Monday, 11 August 2008

Some Key Passages in the Ordination of Women Debate

The list of passages used against the full inclusion of women is small, and says little about the place of women in the church. Only one passage prohibits women from teaching men (1Tim 2:12), and only one passage says women should be silent in church (1Cor 14:33b-35, although clearly Paul wants women to prophesy, see 1Cor 11:1-16). But there are an overwhelming number of passages affirming the prominence and freedom of women in the life and ministry of the Christian community, and the fundamental theologies of faith, baptism and the giving of the Spirit never exclude women.

1. Emphasised by opponents of the full inclusion of women in the church

· Gen 2:18-25

· Gen 3:16

· 1Cor 11:1-16

· 1Cor 14:33b-35

· Ephes 5:21-33; Col 3:18; 1Pet 3:1-7

· 1Tim 2:8-15

· Tit 2:3-5

2. Emphasised by those in favour of the full inclusion of women in the church

· Gen 1:27

· The prominence of women’s faith and role in the ministry of Jesus: e.g. Matt 28:1-10; Mk 14:3-9; 15:40-41; Lk 8:1-3; Jn 4:39-42;

· Mk 3:31-35; 10:28-31; Lk 11:27;

· The prominence of women in ministry: Rom 16:1, 3-5, 7; 1Cor 1619; Phil 4:2-3; Col 4:15

· women are baptised without distinction (Ac 16:14-15)

· and receive the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit without distinction Ac 21:9; 1Cor 12

· Paul safeguarding the interdependence of men and women (1Cor 11:8-12;) and the rights of women in marriage (1Cor 7:3-5) and the rights of women and men to remain single (1Cor 7:25-35)

· 2Cor 5:17 (compare Gen 3:16)

· Gal 3:28

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