Home » Biblical Interpretation » Does it really mean “helpmate”?

Does it really mean “helpmate”?

I was working on my thesis in seminary. Tired of being asked if I was going to seminary to be a pastor’s wife, I had decided to write a biblical theology of single women in ministry that would show God’s calling for a woman was not dependent on her marital state. I was talking with my thesis advisor, Dr. Joseph Coleson, the professor of Old Testament Studies. He had looked at my outline and thesis proposal and told me that I needed to add a chapter addressing the Creation Story in Genesis 1:1—2:25, particularly the second creation account found in Gen. 2:5-25, where woman is created to be an ezer cenegdo to the man. If the Hebrew phrase simply meant “helper”, then could a woman hold a leadership position in the church, let alone a single woman? But if that isn’t what ezer cenegdo meant, then that would open up the vistas I needed to write and successfully defend my thesis. Defend, not in front of the professors at seminary, but to defend from those who say woman was created to be a wife and mother and only a helpmate for her husband.
So what does this little Hebrew phrase mean?

Ezer is used 20 times in the Old Testament: seventeen times to describe God and three times to describe a military ally or aide. “Help” or “helper” is an adequate translation, but English has different nuances than the Hebrew does. In English “helper” implies someone who is learning, or under a person in authority. In the Hebrew “help” comes from one who has the power to give help—it refers to someone in a superior position. That is why God can help Israel: he has the power to do so. God helps Israel because they do not have the power to help themselves.

There is another possible definition for ezer: “power” or “strength.” Both words are from the same Hebrew root and the nouns would be identical. This is seen in how ezer is translated as either “helper” or “power/strength” in the Judean king’s name, Uzziah, which means “God is my strength,” as well as the other name he is known as, Azariah. There are also poetic passages where “power” or “strength” are the only logical translations of ezer. It is clear that in some passages the root for ezer is “helper,” and in others it is the root for “power.”

Cenegdo is two prepositions, and together their literal meaning is “facing.” Ke is the first preposition and it means “like” or “corresponding to.” Negdo means to stand in someone’s presence. Paired with ke it means to be in the presence of an equal. Together these two prepositions show the relationship between two people: it means they are standing or sitting facing each other, which shows they are equals. Ezer cenegdo does not mean or even imply to mean one who is subordinate or inferior—in creation or in function. Woman was created to be a power equal to man; an autonomous being that God created so that the man would have someone like him, and equal to him, to share his life with.

The man acknowledges this when he sees the woman. In the second poetic passage in the Bible he proclaimed: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”! He knew at last an ezer cenegdo had been brought to him. His speech reinforces the woman as his equal. Unlike the animals, she corresponds to him—she is like him; there is mutuality, unity and solidarity. The man recognized what God had done by calling her woman and saying she came from man. The narrator then stated, “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). This seems odd in that in all Near Eastern cultures it was the woman who left her family to live with her husband and his family. Again, we see that one is not above the other. Flying in the face of patriarchal culture, the mandate for marriage is one where the man leaves his family and clings to his wife.

Woman is not subordinate to man because she was made from man. This would imply that man would be subordinate to the dirt he was formed from. As Phyllis Trible points out both man and woman are made from raw material that God fashions into something else. When God is done there is no longer dirt—there is man; there is no longer a side—there is woman. In both cases it is God’s creative activity that creates and sustains both man and woman. Woman is not dependent on man, but on God, for her creation and her being, just as man is.

In Genesis 2:23 when the man recognizes the woman as someone comparable to him and calls her “woman,” some believe that he names her as he named the animals earlier. They interpret this to mean that as man has dominion over the animals, now in a similar way he has dominion over the woman, and this is God-ordained. But the normal naming formula that can denote authority over another is not used here. Normally call is immediately followed by the naming of a name, and here the text does not say that the man named the woman, only that he recognized her as one like him and called her “woman.” The first time the female is called “woman” is by the narrator in verse 22: “And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman.” She is recognized as “woman” before the man sees her. He is simply affirming what God has done: given him an ezer cenegdo.

In the beginning, men and women were both created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), and they were created to be equals. They were both given the commands to be fruitful and to rule over the earth (Gen. 1:28-30). The woman was not created to be a subordinate helper to her husband. She was created as an autonomous being; she was a complete human being, just as the man was. Her existence was not dependent on him as his existence was not dependent on her: their existence depended on God alone who created them both.

