their parts as priestesses of Saturn and Ceres, and in blood-stained dramas of the dead …Infamous mythologies were enacted, in which women must play their parts in torments of shamefulness more intolerable than death.”

Some of the women who came to this fate for their confession as followers of the harmless and holy son of God, we probably have heard of by name, in the 16th chapter of Romans, for therein Paul sends greetings to many women of Rome. We are glad to know positively that Priscilla escaped, from the mention of her name in 2 Tim.4:19. How the tender, loving heart of Paul must have bled when he heard the terrible news of women who had “laboured with him in the Gospel,” women “of note among the apostles,” women who had “succoured” him, or “bestowed much labour upon him,”those to whom he had applied these and many other appreciative words, brought to such a terrible plight as above described! And then his mind would sweep the entire field of his missionary labors, and he would see the same peril threatening, or the same shame being suffered, by his Christian sisters and female disciples everywhere.

But it must have rested with peculiar sadness upon the city of Ephesus, next in importance to Rome, where he himself had suffered persecution so sore that he describes it as having “fought with beasts,” 1 Cor.15:32. When Paul went up to Jerusalem, before ever he was arrested, as he passed through Miletus, he summoned the elders from Ephesus to meet him there, and said to them: “Ye yourselves know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord…with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews” (Acts 20:18,19). Thus he testifies to the spirit of hatred towards Christians which prevailed at Ephesus, where Timothy lived, to whom Paul’s epistle is written. In Acts 19:23-41, we have an account of trouble there, when a certain Alexander was put forward by the Jews. What he would have said, had the mob permitted, we do not know; but when Paul writes his second letter to Timothy, he warns Timothy to beware of the man, so we know there was at least one deadly and active Jewish enemy of the Christians at Ephesus, the man who, later did Paul “much evil” (2 Tim. 4:14,15), even probably going to Rome for the purpose of appearing against Paul at his last trial before Nero, when, alas! Paul was finally condemned and executed. It should cause no surprise, then, that Paul, under such exceptional circumstances, should caution Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus, against bringing women into prominence, or permitting them to come forward, under such perilous circumstances.

And, then, there was a peculiar peril to women, of which Paul would know, though Christian Women might be ignorant of it. We will describe it in the words of Prof. Ramsay (page 399, footnote, of his Church in the Roman Empire): “The ingenuity of Roman practice had in A.D. 31 perverted a humane scruple…into a reason for detestable brutality [criminal outrage] to the young daughter of Sejanus: …and this act constituted a precedent, which might defend numerous cases of similar brutality to Christian virgins in later time. If such things were done to the innocent daughter of a Roman noble, why not to a Christian criminal?” Yes, and under Nero, why not to married women, as well as to virgins, if the keeper of the prison so chose? We know, then, that the situation which women Christians occupied under Nero was that of extreme peril, not only to life, but, as Church history shows, to virtue also. And we know that the peril to men who would indoctrinate women in the Christian religion, was great also, for it led to the accusation of provoking family discord (par.319)

To be sure, one should not carelessly assume that anything in the Bible is of exceptional and temporary importance only. Yet we are now dealing with a personal letter, and advice given to one individual, and given in a time of exceptional peril, and these facts ought to count for a great deal. Again, while we should not thoughtlessly assume that the bible is to be read in the light of profane history, and corrected by it; nevertheless, the Bible, when carefully tested by well-known ancient customs or conditions set forth in reliable profane history, will be found to ring true to contemporary facts. We might have suffered a stagger to our faith in Paul’s tenderness and prudence, if not a stagger to our faith in the Bible, if, in a time of such supreme peril to Christian women, Paul could be represented as urging women to the front of the fight, and putting on them equal ecclesiastical responsibilities with men, when he knew that the cost to them would be far heavier than to men. Rather, we find in Paul’s letter to Timothy precisely that sort of natural advice that a tender over-pastor under such conditions would give to one in charge of a church in his jurisdiction: “I should not allow a woman to teach or control a man. They are attacking our reputation for common decency, and we must meet it by separating the women from the men, and having them keep very quiet.” All history testifies that women did not shirk martyrdom for Christ’s sake, but Paul says: “However willing they may be, I do not permit it. We men must take the lead: Adam was first formed, then Eve, and besides, Eve, being immature, got involved, unwittingly, in transgression through her immaturity and inexperience. So are our women immature and inexperienced; they do not even understand fully the terrible dangers that confront them.” Thus might the Apostle, who, ten years before, wrote to the Corinthians about women “praying and prophesying,” and to the Galatians about the same time, to the effect that there could be no distinctions as regards sex in the Christian body, now consistently write after this manner to Timothy, for he must have regard for the situation under Nero, and the relations of Christians to the social order about them.

We should translate and punctuate 1 Tim. 2:8-15 as follows:

Verse 8. I desire that the men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting, and the women likewise [or “in like manner”]

Verse 9. [I desire women] to array themselves in a befitted catastola, with reverence and restraint, not with braids, or gold, or pearls, or costly garments.

Verse 10. But as becomes women proclaiming godliness, with good deeds.

Verse 11. Let a woman learn, quietly, in all subjection [to God].

Verse 12. Now I permit a woman neither to teach nor exercise authority over a man, but let her be in quietness.

Verse 13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

Verse 14. And Adam was not deceived [when he sinned]; but the woman, having [first] been thoroughly deceived, became [involved] in the transgression [of Adam],

Verse 15. And she will be saved by the Child-bearing [i.e., the bearing of Jesus Christ], if they abide in faith, and love and sanctification with self-restraint.

We should remember that St. Paul himself must, in such perilous times, be cautious how he writes. He could hardly say, in unambiguous language all that he could wish to express, without imperiling Timothy and his church.

Now for the explanation: Bloomfield says: “Here almost all modern expositors take the sense to be, ‘And in like manner I wish women to adorn themselves,’ etc. But there is no correspondence such as is expressed by ‘in like manner.’ Now as it is likely that the Apostle would address something to the women as well as to the men, on the subject of prayer, I agree with the ancient and a few modern expositors (as Grotius), that we must repeat not only ‘I desire,’ from the preceding, but also ‘pray.’ Grotius indeed repeats the whole sentence.” Conybeare and Howson say, “After ‘women’ we must supply ‘pray’ (as Chrysostom does), or something equivalent (to take part in worship, etc.), from the preceding context.” Prof. Ramsay (Expositor, Sept. 1909) says: “The necessary and inevitable sense of the word [“likewise”] is that the whole body of women is to be understood as affected by what has been said about men.” In other words, Paul wishes that the women too would “pray everywhere,” etc. Wrongly punctuated, as it is in our Bible, it teaches that women are to dress like men praying with uplifted hands. Strange it would be to be telling men and women to dress the same.

“Lifting up holy hands,” was the customary attitude in public prayer, seeming to express a helpless appeal to God. A century later, Tertullian writes, “For Emperors we supplicate the true, the living, the eternal God, in whose power they are…with hands extended because harmless: with head uncovered because not ashamed; without a prompter because from the heart we ask long life and every blessing for them… Then, while we stand praying before God, let the ungulae [instruments of torture] tear us, the crosses bear our weight, let the flames envelope us, the sword divide our throats, the beasts spring upon us; the very posture of a praying Christian is a preparation for every punishment.” “without wrath and doubting,” because in such times, only grace could restrain wrath against their cruel tormentors; only strong faith could preserve from doubt as to God’s goodness.

Verse 9. “To array themselves in a befitting catastola, with reverence and self-restraint,.” Under the conditions of peril to women, it was very appropriate for the Apostle to impress the need of a very unobtrusive costume for the women who took part in public meetings. Indeed it were well if the Christian women of our own day would obey the Scriptural injunctions regarding plain and unobtrusive dressing; women sin greatly in this regard. The catastola is mentioned in Scripture only here and in the Greek O.T. version at Isai. 61:3. It was a loose garment that reached to the feet, and was worn with a girdle. The word may be used as an equivalent for “garment”, yet it seems more likely that the Apostle should have used this rare term (rare in Scripture), rather in its specific application. A spirit of “reverence and self-restraint” would ever prevent a woman from becoming a mere tool of fashion. The word “reverence” (aidos) translated “shamefacedness,” is used in only one other place in the N.T., Heb.12:28. where it speaks of having reverence toward God. It was not necessary for the translators to concoct an “unmeaning corruption,” as Dean Alford calls “shamefacedness,” in order to describe what the word means, because it applied to women. The Revisers changed it to “shamefastness,” an obsolete word without meaning to the average mind; excepting that both words convey the sense that women should always be ashamed of themselves.

