Sunday, 17 February 2008

Women and Paul

On Monday last we looked at some of those NT texts that tell women to pipe down in church, be subservient and generally know their place.
What struck me?
Actually how much those words have riled me (note my restraint in use of language there!). Not just the actual words, I guess, also the way they have been and continue to be used to restrain/limit/oppress women in their thoughts, words and actions. (don't worry - ranting over.)
We learnt that current scholarship suggests that probably none of those particular texts were written by Paul.
What struck me?
This makes so much more sense of Paul's statements about equality in Christ and recognition of and work alongside women prominent in the early church - alluded to in letters he did write. If we are trying to persuade ourselves that all were written by one author it is difficult to understand the inconsistency.
So, that lets Paul off the hook. How about the real authors of these texts? And what do we do with them? - the texts, not the authors obviously. And why did nobody tell me this before? Hmmm . . .
Whilst this particular issue is one I can get a little (!) het up about, I think the underlying issue of the contexts and motivations of writers of different bits of the bible and how greater understanding of those things (or not) informs how the bible is read, interpreted and used today is the important message for me and is v interesting.
NB did this as a post rather than a comment, mainly because couldn't manage to comment - how do I do that anybody?

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Paul & Women

We had a good evening last Monday, where I (the only male) dared to think I had something useful to say about women to 4 members of the fairer sex. For those who weren't there, I promise to jot down a few things that we talked about, but in the meantime, how about people who were there commenting on things that struck you or stood out?