All right, let’s get back to the discussion of gender roles in the church. Thanks for the discussion last time; special thanks to those who recruited others to join the conversation.
One big issue that has to be dealt with is the Bible’s relationship with its historical and cultural context, especially when it comes to gender roles. It’s hard to deny that the Bible paints a male-dominated picture of the world. You find the occasional queen, prophetess, and female judge, but overwhelmingly, it’s a man’s world. So, in such a testosterone-laden context, was the Bible merely a product of that society or did it help shape it?
It’s the question I asked before: did the Law prohibit pork because the Jews didn’t eat it or did the Jews refrain from pork because the Law prohibited it? Did the Mosaic Law establish a system of male leadership because of the society the Hebrews lived in or did the Law seek to shape the Israelites into the society he wanted?
More specifically for us Christians, when Jesus chose only men to be among the Twelve, was that a concession to society or an example for the church? When Paul told Timothy and Titus to appoint men as elders, was that merely a reflection of the world Paul knew or was that an inspired directive? (we can also ask if that was only for Ephesus and Crete or if other churches followed that practice)
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter.