Women in the first century church

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by qwerty, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. qwerty

    qwerty
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    The Apostle Paul wrote to the first century church. He did not write to the church in the United States after the year 1900. We can try to interpret what Paul wrote for our times, but he did not write to us.

    The question I have never really seen answered is this:
    What did the first century church look like?

    What specific situation was Paul addressing in the first century church when he wrote about the role women were to play in the church? What was the situation he was addressing?

    What did the first century church look like? When did it meet? Where did it meet? Did men and women sit together? Did a family sit together?

    When we have answered the basic questions of what the first century church looked like, and the problems it was encountering, then we can begin to look at what Paul was saying to women within the context of the time period he wrote in.

    When we try to extrapolate Paul’s teaching into our generation without understanding the first century church, we will undoubtedly have some interpretation problems with what Paul wrote.
     
  2. Wisdom Seeker

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    I understand the point you are trying to make.

    I do however feel that many of Paul's letters to the church pertain to my life...in particular the letters to Ephesis.

    I don't think that the Bible has to be taken as a book aplicable to only those who existed when it was written. I believe it is a living book that can be used for any time period. At least that is my experience.
     
  3. qwerty

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    I agree that we can take timeless truths and apply them to our lives.

    But I want to know if anybody in these forums has studied the early church and what specific issues Paul was addressing when he wrote about women in the church.
     
  4. Headcoveredlady

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    Dear Qwerty,
    No pun intended, but are you a man or woman? If you will read the first chapter or 1 Cor the second verse you will see that although it was a letter written to the Corinthians in the first century it is written to ALL WHO BELIEVE EVERYWHERE.
    My pastor recently went over 1 and 2 Cor. He said it over and over that the church there is very similar to the church in America.
    And as far as women are concerned feminism has made inroads into American Christianity so much that it seems we first look at the culture than the Scriptures to decide a woman's place. But, I think we have that backwards.
    I sure hope you are a woman. :eek:

    HCL

    [ January 13, 2003, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: Headcoveredlady ]
     
  5. qwerty

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    HCL,
    I understand your issues, but they are off topic. Feel free to start a thread. I am trying to see if anyone here knows what Paul was addressing in the first century church. Please see first post.
     
  6. jimslade

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    Paul is addressing many problems in the early churches.
    Which specific passage are you refering to?

    Jim
     
  7. Bible-belted

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    The church was not so monolithic as all that. There were many churches. Revelation alone mentions 7, and those seven have farily distinct situations and circumstances partially due to their locations. That's why commentaries go to geat lengths to determine the situation that was being written to, and the recipients. There are somethings which could be said generally, but Paul's letters wer occasional, meaning that they addressed specific isues at specific times.

    You're going to have to cite a specific church.
     
  8. qwerty

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    For those who think they have information on the first century church, please read the first post, then, as someone has requested, give information for the Jerusalem church or the Corinth church.
     
  9. TheOliveBranch

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    The first century church was full of believers that their main concern was propagation of the Gospel. The churches had issues that Paul was addressing in each of the epistles. These issues are what are common in churches of today, making the Bible fully cabable of answering the problems faced. I think the answers to questions can be found in the New Testament, if we keep our personal preferences out of proper interpretation.

    But, as for the churches of that day, I think they are far from what we see today in America. They always had the threat of martyrdom hanging over them. But then, maybe that wasn't a threat, maybe it was an honor to die for the name of Christ. It's hard to find many Christians that will even mention His name, much less face death for Him.
     
  10. Walls

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    Obviously you have a specific section of scripture you are referring to. We can not answer your question if you do not give us a place in the Bible in which to reference.
     
  11. Michael Estes

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    Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. People who try to change the scriptures around inorder to suit their own desires are treading on thin ice. There should be no distinction between the way Christian's were to act in the 1st century versus now. If anything, I think we should all be trying to get the Church back into the same kind of shape that Paul was attempting to do back in the 1st century; not trying to come up with new, unbiblical ways all on our own that will only botch things up even more so than they are now.
     
  12. Headcoveredlady

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    AMEN MICHAEL!
     
  13. Walls

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    I guess Qwerty didn't have an answer. :confused:

    I second that, AMEN Michael! [​IMG]
     
  14. The Harvest

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    Amen Michael.

    Something else I think you are missing here qwerty is that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Tim 3:16

    Notice the tense of this verse. All scripture IS...and IS profitable. If the Bible only applied to people at the time it was written then this verse would say "was" instead of "is".

    Now, not everything in the Bible applies to the Church Age. Notice I said Church Age not 2003 specifically. The Church Age is the current dispensation (From death of Christ until the Tribulation). However, Paul's letters to the church at Corinth do apply to the Church Age.

    It is not wrong to study what the early church was like. However, Paul was telling them what all churches should be like throughout the Church Age. And that applies to us now as well.
     
  15. Ed Edwards

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    Amen, Qwerty.

    Recall that the Living Word of God (Messiah
    Yeshua) never changes. The written word of God
    (Holy Bible) must be translated into
    a language we understand. The specific words
    may change, but the meaning therein
    is the same. The incorporation into our lives of
    the written word of God is what we each
    must do in our priestly role within the Kingdom
    of God. To do this personal incorporation
    of the written word of God into our lives,
    it is well to understand
    what social conditions were like in the
    First Century, what social conditions are
    like where we might live here in the
    Twenty-first Century, what Paul meant by
    what he said for God's scripture.

    For example the Mediterrian culture of
    the First Century had very few, if any,
    women in roles of authority over men.
    In the Twenty-first Century it is not
    uncommon for a man to have a women for a
    boss. What does what Paul said then mean
    for us, who live now?
     
  16. Ed Edwards

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    I think Qwerty is well aware of this.

    Also Qwerty seems to be aware of the
    Doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer.
    It is the responsibility of each of us to
    incorporate into our lives the words
    which the written word of God contains.
    To do so requires that we have at least some
    understanding of, among other things, the
    social and family and church conditions of
    the First Century, when Paul wrote the Holy
    Scriptures down for God.
     
  17. Ed Edwards

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    I guess Qwerty asked a legitimate question,
    rather than having an answer.

    Here is an interesting scripture that
    comes to my mind:

    1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (nKJV):

    Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church
     
  18. The Harvest

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    Please tell me you are kidding. :eek:

    So let me get this straight. Since it is common for women to be in authority over men today, then it is OK for women to usurp authority over men in churches? I believe that is what you are saying. So if we follow that line of reasoning then this is also true...

    Since the homosexual lifestyle is so common today, then being a * removing the offensive wording for a second and final time.* homosexual is no longer a sin.

    Or maybe since there are so many murders happening today, it's OK to kill people.

    Here is what I think. I think that what Paul said, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), was exactly what God wanted and it still applies to us now just like it applied then. Since when does God conform to what the world wants? :mad:

    [ January 25, 2003, 10:30 PM: Message edited by: Jim1999 ]
     
  19. Jim1999

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    To fully understand scriptures, we cannot ignore the people speaking, the people spoken to, the circumstances and even culture involved. All these things and more is needed to rightly understand the import of the message of 2000 years ago.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. The Harvest

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    In some cases this may be true, but in the case that qwerty was referring (1 Cor 14) it is pretty much an open and shut case. Paul was laying down the rules of the church in the Church Age and those rules haven't changed, no matter how badly you want them to.
     

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