Jesus’ impact on Genesis 3:16

There’s been some interesting (polite, but at times, heated), discussion in the comment section on some of my recent posts (see here and here, for example). Mostly this discussion hinges around Genesis 3:16.

Then he [God] said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

The idea that several have expressed is that  the other effects of the Fall are still with us–pain in childbearing for women and man having to contend with thorns and thistles etc. Therefore the verse in Genesis 3:16 about men ruling over women should be adhered to.

A couple of points:

  • The physical effects of the Fall: If we really believe that we shouldn’t try to combat the effects of the Fall, then women shouldn’t take painkillers during labor, and men shouldn’t use weedkillers or agricultural implements. Until we experience the new heavens and a new earth, we’ll have to live with the physical effects of the Fall, even as God, in his love and mercy, gives us tools like medicine to mitigate them.
  • The relational effects of the Fall: The relationship between God and humankind was broken, and the relationship between humans (think Cain and Abel), including between men and women was broken. I believe Jesus dealt with the relational consequences of the Fall through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. We now have the privilege of having God live within us by his Holy Spirit. And I believe that we can now go back to God’s pre-Fall purposes for men and women, that they can work together as co-equals. Peter preached that the impact of Pentecost was God pouring out his Spirit on all flesh, both men and women. Baptism rather than circumcision became the rite of entry for the people of God.

After all, we pray that God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We in the church are supposed to demonstrate the Kingdom to the world. What does this mean for men and women?

42 thoughts on “Jesus’ impact on Genesis 3:16”

  1. Again, I feel that you are being sincere, Mrs. Dale, but that you are still sincerely wrong. I perceive that you jump to too many conclusions based on your ideas and not the word of God. Whenever I present the word of God to disprove your position either yourself or another who ascribes to this doctrine simply side-steps it by implying that it was merely culturally applicable or poorly translated or a few other things…

    The truth of the word of God is that (“pre-Fall” as you put it):

    Man was created first and placed in the garden as a steward or guardian over it (Gen. 2:15).

    Nothing is said in the Genesis account of creation in direct reference to the woman herself being steward over the creation alongside of him, but instead that she was ‘brought to the man’, strongly implying that she, too, was put under Adam’s authority/responsibility and care (Gen 2:22).

    Woman was made from the man and was brought to (him as a ‘helper’) in the same fashion that all of the other creatures under his care were brought to him by God – Adam even named her as he did all of the rest of God’s creatures (Gen. 2:19), thus also strongly implying his exercising of his stewardship and oversight/responsibility over/for her charged to him by God in verse 15.

    Paul points to this truth (and the fact that it was the woman who was deceived and not the man) when instructing Timothy on a woman’s role in the church:
    “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” ~ 1Tim. 2:11-15

    Paul writes a similar instruction to the church at Corinth:
    “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.” ~ 1Cor. 14:34,35

    [Note: To the kind lady that inquired what “law” Paul refers to here, most respected theologians and commentators (such as Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, John Gill, Matthew Poole, Cyrus Scofield, and John Wesley to name a few) agree that it is the principle contained in Gen. 3:16 that Paul is pointing to when giving this instruction.]

    And here is another place where Paul refers to man’s headship over woman by pointing to the order of creation contained in Genesis, and even the fact that woman was created ‘for the man’:
    “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God…For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” ~ 1 Cor. 11:3,7-10

    And a little clarification on Ephesians 5:22,23 may be in order as some have previously claimed in the previous comment threads that the word rendered “head” here means “source” or “fountainhead” and not “boss”:

    “Wives, submit* to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head** of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” ~ Ephesians 5:22-23

    *Submit (as also in verse 24) – hupotassó (Strong’s word 5293)
    Short Definition: ‘I place under, subject to.’
    According to the ‘NAS Exhaustive Concordance’ it means: ‘to place or rank under, to subject, mid. to obey.’
    Link: http://biblehub.com/greek/5293.htm

    **Head – kephalé (Strong’s word 2776)
    Short Definition: ‘the head’
    Same word which is used in Matthew and Mark referring to John the Baptist’s head and in in reference to Jesus being the ‘Chief Cornerstone’ in Matthew 21:42 as well as many of Jesus’ parables when He speaks of the physical head (the body part). It doesn’t seem to me to be used in the new testament to refer to a ‘fountainhead’ or ‘source’ (except where ‘source’ also denotes authority such as ‘chief’).
    Link: http://biblehub.com/greek/2776.htm