Another assumption is that since woman was made because it was “not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18), and the first marriage covenant comes after man’s declaration of woman being “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23), that a woman’s primary purpose is marriage and that should be her primary goal in life as well. Even though woman was created to alleviate the man’s loneliness and provide him an ezer cenegdo, men are not raised to believe that marriage should be their primary purpose and goal in life. For men their main purpose is a career. How are single women with a call to ministry to react to the attitude that they are just “playing ministry” until Mr. Right comes along? After all, isn’t Genesis 2 clear that marriage is the God-ordained, and therefore, the “natural” state to be in?

Certainly marriage is a part of God’s design, and marriage is to be the ultimate expression of love, fidelity, and sexuality, but it is just one of many relationships. As Christians, we must remember that marriage is not the supreme relationship—the supreme relationship of any believer’s life is with God; our relationship with God is what makes us whole and complete.

Although I began this with Genesis, I would like to end with what the New Testament has to say about women and ministry. As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ came to redeem all people—both men and women, and now “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). At Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled all the believers who had been gathered—both men and women, and they went out to the streets proclaiming all the things that had happened in the last few weeks. It is reasonable to believe that the women who were at the foot of the Cross were in the upper room as well. When the Holy Spirit came, he came to all: men, women, married, single, old, and young alike, which Peter affirms in his sermon. All that God required of these believers was obedience: they stayed in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came, and then they all went out and proclaimed what he had done. Whether one is married or single, male or female, is irrelevant in the Kingdom of God. All that is required is obedience to the call and the will of God.

Sources:

Shawna Renee Bound, Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: A Biblical Theology of Single Women in Ministry, unpublished thesis, (© by Shawna Renee Bound 2002), “Helpmate or Power Equal to Him?” 11-22.

Joseph Coleson, ’Ezer Cenegdo: A Power Like Him, Facing Him as Equal (Grantham, PA: Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy), 1996.

Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton, Why Not Women? A Fresh Look at Scripture on Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership (Seattle, WA: YWAM Publishing), 2000.

J Lee. Grady, Ten Lies the Church Tells Women, How the Bible Has Been Misused to Keep Women in Spiritual Bondage (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House), 2000.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Nancy A. Hardesty, All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, 3rd rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.), 1992.

Aída Besançon Spencer, Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers), 1985.

Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress Press), 1978.

All biblical translations are from the New Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

P. S.: Since the writing of the thesis, I have married a wonderful egalitarian man who fully supports me in my callings as pastor and writer. He’s also fine with the fact that I cannot have children. :)

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24 Comments

  1. Comment #11536 posted November 1, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Well said. “Power corresponding to”, or “power equal to”. Sounds like a marriage to me. Also, sounds like a business partner, a pastor, or whatever God calls us to be.

  2. Comment #11799 posted November 3, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Shawna Renee,
    If you’re not already aware of her, you might be interested in reading Carolyn Custis James. Her two books When Life and Beliefs Collide and Lost Women of the Bible argue for strong women gospel-servants with strong faith in God, based on her understanding of ezer.

  3. Comment #11815 posted November 3, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Mindy, I have When Life and Beliefs Collide. I haven’t read Lost Women yet, but it’s on my to read list. Carolyn is wonderful theologian and writer.

  4. Tara
    Comment #12070 posted November 5, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Shawna –

    I appreciate your analysis of the Genesis account. As a young woman who feels called to ministry I am always looking for better biblical understanding. I wanted to point out that many people often see the curse on the ground in Genesis 3 as a result of sin meant to be overcome (through endless technology used to make working the earth easier) but the result for the woman – desire for her husband and his rule over her, a God-given mandate. This clearly does not fit with the intentions of male-female relationship so well addressed in your thesis.

  5. Ryan
    Comment #12251 posted November 7, 2006 at 2:57 am

    This is a great introductory essay. Very strait forward and simple. I deal with a lot of young people ages 16-26 (I am 29) who are hashing through this for the first time. I feel like you have presented the concepts in a way that speaks to them, well done.

  6. Comment #12270 posted November 7, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Very well said.
    Interestingly, Karen has an article on the same subject in the GWTW Fall newsletter. I also highly recommend Carrie Mile’s book
    “The Redemption of Love: Rescuing Marriage and Sexuality from the Economics of a Fallen World.”

  7. Comment #16533 posted December 13, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    Hi ShawnaRenee. Just wanted to say that this was a great essay. Keep’em coming.

  8. Comment #94544 posted September 17, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I know I’m super late to this party, but I have to echo the comments above and say this is excellent. I’d heard that the word translated “helper” was elsewhere applied to God, but this was the best source I found online by far to actually explain the point in biblical detail.

  9. Anonymous
    Comment #94910 posted November 4, 2011 at 1:43 am

    A good book to read that talks about this is “Captivating” by John and staci Eldredge… I read it once and loved it! I’m now reading it again!:) the part where you talked about God helping Israel because they could not help themselves and kinda compared the men to Israel(towards the end of 2nd paragraph) But we are not men’s savior;) neither are they ours;) yes, men aren’t capable of it on their own… But neither are we;) that’s WHY God gave us each other. And that’s why we NEED God!;) to our very deepest core being, we NEED God;) I hope you are staying close to the Lord and following his shining as
    A bright light to the world;)

  10. annonymous
    Comment #104913 posted August 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Another attempt at taking scripture out of context. We do not need another book to discern what God’s intentions were at creation. Try reading the full account of scripture rather than applying your view to support your feelings of inadequacy. The heart of God is for authentic relationship with him as our creator and between men and women. This article is based on women’s desire to usurp the God ordained authority he has given to men. The scripture clearly states women are not to have authority in the church nor are they to be ordained to be pastors over a church…Is that to say women are inferior to men or in some way less important…not at all ..In the pastoral letters the Apostle Paul clearly discusses the matter in detail..You will not find any scripture in the bible that supports women being pastors or having authority over men..Gal 3:28 does not define women’s role in the Church, it merely says that in the eyes of God all men and women are created equal, ..but the roles are clearly defined..

    1 Corinthians 11:8-9 ESV / For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

    Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

    Ephesians 5:22 ESV / 10 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

    Silence in the church

    “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”[1 Cor. 14:34–35]

    Instructions for Timothy
    See also: 1 Timothy 2:12 (“I suffer not a woman”)

    “I desire that the men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting, and the women likewise [or 'in like manner']“[1 Tim. 2:8]

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”[1 Tim. 2:11-12]

    “[I desire women] to array themselves in a befitted catastola,[17] with reverence and restraint, not with braids, or gold, or pearls, or costly garments. But as becomes women proclaiming godliness, with good deeds.”[1 Tim. 2:9–10]

    “Let a woman learn, quietly, in all subjection [to God].”[1 Tim. 2:11]

    “Now I permit a woman neither to teach nor exercise authority over a man, but let her be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived [when he sinned]; but the woman, having [first] been thoroughly deceived, became [involved] in the transgression [of Adam], and she will be saved by the Child-bearing [i.e., the bearing of Jesus Christ], if they abide in faith, and love and sanctification with self-restraint.”[1 Tim. 2:12–15]

    Bishops and deacons

    “Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach….”[1 Tim. 3:1–2]

    “A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well….”[1 Tim. 3:12]

    “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.”[Titus 1:5–6]

    Criteria for deacons

    “Deacons likewise must be serious, not double tongued, not indulging in much wine, not greedy for money; they must hold fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them first be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless, let them serve as deacons. Women likewise must be serious, not slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be married only once, and let them manage their children and their households well; for those who serve well as deacons gain good standing for themselves and the great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”[1 Tim. 3:8–13]

    Headship

    A New Testament passage that has long been interpreted to require a male priority in marriage are these verses: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord,” and “the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church….”[Eph. 5:22–24] Both Christian Egalitarians and Complementarians agree that the Apostle Paul wrote that the “husband is head…” and “wives, submit…,” and that he was divinely inspired to write what he wrote, but the two groups diverge in their interpretation of this passage.

    “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. It is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”[1 Cor. 11:3–9]

    Christian Egalitarians believe that full partnership in an equal marriage is the most biblical view. As persons, husband and wife are of equal value. There is no priority of one spouse over the other. In truth, they are one.[18] Bible scholar Frank Stagg and Classicist Evelyn Stagg write that husband-wife equality produces the most intimate, wholesome and mutually fulfilling marriages. They conclude that the Apostle Paul’s statement recorded in Galatians 3:28, sometimes called the “Magna Carta of Humanity”,[19] applies to all Christian relationships, including Christian marriage: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”[20]

    Christian egalitarian theologians also find it significant that the “two becoming one” concept, first cited in Gen. 2:24, was quoted by Jesus in his teachings on marriage.[Matt. 19:4–6] [Mk. 10:7–9] In those passages he reemphasized the concept by adding to the Genesis passage these words: “So, they are no longer two, but one” (NIV). The Apostle Paul cited the Genesis 2:24 passage.[Eph. 5:30–32][18]

    Rebellion against the word of God is akin to witchcraft… 1 Sam 15:22-23

    1 Sa 15:22 Then Samuel said,
    “Does the LORD take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as he does in obedience?
    Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice;
    paying attention is better than the fat of rams.
    1 Sa 15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and presumption is like the evil of idolatry.
    Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
    he has rejected you as king.”

