The Walls We Build: Considering the Biblical Evidence about Women in Ministry and Leadership
This article has been adapted from a message Dr. Lamm Bray delivered at the Oregon Ministry Network Embrace[d] Conference pre-event for women in ministry age 40 and under in March 2021. A version of this article was also recently published by Influence Magazine.
Friends returned from a trip to Israel several years ago and described many of the amazing places they had visited. They talked about being at the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem, which is a gathering place for prayer. I did not know until hearing my friends’ stories that it is also a place for bar mitzvahs. Young men were taking their place in their family and faith, right there at the Western Wall. But some in their family had to watch the event from afar, because a dividing wall of sorts has been set up to create a men’s side and a women’s side.[a] To watch the family bar mitzvah, a woman has to stand on a chair and peer over the Wall.
This is a long-standing tradition, built on sacred rituals and even the design of the Tabernacle God gave to Moses. I understand that this is a complicated and sensitive matter for Israel.
But the image this brought to my mind lingered there a long time. It lingers still. It remains etched in my mind because it represents for me a sad reality here at home in Christianity: some have built walls in the Church, walls that hold women at a distance from the work of God.
The Assemblies of God understands Scripture to say that God calls women and the Holy Spirit gifts women, and that the Bible shows a pattern of women active in all levels and forms of ministry and leadership in the Church.
This is not the conclusion of several other groups or prominent individuals. Some of those whose voices have been most influential among Evangelical Christians in the last few years have clearly and strongly voiced their view that women should not hold leadership in the Church, and should not preach or teach. Many of them have said that, to be “faithful to the Scriptures,” women must live in submission to men in all realms of life.[b] It seems this viewpoint may have become the most common narrative. But the Assemblies of God position is contrary, believing that faithfulness to the Scriptures results in women serving in any position for which they are gifted and prepared. So, how do you respond when someone says a woman on your staff or in your congregation should not teach adult men? What do you do when someone says women should not be ordained? How do you respond when someone asks why we do what we do?
What if we are asking those questions ourselves?
The prevalence of other interpretations of Scripture on this matter calls for us to understand the biblical passages and theological principles that lead some groups to ordain women and encourage women to preach, teach, and pastor. Study is necessary in order to reach our own conclusion and help others understand our position and practice. Honest questions are not threatening to God. I will engage those here.
Some will say that I, a woman writing an article like this, simply want power and glory for myself and am not willing to accept my place. But I am not writing so that I or any woman can be seen as “great.” I am writing because we all want the redemptive work of God to be on full display for all to see.
Redemption is my primary lens for seeing all the Bible; Scripture is God’s story of redemption. This lens provides perspective for interpreting each section or passage of Scripture. We all have lenses like this, and it’s important to be aware of them. Let me explain this lens, and the three others that go with it.
Lens 1: Creation
My first theological lens is creation. In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we read that God created during each day and then said it was good. “It is good.” “It is good.” “It is good.”
Until He said, “It is not good.”[c] He saw, and said, that man was alone, and it was not good. To make it good, God created a “suitable helper” (Genesis 2:18 NRSV).
In Hebrew, those words are ezer kenegdo.[d] Ezer means “strong help.” This word is used in the Old Testament many times, usually of God. For example, it is this word that is translated as “help” in Psalm 121:1-2: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”[e] Clearly, this is not referring to help from a lesser being or a person who is subordinate to the one receiving the help. This word is used in the Old Testament to refer to one who is equal to or stronger than the one receiving assistance. The other word here, kenegdo, means “corresponding to,” or “face-to-face.” It means one that is like the other. These words tell us that God designed women and men as equal partners. Partnership is what God intended.
But then sin entered. The curse of sin includes brokenness in our relationship with God, each other, and even the earth and nature. Genesis 3 is where we see, in the curse, that the equal partnership between men and women is broken. It is a result of sin.
This perspective may be new to some, but it is not new in scholarly circles. The AG position paper on women in ministry[f] takes this perspective as well.
God’s created design was partnership. That is the first lens, or perspective, that frames all of Scripture. But that lens was broken.
