Priscilla Papers will recall John MacArthur’s October 2019 “go home” comment directed against Beth Moore. The responses abound—online, from the pulpit, and elsewhere. Among the responders, for example, is CBE International President Mimi Haddad; see her October 23 article, “Racism and Patriarchy—Twin Demons of Abuse,” on CBE’s blog. Similarly, I have decided to use this editorial as a venue for my own brief response.
“So the Lord God said to the serpent. . . . I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:14–15 NIV)
The promise of Gen 3:15, quoted above, is a “seed—a small promise that will eventually grow into the full-blown tree of God’s good news, the storyline of Scripture.”1 This promise—the greatest promise of all, known for centuries as the protoevangelium (“first gospel,” meaning “first [glimpse of the] gospel”)—runs through the OT as a beacon of hope.
Personhood is deeply intertwined with the names we are given. In the biblical narrative, names of characters brim with meaning. Such meaning is enhanced in those instances in which a person takes or is given a new name.1 A rare example of a woman undergoing a name change is Sarai, who takes on the new identity of “Sarah” in Gen 17. This transpires within the various iterations of God’s covenant with Abraham (the Abrahamic covenant) found in Gen 12–17. What makes Gen 17:15–16 of particular interest is not only Sarai’s name change, but her inclusion in the promise of blessings.
Hebrew nouns have grammatical gender, either feminine or masculine. Hebrew verbs distinguish masculine and feminine plurals as well as masculine and feminine singulars. English translations generally mirror the gender of such verbs in narrative and usually, but not always, when the female metaphor is inescapably gendered—for example, childbirth. However, if the image is out of the ordinary for female roles in the translator’s cultural context, or if the metaphor seems to obscure the word it stands for, feminine verb marking, as well as feminine nouns, are often ignored.
Philippians 4:2–3: “I encourage Euodia, and I encourage Syntyche to [pursue] the same mindset in [the] Lord. Yes, I also ask you, true comrade, to come alongside and help these women, who labored alongside me in the [work of] the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-laborers, whose names are in [the] Book of Life.”1
Gretchen G. Hull was instrumental in the founding of CBE. A woman with few equals, she was a gifted mathematician, pianist, author, editor, philosopher, and church leader. One of CBE’s founders, as well as a board member and early pioneering editor of Priscilla Papers, Gretchen was brilliant, gutsy, and never afraid to speak out.
In Mark 12:41–44, a woman shows the readers the way to follow Christ as she foreshadows the suffering that lies ahead for Messiah and for the disciples by giving her “whole life” to God. Thus, she should not be overlooked in the Bible’s long list of exemplary women. Through Mark’s artful storytelling, this unnamed woman—whom Jesus witnesses giving an offering in the temple—encapsulates the self-giving life of Christ and foreshadows the lives of all Christians who follow Jesus well.
The theme of this issue of Priscilla Papers is Character Sketches. Each article gives insight into one or more Bible characters.
Tyler Allred shares with us his careful and insightful reading of Philippians 4:2–3, which begins, “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (NIV). Tyler argues that Euodia and Syntyche are church leaders whom Paul addresses, “not because of an existing quarrel, but because the unity mindset is so important to the continued advancement of the mission of God” in Philippi.
Evangelical Christianity stands at a crossroads. The claim itself may portend nothing revolutionary: the movement regularly faces such conditions as a by-product of its drive to reform Christianity and its sense of urgency in so doing.
The focus of this article is 1 Cor 11:7 and its surrounding verses. I explore how 11:7 has been received over the centuries, including how it has been perceived to fit into 1 Cor 11:2–16 and what it has been deemed to communicate regarding the relation of man to woman, woman to man, and both to God. I demonstrate the interpretive difficulties of the passage by surveying the views of six interpreters. In the end, I find all six to be insufficient and opt instead to affirm Paul’s radical vision for a new humanity.