    Also, as I’ve said before, if we are to truly demonstrate the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven here and now, we ought not to marry as that is how it will be in the resurrection… (Matthew 22:30)

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    1. Excellent ! I agree with your analysis … Kephale must be properly use in context with the text. But many people refuse to see ‘Kephale’ as “authority over”… even if the context in the text demand that meaning. People are defying God’s word using faulty exegesis including many renound Theologians, to promote their own feminist and now homosexual agenda.

      But , thank God, not all Theologians agree with they approach. Some still believe that they should present the truth of God’s word and let His truth speak for itself. Those scholars are excellent resource. IMO.

      I am not sure if you know of Dr. Wayne Gurdem’s work on Kephale, but I will like to recommend it, if I may; and his work on Evangelical Feminism.
      http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/kephale.pdf
      http://www.waynegrudem.com/does-kephale-head-mean-source-or-authority-over-in-greek-literature-a-survey-of-2336-examples/
      http://www.wtsbooks.com/common/pdf_links/9781433532610.pdf

      And many more info. at www. cbmw.org. Also if you have the time Dr. Jack Cottrell”s Gender Roles and the Bible a Critique of Feminism.

      Blessings !

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      1. Thanks for the resources, I began reading the first one and it was really good so far.

        It does help to have the theology – the words and understanding – to better grasp and put forth with our understanding what we know in our spirits to be the real, gripping, compelling, constraining, emboldening and comforting – yet oftentimes difficult to express – truth of God.

        “Now we have received,
        not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we
        might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
        ~ 1 Cor. 2:12

        “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”
        ~ 1John 2:20,21

        “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
        ~ Jesus Christ; John 8:31b,32

        “I am…the truth…”
        ~Jesus; John 14:6

        “…I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the
        Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees
        Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be
        in you.”
        Jesus Christ; John 14:16,17

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      2. The problem occurs with the use of kephale in English. Whereas it definitely denotes head (the part of the body) in both Greek and English, it’s only in English that kephale denotes boss or authority. In Greek that is not true. If that was the meaning Paul had wanted to convey, there are many other words that could have been used instead.

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      3. Hi Sis. Felicity , I must say that I disagree with your view of Kephale, for even in the Greek, [NT Language]
        the use of Kephale as “authority over” is evident in Greek language and custom at that time . I believe that Dr. Grudem and many others have demonstrated it to be so.. I agree that the use can also mean “source” just as they said. But the issue is that of “authority over” .
        There are much data available to substantiate , this link is one….
        http://christianstudies.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/does-kephale-mean-source/#_ftn3

        God gave both male & female dominion =rule, reign,realm , headship, authority over, Government = [Kephale].
        [I did search strong Lexicon dictionary for Dominion, and nowhere is there mention of “source” for a meaning.]

        Here [Gen.1 v26] the use is not source; for God was, is and will always be source, not male & female. The creation , did not proceed from mankind, Mankind derived
        their being from God, the “source [Kephale] of ALL living things.

        But He gave “Kephale” to male and female, it cannot mean source. However if we use “authority over” = [Kephale] then we saw that Adam did exercised that dominion by naming. That function, is a Hebrew custom of one in “authority over” taking responsibility for naming, as seen through out the Patriarchs of Old. Be it a parent to child or King to subjects,or Priest to Saints & the proceedings in the Temple. These have the
        responsibility and authority over to NAME. Not the other way around…. it is unheard of….In the Jewish culture, children don’t name themselves nor do they name their parents. As a new creation, we are given a new name by Jesus Christ. We don’t give ourselves a new name ie the redeem ones. Neither did Jesus gave
        Himself a new name, God the father did…. a NAME that is above ALL names…. God gave Him that name, thus maintaining the Hierarchical nature & ORDER of the God Head relationship.

