News Series The 'Splainer The 'Splainer

The ’Splainer: Paige Patterson and the SBC’s stance on wifely submission

Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, gives a report to messengers, or delegates, at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting on June 11, 2014. Photo courtesy of Matt Miller via Baptist Press

The ’Splainer (as in “You’ve got some ’splaining to do”) is an occasional feature in which the RNS staff gives you everything you need to know about an issue in the news.

(RNS) — An audio recording recently surfaced in which a prominent Southern Baptist leader said abused wives should focus on praying, “be submissive in every way that you can” and not seek divorce.

The recording, which dates back to the year 2000, is of Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a leading figure in the Southern Baptist Convention. Many credit him with orchestrating the conservative resurgence of the denomination beginning in 1979.

Not surprisingly, Patterson’s comments touched off a flurry of condemnation and calls for him to step down. Commentators mostly objected to the implication that he condoned domestic violence, which he has denied. But the Southern Baptist Convention has had a long history of conservative stances on women that it maintains are based on Scripture.

So what’s the back story on the SBC’s position on the role of women, and wives in particular? Let us ‘Splain:

Doesn’t the Southern Baptist Convention oppose the ordination of women?

Yes it does. In 1984, the convention adopted a resolution opposing the ordination of women. It followed up four years later with a resolution defining the pastor as the “ruler of the church.”

Southern Baptists, like other conservative Christian denominations, base this prohibition on women serving as deacons or ministers on the Apostle Paul who instructed women to remain silent in church: “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)

Didn’t the denomination also say wives are to submit to their husbands?

Yes, again. In fact, Patterson was elected president of the denomination in 1998, the same year it amended its statement of faith, a 19-page booklet called “The Baptist Faith and Message” to read, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”

Paige Patterson has worked as the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for more than a decade and served as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1998 and 1999. Photo courtesy of Paige Patterson

The amendment, which was recommended by a committee including Patterson’s wife, Dorothy, spells out what Baptists say is “God’s order for the home,” an order that goes back to Genesis, in which Eve is created as Adam’s “helper.”

Amendments to the Baptist Faith and Message are not made casually. The document, first adopted in 1925, had until then undergone one revision, in 1963.

The submission amendment was based on a statement by Paul in Ephesians 5:22-23: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”

Some scholars have argued that one of the principal reasons for the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention was its opposition to feminism and the women’s movement, which it saw as dangerous to the nation’s moral and spiritual character and a threat to the family. 

Isn’t there a name for this kind of scriptural reading?

It’s called “complementarianism,” the idea being that though men and women are equal in worth, men alone should hold leadership roles in the home and in the church. (Opponents call themselves “egalitarian” and believe that women and men can share leadership in these roles.)

Do complementarians excuse domestic violence?

 No. They reject the idea that marital submission creates or enables spousal abuse.

So Southern Baptists are going to stick with their submission stance?

So far, there has been no public talk about changing the statement of faith in light of the backlash over Patterson’s comments.

Paige Patterson speaks at the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix on June 14 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Over the years, Southern Baptists have apologized — once. That was in 1995 when they adopted a “Resolution On Racial Reconciliation” in which they apologized to African-Americans for the sins of racism and committed themselves to racial reconciliation.

More likely, it’s possible that Patterson may be asked to retire, as Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, has urged.

In the meantime, watch for whether the SBC will allow Patterson to give the keynote sermon at its annual convention in Dallas next month.

What about the women? Are they silent?

No. Many have voiced their opposition to Patterson’s comments. Bible teacher Beth Moore, one of the most popular women within Southern Baptist ranks, has tweeted that domestic abuse is “wrong, it is criminal & never to be excused or submitted to.”

In her most recent blogpost, Moore acknowledges the tensions arising from the New Testament verses regarding women and submission, but she does not reject those passages. Instead, she urges male leaders not to use them to justify prejudice against women:

“I’m asking that you would simply have no tolerance for misogyny and dismissiveness toward women in your spheres of influence. I’m asking for your deliberate and clearly conveyed influence toward the imitation of Christ in His attitude and actions toward women.”

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

285 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • The New Testament also orders slaves to obey their masters (Ephesians 6:5 and Colossians 3:22). A literal reading of Matthew 19:12 would approve of castration. Mark 16:17-18 suggests that believers can handle snakes and take poison without getting hurt.

    Most Christians explain away or ignore these texts and an increasing number of Christians explain away or ignore the texts that tell women to keep silent or not to assume leadership roles.

    It’s a longstanding tradition for believers to ignore inconvenient texts. And often this is all to the good.

  • This is a perfect example of one radical masculinist leading people into darkness. Personally, this garbage is why I choose to remain single and celebate. This is nothing more than glaring misogyny and any woman who is caught in this net of lies needs the help and intervention of God/Jesus. Christianity is damaged by people like him and he does nothing to bring God and Jesus into this world or the lives of people. This guy speaks to himself and his own warped interpretation and needs to ignored and marginalized as the imposter he is.

  • When one has a factually-unsupported belief that relies on antiquity, tradition, hierarchy etc. those in control will be unlikely to see any benefit in encompassing change. Add a deity whose claimed pronouncements (through men – surprised?) – I Timothy 5:14, Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:7, I Corinthians 11:9, Titus 2:3-5 et al cannot be challenged, let alone amended, and you create a concept which is more than resistant to change – it has to decry and abhor that which pressures it to change.

    This may well be why certain Christians are so opposed to science – it tells them that reality is not what they’ve been led, by their religious superiors, to think it is.

    Many Xmas cards depict Joseph leading a donkey on which Mary is cradling Jesus. In reality the mounted Joseph would have cradled “his” son whilst Mary would have followed, a respectful distance behind, on foot. (spoiler alert – it didn’t happen but it does make a nice story). This is the attitude to women that pervaded first century Palestine and is reflected in the biblical texts.

    You have to be, IMO, either a particularly dim person or particularly sad one to think that such an attitude is right today (indeed – to think that it was ever right) but don’t ignore the power of fear. The fear (logical as it is) that if the bible is wrong about something it could be wrong about everything is, I suspect what drives such people and their Young-Earth Creationist pals. That – and the fact that it makes them feel less bad about themselves.

  • Yes, Paul in two of his epistles admonishes slaves to be obedient to their masters, and admonishes master to treat their slaves knowing there is no favoritism with the deity:

    Ephesians 6

    5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

    9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

    Of course, slavery in the Roman Empire was not the chattel slavery of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and slaves were classes who had rights, up to and including obtaining their freedom.

    Matthew 19

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    It would rather difficult to interpret “choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” as “approv(al) of castration”.

    It’s a longstanding tradition for radical non-believers to purposely and grossly misinterpret texts.

  • Applying the “do unto others” great commandment, we can conclude that masters had slaves because they themselves would rather have been slaves than masters. This is in line with the Beatitude in which Jesus says, “Blessed are the stupid”.

  • It’s deadening to realize that some things never change. My mother, a devoted Southern Baptist all her life, went to the preacher in our small-town southern church in the 1950’s asking for his help because she was being physically abused by my alcoholic father. The preacher listened, then counseled her on her wifely duty to stay in the marriage and love my father until he changed. She stayed nearly another 20 years and then finally decide to get a divorce. Luckily, in the interim she suffered only bruises and other relatively minor injuries, not broken bones or death. She also became fearful, anxious, and uncertain of her own worth.

  • A religion that requires the submission of some to others is evil regardless of the source of that demand.

  • Bull.. The position is one that Patterson worked directly in and with committee to codify FOR the SBC. Get your facts straight.

  • Hello Bob,

    Thank you for your detailed reply. I will comment on several things.

    1. You state: “It’s a longstanding tradition for radical non-believers to purposely and grossly misinterpret texts.” I think the problem is the other way round. Too many people have taken texts from the Bible too literally, and this has led to tragedies such as the slaughter of women on charges of witchcraft.

