‘The Biblical ideal is the spiritual and social equality of the sexes’.

Whilst the Bible promotes men and women’s uniform saving by Christ and correspondence in value and status,[1] some sections of the church increasingly define orthodoxy by allegiance to a ‘complementarian’ position. This asserts that the Bible teaches that the sexes are equal in being but different in function; with men assuming leadership over women in the home and church. To paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, complementarians contend that ‘all people are equal, just some are more equal than others’. This stance renders the spiritual and ontological equality of men and women meaningless by the significant disparity in their social roles. Accordingly this essay will seek to demonstrate the spiritual and social parity of men and women at Creation, its disruption by the Fall, and the eschaton of their equality as shown in Paul’s letters.[2]

The absence of hierarchy between men and woman is evident in Genesis 1-2. Contrary to the claims of complementarians, man’s pre-existence before woman does not indicate his pre-eminence.[3] If this were so, animals would have dominion over humans, an idea which is contradicted in Gen 1:28 which instructs both man and woman to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’. Unlike animals they are made in ‘the image’ of God (1:26), which suggests their capacity for a mutual, other-serving relationship like that within the Trinity.[4] As image-bearers, a level of rulership and dominion is designated by God to people; man and woman are to rule jointly over creation (Gen 1:26), thus, their spiritual equality corresponds to an equality in social roles. Importantly, God gives ‘every seed-bearing plant’ for their food (v 29); there is no suggestion here that Adam is to be the ‘bread-winner’. Adam’s work in the garden pre-Eve (3:15) is likewise not evidence for a responsibility over provision, as Eve is yet to be created.

Genesis 2:18-20, where each creature is brought to man and named by him, builds the case that Adam is lacking a partner who is his equal and complement. Its primary message is that no animal is a suitable partner for man.[5] Accordingly, man’s naming of the animals (Gen 2:19) is not an example of his leadership, as reflected by the passage’s position between God’s declaration that ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ (v 18) and His affirmation that ‘for Adam no suitable helper was found’ (v 20).[6] Likewise, man’s assertion that ‘she shall be called “woman” (Gen 2:23) is not his naming of her, thus showing his dominative role; she is named by him after the Fall (Gen 3:20) when the equilibrium of power between them has been shattered.[7] In Gen 2:23 the name ‘woman’ (’ishshah) is simply a derivative of the Hebrew word for man (’ish) with a feminine ending, emphasising their unity of essence.[8]

Likewise, woman’s creation as a ‘helper’ (‘ezer) for man (Gen 2:18) does not indicate a functional subordination to him.[9] It is rather a joyful exclamation of her suitability, her complementarity to man, also reflected in his ecstatic proclamation ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’ (Gen 2:23). Many commentators have demonstrated that connotations of ‘helper’ as assistant, second-in-charge and servant are merely importations of meaning rather than that suggested by the Biblical texts themselves, as ezer throughout the OT means ‘help, saviour, rescuer, protector’.[10] Only with woman is man able to fulfil the command to multiply and fill the earth.

 

It is man and woman’s wilful disobedience of God’s command that compels the misbalance of power between them. Adam and Eve are equally disobedient; Adam is ‘with Eve’ in her dialogue with the serpent (Gen 3:6), thus his eating of the fruit renders him equally culpable. Adam’s sin as named by God in Genesis 3:11 is disobedience to His command, not taking directions from his wife. This remains true for God’s statement to Adam in Gen 3:17 that ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree...cursed is the ground’. This is phrased in these terms because Adam has blamed his eating of the fruit on his wife (3:12).[11] God’s rebuke shows Adam’s disobedience and his refusal to take responsibility for his own actions.

It has been argued that God’s address of the man (v 9) before the woman indicates ‘Adam bore the primary responsibility to lead their partnership’ and was thus responsible for their sin.[12] However, God’s address of the man in Genesis 3:11, ‘Have you eaten from the tree?’, highlights that Adam’s sin is his own disobedience, not a failure to prevent Eve from sinning. The order of questioning is rather a chiastic examination of the events in reverse that reveals the sin and links it back to the serpent’s deception.[13] This is followed by a review of the penalties for the characters in their former order; serpent, woman, man. Reordering the questions would destroy this literary device.

