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Women in Ministry

Started by Dave Benke, May 07, 2024, 07:45:31 PM

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Dan Fienen

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 30, 2024, 10:45:01 AM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 29, 2024, 10:25:13 PMPlus, when it says Paul wrote them, you're saying someone was deliberately lying to gain otherwise undeserved respect or authority. What good can possibly come of that?
Yup, writing under another person's name was quite common. Below is a list of such pseudepigrapha related to NT groups or individuals. There are even more writing reported from OT persons.

The Gospel according to the Hebrews
The Gospel of the Ebionites
The Gospel according to the Egyptians
The Gospel of Philip
The Gospel or Traditions of Matthias
The Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Thomas
The Preaching of Peter

The Book of James or Protevangelium
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
The Gospel of the Birth of Mary
The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy
The Armenian Gospel of the Infancy
The History of Joseph the Carpenter or Death of Joseph

The Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Nicodemus or Acts of Pilate
The Gospel of Bartholomew
The Assumption of the Virgin

The Acts of John
The Acts of Paul
The Acts of Peter
The Acts of Andrew
The Acts of Thomas
The Acts of Philip
The Acts of Andrew and Matthias
The Acts of Peter and Andrew
The Martyrdom of Matthew

The Letters of Christ and Abgarus
The Letter of Lentulus
The Epistle to the Laodiceans
The Epistle of the Apostles

The Apocalypse of Peter
The Apocalypse of Paul
The Apocalypse of Thomas
The Apocalypse of the Virgin
The Revelation of Stephen

Whether the church Fathers believed the pastorals were written by Paul; or believed that they should be authoritative for the church (regardless of who wrote them,) they included them in the canon.


Writing under an assumed identity was common. But of that laundry list of pseudepigraphal texts, how many were included in the canon? How many were taken as authoritative? Do you take the Pastoral Epistles as prescriptively authoritative and not just descriptive of the early church?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

SomeoneWrites

Quote from: RF on May 27, 2024, 03:22:47 PM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on May 27, 2024, 12:04:00 PMRF said:
I'm editing my original three and adding yours as my fourth based on your comments, and adding a fifth that I forgot earlier:

1) God's Word is always right and true.
2) God always wants what is best for every person.
3) God may, but may not now or ever, clarify a text for every person; He uses means to do so. 
4) Human beings are capable of error.
5) Human beings can reject God's Word due to the curse, i.e. sin (Genesis 3) and/or Satan's influence (1 Peter 5:8 ).

Quote from: SomeoneWrites on May 27, 2024, 12:04:00 PMSomeoneWrites said:

My my this thread moves quick.  Hope things are still going well. 

Put me on board with all your presuppositions. 
Let's put it to a test run with the topic of this thread.  How do we approach women in ministry with those presuppositions? How do you use them?

SomeoneWrites,
For this thread, I think the main presuppositions for me are 3 and 4. Thus, I'll concentrate on those.  Primarily the means God has used on me for Presupposition 3 are my study of Scripture and Commentaries, discussions with a few Pastors, and my experiences in other denominations.  Context:  I've read most of the pros and cons related to women pastors and women participating in a liturgical service and women's roles in the church on a variety of different sites.  Usually they refer to the order of creation or 1 Timothy 2 passages or examples of the Apostles all being male for the con side, and a variety of texts and mostly human reason talking about examples of women in the Scriptures or functional capability of women for the pro side. 

I really don't definitively know, but my conclusions after studying all the material so far are: 
* Females should not be ordained Pastors. 
* Females may assist the presiding Pastor in roles such as distribution of the Sacrament of the Altar or assisting in Baptisms or reading some Scripture as they are under the Pastor's guidance. 
* Females may be Sunday School teachers for children.
* Possibly, females may serve in church administrative roles up to and including Congregation President although it is preferable males serve in those roles.
* I think the most valuable vocation for females is to be a homemaker, mother, and support person for her husband as initially described in the opening chapters of Genesis; I think God knew quite well what He was advising and the practical benefits of that guidance (Presupposition 2).

I believe quite strongly that females should not serve as ordained Pastors; I would not again go to a church where the Pastor was a female if there were any other choice within a hundred miles.  The other conclusions of mine are not hills on which I would die.  For what it's worth, I have attended several congregations over many years that had female Pastors; only one had a female Pastor that I thought was good in most of the various Pastoral functions. Granted, that is an anecdote and not a statistically valid survey. 

How about you?  What are your thoughts?

Sorry I was out for a bit.  Glad to pick up where we left off.  Taking the same presuppositions as you have, and doing what i think would be similar with study, I've come to similar conclusions.  I don't lean on the homemaker as more or less valuable, but that's a different convo.  I think I'm curious if a woman can preach the gospel in church, but I get the sense that they wouldn't be allowed to be a bishop/overseer/structural-authority. 
So I can see that being a task delegated.  It's not a Lutheran position, but it's in the realm of possibility.

