Welcome to CBE’s Library

Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks.

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Sara and I wanted to write a letter to you about something we don’t often talk about: pornography. If you are anything like me, you were introduced to pornography at a fairly young age. 

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The bottom line is God did not create any woman to be a prostitute, a stripper, a porn star, or to feel like she must pursue an endless quest for physical perfection.

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Women in the Church is a dangerous book which should not have been published because, while it appears to be scholarly, it actually teems with historical and theological errors and also emotional subjectivity. Alan G. Padgett has provided a critical rebuttal to Women in the Church in the Winter 1997 issue of Priscilla Papers. I refer readers to his technical refutation of the key themes of Women in the Church. I will highlight other problems with the book and critique its basic tone.

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Ultimately, the norms of male domination — expressed through pornography — are the opposite of authentic masculinity. Pornography imprisons women in the grasp of insecure and dominant men.

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Intended to help understanding, verse and chapter numbers are not the Word of God. Sometimes these additions break up thoughts that clearly should go together. This leaves interesting questions about 1 Timothy 2 and 3.

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In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul is concerned that both men and women should exercise their leadership gifts—with appropriate authority—while presenting themselves in a manner that celebrates the uniqueness of their respective genders.

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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.

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Pornography is so prevalent that often one does not ask if a man watches pornography but rather how much. In one recent study conducted on male sex buyers, researchers defined a “non-user” as a man who had not used pornography more than one time in the last month.

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Pornography not only causes men to view women and girls as sex objects, it causes women and girls to look at themselves as sex objects. What can we as Christians do to undo the lessons pornography teaches women and girls, and to show them how Jesus wants them to be viewed ?

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The challenging complexity of the ministry of Bible translation should spark humility, among translators themselves and among those who critique them. I pledge to keep such humility in mind as I describe four types of shortcomings that can be found in Bible translations, using 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 as a test case.

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