Friday, March 31, 2017

A Chapter of Scripture WRITTEN BY A WOMAN

Who is the Proverbs 31 Woman? 

The Ben Chayyim Masoretic Hebrew text paints a very different picture of who this woman was--and is--than patriarchy (complementarianism) does. She, and, by extension, all women, is very much a victim of gender-biased-English-translation-theology. 

Modern translation teams--who know better--continue to portray her as less than she is by misogynistically loading the language.       

Proverbs 31:1 The words of king Lemuel the burden wherewith his mother corrected him [1] 2: My son, son of my womb son of my vows 3: Give not your strength to women nor your ways to that which destroys kings 4: It is not for kings O Lemuel it is not for kings to drink wine nor for princes strong drink 5: Lest they drink and forget the law and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted

[1] Many authorities believe that name “Lemuel” was more than likely a pseudonym for King Solomon. That makes sense as in the time of Solomon, the status of women was decidedly inferior—as it still is in all Islamic countries and among complementarian Christians. it would have been improper for a woman in biblical times to chastise a man—even more so if that man was her King. If this is the case, that Lemuel was Solomon, then the mother who corrected the wayward King would have been none other than the infamous **Bathsheba. Her words correlate perfectly with Solomon’s story, as we know that for an unspecified length of time after he ascended the throne, he plumbed the depths of depravity. Scripture reveals that he eventually concluded that his riotous manner of living was all “vanity,” at which time he turned his life around to become the greatest King in the history of Israel. 

** We know that Bathsheba had great influence with her son. Adonijah went to Bathsheba, first, when he had a request to make of his brother, the King. Solomon also honored his mother by having a chair placed next to his throne for her.  

Solomon published the words of King “Lemuel’s” mother. That indicates they must have carried great import for him. Could his turn-around be at least partly due to the timely correction of a god-fearing mother who dared to speak the inspired/authoritative Word of God to a son who was King? 

Aside from the above comments, there are two other things of note in this passage: 1.) Whether King Lemuel was Solomon or not, in Proverbs chapter 31, we have an entire chapter of scripture written by a woman. Verse one clearly states the passage was written to the King by the King’s mother. The fact that this passage has been included in the Hebrew Bible along with the writings of Solomon is extraordinary—a powerful testimony to its authenticity and authority. 2.) This is an irrefutable example of a woman not only teaching a man—a very powerful man—but chastising him with the inspired, prophetic, authoritative Word of the LORD as well. 

The opening words of Proverbs chapter 31, refute complementarian positions that our Creator intended only men to be the oracles of God, and that women cannot teach men or speak the Word of God authoritatively to both men and women. 

King “Lemuel’s” mother did so, and continues to do so through an inspired and authoritative prophecy to a powerful male monarch, and by extension to all men and women.

  Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System, examines Bible commentary and translation practices which have historically been androcentric (male centered) and even misogynistic (anti-woman). These have adversely effected understanding of the scriptures, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel, by forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders or deacons. The book chronicles the early history of the women's rights movements, as well as the role of church leadership in aggressively suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within the movements. Through the complementarian movement, many of the same arguments used to support the institution of slavery, are still used today in suppressing the rights of Christian women. This book documents identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both movements and is an unparalleled resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender equality from a Christian perspective. The history of women’s rights is traced back [much further than usual] to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. This work, provides valuable historical insight into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s rights, that are rarely included in Christian literature.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SHE Teaches SHE leads

Complementarianism teaches that HE always leads HER. However, the Bible teaches the exact opposite with HER leading and guiding into all truth.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit herself[1] bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God 

John 14:26 But the Comforter who is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name the same shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance all things I have said to you 

1 John 2:7 But the anointing which you have received of him (God) abides in you and you need not that any man teach you

[1] The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” The Holy Spirit is God. In the Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is called Ruwach. Ruwach, H7307, is a feminine noun. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a mother hen in Genesis 1:2. Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34. The scriptures say that, God is not a man Numbers 23:19. Neither is he a woman. But he portrays himself as both mother and father. Jesus himself is the Father of Eternity. The angel Gabriel, called the Holy Spirit the father of the Christ child Luke 1:35. We cannot divide God. We can only take him at his Word. The Holy Spirit is God. In the Hebrew**, the Holy Spirit is feminine. In the Greek, the word used for Holy Spirit is a neuter noun, which translators choose to render as “it” or “he.” However, this commentator maintains that “it” is not an option, and because of the Hebrew testimony, (and the neutrality of the Greek) the Holy Spirit is accurately addressed as “She.”

English-Translation-Theology is always a danger, and presents difficulties—to readers and translators alike—that other languages do not, as English is such a diverse language, with so many options (more words than any other language) for translators to choose from. For example, the Hebrew language has a limited vocabulary (only about 3000 words) as compared with the koine Greek (everyday language spoken by Jesus and his contemporaries). So, we must appreciate that most every Hebrew word has a variety of applications (some a very wide variety) and must be translated according to context. Other applications of ruwach include: spirit; wind; breath; mind; vain; air; anger; cool; courage. James Strong lists 5,624 koine Greek words in his original concordance. This would not represent every koine Greek word in the koine Greek vocabulary—only those which were used in the New Testament of the Received Text. By comparison, the English language has about 200,000 commonly used words, not counting scientific words, which approximate another 200,000.