Lens 2: Jesus
Jesus, our Redeemer, redeems and restores and reconciles our brokenness, including our broken relationships. He redeemed our brokenness partly by breaking some of the rules that had developed to prop up or even enshrine fractured structures and relationships. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, touched the dead, and even ate with tax collectors. His interactions with women could be called some of His most counter-cultural conduct.
For instance, in Mark 15:40-41, we read that women not only followed Jesus along with the Twelve, but they supported Him and the Twelve. His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well recorded in John 4 was completely inappropriate: He talked about personal matters and theology with a woman. To make matters worse, she was also a Samaritan and socially ostracized because of her immorality, even though her multiple marriages and current living situation would have been beyond her power to control. It was to her that Jesus first identified Himself as I AM, revealing that He is the God of Moses.[g] Jesus also had a significant theological discussion with Martha,[h] the sister of Mary and Lazarus, at a time when such discourse was appropriate only between men. We know that Jesus broke cultural norms to acknowledge physical contact with the woman with a long-persistent bleeding disorder,[i] and when He intervened on behalf of the woman caught in adultery.[j] He certainly upset everyone in John 12 when He allowed Mary of Bethany to anoint His feet, wash His feet with her tears, then dry them with her hair. A woman’s hair was very sensual in the ancient world and an object of lust, so women were culturally expected to keep their hair covered. This action by Mary was completely inappropriate, sensual, and honestly, probably embarrassing to everyone else. Everyone but Jesus.
As astounding as that scene is, the most crucial aspect of Jesus’s interactions with women is even more counter-cultural: Jesus commissioned a woman to be the first to tell people about the most important event in human history, His resurrection. Women at that time were not allowed to act as witnesses, because they were considered unreliable. But the risen Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene and entrusted her to witness to His male disciples that He had just changed reality itself.[k]
Jesus is the second lens through which we need to see other Scriptures. If we are Jesus-centered and follow Him, we must take note that He commissioned women, and told them to speak in the assembly of His followers and proclaim the Good News.
In case that’s not enough, there is a third lens.
Lens 3: Paul’s Interpretation of the Cross
Many people think of Paul as the author of most of the “anti-women-in-ministry” passages. But in Galatians 3:28-29 he made a sweeping statement and defined a whole new worldview for followers of Jesus, because he said that the cross had changed everything.
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Jesus broke the curse. In Genesis chapter 3, the curse introduced the brokenness of equal partnership between men and women, and the fracture of every relationship and experience.
But Jesus broke the curse.
Of course, this does not mean we no longer acknowledge any differences. But it does mean that race, status, and womanhood do not disqualify us from being full heirs with Christ. Race, status, maleness, and femaleness do not matter in the Kingdom of God because Jesus made us all equal, restoring our relationships to God’s intention in creation. The context tells us that Paul’s point is that these factors, which had allowed some people to have more access to God than others, are now irrelevant. This perspective – Paul’s broad theological foundation for God’s people – is the third lens through which I believe we should see the other New Testament passages that relate to women.
Let’s think again about that makeshift wall in Jerusalem. From these lenses, let’s consider some of the most common walls that have been built around women in the Church and the passages that have been used to create them. We will consider four questions or objections to women as leaders, teachers, and preachers.
Wall 1: Where are the women leaders and preachers in the Bible?
The list is long and familiar. Here is a brief sampling:
Miriam, a prophetess and leader of Israel in her work with Moses.
Deborah, a judge and military leader, who was commanding officer to Barak and gave him instructions which included a description of what she would do while he followed her orders; this was before Barak expressed hesitation to go without her (Judges 4:4-10).
Huldah, a prophetess who in 2 Kings 22 interpreted and applied the book of Deuteronomy to the priest and other leaders.
Esther, who saved the Jews.
Turning to the New Testament, we see in Luke 2 that Anna is called a prophetess.
When it comes to Jesus, some note that Jesus’s disciples were men. However, in Mark 15:40-41 we read that several women were among the disciples, following Jesus and even supporting the entourage. In addition, although the Twelve were indeed men, they were also Jewish. If we are going to limit involvement in ministry leadership based on the identity of the Twelve, we need to be consistent and limit Church leadership to men who are Jewish.
