Friday, September 14, 2012


Is the one who says what I'm posting here, seeing it correctly or not?  What think ye? 

 " The context of 1 Tim 5:1-22 is a set of instructions for relating to various people in the church -- elder males, younger males, elder females, younger females, elder widows, younger widows, all summarized in the instruction in 5:21 to "observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality." So the entire passage is providing instructions for fair treatment of all in the body, whether old, young, male, or female, while recognizing and acting according to the unique needs and circumstances of each. We may do different things with or toward different people, but there is no language that elevates some over others just because of their gender and/or age."

"Then you have in verses 1 & 2  the instruction to entreat (rather than rebuke) various people. Verse one deals with entreating "elders" (presbutero, the singular masculine form of presbuteros, whom we are to entreat "as a father") and then younger men ("as brothers"); verse two gives the same instruction for "elder women" (presbuteras, the plural feminine form of presbuteros, whom we are to entreat "as mothers"), and then younger [women] ("as sisters")."

"Given the parallel construction of these two verses, the appropriate translation should be consistent."

 "One could either translate presbutero as "elder men" [referring not to the concept of a specific church function, but just to "old guys" and presbuteras as "elder women" [referring not to the concept of a specific church function, but just to "old gals. Or translate it as "elders," [function]  but you have to translate the language the same either way." 

What is being said is, if you translate the former  [verse 1] as "male elders" referring to the church function, which is how most do translate it.  then the latter [verse 2] would have to be translated as 'female elders' also."  [Not just "elder women."]  

The point being, the KJV can't have verse one referring to "male elders".....[Church function]  but verse two which is the feminine form referring to women who are not "elders"  [Church function]  and be CORRECT  with the meaning of the text. It sounds like the KJV had an agenda and it wasn't textually accurate in translation at this point. What do you think?

Paul B.


Job said...

A better question would be whether there is a single example of a female pastor either in the New Testament or in early church history. And prevailing cultural attitudes of discrimination against women is no excuse for the lack of such. Quite the contrary, at the time, there were many female priests (priestesses) and similar leaders in pagan religions, both in the Oriental and Greco-Roman cultures. Not only that, but there were entire religious cults and orders dominated and led almost exclusively by women. In a social context where women had practically no rights, let alone equal ones, religion was the sphere that gave women the most power, influence and opportunity. So, Christianity was in many respects unique and different from the pagan religions in denying pastor and other leadership roles to women, and for doing so for the many hundreds of years after until the modern era with the charismatic movement on one hand and the theological liberal and feminist movements on the other. What reason for this difference exists other than an interpretation and application of scripture texts that were universal in Christianity?

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

Some would argue that Junia [Feminine form originally was later changed to masculine.] was indeed, an early overseer and since "pastor " is used only one time as a noun [Eph.4:11] some would argue against it's use instead of overseer [44 times] or Elder. [Over 70 times]

But I don't think the number of times anything is mentioned is a definitive statement as to whether or not it's valid. Saying it once in scripture, if it does, in fact, mean whatever it is found saying, is sufficient.

I think it's safe to say you view the word "elder" in 1 Tim 5:1 is to be seen as "older men" and not "Elder office" because of the argument the fellow in the posted study made. That's because IF it means "Elder office"[ masculine]...the "Elder" in verse 2 would mean "Elder office" [feminine] as well!

Paul Burleson said...

Someone wrote and said this...I have his permission to post it.

"While I cannot name any woman – or any man for that matter – who is specifically called a pastor of a church in the NT, because the only time the word "pastor" is used as a noun, it is in Ephesians 4, as you mentioned Paul, and it is linked to "teacher " as well, indicating a function of pastor-teachers, rather than a title to an office and it is also NOT a gender specfic passage, I do believe that Priscilla, Chloe, Nympha, Euodia and Syntyche, the Chosen Lady, and other NT women, were female church leaders who functioned as pastors.

Paul Burleson said...


Please allow me to correct myself, and no one has of yet brought it to my attention and I'm not sure this whether this is because you didn't see it or you are just people who are too nice to mention it, but I saw it as I reread my comment to Job.

Contrary to what I said during an obvious brain-freeze, Junia was NOT an Overseer at all.

She and a fellow named Andronicus are mentioned in Romans 16:7 “Greet Andronicus and Junia(s), my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.”

These two people functioned as Apostles. Some translators have translated the name “Junia” into “Junias“. However this is not a correct translation for the name should be translated as “Junia” which is a female name.

This means that we know of at least one woman, Junia, who perhaps functioned as an APOSTLE in the Early Church, not overseer. Sorry!

Kristen said...

Job said:

"there were entire religious cults and orders dominated and led almost exclusively by women."

