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MARIETA MAGLAS

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 3/15/2017 |



It is mentioned in the Bible ( I Corinthians 14: 34,35) that the woman is not allowed to speak publicly in the Christian Church except the prophesying moments when she must have a covering on her head. The woman was not permitted to analyze the prophecy. ''Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.'' The apostle Paul said,"the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." The reason the Christians invoke the silence in the church is the reverence before God necessary to obtain His mercy.''Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.''-Psalms 94:17. ''But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.''-Habakkuk 2:20. Nevertheless, the silence of the women is a limited one. It is about a ''time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak''- Ecclesiastes 3:7. For sure, Pavel wanted to forbid the disruptive speech of the women in order to make them be responsive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. ''Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.''-1 Timothy 2:11.

It is about being silent during the meeting because this is the church custom especially when the prophets speak because they must speak to themselves and to God. ''But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.''-1 Corinthians 14:28.The New Testament usage of the Greek word ''sigao'' has the meaning of, "kept secret"'' And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.''-Luke 9:36. ''Then all the multitude kept silence and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.''- Acts 15:12.

Paul also used the Greek word '' laleo'' that is translated "to speak" for the utterance of the sounds when the speaker doesn't know what he says as there is the moment of speaking in tongues or the moment of conversation. He used the word ''lego'' while saying something which was the product of a thought. The public speech of the prophetess Anna is described: ''And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake (laleo) of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.''- Luke 2:38 ''Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?''-1 Corinthians 14:6

The apostle Paul wrote the letter to both men and women. He used the word “brethren” including the women. In Philippians 4:1-3, after using the words "my beloved brethren," he talked with two women, ''I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.'' The women that have the benefit of the priesthood must not understand wrongly this kind of freedom when "taking over" teachings or conversing during the meetings. In support of this, a woman’s head covering is a sign that she has authority on her head. (I Cor. 11:10). Paul allowed the women to pray and to prophesy discreetly in the church in the presence of men, during some specific moments as there is the moment of the fellowship of the Lord’s Supper meal. In the New Testament, it is specified that, in Christ, there is “neither male nor female” (Gal 3:28), also that the men and the women together are “heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7), and that the women, as well as the men, are “priests unto God and his Father” (Revelation 1:6). Although the New Testament clearly teaches that “the head of the woman is man” (1 Cor 11:3), it is also mentioned, in I Cor 11:12, “the woman is the man, even so, is the man also by the woman”. The women are in between a delicate position of not being allowed to utter so much the prophecies or the prayers and being “priests unto God.”

The prophecy is revealed directly by the Spirit of God while teaching is the result of learning, but the teacher is guided by the Spirit of God. When the teacher is a woman, she is advised to avoid the frontier between prophesying and teaching. If the teacher seems to be wrong about something important and no man thinks to correct the mistake during the teaching, with all due respect, the woman has the possibility to talk with her husband, with her brother, or with her father, this way helping the teacher to rectify the error. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. God created the first Adam in His own image while embodying His dual characteristics, of masculinity and femininity. Then, He created Adam and Eve in order to perfect His love. Adam is God's image, knowing everything, but having limits. The violation of the forbidden tree together with the God's law was a way to break the limits. Why would they break the limit in a wonderful Eden where God used to be present? It is not about the knowledge of good and bad, but it is about the knowledge of evil. God's purpose for Adam and Eve was to get rid of the influence of the devil. God did not want Adam and Eve to encounter this kind of knowledge because Satan had already had a rowdy behavior while being anarchist and insurgent. Satan tried to tempt Eve. The knowledge of evil brought fear to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:10). This kind of fear broke their limits in a wrong way. The knowledge of evil brought the knowledge of sin. Eve became the devil's gateway and it was very hard to correct this problem.

