Paul and Women

3 February 2012

Praying WomanPaul and Women

A Jewish woman’s work began at sunrise.  After a simple breakfast of curds and bread, she walked to the nearest well or stream and filled jars with fresh water for the day.  The rest of the day was spent grinding wheat or barley by hand, collecting grass and brush for the cooking fire, making bread and other foods, spinning wool, making clothes, weaving baskets and producing pottery.  There was extra work to be done in preparation for each Sabbath.  The Hebrew lady also shaped the cultural and religious values of her children.  It was through her that her children’s Jewish heritage was determined.

Paul taught women and men everywhere he went.  For example, Lydia, an influential business owner, became the first Christian in Europe through the witness of Paul and Silas at Philippi (Acts 16:13).  Lydia’s home became the first church in Europe.  Paul also encouraged the men to teach their wives at home.  This was unheard of in the Jewish culture.  Imagine how the men and woman must have resisted the change in religious culture that Paul was advocating.

Paul also encouraged the men to teach their wives at home.  This was unheard of in the Jewish culture.  Imagine how the men and woman must have resisted the change in religious culture that Paul was advocating.

What situation was Paul addressing in 1 Timothy 2?

According to the first-century culture, no one under forty was acknowledged by those over forty to have much wisdom or authority, especially not young, timid and sickly, Timothy.  God and Paul expected Timothy to nature the spiritual growth of the people in the new churches in Syria, Turkey, Greece,
Lebanon and Israel, despite the age discrimination he faced from older women and men.

Ephesus was well known for its pagan cults and occult practices.  Women who participated in these loud, sexual pagan rituals, were not welcome in public gatherings.  The gospel of Jesus reached some of these woman and they were now attending church.  These women were instructed by Paul to practice restraint during church services and  to respect Timothy’s authority and the authority of the other church leaders.

 

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