Acts contains a couple of significant instances of women’s involvement in preaching and teaching. The first is in Acts 8:1-4, where we read that the church in Jerusalem was under persecution and all the church except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Those who had been scattered (not just the men) preached the word wherever they went.[l] The second is the work of Priscilla and Aquilla, the married couple who taught theology to apostles. When they are mentioned in their teaching function, Priscilla is always named before her husband Aquilla. In Greek, word and name placement is significant because the word or name given the first place in the sentence is the emphasis. That Priscilla’s name is first means that she was the primary teacher between the two of them.
In addition, Paul mentions women leaders by name. Phoebe, whose work we will explain below, is mentioned in Romans 16: 1-2. In verse 6 of that chapter, Paul greets Junia and says that she and Andronicus “are prominent among the apostles,” thus naming her as an apostle.[m]
There are many women leaders, preachers, and teachers in the Bible.
Wall 2: Paul did not allow women to preach or speak in church.
Well, actually, he did.[n]
It’s time to consider Phoebe in more depth. In Romans 16:1-2, Paul stated that he sent the letter to the Romans in the hands of Phoebe as the courier. The role of a courier included specific responsibilities, such as publicly presenting the letter, reading it aloud (especially when many of the recipients would not have been able to read), and explaining it or answering questions about it.[o] This seems like preaching.
Paul also expected women to be praying and prophesying in the church. In 1 Corinthians 11:5, he wrote that “any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head ….” Here, Paul was addressing not objecting that women were verbally participating in the service or gathering, but that they were doing so without their heads covered.
Wall 3: Paul told women to be silent in the church.
The passages in which Paul explicitly told women to be silent in the church have indeed led many groups and individuals to apply that instruction to women in all places and all times, limiting women’s service in the church to non-public roles.
1 Corinthians 14:26-40 is a passage known to us Pentecostals because the earlier part of the chapter is where Paul instructed the Christians in Corinth about how to conduct orderly gatherings.
Verses 33-35 address a problem of some women speaking in the church service. Beginning in verse 33 we read:
33 for God is a God not of disorder but of peace.
(As in all the churches of the saints, 34 women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?)
We need to notice a couple of important points in the biblical text. First, in verse 34, we read that women “are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says” (emphasis mine). However, the Law does not say that women should be silent and subordinate. It is difficult, if not impossible, to suggest that Paul was confused about or did not know the Law. His training as a Pharisee would have required him to be thoroughly learned in the Law. Second, in verse 35 women are told to ask their questions when they get home. However, churches met in homes, and some were homes of prominent women. In addition, three chapters earlier Paul had just assumed that women were indeed praying and prophesying – which we can assume he understood to be audible to others – in church and did not tell them to stop. It is difficult to imagine that Paul forgot what he had said or forgot that some of the women were in their own homes during church.[p]
So, what was Paul saying? Scholars do not agree. Some say he was talking about a specific kind of talking: asking questions in a disruptive way. The best scholars I have read land there.[q] They point to the lack of education for women in antiquity, which would leave them not understanding much of what was said in a church gathering. If they were talking and asking questions during the service, that would have been disruptive. When we notice that the context of this passage is Paul’s description of an orderly worship service, this makes sense. The reason that Paul appealed to a non-existent Law is not known, but the fact that he does tells us that this passage requires more than a face-value interpretation.
The next wall that has been built around women in the Church is also founded on Paul’s teaching. There are three passages that call for careful consideration.
Wall 4: Paul did not allow women to lead men.
Paul’s statements about women submitting to men have been interpreted by some to mean that Paul prohibited women from leading men. The prominence of these interpretations in Christian circles calls for us to give careful attention to these passages.
Wall 4, Passage 1: I Corinthians 11:2-16
2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, 5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head—it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. 7 For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection of God; but woman is the reflection of man. 8 Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. 10 For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.
Here, Paul instructed men to not cover their heads when they prayed and prophesied, and women to do the opposite when they prayed or prophesied. I noted above that in this passage Paul assumed and expected that women would be verbal participants in the worship gathering. The point of leadership, some have said, is raised in verse 3: “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ.”
Interpretations of this passage which conclude women should not lead men rely on the phrase, “the husband is the head of his wife.” The Greek word translated “head” here is kephale. In other examples of ancient Greek, this word does not normally mean “authority” or “boss,” although it can. Usually, kephale means “source.”[r] The context gives us two clear indications about the definition Paul intended.
In verse 3, there are three relationships: Christ and man, man and woman, and God and Christ. These are parallel references; the meaning of the word in one reference applies to all three uses. If here kephale means that men are the leaders or authority over women, then that same definition would apply to the other two relationships. It makes sense to say that Christ is the leader or authority over men. But if we apply it to God and Christ, we have a problem.
Historically, orthodox Christianity has held that all three Persons of the Trinity are equal; there is no subjection of one to another or authority of one over another.[s] If kephale means “leader” or “authority” in the men to women relationship in verse 3, then Trinitarian theology needs to be revised. But if it means “source,” then the verse makes sense and orthodox Trinitarianism remains intact. Then, the passage means that Christ is the source of man, man is the source of woman (woman was made from man), and God is the source of Christ (Jesus came from the Father).
There is also another clue in the context. Paul appealed to creation, and the chronological order of creation was man first, then woman. This is not a prominence argument, but merely a chronological argument – which also points to the likelihood that Paul was using kephale to mean “source,” not leader.
All of this, though, is really beside the point, because this passage is not about leadership; it is about head coverings. If we believe that this passage prohibits women from leadership for all times and in all places, then we need to take literally, for all times and in all places, the instructions about head coverings.
We do not, though, because verse 13 leaves the conclusion to the common sense or judgment of the readers: “judge for yourself whether it is appropriate for a woman to pray without her head covered.”[t] In our context, there is nothing inappropriate about a man praying while wearing a hat, or a woman praying without one. In the context of the Corinthian church – the ancient Mediterranean – a woman’s hair was an object of lust for men. Another cultural factor is that ornate hair styles were status symbols for women. We know that Paul clearly stated that status – economic status, or slave vs free status – was not to be used to distinguish and separate people. Those with higher status should not flaunt it.
The principle to apply from this passage is to be appropriate in your setting; respect those who are more sensitive, and don’t flaunt your wealth in a way that makes others feel or seem less important than you. The passage is not about one sex leading the other.
Wall 4, Passage 2: Ephesians 5:21-6:9
This very familiar passage begins in my Bibles with an editorial heading (headings are not present in the ancient manuscripts, just like chapter and verse numbers). The heading is “The Christian household” and, in most English Bibles, the text begins with verse 22.
In the Greek, however, verse 22 is missing a verb. To begin reading here is to read “and wives to your husbands.”
The verb is in verse 21 and is rightly translated as “submit” or “subject yourselves to” (NASB). But the instruction to submit is given to all, as mutual submission: “Submit [Subject yourselves] to one another out of reverence for Christ.” That is the context in which wives are told to submit to their husbands.
To make matters more complicated, this long Greek sentence actually begins in verse 18, tying all of the actions (singing psalms and hymns, giving thanks to God, submitting to one another, wives submitting to husbands) to being filled with the Spirit. Daily living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit looks like this, Paul seems to have been saying.
Verse 22 does, however, launch into a familiar literary form from the ancient world: a household code. These codes are found in ancient literature enough to lead scholars to believe they were common. Outside of the New Testament, household codes outlined the responsibilities of each member of the household to the head of the household.
The man – the husband and father – was always the head of the household in that culture. As such, he would have been the one making the decisions for all who lived in the house regarding legal matters, financial issues, religious questions and loyalties, and any public matter or issue that required power to address.
Paul, however, would have surprised his readers with his version of the household code. Paul included responsibility not just for those who, in that system and society, were subject to the head, but he also gave responsibility to the one with the power.[u] Most ancient household codes did not address duties to the head of the household. In addition, Paul defined “submission” as “respect” in verse 33, which is a diluted understanding of submission.[v]
That Ephesians 5:18-6:9 is written with a cultural context quite different from our own is clear. The impact of that difference is what determines whether the passage is a specific application, for a specific setting, of a general principle (in this case, living in step with the Spirit of God will be visible in the respectful and loving way we treat all those around us, even and especially those who live with us or report to us in some fashion), or whether it is prescribing this specific code as the timeless principle. From both the cultural background and the language of the passage, I believe the most hermeneutically sound conclusion is that this is not a mandate for all people in all times, but describes what that general principle looked like in their context.
