Welcome to CBE’s Library

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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.

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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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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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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

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C. F. D. Moule wrote that the problems raised by 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 “still await a really convincing explanation.” G. B. Caird added, “It can hardly be said that the passage has yet surrendered its secret.” W. Meeks regarded it as “one of the most obscure passages in the Pauline letters.”

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In the first installment of this series, we noted and illustrated the importance of the presence or absence of the article (the) in Greek grammar. Presence of the article usually indicates identity and absence of the article generally stresses quality or character. We showed how this grammatical difference (not usually present in English) affects our interpretation of verses 1 through 7 in I Timothy 2.

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This passage in I Timothy has caused much confusion about what women can or cannot do in church services or in teaching. In the oft-heated discussions, a verse or two, or even a single phrase is sometimes selected and the rest of the passage ignored.

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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.

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The church’s outreach to the world is enhanced when the gifts given to all God’s people, including laity, women and youth, are affirmed and utilized. Ministry needs to be based on gifting not gender, on witnessing not categories, on biblical teaching not status. When gifting is denied because of gender, status, or age, kingdom ministry is diminished.

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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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