During the eighteenth century, the United States was not a particularly welcoming place for women looking to speak their minds—especially not African American women looking to speak their minds. But that did not stop God from blessing strong women to speak his words to people who needed to hear. Zilpha Elaw was one such woman.
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?
Crack the book that Re-rewrites history
And grow new eyes to
As a girl I watched
The lines between human and not
Like the whip he used on your back
Your blood flowed and your screams
Choked my sense
Like a millstone
Around my neck
With each black face
Pushed to the dirt
They said you weren’t
Allowed to know
What letters meant
On a page
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.
May we all be inspired by Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a woman who not only makes history, but does so with boldness and courage, unapologetically and matter-of-factly confronting sexism and racism on the national stage, to powerful leaders, and in some of the world’s most traditional, white and male-dominated halls of power.