Baugh: No Evidence For A Feminist Culture In First-Century Ephesus

Up to this point, no one has established historically that there was, in fact, a feminist culture in first-century Ephesus. It has merely been assumed. Enter Richard and Catherine Kroegers’ I Suffer Not A Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11–15 in Light of Ancient Evidence. As the subtitle suggests, the chief purpose of this book is to support the egalitarian restriction of 1 Tim 2:12 to a feminist climate at Ephesus through a presentation of a wide range of archeological and ancient literary material. Mrs Kroeger speaks from her twin vantage points as a classicist and a founder of an evangelical feminist organization.) Read more»

S. M. Baugh | “The Apostle Among the Amazons” | Westminster Theological Journal 56 (1994): 154.


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  1. Dear R. Scott Clark,

    I am more inclined considering Ephesians 5:21-32 and I Timothy 2:11ff that two elements are involved.
    1. The same pattern is used in Ephesians 5 & I Timothy 2-3 in which Paul gives the general principle then gives more elaboration, i.e. Wives (Woman) in Submission, Husbands (Man) loves wife (Bishop/Pastor cares for the church).
    2. Considering the Temple of Artemis (Diana) in Ephesus is lead by a woman, a priestess, who was responsible for the indoctrination (didaskein) and imposition of her will over those of others in the interest of self (authentein).
    3. This would be understandable, then, for Paul’s instructions regarding the role of women in the Church in contrast to the role of women in the Ephesian culture.
    4. This would also make sense when one also combines the I Corinthians 14:33-35 where the Temple of Delphi, let alone the Temple of Apollo, was ruled by a priestess.
    5. This would also indicate a fundamental disagreement with Greco-Roman culture with regard to the roles of women as priests and prophetesses versus the Judeo-Christian view.
    a. The Greco-Romans views could be prophetesses, i.e. the Oracle of Delphi, Syballine Oracles; and priestesses.
    b The Judeo-Christian view was that women could be prophetesses: Deborah, Huldah, Daughters of the Deacon Philip, but not priestesses. They could be a deaconess but not a Bishop/Pastor who they were to be under the authority of.
    6. Even with the similarities with Ephesians 5 and I Timothy 2-3 the differences are that one is about the roles within a home (Ephesians); while, the other is the role within Church polity (I Timothy 2-3).

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