Verse 10. “But as becometh women proclaiming godliness, with good deeds.” The reference may be to Dorcas – Acts 9:36. We must study that phrase rendered “professing godliness.” It conveys an idea to modern thought such as “professing conversion,” “religion,” or “sanctification.” But the N.T. word for what we call Christian profession is “confession,”see Matt. 10:32, 1 Tim. 6:13. It is the Greek word, homologeo, or exhomologeo. But here we have a totally different word, epaggelomai. Two “g”s coming together are pronounced “ng” in Greek. This is a word from which we get “angel, messenger.” The first letters, ep, are for the Greek preposition epi, “to.” The verb means, “I bring a message to.” The verb is often used as meaning “I promise,” but though in the reflexive form, it takes a direct object after it, something is promised to somebody. But the word can hardly be separated from the idea of a “message;” and it is also far-fetched to imagine it means to “promise to be godly,”rather, it means to “promise godliness” to someone else.

The only other passage in the N.T. where the word is translated “profess” is in this same Epistle (6:21), “which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” Read the connection. It means that the “babblers” themselves “promised” these things to others, that is, proclaimed them. Prof. Ramsay, in the Expositor (July 1909), says of this very word in 6:21, that it “regularly implies that the person mentioned came before the public with promises, in order to gain supporters; it is applied to candidates for municipal favor and votes in the Greek cities, who publicly announced what they intended to do for the general benefit, if they gained popular support.”

If this be the meaning “regularly implied” by the word, then why not here, where it relates to women? These women messengers of the faith would seek “to gain supporters,” not, however, for themselves, but standard-bearers of the Cross; and they “promise godliness” in place of a sin-burdened heart, to those who will accept the offer of salvation. In such a time of peril, women might not be safe teaching and controlling the work of men, for this would involve a certain freedom of manner between the sexes. But there would be much less danger of scandal in women praying and speaking in the generally small meetings in private homes of the Christians, in which case all could testify as to what was said. Indeed it is difficult to imagine that when men assembled in the home of some woman, who was their hostess, that they required their hostess to veil herself and lapse into silence before they began the meeting. The practical difficulty would be to get hostesses to open their homes to men on such terms.

Verse 11: This verse is generally interpreted as teaching that all women are to learn God’s law “in all submission” to man’s law. If such be the case, why not at once learn man’s law wholly? Such teaching as this contravenes the Lord’s own warning, No one [for so it should be translated] can serve two masters; for he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.” The husband has not been mentioned heretofore, nor in this verse. The assumption that woman is to learn God’s law in subjection to her husband’s law is quite gratuitous. Paul does not say this. Supposing the woman is not married, or is a widow, or has been divorced (as many were in those days), from a heathen husband on account of her religion, what then?

But for the fact that we have had a long drill in a misconception, or inference from these words would be, that the woman who is learning the Word of God must have a spirit of “subjection” to God; or, perhaps, a spirit of subjection to the teacher (man or woman); Paul enjoins subjection and even obedience to religious teachers (1 Cor.16:16. Heb.13:17). We believe Paul here directs that a woman who comes asking to be taught the Christian religion is to be allowed to learn, but in “quietness,” because, as we have shown, the teaching of women led to persecution, and it must be understood that she comes with the serious purpose of harmonizing her life to the religion she is taught, and that is all Paul’s words mean. The matter must be conducted “in quietness,” because the Jews would be angered thereby. The Jews had a different spirit towards the learning of women at this time: “Let the law be burned rather than committed to a woman;” “He that teaches his daughter the law, is as though he taught her to sin.” This is the teaching of the Talmud. Dr. Edersheim, in his book, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, says: “Women were interdicted engaging in rabbinical studies and a story is related to show how even the wisest of women, Beruria, was thereby brought to the extreme brink of danger.” Recalling then the fact that such teaching was angering to the Jews, and the aggressiveness of Christianity in making female converts angering to the Romans, we have a clear explanation why Paul would advise it to be done “in quietness,” and only to those who would learn “in all subjection,” not to those who might wish to learn merely on account of mental inquisitiveness.

An example can be given today regarding The Knights. At this point in time we tell our members to be quiet about their involvement. Do not go around bragging to others that you are in the Klan. Always be discreet about who you share this information with. This extends even to recruiters. Recruiters are asked to quietly pass out literature, share videos or tapes with friends or family members, talk with interested persons that we put them in touch with, read, study, and stay informed of current events. This doesn’t literally mean that they must not talk when distributing literature or that they are under some penalty for discussing their association with others. Nor is it to last forever. At this moment in time it is important for members to keep their association private and confidential. They are not doing anything wrong, immoral, or illegal, but they could suffer persecution and we want them to do their “missionary work in a quiet and subtle manner”. But the goal is for these circumstances to end – when every Klansman and Klanswoman can boldly proclaim their part in white Christian revival.

The word “silence” should be translated “quietness,” and so it is in the R.V. The same word occurs in 2 Thess.3:12, where Paul says: “We command and exhort … that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.” No one supposed that in this latter passage Paul commands the men to be dumb when about their daily task, but only that they attend to their own business, and make no unnecessary fuss about it. And so here, women are to learn “in quietness,” not in absolute silence. The quietness may be as much enjoined upon the one who is teaching as the one who is learning. It is not to be told abroad, or boasted of, by either teacher or learner, that the woman is learning. But yet, the woman is to be allowed to learn. That was a step far in advance of the practice of the Jews. That women might do this teaching will appear plain to the unprejudiced who read Titus 2:3,4. In fact it is most likely that women taught the women.

Verse 12: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority,” etc., gives the impression that Paul forbade women, under all circumstances, to teach anyone whatsoever. This constitutes a contradiction of plain evidence. Paul did not forbid it, absolutely. He merely states here his own practice in times of fierce persecution and a fierce attack upon the moral reputation of the Christians, under those conditions he did no allow women to teach men. But he not only allowed but told women to teach women, at this very time, he wrote Titus. Therefore that comma after “teach,” in the A.V. and R.V. both, is out of place, and the verse should be read as though written: “I suffer not a woman to teach [a man] or to control a man, but to be in quietness,” that is, to teach women alone, and so even that quietly. Paul did not, at other periods in his ministry, forbid women to teach men. This is an exceptional, prudential measure to meet a dire necessity of perilous times. All are bound to agree that the order of the names, Priscilla and Aquila, proves that Priscilla was the more active and able of these two helpers of Paul. Their names should stand in this order, the woman’s first (see R.V.) in Acts 18:26, where it is stated that they taught Apollos. That is, Priscilla was his principal teacher (see pars. 195-196). Timothy, to whom Paul writes this Epistle, had a heathen father (Acts 16:1), but a mother and grandmother who had instructed him in the Bible, and Paul congratulates Timothy on his good fortune in this regard, 2 Tim. 1:5. And yet, commentators who admit these facts freely, go on teaching us, by bad punctuation, that Paul absolutely forbids women to teach anyone at all. Then how could Paul say: “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband” (1 Cor 7:16)? The word “usurp” in the expression, “nor to usurp authority over the man,” does not occur in the original; and the word “the,” which also does not exist in the original text, is misleading. The insertion of “usurp” without warrant, in this translation, is an index of the spirit which has prompted the interpretation of this entire passage, an assumption, against proof to the contrary, that it is man’s exclusive right to teach woman and his right to rule her.

