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This is the third in a series about Bible word studies and translation for egalitarians. This entry focuses on a particular instance of a word doesn’t contain all the meaning that the word can carry in 1 Timothy 2.

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This poem reflects on the thoughts and feelings of the Samaritan woman when she encountered Jesus on a routine visit to her town’s well, as recorded in John’s gospel (4:1–42).

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We have put you on a pedestal,
scattered petals at your marble feet.
Entombed now in stone,
once their warm flesh danced in Cana

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Education polishes gems
Even diamonds can be polished
by knowledge liberally applied

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Your life will be my life, and my life yours.
Your son will be my son, his Father my Father.

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Does 1 Timothy 3:8-13 discount the possibility of women deacons? Not at all.

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I offer you the words I was offered/ in the Book we have both read.

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It would appear those opposed to women’s equality in the church have the upper hand in interpreting “problem passages” like 1 Timothy, but egalitarians are actually better equipped to explain them. 

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My mama allows it could've been rape
and it might've, you know, unsettled her mind.

Grandma, who's lived with us since grandpa died,
declares she's just a little whore,
probably with some low-ranking Roman,
who's trying to hide her dirty skirts behind blasphemy.

Either way, my mama says, I should watch and remember
how easy a girl becomes trash and has to leave town,
probably for good,
and you can bet her little bastard won't be around
to take care of her when she's old.

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