    The moral to the story is “GET THE FULL COUNSEL OF GOD’S WORD” Let’s not take the word of God out of context, but humbly go before God and ask for wisdom.

    The scripture is defined by the scripture only. Line upon line
    Isaiah 28:9-10

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    9 “Whom will he teach knowledge?
    And whom will he make to understand the message?
    Those just weaned from milk?
    Those just drawn from the breasts?
    10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
    Line upon line, line upon line,
    Here a little, there a little.”

    Heb 4:12 King James Bible
    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart

    Be blessed….I am not a hater but a supporter of all women desirous to be godly. Women are to be honored , cherished, covered, and praised.

    There is a role of leadership within the church for women. Teaching other women to be godly.

    Biblical authority is given by God . How well you work within the confines of scripture will determine your reward..Just as it was not lawful for the fallen angels to have sexual relations with earthly women, neither is it Lawful for women to step outside their role in the family of God.

    I apologize for all those women who have been under oppression or have not had positive role models or have been under the thumb of godless men. True leadership is not announced, it is displayed.
    I am a champion of my Lord Christ Jesus. You will find everything I have said to be taken strictly from the word of God. It is not my opinion …it is the word of GOD.

  11. annonymous
    Comment #104916 posted August 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    ambiguity [ˌæmbɪˈgjuːɪtɪ]n pl -ties
    1. the possibility of interpreting an expression in two or more distinct ways.
    Intentional Ambiguity

    Philosophers (and other users of logic) spend a lot of time and effort searching for and removing (or intentionally adding) ambiguity in arguments, because it can lead to incorrect conclusions and can be used to deliberately conceal bad arguments. For example, a politician might say “I oppose taxes which hinder economic growth”, an example of a glittering generality. Some will think he opposes taxes in general, because they hinder economic growth. Others may think he opposes only those taxes that he believes will hinder economic growth. In writing, the sentence can be rewritten to reduce possible misinterpretation, either by adding a comma after “taxes” (to convey the first sense) or by changing “which” to “that” (to convey the second sense), or by rewriting it in other ways. The devious politician hopes that each constituent will interpret the statement in the most desirable way, and think the politician supports everyone’s opinion. However, the opposite can also be true – an opponent can turn a positive statement into a bad one, if the speaker uses ambiguity (intentionally or not). The logical fallacies of amphiboly and equivocation rely heavily on the use of ambiguous words and phrases.

    For the sake of your readership and maintaining a godly discussion, let’s bring truth to the forefront and not let emotions rule the day…or should I use the word mockery and or scoffer ? I will let you be the judge.

    The consequences are critical to the salvation of souls. God is not the author of confusion.
    1 Corinthians 14:33

    King James Version (KJV)
    33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saint

    Let’s not deal in theory or supposition.

    sup·po·si·tion
    noun
    noun: supposition; plural noun: suppositions
    1.
    an uncertain belief.
    synonyms: belief, surmise, idea, notion, suspicion, conjecture, speculation, inference, theory, hypothesis, postulation, guess, feeling, hunch, assumption, presumption

    I do understand the interpretation of scripture is a very sensitive issue at best. Let’s look at the thesis a little deeper. The thesis is based on (Gal. 3:28) and then an attempt is made to support the thesis with the accounts in Genesis 1:1—2:25, particularly the second creation account found in Gen. 2:5-25, where woman is created to be an ezer kenegdo to the man. If the Hebrew phrase simply meant “helper”

    At the basis of the thesis is supposition and an attempt at swaying the reader to believe that the implications are indeed fact….(license to do whatever they please) This is done in order to support women as Pastors and their dissatisfaction with God’s plan for women. The writer may indeed be able to lead and pastor a church …But is it AUTHORIZED ? Let’s not forget the same Paul who wrote Gal 3:28 and Ephesians also wrote the Pastoral letters 1st and 2nd Timothy as well as Titus….

    So the 100,000 dollar question.

    Why would Paul who wrote Gal 3:28 contradict his whole ministry and 3 of the pastoral letters in the bible ?
    Answer: He didn’t

    Gal 3:23 Does not address Church Leadership at all …..What it does address is how God views each one of his children. We were all created equal in the site of God. Please read the whole chapter of Gal. Chapter 3

    So to be sure we are on the same page…. Paul was considered to be the chief apostle to the Gentiles who wrote 2/3 of the New testament Bible.

    Paul however does address church leadership in the pastoral letters to Timothy.
    It becomes very clear to the reader the roles in the Church. Just like the roles in the family….