It is also mentioned in the Bible,''Let married women be silent in the Churches''. The children are present with their mothers during the meetings. While having to keep a constant eye on their little children, the mothers are less inclined to public speech. The church discipline is not practiced only for some theological issues regarding the essential doctrine of the Christian faith but also for some intentional moral infringements. The women are frustrated when they consider this attitude of the church being an infringement upon their religious freedom while thinking that the Christian brothers and sisters have the same right to live by their convictions. '' But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.'' (Romans 14:5-10).

Regarding the problem of the talking women, The Bible underlines in Habakkuk 2:20, “But the Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” and ''For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men''.(1 Peter 2:15) The Greek words and grammar used in the context of 1 Corinthians 14:38 indicate that Paul allowed the women to prophesy or to pray publicly in the Church, but he forbade them from talking in a disruptive manner while being careful to understand the commands our Lord has given regarding the exercise of their spiritual gifts. ''The wives should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not allowed to be talking; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as the law also says.'' The question of whether or not women are prohibited from preaching and teaching has a clergy answer. The women are prohibited by some passages like 1 Corinthians 14:34,35 and 1 Timothy 2:11,12. However, those people who ordain women into official ministry preaching positions have an egalitarian view. Paul even goes on to argue that he does not permit a woman to have authority over a man. In a Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible having notes written by Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, Dr. Zodhiates specified:  ''Under no circumstances does the injunction of Paul in 1 Cor. 14:34 indicate that women should not utter a word at any time during the church service…Furthermore, the word gunaikes (1135 in v. 34) should not be translated “women” in its generic sense, but as “wives.” It is wives who should submit (hupotassomai, 5293) to their own husbands (andras, 435, v. 35). The whole argument is not the subjection of women to men in general, but of wives, to their own husbands in the family unit as ordained by God.''  In Ephesians 5:22, there is an admonition, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” The same Greek word is translated as “wives” in Ephesians 5:22, but as “women” in 1 Corinthians 14:34,35. Dr. Zodhiates made this interesting point:  ''Observe 1 Tim. 2:11. It does not say women but a woman, and better still, a wife. The word in Greek is gune (1135), which indicates either a woman generically speaking or a wife, depending on the context. In this instance, since it stands in apposition to the word andros (the genitive singular of aner here meaning only “husband” and not “man” generically, 435), it must be translated as “a wife.” The conclusions come from the translations.

John Calvin had a complementarian, historic point of view regarding these passages. In his commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35, he wrote: ''Hence he forbids them to speak in public, either for the purpose of teaching or of prophesying…Paul’s reasoning, however, is simple – that authority to teach is not suitable to the station that a woman occupies, because, if she teaches, she presides over all the men, while it becomes her to be under subjection.'' She cannot preside over her husband, who is also the member of the church. John Calvin also wrote, “…for a necessity may occur of such a nature as to require that a woman should speak in public, but Paul has merely in view what is becoming in a duly regulated assembly.” Calvin explains that the women are not taken from the charge of instructing their family, but they are not allowed in the office of teaching.''But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.''-1 Timothy 2:12 Calvin specifies that there are women in the Bible to lead and to instruct in public, such as Deborah in Judges 4:4, but this is only an exception to the rule. As we move into the 1990s, modern commentators like Craig S. Keener wrote in The IVP Bible Background Commentary about the necessity ''to provide more historical and immediate context'' to the prohibition views, this kind of prohibition being induced by a lack of educational training the women had to endure in the ancient world. It was a method to stop these women to spread their errors (2 Tim. 3:6). Keener remarked that the situation “might be different after the women had been instructed.” Then, Keener asserted that the women’s subordination in pastoral roles is caused by the order of creation. (1 Cor. 11:7-12). Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner remarked that, in 1 Timothy 2:9-15, the women are prohibited from ''functioning as teaching pastors'', but apostle Pavel didn't say that the women are not allowed to be “teaching pastors'' and women like Aquila and Pricilla in Acts 18:26 'did indeed teach and have authority over or with men'. Writing about Martin Luther in a footnote, Gordon P. Hugenberger wrote about the 'modern women’s liberation ideology' '' due to a modern twisting of Scripture against the historic view.'' Charles R. Erdman underlined that the 'married women are not to exercise the gift of prophecy in public or to “take the place of” their husbands in the prophetic “office.” Paul also suggested in II Tim. 3:14 and Titus 2:3 that the women may be helpful as teachers, ''particularly in guiding the young.'' He asked the women to avoid interrupting the worship and to accept to be accredited teachers in the Christian Church. The true subordination of women to men is in the family, not in the State or the Church. In 'Women in Ministry make', L.E. Maxwell and Ruth C. Dearing focused on the disciplinary nature of the prohibition and the conditional nature of keeping silent commands. They wrote'' that this passage does not prohibit women from teaching or preaching, but instead enjoins order in a form of discipline by the apostle.''