    2. I notice that you used the NIV for its version of Matthew 19:11-12. The Douay Version, is a more literal translation, and comes with a note warning the reader not to take the text in the literal sense:
    “there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” See http://www.drbo.org/chapter/47019.htm

    3. Taking Matthew 16:17=18 literally has led to tragedies. Read the Wikipedia article on snake handling or follow this link: https://www.theringer.com/features/2017/8/25/16201182/south-week-snake-handling-preacher-cody-coots

    As I stated before, some texts are best to ignore.

  • But he could not issue ANY statement on his own.

    The statement is that of the SB Convention.

    Get your facts straight.

  • No, they had slaves because in a culture where there was no democracy at all – which was the entire world – the notion that there were leaders and followers didn’t rankle the way it does today.

    The same word can be translated “manservant”.

    The prophets called themselves slaves.

    It really had little or nothing to do with “because they themselves would rather have been slaves than masters”.

  • “I think the problem is the other way round.”

    The examples we’re discussing demonstrates the truth of my assertion.

    “I notice that you used the NIV for its version of Matthew 19:11-12. The Douay Version, is a more literal translation, and comes with a note warning the reader not to take the text in the literal sense”

    I take your word for it.

    The Douay Version you refer to is probably the Challoner version. The original Douay disappeared in the 18th century due to the fact that it was densely Latinate that it could hardly be read by an English-speaker unfamiliar with Latin.

    The Challoner revision took as its base text the King James Bible, which was extensively adjusted for improved readability and consistency with the Catholic reading of certain texts.

    “Taking Matthew 16:17=18 literally has led to tragedies. Read the Wikipedia article on snake handling or follow this link: https://www.theringer.com/f…”

    Matthew 16 reads

    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    I am rather sure you had something else in mind.

  • Religion may not be the only enabler of well-intentioned wickedness – but its demise would make a big hole in the techniques used to subjugate decent people.

  • You are using cultural relativism to justify the early Christian acceptance of slavery.
    But the “saved by Jesus” crowd condemns cultural relativism when it is used on behalf of gay rights in the 21st century. That is a whole lot of hypocrisy on the part of the “saved by Jesus” crowd.

  • No, I am point out that “slavery” is an equivocal term, that you use it as it is described in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, while in reality in different and different places it has been things which most people would find morally unobjectionable.

    The “gay rights” issue is a red herring, unconnected in any way to the issue of slavery.

  • My guess is…

    If Patterson’s wife was beating the crap out of him— spousal abuse can go both ways— he would be out as fast as he could waddle.

  • I have a very simple admonition at this point. Just shut the hell up and don’t ever preach to me about anything ever again. I don’t want to hear it.

    After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what not to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter? The grabbing the you-know-what doesn’t matter? The outright behavior and lies don’t matter? Just shut up.

    Former Republican National Committee Chair and former seminarian Michael Steele to U.S. top white evangelical leaders, 23 January 2018

  • It is good to know that the “saved by Jesus” crowd finds some forms of slavery “morally unobjectionable”. This would be the moral relativism that the “saved by Jesus” hypocrites find so objectionable when it comes to gay rights.

  • Unfortunately for your entire line of argument, you’ve avoided assiduously and for good reason defining “slavery”.

    You just ASSUME it means something along the lines of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, without realizing that in the time and place it meant something more akin to anything from a serf to a factory worker.

  • “it meant something more akin to anything from a serf to a factory worker”

    Your capacity for self-delusion is an inspiration to us all.

  • Your inability to define the terms you’re using, and your lack of knowledge of the times and laws, amazingly do not slow your pontificating at all.

  • It is Biblical. My wife submitts to me. It’s like dancing where the man takes the lead, not to hurt her, but to make a beautiful life and family together. We have a beautiful marriage over 32 years.

  • “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”

    Going by this, it means that women are to SUPPORT their husbands, since their husbands act as their shield against the world. In the original Greek for the Ephesians verse it’s based on, neither the word translated as “submit” nor that translated as “head” have any hierarchical implications.

  • To tell battered wives to submit to their husbands does say that you approve of wife-beating.

  • I suggest you research the term “indentured slave” for an understanding on what most of the slavery in the Bible refers to.

  • Someone needs to take the lead role and that is the man. It does not mean she is grovelling at his feet, nor does it mean that it gives him the right to abuse her. It simply means that after a discussion, he has the final say and she must accept that.

    1 Corinthians 11:13 – New International Version
    But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

  • So God’s Inerrant Word uses “slave” although God does not actually mean slave. Is God being deliberately misleading or is He just confused?

  • No, the word “slave” is English.

    There is a word which CAN be translated “slave”.

    It can also be translated “bodies”, “servant,”
    “bondman,” or “bondservant”.

    Slavery as it existed under the Mosaic law, and as it existed in the Roman world of the first century,
    has no modern parallel.

  • Women submit,…but that is only an immoral rule for starters, plenty more…

    …A horrible form of slavery given by Yahweh in Exodus-21. Also, stone your disobedient kids…Then in a bizarre new covenant…God came down as his own son Jesus to make us kill him for only a weekend — to save us from himself…and for fun — blame the Jews for it, for generations to come. How nice !!

    All this in one of the most immoral books ever written…not to mention incoherent.

  • When folks with an axe to grind against Christians start quoting Scriptures, it is almost universally the Old Testament they quote.

    If they had a bit more knowledge, or in fact rudimentary knowledge, they’d realize given the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments, and the Judaic and Christian moral codes, citing Exodus is rather silly.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+1&version=OJB

  • Does this mean that you consider citing the OT to be more silly than quoting the NT?

  • The reference should be to Mark 16:17-18. My mistake. Sorry. The passage I meant do link to includes the following:

    18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; (NIV Version) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+16%3A17-18&version=NIV

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them (Douay) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+16%3A17-18&version=DRA

    (The NRSV has a note that the phrase “in their hands” is not in some of the ancient manuscripts. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+16%3A17-18&version=NRSV See also the note on the whole chapter. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+16&version=NRSV

    Interesting comments on the Challoner revision of the Douay Bible. I note your comments mirror the comments in the beginning of the Wikipedia article on the Douay Bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douay–Rheims_Bible It’s good to check things out like that, but you should also acknowledge your source.

  • I did not source it from Wikipedia, but knew it from memory and confirmed my recollection with multiple sources.

    Unless I am providing support for an argument or additional reading material expanding on something I post, I make it a policy not to make citations of any kind.

    These are discussions, not research paper or theses, and referencing is normally not necessary unless responding to a challenge.

  • These verses are not in all the New Testament manuscripts.

    The earliest ones end at verse 8, and 9-20 appear to be an interpolation in copying of material from the other two Synoptic Gospels plus some inventive hyperbole.

    Many Bible translations mention this and include one or both in a footnote.

    There are no New Testament accounts of drinking poisons. There is one narrative of a snakebite occurring accidentally.

  • You are simply attempting to change the subject. As always.

    It doesn’t matter what the definition of slavery is, what matters is what was done with it by the Christians who quoted their bibles to support and codify itin our country. It doesn’t matter that the Bible says nothing about segregation, because segregation as practiced was justified by them quoting their bibles.

  • Yes, I was aware of the fact that the end of Mark is questionable on textual grounds. (The same applies to the passage in John about the woman taken in adultery.) It is tragic to think that people have lost their lives over a text that may well be bogus.

    As for noting the text that is doubtful , I think that this should be done in a lot more Bible translations. It’s not right to pass off doubtful passages as if there was no question about their authenticity.

  • If I make a claim that I think might be contentious I like to put in a link or some kind of reference. Too many people make quite contentious claims without even trying to confirm them.

    Thanks once again for your interesting comments. It’s a pleasure to read them.

  • In that case much of “slavery” under the Mosaic Law and the Roman law at the time did not meet the definition, while children, prisoners, members of the armed forces, and others are slaves.

  • That’s true except some parents allow as much autonomy as possible. to their children. Some Christian, Muslim and Hindu families enslave women and children. Some employees also qualify as masters.

  • “Slavery … as it existed in the Roman world of the first century, has no modern parallel”

    When you have to lie to support your opinion, you render your opinion worthless.

  • I believe the immoral component is called “exploitation” – the treating of human beings as objects.

    That’s immoral whether it’s called “slavery” or “working for the coal mine” being forced to shop at “the company store”.

  • Re: “Someone needs to take the lead role …”  

    Really!? In EVERY case? How can you know that? What evidence do you have that EVERY marriage requires exactly ONE leader and ONE follower? What is your evidence that it’s impossible for a married couple to share leadership?  

    Re: “… and that is the man.”  

    Really!? In EVERY case? How can you know that? What evidence do you have that it’s impossible for a married man to turn out to be an abusive sociopath who doesn’t deserve — and morally speaking, shouldn’t be given — any “lead role”? Are you absolutely certain this is impossible? If so, how do you know that?  

    Re: “1 Corinthians 11:13”  

    I’m sure you’re aware that quoting the Bible in order to show the veracity/validity of the Bible is illogical … specifically, it’s circular reasoning. Didn’t you? Well, if not, now you know it.  

  • “Someone needs to take the lead role and that is the man”

    Sandi – this is so, so sad.

    People have differing skills and talents – some seem to be linked to their sex and others don’t.

    For example. If we need new cushions we’ll drive to a large town/city, park up and find shops that sell what we want. If when we walk in my partner points to some cushions and says “They’re the same shade as our curtains” I believe her. Experience says that she can carry a precise hue when I struggle to recall which seventh (actually incorrect – Isaac Newton got it wrong but he had to to satisfy his religious mis-belief) part of the rainbow is nearest. If we buy we look to leave the shop and she lets me guide her, not only to the exit but to the car-park. I carry spatial matters much better than she.

    Talking with other men and women this appears to be a common, usually sex-based, situation.

    So – if we are to get on with our lives, achieve our purchase and have time for a cuppa on the way home, the lead role becomes two lead roles – one best suited to the talents of each of us.

    Now – because I’m a foot taller and 70 pounds heavier than she I could insist on being the final arbiter – fortunately I’ve enough self-esteem to be able to be wrong sometimes without doubting my masculinity – that doubt being, in many cases, what drives those who demand submission.

    And submission is not an honourable state – it is “The action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.”

    True submission means suppressing one’s desires and abilities out of inequality. As with any(?) animal (including people) our dog, who was a maltreated rescue, does what I want because he either wants reward or fears punishment. Whether the reward is a biscuit treat, a kind word or the promise of Heaven matters not, just as to whether the threat is of the hand, hunger or Hell is irrelevant provided it is effective.

    Religion is just trying to have it both ways again – claiming love whilst exhibiting fear-based hatred. One of the most important realisations that are needed to counter the power of those who prate religion is to run your relationship with them based, not on what they say, but on what the do (and don’t do).

    Reality is, IMO, the best antidote to religion.

  • If you were a slave captured by any means, NO — you did not have any rights. According to the Hebrew Law, you could be sold, traded and passed down as property to your children as an inheritance. Your “master” could beat you to the point of death… and if you didn’t DIE within three days, “oh, well…

    THAT is *not* indentured servitude — that is despicable human SLAVERY.

  • The SBC statement was made 30 years ago:

    “Yes, again. In fact, Patterson was elected president of the denomination in 1998, the same year it amended its statement of faith, a 19-page booklet called ‘The Baptist Faith and Message’ to read, ‘A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.’”

    Since the SBC is congregational, no one person can mold the statement.

  • “…Patterson was elected president of the denomination in 1998, the same year it amended its statement of faith…”

    The SBC may be “congregational” but it takes it’s marching orders from its Convention. And you just stated who became the leader of that Convention the very year that the statement was changed.

  • Once again we do not have captured slaves these days.

    To put this into perspective, under Roman law the Pater familias could beat his own family, servants, and children to the point of death.

    In short, the world was a different place, democracy existed nowhere, and equating chattel slavery of the pre-bellum South with any of this is simple silliness.

    But, speaking of that, Uncle Tom’s Cabin did not describe normative American slavery.

    For example, a goodly number of skilled craftsmen were slaves who owned their own businesses, lived on their own, and gave a percentage – usually 5-10% – at the end of the year to their “owner”.

    They were freer than the wage slaves and children workers in the industrial North.

    But don’t let anyone stop you – you “know” all about SLAVERY.

  • You’re apparently operating with a complete lack of knowledge of the polity and organization of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • Oh, don’t let anyone stop you from painting the vile ownership of other human beings with anything other than Rose Colored Glasses…

    SMH

  • I’m not Baptists, true. But it seems more than “coincidence” that the very same year that he becomes the SBC leader, the convention comes out with a position statement mirroring his views.

  • In 1995 there were 15,400,000 Southern Baptists and in 2000 there were 15,900,000.

    So in 1998 there were somewhere upwards of 15.5 million Baptists, who are ardently congregational and resistant to creating a centralized power structure.

    The word “coincidence”, then, is apt.

  • Of course in writing that you acknowledge that the non-ownership non-chattel non “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” slavery is a complete unknown to you.

  • I assume that you’re SBC, correct?
    Then this is something your people need to fix.

    Want to keep it inside your own church, fine. But when evangelical Baptists start attempting to influence public policy, then expect to face a backlash.

  • Your correct as the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber explains we should always treat humans as subjective beings. To treat them as objects is immoral.

    In a master-slave relationship the fact that the slave is a subjective conscious being is necessary for the oppressor to be a master. It is from this that he derives power, superiority, and pride.

  • There you go again … writing checks with your words you can’t cash with facts.

    Since much of slavery in the First Century and since did not involve owning people, your comment is off-the-mark and not well-taken.

  • I think you need to get your facts straight and until then curb your comments.

  • That particular line of thought did not originate with Martin Buber.

    It is, for example, found in the New Testament.

    Your last paragraph describes most political systems, companies, military – any organization which successful operation requires a hierarchy and control.

    The word “oppressor”, of course, is a gloss.

  • Slavery, by simple *definition*, is ownership of people, Bob.
    *sigh*
    Furthermore, your shallow attempts to equate first century slavery with some kind of “employee/servanthood” relationship is utterly laughable. Talk to historians about the period and you’ll learn that slavery was still a harsh, brutal existence for many. We’re not talking about “house slaves” of Roman senators — who could still beat, rape at will or murder their slaves if they felt like it. Hebrews weren’t much better, if at all.

  • I don’t “curb my comments” because they make you feel uncomfortable — this is a *public* forum.

  • No, *sigh*, it is not ownership of people by definition.

    Certainly that is a major definition, but in the first century under both Mosaic and Roman law there were whole classes of “slaves” who had rights and lived better than many Americans and Europeans in 19th and early 20th century industrial settings.

    In addition the word translated as “slavery” in Bibles does NOT mean “people who are owned”.

    Paul refers to himself as a “slave”

    The prophets referred to themselves as slaves.

    Simplicity may be a virtue, but simplicity at the expense of accuracy is not.

  • “an order that goes back to Genesis, in which Eve is created as Adam’s “helper.””

    The original Hebrew doesn’t literally mean “helper.” The Hebrew word can be translated as also as opposite or opponent.

    I don’t think I can add anything else to what’s already been so eloquently said here by others.

  • Men are often oblivious, so I would want to hear from your wife first. I think in a marriage the partners can take turns as to who leads on what and when depending on the situation.