        Adam was given the responsibility and authority to NAME… and to “keep the Garden safe” with that came the “authority over” that which he was to protect from. We then saw that he failed to exercise that “Kephale” to keep
        snakes out of the garden. Adam , & mankind
        does have “authority over” snakes, mankind is not the “source” = Kephale of snakes. We are to exercise [Kephale] “authority over” snakes and we see in Mark 16.. that the Holy Ghost will give the power= authority =Kephale of any deadly and poisonous snakes…. The use of “Kephale” as source dose not make sense in this context. I hope you can agree. For we are not the “Source” for snakes. But we are given “authority over” by the Holy Ghost. I have not read where we are given “source” for snakes, or sin.

        Many people don’t have a problem understand authority over” so far because it does not entailed man having authority over woman. But the truth must be told, Adam did the exact same thing to Eve. There is no difference in the act, just a different creature that the same God had made, and the same Adam did the same “Kephale” to the woman, a different creature.

        This act cannot be source for the same act did not mean source. Adam’s rib was used as the source to form Eve, but Adam did not do the forming God did…. Adam’s rib being use as a source had already accomplished it’s
        used. By him naming Eve , he moved to another dimension of Kephale, to responsibility and authority over. Even though many may see this as offensive, there is no record that Eve saw it that way and
        the fact that God approve suggest that , that authority was proper and that Adam did not abuse Eve, nor the animals.

        In Genesis ch 4 . Adam & Eve did the same act, of naming, but this time their together , “Kephale” their own children; source only came into focus because Eve have the capacity to nurture what Adam deposited into her.
        But after the birth, source , cease and authority came into focus by naming and for training and nurturing and protecting and providing ( physical and spiritual) needs.

        The problem with “Kephale” as ‘authority over’ is simple because most women resent the fact that a man can be her head by function and position. This is pride. One given her by the master deceiver. It has nothing to do with abuse, or inferiority / superiority but everything to do with deception.

        I did not wish to dig up or quote too many scholars, because I know that you know many scholars that holds
        the same egalitarian view point as you , who will
        look at the same data [ just like the issue of Junia and Deborah] and come to the exact opposite or different conclusion…. That’s the power of the subjective mind. I can point to other scholars to do the same; for there are many from the Comp. Point of View.

        But I did tried to give a proper exegesis of the Kephale, base on simple Logic and common sense using the KJV, NKJV or similar versions. Many Scholars affirm my conclusion, of course some will disagree.

        God is no respecter persons, if He allowed Adam to act in a manner that gives him the responsibility and
        authority over all including Eve, we have got to appreciate that it is God’s doing. He does not consider educated, sophiscated, beautiful 21st century women and decide to modify His intent and instructions to accommodate their resentment. What He say to one He say to all. He is consistent, for all perpetuity; for we see in the NT that the Apostle Paul maintained the Headship of man over woman, we see the Apostle Peter
        maintaining the “Kephale” of men by placing women in a submissive role to man. And this is done under grace. Not Law. This suggests that it is a restoration of the divine design function that was corrupted by the involvement of the snake; which brought death [separation] confusion and chaos . There can be no other solution… that
        is why punishment became necessary.

        Genesis 3 : 16 is a cause and effect clause and judgment. It does not have to be…. that is why Paul & Peter is saying under Grace what a wife and women role must be in the Church and Family.
        There is no contradiction with Paul & Peter, but a restoration and continuation of a design function, “PRE-FALL”, for MEN to be in Authority Positions in Christ Church and the Family. This is ORDER being restored, a characteristic of God.

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      4. Hi Wit,

        Thank you for taking part in this discussion in such a thoughtful and respectful way. I appreciate it. Let me respond to some of your comments.

        The word kephale is a Greek word and therefore is not found in the Old Testament. It is therefore not possible to use it in the context of Genesis.

        When it talks about having authority over snakes etc, in the NT, again kephale is not used, For example, in Luke 10 where we are given authority over snakes and scorpions, the word exousia is used. This is a far more common word for authority, and if Paul had wanted to convey hierarchical authority (as in man has authority over woman), he could have conveyed it far more accurately using that rather than kephale.

        I agree with you that scholars will always disagree. I’m sure I can find as many scholars as you who think the way that I do. That’s why it’s important to view all these verses against the tenor and trend of the Scriptures as a whole. Jesus is the ultimate revelation of the Father, and as we see his attitude to women, we see him, within a very patriarchal context, valuing women, having a group of women that followed him, telling stories about women, having deep theological conversations with them, entrusting the message of his resurrection to them etc etc.

