“also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.” – 1 Timothy 2:9-15 NRSV
If you are wondering what that just said, try reading it again. According to the unknown author of 1 Timothy, a woman is not permitted to teach or have authority over a man, but to be modest and quiet. Why? Because it was the woman’s fault that Adam fell from grace. Therefore the way that a woman can be “saved” is through having children, but only “IF they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.” Looks like Sarah Palin’s presidential aspirations just flew out the window, unless she doesn’t actually believe the bible.
In modern vernacular it might sound something like this:
Sit down, Shut up, and if you want to go to heaven, have babies and hope that your children don’t reject the religion.
If you don’t believe me, read 1 Timothy 2:9-15 again. Then if you want to have some fun, watch how Christian apologists try to deal with this obviously uncomfortable biblical reality.
Many Christians falsely claim that the author of 1 Timothy was Paul. The majority of biblical scholarship would disagree. The key to understanding this passage, IMO, is to understand that these are >not< the words of Paul, but the words of later Christian leaders who had realized that the original message of Paul had provided a liberating experience for women believers. In God’s eyes, they were equal to men. “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.” – Galatians 3:28. THAT was Paul. Now it was time for Christianity to rein back in them free women.
After all, here is what happens when you let them women’folk get all uppity:
From the Acts of Paul and Thecla
While Paul was preaching this sermon in the church which was in the house of Onesiphorus, a certain virgin named Thecla (whose mother’s name was Theoclia, and who was betrothed to a man named Thamyris) sat at a certain window in her house. From where, by the advantage of a window in the house where Paul was, she both night and day heard Paul’s sermons concerning God, concerning charity, concerning faith in Christ, and concerning prayer; Nor would she depart from the window till with exceeding joy she was subdued to the doctrines of faith.
At length, when she saw many women and virgins going in to Paul, she earnestly desired that she might be thought worthy to appear in his presence and hear the word of Christ; for she had not yet seen Paul’s person, but only heard his sermons. But when she would not be prevailed upon to depart from the window, her mother sent to Thamyris, who came with the greatest pleasure, as he hoped now to marry her. Accordingly he said to Theoclia, Where is my Thecla?
Theoclia replied, Thamyris, I have something very strange to tell you. Thecla, for the space of three days, will not move from the window not so much as to eat or drink, but is so intent in hearing the artful and delusive discourses of a certain foreigner, that I am completely astonished, Thamyris, that a young woman of her known modesty will suffer herself to be so prevailed upon. For that man has disturbed the whole city of Iconium, and even your Thecla, among others. All the women and young men flock to him to receive his doctrine; who, besides all the rest, tells them that there is but one God who alone is to be worshipped, and that we ought to live in chastity. Notwithstanding this, my daughter Thecla, like a spider’s web fastened to the window, is captivated by the discourses of Paul, and attends upon them with prodigious eagerness and vast delight; and thus, by attending to what he says, the young woman is seduced. Now you go and speak to her, for she is betrothed to you.
Accordingly Thamyris went, and saluted her with care not to surprise her, and said, Thecla, my spouse, why are you sitting in this melancholy posture? What strange impressions are made upon you? Turn to Thamyris, and blush.
Her mother also spoke to her after the same manner and said, Child, why do you sit so melancholy, like one astonished, and make no reply?
Then they wept exceedingly: Thamyris, that he had lost his future spouse; Theoclia, that she had lost her daughter; and the maids, that they had lost their mistress; and there was universal mourning in the family. But all these things made no impression on Thecla to incline her so much as to turn and take notice of them, for she continued to contemplate on the discourses of Paul.
Then Thamyris ran into the street to observe who they were who went in to Paul and came out from him; and he saw two men engaged in a very warm dispute, and said to them; Sirs, what business have you here? And who is that man within, belonging to you, who deludes the minds of men, both young men and virgins, persuading them that they ought not to marry but continue as they are?
I promise to give you a considerable sum if you will give me a just account of him, for I am the chief person of this city.
Demas and Hermogenes replied, We cannot so exactly tell who he is, but we know that he deprives young men of their intended wives, and virgins of their intended husbands, by teaching, There can be no future resurrection, unless you continue in chastity and do not defile your flesh.
Now a word from those wild and crazy Southern Baptists…
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, president L. Paige Patterson denied tenure to Sheri Klouda: “a brilliant theologian who served Southern Baptists as a professor of Hebrew at Southwestern Theological for a total of seven and a half years, three and a half as an adjunct professor and four as full time elected faculty, establishing impeccable credentials and an extraordinary track record, only to be forced out from the job of her dreams for solely one reason — her gender.” http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/2007/01/sheri-klouda-gender-discrimination_17.html
“Ladies, the highest and noblest calling of God is mother and grandmother. Equal to men, yes, but do what God has called you to do,” Patterson said. “Write it in bold letters with a big magic marker.” http://www.bpnews.org/bpnews.asp?ID=19402
“The North American Mission Board no longer will endorse women to chaplaincy positions requiring a “fully qualified member of the clergy” or that have a “role or function similar to that of a pastor” — a move that primarily will bring an end to endorsing women as military chaplains.” http://www.bpnews.org/bpnews.asp?ID=17580
I’d really rather you didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, Okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we’re talking about fashion and I’m sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.