Verse 13: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” This verse is interpreted as meaning that Adam was first created, then Eve. But the word here employed, plasso, is not the word for “create,” the latter word is ktizo,nor does it mean the same. The Greek lexicon says the word means, “to mold, form, shape, to put in a certain form.” It is translated “fashioned” Psalm 119:73 and Job 10:8, in the Greek version (see par.30). The lesson that Paul would teach is this; as Adam was first developed and then Eve, in the natural world, so must it be in the social world. There are social perils for women that men never encounter. The crime of all crimes far worse than murder cannot, in the nature of things, be committed against man; therefore, when woman’s virtue is threatened, as it was in the Neronian persecutions, there is no question but man must go first. He can carry the contest forward with more safety where woman would encounter the greatest peril; therefore he should be the pioneer, the “head”, in attacking and destroying social conditions dangerous to woman’s virtue. And again, the world over, apart from the spirit of Christianity, woman has been hampered and hindered in development. To the end that women might be controlled, the custom was early established of the male marrying a female of less mature years than himself; so that a habit of immaturity of mind and character has been cultivated in women. This was more the social condition in Paul’s day than now. Paul speaks here of that immaturity and inexperience which the rival sex has brought about, and the obligations it imposes upon Christian men to take the lead in time of peril. But Paul’s spirit is very different from the spirit of theology at this point. He promises another condition for the future of women, in the words “then Eve.” Eve, under the influence of Christianity, is to have her full social development. But theology has taught, “Eve never!” and reproved her aspiration towards full development, as though it were a sin against God and nature.

Verse 14: “And Adam was not deceived; but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Bishop Ellicott declares the sense of this verse to be; “He sinned, quite aware of the magnitude of the sin he was committing. Eve, on the other hand, was completely, thoroughly deceived.” The word means more than “deceived,” as translated,: it means “thoroughly deceived,” in Eve’s case..

We have shown that in this very passage, which is generally interpreted as Paul’s strongest denunciation of the public ministry of women, he expresses a wish that women should “pray everywhere,” and recommends a suitable attire for women “proclaiming godliness.” “But,” says an objector, “what about women learning ‘in quietness?’ ” That evidently relates to a learner, not to a woman teacher, or preacher. “But women perhaps capable of teaching men are likewise told to be ‘in quietness,’ verse 12.”

In verse 13, the Apostle declares that Adam, having been first formed, and hence being older than Eve, was “not deceived.” Paul is not here comparing the quality of Eve’s sin to Adam’s sin: if that were the case the illustration would be out of place for application to Christian workers. All Paul’s thought is centered on proper equipment for service in the Church at a time of great peril to the Church, and he makes the point that in time of tempest an inexperienced and immature person should not be put at the rudder of the ship. Paul does not argue that a willful sinner, like Adam, is of more value than a deceived person. Paul did not go about ordaining, in the Church, knaves to govern fools. He is dealing with Christians, all of whom have been forgiven their sins of the past, and therefore they are reduced to a common level in Christ’s atonement (as he asserts, Gal. 3:28), though when it comes to Christian service, some are fitted for it and some are not: some are suited to take the lead, and some, because of immaturity of mind, and because exposed to peculiar dangers, should be more quiet.

Paul refers here to woman’s social condition of inexperience and immaturity, as leaving her vulnerable to deception, when she does not willfully intend to go wrong. But this is his next thought: “She shall be saved by [or through] the Childbearing.” Again, Paul is not here speaking of woman’s salvation from sin, or from perdition. His mind is on offices in the Church to be filled only by persons already saved from sin. He has now turned away from the individual Eve, and says “the woman,” that is, all womankind, using a collective form, after which, in the following verse, he employs a plural pronoun “they.” (This in Winer’s interpretation here, and no better grammatical authority on N.T. Greek could be quoted). The thought then is, that woman, finding herself involved in a condition of social disorder brought about by transgression, will not escape as readily as man her full development requiring more time than his. Since man, even in that day, was less a victim of circumstances than woman, so in the Church must he shoulder the heavier responsibilities. This word ‘saved’ is often used in the N.T. of other than precisely spiritual or moral forms of rescue, see the marginal readings of Mark 5:23, Luke 8:36, in the R. V. Paul implies that woman’s social rescue began in the birth of Jesus Christ; and we all know how Christianity, unhampered by the narrowness of man, is calculated to elevate woman, until in Christ she stands on his level (Gal. 3:27, 28), rather, both, in Christ, as on His level.

A Savior would be born of a woman

Sadly many have forgotten the warning in the Bible “Beware of Jewish fables..” Those who have taken the words of Paul out of context to substantiate their belief in the oral traditions of the rabbis have caused great harm to women and have impeded them from truly serving the lord.

First Timothy 2:13-15 needs to be addressed as well. It would appear that Paul is blaming women for everything.

1 Tim. 2: 13, KJV
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

Here Paul is using the example of Adam and Eve to underscore domestic order. We have already learned that Adam and Eve were one in the beginning. Adam was created “first” in time. They were both “formed” or “molded or shaped” this word was also used of artists who wrought in clay or wax.

1 Tim. 2:14, KJV
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Indeed, Eve was “deceived.” This word means “cheated, deluded, beguiled.” but Adam knowingly walked into the transgression with his eyes wide open- that was worse! He was “with her” in the temptation. The serpent tempted the man and the woman. “Ye” and “your” are plural pronouns in the Book of Genesis. The results of the fall happened to “both” of them at the same time, as recorded in Genesis3:4-7. To blame Eve for the fall and to attribute the subsequent consequences to her deception is to foster hostility and a prejudice that she can never live down.

Most feel that Adam knew the name of the nature of the serpent; Eve did not. Accordingly, the woman was not “dumber” than Adam; she was just newer in the time of her creation, and thus more vulnerable. Adam sinned with understanding. His was a conscious choice based on knowledge. Adam failed to teach his wife; therefore, Paul also warned the brothers not to make the same mistake. Men of the faith should take great care in teaching their wives. However, it should not be done in a brutish manner, but rather with concern and care.

Adam was beside Eve, and they were without excuse. Eve should have protected herself and taken dominion, and so should have Adam. Eve was tricked and deceived into believing the devil. Adam watched her but did not intervene; then he did the same thing deliberately. Furthermore, the Bible states emphatically four times that through Adam, sin came into the world. While Adam did put blame upon Eve, what is worse is that he put blame upon God. “The woman YOU gave to me” and he said this right in front of Satan.

1 Tim. 2:15, KJV
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing…

Women are not saved by childbearing because not all women have children, not all births are painful, and not all women are married. Although this verse is a promise to women with regard to birthing children, there is more to it. The woman will be saved “in” childbearing. This is the preposition dia, a primary preposition denoting the channel or instrumentality of an act. “Childbearing” is the the Greek word teknogonia, a compound of two words -teknon, which means “child” and gennao, which means “to beget, to birth.” A child born of a woman would be our savior.

Gen: 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His head.

Eve, the woman, would be saved through the Child that she would bear-the Seed of the woman who would bruise the serpent’s head! This is the emancipation of women. God gave the first mother a special promise, “Eve, you will bring forth a Savior.”

Women can pray, proclaim, and learn. They are no longer under the shadow of Eve’s deception any more than men are under the shadow of Adam’s willful sin. Jesus redeemed the woman and the man.

Did Jesus say that women cannot teach or witness or vote? No. Did the apostles? Does the Bible? No! Then who did? the Judaizers declared this, relying upon their oral law and even today we find many churches and Christians calling them selves Judeo-Christians. Yet Paul warns us of the oral law of the Jews.

NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY AS A MESSIANIC SIGN

Concerning the ministry of prophecy during the Church Age, Acts 2:17-18 states, “And it shall come to pass, in the last days, says God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Here, Peter quotes Joel 2:28 to explain the phenomena of Pentecost. He goes on to show that in the Messianic “last days” that Jesus has inaugurated, the prophecy of Joel is fulfilled. Without respect of persons, God will pour out His Spirit upon all people, and they will speak Divine revelations. The Gospel is offered to all, and the sign of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced in speaking in tongues and prophecy, is offered freely to all who believe.

On the day of Pentecost, one hundred and twenty followers of Christ were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in languages they had never learned, publicly proclaiming “the wonderful works of God.” According to Acts 1:14, these one hundred and twenty Holy Spirit-inspired preachers included both men and women. Their speech was not just ecstatic praise, although that would be wonderful enough, but inspired preaching which listeners understood in their own languages. Its purpose and effect was the conversion to Christ of hearers from many lands and languages and their becoming unified as members of His Body, the church, the community of believers in Jesus.