        I also think we see liberty and freedom from bondage as a principle throughout the Scriptures. So when the debate about slavery occurred when there were Christians on both sides of the argument, it was the fact that the Scriptures preach freedom that won the day. I believe we will see the same here.

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      5. Felicity,I agree that “kephale” is a Greek word. But the issue at hand is the meaning of the word and not necessarily the word itself; the issue is men having “authority over” women and if it is biblical.?

        You have said that “kephale” do not mean “authority ” in the Greek only in English translations. I sought to demonstrate that it can &
        does – by using scholarly resources and that man was given Headship/ dominion-“authority over’… from creation.
        Whatever word in whatever language is used they are all derivatives of “Kephale” or Dominion; or to be technically correct (radah, or any
        other Hebrew word for dominion which means headship , rule , realm, authority, etc.. ). Strong Lexicon #7287, 4485 etc…

        I agree “exousia” is [“authority over” ] snakes, but not ” source” of snakes which is the reasoning and meaning promoted for ‘Kephale’ by many, rather than authority.
        This should not be an issue of semantics, rather the understanding that God gave male [man] authority over His creation which
        includes women.
        Dominion in Hebrew and Kephale in Greek has the same effect ie
        “authority “ headship, rule, realm etc… none has the meaning as source.
        “kephale” as source is seldom used in Greek… (See the resource.)

        Jesus’ attitude towards women is consistent with the Father’s ; God told Moses to gather the heads of families [men] the women and children to LEARN the Law.[Deu.31:11-13] God the father never
        “kept women down” and from learning the Law..
        Both Jesus the Son and God the Father used women as they saw fit and yet none saw it fit to put women in authority positions over men in His Church or the family.

        We must be careful to distinguish between man-made traditions & culture and what God commands and desires are for His creatures. Let’s fight culture / traditions that kept women down , but not God’s word. He set rules and roles and rightly so, He gave women a submissive role to men… not me and not culture. God did that !
        Granted, sinful men and women have abuse and distort God’s design and commands, but so did satan from the beginning, casting doubt and confusion on what God has said… he is at the root of all abuse.

        Jesus taught women and Paul said let the women Learn. They are not keeping down women… yet neither saw it fit to appoint women to authority positions. It is simply a design issue and has nothing to
        do with abilities and capabilities, but what God’s divine design was and is for His creature . Where there is no “authority” and / or respect for authority, chaos and confusion will be the norm.

        You cannot use Trajectory argument to make a case for that will be subjective… and one should not say that Paul should have use a particular word when what He say is what he means as inspired; Or
        else the bible is called into question as infallible, inerrant and as the authority word of God. Just like what the serpent did…. casting doubt.

        I disagree with your analogy of slavery… what “won the day” is the blood and lives white people and a ‘system’ took from Black people. That was and is a price paid for and won in Blood. Not a theological enlightenment or the goodness of white people’s heart. Although many white people also lost their lives and suffer much with their black brothers and sisters .Scripture did and does not endorse the slave trade , jim crow nor the kkk or none of the evil white people dished out to black people. They mis-use scripture then and now to justify their actions.
        However, we are all slaves (today) to our debtors. Scripture does give guide lines as to how we ( slaves in 2014) are to be treated by slaves masters ( bankers and creditors, and employers) and none of the instructions support the kind of lynching and hanging and killing, simply because one is black. I think it is a bad analogy to use in the same discussion, with men (black or white men) having and exercising” “Kephale or radar” over women ( black or white women).

        However you are right , by saying that quote , “ I believe we will see the same here.”
        Your view of women in authority positions over men in the church and the family is fast becoming the norm and the default mind-set. It is much more popular than to maintain, Patriarchy or God’s divine
        design for men and women in relationship in His Church and Family. Equal Rights wins, even among the LGBT movement. And so will the chaos and moral decline in our society.

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    2. I think I may be the “kind lady” to whom you are referring. I responded to you on this point at the other post. But for good measure, I put it here, too.

