On the accusation of twisting Scripture, or the assertion that male leadership is clearly and consistently taught: Patriarchalists should be aware that we egalitarians / mutualists do not view ourselves as manipulating or ignoring Scripture…
Some egalitarians actually try arguing from the Scripture, but most hold a very low view of Scripture asking, “Do you really believe this verse? Do you really believe that verse?”
In fact, when it comes to the household codes in the Pastoral Epistles, Colossians, and Ephesians, you make the same argument: “Those verse talk about slavery, we don’t really need to listen to what they say!”
Really? We don’t have to listen to the Scripture? And, you’re the one telling us that egalitarians don’t manipulate or patently ignore the Scripture?!?
I am yet to encounter someone argue for egalitarianism strictly from the Scriptures. I have heard “well, it works for me” or “that’s old fashioned” but not an argument from the Scripture.”
Regarding Junia (Rom 16:1) — Last I heard, the “CBMW” view is that the gender is questionable, but probably male, while the opposing view is that it was a not-uncommon female name, but there are virtually zero examples of that name, even as a diminutive for a longer name, being used for males.
Questionable conclusions requiring research from outside the Scripture would not undo explicit commands in the Scripture to the contrary. We uphold the perspicuity of Scripture and believe the Scripture is sufficient in explaining itself to average Christians. If we have to resort to scholarship and an immense knowledge of ancient history in order to extrapolate a doctrine, take heed lest the doctrine you extrapolate is heretical.
Further, if Junia is a woman (most likely), what egalitarians cannot demonstrate is that an Apostle holds any sort of office in the church. Everyone who knew Jesus Christ or saw His resurrected body like Paul were Apostles. Junia may have been a missionary of sorts. To read into the text meanings that are not there, that she had any sort of authority over men, is not warranted from the text and requires the Scripture to contradict itself, which is not an acceptable interpretation.
Regarding Phoebe — The fact that she was probably the courier of the epistle to the Romans is part of what argues for “deacon” rather than “servant.”
Actually, the opposite is true. Onesimus delivered the letter to the Colossians and possibly Ephesians, but he did not have any specific office in the church. I help clean my church’s toilets, but I don’t have any sort of Office. Helping out does not give one authority.
That portion of the epistle has the form of a “letter of commendation,” which is why we believe she was the courier. As such, it lists her qualifications, including “diakonos of the church at Cenchrea”; that sounds like she was an “officer.”
This is certainly possible, but not conclusive. A “complementarian” denomination, the PCA, has “Deaconesses” for this reason. They still cannot teach or have authority over men. So, even if Phoebe held the office of Deacon, we cannot infer the level of authority egalitarians think she had.
However, this is not my personal interpretation anyhow, because it would require the description of Deacons in 1 Tim 2 to be incorrect. After all, they must be husbands of one wife. A wife cannot be a husband, so by default women are excluded. So, being that the Greek permits us to view Phoebe as a “servant/deacon” instead of a “Servant/Deacon,” I prefer the reading that makes more sense with the rest of Scriptures.
To desire the reading that makes less sense with the rest of Scriptures seems to me, at best, questionable.
She is also given the title “prostatis.” This is often lamely translated “helper,” but it is in fact a significant title in the early church.
Where? Show me in the Greek:” http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineI…Tpdf/rom16.pdf
You may be mistaken and if so, the conclusions you draw based upon this are wrong.
Regarding the deacon and elder/overseer “qualifications” in the “Pastoral Epistles,” and the suggestion they permit only males
— The CEB is the only translation I’ve seen so far that accurately renders the sex of the nouns, pronouns, and idioms…
The CEB seems to have translation issues, but neither of us are Greek scholars, so I would need more evidence than just quoting an unpopular translation that is by admission a paraphrase.
Regarding 1 Cor. 11 — Whatever that passage is about, it is not likely about male “authority.” The only place “authority” occurs is v. 10, which says “a woman has authority over her own head.”
Actually, that’s incorrect. You gloss over verse 10, but the head covering is a “symbol of authority.” What kind of authority? Answer this and you will see your argument unravel, the text is clear.
If the authority is man, then game over. If you want to argue the authority is God, then we go back to 1 Cor 11:3 where it makes this explicit, and in that verse “man is the head of woman.” So, either way, game over for egalitarianism.
Regarding appeals to the “Creation Order,” neither the Gen. 1 account nor the Gen. 2 account shows any inequality between man/husband and woman/wife.
No one is making that argument, though Paul argues that man was not made for woman, but woman for man (1 Cor 11:9) at the time of creation. This shows a role distinction, though not inferiority.
That [gender roles] first appears in Gen. 3, as a consequence of the Fall.
Incorrect. The fall is not why women submit to husbands. Eve was Adam’s “helpmeet” before the fall. “Man was not created for woman, but woman for man” before the fall. So, the role distinction is not the result of the fall, but part of God’s plan for humankind before the fall.
Regarding the Domestic Codes passages — Some of them do seem to endorse male leadership in the home.
Actually, they all explicitly endorse male headship.
But the same reading encourages us to consider slave-ownership normal.
Okay, so if the Scripture says anything about slavery, that means if we don’t like what it says we can disagree with other things the Bible says? That sounds like what you are saying. If not, what are you saying.