THE GREAT MOTHER OF GODS
General James Green
I t has been asked, “What could Paul the apostle of Christ, have said that stirred up such an enormous sense of outrage among the citizens of Ephesus that for hours they shouted, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’”? (see Acts 19:28,34). Acts 19:38 tells us that Demetrius was the instigator of this RIOT! He claimed that he was defending the goddess (and her cult) against defamation. His gripe was that Paul had said “that gods are made with human hands and are not really gods at all” (19:26). Demetrius, you see, was a silversmith who made silver shrines of (the goddess) Artemis (not Diana)...” (V.24). He got rich off his trade.
We know by 19:37 that the town clerk did not believe that Paul was guilty as charged. It leaves us with the thought that the apostle attacked the basis of Ephesian religion, not either of the goddesses. Some scholars/historians believe that Paul denounced the concept of the “mother of goddess” as the source of ALL life. Paul knew that God was not made with human hands (as were the goddesses) and that HE was the source of ALL life.
Judaism at Ephesus
It is believed that by the mid-third century B.C.E., Ephesus (as surrounding parts of Iconia) was already inhabited by Jews; and by the first century B.C.E., a lively Jewish community had full civil rights. ( see Josephus Jewish Antiquities 12.125-128; 14.223-231; 16:27-64). One might want to check out Judaism of Asia Minor under the Roman Empire by A.T. Kraabel (his thesis at Harvard in 1968).
Many camps have been recovered bearing an inscribed Menorah and it is said that Jews were even involved in magic. It is also reported that certain elements of Judaism, e.g. Biblical stories, were adopted by the larger society of Ephesus. (M.V. Head’s. Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Phrygia (1906), shows coins minted with Noah’s ark (some believe the Biblical account has been embellished from the Greek flood story of Pyrrha and Deucalion). Frankly, as I have gathered material for this study, there are many extra Biblical stories about the creation of the world, man/woman and maternal principles. Actually though, this is the very reason for this study - to show WHY Paul was attacked (and is still being attacked!) For writing what he did in his pastorals, especially his “strange” texts found in 1 Timothy 2:12-15, which will be examined later on.
In order to understand those verses, one needs to know (if possible) some historical background - the prohibition’s rationale.
There are many “strange” stories/distortions about Eve in which she becomes the one who gives life to Adam. Ephesus was such a city that held to “strange” and “distorted” stories, hence, Paul being attacked. We do know that the Gospel of Christ had a great impact in that pagan city. Acts 19: 18, 19 tells us that “many also of those who were now believers (Christians) came making full confession and thoroughly exposing their former deceptive and evil practices. And many of those who had practiced curious magical arts collected their books and throwing them on the pile burned them in the sight of everybody...” That was a REVOLUTION taking place. Note what followed: “Thus the Word of the Lord GREW and SPREAD and INTENSIFIED, PREVAILING mightily” (V.20).
The WAR was on! Christianity and Paganism were enemies. The early believers were now aware of intense opposition at Ephesus... and everywhere they took the Gospel of Christ Jesus. And, may I add, this WAR rages as I write (especially Islam against Christianity).