The consequences of their sin are devastating for Adam and Eve’s relationship. The future tense of ‘your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you’ (3:16) indicates that the wife’s desire to control her husband, and his consequent domination of her, like the other effects of the Fall, was not a pre-existing condition and is something to be overcome, akin to pain-relief in childbirth and pesticides in farming.[14] The Hebrew word for ‘rule’ (mashal) in Gen 3:16 is the most common word used in the Hebrew Bible to describe God’s rule , demonstrating that it is not inherently bad, but rather that man will simply rule over woman.[15] This counters complementarian claims that man was created to rule over/lead woman, but the Fall made his rule ungodly and selfish.[16] Even if this were true, this verse cannot be used to support the view that all men must rule over all women, as it specifies that Eve’s desire is for her (singular) husband.[17]

It has also been alleged that the man’s curse demonstrates that his primary responsibility is food production, and thus providing for his family (the ‘public’ arena), whereas women’s is the home and family (the ‘private’ sphere).[18] A better interpretation that avoids reading into the passage non-prescribed role demarcations would  see that man’s relationship to the land, his source, is broken and made difficult, and likewise with between the woman and her source, man.[19]

The Kingdom of God’s inauguration through Jesus’ triumph over sin and death means the perpetuation of the Fall’s curses is no longer inevitable. The Kingdom’s full realisation upon Jesus’ return will fully obliterate the effects of the Fall, including men’s tendency to ‘rule over’ their wives, but until then the church is to model the new order of the Kingdom where no one social group experiences a privilege of status over any other (1 Cor 11:11, Gal 3:28).

Accordingly, men and women’s social and spirituality equality is upheld in the New Testament (NT). Their social equality is demonstrated by their identical rights in marriage shown in the parallelism of 1 Corinthians 7:1-16. A wife’s body belongs to her husband and his to his wife (v 4), a wife must not divorce her husband and a husband must not divorce his wife (vv 10-11), and so on. Both are equally saved through faith in the atonement of Christ and both are affirmed to be an essential to the Body in service.[20] Men are women are equally gifted by the Spirit, including gifts of teaching and leadership (1 Cor 12:7-11, 27-30; Acts 2:17-18). Why then do many suggest that, despite agreement over women’s spiritual parity with men, they are under particular social restrictions exercising their gifts?[21]

The first major passage used to prohibit women’s public ministry is 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. The key issue in interpretation is how to resolve this demand for women to be silent in the church. Three times Paul approves women to pray and prophesy. They are allowed when their heads are ‘covered’ (1 Cor 11:4-13). He affirms that ‘you can all prophesy’ (1 Cor 14:24, 31), ‘speak in tongues’ (1 Cor 14:5, 18, 23, cf. 27) and that ‘each has a hymn, a word of instruction a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation’ (1 Cor 14:26). Extensive research now considers these verses to be an interpolation.[22] They disrupt the flow of Paul’s argument about tongues and prophecy, and transcriptional probability suggests interpolation as every Western text-type manuscript has 1 Cor 14:34-35 at the end of the chapter (i.e. after verse 40).[23] Also, Clement of Alexandria discusses a version of 1 Corinthians which does not include 14:34-35.[24]

Upon first glance, Paul appears to forbid women from teaching to mixed audiences in most translations of 1 Timothy 2:12; ‘I do not permit (authenteō) a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent’. Research has shown that a better translation is one that uses a present proscription; that is, ‘I am not permitting’.[25] This shows that Paul’s prohibition is a temporary one in response to the conditions of the time, likely due to a proliferation of female false teachers in the Ephesian church.[26] For example, the younger widows in 5:15 have ‘already turned away to follow Satan’.[27] It is important to note that Paul is forbidding an action (‘to teach’), not an office, and that throughout the NT Paul uses the verb ‘to teach’ broadly of anyone teaching orthodoxy or otherwise, in public or private or to groups or individuals.[28] On the basis of this passage it is thus erroneous and arbitrary to bar women from official church teaching but not other forms of teaching.

Extensive study on oude, the word which joins ‘to teach’ and ‘take authority’, has shown there is no unambiguous case where Paul joins two conceptually distinct verbs with it to ‘covey two separate ideas’.[29] Therefore, this verse should be seen as a prohibition against women teaching by assuming authority to do so, rather than having it properly delegated.[30] This single proscription is fitting to the theme of the chapter, peace without the congregation without forcefulness. Calls to quietness surround this prohibition and neutralise the aggressiveness shown by unauthorised women taking for themselves power over others.