There is one more passage to consider with the fourth of our walls.
Wall 4, Passage 3: I Timothy 2:8-15
8 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; 9 also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
First, many scholars classify this passage as a “difficult passage.” Verse 15 is tied to the rest of the passage with that first word, “yet,” but few scholars venture to comment on what that verse means in the context of Paul’s theology of salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). But this verse is not the focus.
In this passage, Paul asserted that men should not be arguing but should be praying, and that women should not flaunt their economic status. Then, in verses 11 and 12, he wrote: “Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.” On the surface, this appears to be an unequivocal prohibition against women speaking in the church and against women teaching and leading men.
However, Paul did permit women to teach and have authority. He allowed and commissioned Phoebe to carry his letter to the Romans, which would have included reading it (aloud) and explaining it (preaching) to the whole group, including men. Paul praised the teaching ministry of Priscilla and her husband Aquilla. Paul recognized women as apostles and deacons, including Junias and Phoebe. As we saw in 1 Corinthians 11, he assumed women would pray and prophesy in church. And, in Galatians 3:28-29 he declared that women are equal to men through Christ.
Paul was clearly contradicting himself. Why? What are we not seeing immediately?
There are two points to consider if we are to find the answer to that question. First, “authority” here is translated from the Greek authentao, which is uncommon but has multiple meanings. This is the only use of the word in the Bible. Outside the Bible, it is used very little. The scarcity of its use complicates the task of determining its meaning here. This type of challenge leads to a passage being considered a “difficult passage.” The meaning of this passage is not as clear as one might think from just reading the English translation.
Outside of Scripture, authentao usually meant to usurp authority or assume a role upon one’s self, but it could also mean to have authority (by legitimate means). When Paul wrote elsewhere about authority in any hierarchical context, he used the word exousia.[w] His choice of a different, uncommon word here suggests that he may have meant a different kind of authority. Thus, it seems reasonable that here authentao would have a different meaning – probably, to assume authority upon one’s self.
The setting of Timothy’s work in Ephesus offers some insight. Theological problems had surfaced in the church there, and Paul was guiding Timothy in the work of responding to heresy. Paul returned to the problem of false doctrine several times in both his letters to Timothy. The women in the church were particularly vulnerable to false teaching, as Paul indicated in 2 Timothy 3:6. There was a problem with false teachers convincing women – most of whom were uneducated – that their heresies were true.[x]
The difficulty of this passage – the lack of clarity regarding word meanings, the contradiction to clear statements the author made elsewhere, and a completely mysterious statement about childbirth – suggests that the context is the key to understanding it. If indeed women were influenced by false teachers and then were taking on the role of teacher in the church, that would have been devastating to the sound faith of many. It would have to be stopped. Those women needed to be silent and learn, and not take upon themselves the authority to teach.
Paul’s clear support of women in leadership and ministry in other passages tells us that this unclear passage needs to be understood as an exception. This instruction is situation-specific. The principle here is to stop disputing and arguing, and do not assume a position of authority and teaching for yourself – especially if you are not trained for it.
Within the redemptive story of God – His intention in creation, His character as revealed in Jesus, and the meaning of the cross – these passages are exceptions to general principles stated elsewhere. The exceptions are made in order to address specific situations, and are not binding on all of God’s people in all places and times.
Some may feel that this is irrelevant. It is not the core of the gospel, some may argue.
But if Jesus has broken the curse of sin and redeemed us, and if he reconciles us to Himself and one another, then the message of the cross and the work of Jesus – the gospel – is evidenced in relationships between Jew and Gentile (races and ethnic groups), slave and free (different and even opposing socioeconomic groups), and men and women. Living in the fullness of the Spirit allows the redemptive work of God to be on full display – in our lives and relationships and work together – for all to see.
