Many scholars have asserted that Artemis of the Ephesians was a fertility goddess—but the evidence for that view is several centuries after the apostle Paul. So who was Artemis Ephesia at the time of the earliest Christians, and what, if any, ramifications are there for how we understand 1 Timothy?
1 Timothy 2 is often taken for granted as “the” text that clearly bars women from holding positions of leadership in the church. The debate at large is too frequently reduced to the meaning of terms such as “authority” and “teaching,” as well as the grammatical relationship between them. Although these are an important part of the larger discussion, in this workshop Allison Quient proposes another angle. Using a theological interpretative approach, she provides evidence of a typological relationship between Eve and Christ and discusses some of the implications for our understanding of human power and identity.
A common criticism is that gender-accurate Bible translation tactics, such as using "brothers and sisters" instead of "brothers," moves English Bibles away from the teaching, intent, and tone of the biblical authors. This workshop demonstrates that the opposite is true.
When the curtain on male headship is pulled back, it shrinks from the light of logic and truth. Consider the most recent defense of male headship by John Piper. He offers three reasons why he believes it will endure, but in pulling the curtain back, we find each deeply flawed.
Context matters. I heard it all the time in seminary. It’s no small thing to translate biblical passages from Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek into English. This requires getting into the minds of the biblical authors to figure out what they intended to say to specific people in certain situations at a specific time in history. Academics call the science of interpretation hermeneutics. The goal is to know what God is saying about faith and practice in a certain context.
Gary Hoag revisits the topic of wealth in the letter of 1 Timothy, asking whether the teachings found there are consistent or inconsistent with other teachings in the NT, or whether it might be a mixture of the two. Scholars are divided on this question. Hoag’s findings rest on cross-referencing the terms in 1 Timothy with a novel, Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus. This novel was originally thought to have been written in the 2nd or 3rd century CE, but having been recently codified as an ancient Greek novel of the mid-first century CE, we now know that it was written at the same time as Paul’s ministry as portrayed by Luke in Acts. It’s a valuable source in shedding light on the social setting or Sitz im Leben of the letter, and Hoag studies in particular five passages: 1 Tim 2:9-15; 3:1-13; 6:1-2a; 6:2b-10; 6:17-19.
In every corner of the world, religious teachings on gender and power have an enormous impact on human lives, especially those of girls and women. For this reason, Christians have a responsibility to accurately critique biblical teachings on gender. This booklet summarizes the egalitarian position of Scripture—that Christians, both female and male, are equally called to exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in the church, home, and world.
To understand 1 Timothy 2, we need to overcome our blindness to women. We need to see Priscilla, a wise and strong leader and teacher; Artemis, the goddess whose female-centered religion would have normalized female religious dominance; the unqualified women usurping authority and spreading false teachings; and those being deceived by those teachings.