Paul’s command in 1 Timothy 2:11 ‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission’ is an apt contrast to the chaos that is being caused by false teaching (e.g. 1 Tim 1:4), and reflects Paul’s desire for quietness and peace as the central theme of chapter 2.[31] ‘In quietness’ (ēsuxia) is better translated as ‘quietly, peacefully’, as sigē was the more specific Greek word to denote silence.[32] ‘Silence’ would also contradict Paul’s approval of women prophesying in 1 Corinthians 11:5-13.

1 Timothy 2:9 commands women to ‘similarly’ (ōsautōs) dress modestly, showing that Paul wants women, like men in previous verse, to refrain from creating controversy in the church. That woman should learn ‘in all submission’ is often incorrectly assumed to refer to a marriage context but 1 Timothy 1-2 does not speak of marriage. Rather, the submission here is related to ‘learn(ing)’, and therefore a better interpretation is that the women must submit to the truths they are learning rather than to their husbands.[33]

Finally, 1 Timothy 2:13-14 appeals to woman’s deception at the Fall as to why women should not teach a man in a domineering way. Some adopt Paul’s appeal to women’s latter creation and deception to bar them from public ministry, arguing they are too easily mislead and must honour the ‘headship’ of men over them.[34] But this interpretation conflicts with the rest of the Bible, where women are assigned leadership roles over men, and where both genders are held equally responsible by God for eating the forbidden fruit.[35] A more convincing interpretation is that Paul is using Creation to caution women against thinking they are invincible against the power of false teaching; they have been deceived in the past and will be again. Furthermore, they must honour their source, Adam (or men), by not teaching by self-assumed authority.[36]

The theme of honouring one’s source is also essential to interpreting 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, where Paul condemns the Corinth men and women’s hairstyles which denoted sexual looseness; prostitution for the women and homosexuality for the men. They are probably exhibiting an over-realised eschatology which no longer considers sexual differences important.[37] Considerable debate surrounds whether kephalē should be translated as ‘head’ or ‘source’, as English Bibles typically use ‘head’ which supports a social hierarchy between men and women. ‘Source’ is the established meaning of kephalē detailed in the earliest Greek lexicons to the present, for example, Galen in the second century AD identified the ‘head’ of a river as its ‘source’.[38] Only modern science has regarded the brain as the control centre of the body, therefore it is unlikely that the ancient Greek world, which considered the heart as the body’s director (cf. Plato, Aristotle, Diocles) would believe that the ‘head’ governed the body.[39]

‘Source’ makes better sense in 1 Cor 11:3; as if every man’s head (authority) were Christ, this would contradict the Bible’s continuous assertion that only those who have put their faith in Christ are under his authority.[40] Likewise, ‘source’ fits better than ‘authority’ in ‘the man (with an article) is kephalē of woman’. As with each of the statements in verse 3, the second being is prefaced by an article.[41] Therefore, it is most logical to understand ‘the man’ here as Adam; the man from which woman was made. Even if ‘man’ here refers to all men, the Bible never says that all women should be subject to all men. Therefore, a man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his source, Christ, (11:4), whereas a women who lets her hair hang long dishonours her ‘source’, man, here most probably her husband.[42]

Paul introduces the ‘image of God’ thesis in 1 Cor 11:7 to locate his argument in a wider theological framework. Man should honour his source, God, by honouring the male/female distinction made in Creation rather than by blurring it through effeminacy. Paul’s obvious omission of ‘image of’ in 7c, ‘but the women is the glory of man’, shows that woman is not made in man’s image, but in the image of God (cf. Genesis 1:27).[43] It also says that woman, not another man, is the glory of man. The glory of someone ‘is the person in whom he glories, as the man glories over the woman in Gen 2:23’.[44] This emphasises the error of effeminate hair, for in symbolising homosexual relations it rejects the woman as man’s sexual partner. Verses 8 and 9 further emphasis this point, showing that woman was created for man.

‘On account of this’ (1 Cor 11:10), that is, a man’s appropriate sexual partner, women should ‘control or exercise authority’ over her head by putting her hair up. Typically, English versions such as the ESV, NRSV and the NIV mistranslate exousian echein in 1 Cor 11:10 as ‘sign of (man’s) authority on’ (her head).[45] There is no lexical support for this translation, as woman (gunē) is the stated subject of ‘to have authority’ in verse 10.[46] Furthermore, any hierarchical interpretation that could be gained in these verses is quickly corrected by Paul in verses 11-12 which assert that neither sex is independent of the other.