In light of that, Paul's injunction in 1 Tim 2:11-15 can be viewed as addressing a specific situation, in a city where just such a cult was the dominant religious force. The verb translated "have authority" there is not the standard word for having authority at all, but refers to a usurpation of authority. It wasn't until later that the church viewed these words, written in a private letter to his deputy in a problem church, as a universal injunction against all women for all time. Phoebe is called a "prostasis" in Romans 16, which is often translated "benefactor" but means "one who stands before" and uses the same root as the word translated "overseer" several times in 1 Tim 3. In short, there is no reason except tradition to assume that the New Testament refers to no women as leaders. With regards to the word "pastor," there are no references in the NT to any MALE pastors either, so that is hardly significant.

Aussie John said...

Such good writing and thinking deserves accolades, but I don't want to give you a swelled head, so I won't give them.:)

I have known women who have stood in "pastors" shoes, both as counselors and teachers and preachers, when the need arose. (Don't tell anyone. They were Baptists)

One was outstanding, but when a misogynistic pastor arrived to "fill the pulpit", she was denigrated and sidelined.

Thanks for your willingness to stick your neck out and be truthful regarding the Scriptures.

Paul Burleson said...


You said..."With regards to the word "pastor," there are no references in the NT to any MALE pastors either, so that is hardly significant."

I so agree.

It's the same thing when people say as an argument that women shouldn't be leaders because there were no women as apostles, [ Though I think Junia may have been.] I want to remind them that there were no Gentiles as apostles either, but that sure doesn't mean they weren't part of the Church as well as eventual leaders.

That particular argument really doesn't hold water from my perspective.

Aussie J,

As always, I really appreciate your comment.

For purposes of clarity and honesty, the post was the words of someone else, but words that I agree with wholeheartedly.

Rational νεόφυτος said...

Women who crave ecclesiastical power will bend and distort the word with a passion, and if you torture the Scripture enough you can make it confess anything.

But the bigger matter behind this issue is: who does a woman leading the church illustrate the example of being a keeper at home, submissive to their husband, learning quietly and, in a larger sense, patterning the example of showing her husband as the spiritual leader of the home?

It's a complete distortion of God's model for what the family should be, wrongly given as a testimony before the entire church congregation.

Paul Burleson said...

Rational Neophyte,

I believe men..."who crave ecclesiastical power will bend and distort the word with a passion, and if you torture the Scripture enough you can make it confess anything."... will accomplish all this as well.

Also, I'm curious as to the passage that says a woman is to.."pattern the example of showing her husband as the spiritual leader of the home."

You and I may slightly disagree about..."what the family should be." I do think if there is any command about being an example it is this...The Apostle Peter wrote: “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”

And a familiar verse that could go along with that one is in Ephesians 5: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,...." This is certainly done when we see Jesus as the one who elevates her by setting her apart as very special. [Sanctify] I think a husband ought to model that as clearly commanded.

But I appreciate your willingness to comment on what you believe you see the scripture saying. Thanks.

Victorious said...


There's not one verse in scripture where husbands are commanded to have authority over their wives or to be leaders in the home.

The only scripture that mentions a husband's authority is in the area of sexual relations, and the wife has the same authority over the husband's body.

You're reading something into scripture that simply isn't there.

Kristen said...


How does a husband who insists that his wife be a keeper at home, etc. (and generally reads every passage directed to women as restrictively as possible) follow Paul's injunction that he act as Christ Jesus acted when He laid down His power and position to give Himself for the church, in order to raise her up to be glorious? Holding women down and raising them up are opposites. Which one did Jesus do? Which one is the example Paul told men to follow?

Victorious said...

1Tim 5:14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach


Thayer Definition:
1) to be master (or head) of a house
2) to rule a household, manage family affairs


Paul Burleson said...

Victorious, Kristen,

Well said, both of you.

You both are living proof that the Word of God is taught masterfully by people anointed of the Spirit, regardless of gender.

What a tragedy that some, out of holding to culture instead of scripture alone, will not benefit. Many of us do.

Keep it up!

Aussie John said...


You took the words from my mouth (my fingers).

What more can a man say with sisters like that who know what they are talking about?

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I'm disappointed I took ANY words from your mouth. [fingers] I like the way your fingers say things. ;)

Anonymous said...

"It sounds like the KJV had an agenda and it wasn't textually accurate in translation at this point"

If this is true, how many other "agenda errors" are there with KJV?

Paul Burleson said...



One example..

"The words "have used the office of a deacon" are a paraphrase of one Greek word (diakoneo), which simply means, to serve. It is only translated "have used the office of a deacon" in first Timothy 3:13."

"Throughout the rest of the N T, "Diakoneo" NEVER implies office or rule, but the service of a slave to his master. The words "have used the office of a deacon" were clearly an attempt by the translators to redefine what was once descriptive of the loving service of a slave and make it a hierarchical office."

W.E. Vine explains,

"The R.V. rightly omits "office" [Because it isn't in the text] and translates the verb "diakoneo" to serve."

"Other scriptures in the New Testament will give us a better understanding of its true meaning. Here are a couple of examples."

Matthew 8:15: "And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered (diakoneo) unto them."

Matthew 20:28: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered (diakoneo) unto, but to minister (diakoneo), and to give his life a ransom for many."

I have a list of several examples.