As Pentecostals, we believe in the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives continually to His people. We believe that He gives spiritual gifts to all. If the Spirit is giving gifts, who are we to say that some people do not get to use them? A teaching gift, a leadership gift – these are not biblically limited to one sex. Women who are gifted teachers should teach. Women who are gifted leaders should lead. The Bible does not say women who are gifted should teach and lead only children and other women.
As we do, the redemptive work of God will be on display for all to see.
Think of it: What would happen if the body of Christ was the exemplar of redeemed relationships between men and women? What impact would that have on the world?
What if the generation of women coming after us finds no walls to climb? If they do not have to scale a wall, where else in the Kingdom could they spend their time and energy and gifts?
What would happen?
Let’s live without walls.
[a] The Israeli government has since created a third space for use by both men and women simultaneously. The history of the Wall’s use can be found at https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-men-and-women-prayed-together-at-the-western-wall/.
[b] I am choosing in this article to not identify specific speakers and writers who hold views other than that of the Assemblies of God or myself. I am not writing to argue; rather, the purpose of this article is to explain the biblical and theological reasons that groups including the Assemblies of God believe that women should hold any role for which she is gifted and prepared, as should men.
[c] See Genesis 2:18-22.
[d] Philip B. Payne, “The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman,” Priscilla Papers 29 (1), Winter 2015, pp. 3-10.
[e] All Scriptures cited are from the NRSV.
[f] The position paper “The Role of Women in Ministry,” the latest statement by the Assemblies of God on the matter, was adopted by the General Presbytery in 2010 and can be found at https://ag.org/Beliefs/Position-Papers/The-Role-of-Women-in-Ministry.
[g] John 4:26. Many translations add “he,” to make the statement, “I am he.” The Greek, however, does not contain the pronoun “he.” Adding the pronoun in English camouflages the impact of Jesus’s statement.
[h] See Jesus’s conversation with Martha in John 11:17-28.
[i] Matthew 9:20-22.
[j] John 7:53-8:11.
[k] Matthew 28:9-10; Mark 16:9-10; John 20:11-18.
[l] For more on the Acts 8 reference, see Jeff Miller, “I Certius …,” Priscilla Papers 34 (4), Autumn 2020, p. 3.
[m] In the best ancient Greek manuscripts, the name Junia is found. This is the feminine form of a name. Some other manuscripts read Julia. A few read Junius, which is a male form of this name, but this is regarded by many scholars as an editorial change. For more information on Greek manuscripts, see F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988).
[n] For a thorough examination of Paul’s statements about women, see C. S. Keener, “Man and Woman,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, eds. Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993).
[o] Allan Chapple, “Getting Romans to the Right Romans: Phoebe and the Delivery of Paul’s Letter,” Tyndale Bulletin 62 (2), 2011, pp. 195-214. There are many other scholarly articles that also explain and document the role of courier. For possible additional influence by Phoebe, see Caroline F. Whelan, “Amica Pauli: The Role of Phoebe in the Early Church,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 49, 1993, pp. 67-85.
[p] Aaron Dilla, “A Time to Speak,” Priscilla Papers 34 (4), Autumn 2020, pp 13-16.
[r] For a more full treatment of this and other exegetical questions, see Gilbert Bilezikian, “Hierarchist and Egalitarian Inculturations,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 30 (4), 1987, pp. 421-426, viewed March 2021,
[s] See Kevin Giles, What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women (Eugene OR: Cascade Books, 2018).
[t] See Keener for a more full discussion, p. 586.
[u]For a thorough explanation of the historical setting in which the Ephesians read Paul’s letter to them, as well as of common household codes, see Gordon D. Fee, “The Cultural Context of Ephesians 5:18-6:9,” Priscilla Papers, 31 (4), 2017, accessed March 22, 2021 at https://www.cbeinternational.org/resource/article/priscilla-papers-academic-journal/cultural-context-ephesians-518-69.
[v] Keener, p. 588.
[w] Timothy D. Foster, “1 Timothy 2:8-15 and Gender Wars at Ephesus,” Priscilla Papers, 30 (3), Summer 2016, pp. 3-10.
[x] Keener, pp. 590-591, discusses the lexical and historical factors in interpreting this passage.