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If someone wants to know what is really written in the Bible concerning female ministers in the Church of Christ without any human addition or taking away, he or she can find it in this book. According to the Bible, God can call female disciples also into the ministry of leadership in His Church.
But some people may say, 'But what about 1 Corinthians 11:1-15, 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-15; is it not written that women cannot teach or have authority over men, and must be silent in the church? If the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament expressed the ideas written in those texts, in the way that many Bible translators presented in many Bible versions, surely that would end any discussion. But the problem is that in those passages, there are many changes that have been made by the translators, and consequently, in most Bible versions, the biblical texts are not presented accurately. In the Greek as well as in the Hebrew language the same word means, 'man' or 'husband,' and for the opposite gender likewise; the same word means either 'woman' or 'wife'. In the letters of Paul, in the vast majority of cases when faced with the biblical texts, the translators of most Bible versions have translated the words for 'man/husband' and 'woman/wife' as 'husband' and 'wife,' and not as 'man' and 'woman.' But in 1 Corinthians 11:1-15, 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-15, they chose to translate them as 'man' and 'woman,' thus introducing a new doctrine concerning men-women relationship that does not exist in Bible. However, there are some exceptions to it; for example, in Young's literal translation of the Bible, in 1 Timothy 2:12, it is written, 'And a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband.' This is a very different idea from what you see in most Bible translations. Other translations, generally say the following, 'I do not permit a woman to teach, nor have authority over a man.' To forbid a wife to teach her own husband is a very different idea from forbidding all women (even unmarried ones, and those who are called by God Himself to teach) to teach any male person.
In Young's literal translation and RSV (Revised Standard Version) and in ESV (English Standard Version), in 1 Cor. 11:3, it is written, 'The head of a woman is the husband,' and not, 'The head of a woman is the man,' which is what is written in most of the translations. The fact that the head of each wife is her own husband does not mean that the head of every woman is every man, or that all females are subordinate, or inferior to all males, and must submit to them. We have to remember that to write, 'The man is the head of the woman' is not the same as to write 'the husband is the head of the wife.' If those translators wanted to say that only the husband is the head of the wife, they could have written it in that way, for in the vast majority cases in the letters of Paul, they already used the words 'husband' and 'wife' for translating the exact same Greek words, and they did not translate them as 'man' and 'woman.' The language phenomenon in Greek, that the same word means 'man' and 'husband,' and the same word means 'wife' and 'woman,' has not been taken into sufficient consideration, and consequently, many unbiblical ideas have been put in many Bible versions and were presented as the Word of God. Another mistake of many translations is found in 1 Cor 11:9, 'Neither the man was created for the woman; but the woman for the man.' To claim that the woman was created for the man is a very wrong idea; they should have written, 'the wife was created for the husband.' Paul refers to the story of Genesis in Gen 2:18, 22-24, where we read that God seeing that Adam was alone created a suitable helper, a wife for him, and brought her to him. And we read in Genesis 2:24, that for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.' Everything is about husband and wife relationship, and not at all male-female relationship. In Ephesians 5:28-33, and in 1 Ti 2:11-15, Paul refers to this story. According to the Bible, the woman was not created for the man, but the wife for her husband. All these mistakes and many others like it, have prepared the stage to introduce to humanity an unbiblical doctrine that the males in general are superior (or head) to females, which is never found in the entire Bible. In the Bible we see that both the male and the female human beings have been created in the image of God (Ge. 1:26-27, 5:2), and have been given a dominion over all the earth ('let them rule', 'you (plur.) subdue the earth', Gen 1:26-28), and that there is no male and female in Christ (as there is no Gentile or Jew, or slave or free), but they are all sons of God (Gal 3:26-28). It is written also that both male and female servants of God will receive the Holy Spirit and both will prophesy (Acts 2:17-18, 1 Co 11:4-5). The Bible also gives us several examples of female leaders established by God Himself (Who never does any mistake) in the Old Testament and New Testament to show us that God has already called and consequently, will call also some women in the leadership position, and if He does so, every church must receive them.
We saw only a few examples of how the biblical ideas have been changed by the translators of the Bible, and presented to people as the Word of God. People do not use Ephesians 5:22-33, Col 3:18-19 to forbid the ministry of women, and the reason for that is that those texts are given for the relationship between the husband and his own wife, and not for choosing who can be a minister and who cannot. It is very important to realize that 1 Corinthians 11:1-15, 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-15 are not given in the contexts of determining leadership or official teachers in the church either. But the presence of the words 'man' and 'woman' makes the impression that those texts do speak about official teachers or leaders. It also baselessly extends a principle that is given only for husband and wives, to refer to all men and women.