    Lets not forget why Lucifer was cast out of heaven…
    Isaiah 14:12
    12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    It is very evident that Lucifer was unsatisfied with the role God had given him.
    It is equally evident and sad that some women refuse God’s explicit guidance in scripture. Let’s look into the matter a little deeper to discover WHY ?
    Gen 2:19 (NIV)

    19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

    But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

    23 The man said,

    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

    The man was given the responsibility of naming all of God’s creation.

    1st Corinthians 9:11 New Living Translation
    And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man.

    1st Tim 2:12
    I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly.

    1 Tim 2 :14 New Living translation

    And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.

    The curse of the Garden

    Gen 3:16 New Living Translation
    Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

    The result of the curse in the garden was that women would have to submit to Men.

    Now given the fact that God has given us each a free will to choose, some women have chosen to take it upon themselves to rebel against the word of God…or simply have been mislead to believe that God condones women as pastors.Make no mistake, that is what this thesis is implying.

    There is overwhelming proof in scripture if one has eyes to see and ears to hear..

    In the old testament you will not find one account of women having the office of priest. In the New testament the women who were there were mainly helpers and supporters who came along side to help with various duties. Some organized church plants some gave of their resources, but clearly, the only leadership role a woman was given was that of deacon. However if we look closer, the office of deacon had many facets.However, the women were given the ministry of helps and teaching the younger and newly converted women the importance of godliness.

    Titus 2:4
    These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.

    Let’s go to the word of God and see what God has to say about mockery and scoffers.

    End-Time mockery and scoffers prophesied

    There is an increasing number of scholars and writers openly challenging fundamental teachings of the Bible. This should come as no surprise to those who know Scripture. God said that “scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts” (2 Peter 3:1–6).

    The Bible states that “in the last days men will have a form of godliness but denying its power” and will deny that “all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–17).

    We see this more and more, people say that the bible was written by men with finite minds and their own agendas. I hear this a lot. Be prepared for someone to say this to you.

    In addition, Paul predicted that “the time will come when… they will have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:1–5). New age mythology is replacing fundamental truths, and anyone who dares rebuke this new age push is said to be “intolerant” while at the same time those who promote it are exactly intolerant of Christianity or its public espousal by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

    Mockery is nothing new though. Solomon recognized this evil in his day. In our day, it continues to be a cultural and personal problem. Some people, Christians included, make mockery a main mode of discourse and a primary stance in life. They can hardly talk without adding a snide aside to every sentence. This is very wrong. Followers of Jesus are taught not to mock others, but to let our speech be with grace always, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6). Our speech should be a blessing to others (1 Peter 3:8-12)

    I hope this discussion has been helpful, and of course I would add that in no way am I trying to offend or put women in a box or imply misuse of God’s authority. However my desire is to truly shed light on what God has pre ordained in his word.

    Women play a significant role in the kingdom of God. Let us however be very aware of the consequences of this one fact …….we will all have to stand before God and give an account of our words and actions.

    Matthew 7:21-23

    New King James Version (NKJV)
    I never knew you

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

  12. Comment #104917 posted August 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    It is unclear to me if you want to learn how you are taking Scripture out of context. But if you do I can help you.

  13. Comment #104920 posted August 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    “anonymous”

    One of the easiest ways to read Scriptures is to pick out pieces of statements from various epistles and other Scriptures and put them together in a way that seems to confirm our beliefs. However, when we do this we ignore the flow and intent of information that the various authors were trying to impart. As well, in doing this we assume that all Scripture was written in an ageless environment and applies equally in the same manner to all peoples and times. Doing this actually impedes a proper understanding of what Scripture teaches.

    Rather, Scripture should be read with an intent to hearing the intent of the authors in the age they were written. And we should sit down and read them as if we were the original authors, considering what it may have meant to them. Then and only then can we find the underlying principals that can be applied to all ages. Then and only then will we find the thread of ageless truths that the Spirit of God speaks through all ages.

  14. Comment #104921 posted August 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Right, the posts by anonymous are almost textbook examples of verse hijacking and verse stitching, which is a horrible way to interpret Scripture; it is not that this method guarantees the result is wrong, it is much worse than that, one simply has no idea where the interpretation is correct and where it is not.

    So what is the better alternative? To decline to rip verses out of their immediate context, to study and see what the whole counsel of Scripture teaches, so one does not rip ideas out of Scriptural context, and to understand the cultural context of each book of Scripture as best one can, to try to avoid ripping text out of its cultural context, which is the way God gave us all Scripture.

  15. thella
    Comment #104947 posted September 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Anonymous is not going against the scripture. If he/she is wrong one should have pointed out where he is wrong. He said that the husband is the head of the wife. It is from the scripture. If he is not mentioning that scripture right, may be someone who understood that can help him to understand that scripture.

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