“The woman has to submit to the authority of the man because the man was made first. Not only is this the order of creation in Genesis, but the Apostle Paul spells it out for us in black and white. This is what the Bible says so it must be true.”
If that is the case then God really does view women as second class human beings.
The law of firsts
Some argue that because Adam was made first he is in charge, but to my mind there are a few issues here that we must resolve. Firstly the woman was already in the man when he was created, and secondly both the man and the woman were called Adam. The woman wasn’t named Eve until after they were both banished from the garden; perhaps that was the first degree of separation that God spoke of in the curse, as they now began to fight for control?
Another thought here is that the first ever evangelists (the first people Jesus chose to proclaim His resurrection) were women (Matthew 28:10). If this idea of firsts is watertight we should accept that all female evangelists have authority over men. I find it interesting that Jesus Himself allows a women to preach to the apostles but that the church doesn’t like women to speak. What was Jesus thinking?
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 (NKJV)
Women aren’t as smart as men, that’s why they can’t lead.
You clearly haven’t met my wife, but nevertheless we still have to address Paul’s apparently blunt statement to Timothy. What we tend to forget is that nearly all the New Testament letters are a response to a set of questions or problems. Timothy was a young worker on Paul’s team and was charged with keeping wrong teaching out of the Ephesian church, and did he ever have his hands full. One of the problems he faced was women who previously worshipped or even worked in the temple of Diana (Artemis), not only were they joining the church but were bringing some of their weird world views with them.
In the Diana cult, which was fronted by powerful women, (though there were likely money men behind the scenes) you were taught that she had a twin brother to whom she was superior. Her brother, Apollo, also had a massive religious following and was serious competition in a business where the stakes for money and power were very high. But why was Diana superior to her brother in the minds of her followers? Simply because, in the legend she was born first.
Timothy had women coming into the church teaching that women were superior to men (quite a sweet irony, don’t you think?).
Get Paul on the phone!
Imagine listening to this letter as a phone call with Paul on the phone to Timothy who is relaying the issue to his friend and mentor; but we can only hear Paul speaking. Perhaps the conversation would have gone like this:
“Listen son, tell those women that it was actually the man who was made first and it was the woman who was deceived.”
Has Paul just issued a mandate for the superiority of men and the gullibility of women, or has he just popped a ridiculous religious bubble that was threatening the well being of the church? Clearly Paul was NOT giving a universal mandate, but a specific answer to a local problem that was only ever meant to deliver freedom and not to afflict bondage. In my opinion, to adhere to any other interpretation either shows great ignorance of the larger picture the Bible paints or a wilful disobedience to the truth, probably in an attempt to hold onto some form of power and control.
Go well my friends 🙂