All tagged messianic judaism
I long ago came to understand that the narrative passages of scripture are not automatically or necessarily prescriptive for life and behavior today. They need to be understood in their social, historical and linguistic context. First century culture was very different than life in the twenty-first century
In this place they call “a church,”
We search for vision, grasping at shadows
Instead finding everyone walking behind masks
Hiding from the transparent intensity of the light
In our last post we discussed the important and influential roles that women held in the early church. We also shared that many scholars are agreed that the most problematic verses regarding women and their roles cannot actually be ascribed to Paul and they were likely penned by another author. Be that as it may, Pauline or not, the verses below are ascribed to him.
There are many ways of reading Paul. The way he’s often quoted at women, you’d think he’s a chauvinist waiting with a stick to beat us over the head. Submit to your husband. Be silent. You can’t teach. Ask your husband at home. There are many frustrating prescriptions that are outdated and inapplicable (unless you want to be miserable while pretending it’s what God intended and you’re happy with your lot).
If there ever was a feminist in the New Testament, it was Jesus. In the first century women were treated as inferior to men in Hellenistic-Roman and Jewish culture. It was generally frowned upon for women to study the Torah, they were not viewed as proper legal witnesses, and they were often compared to children -- undeveloped and simple-minded. Yet, Jesus surrounded himself by women, was supported by them, hosted by them, and they not only enabled his message, but bore witness to his life in all that it entailed: birth, ministry, death and resurrection. In fact, he was not known as Jesus son of Joseph, but Jesus son of Mary (Mark 6:3).
When I look at the potential political landscape in the United States, when I reflect on mine here in Israel, I feel like retreating. There are flickers of hope now and again, but the loudest voices are depressing and wearisome.