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2nd Timothy 2:2 (NIV) And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (TNIV) And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Does the word "anthropos" translated as "men" in the NIV refer only to men? The TNIV translates it as "people." Reference: Online Greek Interlinear, 2 Timothy 2:2 (click to enlarge) The interlinear Greek also translates it as “people.” But note that the English translation on the right translates the word "anthropos" as "men” rather than as people. So should Bible translators be t... Read more
Many of you have heard the argument that there is no evidence in either Scripture or in church tradition that women served aspresbytera, or elders in the early church. Archaeological evidence of women leaders in the early church is available. In fact, according to scholars like Dorothy Irvin, the historical evidence of women leaders as presbyters, deacons, and priests appears abundant. The question is, why is it ignored? Unlike the biblical texts, some of which we know have been badly translated with when it concerned the leadership of women, it is much harder to obscure the evidence in beautiful mosaics, funerary inscriptions, and other such evidence carved into stone. Among these we find proof of women like Rufina, a second century president or elder in her synagogue outside... Read more
The Pikes Peak Chapter in Colorado has begun a discussion about what the “ideal” church would look like. It was unanimously felt that we have done, over these many years, the foundational reading and know why we are egalitarians. Perhaps we are a bit tired of reading solely on the egalitarian/feminist theme, and perhaps we are ready to branch out a bit in other directions. So…if we could create the exact church/church experience we want as egalitarian Christian women, what would that look like? Our suggested reading list includes Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We asked ourselves the following questions. 1. What should this church look like? 2. How would we deal with t... Read more
Some of the most powerful words in all of Scripture directed the evangelism of women. As they discovered the empty tomb on Easter, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women heard the most important words in all of history: “…he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” (Luke 24:6-7, TNIV). Jesus told Mary Magdalene to tell the brothers that he was “returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). And, Mary was faithful to follow Jesus’ request. She went to the male disciples with the news, that she had seen the risen Lord. Mary’s test... Read more
So often those of us who would consider it legitimate to interpret Scripture with due consideration being given to the historical culture and context, especially in the issues relating to Biblical equality, are accused of not being true to the literal text. By posing such questions of the text we are said to be resorting to logic or reason to bolster our argument and this is seen as an unacceptable principle of interpretation. It is interesting to note that in John 7:24 Jesus says, "Think this through and you will see that I am right," which meant, to the Pharisees and the crowd in this context, using their own powers of deductive reasoning. This is as it reads in the New Living Translation, while the KJV expresses it this way, "Judge not according to sight, but judge with... Read more
"I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit" (Lev. 26:4 TNIV). Is spring your favorite season? If you live in a cold climate any hint of warm weather, longer days, and the return of flowers and birds is cause for rejoicing! Regardless of where you live, spring is a season of encouragement. We are encouraged by Easter celebrations in spring, reminding us that in our Risen Lord, all things are made new. We are inspired by the accomplishments of graduates in the months of spring. And, many couples cheer us as they make vows of marriage, often in the spring. Spring is also the season when we honor our mothers—those who have sacrificed and devoted their lives to our nurture. At CBE, we begin to see the fru... Read more
"Be properly scared and go on doing what you have to do"  - Flannery O’ Connor. Do you experience physical discomfort when facing conflict? Would you prefer a visit to the dentist to an argument? If so, then you’re entirely normal. In fact, you’re in the majority! Most people prefer harmony and unity to conflict and division. Most of us in ministry have encountered enough conflict for a lifetime, right? Yet, when it comes to the great moral issues of the day, like declaring the scriptural basis for the shared leadership of women and men, one must be ready to face conflict, and that takes enormous courage! Justice, as taught in the Bible, always demands bravery. C. S. Lewis once said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form o... Read more
One of my most trying journeys during college has been learning to give others grace: to forgive my roommate, to be patient with other white people’s ethnic journeys, to stop calling myself “an evangelical that doesn’t like other evangelicals.” One of the areas I still struggle with is in giving grace to women and men that don’t see eye-to-eye with me on gender issues. Every year our UNC InterVarsity chapter holds two events called Ladies’ Night and Men’s Night. Each involves one gender performing comical skits and serving food to the other, as a way to show them appreciation and honor. While attending Ladies’ Night and working on Men’s Night are great fun for most women in our chapter, for me, they are bittersweet. At some point e... Read more
I was shocked. I remembered the old Bryan*, the Bryan that put on the brakes during a discussion of Large Group speakers at our Coordinating Team planning retreat. “Why is it suddenly illegal to bring in white men?” he asked, frustrated. As Multi-Ethnicity Team Leader on our exec, I was pushing hard for more female and ethnic minority speakers during our weekly InterVarsity chapter meetings. Some of the other C-Team members were fairly supportive; Bryan was making it an uphill battle. How did that same Bryan end up sitting next to me on a flight home to North Carolina, rattling on excitedly about speaker Brenda Salter-McNeill and other highlights of Urbana 06? I had noticed how carefully InterVarsity had crafted its triennial missions conference, putting wom... Read more
Have you ever heard a speaker who explains something that has perplexed you for years? Perhaps it may be something as simple as how to cook eggplant or how to understand new tax laws. Or perhaps it may be something as crucial as why violent crimes are perpetrated against women. This weekend, I was privileged to hear some of the most impressive lectures of my life—at the Gender and Justice conference sponsored by the Women’s Study Center at Vanguard University. I highly recommend to you, for example, the work of Jackson Katz, author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. Co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, and a leader in preventing gender violence initiatives among professionals and in college athletics, Katz too... Read more

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