The injunction to “silence” occurs three times in 1 Corinthians 14—twice to men and once to women. Paul said, “let him keep silence in the church” (v. 28).'' Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink because we have sinned against the LORD. ''(Jeremiah 8:14) George and Dora Winston, in their book Recovering Biblical Ministry by Women: An Exegetical Response to Traditionalism and Feminism, wrote that in 1 Corinthians 14:34,35 and 1 Timothy 2:11,12 the prohibitions against women are not absolute, the conclusion being that “the married women [or wives] are to keep silent in the churches.” In 1 Timothy 2:11,12 Paul’s talked about those ''uneducated women who were being tricked by false teachers.''

Today, the women that are not literate represent nearly 11,33% of the world’s adult population. The uneducated woman fights for her girls' education. In some zones of the world like sub-Saharan countries or West Asia, about 11-13 million children leave school before completing their primary education. Many children have never expected to enter the school or to attended the school. Also, many children are expected to attend the school in the future. Many times, the parents make efforts to complete the education of their little girls. The girls’ education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives.The educated women can break the cycle of poverty because they can avoid an early marriage, especially if it is done against their will. Thus, they have a chance to survive while giving birth to babies. Their newborns are healthy. These children have a chance to go to school. This new, educated generation can influence the generations to come. These adolescent girls are less vulnerable to lethal diseases like AIDS and the information provided can lead to an increased earning power.

On the contrary, the lack of education decreases the family income, affects their health, and the girls are at risk of trafficking and exploitation. This situation causes a low economic level in the countries they live. The children living in a rural environment are twice as likely to become uneducated adults than the urban children. The barriers around gender disparities and discrimination remain in place, more at the secondary school level and among the marginalized children than at other levels. The barriers to girls’ education consist of supply-side constraints, school fees, cultural norms favoring boys’ education, inadequate sanitation facilities in schools, violence, exploitation, and corporal punishment. Additionally, the schools lack adequate numbers of female teachers. These barriers can become nearly insuperable for those young girls that must face economic and social requirements like household obligations and child labor. Thus, their education is interrupted to end in a child marriage that frequently is based on violence that, sometimes, leads to female genital mutilation. Almost one-third of these girls living in the developing world are married before the age of 18 and give birth before the age of 20. In some countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, the decision to close the girls’ schools has been the cause of the gender-motivated attacks on schools.

In Senegal, the women represent a small percentage of those working in decision-making positions. The journalism and radio station management programs can enable these women to engage the community in important dialogues. The educational right has been an international goal for decades. There are governments, educators, and communities to address these educational issues and to correct the mismatch between education and skills, so necessary for today’s workforce. At the U.N. Millennium Summit in 2000, the world leaders thought to close the gender gap in the secondary and high education. This gap has diminished since 1990. Governments and communities have started to break down some barriers. For example, the Zarghuna Girls School in Kabul, Afghanistan is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

In Latin America, Europe, East Asia, and United States, girls’ enrollments in secondary and higher education have surpassed those of their male peers, but the girls were still deprived regarding the education in science and technology. Many goals in women’s education could be reached due to the elimination of the school fees, due to the scholarships, and due to the training of the women teachers. The result was a high girls’ school enrollments in countries as Bangladesh, Yemen, Morocco, Uganda, and Brazil. Mexico started to pay the families to keep their children in school. On 8-th of March, the International Women’s Day, the women celebrate the social, economic, and political achievements while advocating for their rights. They gained important rights like voting. There are only a few countries that do not allow women to vote including Brune, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the Vatican City. In some other countries like Rwanda, even the women have 56 percent of seats in Parliament, they face important inequities in health care because they lack adequate resources to pay for care, or because the legal systems still fail to protect them. For these reasons, more than 50 percent of people now living with HIV or AIDS globally are women.