  • Well, that makes Jews look bad when everything awful in the Bible comes from the “Old” Testament and everything that’s loving and forgiving comes the “New” Testament. it’s just not true. Jews never read the Hebrew Bible literally. The rabbis have reinterpreted passages of the Hebrew Bible and they are read and understood side by side with the Hebrew Bible. There are centuries fo Midrash, Toah commentaries and Talmud that explain and interpret the Hebrew Bible. Christians don’t read them when they interpret what they call the “Old” Testament because many Christians beleive that Jkudaism lost it’s creativity after Jesus was born. It didn’e. It continued on adapting to new situations.

    The “New” Testament is hateful to Jews and creates a completely inaccurate impression of the Jews and the Pharisees who represented the common Jew.

    I checked your link. I’m not sure where they got that from, but there isn’t any Jewish version of the “Old” Testament called the OJB, the Orthodox Jewish Bible.

  • Still at it eh! Bob? Why don’t you supply some of “the facts” you feel are missing here? are you SBC for example?

  • Try being accurate then.
    Slavery DID mean ownership of others, despite the Pauline anecdotes that you’re using to pretend that it did not.

  • So, how are things in Bean Town? Is the wife still running for office?

    I think you’ll find a more receptive audience in your usual haunt:

    http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/

    where your lack of anything beyond an opinion won’t lead to a rebuff.

  • Christians don’t read them because they’re not Jewish.

    I do not agree that “(t)he ‘New’ Testament is hateful to Jews and creates a completely inaccurate impression of the Jews and the Pharisees who represented the common Jew.”

    Since it is the Christian Scriptures, it is not open for revision and will not change, so that pretty much wraps that line of discussion up.

    The Orthodox Jewish Bible can be found at:

    https://play.google.com/store/search?q=%22Phillip%20Goble%22&c=books

    although the on-line version is more complete, oddly, than the printed edition.

    I am not aware of another literal translation accessible to English-speakers free for whom Hebrew is a new experience.

    The only problem I have run into is that occasionally it uses Ashkenazi or Yiddish.

  • A person is a Christian based on his or her relationship with Jesus, not a relationship with self-proclaimed “Apostle” Paul, or Paul’s ideas about “church”, or for that matter any relationship with any “church”. The fact that Jesus is only reported in the Bible to have used the word “church” to address two subjects is enough to make one wonder if our Savior had any idea what “church” was or was to be. There is a possibility that both of those quotations are even erroneous or added to the Bible editorially to justify a concept Jesus never even endorsed. I’d encourage you to go to biblegateway.com and search on the word “church”, look at the passages of who said what, and wonder for yourself if Jesus really intended all the church hoopla for you.

    There is every possibility that he never intended, for instance, for his friend and confidante, Mary Magdalene (or those like her), to be muzzled by all the men in religion upon Paul’s instruction.

  • And submission is not an honourable state – it is “The action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.”
    Submission is an honourable state: deferring and yielding to the one who knows better and is blessed by God.

  • Re: “Actually the Bible interprets the Bible.”  

    Actually it doesn’t. Not in any way! Courtesy of Dictionary.Com:

    circular reasoning  
    noun  
    a use of reason in which the premises depends on or is equivalent to the conclusion, a method of false logic by which “this is used to prove that, and that is used to prove this”; also called circular logic  

    That’s what you’re doing. It’s fallacious.  

    Re: “I gave the right scripture”  

    No you didn’t. You gave me a fallacy. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov in The Foundation, fallacy is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt. If you insist on continuing to use your fallacy — which I expect you will — that will only confirm your intellectual bankruptcy.  

  • It’s not what I “found,” hon. Fallacy is fallacy.  

    By doubling down on your fallacy, you just demonstrated your own intellectual bankruptcy. It’s great for you, I suppose, if you choose to wallow in ignorance and illogic, and staunchly refuse to use the brain you believe your deity gave you … but I’m not about to let you drag me down with you. I like being able to think — and you can’t stop me from doing so.  

  • “Of course, slavery in the Roman Empire was not the chattel slavery of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and slaves were classes who had rights, up to and including obtaining their freedom.”

    Much too broad a statement.

  • So most slavery in the Bible was (quote) indentured slavery”???

    Source(s), please.

  • Most slavery during the Roman Empire DID meet the definition noted by our fellow blogger.

  • As the late jurist/historian John T. Noonan, Jr. has noted, “servant” in the antebellum South referred to “slave”. “Servant” sounds nicer, and the word, as you’ve noted, was/is found in various biblical translations.

  • “[E]quating chattel slavery of the pre-bellum South with any of this [Roman practice] is simple silliness.”

    Your comment is untruthful.

  • Christians of his sort are happy to quote the Old Testament when it supports what they want, but say it isn’t relevant if they want that bacon sandwich.

    They even have some passages in the NT which they claim supports this.

    God’s word never changes, except when it does.

  • Bob will not say whether he is baptist or catholic, but will say that he is an authority on anything and everything. Don’t you dare contradict him, because you are challenging Capital A Authority.

    And if you don’t agree with him, you have simply proved his point.

    He also likes to peruse people’s comment history so that he can reference them to prove that you shouldn’t be challenging his authority. I can’t tell you how much time he spends going to gay websites so that he can call me nasty names.

    Wink.

  • You’re far from an expert on what’s Jewish or not. All Jews from all denominations think they were Jewish and refer back to them. I’ve seen the so-called Orthodox Jewish Bible. It’s not really Jewish and not Orthodox. At least real Orthodox Jews never use it and they didn’t create it.

    Of course, you don’t agree with me about the “New” Testament.” You don’t read it as a Jew would. You have no knowledge of Jewish history or religion. You don’t get to decide what’s Jewish and what isn’t or what Jews should think.

  • There is no greater example of moral relativism than religious values. Any act, no matter how atrocious can be seen as “moral” if you claim its god’s word/will.

  • Re: “They reject the idea that marital submission creates or enables spousal abuse.”  

    That’s their problem right there. The CBS doesn’t accept the idea that there might be abusive husbands who take advantage of their wives’ “submission” in order to continue abusing them. Anyone with half a brain will instantly realize abusers could very easily use “submission” this way … but the SBC appears not to know it.  

    They’re either total morons — being blissfully unaware of an obvious aspect of human nature — or they’re purposely complicit in domestic abuse. No other conclusion is possible.  

  • “You’re far from an expert on what’s Jewish or not.”

    “You have no knowledge of Jewish history or religion.”

    It is really unfortunate that this medium makes it inadvisable to reveal personal information. If it were possible, you would be shocked.

    However, I will point out that as a single untrained Jewish woman in a Reform tradition, you’re far from expert on what is Jewish and what is not.

    The Orthodox Jewish Bible has a history behind it which belies the assertion that it’s “not really Jewish and not Orthodox”.

    Real Orthodox Jews use Hebrew, which is the only authoritative text.

    It is not that I disagree with you about the New Testament. I can tell you’re unfamiliar with it and are relying on negative assessments by individuals who read it from a particular perspective.

    Of course Jews would normally not read it, unless they were preparing for disputation.

    It is a matter of historical fact that some Christians have read it and used it to justify anti-Judaic and erroneous opinions. The evidence of early Christian communities, in some places right up until modern times, which preserved much of the Jewish culture and practice, belies the notion that these misinterpretations are the fault of the text itself. You don’t read it as a Christian would.

    One thing which I have read you comment on which is simply in error is that it misrepresents the situation in Jerusalem between the various parties. I believe the historical evidence is to the contrary.

    There were competing parties, some repeatedly engaging in violent acts, and increasing dissatisfaction with what many interpreted as an elite who profited from the Temple at the expense of the common people and the faith, and given the Roman insistence on order in the lands they governed, the end was completely predictable.

  • And you would be absolutely wrong there.

    Given that Biblical slavery treated slaves as chattel property and indentured servants were not. It also involved concubinage (as featured in A Handmaids Tale) and forced bondage and of captured civilians in war. Both if which involved rape as a matter of course. Also unlike indentured servitude.

