Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Conversation ~ About Being Born First and Authority

I am posting a conversation with a person who claims that he does not believe anyone can solidly prove that Junia was a woman. His mode of proving that she cannot be a woman is 1 Timothy 2:11-12. I've changed the quotes so as to make them generic.

Paul's statement and reasoning about not allowing a woman to teach a man OR TO USURP HIS AUTHORITY proves that Junia could not be a woman apostle. The reason? BECAUSE ADAM WAS FORMED FIRST...

OK let’s look at this reasoning. IF taking this piece of a sentence,” I do not permit a woman to teach or to usurp authority over a man”, means what you think it means; and the reason you cite is what follows, then you have a problem. You have a few problems. Not only must vs. 13, be part of the reason, but verses 14 and 15 also are specifically linked and therefore must fit in with this idea.

1. you say that being born/created first gave the man authority over who came second, namely the woman. Yet, there is no Scriptural evidence to support a law or rule of the first born always legally being given “rulership”.
2. The woman being deceived and the man deliberately sinning would make an interesting rule for leadership. All who deliberately sin are better equipped for leadership and anyone who has ever been deceived is automatically disqualified. Ever seen a Biblical rule like that? I haven’t.
3. And how does verse 15 fit in with being a reason for women to be forbidden to teach men? Most theologians struggle with the significance of this verse in what it says and why it is being said.

Basically, this interpretation does not work, does not fit with the rest of what Paul is saying and does not fit anywhere else in Scripture. This interpretation is a result of helicopter theology, swooping down pulling out a piece of a sentence and reforming it into a predetermined bias.

AND we are still left with the problem of a silent rule that has never been put into effect for 4000 years. You want to say that God laid down a principle that would affect all men and women in their relationships, but God didn’t tell us about it at all. He let His people go on and live otherwise for 4000 years. I repeat – 4000 years. And still Christ didn’t even mention it in His ministry. In fact God never did tell us that He forbade women to teach or lead. You say that one sentence in a private letter to Timothy, where Paul was advising Timothy about a problem that Timothy was privy to, that God inspired Paul to IMPLY a principle that was supposed to have been instigated at creation, that no one ever knew anything about until just then. And you want to say that such implication upon implication implies that it would be sin for a woman to teach right doctrine to males or lead people in Godly ministry.

That is both preposterous and incredibly illogical.

Being born first does not grant one person authority over another person.

It is CLEAR from Scripture (and Paul testifies to this that ADAM WAS CREATED FIRST), that man ruled or reigned over creation.

The man did not rule over creation alone. Dominion over the creation was given to two, which in effect translated to the entire human race. It is humanity that has been given the dominion of the earth, not male humans.

Gen. 126 Then God said, “Let Us make man (humanity) in Our image, according to Our likeness; let THEM have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man (humanity) in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed THEM, and God said to THEM, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

As you can see God gave rule/dominion of the creation to THEM, THE MALE AND THE FEMALE HUMAN.

Thus far you have not been able to Scripturally prove that the man was entitled to dominion over the woman in the creation, neither from being created first nor by being given sole rulership of the creation.

Because you cannot establish this in Scripture, then we must conclude that you are incorrectly inserting assumptions into the 1 Tim. verses that pull this section away from Paul’s intentions. IOW you are incorrectly interpreting this section of Scripture.

Bottom line is that if you wish to prove that Junia cannot be a woman by this approach, you have failed.

Also, you need to prove that Miriam was not a leader in Israel of any kind, that God did not send her or choose her to stand before His people. You must prove that Deborah was not called of God, that she did not judge Israel for 40 years by God’s directions. You must prove that Huldah was not a prophet of God and did not lead the nation back to God by her instructions on the meanings of the discovered scrolls. You must prove that Priscilla did not actually teach Apollo. You must prove that Phoebe was not really a minister of the church of Cenchre, was not given authority, and certainly would not be entrusted with the epistle to the Romans since that responsibility carried a certain authority with it. And then you must actually prove that Junia was not a woman, rather than trying to say she just couldn’t be.


Cheryl Schatz said...

"You say that one sentence in a private letter to Timothy, where Paul was advising Timothy about a problem that Timothy was privy to, that God inspired Paul to IMPLY a principle that was supposed to have been instigated at creation, that no one ever knew anything about until just then."

Well said!! You put your finger right on the problem. I love the way you word things. I also am quite taken by your use of the term "helicopter theology".

Keep up the good work!

Justa Berean said...

Thank you!

It has always amazed me that anyone could believe that God would have a principle of rigid restrictions that was never stated in the OT and obviously not observed (Miriam-first woman leader/apostle/songwiter/worshipleader, Deborah teacher of Torah/making judgments of life and death, Huldah redirecting the entire nation/advising the King himself when two other male prophets were available), could be stated as having originated in the beginning of time by a (hidden/nonexistant) supposed spiritual principal of "who came first". What did they expect — that God can make retroactive laws? — even if it violates His own actions???

This is me confused and cross eyed

And I really like the picture of helicopter theology too. Wish I had originally thought of it. Don't remember who first said it, but he only used it once. I've been using it ever since. So let's keep it going, eh.

Kathy said...


This is good!

I would like to quote parts of your article, when discussing this topic of 1 Tim 2. Would that be okay?


Just A Berean said...


Yes, Kathy that would be OK provided you always give the link to the entire article. And if you write a blog quoting parts of it, then I would appreciate being informed and given a link to it. :)