Sunday, July 6, 2014

Egalitarian Resources on 1 Timothy 2

The one nice thing you can say about the evangelical debate over women in ministry is that there is no shortage of material to read. Having read over a dozen books combined on both sides as well as dozens of journal articles, I figured it was time to put forth some resources that helped me sort out the tension within Scripture. While I would prefer to just dump everything here, I think I'd like to add a little more commentary to each section, so that is what will be happening.

1 Timothy 2:8-15 is the standard text that the debate begins with, at least in my experience. Call it a trump card text, or in the words of Gail Wallace, the "1 Timothy 2 Bomb;" a sadly apt appropriation of a term. That said, I'll post some articles and some books that have helped position this text within its historical-grammatical context. This post is by no means exhaustive, so if you have materials you want to add, just comment or tweet me.

Before we even step foot into this landmine field, start with Alan Padgett's "What is Biblical Equality?" If this is your first time reading, start there. If you are familiar with the gender debate, still start here.

First, of course, is Philip Payne's book Man and Woman, One in Christ. The book will appear in every single post because it is that good. However, the relevant pages are 291-444. What makes Payne's work so helpful is that it is a direct engagement with heirarchalist exegesis, and is incredibly detail oriented. He deals with every facet of the entire passage, including extensive word studies, and concludes that the passage doesn't exclude women from ministry.

If you want something less technical, yet historically aware, Allison Young's CBE post on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is quite good. She draws only from Linda Belleville, but this is fine because Belleville is pretty awesome. For Belleville, you can find her work in the chapter “Teaching and Usurping Authority: I Timothy 2:11-15,” Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy.

John Jefferson Davis' article "First Timothy 2:12, The Ordination of Women, and Creation Narratives" is helpful for at least two reasons. While Payne deals extensively with the creation accounts, Davis offers a more concise summary that is as helpful as Payne's is extensive. Second is that Davis teaches at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which is significant in that GCTS is a top school in evangelicalism and is egalitarian friendly(ish). So that's cool. He also deals briefly with the homosexuality charge that is often leveled at egalitarians.

Kate Bushnell is really good. You should read her. Like, now. Get on that.

For several great websites, see The Junia Project, Christians for Biblical Equality, Adam Omelianchuk, Margaret Mowczko and J.W. Wartick. I don't agree with necessarily everything, but they are committed Christians and very lucid thinkers.

There are several egalitarian commentaries that offer cogent explanations of the 1 Timothy 2 text. They include I. Howard Marshall , Gordon D. Fee and Philip Towner (technical and popular).

Enjoy. Keep reading.

--Nick

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