    The SBC was founded on the notion of Christian justification of chattel slavery.

  • As usual, if you can’t find a quote of one of your favored dissidents, you have nothing to say.

  • And as usual, if you can’t find a quote of one of your favored dissident “theologians”, you have nothing to say.

  • Apparently you were unable to find anything in the scribblings of one of your favorites like McBrien to copy and paste.

  • Some did, some did not.

    What in particular did not was the presence of an entire legal code dealing with slaves, their rights, their duties, and the limits on masters, which grew more restrictive on masters over time.

  • I’m not from a Reformed tradition. When I was growing up there was only one Chumash and that was an Orthodox Chumash. I just meant that what you linked to is not a Hebrew Bible that any Orthodox Jew uses. Of course, it’s Hebrew, but most modern versions of the Hebrew Bible have the Hebrew on one side and the English translation on the other side.

    You didn’t say anything I already didn’t know. It doesn’t change anything, because the depiction of the Pharisees is still purposefully inaccurate.

  • What ever happened to Baptist “soul freedom”? How did it tranfor into a cult of a thousand popes?

  • No, independent minded, intelligent readers can interpret the OT and NT without help from Christians or apologetics.

    Sorry, if citing Exodus is silly — then citing the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, 32) is silly.

    The OP was about SBC advice on abused women submitting…from Paul himself — and if is horribly immoral. The SBC has to own it or toss it — it can’t fudge anymore !!

  • So if independent-minded intelligent readers “can interpret the OT and NT without help from Christians or apologetics”, what are readers like yourself qualified to do – check spellings?

  • There is a kind of conservatism that looks back as it thinks forward. Thank you Beth Moore. There is a kind of conservatism that looks forward as it thinks backwards. Thank you Paige Patterson, et al.

  • You have previously reported being in one of the Reform movements.

    I completely disagree with your assessment of the depiction of the Pharisees, but since that party was the foundation of modern rabbinical Judaism of all stripes, I would expect nothing but precisely the position you have taken.

  • We are qualified to determine the morality of the OT and NT…and we are finding it immoral.

    Sadly the SBC does not…and people are suffering because of it.

  • No, I never did. I grew up in Conservative synagogue. Conservative Judaism is the moderate middle in between Reform & Orthodox.

  • But in the past you reported being in a non-USCJ (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism) congregation.

  • The synagogue I attend now is independent and unaffiliated with any denomination. We do use the new Conservative prayer book for our services and our rabbi went to the Reconstructionist Seminary . The synagogue I grew up attending was a USY Conservative synagogue.

    Jews of any kind are not literalist when it comes to the Hebrew Bible.

  • Except, of course, for certain Orthodox who take the Hebrew Bible literally and provide interpretations based on the literal reading.

  • Wink?

    You guys do the baths together?

    You can contradict anything you wish. Where you seem to have a problem is constructing anything in the way of an argument putting facts together in a logical connectitude designed to establish a proposition.

    For example, you claim minority rights, but debunk the basis for minority rights. Needless to say you find debates challenging.

    You can make your comment history private if you wish.

    I don’t recall going to “gay websites” to “call (you) nasty names”. If it happens again, hover your cursor over the poster and see if it agrees with mine in this post.

    Disqus has identified two fake “Bob Arnzen”s and more than that fake “Jose Carioca”s.

  • Yeah, right !!

    Great response…I understand — apparently you have no facts and nothing else to offer.

  • Slavery under the Mosiac law was not the same as chattel slavery under Anglo-American law.

    No, the SBC was not founded on the notion of Christian justification of chattel slavery.

  • Yup. You are still dead wrong and have no idea what is the difference between an indentured servant (what you really meant to say) and a chattel slave.

    Rule of thumb, if you can force the person to have sex with you, they are not indentured servants. If you can own their children, they are not indentured servants 🙂

  • You said it Ben, Bob is a real life internet troll. It doesn’t do to feed such.

    Bob clearly spends too much time on-line. He should get out a bit more

    Bob’s also a “true believer”. Such folks are dangerous because there is no reasoning with them. I don’t bother trying to discuss anything with him. I really shouldn’t even needle him. It gives him too much attention.

  • If you had, you would have been able to show me up with some choice quotes to prove your point. Evidently that is not the case. 🙂

  • No scripture then? I guess if the Bible really supported your claim, you could just quote the right sections that would demonstrate it.

    How disappointing.

  • I’ve nothing to say when a fellow blogger writes something “over the top”, a feature of your blogging.

  • I agree with your assessment of him, beginning to end,

    the sad thing is, He is actually a pretty smart guy and fairly knowledgeable on a number of subjects, but he is also a triple grade A****** ideologue, believes he is the only smart person in the room, and doesn’t use his super powers for good.

    All assuming, of course, that he isn’t actually The populace of a troll farm that somehow escaped en masse. There is certainly reason to think so.

  • I don’t know how much PP can see considering where is head seems to be stuffed.

  • But that would be perverted, and if there is one thing we have learned from Mr. Haggard, evangelicals are not perverted.

  • Oh, you mean like claiming you’re a Catholic and then denying that Holy Orders exists, or if it does exist it is not a sacrament?

  • The Church has never, and Paul’s texts make that clear, endorse or approved of treating anyone like chattel.

    It has disapproved all forms of exploitation regardless of what it is called.

    There’s a reason why Paul never commands “masters” to free their “slaves”, but the reason appears to be over your head.

  • Uh, Conrad …. speaking of trolls.

    You do much better at Bilgrimage and Irish Central.

    Here you just stand there with red concentric circles on you.

  • “deferring and yielding to the one who knows better and is blessed by God.”

    But no-one always knows better. and I mean no-one, whilst being blessed by God requires proof of both the God and the Blessing – neither of which exists.

    Submission is giving up. ISTM that you have done a deal with yourself which is effectively –
    “If I submit properly nothing is my fault.
    If I give up my value as an individual and never think, let alone act, for myself no-one can blame me for anything”

  • Slavery is slavery, regardless of the terminology used. The history of the Church of Rome is not good here (I’ve already shared extensive backgrounder from Noonan and Bokenkotter).

    Your third paragraph is a non-starter for you unless you wish to explain.

  • I’ve NEVER CLAIMED that Holy Orders does not exist. In fact, I’ve written several times over the years that I’ve no problem with ministerial ordination in the Church of Rome to the traditional orders of deacon, presbyter, and bishop.

    Since you assert otherwise, PLEASE DOCUMENT.

  • Thank you, as I’ve shared at least 90-95 percent of substantive information in our exchanges. As for your behavior, you’re adept at direct and indirect ad hominems, even at times refusing to answer my challenges to your assertions.

  • Yes, you’ve copied extensively from materials from your favorite authors.

    You must not have actually dealt with Richard McBrien much – now THERE was a master of ad hominems, along with being a rather nasty little fellow to people he disagreed with.

  • So, you accept there are seven sacraments, one of which is Holy Orders, which imparts a permanent grace to the recipient, to the bishop to consecrate other bishops, ordain priests and deacons, and to lead, to priests to celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist and to forgive sins, and to the deacon to proclaim and expound on the word of God?

  • Nope, “slavery” is not “slavery” as a reading of Roman law on slavery makes quite clear.

  • Ha ha.??

    I pay no mind that loud popping sound all the times I figure that out about myself.

  • You, my friend, are not someone with that problem. And if your wife disagrees, because as Mozart wrote, Cosi Fan Tutte, just go all page Patterson on her. ?

    As I always say about Das Husband, “if a tree falls in the forest, and he’s not there to hear it, am I still wrong?”

  • Why bother?

    You’ve already made your contempt for the Bible a matter of record.

  • Yes, if you can force the person to have sex with you, you’re a Democratic President and she’s an intern.