PROPHECY AND EVANGELISM

New Testament tongues and prophecy, given both to men and women, thus have an evangelistic purpose. They are signs and wonders demonstrating the marvel of God’s mercy and abundant grace offered to all and poured out for all through Jesus Christ. This is why it is so important that the freedom to prophesy and preach not be restricted. We can only demonstrate the Gospel by allowing God to be God and letting all those He fills with His Spirit and so directs testify of His wonderful works! The medium IS the message. A church that allows only a few professionals to preach the Gospel conveys a false message that free participation in the Gospel is only for the elite. But when all believers are free to exercise the gifts God gives them, the Gospel is seen for what it truly is–good news for all people..

PROPHECY GIVEN WITHOUT RESPECT OF PERSONS

Acts goes on to quote Joel that “even upon my menservants and maidservants I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Note that God calls those He sovereignty fills with His Spirit His servants and says that “all flesh” shall prophesy. New Testament prophecy is not reserved for the spiritually mature, but a gift God offers freely to all believers. Thus, the prayer of Moses is fulfilled, “would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them.” (Num. 11:29) Through the free exercise of inspired preaching in the church, God demonstrates His extravagant grace!

The gift of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by speaking in unknown languages and declaring the praises of God, was also poured out upon new converts to Christ at the household of Cornelius in Capernaum. Here, the grace of God was extended cross-culturally to white people of different nationality. God had to prepare Peter by giving him a vision three times. When the leaders of the church at Jerusalem questioned what Peter had done in baptizing these other nationalities (not to be confused with other races, but rather different nations of white people) said, “Since God gave them the same gift as to us, who believed in the Lord Jesus, who was I to oppose God?” (Acts 11:17) This is an attitude all Christians would do well to emulate.

THE APOSTLE JUNIA

In Romans 16:7, Paul praises a woman named Junia as “outstanding among the apostles.” Despite the modern mistranslation of her name as masculine “Junias” or “Junius,” no commentator prior to the 13th century questioned that this apostle was a woman.

1 For example, John Chrysostom, whose writings often express misogyny, wrote of Romans 16:7, “O how great is the devotion of this woman that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!”

2 This unanimity of testimony over a milennium is particularly striking since it remained during a long period of eroding toleration of women’s ministries in the medieval church. The reason for the witness is simple: all the ancient Greek and Latin manuscripts commending the oustanding apostles in Romans 16:7 read either “Junia” or “Julia”, both feminine forms.

Both Junia and Julia were very common ancient Greek woman’s names, whereas the masculine alternatives suggested by modern commentators have no manuscript evidence to support them. “Junius” and “Junianus” suggested by some, are perfectly good Roman man’s names. However, they occur in NO ancient manuscript of Romans 16:7! Of the hypothetical name “Junias,” Bernadette Brooten writes, “What can a modern philologist say about Junias? Just this: it is unattested. To date, not a single reference in ancient literature has been cited by any of the proponents of the Junias hypothesis. This means that we do not have a single shred of evidence that the name Junias ever existed.”

3 Note that Brooten is not only speaking of the lack of this name in NT manuscripts, but in ANY ancient manuscript, Greek or Latin, secular or sacred!

Certain early manuscripts do contain a variant name, but it, too, is feminine. “Julia” is found in P46, it, cop, eth, and Ambrosiaster. P46, a papyrus manuscript dating about 200 AD, is one of the most ancient and reliable Greek mss of the NT extant. In Romans 16:7, P46 reads “Julia,” which can only be feminine. What does this mean? That in Romans 16, St. Paul commends a noteworthy woman apostle. It also means that translators who found a woman apostle unacceptable made up the name “Junias” to substitute their own word for the Word of God. That is how important limiting women’s freedom has been to religious legalists under rabbinal influence.

What does the Bible say? Paul calls Junia his kinsman and fellow prisoner. Like Paul, she had suffered persecution and imprisonment for the Gospel. Evidently, her ministry and faith were known even outside the church. Sometimes we forget what early Christians under the iron fist of pagan Rome had to suffer to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. For Junia and Andronicus (perhaps her husband), being an apostle wasn’t a matter of privilege, but prison.

According to Romans 16:7, Junia had become a Christian before Paul himself. Since his conversion occurred just a few years after the Resurrection of Christ, Junia must have been one of the earliest converts to Christianity and probably was one of the founders of the church at Rome. She may have traveled to Jerusalem for Passover and witnessed the crucifixion and later, the ascension of the resurrected Christ. Or perhaps she was one of the “visitors from Rome, who were converted by the women and men who, filled with God’s Spirit, proclaimed “the wonderful works of God” at Pentecost. We know that the Roman church was already well established before Peter and

Paul traveled there (Ro. 1:7-13). Paul writes that after His resurrection, Christ appeared to 500 “brothers” at one time and later to all the apostles, most of whom were still living (I Cor. 15:5-7). In Greek, “brothers” is a generic, figurative term for all true Christians.

5 Note also that in the I Cor.15:5-7 passage, the “apostles” who witnessed the resurrected Christ are distinct from and in addition to the Twelve.

Paul calls himself “the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church” but calls Junia “outstanding among the apostles.” It would be wonderful to know more about Junia, Andronicus and the founding of the church at Rome, but this seminal body of believers was largely wiped out during the persecutions of Nero, and their history died with them.

What do we know about the apostles? According to the New Testament, apostles are given by God,

workers of miracles,

witnesses who proclaimed Christ’s resurrection

founders and leaders of churches

preachers and teachers

disciples and financial managers of the church.

While not every apostle was necessarily involved in all these ministries, there is no reason to think that a recognized apostle such as Junia was barred from any of them. Unlike many churches today, 1st century believers honored the women ministers God gave them. (Romans 16:1 “I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, being a minister also of the assembly which is in Chenchreae..stand by her in any matter wherein she may have need of you; for she also hath proved to be a defender of many, and of my own self.” Sacred Name Bible}Those who would diminish Junia’s contribution should remember that Paul does not refer to her as a lesser apostle, but on the contrary praises her as outstanding among the apostles. She was so outstanding an apostle that the pagan and Jewish persecutors of Christians saw her as dangerous and imprisoned her to prevent her from continuing her apostolic mission – unsuccessfully, it seems, for she and Andronicus had been released and were bravely continuing to minister in the church at Rome when Paul sent his epistle there.

WOMEN PROPHETS BEFORE CHRIST

There had always been women prophets in Israel. Miriam, who by her faith and courage saved her baby brother Moses from death when she was just a child, prophesied to the nation and was set before them as a leader by God Himself along with Moses and Aaron (Micah 6:4). Miriam led the women of Israel in praise to God at the Red Sea, exulting with the men in God’s victory over Pharaoh’s armies.

Deborah– prophetess, judge and military leader– is the most celebrated woman prophet of the Old Testament because she brought liberty to Israel through her faith, courage and boldness. Judges 4:4 is generally translated as “Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lapidoth. . .” but the Hebrew word here translated “wife” usually means “woman,” and Lapidoth is not attested elsewhere as a man’s name. Rather, it is the ordinary feminine plural for the word “fire.” As her career demonstrates, Deborah was a fiery woman! The Hebrew is emphatic that SHE judged Israel at that time. Respecting her as a wise woman who heard from God and knew His Law, the people of Israel came to her for judgment. When the word of the Lord came to Deborah, she summoned Barak from Naphtali and directed him to obey God by mustering troops against the oppressor Sisera. When Barak agreed to do so only if Deborah accompanied him, she did not hesitate to go and rally the troops. Some have looked down on Barak as a sniveling coward who wouldn’t go to battle with out his “mother” figure. But Barak was a great man and warrior who was following in the Israelite tradition of having a prophet go with the military to secure God’s blessing. You may recall the story of Moses – and the two helpers holding his hands up toward heaven when he became weary after hours of uplifted hands bringing Gods victory to battle.

After the victory, in the ode of celebration, Deborah sings, “The villages ceased, they ceased in Israel until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose a mother in Israel.” Deborah heard the word of the Lord and was obedient to God’s call. In response to that call, not human invitation, Deborah rose up to lead her nation, inspiring others to follow her faith. Because of her courage and fear of God, not man, the nation was set free and enjoyed peace for forty years.

