Thursday, November 8, 2007

Applying 1st Century Writings to 21st Century Living

How relevant are the following scriptures in present day realities? How best do we interpret these scriptures in order to strike a balance between avoiding being chauvinistic and at the same time not contradict the very Word of God?

1Timothy 2:9-15

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.


Akin said...

The underlying principles contain in the scriptures are as relevant today as they were when they were originally written. The problem is not the scriptures themselves but their wrong interpretation. I once read somewhere that, "A good interpretation should not depend so heavily on inferences that it cannot stand on its own without the help of theoretical construct." Big grammar no doubt but it makes a lot sense.

Growing up as a Believer I learned that you don't quote a scripture out of context. In order to understand what a verse of scripture is saying you need to read both the verses before it and those following it. I also learned to find out the historical context in which that scripture was written. These days it's even easier to do that with google, yahoo, and stuff.

1 Timothy, like 2 Timothy, was written to address the leadership crisis in the Church at Ephesus. Some people there were preaching false doctrines (they were pre-occupied with enforcing the Old Testament Laws). These false teacher had destroyed the atmosphere of worship. The doctrinal controversies promoted by the false teachers (cf. 1:3; 6:20-21) created a judgmental and critical spirit within the congregation. They even influenced some of the women in the church — in particular the unmarried and young widows (5:11-15; cf. 2 Tim. 3:1-7).

The church at Ephesus was in disarray and needed correction; it also needed new leadership (see 1 Tim 3 for the leadership qualities required to lead the body of Christ). Authority, order, and sanctity needed to be brought to the church and it was part of that, that the letter addressed in 1 Tim 2:9-15, and not necessarily an attempt at subjugating the women or suppressing them.

Thats my 2 cents on that.

XtianDoctrine said...

I couldn't agree more with you. There are many of such verses of scripture that some have used erronously to form doctrines upon which christian ministries are started.

More than ever before Believers in Christ need a thorough understanding of the scripture. But what I see is that we are mostly either too lazy or too scared to be like the Christians at Berea of whom it was said in Acts 17:11,

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

The word "search" is a Greek word "Anakrino" which means:

1) Examine or judge
a) to investigate, examine, enquire into, scrutinise, sift, question
i. specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation
ii. to interrogate, examine the accused or witnesses

b) To judge of, estimate, determine (the excellence or defects of any person or thing)

May God help us all.

simplynues said...

Ok Oh... I think there are some things that are just common sense, scriptural or not. Really do not get me started on how ridiculous the doctrine of women "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" has been misinterpreted and led many people amiss. MY GOODNESS

Akin said...

I'm really tempted to get you started.....ah ah ah...

The following is a law in one of our churches:

"The dedicated Christian...would not wear clothing of the opposite sex, Deut. 22:5......"

Now I guess this interpretes as women should not wear pants/trousers....right? Poor women, what would they do in the winter cold?

simplynues said...

Let's try not be old-fashioned here....