The World Health Organization shows that 99 percent of the maternal deaths happen in developing countries. A method to reduce the maternal mortality is to pay community health workers. Some organizations engender the economic opportunity to help women feed their families and keep their children in school. The health is a human right for all the people, but twenty-two years after the countries signed the pledges in the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action (1995), the women still face many health problems. Too many young women still struggle to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections like HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis while needing to get the treatment. HIV makes them vulnerable to tuberculosis that leads to death in low-income countries. Untreated syphilis is responsible for many stillbirths, early fetal deaths, and for the deaths of the newborns.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), (adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly) defines discrimination against women as "...any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field." To end the discrimination against women, this Convention means to undertake a series of measures like a legal system for equality of men and women, the abolish of the discriminatory laws and the adoption of those laws prohibiting discrimination against women. This Convention sets out the basis by which people can make a reality this equality between women and men through an equal access to the political and public life. ''It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. States parties also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.'' There are countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention like Morocco, Mexico, India, and Cameroon. Morocco gave women equality and protection of their human rights within marriage and divorce. India has outlawed the sexual harassment in the workplace. Mexico toughened its laws on violence against women. In Brazil, the women under the age of 25 earn a higher average hourly wage than their male counterparts. ''When it comes to female education rates, progress has been made around the world, and in many countries, girls and young women have outnumbered and outperformed boys and men at all levels of schooling for decades. Nevertheless, these advances have yet to translate into greater equity in employment, politics and social relations.''-Mario Osava, Women More Educated, Not More Equal, Inter Press Service, March 1, 2010

In some patriarchal societies, religion and tradition can be used as a barrier for equal rights. Inter Press Service reported that, in Bangladesh, the women equal rights are hidden behind the laws. In Pakistan, the honor killings directed at the women are caused, sometimes, by the slightest reasons. There are a number of countries that have not signed or ratified the Convention, including the U.S, Iran, Qatar, Cook Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, Somalia, and Sudan. The women are underpaid when they perform low-status jobs, compared to men. ''Women not only earn less than men but also tend to own fewer assets. Smaller salaries and less control over household income constrain their ability to accumulate capital. Gender biases in property and inheritance laws and in other channels of acquiring assets also leave women and children at greater risk of poverty. ''UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2007, p.36. The women presented in the talk show analyzed the causes of the gender divide such as skewed perceptions and unconscious biases and influenced other women to follow suit.

The women, being the main caregivers in society, are less aggressive than the men and can counter-balance a male-dominated world which is characterized by aggression. But sometimes, the feminine aggressivity is needed for this counter-balance. ''In May 2004, the Occupation/Coalition forces in Iraq were shown around the world to be committing torture and other grotesque acts on Iraqi captives. For feminists and others, what was also shocking was that some of these acts were being perpetrated by women in the U.S. Military.''-Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, (Allyn and Bacon, 1999), p.354 ''There seemed to be at least some evidence that male sexual sadism was connected to our species' tragic propensity for violence. That was before we had seen female sexual sadism in action. ''- Barbara Ehrenreich. The explanation of this kind of female aggressivity is that the women struggle to have rights to do what the men do.

Established in the Netherlands in 1983, Mama Cash is an international women’s fund that supports the international initiatives that are guided by the principle that any social change must start with women. This is why the women can be a subject to physical and sexual violence – either by a partner or someone else. The health workers can help prevent the violence and provide support to people who experience it. The violence leads to anxiety, depression, and suicide.