The prophetess Huldah taught at the college in Jerusalem and brought revival to the nation when she confirmed the Word of God that was brought to her and prophesied judgment and grace to King Josiah, the high priest, and the religious elite of her day. These men received and acted upon her declaration as it was, the word of God, not a human. Note that this occurred during the ministry of Jeremiah, who had been prophesying at Jerusalem for five years by the time the Lord used Huldah to speak His message. God wasn’t out of men to use! He deliberately chose to use this woman. According to the original edition of the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “The standing and reputation of Huldah in the city are attested by the fact that she was consulted when the Book of the Law was discovered. The king, high priest, counselors, etc. appealed to her rather than to Jeremiah, and her word was accepted by all of the word of Jehovah.” (“Huldah” by J. J. Reeve, ISBE, Vol. III, Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915, p. 1389)

And Lest we forget Princess Tea Tephi, the tender twig (feminine)cropped from the high branch (King Zedekiah) and planted elsewhere (Britain) to continue the Davidic Line as promised by God.

PROPHECY IN THE MESSIANIC AGE

It is ironic that some today assume that God would have His New Testament handmaidens–washed in the blood of His Son, filled with His Holy Spirit, and set free from the Law–do less than His handmaidens under the old covenant! Especially since Jesus told His followers, “greater works than these shall ye do, because I go to my Father.” The only winner in this battle is Satan, who divides the church, silences the female majority, and deludes the minority to trust in the flesh instead of God’s Spirit. Like Deborah, we need to let God be God and be faithful to Him. Like Barak, we need to listen to God speaking to us through His chosen prophets, whether male or female.

NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETESSES

New Testament prophetesses include Anna (Luke 2:36-38), the first to proclaim Jesus as the Redeemer publicly; Elizabeth (Luke 2:41-45), who recognized Christ while still in His mother’s womb; Mary (Luke 2:46-55), who through faith conceived God in the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prophets are well known for predicting future events; and Mary, the mother of Jesus, did just that when she said, “The Lord has regarded the humble estate of His handmaiden; from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Lk.1:48) So did her cousin Elizabeth, who declared, “Blessed is she who believed, for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Lk.1:45) Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Mary also rightly interpreted Scripture concerning the Abrahamic Covenant as fulfilled in her Divine Son (vs.54-55).

The Book of Acts tells us that the evangelist Philip had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. The early fourth-century historian Eusebius writes that the family moved to Asia. In the epistle of Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, to Victor, bishop of Rome, we learn that “in Asia, also, mighty luminaries have fallen asleep . . .Philip, one of the twelve apostles who sleeps in Hierapolis, and his two aged virgin daughters. Another of his daughters, who lived in the holy Spirit, rests at Ephesus.” (Eusebius, book 2, ch XXXI) Eusebius goes on to say, “But we must now show how Papias, coming to them (at Hierapolis), received a wonderful account from the daughters of Philip. For he writes that in his time there was one raised from the dead.” (Ibid, ch. XXXIX)

Eusebius mentions this as part of Papias’ credentials, who “professes to have received the declarations of the apostles from those that were in company with them. . . ” Thus, the accounts Papias received from the daughters of Philip, along with other trustworthy Christians who were likewise acquainted with the apostles, were accepted as authoritative.

This account is significant because Papias was a second-generation believer very highly regarded by the early church. A disciple of John at Ephesus and link to the bishop and martyr Polycarp, Papias is our earliest source for much post-apostolic tradition. Eusebius was the foremost church historian of his age who documented both the New Testament and sub-apostolic periods. The fact that Eusebius cites Papias’ contact with the daughters of Philip as proof in part of Papias’ own credentials as a reliable authority for early Christians shows the very high regard in which these prophetesses were held.

That these women prophets were highly regarded by the early church is evident from the writing of Apolinaris of Hierapolis, who in refuting the claims of the ecstatic prophets Montanus and Maximilla, wrote, “But the false prophet is carried away by a vehement ecstasy, accompanied by want of all shame and fear. Beginning, indeed, with a designed ignorance and terminating in involuntary madness. They will never be able to show that any of the Old or any of the New Testament were thus violently agitated and carried away in spirit. Neither will they be able to boast that Agabus or Judas or Silas or the daughters of Philip or Ammias in Philadelphia or Quadratus or others that do not belong to them ever acted in this way.” (Eusebius Book V ch. XVII) Here, Aplinaris points to the daughters of Philip as examples of true, Godly prophets.

Quite early in the church’s history, Christians who continued to exercise charismatic gifts including prophecy after the apostolic age were considered to be heretics. With increasing persecutions against the church, emphasis shifted from evangelism with signs following to courage and witness under the tortures of martyrdom. Reverence for the apostles and prophets who founded the church produced an attitude of humility which deterred people from seeking to emulate their ministry themselves. The healing ministry continued through the intercession of martyrs more than through living believers; and with the formalization of the New Testament canon, the ministry of prophets was seen as no longer needed. A growing church hierarchy had a dampening effect on lay ministry. As the practice of charismatic gifts died out in most churches, ecstatic prophets were viewed as too similar to pagan prophets, with whom they were categorized.

During the latter part of the second century, a Christian sect developed in Phrygia, led by one Montanus and two prophetesses, Priscilla and Maximilla. Church historian Philip Schaff writes, “During the bloody persecutions under the Antonines, which raged in Asia Minor and caused the death of Polycarp AD155, all three went forth as prophets and reformers of the Christian life, and proclaimed the near approach of the age of the Holy Spirit and of the millennial reign in Pepuza, a small village of Phrygia, upon which the new Jerusalem was to come down. Scenes took place similar to those under the preaching of the first Quakers, and the glossolalia and prophesying in the Irvingite congregations.” (Philip Schaff, History of The Christian Church, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882-1910, vol 2, p. 414.)

The Montanists adhered to Catholic church doctrine but called believers to a higher standard of holiness and to the practice of prophetic gifts. They believed in preparing for the coming Judgment, return of Christ and the millennial age by fasting and other ascetic practices, terming themselves “spiritual” as opposed to “carnal” Christians. Montanist prophets sometimes fell into trances and prophesied in the first person. These practices, along with the fact that their leadership did not arise from the Catholic clergy but from lay men and even women, brought criticism.

Philip Schaff wrote, “This brings us to another feature of the Montanistic movement, the assertion of the universal priesthood of Christians, even of females, against the special priesthood in the Catholic church. Under this view, (Montanism) may be called a democratic reaction against the clerical aristocracy, which from the time of Ignatius had more and more monopolized all ministerial privileges and functions. The Montanists found the true qualification and appointment for the office of teacher in direct endowment by the Spirit of God, in distinction from outward ordination and episcopal succession. They everywhere proposed the supernatural element and the free motion of the Spirit against the mechanism of a fixed ecclesiastical order.” (Schaff, op. cit, p. 418). Catholic clerics denounced the Montantists as presumptuous and assumed that their supernatural manifestations were demonic, not divine. Most of them were excommunicated.

The theologian Tertullian, who became a Montanist at the turn of the third century, wrote, “. . . we have among us now a sister who has been granted gifts of revelations, which she experiences in church during the Sunday services through ecstatic vision in the Spirit. . . And after the people have been dismissed at the end of the service it is her custom to relate to us what she has seen. . .” (Tertullian, De Anima, ix c.210)

The Montanist movement attracted a wide following in Rome, Asia, Constantinople and North Africa and continued in the church to the sixth century, when its rigors caused it to die out. Schaff writes, “But the religious earnestness which animated it, its prophecies and visions, its millennarianism, and the fanatical extremes into which it ran, have since reappeared, under various names and forms, and in new combinations, in Novatianism, Donatism, the spiritualism of the Franciscans, Anabaptism, the Camisard enthusiasm, Puritanism, Quakerism, Quietism, Pietism, Second Adventism, Irvingism, and so on, by way of protest and wholesome reaction against various evils in the church.” (Schaff, op. cit, p. 427) Many would include the twentieth- century Pentecostal movement and its child, the charismatic movement, with their emphasis on freedom in the Holy Spirit under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in this tradition.

Prisca (also called Priscilla) and her husband Aquilla, two of Paul’s “fellow-laborers” in the Gospel, instructed Apollos in the way of God according to Acts 18:24-26. That this instruction was not “out of order” is clear from the context, the beneficial results, and Paul’s commendation of Prisca’s ministry. The record in Acts tells us that Apollos was well-versed in the Scriptures and had been instructed in the way of the Lord. He both taught and preached in the synagogue at Ephesus where Priscilla and Aquilla, having heard him, took him and “expounded to him the way of God more accurately.”