The Bible teaches that men and women are ontologically equal and this is reflected in their spiritual and social parity. This does not mean that sexual differences should be abandoned in an over-realised eschatology, like in heaven (Mark 12:25). Combating the effects of the Fall means a wariness when women try to assume authority over men (cf. Timothy 2:12) but supporting their social equality by encouraging their full participation in the public ministries of the church (1 Cor 12:7-11, 27-30; Acts 2:17-18, 1 Cor 11:4-13, 14:24, 26, 31). It is only by realising women’s social equality that men are no longer ‘more equal’ in God’s kingdom.

Bibliography

Barrett, C.K. The First Epistle to the Corinthians. 2nd ed. Black's New Testament Commentaries, ed. Henry Chadwick. London: A&C Black, 1971.

Belleville, Linda L. "Teaching and Usurping Authority: 1 Timothy 2:11-15." In Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, 205-23. Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005.

Carlson, Allan C. "The Problem of Protestants." In Does Christianity Teach Male Headship?: The Equal-Regard Marriage and Its Critics, ed. David Blankenhorn, Don Browning and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, 74-81. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2004.

Davidson, Richard M. Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2007.

Fee, Gordon. God's Empowering Presence Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994.

Fee, Gordon D. The First Epistle to the Corinthians The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F.F. Bruce. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1987.

________. "Praying and Prophesying in the Assemblies: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16." In Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, 142-71. Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005.

Foh, Susan T. "A Male Leadership View: The Head of the Woman Is the Man." In Women in Ministry: Four Views, ed. Bonnidell Clouse and Robert G. Clouse, 69-105. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP, 1989.

Giles, Kevin. Women and Their Ministry: A Case for Equal Ministries in the Church Today. East Malvern: Dove Communications Pty. Ltd., 1977.

Guthrie, Donald. The Pastoral Epistles Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans 1957.

Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17 The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, ed. R.K. Harrison. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1990.

Hess, Richard S. "Equality with and without Innocence: Genesis 1-3." In Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, 79-95. Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005.

Hooker, Morna D. "Authority on Her Head: An Examination of 1 Cor 11:10." New Testament Studies 10 (1963/4): 410-16.

Knight, George W. "The Family and the Church." In Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem, 345-357. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1991.

Liefeld, Walter L. "Women, Submission and Ministry in 1 Corinthians." In Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Michkelsen, 134-60. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1986.

________. "The Nature of Authority in the New Testament." In Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, 255-71. Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005.

Ortlund, Raymond C. "Male-Female Equality and Male Headship." In Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem, 95-112. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991.

Payne, Philip B. Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul's Letters. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009.

Scholer, David M. "1 Timothy 2:9-15 and the Place of Women in the Church's Ministry." In Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Michkelsen, 193-219. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1986.

Spencer, Aida Besancon. Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1985.

Towner, Philip H. 1-2 Timothy & Titus The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, ed. Grant R. Osborne. Downers Grove, Illinois and Leicester, England: IVP, 1994.

Walker, William O. "The 'Theology of Women's Place' and the 'Paulinist' Tradition." Semeia 28 (1983): 101-12.

Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis 1-15. Vol. 1 Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker. Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987.

Winter, Bruce W. Romans Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003.

 


[1] 1 Cor 11:11, Gal 3:28.

[2] The limits of this paper mean that issues such as significant female rulers in the Old Testament (OT), the use of women to communicate key portions of Scripture and Jesus’ treatment of women will not be discussed.

[3] E.g. Susan T. Foh; ‘the woman is functionally subordinate to her husband. He was created first to set up his headship’ in "A Male Leadership View: The Head of the Woman Is the Man," in Women in Ministry: Four Views, ed. Bonnidell Clouse and Robert G. Clouse (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP, 1989), 73.

[4] Complementarians often argue that a marriage relationship with hierarchy (or ‘headship’) is mutually other-serving; just one person has more responsibility and is the ‘leader’ (thus returning to the ontological but not functional equality paradigm which is fundamentally flawed as already suggested). They appeal to a hierarchy within the Trinity itself (cf. 1 Cor 11:3), i.e. that woman should submit to man as Christ eternally submits to the Father; see Allan C. Carlson, "The Problem of Protestants," in Does Christianity Teach Male Headship?: The Equal-Regard Marriage and Its Critics, ed. David Blankenhorn, Don Browning, and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, Religion, Marriage, and Family (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2004), 77. ‘Subordinationism’, as this belief is known, is relatively recent and is regarded as heresy by the confessional creeds of the early church. Church fathers Chrysostom, Theodoret and Theophylact highlighted the misuse of 1 Cor 11:3 to subordinate the ontological Christ to the Father; see Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul's Letters (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009), 131. For a further exploration of subordination within the trinity, see Kevin Giles’ sizable tome, The Trinity & Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God & the Contemporary Gender Debate (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2002).