  • I cannot believe people like this are running around loose in the 21st century.

  • The statement I believe YoikesAndAway is speaking of is Patterson’s remark that an abused woman should “be submissive in every way that you can” to her husband, not the more general SBC statement of faith advising wives to submit to their husband’s authority.

  • The Ten Commandments are located in Exodus. Do Christians no longer follow this?

  • Christians actually do cite Midrash and Talmud at times — such as when trying to prove that Jesus would have opposed all sexual conduct between men because that was the rabbinic rule of the time (in response to those who argue “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality”).
    The Orthodox Jewish Bible is a Messianic publication that also includes the New Testament. As you note, it is unintentionally hilarious when it portrays Jesus and the Pharisees speaking Yiddishisms to each other. It is also not a literal translation. For example, when the NT text simply says “Jesus,” the OJB translates it as “Rebbe Melech ha-Moshiach,” i.e., Rabbi the King Messiah.
    The Jewish Publication Society edition of the Bible is a good translation for use by Jews, Christians, secular students, etc. There is a version of the JPS 1917 edition, side by side with the Hebrew, available for free perusal at mechon-mamre[dot]org.

  • Useful(?) information: USCJ (as of a few months ago, they have gone the KFC route and no longer brand themselves as United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism) has had much the same demographic challenges as Mainline Protestantism. (In fact their offices *used to be* across the street from the Episcopal US HQ you mentioned somewhere else). Many congregations have had problems, financial and philosophical, with paying their dues and have left the organization, either by attrition or choice. While USCJ’s official by-laws at one time defined Conservative Jew as a member of a USCJ congregation, there are many congregations now that define themselves as Conservative or Conservative-friendly but are not part of USCJ.

  • My comment was in context.

    Deuteronomy 5:4–25 recaps the Commandments for those entering the Promised Land.

  • The phrase from Gen. 2:18 often translated as “helpmeet” or “helpmate” is “ezer k’negdo.” “Ezer” means helper. “K’negdo” means as an opposite (or opponent) to the Gen. 2 man.

  • That’s nice of you to say but…I would rather recognize myself in that position than be stuck in that position.

    As for Mrs. GJ she is free to submit to her husband and not believe what PP tells her and trains others to not question.

    I have a lot of respect for what Paul had to say considering the times and people he was speaking to. I take the idea of what he said in the first century and live out what he said this way-I’m a challenge to live with, my wife is a challenge to live with, my kids are a challenge to live, how I enjoy that challenge and how enjoyable I make the challenge of dealing with me is on me. I find that way more useful than Paige Patterson’s theology on submission.

    Got to go. I hear a loud popping noise coming from the forest!???

  • The word fallacy you are attempting is like trying to make a “butterfly” mean a stick of butter that can fly. No Bible translations render Gen 2:18 as “opponent”. You are deluded. Even the context v.20-25 show the woman was not an opponent but someone standing opposite or before the man and together with him as “one” (v.24).

  • I am not deluded, I just know more Hebrew than you do (probably isn’t a high bar to reach). In any event, as you concede, the text shows that the woman is OPPOSITE (neged) the man. She is not submitting to him, she is not his subordinate.

  • You are deluded because no Bible translation renders Gen 2:18 as “opponent”.

  • I didn’t say any translation should render it as opponent, I said that’s one meaning of the root of the word used (neged).

  • I suggest you read the first few pages of chapter 1 in Kyle Harper’s text regarding Roman slavery. I also suggest you re-read what I’ve shared from Noonan and Bokenkotter’s books on the church’s dealings with slavery.

  • That’s called a root word fallacy if you try to remove the correct meaning “helper” and jam in a root word as the meaning. God did not make an antagonist for Adam. That is clear from the Biblical context.

  • The Septuagint translated it as ” boethon katí auton” -“helper according to him”. That means 70 jewish rabbis in 280 b.c. did not translate it as an opponent. They knew Hebrew better than you appearantly.

  • You really love Noonan.

    He was, of course, wrong.

    Kyle Harper admits that his evidence is fragmentary and picks it up circa 275 CE, long after the New Testament.

    But his book does not describe mere chattel slavery, instead outlining multiple classes and a complex legal code.

  • I never said it should be understood as antagonist, but it does not merely mean “helper.”

  • I accept there are 7 sacraments (with the need to redefine some of the sacraments as not derived from Jesus). I regard baptism and eucharist as sacraments given by Jesus (I can consider penance as a sacrament founded, and commanded of everyone, by Christ; the presbyter forgives sins on behalf of the community in obedience to Jesus). I regard Holy Orders as founded by later Christian communities as they settled into organized belief and practice. I regard the “ordained priesthood” as a doctrinal fiction ultimately derived from early apologetical use of typology (I remind you, if I haven’t done so already, that a good many bishops at Trent did not regard their “priestly” status as higher than that of the men they ordained). I regard the *presbyter’s* primary role to be that of leading the community at worship; s/he is the liturgical *presider*, i.e., the *president* of the Christian/Catholic assembly. The presbyter and the assembly “celebrate” the eucharist together. I’ve no problem with the permanent diaconate although some writers have questioned its need in light of the many functions delegated to the laity.

  • “You must not have actually dealt with Richard McBrien much – now THERE was a master of ad hominems…”

    So — if McBrien was supposedly a “master of ad hominems” — that gives you the right to do the same toward your fellow bloggers???

  • An accurate translation of k’negdo actually fits in with a view that the husband and wife should complement each other. They are “opposite” each other, on an anatomical and sexual level. Like a plug and a socket. She is to be his “ezer,” but not one that obeys without question, has no input, or must “submit” to him. Otherwise, the curse on the woman in 3:16, that her husband will rule over her, would be redundant.

  • This is the correct understanding:
    For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
    Ephesians 5:22‭-‬33 NLT
    https://bible.com/bible/116/eph.5.22-33.NLT

  • Christians can understand it however they wish, I am merely giving you an accurate translation and understanding of the Torah’s meaning. To slice off k’negdo as an inconvenience and simply say “helper” — something even Christian Bibles don’t do — is not accurate.

  • The Apostle Paul knew Hebrew better than you. He wrote that inspired by God, the same God of the Torah.

  • Even the Jewish Publishing Society Tanakah renders Gen 2:18 “a fitting helper for him.” You are a terrible translator so keep your day job.

  • Are you a pharisee? Paul was:
    I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
    Philippians 3:5 NLT
    https://bible.com/bible/116/php.3.5.NLT

  • Noonan’s works have enjoyed scholarly respect. He has documented his sources. So has Harper.

    Please cite page number where Harper “admits that his evidence is fragmentary”. (What’s the New Testament got to do with respect to Harper’s text?)

    Harper’s book deals with slavery qua slavery from 275-425 CE. “Chattel slavery” is redundant: Slaves, regardless of kind or source, are chattel.

  • And you’re a terrible researcher. Chabad (Lubavitch Hasidism) renders it “helpmate opposite” him.
    Why don’t you get out the only Hebrew you know — a Christian concordance — and look up what neged means?

  • Noonan’s works have enjoyed scholarly respect.

    So have the works of those who disagree with him.

    No, chattel slavery is not the only form of slavery, which you would have known had you actually read Harper’s book.

    The discussion is about a Christian denomination and an interpretation of the New Testament.

    But you are correct, what does Harper’s text have to do with it?

  • “((W)ith the need to redefine some of the sacraments as not derived from Jesus).” is exactly the sort of thing I was pointing out.

    According to Catholic belief, all seven sacraments were “derived” from Jesus.

    “I regard baptism and eucharist as sacraments given by Jesus” is the classic Anglican position, with other five not given by Jesus but recognized.

    “ … (T)he presbyter forgives sins on behalf of the community in obedience to Jesus).”

    According to Catholic belief, the priest absolves sins on behalf of the Church exercising authority given to the Apostles only.