Ephesians 4:14 warns us against teachings and doctrines by cunning men/women who use trickery so as to MISLEAD . This “spirit” prevails in Churchianity today. The Gospel of Christ has been so distorted by evil men/women that it is Christless! (See my many other articles on this subject). Paul’s letters contained plenty of WARNINGS against false teachers, etc. who might infiltrate and dominate the newly established ekklesias (see Eph. 4:17-24; 5:6-14). The risen Christ commended the ekklesia at Ephesus for their good works, labors, patience, and “how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars,” (Rev. 2:2). But He had ought against them, “because thou hast left thy first love” (v.4). Christ goes on to say, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”(v.6)
The ekklesia at Pergamos had the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans in its’ midst” (Rev.2:15), which Christ hated. Along with the teachings of Balaam (2.14), it taught that sexual immorality did not affect one’s salvation in Christ. The New Testament (N.T.) clearly states the contrary!! Paul writes that such persons shall NOT inherit the Kingdom of God (see 1 Cor 6:9, 10. See our many booklets/magazines on sex-sins). Yet, today, this same spirit and same teaching is in many churches worldwide. You see, to HATE what God/Christ HATES is an essential characteristic of those loyal to them and their word (see Ps. 139:21; Prov. 8:13 and Jn 3:19-21). A fundamental characteristic of the wicked is that they LOVE DARKNESS and they find pleasure in sin (see also Rom 1:18-32; Phil 3:19; 2 Tim 3:2-5; 2 Pet 2:12-15). The truly “born-again” person, in contrast, LOVES RIGHTEOUSNESS and HATES INIQUITY (Heb. 1:9), and is grieved when he or she sees the evil deeds of depraved people (1 Cor 13:6). They take no pleasure in such evil and vile entertainment or the expression of sinful conduct manifested openly as we see today ( as was present in Paul’s day (see Ps. 97:10; Prov 8:13; Rom. 12:9; 2 Peter 2:8 etc.). Now the Church here in America is embracing the whole GLBTQ agenda; fornication and adultery and abortion have made this possible!
Keep all these in mind when we take a close look at 1 Tim. 2:12-15. What was the cause of these texts? The late Catherine Kroeger, (Ph.D. from Univ. Of MN and was an adjunct prof. At Gordon-Cornwell Theo. Sem.), points out that if we are to understand the purposes of the writer (Paul), we need to evaluate the environment in which he placed his directive to women; which has been a CLUB to BEAT women into submission (under the males). Good advise. So, as we proceed with looking into the environment of Paul’s day, we’ll look at Ephesus, one of the major “religious” centers of the ancient world AND the bastion of a strongly developed theological system which could not easily be displaced.
Kroeger paints out that the primary deities in Asia were female; the maternal aspect was glorified in a manner almost unknown farther west. She claims that by 5000 B.C.E. Anatolian artists modelled heavyset “mother” goddesses from clay and depicted repeatedly the moment of birth. For millennia, the matriarchal goddesses reigned supreme. She claims that “Great Mother” was given many names in different parts of Asia minor, but she bore the same characteristics. If one searches out this Great Mother of the Gods, i.e., the Mountain Mother, Ma, Bellona, Cybele, Demeter or Artemis (the goddess Paul encountered in Ephesus), she was the “mistress” of wild animals and of men- from her came ALL life, and the dead were gathered again to her womb. She even stood guard over the tombs of her devotees.
History tells us that in the first century, C.E. Apollonius of Tyana wrote to the Sardians: “you have good reason to worship and honor the goddess of your ancestor. She is named ‘mother of the gods’ according to some, ‘mother of humanity’, according to others, and every one agrees that she is mother of the crops! But she is indeed the one common mother of all people. Why then do you alone being Demeter’s own, have claims that are at enmity with law, nature, and established custom?” (found in Robert I. Penella’s “Apollonius of Tyana to the Sardians,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (1975), Vol. 79, p. 308. For Demeter as a goddess of Sardis, see pp. 309-310).
Artemis of Ephesus
In Ephesus the great mother goddess - Artemis- was worshipped. She was called Oupis in her earlier days. The Romans knew her as Diana of the Ephesians. Below is an official decree made by the people of Ephesus about C.E. 163: “Since the goddess Artemis, leader of our City, is honored not only in her own homeland, which she has made the most illustrious of all cities through her divine nature, but also among Greeks and also barbarians, the result is that everywhere her shrines and sanctuaries have been established, and temples have been founded for her and altars dedicated to her because of the visible manifestations effected by her.” (as found in I Suffer Not a Woman by C. Kroeger, p. 52 and in New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity by G.H.R. Horsley (N.Ryde, N.S.W. Ancient History Doc. Research Centre, 1987, p. 19). Artemis’ temple at Ephesus has been regarded as a sanctuary ever since the Amazons first took refuge there from Hercules. We’ve all seen pictures of her statue. The book of Acts points out all this (Acts 19:19) where Christians burned many costly books associated with this pagan worship.
In Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, written by A.l Boeckh (1828-1877), he claimed that tradition held that some of the tribal groups of Western Asia Minor, the Casians, had originally migrated from Crete. He claims that on that island “Artemis” was worshipped with the same rites as in Ephesus and had been given the title “the Cretan Lady of Ephesus”. The Cretans called her by their language “Britomart” according to Solinus (11.8). It is also stated by historians that security was obtained by goddesses, economic security and protection. The watchfulness of the goddess or goddesses guaranteed the safety of funds deposited in the Artemisium, a banking center. (See Aelian’s Varia Historia 3.26).
In William M. Ramsay’s, the Worship of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus (1906), he insists that it was no coincidence that the Virgin Mary was first given the official title, ‘theotokos’, “bearer of God” at Ephesus, where Artemis herself had earlier born the same title (pp. 125-159). We have always suspected this. The Mother and Child were objects of worship centuries before Mary and the Child came into existence. The Babylonians, in their pagan religion, supremely worshipped a Goddess Mother and a Son, who was represented in pictures and in images as an infant or child in his mother’s arms. In Egypt, in India, they were worshipped (Egypt = Isis and Osiris - India= Isi and Iswara- Asia = Cybele and Deoius - Pagan Rome = Fortuna and Jupiter-puer, or Jupiter, the boy- Greece = Ceres, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace, with the boy Plutus in her arms; and even in Tibet, in China, and Japan, missionaries found the counterpart of Madonna and her child worshipped as in Papal Rome itself; Shing Moo, the Holy Mother in China, pictured exactly as if a Roman Catholic artist had painted them.
So, the “Great Goddess Mother” (sometimes with child) were objects of worship in many countries. The Semiramis called her Rhea. In the Hebrew Scripture we find in Ezek. 8:14 the Son, Tammuz, commonly called Bacchus by classical writers, or “the Lamented One”. Bacchus suggest “the purification of souls”, i.e., from the guilt and defilement of sin. This “lamented one”, exhibited and adored as a Child in his mother’s arms, seems in point of fact, to have been the husband of Semiramis, whose name, “Ninus”, by which he is commonly known in classical history, literally signified “The Son”. I won’t go into all the names I have dug out; there are pages I could write along these lines, but let us go back to Ephesus.
First Timothy 1:3,4
Paul wrote to Timothy, “...As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they TEACH no other DOCTRINE, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies...” Ah, here it is! False doctrines, fables and endless genealogies. This was Paul’s reason for writing: this was why he wrote 1 Tim. 2:11-15. I have contended for years now that v. 11 was not a prohibition against women teachers/preachers for all time, but a prohibition against certain women as this study will prove. Hang in there.
Only three names are mentioned in Paul’s letters to Timothy -Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus: 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim 2:17; 4:14 - we can assume that one was a woman among those (names not mentioned) who were teaching heresy. First Timothy 1:19 mentions that some have been made shipwreck - Paul warns Timothy several times of the terrible possibility of apostasy (see 4:1; 5:11-15; 6:9-10).
We can identify the problem that plagued the ekklesia at Ephesus: Gnosticism!! This teaching distorted Biblical accounts of creation; God was EVIL because He made the material world, which they claim that all material was evil. Worse, Gnosticism claimed that it was the serpent that was “good”; helping Adam/Eve to be free of God’s deception and it was Eve, the mediator who brought perfect knowledge to the human race.
It was 1945 (same year I was born) that a great but horrible discovery was made in Egypt; a whole library of Gnostic Scriptures were unearthed. These texts literally astonished the world. They were vehemently opposed to Biblical stories/accounts. (For information, see Prof. Greg Riley’s Philo on the Cherubim 59-62; Dr. Richard Cervin for Alternative Versions of the Creation Story).