In 2012, almost 4.7 million of women died as a result of the harmful use of tobacco, abuse of alcohol, drugs, and other substances. The cause is a combination of the poverty with the old age. We can avoid this by helping the young girls have a good start in life. WHO and its partners have a new strategy for the women’s health. For a good start, women need to become leaders. The best women leaders see the world through a lens of opportunity, become knowledge seekers, have the ability to influence positive outcomes with maximum impact, understand the survival, are not afraid to fight for what they believe. They believe in what they stand for, know how to play the game when they have to, and can anticipate the unexpected. Unfortunately, there are not too many women leaders in this world. ''In the business world, women currently hold only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. ''- The Most Undervalued Leadership Traits Of Women, Glenn Llopis. The women leaders are good listeners while creating ecosystems and participating in a team environment. The OECD countries are a prove that ''a critical mass of women in senior public posts can bring attention to issues such as poverty alleviation for families, human development, gender-based violence, and the delivery of public services'' (OECD., 2014b).

In 2012, it was considered that almost half of the women who were the victims of homicide in the whole world, were murdered by their sexual partners or other kin. The laws on domestic violence, the laws on sexual harassment and the laws on marital rape are more or less compliant with the international standards and recommendations than they must be. Many countries around the world do not have specific laws against domestic violence. Kenya doesn't outlaw the domestic abuse. Saudi Arabia that is known for its restrictions on women’s rights, started to outlaw the domestic abuse in 2013. Liesl Gerntholtz, Executive Director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch said that ''while ordinary criminal law does outlaw violence, and therefore domestic abuse should be treated as a crime, the issue has historically been ignored by governments and underreported by women. “

REFERENCES
The Bible
Spiros Zodhiates, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible: King James Version, the New Testament: Zodhiates' Original and Complete System of Bible Study (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1985), 1408.
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary On the Whole Bible, ed. Leslie Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1961), 1822.
Andreas J. Köstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin, eds., Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of I Timothy 2:9-15 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), 127.
 Gordon P. Hugenberger, “Women in Church Office : Hermeneutics or Exegesis? A Survey of Approaches to 1 Tim 2:8-15,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35, no. 3 (September 1992): 351. Hugenberger quotes Luther’s Works: Commentaries on 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy (ed. H.C. Oswald; St. Louis: Concordia, 1973) 28.276.
 Charles Rosenbury Erdman, Commentaries on the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1928), 7:134.
Linda L. Belleville, et al. Two Views on Women in Ministry (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 76-7.
Geoffrey William Bromiley, et. al, “Women in Church Leadership,” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol four: Q-Z (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1979).
E. Maxwell and Ruth C. Dearing, Women in Ministry (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 86-7.
George Murray Winston and Dora Winston, Recovering Biblical Ministry by Women: An Exegetical Response to Traditionalism and Feminism (Longwood, Fl.: Xulon Press, 2003), 392.
Women and Education By Lori S. Ashford, GLOBAL WOMEN΄S ISSUES
Women Still Face Big Gaps in Access to Health Care, Partners In Health-UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2007, p.36
Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, (Allyn and Bacon, 1999), p.354
What Did the Apostle Paul Mean By, “Let your women keep silence in the churches”? 2003 Marshall E. "Rusty" Entrekin
Ten top issues for women's health, Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health through the Life-course, World Health Organization
The Most Undervalued Leadership Traits Of Women, Glenn Llopis
Conference on improving women’s access to leadership, 8 MARCH 2016 OECD, PARIS
Eight Leadership Lessons From The World's Most Powerful Women
Facts and figures: Ending violence against women
20 Countries That Don’t Outlaw Domestic Violence, Charlotte Alfred, Associate World Editor, The Huffington Post
Invest and mobilize to end violence against women- Un Women
Why Wouldn't God Want Adam and Eve to Have Knowledge of Good and Evil? by Rich Deem

MARIETA MAGLAS

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