[5] Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1-15, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 1 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987), 68.

[6] Kevin Giles, Women and Their Ministry: A Case for Equal Ministries in the Church Today (East Malvern: Dove Communications Pty. Ltd., 1977), 85.

[7] Wenham, 84.

[8] Contrary to Raymond C. Ortlund, "Male-Female Equality and Male Headship," in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991), 102.

[9] Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17, ed. R.K. Harrison, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1990), 175-6.

[10] Richard S. Hess, "Equality with and without Innocence: Genesis 1-3," in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005), 86 and Richard M. Davidson, Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2007), 29.

[11] Hamilton, 194.

[12] Ortlund, 108-9.

[13] Davidson, 67.

[14] Hess, 92.

[15] Payne, 51.

[16] Contrary to the George W. Knight III’s declaration that this is ‘rule in an autocratic, unloving way’ in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1991), 346.

[17] Aida Besancon Spencer, Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1985), 39.

[18] Knight, 347-8.

[19] Spencer, 38. See also discussion on 1 Corinthians 11 below.

[20] E.g. Eph 2:10, ‘We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ and 1 Cor 12:27-28 ‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues’ where no gender distinctions are made.

[21] See Ortlund, 95-112.

[22] E.g. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. F.F. Bruce, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1987), 708 and more fully in Gordon Fee, God's Empowering Presence (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994), 262-81, William O. Walker, "The 'Theology of Women's Place' and the 'Paulinist' Tradition," Semeia 28 (1983): 101-12., Payne, 217-67.

[23] See references above.

[24]Payne, 250-51.

[25] Walter L. Liefeld, "The Nature of Authority in the New Testament," in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005), 263.

[26] David M. Scholer, "1 Timothy 2:9-15 and the Place of Women in the Church's Ministry," in Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Michkelsen (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1986), 198.

[27] A large portion of 1 Timothy deals with combating false teaching, cf. 1:3-7, 4:1-8, 6:3-5, 6:20-21. Paul frequently refers to false teachers using terms that usually include both men and women, which many versions of the Bible conceal by using the male signifiers ‘he’, ‘man’ and ‘him’. See Payne, 299.

[28] Linda L. Belleville, "Teaching and Usurping Authority: 1 Timothy 2:11-15," in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005), 221.

[29] Payne, 359.

[30] Donald Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans 1957), 76-77.

[31]Philip H. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, ed. Grant R. Osborne, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, Illinois and Leicester, England: IVP, 1994), 75-6.

[32] Sigē is used in Acts 21:40 and also in its verb form, sigaō to mean silence many times in NT. Spencer, 105, Payne, 315.

[33] Bruce W. Winter, Romans Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003), 113.

[34] For example, Guthrie, 77.

[35] Women in leadership roles over men includes the prophetess Miriam is sent by God to lead Israel (Micah 6:4, Exodus 15:20-21), Deborah who is placed in authority over all the men of Israel (Judges 4:4-5) and Queen Esther who has enough power to orchestrate the destruction of the house of Haman with 75,000 enemies of the Jews (Esther 7:1-10, 9:1-32). None of these women are condemned in Scripture for being in authority due to their gender. For both genders being held equally culpable for their sin at the Fall, see discussion earlier in essay of Gen 1-3.

[36] This is the effect of the curse, see Genesis 3:16. Contrast these women’s leadership with Jesus’ command in Matthew 20:25-26, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you’.

[37] Gordon D. Fee, "Praying and Prophesying in the Assemblies: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16," in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (Downers Grove, IL and Leicester, England: IVP and Apollos, 2005), 158-9.

[38] Ibid., 149-55, Payne, 123-4.

[39] Walter L. Liefeld, "Women, Submission and Ministry in 1 Corinthians," in Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Michkelsen (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1986), 137-40.

[40] E.g. Hebrews 2:8 ‘Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him’.

[41] Payne, 130.

[42] As the Greek word for husband and man is interchangeable, Belleville, 208.

[43]C.K. Barrett, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. Henry Chadwick, 2nd ed., Black's New Testament Commentaries (London: A&C Black, 1971), 249.

[44] Payne, 179.

[45] Barrett, 253.

[46] Morna D. Hooker, "Authority on Her Head: An Examination of 1 Cor 11:10," New Testament Studies 10 (1963/4): 410-16.