Prof. C. Kroeger points out that Gnosticism has been called a “religion of rebellion”. Its mythology constitues an “upside-downing” of the Holy Scriptures. This is what Paul warned Timothy about! “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Tim 6:20). This is the fourth time Paul charges Timothy to GUARD the faith (1:18-19; 4:6-11; 6:13-16). The Greek literally means “keep the deposit” and refers to the solemn and sacred obligation of KEEPING SAFE a treasured possession committed to one’s care. You see, the Great Gospel of Christ has been committed to us by the Holy Ghost or Spirit (II Tim. 1:14; 3:16). But look at the way it is being treated by “Christians” so-called today - ever ready to compromise it, trash it, change it, exchange it! Where are the soldiers of Christ, who will guard it from distortions, perversions? GONE!! Paul warned Timothy to guard the truth (Old Testament (O.T.) truth at that time) against “gnosis” ( false knowledge).
Certainly, falsity is the hallmark of Gnosticism - denial of Christ’s Resurrection, Biblical genealogies, Biblical stories/accounts... lots of speculations etc.
Titus begins somewhat like Timothy, warning about false doctrine: “Holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by SOUND DOCTRINE both to exhort and to CONVINCE the gainsayers”. Paul admonished Titus to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders..” (V.5). The elders also must contend for the apostolic faith/standard/ teachings of Christ (Acts 14:23; Eph 2:20 etc.). These elders must be able to correct those who teach things contrary to Scriptures; both the “circumcision” (v.10) and of course the Gnostics.
So, we can see the importance of dealing with these exponents of false doctrines... to keep the ekklesia pure and clean!
The whole point of this writing is to examine the woman issue. As already stated, Paul warned against “certain” kinds of women - not ALL women - not to “teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim 2:12). More on this later but for now, let’s look at 1 Tim. 5:11-15: “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion for the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.”
Here we have a group of troublesome women who are destructive. Prof. Gordon D. Fee writes: “It seems certain from 1 Tim 2:9-15, 5:11-15, and 2 Tim 3:6,7, that there (false teachers) have had considerable influence among some women, especially some younger widows, who according to 2 Tim 3:6,7 have opened their homes to these teachings, and according to 1 Tim 5:13 have themselves become propagators of the new teachings” (see his Issues in Evangelical Hermeneutics, pt. 3: The Great Watershed, 1990, p. 32. One might want to obtain his 880 page New International Commentary on the N.T., 1987. This is a fantastic book on the first epistle to the Corinthians).
Doctrines of Devils
Some believe, as I do, that Paul had in mind these women when he penned, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1). The “falling away” had already began in Paul’s day... and continues as I write.
There were certain groups of Gnostics who venerated Satan as a benefactor of the human race. All one has to do is read Rev. 2:9, 13, 24; 3:9 etc. Jezebel is listed as one of the Ekklesia’s leaders in Thyatira (Rev. 2:20) who “calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols” (we have teachings on this wicked woman). The whole teaching on Gnosticism is unrighteousness and to tolerate sin. The name “Jezebel” may have been her real name or just a reference to the O.T. Jezebel (1 Kgs 16:21; 19:1-3; 21:1-15). Whatever the case be, Jezebel was synonymous with idolatry and sex-sins...and of persecution of God’s true people.
This word is often translated “busybodies”; but the Gk. word, as one author/scholar has said, might well be translated “workers of magic”. It is pointed out that this same term - tonta perierga praxanton - is used in Acts 19:19 for “those practicing magic”. We know that the Gnostics were purveyors of magic. Sadly, too many in Church - la-la-land do the same.
Nonsense!! - a term used in contemporary philosophical texts to refer to foolishness that is CONTRARY TO TRUTH (see Patricia Millers, “In Praise of Nonsense”, 1986, p. 37, note 11).