      “Genesis 3:16 isn’t an imperative; it isn’t a law. Genesis is poetic
      narrative. The original audience would have understood Genesis to be an
      accounting of the beginnings of ancient Israel. Not only that, it
      doesn’t say, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are
      not permitted to speak”? Where again is this law?”

      I do not know what Clarke, Gill, Wesley, et al say on 1 Co 14. However, there is no principle being set forth in Genesis 3:16. To read it as law or Torah is to read it unnaturally and in a way unknown to the original authors/editors and audience. Genesis 1-3 is not an attempt to codify law but rather establishing a theological understanding of the origins and the call of Israel by God. Biblical laws are consistently straightforward prohibitions or imperatives e.g. don’t do this or do this. They are not left up to interpretation based on a subjectively derived principle from poetic narrative.

      Regardless, you have still not answered where in the world is this law that directly states, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak,” which is set out straightforwardly in 1 Cor 14?

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    3. Forrest, a couple of point. Check out Genesis 1:27-28 where God tells both Adam and Eve (“them”) to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.

      The word used for “helper” in this passage is used 21 times in the Old Testament. Sixteen of those times it refers to God–for example, I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord who has made heaven and earth. The actual meaning is far more of a rescuer than a divinely appointed personal assistant.

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      1. I’ll take a stab. Yes, in some sense. Ezer (translated help) means one supplies a strength the other does not have or needs in a situation. It is used of God and nations in a military sense e.g. God sweeps in and offers a rescuing help or a nation via military strength offers its power to another nation. An ezer is an ally, a strength, a power, a rescuer, a warrior even. Kenegdo (translated meet not “mate”) means like facing opposite, is a counterpart, a complement. The woman is an ally, a strength, a power, a rescuer, a warrior even, that is like opposite the man. Carolyn Custis-James calls this the Blessed Alliance. Male and female as co-vice regents of Creation offer their strengths, provide what is lacking in the other, and stay on God’s mission as an act of worship unto their Creator.

        There is no sense in which the female is a junior assistant or personal assistant to the man’s mission. Male and female are to both be on God’s mission of guarding and stewarding the cosmic temple as an act of worship.

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      2. Well, from what little I know about Gnosticism, I understand that the woman is to redeem mankind…

        Also, I am done debating with people who ignore the plain truth of God’s word and use a lot of linguistical gymnastics in order to twist them and divert from the plain truth.

        Farewell.

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      3. I respect your decision to no longer dialogue. Simply stating your preference to end the conversation or declining to respond would have been sufficient. It is not appropriate for kind, respectful Christian discourse to lob a verbal jab, especially without offering proof from my own words of the association you attempt to make, and then back out.

        I wish you the best as you seek to make Christ known

        Angie

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      4. I lobbed no ‘verbal jab’. I may have issued an open rebuke, but I spoke the truth nonetheless. It is plain that those who not only do not see the truth concerning the scripture, but that go to great lengths to squeeze some different meaning out of them, are erring. Furthermore, how can one truly bring the erring brother or sister back to the truth of the word of God as revealed by the Spirit of God when they have chosen to build on the sands of popular theology and the word of others and not the solid rock of divine revelation (which is how Jesus builds his church). I must step back now, having provided ample correction and rebuke, and allow God to do the rest. Perhaps he will confirm my words and bring you to repentance and an unfailing faithfulness to His word and and obedience to Him yet. It is becoming apparent to me that this is not going to be arrived at by further ‘respectful Christian discourse’.

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      5. First, no, you did not speak the truth; without sufficient knowledge by your own admission, you tried to draw a connection between me and Gnosticism and the place of women within it without offering proof from my own words. That is not conducive to respectful dialogue.

        Second, you are in no place to rebuke me as you do not know me nor have a relationship with me. Rebuke is for those who know me well and with whom I have made myself accountable, and for purposes of this dialogue, the host of this blog.

        Third, the difference between me and you is I recognize this a is tertiary issue; therefore, I do not charge you with the need to repent, unfaithfulness, and disobedience for holding a different view. I recognize you can be an earnest Christ follower and have a differing view and engage in respectful dialogue without rash personal attacks.