I have further conflict when I set my presuppositions against others, and this is where I was going with.   It's much more difficult to rule things out on various other presuppositions.  Are you with me so far?
LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Dan Fienen on May 30, 2024, 11:42:28 AMWriting under an assumed identity was common. But of that laundry list of pseudepigraphal texts, how many were included in the canon? How many were taken as authoritative? Do you take the Pastoral Epistles as prescriptively authoritative and not just descriptive of the early church?
Some of them were seen as authoritative for some groups, e.g., the Gospel of the Ebionites.
I believe that Roman Catholics and Orthodox accept some of the details of the Infancy Gospel of James, e.g., the name of Mary's parents.

Can you point to a church body that takes the pastorals proscriptively? Roman Catholics do not have priests who have been married once. Most Protestants will allow pastors who have remarried after a divorce or death.

I would say that I take them just as proscriptively and authoritatively as I do Paul's statements about head coverings and hair length.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

peter_speckhard

#933
Also, when it comes to discerning what usage of a word or shade of meaning applies, those who lived in that world would simply know (without being aware that they knew because it was obvious to them and it wouldn't occur to them to see a difficulty), while scholars from much later trying to get at it via research are stuck guessing. For all we know, a thousand years from now scholars will be putting forth theories about a WWII hero named Kilroy, wasting time on what we all know is no such thing. We just know and can't really anticipate why it would matter to someone who doesn't know. But if asked whether the theory that he was a ubiquitous inside joke/doodle cartoon, a real soldier, or code for something else, we would instantly be able to tell which was right without having amassed any research or evidence beyond that which naturally comes from living in our time and place.

Dan Fienen

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 30, 2024, 01:20:22 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on May 30, 2024, 11:42:28 AMWriting under an assumed identity was common. But of that laundry list of pseudepigraphal texts, how many were included in the canon? How many were taken as authoritative? Do you take the Pastoral Epistles as prescriptively authoritative and not just descriptive of the early church?
Some of them were seen as authoritative for some groups, e.g., the Gospel of the Ebionites.
I believe that Roman Catholics and Orthodox accept some of the details of the Infancy Gospel of James, e.g., the name of Mary's parents.

Can you point to a church body that takes the pastorals proscriptively? Roman Catholics do not have priests who have been married once. Most Protestants will allow pastors who have remarried after a divorce or death.

I would say that I take them just as proscriptively and authoritatively as I do Paul's statements about head coverings and hair length.

And we could certainly discuss whether that comparison, Paul's prescription of head coverings and hair length, and Paul's prohibition of women exercising authority in preaching in the church, are equivalent and may understood equivalently. We have discussed our various interpretations at length. We disagree on those interpretations.

I am not very interested in what heretical groups found to be authoritative. My interest is in the canonical Scriptures and whether people treat them as authoritative. Some Christian groups do take as accepted the names of Mary's parents as given in the Infancy Gospel of James, but do they take that as a firm doctrine or a tradition? We Lutherans tend to accept as authentic that Herod's dancing stepdaughter was named Salome. Our source? Not the canonical Gospels but Josephus.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

RF

My comments are in BOLD imbedded in your post (sorry I am replying on my phone).

SomeoneWrites said:
I think I'm curious if a woman can preach the Gospel in church
CAN IN THE SENSE OF FUNCTIONALLY ABLE, ALLOWED BY CHURCH DENOMINATION RULES, OR ALLOWED BY THE CONGREGATION?  AND DO YOU MEAN PREACH IN THE PULPIT OR AT THE ALTAR OR JUST PROCLAIM IN THE NARTHEX TO A FEW PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE DIVINE SERVICE?
but I get the sense that they wouldn't be allowed to be a bishop/overseer/structural-authority.
ALLOWED BY WHOM?
So I can see that being a task delegated.  It's not a Lutheran position, but it's in the realm of possibility.
I have further conflict when I set my presuppositions against others,
NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN BY THIS, PLEASE EXPLAIN
and this is where I was going with.  It's much more difficult to rule things out on various other presuppositions.  Are you with me so far?

Richard Johnson

Quote from: Matt Hummel on May 30, 2024, 10:09:25 AMI think there needs to be a balance between Trust the Scholar and Trust the Witnesses.

Certainly I agree--as long as we remember that a "witness" is not someone who lived two centuries after the fact!
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 30, 2024, 03:00:53 PMAlso, when it comes to discerning what usage of a word or shade of meaning, those who lived in that world would simply know (without being aware that they knew because it was obvious to them and it wouldn't occur to them to see a difficulty), while scholars from much later trying to get at via research are stuck guessing. For all we know, a thousand years from now scholars will putting forth theories about a WWII hero named Kilroy, wasting time on what we all know is no such thing. We just know and can't really anticipate why it would matter to someone who doesn't know. But if asked whether theory that he was a ubiquitous inside joke/doodle cartoon, a real soldier, or code for something else, we would instantly be able to which was right without having amassed any research or evidence but that which naturally comes from living in our time and place.
It also works the other way. Some things that we simply take for granted, outside observers can ask, "Why do you do that?" and we don't have a good answer, except, "We've always done it that way." An example: Why do we have the Kyrie in our communion liturgy? Do you have an answer? 