Again in 2 Tim 3:6-9, Paul warns: “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”
Kroeger says that these texts are reminiscent of the manner in which the priests of the goddess Cybele were reputed to gain entrance to private houses in order to subvert women (see Menander, The Charioteer frag. 202 Kock.).
Very interesting. Eve, as depicted by the Gnostics, bore a pronounced affinity to this Cybele goddess. (For info, on Jannes and Jambres see Ex 7:9-13 where these are the names assigned in Jewish tradition to Pharaoh”s magicians), Even Pliny the elder (died in the first cent. C.E.) Wrote about a Jewish group which practiced magic and believed itself to have derived from Moses and Jannes (see Pliny’s Natural History. 30.2.11)
Myths, Fables, etc.
1 Tim 4:6 speaks of “...words of faith and of good doctrine” as opposed to “...profane and old wives’ fables...” (V.7). Be aware that some Eng translations fail to note the Gk word “graodeis” (pertaining to old women). Dennis R. MacDonald’s, The Legend and the Apostles (1983), notes this (see pp. 13,14, 105 note 4). It is stated from earliest times in Anatalia, female religious officials known as “old women” kept alive ancient myths according to M.S. Moore (see The Balaam Traditions, 1990, pp. 21-22). These tales/myths, are said to be “bebelos” (opposed to God, as in 1 Tim 4:7). These tales/myths were very dangerous to the early ekklesia.
Paul hits the intended target when he told Timothy to “Preach the word... reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim 4:2). He goes on to write, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall TURN AWAY their ears from the truth, and shall be TURNED unto FABLES.” (vv. 3,4).
What’s new? Professing believers sought out false teachers/preachers/prophets etc. back then; so today!! We know they are “Politically correct”, men/women who hate Biblical standards/ethics/doctrines. They love those male/female leaders who are gifted orators, entertainers, teaching and living according to the FLESH and not the SPIRIT. The churches are hell-bound folks!!! Jewish myths along with Gnosticism was a real problem in Paul’s day, (see Titus 1:14). Ancient writers attest to the perversion of the Biblical accounts/stories, especially the Adam/Eve story. Henry A. Green writes about such things in his, The Economic and Social Origins of Gnosticism. SBL Dissertation Series 77, 1985).
Philo (died 45 A.D. or C.E.) wrote about mythologizing Eve as one who gives “knowledge” and “life” to Adam (Philo, On the Migration of Abraham 89). He blasts certain Alexandrian Jews who allegorized the Scriptures to the EXCLUSION of their literal/truthful meaning.
Back to Ephesus
We know that Ephesus was highly infected with such stuff...promulgating blasphemous doctrines/myths/ fables (You should see Irenaeus Against Heresies 3.3.4 and Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 4.14.6 - both Church Fathers). So, both men and women were very guilty of teaching things that opposed the Sacred Scriptures.
All along I’ve worked towards 1 Timothy 2:12 (see “Women Warriors?” for a bit more info.) The Gk. Word “authentein” occurs only at this one place - “usurp authority”. When we read the literal Gk text it reads something like this: “To teach, on the contrary, to a woman I do not grant permission, and not authentein but to be in silence”. Gk scholars point out that in this one verse, there are three infinitives: to teach, authentein, and to be. The separation of “to teach” from the other infinitives is something of interest. It may indicate that one or both of these two infinitives deal with the “content’ of a woman’s teachings. This is what we’re after: CONTENT!!
Just what were some of the things being taught back in those days - by both male and female? Well, Rev. 2:20 gives us a BIG hint: “...that woman Jezebel... to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols”. This was NOT the Gospel of Christ!! Verse 24 is revealing. Some in Thyatira, held not to this demonic doctrine. The two infinitives in v.20 are with “didaskein”, the same word for teaching in our target text.