        Sincerely,
        Angie

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      6. One cannot be a Christian (not for long anyhow) and not hold fast to the truth as it is written and revealed through Christ and His apostles…

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      7. For posterity’s benefit only…believing in the essential dignity of male and female as equal image bearers and co-vice regents with shared responsibility to leverage their strengths and energies for God’s mission has marked my almost 45 year relationship with Christ and provided many opportunities to collaborate in various ways with men and women to make Christ better known.

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      8. I believe and accept (and will also fight for) the essential (and equal) dignity and essence of men and women as the beloved (moral and spiritual and not so much physical) image-bearers of God. But to leap to the assumption that this means that it automatically follows that women are by necessity equal in position and authority to men, due to their equality in value and worth is to err.

        The word of God makes the important distinction, and we must as well.

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      9. God is our Father and Christ (the firstborn, only begotten, Son over creation) received the heathen as His inheritance from His Father, and we, through Christ, are all ‘sons of God’ – this all sounds very patriarchal and patrilineal to me. I find it to be *abundantly* clear that God is not opposed to this.

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  2. In light of the recent back-and-forth in the comments section, what are we to do with the great proclamation of Galatians 3:28? “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” It seems that in the world system, these categories still exist; and in the Kingdom economy they are negated. I wrestle with this, though, as God purposefully created us male and female before the Fall, and so there is something intentional, good, and right about our genders. Nonetheless, here is Galatians 3:28, telling me that even something as important and fundamental to our identities as our gender is not as important or as fundamental as is my oneness with Christ.

    I am reminded of the old hymn’s refrain:

    “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.”

    In the light of Christ and all we are in Him and all He is in us (and He is ALL!), things like working out the logistics of gender hierarchies just sort of pale in comparison. These are important topics for us to wrestle with as watchful, alert disciples, but they can’t hold a candle to the amazing gift we have in knowing our Lord, Jesus Christ. While holding these other matters in their proper esteem, I’d like to point to Him as the sine qua non of our faith.

    Thanks for keeping the dialog gentle and respectful, all. You are each an encouragement to me.

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    1. I take that verse (in light of the fact that all of the other scriptures I have already shared in reference to men’s and women’s roles in the church) to mean that there is no longer any barriers between any person and God the Father – that through Jesus Christ, our Living Way, any and all may come to God, irregardless of their nationality, economic class, or gender/social status. That we all, men and women, having ‘put on Christ’ in regeneration (‘through faith’ being ‘baptized’ into Christ), are all counted as equals – even as ‘sons of God’.

      This verse is in reference to individuals position with God, not to our roles with one another.

      I do not feel that it is contextually honest to use this verse to fit into (or negate) the apostles instructions on how we ought to relate with one another and conduct ourselves in the church of God.

      Blessings brother Jeff.

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      1. Thank you, sir, for your considerate reply. I am curious – do you view our doctrinal understanding of this issue as one that would pass the “bullet” test? (See http://blog.cmaresources.org/2012/01/12/how-do-we-screen-people-doctrinally-by-neil-cole/ for a definition of that.) For me at this point in my understanding, it does not. It is valuable to grapple with for the primary reason Felicity has mentioned — unleashing women to their full potential in fulfilling the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, just as Jesus did in His earthly ministry — but it is not a doctrine I would take a bullet for. What do you think?

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    2. Jeff, thank you for making sure we keep our eyes on Jesus, the pre-eminently important one. I totally agree with you.

      I’d happily not even engage in this subject if it wasn’t for the bearing it has on the harvest. The church is trying to reach the world with one hand tied behind her back.

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  3. I am confused as to why Genesis 3 is interpreted as prescriptive. We don’t interpret other narratives within Genesis as such or even if someone did we would consider building an ark for an impending flood, sacrificing a son on an altar, or selling a brother into slavery psychotic to criminal.

    I agree with Dale we are to demonstrate the Kingdom to the world. God’s good purposes for human flourishing is male and female, God’s co-equal royal representatives, bringing to bear their strengths and energies in stewarding and keeping God’s cosmic temple. This means male and female recognizing the strengths and energies of the other, honoring those strengths and energies by learning from each other and collaborating on God’s mission. In part, this is how we are the answer to Jesus’ prayer that God’s Kingdom come on earth as it exists already in the heavens. May we each be the answer to his prayer.

