Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
January 1, 2001
Last Updated :
November 20, 2012
Sin In The Garden Of Eden, Eve's Punishment, Old Testament And New Testament Connection, Motivation Behind Paul's Words, Jezebel, Miriam, Closing Remarks, Reading Resources
One might ask "Why is Paul being so dogmatic about this? Why does the Lord emphasize men assuming all of these various leadership roles? Why are women required to take the lower seat to men?". As I mentioned earlier, it all goes back to the Book of Genesis and the fall of man. If we really study what occurred there, we discover that Paul hasn't created a new doctrine due to some hidden dislike for women. He isn't a woman-hater as some feminists and others modern liberals accuse him of being. The fact of the matter is, that since the Garden of Eden, women being subservient to men is the way the Lord has ordained things to be due to Eve's guilt in causing the First Pair to fall from grace.
Think about this for a moment. God created Eve from Adam's rib. Some theologians speculate that the reason why the Lord did this, was to remind Adam that Eve was his partner and equal. He created her from a place close to Adam's heart so that Adam would love and cherish her as his own flesh. Per- haps this is true; I really don't know. What I do know, is that the minute Eve was given an opportunity to make a major decision on her own, she made a serious mistake; which not only destroyed the harmonious relationship which the Lord had with His Creation, but which also passed the guilt of sin, which John tells us is the transgression, or breaking, of the Law, to all men. Eve sinned first; and then she induced Adam to disobey as well. As if this wasn't already bad enough, as I explain in other articles, then they each tried to blame someone else. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve then blamed the serpent. Consider the following verses:
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."
Genesis 3:11-13, KJV
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
Romans 5:12, KJV
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
1 John 3:4, KJV
So because Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord's Word, because they broke His Law, they had to be punished. We already know what the major consequence of their disobedience was, so let me draw your attention to Eve's part of the punishment, as it is directly related to why women are to remain submissive to men, and be silent in the Church:
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Genesis 3:16, KJV
In short, we can theorize that perhaps God did create Adam and Eve as equals, but Eve soon lost her right to be an equal to Adam when she caused the pair to fall from grace. The Lord very clearly tells her "he shall rule over thee". The fact that the Lord would even tell her that this is to be a part of her punishment, offers us a hint that perhaps it wasn't that way before she made her fateful decision. The Lord basically told Eve, "Look, I gave you everything you could possibly need to keep you happy. All I asked was that you refrain from touching the Two Trees in the midst of the Garden. I gave you a fair chance to prove yourself, but you failed me. Now I can no longer trust you the same. From now on, Adam is the boss; he has final say in all matters; he makes the decisions".
That is the gist of the matter; and that is why from Genesis all the way to the Book of Revelation, women normally play only supportive roles in the Lord's Church. This can clearly be seen throughout Jewish society of the Old Testament where we find male Patriarchs, male Prophets, male kings, and a male priesthood; and this same arrangement continued in the New Testament Church which was founded by a male Jew and His twelve male Jewish followers. They were all following the plan first laid down in the Book of Genesis. In Genesis, we find the first woman sinning and leading a man astray; and ironically, in the final book, Revelation, or Apocalypse, we also find one of the very last women mentioned, that is, the evil false prophetess Jezebel, also sinning and leading the Lord's children astray. Then, of course, we also have the wicked false bride represented by Babylon the Great Whore.
If you are still in doubt that the sin of Eden, and Eve's punishment, are the primary reasons for male dominance in the Lord's Church, I believe that the following verses will clearly show that four thousand years after Eden, this is still how the First Century Disciples thought and believed. In his first Epistle to Timothy, his dearly beloved son in the faith, Paul wrote the following:
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."
1 Timothy 2:11-14, KJV
While Paul first mentions the silence rule in his Epistle to the Corinthians, it isn't until this letter to Timothy, that we fully understand why he mandated such a rule. As we saw earlier, Timothy became one of the first Bishops of the New Testament Church; so perhaps Paul wanted to make sure that he understood what the Lord required of him as a leader in the young Church. Doctrinal purity was extremely important.
Paul was not alone in this belief concerning women, because as I have already pointed out, even before we are introduced to him in the Book of Acts, we already find a New Testament Church which is clearly dominated by all male figures. So in conclusion, if we obey God's Word, and abide by the example given to us by our First Century Spirit-led brethren, we can only conclude then that any church which employs a woman to lead it, isn't truly following the Scriptural Plan laid down by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. I would also add that any woman who accepts such a leadership position, due to pride, or whatever the reason, just might be another Jezebel like Karen Zerby! I am not saying that she would start some kind of a crazy sex cult, but she would be in rebellion against the Lord's Word, just as evil Jezebel of the Apocalypse was. In fact, as I also point out in "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth" and other articles, the original Queen Jezebel of the Old Testament was likewise in rebellion against the Lord and tried to kill His Prophet, Elijah. Lastly, let us also not forget the punishment of Miriam, who murmured against the leadership of her brother Moses, and also claimed to be a prophetess:
"And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again."
Numbers 12:1-15, KJV
So don't you be another Miriam, or a Jezebel! Stay submitted to the Lord and obedient to His Word! Obey your husband, and respect those who may have spiritual authority over you. God will bless you for it in the end; just as He apparently did with humble Queen Esther. With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. I hope that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life.
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For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to this series, and which are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
Churchianity or Christianity: Which Do You Practice?
Is Salvation Meant for All Men?
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Seven Heads
Where Are the First Century Churches?