I think that folks for centuries just assumed Paul must have written the pastorals and no one questioned it, until someone did - based on internal evidence - a different writing style and word usage; and external evidence, when elders and bishops became an established hierarchy in the church. 
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Dan Fienen on May 30, 2024, 03:19:58 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 30, 2024, 01:20:22 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on May 30, 2024, 11:42:28 AMWriting under an assumed identity was common. But of that laundry list of pseudepigraphal texts, how many were included in the canon? How many were taken as authoritative? Do you take the Pastoral Epistles as prescriptively authoritative and not just descriptive of the early church?
Some of them were seen as authoritative for some groups, e.g., the Gospel of the Ebionites.
I believe that Roman Catholics and Orthodox accept some of the details of the Infancy Gospel of James, e.g., the name of Mary's parents.

Can you point to a church body that takes the pastorals proscriptively? Roman Catholics do not have priests who have been married once. Most Protestants will allow pastors who have remarried after a divorce or death.

I would say that I take them just as proscriptively and authoritatively as I do Paul's statements about head coverings and hair length.

And we could certainly discuss whether that comparison, Paul's prescription of head coverings and hair length, and Paul's prohibition of women exercising authority in preaching in the church, are equivalent and may understood equivalently. We have discussed our various interpretations at length. We disagree on those interpretations.

I am not very interested in what heretical groups found to be authoritative. My interest is in the canonical Scriptures and whether people treat them as authoritative. Some Christian groups do take as accepted the names of Mary's parents as given in the Infancy Gospel of James, but do they take that as a firm doctrine or a tradition? We Lutherans tend to accept as authentic that Herod's dancing stepdaughter was named Salome. Our source? Not the canonical Gospels but Josephus.
So, you believe Josephus over Mark 6:22: "When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,..."
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Matt Hummel

Quote from: Richard Johnson on May 30, 2024, 03:52:48 PM
Quote from: Matt Hummel on May 30, 2024, 10:09:25 AMI think there needs to be a balance between Trust the Scholar and Trust the Witnesses.

Certainly I agree--as long as we remember that a "witness" is not someone who lived two centuries after the fact!
and

True - but some other of the research into premodern societies' ability to retain and transmit huge junks of data orally is interesting.

I love the throwaway line in Brideshead where Lord Marchmain recalls his Great Aunt recounting the beacon fires announcing the victory at Trafalgar.
Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

RF


Richard Johnson

Quote from: Matt Hummel on May 30, 2024, 08:51:36 PMTrue - but some other of the research into premodern societies' ability to retain and transmit huge junks of data orally is interesting.



Agreed.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 30, 2024, 06:25:03 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on May 30, 2024, 03:19:58 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 30, 2024, 01:20:22 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on May 30, 2024, 11:42:28 AMWriting under an assumed identity was common. But of that laundry list of pseudepigraphal texts, how many were included in the canon? How many were taken as authoritative? Do you take the Pastoral Epistles as prescriptively authoritative and not just descriptive of the early church?
Some of them were seen as authoritative for some groups, e.g., the Gospel of the Ebionites.
I believe that Roman Catholics and Orthodox accept some of the details of the Infancy Gospel of James, e.g., the name of Mary's parents.

Can you point to a church body that takes the pastorals proscriptively? Roman Catholics do not have priests who have been married once. Most Protestants will allow pastors who have remarried after a divorce or death.

I would say that I take them just as proscriptively and authoritatively as I do Paul's statements about head coverings and hair length.

And we could certainly discuss whether that comparison, Paul's prescription of head coverings and hair length, and Paul's prohibition of women exercising authority in preaching in the church, are equivalent and may understood equivalently. We have discussed our various interpretations at length. We disagree on those interpretations.

I am not very interested in what heretical groups found to be authoritative. My interest is in the canonical Scriptures and whether people treat them as authoritative. Some Christian groups do take as accepted the names of Mary's parents as given in the Infancy Gospel of James, but do they take that as a firm doctrine or a tradition? We Lutherans tend to accept as authentic that Herod's dancing stepdaughter was named Salome. Our source? Not the canonical Gospels but Josephus.
So, you believe Josephus over Mark 6:22: "When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,..."
I'm sure at least two sessions of your Confirmation class cover the Salome/Herodias debate with the youngsters. Why not just share your catechetical notes here?

Brian Stoffregen

#943
Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 31, 2024, 09:11:50 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 30, 2024, 06:25:03 PMSo, you believe Josephus over Mark 6:22: "When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,..."
I'm sure at least two sessions of your Confirmation class cover the Salome/Herodias debate with the youngsters. Why not just share your catechetical notes here?
If I brought up Salome in confirmation or adult Bible classes, it is only in the context of Mark 15-16 - the only place the Bible uses "Salome." If we were studying Josephus, then the other Salome might come up for discussion. That name doesn't even occur in variant readings of Mark 6:22.

I also note that you completely avoided answering my question.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

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