Stephen Kurht on Women Bishops

From the BBC

"I think they'll make a fuss...[evangelical opponents] They will try and throw their weight around financially - they're large churches generally with quite a lot of money but mostly, I think they'll probably just ignore bishops in the way they always have."

He warns: "I think it'll be very difficult for the first women bishops because I think there'll be all sorts of subtle ways in which some churches will try to undermine their authority.

"I think the first draft of women bishops is going to want lots of prayer and support.

"What I hope will happen is that people will see the blessings that come from women's ministry and they will say, 'Yes - that's what God intended - how did it take us so long to wake up to it?'"

Well said!

You know I can't help but add some ideas here on the famous 1 Tim 2:11-15, for those of you who still remain unconvinced-

I Tim 2 11-15
An NIV footnote explains that the reference to 'women' (1 Tim 2:15) should be translated as 'she'. There is confusion over singular and plural pronouns in these verses. Paul' is not prohibiting women in ordained ministries, just one particular person from teaching falsely (didasko). This woman lacks appropriate education because of women's limited first century opportunities and Paul is being counter-cultural with his 'Let her learn'. It is only because she has been bullying her husband and teaching false doctrine that she should be rebuked. The word authenthein has more the sense of a usurping authority in the Greek. Whatever their gender, Christians should not lord it over each other; Christ is lord. He is prohibiting a 'lording it over each other' attitude, not preaching by women.

Paul's 'Let a woman learn', in the epistle to Timothy, echoes Jesus' own affirmation of Mary when she sat at his feet to learn (Luke 10:42). Kenneth Bailey describes how Mary is 'seated with the men and...the traditional cultural separation between men and women no longer applies.'1. Tom Wright describes how you would do this 'in order to be a teacher, a rabbi yourself.'2 The gospel does a great deal to undo gender demarcations. Priscilla was a teacher with her husband Aquilla. Her name is mentioned six out of seven times before her husband's, (except in 1 Corinthians 16:19) implying she was the more influential. In Paul's letter to the Romans (16:3), he calls her his fellow worker as he does two other women: Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3).

1BAILEY, K.E., Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes. Cultural Studies in the Gospels, p.193-194.

2WRIGHT, N.T., Women's Service in the Church, p.4

We will get there and I'm sure we'll look back on these times as simply a period when a very great number of us, however sincere and godly, were in error. We will need to repent of the Church having ever marginalised women just as we need to repent of the fact that God's precious Word was ever used by Christians to justify slavery.


Claire Alcock said...

Very good stuff, thank you.

Rach Marszalek said...

...and three and a half years ago Kurht said this and it is still relevant.


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