Look at 1 Tim 1:3, 4: v. 3 we find the word “teach”; v. 4 deals with content; 4:1 deals with “doctrines of devils” - content; 4:11 deals with teaching the Word of God; 6:2 deals with teaching and exhorting; 6:3 deals with “warning against teaching anything contrary to the Gospel Thus the “authentein” in 1 Tim 2:12 qualifies the “didaskein”. Emphasis is placed upon the function of teaching -didaskein-, the teaching itself -didaskalia and didache- and the actual teacher - didaskalos.
In the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (vols. 1-10), “didache” is defined in terms of the truth which it bears (see 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:9). Starting on page 135 with διδάσκω — references outside the N.T. (definition: “to teach,” “has taught”), going all the way to 165, one can get a pretty good idea of how Greek words are used (studies put together by Prof. Karl H. Rengstorf of Tübingen). On page 162, point 3, it is stated that “to emphasize the binding character of the historical proclamation ... [recognize] it can denote the essential difference between Christian proclamation and the various movements which threaten the (Christian) Community ... hence the use of διδασκαλία, which lays greater stress on the CONTENT and practical effect of [the word]. First Tim. 4:6 does not denote any real change in usage as compared with [other Greek words/forms]; which emphasizes its nature; nor is there any such change in the other passages.” (Then the professor cites 1 Tim 4:16; 5:17; 6:1; 2 Tim 3:10 and Titus 2:7).
I want to make note of how the Gospels make it clear point-by-point that the relation between Jesus and the disciples corresponds to that of Rabbinic pupils to their Masters and that the crowd treated Him with the respect accorded to teachers. In virtue of His handling of the Word of God the people set the teacher even above their own parents unless these also (their fathers) are teachers. Jesus always kept the “content” of His teaching according to His Father’s. Jesus’ life and teachings were ONE. He was different from the religionists of His day, for in opposition to the ossified religion and the anthropocentric morality of His contemporaries, He was associated directly with His Father - His teachings were pure in form and content. So must ours be!!
Able to Teach
In the N.T. - 1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 2:24, we find the instruction “able to teach”. This was important in those days (and ours) in that many things unholy/ungodly were being taught. This is why Paul stressed that target verse. Women were creating difficulties which were threatening the inner and outer life of the early ekklesias and which had thus to be overcome.
In the pastoral Epistles “didaskein” is used in contexts which express/imply the CONTENT of the teaching-pure or impure, true or false (see 1 Tim 1:3,7; 4:1; 6:3; 2 Tim 4:3; Tit 1:11) or of instruction in the way of truth (see 1 Tim 1:10; 2:7; 4:11,13,16; 5:17; 6:1-3; 2 Tim 1:11; 2:24; 3:10,16; 4:2-3; Tit 1:9; 2:1.3.7,10). Sound teaching is what Paul was after — “he hugiainousa didaskalia,” 1 Tim 1:10; 4:16; 5:17; 6:1; 2 Tim 3:10; 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:17. These were to COMBAT the FALSE teachings of the damned (see TDNT Vol. 2, p,164). Hebrews 13:9 reads: “Be not carried about with divers (many) and strange doctrines...”, a WARNING!! This reference is referring to definite ERRORS which cause concern to the author and against which he wishes to warn his readers (Ibid).
It has been noted by Jerome Quinn that there are 8 related “dida-terms” which recur 30 times in the pastoral Epistles. He maintains that “didaskalia” in the singular is a technical term “denoting apostolic instructing” (see his The Letter to Titus, 1990, pp. 81,82 ,92-97).
Yes, it is too bad that today’s Church does not consider Paul’s warnings. False teachers/teachings abound in today’s “Babylonian Jesus” Church. Both male and female- now transgenders!! - have full reign to say and do whatever Satan puts in their minds, hearts, mouths. And what we have is ONE HELL of a MESS!!!
