In the New Testament Paul’s attitude about women in the churches were contradicting and biased. It was put into questioned if Paul liked the women of the church. Paul’s mission was to continue to preach about the good news. The letters of Paul left people confused and wondering why he wants women to be quiet throughout the church. God’s prediction about women and men where we all were created equally but when it came to the men the men were seniority not God’s words but Paul’s. “While some traditionalists maintain that women have a different role from men in the order of creation and redemption and are assigned a position of subordination by God in creation, others maintain that “before God” all are equal” (Fiorenza, Chapter 6). This means women and men were created equally but had different jobs in the church.
Instead, the stories about women in the bible illustrate the importance of their role and influence on society. The women in the bible played very significance roles but not to Paul. The women in the bible were slaves, concubines, and child bearers. Some of the women were also wives, matriarchs, and fortune-tellers. Fortune-tellers is the meaning of prophets.
The men had more authority than the women did. Why is that? Paul was being biased. Paul put men first and women second. That is not what God said. He said everyone was created equally. Some people wonder why women should have just as much authority as men have in the churches if we were created equally. God created us to be equaled. In the book of Galatians 3 “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (vv. 27-28) . This were the contradiction comes in at. If we were created equally why women could not do what men do in the churches.
In 1 Corinthians 14 “women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church” (vv. 34-35) . This was the law of the land that was taught throughout. Everyone obeyed this law. The verses had to do with the order of submission. “God is the head of every household, secondly Jesus is next in command and then the husband and his wife” (1 Corinthians 11:3). The Bible say Paul was concerned about the way men and women conducted themselves in public worship. One would think the women would know how to conduct their selves doing church. Besides, if they did not, they would not have titles such as wives, mothers, or prophets. Many say if we were created equally why is it that men do not have to cover their heads in prayer and prophesizing.
The law contradicts men and women as equals. Paul wanted the women to ask their husbands for direction if they did not understand what was happening or being said in the church. The women had to asked when they got home instead of asking the question right then and there. So what if they did not remember after getting home? Do they write it down and bring it to them later? Who knows how things were happening. Paul wanted the women quiet. He wanted the women to be submissive and subordinate to their husband. Of course, they did. How can the women be quiet when Paul gave them permission to prophesize? In 1 Corinthians “For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged” (v. 31) . In turn Paul told the women they can prophesize and pray just cover their heads so therefore women did not have to be quiet all the time in church.
The covering of women heads signifies the glory of their hair. Some say women do not suppose to cut their hair for it is their glory. If it is their glory how can Paul, ask them to cover their hair. Some say Paul wanted to pick out the women hairstyles and from prevention of outsiders in the churches. “Since he wants to prevent “outsiders” from mistaking the Christian assembly as the celebrations of an orgiastic cult, he insists on the “proper” hairstyle for women active in the worship assembly” ((Fiorenza, p. 236). If this is so this is another contradiction.
In society today, Paul’s words have some relevance. The one thing I do see some of the women doing is covering their heads on the first Sunday of each month. At my church these women are called the Mothers on the Mother Board. They are just like Deacons. They pray and prophesize, but they do not ask their husbands for direction in praying.
The women of the churches today do not keep quiet. Some of the women in the churches are Sunday school teachers, preachers, and secretaries. “We have seen that such new behavior was engendered by this baptismal declaration, at least with respect to women who exercised leadership roles in the house churches and mission of the early Christian movement” (Fiorenza, p. 209). It took a movement for women to stand up in church and address their problems and questions. After this movement this give the women the right to authority in the churches.
The movement did some good for the women in the churches. The movement change how the women supposed to be treated in the churches. “Therefore both Jewish and gentile women’s status and role were drastically changed, since family and kinship did not determine the social structures of the Christian movement” (Fiorenza, p. 211). After the Christian movement the women were treated equally. The women could do what the men in the churches were already doing.
Another relevance Paul have is most women do submit to being submissive to their husband. In the Bible it does say wives should be submissive to their husbands. The husband is the dominant one while the wife may take care of home and the children but still will not do anything unless the husband tell her to. Although I think Paul treated them women unfairly, he was respectful to them.