NT. “I Demand Those Nasty ‘Usurping’ Women in Ephesus Church Be Silent!”

“I Demand Those Nasty ‘Usurping’ Women in Ephesus Church Be Silent!”

Let’s look at that again

Verse 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ KJV

Verse 12. I most certainly do not grant authority to a woman to teach that she is the originator of a man’.  1 Timothy 2: 11-15  Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger,

‘Woman the originator of man’.

‘In this verse, for example, a verb is used which is nowhere else used in the New Testament; ‘Authentein’ is defined in NT dictionaries as meaning to ‘usurp authority’ or ‘dominate.’ However, its meaning goes broader than this.

      1. To rule, to dominate.

        To begin something, to be primarily responsible for a condition or  action (especially murder).

      2. To usurp power or rights from another.

      3. To claim ownership, sovereignty, or authorship.

Although Greek writers used the term ‘authentein’, to imply other values such as ‘to kill someone’ the problem arises in translation where a word occurs only once and the lexicographer often simply follows the translator. In such an instance, such as this,  the lexicographer declares it has such and such a value in New Testament Greek, in this instance, ‘I do not allow a woman to usurp authority over a man’. Instead, many scholars, such as Catherine and Richard Clark Kroeger are saying, that rather than this having authority over all women for all time, that female domination or women as originator of man was the error being taught in Ephesus.

Once the background to the worship of Artemis is given due consideration, it is easy to see that it is in connection with the worship of Artemis and Paul is saying he does not allow this teaching, a woman to teach that … which is entirely understandable.

On the other hand, to teach that Paul is saying here to Timothy that he Paul, does not allow a woman to teach, period, is nonsense. Taken in the overall context of the Gospel teachings and Paul’s teachings on the Great Mystery, the oneness in Christ, ‘that there is neither male nor female’ or any other division, be it class, race or gender, not to mention the women who were teaching in the church and at the helm of 1stcentury churches is ludicrous.  Paul salutes such women in the churches and gives them due honour in his letters and asks others to do the same. Therefore, to have allowed this one Scripture, wherein is the only place the word ‘authentein’ is used is to override all other Scriptures. The New Testament Scriptures clearly show that women are effectively ministering and laying down their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

The myths surrounding Artemis abounded. It was said that the Amazons first brought Artemis to Ephesus. The tradition of a religiously based rule of women with sex reversal and female dominance were the order of the day in the rites of worship associated with Artemis as it was with Isis. An early Amazon Queen, Lysippe, decreed that women should go forth to battle and govern while the men were to stay at home and do the housework. ‘To the men she assigned the spinning of wool and the household tasks of women. She introduced laws where by she led forth the women to battle, but she hung humiliation and servitude upon the men’.

Her daughter succeeded her as queen and both established the worship of Artemis Tauropolus and built temples to her. A later queen, Hippo, brought the image of the Tauroploian Artemis to Ephesus, set it in an oak tree and instituted the cult. Attendants at this Amazon Queen danced at the shrine of Artemis of Ephesus first with shields and later with rattling quivers. Some lines from a hymn to Artemis recollect: “They themselves, O Lady Upis, executed an armed dance around the image … and then again positioned in a broad circle as a broad choir …and their feet stamped briskly while their quivers rattled’”.

Authentein is applied on several occasions to those who perform ritual murder. Human sacrifice and ritual murder were by no means unknown in the ancient world, and in some instances connected with Ephesus. There are a number of ancient literary references to ritual murder in honour of Artemis. , A practice that seemed to persist through to the 2nd century CE: Taurean Artemis demanded human sacrifice and a priestess of Artemis must be the one to consign the male victim to his death. A deposit of human bones at the base of the shrine has been found which seems to substantiate this claim.

Other places Artemis travelled and found a home would were said to have ceremonies that memorialised this tradition and offered substitutes for the ritual murder. Hence Paul teaching, targeting one woman in particular and the error that was being taught in the Ephesian church. (‘I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2: 11-15 in light of ancient evidence’, Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger, 1994, Baker Books, Michigan.

You women, study to show yourself approved unto God, a servant of God that does not have to be ashamed, but well able to divide rightly the word of truth  (2 Tim 2: 15a Paraphrased by Patricia).

Keep on, girlfriends  : )