Welcome to CBE’s Library

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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?

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In this workship, Sarah Ago builds a foundation for anyone who is new to the idea of egalitarian marriage. She begins with God’s original design as described in Genesis 1 and 2 and how the fall in Genesis 3 changes the dynamic of how relationships are lived out. She then examines the redemption that the cross brings into the relationship between men and women, touching on some of the confusing passages in the New Testament. Finally, practical advice on decision-making is offered within the context of an egalitarian relationship.

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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.

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In this workshop, Jussi Suutari will discuss some verses (e.g. Eph. 5) that were important to him during over his own personal struggle with the Bible. The conflict grew out of hierarchical teachings he was hearing on some verses in Paul's letters. Since through his own Bible reading he was seeing the egalitarian overall message of the Bible, he was not able to understand the contradiction nor comprehend God's perspective on the issue. Hear Jussi's way out of the conflict. 

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We will get acquainted with the application of the texts addressed in the plenary in current situations. Is the theme still topical? What are the urgent questions emerged in the texts dealing with the condition of women in the church? What about our responses? 

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Sadly, those who cite Paul as an opponent of women's equality overlook the many examples of women leaders building the church beside the apostle. This workshop will show how 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are eddies off the stream of Paul’s egalitarian teachings and practices.

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Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:4 constitute Scripture’s only mention of the common Greek word for “authority” (exousia) in clear reference to husbands and wives in marriage. This radical denouncement of either spouse insisting on personal “authority” over her or his own body in marital intimacy is a stunning reversal of the cultural norm of Paul’s day—as well as throughout the majority of church history. What does his bold statement mean in its biblical context, and what does it say about Christian mutuality in both marriage and singleness today?

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The exclusion of women from church leadership has often been justified by a misinterpretation of the New Testament household codes. Paul actually opposed the cultural relegation of women to a secondary status. In fact, the household codes’ treatment of women conveys the love and grace of the gospel, in contrast to the patriarchal hierarchy that dominated the first-century Greco-Roman world.

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With reference to creation narratives in Genesis and examples drawn from different cultures in Africa and other parts of the world, Chemorion demonstrates how cultural worldviews contribute to a diminished view of women, and what needs to be done to restore human dignity.

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Dr. Westfall briefly introduces her book, Paul and Gender, which was released November 15, 2016. She talks about some of the book's unique contributions, where they came from, and how they impact the interpretation of key passages. She focuses on 1 Corinthians 11:3-18 and veiling and submission; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and women keeping silent; and Ephesians 5:21-33 and headship and submission in marriage.

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