This account is an interesting one for a number of reasons. It is the only occurrence after the Gospels in which the New Testament records that a Christian woman taught an adult male religious leader. The phrase “to them” found in the Western text and the use of the term “expounded” imply more than a single occurrence, suggesting that Prisca and Aquilla took Apollos into their house church and grounded him thoroughly in the faith.

Also it is clear from the rest of the passage that their teaching prepared Apollos for outstanding effectiveness in his preaching and evangelistic ministry. Acts 18:28 says that after Apollos left Ephesus with the encouragement and recommendation of the “brethren,” which means the Christian assembly, “he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.” Here we see an account of a woman teacher, along with her husband, educating an already learned man of great ability and preparing him for his greatest accomplishments in the Gospel. This example would seem to set a good precedent for women and seminary professors and Bible school teachers.

In the part on women pastors, we have already discussed the prominence Paul and Luke give to Prisca as the more outstanding leader as compared to her husband by naming her before him, contrary to universal ancient cultural practice. In light of this fact, it cannot be maintained that Aquilla was really the one who taught Apollos and led their house church. The most likely scenario is that Prisca was the main teacher and pastor with the assistance and support of her husband.

This occurrence creates a difficulty for those who believe that Paul taught in I Timothy that Christian women are not qualified to teach on the basis of the creation order and the Fall. That difficulty is intensified by Paul’s commendation of the many women who labored with him in the Gospel since one can hardly labor in the Gospel without preaching or teaching the Gospel. This thinking also runs contrary to the words of St. Peter on the day of Pentecost, who interpreted the women proclaiming the mighty works of God publicly, as the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” A study of the ministry of Biblical prophets shows that prophecy was not limited to telling future events, but also included expounding God’s Word and exhorting His people to turn to God and repent. So, for women to prophesy necessarily means that they preach and teach God’s Word under His authority.

For example, Huldah spoke a prophetic word to the king and the high priest regarding the interpretation of the Scriptures found in Deut. 29:25-27 which had been troubling the king. (II Kings 22:8-20, II Chron 34:14-28) It also occurred in the prophecy of Mary (Lk. 1:46-56), who quoted several psalms and applied them to her divine pregnancy. Many other examples could be given, but these should suffice to demonstrate the relatedness of prophecy, teaching and proclaiming “God’s Word.” As a side note, it is interesting that both Mary and Elizabeth prophesied the inspired words of Scripture in Luke 1:39-56 at a time when Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband and a priest, was unable to speak due to his lack of faith in the angel’s inspired message.

It is evident to anyone who will observe with an open mind that God does, indeed, empower and call women to teach and preach His Word and that His Spirit abundantly blesses their efforts with good fruit. Therefore, since God does not forbid what He Himself initiates, another explanation of the puzzling New Testament passages must be found. Extensive research of these puzzling passages and a summary of possible interpretations will be given in a later article. For now, let us look more closely at the accomplishments of women teachers in the early church.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy (II Timothy 1:5) he tells us that the apostle Timothy followed the faith of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Chapter 3:15 tells us that from childhood Timothy had learned the sacred Scriptures. We may infer that Lois and Eunice taught Timothy the Scriptures, introduced him to Jesus, and brought him up in the faith. Evidently they did a good job, for Timothy became Paul’s closest assistant, accompanying him on his missionary travels and eventually becoming bishop of Ephesus.

Many women in the early and medieval church brought up their children to become major religious leaders by their prayers, example and teaching, Probably the most famous was Emmelia, mother of ten, four of whose children were canonized as saints. Her mother, Macrina the Elder, was a Christian martyr. Her sons, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil the Great and Peter became bishops. Her daughter, Macrina the Younger (327-379 A.D.), was a brilliant thinker and educator who greatly influenced her brothers’ development, becoming fully responsible for Peter’s education after her mother’s death. She and her brother Basil founded a double monastery for men and women. There she taught, healed and prophesied for many years and established a hospital as large as a walled city. All four were declared saints by the Catholic church.

Some other women who followed in Priscilla’s footsteps include Marcella (325-410 A.D.), whose Church of the Household in Rome became a center of study, prayer and charity. Marcella assisted Jerome in combating heresies and settling theological disputes. She inspired another woman, Fabiola, to establish the first hospitals in Rome, and Marcella established the first retreat for Christian women on the outskirts of that city. Under Marcella’s leadership, Paula and her daughter Eustochium assisted Jerome in his Latin translation of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew. These women traveled to Bethlehem and dedicated the rest of their lives to translate, revise, and correct the manuscripts, several of which Jerome dedicated to them. There, Paula founded three convents and a monastery, establishing the model for Scripture study and copying in monasteries which continued until the Reformation.

Many other important women teachers could be mentioned. One of the most outstanding was Hilda (614-660 A.D.), abess of the convent at Hartlepool, County Durham. In 657 she founded a double monastery A.D. for men and women at Whitby in Yorkshire, which became renowned as the leading school of theology and literature in 7th-century England. Five of Hilda’s monks became bishops. One of them, John of Beverly, baptized the Venerable Bede, a medieval historian. A sixth, Caedmon, was the first known English poet. When Hilda heard his gift, she took him into the monastery from serfdom, taught him Bible stories, and encouraged him to write poems about them. Caedmon’s lyrics in the Anglo-Saxon tongue brought the faith alive to many who did not know Latin. Hilda also raised the king’s daughter, Aelfled, from infancy and educated the princess to become her successor. Bede wrote of Hilda, “She never failed to return thanks to her Maker or publicly or privately to instruct the flock committed to her charge.” May the same be said of us.

The ministry of martyrs is not one many Westerners would sign up for today. But it was essential to the preservation of infant Christianity and the eventual victory of the church over Roman paganism. As a result of the prayers, witness, and willingness to die of thousands of martyrs over hundreds of years, pagan Rome itself was eventually won to Jesus Christ.

Many of these martyrs were women. From the earliest time, before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus “made havoc of the church, entering into every house and arresting men and women, committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). Not satisfied with persecuting Christians at Jerusalem, Saul “yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus that if he found any of this way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2) These women could have protected themselves by keeping quiet, but they did not. Nor did their daughters in the faith later refrain from proclaiming Christ in the face of torture and death. Rather, they led the vanguard,lighting the way for others.

The earliest secular accounts extant of Christians who suffered for their faith bear witness to three women. Tacitus writes (Annales xiii 32, AD 57) of the trial of Pomponia Graecina, a woman of high rank, who was accused of “foreign superstition” and handed over to her husband as judge for trial. This woman was the first Christian persecuted for the faith that history records outside the New Testament. She suffered for her testimony even before the New Testament was completed!

Pliny the Younge (a famous Roman lawyer still quoted by many today) writes in his letter to Trajan (c. AD 112), “I thought it the more necessary, therefore, to find out what truth there was in this (accusation against Christians) by applying torture to two maidservants who were called ministers. But I found nothing but a depraved and extravagant superstition.” [Pliny, Epp.X (at Trajan) xcvi] These women, who may well have been quite young, were house servants, yet they were recognized publicly as Christian ministers (Latin “ministrae”, lit. “female ministers”). Their witness for Christ must have been public, for they were arrested and tortured to incriminate the rest of the church.

The apostle Peter’s wife was martyred before him during the Neronian persecution at Rome. Clement writes in his Stromateus, “They relate that the blessed Peter, seeing his own wife led away to execution, was delighted on account of her calling and return to her country, and that he cried to her in a consolatory and encouraging voice, addressing her by name: ‘Oh thou, remember ,the Lord!’ Such was the marriage of these blessed ones, and such was their perfect affection towards their dearest friends.”