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  4. I would humbly remind you that when Paul discussed the lady’s role in a church service that he was addressing ladys who were born again. So to try and use verses like Gal 3:28 to prove positional equality is a bit silly. Since Paul when He was addressing His well known commits to the Ladys was talking to born again, blood bought ladys, in Christ Jesus. I also would be very carful relying on anything outside the word of God that helps us support our beliefs, that without such supports would crumble to the ground being not directly taught by the apostles in their letters, nor the word of God. If we have to go to outside sources to prove our positions then we are in a dangerous place. Love brother Billy

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    1. Amen. To brush aside all of the apostles commands to born again women who are already truly ‘in Christ’ – which instruct them that they are to be subject to their husbands in everything, and that man is the head of woman, and that women are to learn in silence and all subjection, and that they are not to teach or have authority over a man; as all irrelevant on the basis of one NT verse in Galatians (taken out of context, I may add) and other humanistic/worldly schemes brought forth from the carnal mind (which is death and enmity with God) and ‘supported’ by twisting the scriptures to seemingly agree with their position in spite of the glaring contradiction between their doctrine and the Truth – is quite “silly” indeed, as you put it.

      Here is the word of the Lord through Paul the apostle; in writing to Timothy,
      his true ‘son in the faith’, and instructing him on how the church ought
      to be ordered and function:
      “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”
      ~ 1Timothy 2:11-14

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  5. To brush aside all of the apostles commands to born again women who are
    already truly ‘in Christ’ – which instruct them that they are to be
    subject to their husbands in everything, and that man is the head of
    woman, and that women are to learn in silence and all subjection, and
    that they are not to teach or have authority over a man; as all
    irrelevant on the basis of one NT verse in Galatians (taken out of
    context, I may add) and other humanistic/worldly schemes brought forth
    from the carnal mind (which is death and enmity with God) and
    ‘supported’ by twisting the scriptures to seemingly agree with their
    position in spite of the glaring contradiction between their doctrine
    and the Truth – is quite foolish and rebellious and dangerous indeed.

    Here is the word of the Lord through Paul the apostle in writing to Timothy,
    his true ‘son in the faith’, and instructing him on how the church ought
    to be ordered and function:
    “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”
    ~ 1Timothy 2:11-14

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  6. I have a sincere question…Why do men who vehemently oppose women teaching men, women refraining from silence, and women “exercising authority” over a man willingly sin and cause a woman to sin (in their view) by placing themselves at risk for the potential of influence or at worst subject to her tutelage by reading a woman’s blog, asking a woman questions, and engaging in dialogue with a woman?

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    1. Angie, that’s one of my big questions too. I am following the lead of the Holy Spirit, (as best as I can) and he has led me to write on this and other topics. I cannot help it if others read my blog and books. To me, it seems a little strange that some men (and women) who disapprove of women teaching, would bother to read what I’ve written. If they feel that strongly, they don’t have to read my blog or books. That way, they are not participating in my supposed “rebellion”!

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      1. Again, I am not ‘participating’ in your rebellion – I am exhorting you to humble yourself and stop it. If I were aiding you in this ungodly practice I would be ‘participating’ in it.

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      2. Forrest, again, much as I respect your opinion, I have to follow the Holy Spirit. For me, not to do so would be disobedience and I have learned to obey God rather than man.

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      3. Since I discovered this issue is even at play in the larger Church, my husband has wanted me to start a blog and engage it. I suppose I remain in “rebellion” for not doing so. Until if and when I do, I will cheer on from the sidelines you and those like you who highlight the nature of God as revealed in Christ and champion God’s desire for male and female to worship together in stewarding and guarding Creation as equal co-vice regents with shared responsibility in the missio dei.

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    2. We seek to bring the truth into focus. If one refuses our exhortation and sins, it is not our fault. I am trying to exhort her as a mother. Besides, be having a discussion with her is not her ‘teaching’ in the sense that it is used in the scripture. But, given her un-submissive spirit in this, she is likely one whom Paul instructs ought to ‘learn in silence’ and ‘ask her husband at home’. This seems to me to be exactly what God is addressing with those passages.

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      1. ^^On different levels, but primarily if your “relationship” with her is no different than it is with me, this is just funny.

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