If somebody could say that a son, who is a pastor, cannot teach parents, or even his own parents (who are ordinary members of the same local church), because it is written that children must obey their own parents, or if one could say that a servant who is called to be a pastor cannot teach masters (owners of the servants), because a servant must obey his own master, then one could perhaps say that no female person can teach any male person (even the one who is not her husband), because a wife must not teach or dominate her own husband. Just because somebody is in a subordinate position in one relationship, that does not mean that he or she is in subordinate position in all relationships. Just because a married woman must submit to one person (her own husband), and not teach or dominate him, that does not mean that she cannot be called by God to teach or have spiritual authority in the church over the people that God has called her to serve. For example, in the Bible, we can see that God Himself says to Eve that her own husband shall rule over her (Gen. 3:16). However, that fact did not hinder God to establish Deborah, who had a husband (Lappidoth), as a prophetess and judge over the nation of Israel (Judges 2:16-18, 4:4-5). And she was judging the nation of Israel, and the sons of Israel were themselves coming to her for judgement (Judges 4:4-5), even though they knew very well Gen. 3:16. They knew that Gen. 3:16 is given for the marriage relationship, and has nothing to do with the ministry to God's people. In the New Testament in Romans 16:7, we read about the outstanding apostle Yunia (Junias, wrongly written in some translation), who was a woman. The reliable sources available to humanity show us the uncontestable facts that the Greek manuscripts (the way, which they have accented for the first time) testify that she was a woman. The church fathers (even those who spoke many negative things about women) from ancient times until 13 century testify that Yunia was a woman, and that she was an apostle, except one, who wrote that Priscilla, the wife of Aquilla also was a man. Until now, no man with the name Junias is found in all of the Greek and Latin literature, whereas in Rome alone, the female name Yunia was found about 250 times, referring to women. But these biblical and historical facts have been ignored by many. There are many other examples of female ministers in the Old Testament and New Testament that are mentioned in the book, 'Men and Women in the ministry for Christ.' Those examples clearly show the fact that God has called and established women in leadership position, despite of the fact that a wife must submit to her own husband, and cannot dominate or teach him.
If we look at the literal translations of 1 Corinthians 11:1-15, 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-15, by taking into consideration how the apostle used in all of his other writings, many of the essential words found in those texts, then we will see a very different picture from what is generally presented in Bible translations. The same is true about many chapters of Genesis. Any Hebrew or Greek conservative scholar can verify the information that is found in this book and admit that it presents the truth objectively. This book is very easy to read and is accessible to any average person who can read English.
Many things have been said concerning the role and the ministry of sisters along with the brothers, but this book is different, because it is written from the perspective of a Bible translator. The author of this book is a Bible translator, and therefore he was able to treat the subject of the ministry of women in an objective way, by taking into consideration only what the biblical texts really say without any human addition or modification that are found in many Bible versions. It has been proven that only the objective truth can pass through any test, and has the potential to be accepted by the entire body of Christ. This book is written with the purpose of bringing unity and peace in the Church concerning the role and the ministry of women. Based solely on the Word of God, it objectively presents in English what is really written in Hebrew and Greek texts concerning men and women. It provides clear answers to the questions that have been debated for centuries. In this book, the reader can find a verse-by-verse commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3-15, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and 1 Timothy 2:11-15, which presents the biblical facts very objectively without any prejudice, allowing the reader to choose his or her position based only on clear facts of the Bible. Unless somebody knows all the necessary facts about the matter, he or she has not been given a real chance to make a responsible decision. This book provides all the necessary facts and helps people to know what they are choosing and why, and what will be the consequences of their choice.
By the grace of God, many undeniable facts have been discovered by the author during careful studies of this subject.
All the verses where the Greek words for 'man' and 'woman' are used in the thirteen letters of Paul are referred to or examined in detail in this book. All the verses where the words 'man' (which in Greek has the meaning 'husband' also) and 'woman' (which in Greek has the meaning 'wife' also) appear together in the entire New Testament are also examined or referred to in this book, so that the reader may have a comprehensive information about men and women. The Hebrew terms for 'man' (which in Hebrew has the meaning 'husband' also), 'woman' (which in Hebrew has the meaning 'wife' also), 'male' and 'female' that are used in the entire creation account are also examined in detail. A thorough examination of the creation account concerning Adam and Eve is essential for understanding the truths about men and women found in the letters of Paul, and in the entire Bible. Therefore, the author sought to offer as complete information as possible about the first man and woman, and about their relationship. The reader can also find very important information concerning the purpose of God for creating human beings, and creating them male and female. In this book, every single verse of all the controversial texts is translated literally and examined in detail in the light of the whole counsel of God. Therefore, every argument in this book is based exclusively on the biblical texts (Hebrew and Greek manuscripts) that are available to humanity. It also offers a very clear explanation about the practice of those texts in the real life and ministry, which will be helpful to many people.
Men and Women in the Ministry for Christ by Hayk Hovhannisyan was published by WestBow Press in October 2014. The ISBN for Men and Women in the Ministry for Christ is 9781490850733.
|Author / Artist||Hayk Hovhannisyan|
|Book Format||Paperback / softback|
|Publisher||WestBow Press (October 2014)|
|Number of Pages||312|
|Page last updated||16th April 2018|