Some of those persecuted were of high rank, giving up much for their Gospel witness. Eusebius writes, “At the same time, for professing Christ, Flavia Domatilla, the niece of Flavius Clemens, one of the consuls of Rome at that time, was transported with many others, by way of punishment, to the island of Pontia.” (Book 2, ch. XVIII) This was during the persecution of Domitian when the apostle John was exiled to Patmos, c. AD 93. Eusebius writes about those who suffered martyrdom at Pergamus around the time of Polycarp’s death, “Of these we mention only Carpus and Papylus, and a woman named Agathonice; who, after many and illustrious testimonies given by them, gloriously finished their course.” (Book 4, ch XV)

A terrible persecution broke out against Christians in Gaul under the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 138-161). Eusebius Book V, ch. 1 gives a full account of the martyr Blandina from accounts written by Christians at Lyons and Vienna to the saints in Asia and Phrygia. “Blandina, also, in whom Christ made manifest that the things that appear mean and deformed and contemptible among men are esteemed of great glory with God on account of love for him, which is really and powerfully displayed, and glories not in mere appearance. For while we were all trembling, and her earthly mistress, who was herself one of the contending martyrs, was apprehensive lest through the weakness of the flesh she should not be able to profess her faith with sufficient freedom, Blandina was filled with such power that her ingenious tormentors who relieved and succeeded each other from morning till night, confessed that they were overcome and had nothing more that they could inflict upon her. Only amazed that she still continued to breathe after her whole body was torn asunder and pierced, they gave their testimony that one single kind of the torture inflicted was of itself sufficient to destroy life, without resorting to so many and such excruciating sufferings as these. But this blessed saint, as a noble wrestler, in the midst of her confession itself renewed her strength, and to repeat, ‘I am a Christian, no wickedness is carried on by us,’ was to her rest, refreshment and relief from pain. ..”

When led into the amphitheater to die, “Blandina was bound and suspended on a stake, and thus exposed as food to the assaults of wild beasts, and as she thus appeared to hang after the manner of the cross, by her earnest prayers she infused much alacrity into the contending martyrs. For as they saw her in the contest, with the external eyes, through their sister, they contemplated Him that was crucified for them, to persuade those that believe in him, that every one who suffers for Christ will forever enjoy communion with the living God. But as none of the beasts then touched her, she was taken down from the stake, and remanded back again to prison to be reserved for another contest, so that by gaining the victory in many conflicts, she might render the condemnation of the wily serpent, irrefragable, and though small and weak and contemptible, but yet clothed with the mighty and invincible wrestler Christ Jesus, might also encourage her brethren. Thus she overcame the enemy in many trials, and in the conflict received the crown of immortality.”

The Christians were tortured and martyred for several more days, “After all these, on the last day of the shows of gladiators, Blandina was again brought forth together with Ponticus, a youth about fifteen years old. These were brought in every day to see the tortures of the rest. Force was also used to make them swear by their idols and when they continued firm and denied their pretended divinity, the multitude became outrageous at them, so that they neither compassionated the youth of the boy nor regarded the sex of the woman. Hence, they subjected them to every horrible suffering and led them through the whole round of torture, ever and anon striving to force them to swear, but were unable to effect it. Ponticus, indeed, encouraged by his sister, so that the heathen could see that she was encouraging and confirming him, nobly bore the whole of these sufferings and gave up his life.

“But the blessed Blandina, last of all, as a noble mother that had animated her children and sent them as victors to the great King, herself retracing the ground of all the conflicts her children had endured, hastened at last, with joy and exultation at the issue, to them, as if she were invited to a marriage feast and not to be cast to wild beasts. And thus, after scourging, after exposure to the beasts, after roasting, she was finally thrown into a net and cast before a bull, and when she had been well tossed by the animal, and had no longer any sense of what was done to her by reason of her firm hope, confidence, faith and her communion with Christ, she too was dispatched.

The people confessed that no woman among them had ever endured sufferings as many and great as these.” From this account, we see that the woman Blandina was recognized by this group of Christians as their greatest martyr. She not only endured more than all the others, but she continually encouraged and prayed for them.

As a spiritual mother, she strengthened them to remain steadfast for Christ by her exhortations and example. Blandina’s example was a witness to the persecutors and the crowd of her leadership and faith in Christ.

The martyrs were not only courageous witnesses of the hope of the resurrection, but also soul winners whose faith, courage and intercession sometimes converted even their executioners.

One such notable martyr was the virgin Potamiaena, who died during the time of Origen. Eusebius calls her “the celebrated Potamiaena. . . concerning whom many traditions are still circulated abroad among the inhabitants of the place of the innumerable conflicts she endured for the preservation of her purity and chastity, in which indeed she was eminent. For besides the perfections of her mind, she was blooming also in the maturity of personal attractions. Many things are also related of her fortitude in suffering for faith in Christ; and, at length, after horrible tortures and pains, the very relation of which makes one shudder, she was, with her mother Macella, committed to the flames. . .. Immediately receiving the sentence of condemnation, she was led away to die by Basilides, one of the officers in the army. But when the multitude attempted to assault and insult her with abusive language, he, by keeping off, restrained their insolence; exhibiting the greatest compassion and kindness to her.”

“Perceiving this man’s sympathy, she exhorts him to be of good cheer, for that after she was gone she would intercede for him with her Lord, and it would not be long before she would reward him for his kind deeds towards her. Saying this, she nobly sustained the issue; having boiling pitch poured over different parts of her body, gradually by little and little, from her feet up to the crown of her head. And such, then, was the conflict which this noble virgin endured. But not long after, Basilides, being urged to swear on a certain occasion by his fellow soldiers, declared that it was not lawful for him to swear at all, for he was a Christian, and this he plainly professed. At first, indeed, they thought that he was thus far only jesting, but as he constantly persevered in the assertion, he was conducted to the judge, before whom, confessing his determination, he was committed to prison. But when some of the brethren came to see him and inquired the cause of this sudden and singular resolve, he is said to have declared that Potamiaena, indeed for the three days after her martyrdom, standing before him at night, placed a crown upon his head and said that she had entreated the Lord on his account, and she had obtained her prayer, and that ere long she would take him with her. On this, the brethren gave him the seal in the Lord, and he, bearing a distinguished testimony to the Lord, was beheaded. Many others also of those at Alexandria are recorded as having promptly attached themselves to the doctrine of Christ in these times, and this by reason of Potamiaena, who appeared in dreams and exhorted many to embrace the divine word.”

Perhaps the most important consideration in favor of all Christians becoming teachers of the Christian faith is the need for maturity and growth in the church. Hebrews 5:12 says, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of God’s Word.” Those who remain perpetual students without passing on their knowledge to others are rebuked by God’s Word, not commended. It is natural, proper and the duty of those who have learned the truth to teach others also. The church can hardly spread the Good News of salvation if the majority of its members are prevented from doing so on account of their gender!

Learning without a goal to teach results in lesser achievement. The best students are future teachers because the best way to learn something really well is to take responsibility for teaching it to others. In that way, you will have to learn it thoroughly, be able to put it into your own words, and commit yourself to living the message you teach. You will not be able to get away with paying lip service to the Gospel, for your students will be watching you! While less is expected of a student, a teacher must set a good example.

We believe God wants ALL mature Christians to teach His Word. Our society allows women to teach. It’s high time the church caught up! The world isn’t refraining from teaching all the evil it can, so why should Christian women refrain from teaching what is good? It is foolish to waste the knowledge and teaching gifts of Christian women while the lost fill the airwaves with filth. The Great Commission was given to all, and all who are able have an obligation to our Lord to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Although the epistles do not specifically name women evangelists, many New Testament women did this work. The prophetess Anna (Luke 2:36-38) was the very first person to proclaim Jesus as Israel’s promised Redeemer. Luke tells us that she lived in perpetual widowhood in the Jerusalem Temple, and that after she saw the infant Jesus at His dedication, she “gave thanks likewise to the Lord and spoke of him to all those who looked for redemption in Israel.” (Lk 2:38) The woman of Samaria brought her entire city to Christ by her testimony (John 4:28-42). She told the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Isn’t this the Messiah?” (v. 29) Verse 39 tells us, “Many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the woman’s word, who testified, ‘He told me everything I ever did.'” This woman not only testified of her own experience, she also urged the townspeople to meet Jesus for themselves. They did so; and as a result, “Many more believed because of His own word, and said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of your word, because we have heard Him ourselves and know that this is indeed the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.'” (v. 42) This is evangelism at its most successful–bringing about the conversion of a city as people come to a first-hand experience of personal faith in Jesus Christ.