    “I regard Holy Orders as founded by later Christian communities as they settled into organized belief and practice. I regard the ‘ordained priesthood’ as a doctrinal fiction ultimately derived from early apologetical use of typology (I remind you, if I haven’t done so already, that a good many bishops at Trent did not regard their “priestly” status as higher than that of the men they ordained).”

    And with that you admit that my critique was accurate.

    What fun.

  • Slavery in the OT included rape, ownership for life, enslavement of children born to slaves, beating nearly to death and inheritance of the property (people) by one’s heirs.

    Liars for Jesus like to pretend that the rules for temporary enslavement of fellow Hebrews, which was akin to indentured servitude, also applied to slaves purchased or captured from other nations. But those slightly more humane rules clearly do not apply to non Hebrew slaves.

    As every honest person knows.

  • No Sandi – that’s not how evidence works. If we want to see something there’s a very good chance we’ll think we see it – even when it isn’t there.

    You think there is evidence for your God, many people are, or have been, convinced that they had evidence for many other gods. You, with no better “evidence” than they say exactly what they will say – “you’re mistaken – I have the truth”.

    Evidence is not wishful thinking – it isn’t something happening that we can’t explain and it isn’t something happening that may have many explanations but the one we prefer is also a possibility so it must be the the answer we want.

    You can give me the “lots of evidence” if you wish – but your father’s apparent recovery from a diagnosis of some sort of cancer doesn’t indicate the existence of God. Neither does the pain and anguish of poverty, hunger, disease etc.etc. disprove the existence of a deity – though it does strongly suggest that any deity is either ignorant, incapable or devoid of empathy.

    There isn’t good evidence either way but reason is belief’s worst enemy. Martin Luther knew this – he repeatedly said that one cannot be a Christian unless one first plucks out the eye of reason.

    Christianity is unreasonable – that’s not quite the same as wrong, but until someone actually produces valid evidence the rational conclusion is that there is no deity in the Christian sense.

  • *Some* slavery included those things.

    But not all slavery under the Mosaic law or the Roman law was chattel slavery.

    Since those for Jesus are Christians, the OT slavery and the pagan Roman version are not really relevant.

  • Ah! You have thus defined and described the sexual slavery which underlies most sodomite and sapphite “relationships.”

  • There you go again, using incorrect language. Once again: the proper term in the Catholic Church is PRIEST, not “presbyter.”

  • More aptly in your case, it is also a nice feature for spreading lies and falsehoods.

  • Please define “decent people” – precisely, exactly, and fully. Do you really mean “only people like me”?

  • Such a relationship is usual in many heterosexual, Evangelical relationships. I see no reason to expect that would be common in the relationships you discriminate against.

  • Here’s a different way of putting it:

    “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.”
    ― Steven Weinberg

  • Such a “relationship” does, indeed, underlie most sodomite and sapphite so-called “relationships.” It is an intrinsic part of the disordered, degrading, debasing, demeaning, and dehumanizing “lifestyle” which informs said “relationships.”

    And, in fact, domestic abuse occurs at far greater rates and at far more vicious levels of violence in sodomite and sapphite “relationships” than in married couples (i.e., one man and one woman ONLY).

  • If you’re going to reply, at least have the common decency to reply to what I actually posted.

    I repeat: Please define “decent people” – precisely, exactly, and fully. Do you really mean “only people like me”?

  • You are making arrogant hateful statements. You are basing them on your disgusting emotions.

    I don’t know, but I would wager that more heterosexual couples in conservative or orthodox religions result in master – slave relationships.

  • He was writing in Koine.

    The crosswalk between Hebrew and/or Aramaic is not exact, at times not even close.

  • By definition since both are the same sex.

    However, there is no reason to expect in either that one party would not be dominating and the other submitting.

  • The ORIGINAL term in the church catholic was ‘presbyter’, not ‘priest’. As an adult male who was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church 70 years ago and who appreciates its organizational and doctrinal history, I can understand how historical development would over time leave a toxic residue on the Church of Rome. I remind you it was Vatican II that retrieved the term ‘presbyter’ from ancient church history. The earliest liturgical presiders were not ordained, and the so-called “ministerial priesthood” would not surface until a few hundred years later as a result of Christian apologists employing foreshadowing (aka, typology, prefiguring) to present their beliefs as superior to those of Judaism.

    The main theme of Vatican II was ecclesial renewal, i.e., making the Church “new again”. God knows, the Church needs it. Your comments in our exchanges amply demonstrate this need.

  • The Complete Tanach With Rashi’s Commentary, available at chabad[dot]org. On the drop-down menu, it’s under Learning & Values>Texts & Writings>Classic Texts.

  • Your critique is superficial. Why? Because it ignores history.

    By the way, it may very well be the case that your ministerial ordination (or that of your pastor) is invalid. Why? Because of the lack of “apostolic succession”. I’ll let you figure it out: take a stab!

  • According to dictionaries, a synonym for ‘chattel’ is ‘slave’. Slavery has also included so-called “just-title servitude” whenever it involved “one person [exercising] absolute power over another and control[ling] his life, liberty, and fortune” (per online dictionary). Whether some law extended certain rights to a slave did not affect his/her being legally owned by a master. You apparently have not perused Harper’s text.

    You write, “The discussion is about a Christian denomination and an interpretation of the New Testament.” OK, discuss. Earlier, you asserted that Paul had no need to condemn slavery. Demonstrate your point, whatever it may be.

    What does Harper’s book have to do “about a Christian denomination and an interpretation of the New Testament”?

    You would know the answer if you had read relevant portions of his text!!!

    (So far, you challenge but, as usual, offer little if anything of substance. Typical behavior.)

  • That is the opinion of Rashi. I showed you from 70 rabbis in 280 b.c. translated that in no such way as a dichatomy between helper/opposer. They understood it be the single meaning of a “helper for the man”. And this is the meaning of all Bible translations including the JPS Tanakh.

  • The translation is not by Rashi, it’s by various rabbis and biblical scholars, just like any other translation, whether the Septuagint or The Message. The commentary is by Rashi. Did you look up “neged” in the concordance yet?

  • Using common 20-21 century definitions to settle a discussion on matters 2,000 years ago with a non-English word which the prophets and Paul used to describe themselves is simply silliness.

    You’re right, I no longer see anything substantive to respond to – just endless repetitions of the same opinions that you happen to like.

  • I already addressed what root word fallacy is. The context drives the meaning not root word studies. The context is clear that God was not saying there is no animal suitable to be an opponent to Adam so He made a woman to fight against Adam and wives to fight against their husbands. That idea is foreign to the Bible.

  • And yet I’m sure you’re certain that when Paul said “arsenokoites,” he meant men who have sex with men because he was referencing the Septuagint for the verses in Lev. 18 and 20, even though the exact word arsenokoites does not actually appear there. I know some Christians like to excise the parts of the Torah they don’t like, but you can’t just cut k’negdo out of the text. And you do not get to determine what ideas are foreign to the Torah anymore than I get to determine what ideas are foreign to a Christian understanding of the Bible.

  • Taking a root word to base a doctrine off of that contradicts the Bible is heresy. That is what you are doing.

  • Concrete behaviors are concrete behaviors, regardless of time period. You’ve demonstrated no real familiarity with Harper’s text, and, as usual, you refuse to give any substantive reply to my specific challenges (assuming, of course, you give any reply at all!).

    You’re a phony.

  • I’m not a Christian, I cannot be a heretic of Christianity. And you have no authority to determine whether I’m a heretic of Judaism.

  • I am sure you understand that as far as I am concerned your opinion of me is inconsequential.

  • If you aren’t a heretic then provide one example of Eve acting as an opponent to Adam?