So in light of 1 Tim 2:12, we have both the teacher (the woman) and what is being taught (sinfulness) being targeted. So, if Paul was actually stating what many believe he is - no woman can teach, period! - then, we have a real problem with other texts that permit women to teach/preach. In fact Titus 1:3 says, “The aged women likewise (opposite the men of v.2), that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, TEACHERS OF GOOD THINGS”. Following vv. 4 and 5, they are to teach good things. Some content that they are barred from the pulpit but it does not say this. Both the male/female had free reign to teach good things, in or out of the pulpit, period. To be more precise, look at 2 Tim. 2:2: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” The KJV uses “faithful men” which appears to males only. But “men” (Gk., ἄνθρωπος — anthropos) literally means “human being” in certain contexts (as it can mean “male” in certain contexts). A literal translation in this context would read “faithful persons”, which is used to designate persons of EITHER SEX. Those who hold to this translation — “persons” — see it far from prohibiting women from teaching, but a strong exhortation that (responsible) women should make the proclamation of the truth a high priority (read 2 Tim 1:5 in the NIV and 2 Tim 3:14,15 in the NIV). So, who taught Timothy the Scriptures? Mother and Grandmother. And what of Acts 18:26? It was Priscilla (female) who taught Apollos more accurately.
The Gk. Word “epitrepo” is usually translated “I allow or permit”, but it may also mean “to turn to, give up to, entrust to, to agree to”. According to Prof. John Toews, when this word is used in the Gk. O.T., it speaks to a specific/limited situation, not a timeless one (he quotes Gen. 15:6; 4 Macc 4:17, 18; Esther 9:14; Job 32:14; Wisdom of Sol 19:2; 1 Macc 15:6 (J.T., “Women in Church Leadership”, 1983, P.84). So, according to his findings, this accords with the thesis that Paul was addressing a particular circumstance rather than laying down a “forever” prohibition against women. Gk. Scholars point out that “epitrepo” is preceeding by the first negative of the sentence, “ouk”. Two words, “ou” and “me”, were normally used to introduce a negative thought in Greek. They say that when “ou” was followed by a vowel, it becomes “ouk” (like here in 1 Tim 2:12). The negatives are “ouk” and “oude” (a compound meaning “and not,” “nor”, or “not even”). Hence, there are two negatives in this text, and they are usually translated “I allow a woman neither to ... nor to ....”.
Scholars also tell us that “oude” however often has a particular use by Paul. For instance, Dr. Philip B. Payne tells us that Paul’s “oude” was employed to bring together two related ideas. Following is what he believes:
1-To join two expressions which are roughly equivalent in meaning. Gal. 1:1 has “Paul, an apostle, not sent from man, nor (oude) by men,”
2-To specify with great clarity the meaning of one word or phrase by conjoining it with another word or phrase. Romans 3:10 reads, “There is no one righteous, not even (oude) one”. Oude emphasizes the total absence of a righteous human being (other than Jesus Christ) who can meet God’s standards;
3-To join together a naturally paired expression, as in 1 Thess. 5:5, “We have nothing to do with night and (oude) darkness”. (Unpublished paper presented to the National meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, 1986).
Dr. Payne also argues that the two expressions “didaskein” and “authentein”, linked as they are by “oude”, together convey the meaning of the decree. So “oude” indicates that “authentein” explains what sort/manner of teaching is/was prohibited to women. Women were allowed to teach the Gospel but was forbidden to teach anything contrary. Duh! (See Women Warriors? For the Gk. “authentein’)
I will say something about this strange Gk. word “authentein”: In a writing of a Byzantine historiographer, Michel Glycas, he tells us of a description of the reversed behavior of women (see Annalium 2.143). He traces his findings through the Treatise of Bardesanes, the Clementine Recognitions of Peter, Eusebius, Caesarius, and Cedrenus (Bardesanes, translated from Syriac by B.P. Pratten, Ante-Nicene Fathers, 8:726-27; Clementine Recog. 9.22-23; Caesarius Dialogue 2.109-10; Eusebius Prep. For the Gospel 6.10; Cedrenus 126-127).