After His resurrection triumph, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary Salome and other women with them and personally directed them to proclaim His resurrection to the rest of the disciples. Significantly, all four of the gospels record this. The women’s commission was a double one, as angels also appeared to them with the same message and directive. Every person who has ever heard the Good News that Jesus was risen from the dead early on Easter Sunday morning heard it from the testimony of women! Yet, sadly, the testimony of the women was not believed at first. Jesus had to appear personally to the men, whom He “upbraided for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him after he was risen.” (Mk. 16:14) Jesus regarded the women’s message to the men as His own message to them according to Matthew 28:7c, where He says, “Lo, I have told you,” and so they later regarded it, according to verse 16. Jesus rebuked the men, “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and enter into His glory?” (Lk.24:25-26)

Another case of mistranslation (and there are many regarding women as well as the true identity of Israel) is found in Isai. 3:12. This verse was highlighted a few years ago in a small newsletter when the author pointed to a woman with children who held a small leadership position.

The word translated “children” in this verse in Isaiah, is a plural masculine participle of the verb “to glean,” “abuse,” practice.” It is translated “glean” in Lev. 19:10, Deut. 24:21, Judge. 20:45, and Jer. 6:9. The word has no translation such as “children” anywhere else in the Bible, and it occurs 21 times. Another word altogether is used for “children,” and “child,” in verses 4 and 5 of this same chapter; the sense seems to have been fixed by the supposed context to correspond with “women.” As to the word translated “women:” Two words, without the rabbinical vowel “points,” are exactly alike. One is pronounced noshi-im and the other na-shim. In appearance the only difference is a slight mark under the first letter of the Hebrew word na-shim. The first word means “exactors;” the one with a vowel mark under the initial letter means “women.” The entire decision, therefore, as to whether the word means one or the other depends upon option. Those who translated the word, evidently thought the nation could sink no lower than to pass under women rulers, and then translated the other word “children” to match it. Occasionally a commentator will call attention to an alterante reading. The Septuagint translates it: As for my people, tax-gathers (praktores) glean them, and exactors (apaitountes) rule over them. The newsletter previously spoken of even went further than the wrong translation of “children and women will rule” and changed it to “women with children”.

There seems little in the context to support the translation “children” and “women” But study the context as regards tax gathers and exactors (government bureaucrats). In this chapter after complaining of the “gleaners,” and extortioners, they are threatened in the following language.: “The Lord standeth up to plead and standeth up to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and the princes (masculine not feminine gender), thereof for ye have eaten up the vineyard (actions of the tax collectors) and the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye crush my people, and grind the faces of the poor?” Now viewing the verse in this context we can readily see that the verse is talking about tax collectors and government officials stealing the money from the poor – not anything about children or women ruling.

“How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” Jer. 31:22

There stands a mysterious prophecy, relating to woman, which no scholar who accepts the rabbinical view as to the inferior rank of woman in the divine economy is capable of understanding or interpreting. The guesses at its meaning would fell a considerable niche in a museum of literary curiosities. We refer to Jer. 31:22, which is translated: “How long
wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter: For the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man,” But, as there is no word for the article “a” in the Hebrew tongue, we are at liberty to read the last phrase, “woman shall compass man,” or, more literally, “female shall compass male,” The verb “wilt..go about” in the first clause of this verse, is found only in one other place in the Hebrew, Solomon’s Song, 5:6 where it is translated “withdraw;” but following the marginal reading of the R.V., it means, more properly, in the form used, “to turn [oneself] away.” The second verb of the verse,
translated “backsliding,” means also “to turn,” and is translated “turn”in the previous verse.

Now it is the third verb translated “compass”, which has puzzled men most of all; it has led to a lot of different translation and interpretations; the verb seems to mean also to “turn
about” It is generally translated “compass.” Wow what does the whole verse mean?

1) The precise form of the latter verb is translated “led about,” in Deut. 32:10, “He found him in a waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him.” Once again “new” is an adjective, used in the sense of “something new.” We suggest that it should read: How long wilt thou keep turning away, O thou turning away daughter: For the Lord hath created
[something] new in the earth, female will lead male.

In the book “The British Nation Identified with Lost Israel” by Edward Hine 1892 – The author proves beyond a doubt that the Israel people and the white nations of Europe are one and the same. Interestingly also, his deals with the same verse – a woman shall compass a man. A few who have tried to come up with some other meaning have given as a possibility – women shall surround men – in a negative inference. However, agreeing with scripture and correct translation, Hine translates “compass” as lead. Mr. Hine relates the passage to the Christian leadership of Queen Victoria in immensely complimentary language. Nonetheless, while much time has passed and Queen Victoria is no longer with us – the translation remains correct. Women will lead men – and it is by God’s own decision.

It does not mean the men will not lead. But God has opened the door wide. God has used
women with leadership capabilities throughout history. But far more than the occasional woman leader of Scripture – God has called women in these end times to be real leaders for Him and his message of white Christian revival. We must remember that women have always flocked to the Christian church. During the Protestant reformation, the Catholic church blamed much of Europe’s conversion to the ‘sects’ (they did not view these sects as good as we do today) on the many women who were quick to convert their families, friends, and neighbors to this “heresy” A member of the Bavarian nobility, Argula von Grumback (1492-1563), challenged the Rector and all of the faculty of the University of Ingolstadt to a debate in which she would defend the principles of the Protestant Reformation. She offered to base this debate upon a translation of the Bible published prior to the outbreak of the
Reformation. She was permitted to present her position in 1523 in Nuremberg before the diet of the Empire. Martin Luther wrote of her, “that most noble woman, Argula von Stauffer, is there making a valiant fight with great spirit, boldness of speech and knowledge of Christ.” Her extensive education and fine critical abilities enabled her to become a force to be reckoned with. She conducted church meetings in her home and officiated at funerals.

2) Think of the many men who would come into the “movement” if they were influenced to do so by their wives, sisters, mothers, or daughters. Men will follow the lead of women, sometimes they just don’t want to admit it. However, there is nothing unmasculine in following the lead of women inspired by God – not to would be foolish. Often it takes the courage of those weaker in strength (the meaning of the weaker sex – not spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually weaker)to stand in the
face of adversity in order to motivate others through their natural compassion to take a stand for a principle.

Some in the racialist movement or “Christian Identity” circles may say that it is wrong not to teach every word in the English Bible as God’s own truth. We are often reminded that God warns not to change one bit or jot of His holy word.. However, we must keep in mind that God /Jesus did not speak English. His warning not to change meaning of scripture was intended for those translators who would in later generations be given charge to translate the sacred words into modern language whether English, German, French, Dutch, Russian, etc. In fact, we must remember among our Christian Identity friends, that if we did not research the accurate meaning of words found in Holy scripture that we would be forced to believe that Jesus was a Jew and that the white race are gentiles. Sometimes the church has forgotten that God said specifically that there would be hatred between Satan and women as well as Israel (her seed) Satan is determined to replace God and to destroy our Aryan/Israel people. But he has also been determined throughout the ages to hurt the female descendants of Eve. We are reminded of Europe during the dark ages when the Church and government were under control of the Jews. According to Church records over 700,000 women were put to
death for being suspected “witches”. The proof of their witchery? These women (usually peasants) were thought to be involved in witchcraft because they used herbal remedies (as the Bible instructs many times for health) Or wealthy widows would be accused and of course their valuable estate would be turned over to the Catholic church. Satan abhors women. Eve, while sinning, still pointed to Satan and told God what Satan had done. Adam did blame Eve, but more importantly he put the blame upon God himself for supposedly giving him a faulty helpmeet. (…. The woman YOU gave to me) The Jewish Talmud – the “traditions of the elders” that Paul so often warned about is responsible for much harm to Christian women. We know that the Bible in fact says that in the end days women as well as men will teach and speak and spread the Gospel – more women involved in these activities is a good sign of the times.

Unfortunately, the women Bible teachers, speakers; who get any air time, are sounding
the beat of the one world order and they as well as 99.9% of the men preachers, speakers, and teachers are not truly called by God for they speak lies and lead their listeners toward race mixing, homosexuality, and other forms of ungodly tolerance all so that they can have the love of the world

We need more of our type of women to stop being afraid to speak out – God has lots of work for truly righteous women to do. It begins in the home and works outward from there.

We must remember that Joel 2:28-29 provides the clearest biblical definition of revival: It must include the daughters with the sons, and the handmaids with the servants!