  • You mean like when she ate from the tree and led to humanity being cursed for all time?
    You seem to have forgotten or ignored when I said that they are not necessarily antagonists just because neged can mean opponent. A more accurate understanding is that she is a “helper opposite” him, not necessarily in conflict with him, but certainly not merely his submissive helper.

  • The Bible doesn’t say God made the man as a helper for the woman but the woman is a helper for the man. That indicates she is to submit to the man.

  • I described slavery according to the bible. I don’t really care what the Romans did. We are talking about perfect biblical morality, given by God Almighty to the Israelites and so wonderful that modern politicians refer to it when writing marriage laws in 21st century America.

    Biblical instructions for slavery are relevant. People keep trying to convince us atheists that the bible is the font of absolute and perfect morality.

    Yet the bible says it’s okay to own people for life, beat your slaves almost to death and keep young girls captured in war “for yourselves.”

    Does perfect, absolute morality change?

  • You described one form of slavery in the Bible.

    Since the context for this discussion is the Southern Baptist Convention, you’ll need to find something in the New Testament.

  • Then that would be a foolish wager, which you would lose. My statements are neither “arrogant” nor “hateful,” but are rather TRUTH, based on fact.

  • No Christian believes that the OT is “just as inerrant as the NT” to the best of my knowledge.

    That’s why Christians – with some minor exceptions – do not follow kosher.

  • Decent as in “Conforming with generally accepted standards of respectable or moral behaviour.”

    “”only people like me”?” – two comments

    1 – I doubt many who know me would consider me conformist.

    2 – My father was an Anglican “Clerk in Holy Orders”; my mother (via the Sally Army) believed that the earth was made in six consecutive periods of twenty-four hours.

    I realised, when I was twelve, that their beliefs and the expectations they drew from them where incompatible with reality.

    Their beliefs subjugated them – not me.

  • Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, bigot, and NRA shill presenting himself in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

    It is recommended that you refer to him and reply to him appropriately stating his name as “Bobosé”, “BobbyJoe”, or just “snowflake”.

    The José Carioca account for this present post is used as a parody of “Bob Arnzen”.

  • Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, bigot, and NRA shill presenting himself in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

    It is recommended that you refer to him and reply to him using his name as “Bobosé”, “BobbyJoe”, or just “snowflake”.

    The José Carioca account for this present post is used as a parody of “Bob Arnzen”.

  • How do you know my opinion of you is “inconsequential”?

    Think, really think, of the import of your reaction.

  • I know what I’m teaching. If you cannot understand, I’ll try to tone it down to your level.

  • If your facts are not your own evil alternative facts, produce some reference. “Sources” is not acceptable.

  • JOCHANAAN

    Ich will dich nicht ansehn.
    Du bist verflucht, Salome.
    Du bist verflucht.

  • That translates to:

    I do not want to look at you.
    You’re damned, Salome.
    You are cursed.

    This seems to be from the Bible story about Salome getting the head of John the Baptist.

    I don;t understand the relevance. Is this your reference?

  • Maybe I should have said Fundamentalist Christian heterosexual relationships. I understand they require the women to submit.

  • From the statement of faith of First Baptist Church Dallas. This mirrors the Southern Baptist Convention. The “Holy Bible” is inspired. There is no distinction between old and new testament.

    Stop lying. Your Holy Bible says that’s a no no.

    The Scriptures
    The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

    It is inerrant and infallible in its original manuscript which is to be taken as verbally inspired. (Supplemented August 2003)

    Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua. 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah. 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff,; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25- 26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

  • Explain, then, why the Southern Baptist Convention does not practice kosher.

    The answer is that although “The ‘Holy Bible’ is inspired.”, there IS a distinction between Old and New testament.

    And that distinction is an easy one to find, and you would have had you looked.

  • Now you’re just JAQing off.

    Christians ignore inconvenient New Testament verses just as readily as they ignore OT verses. Yet they claim the whole thing is perfect and inerrant.

    Lying and hypocrisy are par for the course.

    For example – spouting the bible’s inerrancy does not stop christians from blowing off requirements against braided hair (1Tim 2:9-10, 1Pet 3:3), to give all possessions to the poor (1John 3:17, Luke 12:33-34, Luke 14:12-14, Matt 19:21), and against praying in public (Matt 6:5-6).

    The SBC doesn’t practice kosher because they cherry pick both treatments while saying they don’t. But they oppose teachng science because Adam and Eve are literally real.

  • No, you just do not comprehend the difference between “inspired” and “morally binding on Christians”.

    If your interpretation were correct, Christians would be practicing polygamy, observing kosher, and doing ceremonial cleansings.

    There was actually a decision on which commands bound Christians, and which did not, and it does not involve “cherry pick(ing)”. However, the fact that you commenced your attack on the SBC without that knowledge is rather characteristic of a particular approach by your camp when dealing with “Christianists” – an approach based in ignorance.

  • I was Southern Baptist for years. I had several friends who were members of First Baptist Dallas and I have visited that church. I taught Sunday School in Southern Baptist church. I know what Southern Baptists believe

    There is no official list of commands that still apply and those that don’t. If you know of one, by all means produce it.

    Things that would inconvenience (especially powerful, male) christians tend to be “not in the new covenant.”

    Things that allow (especially powerful, male) christians to look super holy and/or interfere in other people’s lives tend to be absolutely still gob’s clear and unchanging command.

    The location of the command – OT, NT, Jesus’ red letter words, carved in stone by Jehovah, whatever – makes no difference.

    Gays – god hates ’em
    Patriarchy – god’s will
    Don’t flaunt prayers or pray in public – what!? god never said that
    Honor the sabbath – talk about it and plant it on government property, but undertip the person who waits on you at lunch after church ‘cuz she shouldn’t be working on a Sunday.
    Give your money to the poor – who are you kidding?
    Obey government authority, including state and local laws that prohibit discrimination against gays. Leviticus! Gob hates gays! Look at how holy I am, standing up for gob by refusing to sell a cake to those yucky sinners.

    See how easy that is?

  • It is not from the Holy Bible. It is from Hedwig Lachmann’s German translation of Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome”; said translation (with a few passages cut) served as the libretto for Richard Strauss’s opera “Salome.”

    It’s a fitting conclusion to this discussion – particularly in light of your last comment.

    Keep in mind, too, that, in Wilde’s play, there were limits to what even Herod Antipas could stomach – as the conclusion of the play (and the opera, too) attests.

  • In Israel there were Jewish slaves and non-Jewish slaves. The Jewish slaves were treated better but don’t you dare try to apologize for god – there is no justification for slavery. Your god and religion is forever tainted.

  • Read through the OT where slavery is discussed (Jewish and non-Jewish) and try to justify it.

  • Are you even a christian? All scripture is inspirited of god as Paul stated. Christians are not obligated to follow the specific mosaic laws given to the Jews but as christians love to spout – god does not change – so many of the principles still apply to Christians.

  • Do you practice kosher?

    Do you practice polygamy?

    Eat pork?

    I believe what you’re saying is the cultic laws are inapplicable to Christians.

    That leaves …..

  • So, what you’re saying is know little or nothing about Christian theology or what components of the Old Testament bind Christians.

    For example, “The location of the command – OT, NT, Jesus’ red letter words, carved in stone by Jehovah, whatever – makes no difference.” is obviously false since members of the Southern Baptist Convention do not practice polygamy, keep kosher, wear head coverings, or own and beat slaves.

    That explains your multiple ongoing errors.

  • God is described as “ezer” to man many times. Do you think that indicates God is to submit to us?

  • You are comparing apples to oranges. God is not said to be a “helper for” anyone.

  • It doesn’t mean God is “a helper for” anyone. The phrase in Gen 2:18, 20 for woman is not used for God.

  • Eliezer means “God is my helper.” Does that mean something other than “a helper for” the person speaking the phrase, which in Ex. 18:4 was Moses?

ADVERTISEMENTs