The above writings contains the habits (sexual) of various groups. Much the same material is found in the Amazon society. Paul was familiar with much of this “loose sexuality”. When he used “authetein” that strange Gk. Word - Paul knew what it meant in relation to sex.
Euripides—Andromache reads: “The son of Achilles wishes me as concubine. I shall be a slave in the house of murderers” (authentes in the plural; see Euripides, Trojan Women, 660). So both “authentes” and “authentein” occur in contexts in which both murder and sex are present. There is actually much on these two words, i.e. (Euripides, Andromache 170; Sophocles, Electra 271-74; Euripides, frag. 645). Both heterosexual and homosexual (pederasty) come into play when these two words are used (see Euripides, Suppliant Women, 442, by Prof. Jeff Henderson and Prof Michael Poliakoff).
Sex and Death Mingled
Scriptures (and otherwise) view the promiscuous woman as one who leads a man or men to DEATH! All one has to do is read upon Proverbs - the best place to start, Prov 2:19 states: “No one who resorts to her finds his way back or regains the PATH OF LIFE”. Verse 18 states, “For her house inclineth unto DEATH, and her paths unto the DEAD”. You see, there is the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS and the path of DEATH (see v. 13 for the first). Prov. 9:18 describes DEATH as lurking in the house of the whore/strange women/foolish women (v.13). There are those liberal scholars and authors who try and convince us that Paul was ignorant of all these things- all the sex cults that was on every hand in his day. They do this in order to SNARE others into their BED of DEFILEMENTS, especially lesbianism /homosexuality. See our “Gay Way” series for names and heresies.
Clementine Homilies (13,19) was a document compiled in the fourth century (based upon earlier work) in which “a single adultery is as bad as many murders, and the dreadful part is that the fearful impiety of its murders goes unseen...Spiritual murders produced by adultery, since they are unseen, provide an unbridled incentive to the reckless.”
You see, the notion of sexual sins as causing death, was current in Christianity (as well as in the Jewish world)and in Paul’s day all through the Church Fathers’ days. This “spiritual adultery” is what is KILLING today’s Church. Take a good look at how today’s “Christians” act - WHORISH and WORLDLY!!! Now many of these “Christian” Churches are accepting same-sex sex and marriage! Are today’s churches especially here in the West any better than the sex-cults of Jesus’/Paul’s day? NO!! The cults had their “sacred prostitution” temples whereby they offered the worshiper a ritual union with the “divine” (devil!). They offered initiation rites where mortals played the role of a deity and introduced worshiper into a wedded state with the immortals....offered sacred intercourse with gods/goddesses (see Artemidorus of Daldiansis “Oneirocritus” 1:80; 2:65; 2:49).
All these things were common in Asia Minor. Artemis was called a “dear SAVIOUR — goddess” (see Orphic Hymn to Artemis 36: 13,14). Sex and mystery religion is nothing new — they play a major part in today’s churchianity!!!
All one has to do—for proof—is read up on Gnostic literature references about the generation of the female (gennema theleias—see Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 8.13.3,4; 14.5; 5:19.14; also Luise Abramowki’s Female Figures; and Son dergut in Hippolytus’ Refutatio, for proof).
I realize most will never research all this. But there are plenty of materials that prove that this “sexing” was a real threat to the early Church. Sadly these same spirits work in and among the liberal churches today — under different names, but the same devils.
1 Tim. 2:12 is nothing short of prohibiting women from claiming the power of origin-Gnosis brought transgression.There are whole denominations/ organizations that are under this delusion today. This is what Paul was refuting: the teaching that female activity brought man into existence.
Paul was refuting the woman’s OWN authority. The man/male (is) the “head of woman” and the word “head” simply means “source” - the woman came from the man (I go into great detail in my previous booklets/magazines on Women in the Ministry 1-4). In Greek, unlike English the word for “head” was ordinarily used in a metaphorical sense to mean “source” rather than “authority”.