PAUL WAS NOT A MISOGYNIST!
Many today accuse Paul of Tarsus of misogyny (hatred of women), and no doubt because of some of Paul’s remarks concerning the place of women in Christian society. It does not surprise me that in today’s liberal feminist society, where even ideas generally perceived as being moderate or centrist are actually skewed far to the left, that this is a prevailing view amongst the jew-controlled, jew-media dominated jew-led and fed masses of the populace. That feminism is a jewish cause and primarily a jewish-led movement is easily demonstrated in the identities of its leaders, such as Emma Goldman, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, et al., and also by their own testimony, which is published regularly by their media outlets. For instance in the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled How Do You Mark 350 Years in America? by Naomi Schaefer Riley, which ran on p. W13 on Sept. 9, 2005, it is boasted that “... there is much to be gained from studying Jewish life in America after the mass migrations from Eastern Europe. Jews were among the most prominent voices pushing for liberalized immigration policies, a strong labor movement and rights for women ... Nor were Jewish efforts always on behalf of other Jews. The end of [an exhibit at the Center for Jewish History in New York] the exhibit explores Jewish participation in the civil-rights movement.” Paul was certainly at odds with jewish thinking! What we see as a problem (“we” being aware Saxons), the jews see as an accomplishment, and take full credit for it!
The New Testament accounts show beyond doubt that Paul could not have been a misogynist, a hater of women, and here I shall endeavor to elucidate such in a simple manner; for it is plainly nothing which needs to be examined too deeply.
- In Acts 16, Paul along with Timothy, Silas, and surely Luke who wrote the account, are at Philippi in Macedonia where they congregated by a river for prayer, and spoke at length to women there who did likewise. There a certain woman Lydia, and her household, were apparently the first Greeks of Europe to become Christians (lost Israelites returning to Yahweh, as Paul teaches in all his epistles). This woman later assisted Paul and his companions, after the brief imprisonment at Philippi (Acts 16:40).
- At Berea, as at many other places, Paul preached to “honorable women” as well as to men (Acts 17:12).
- Of the converts at Athens, a women named Damaris merited particular mention (Acts 17:34).
- Paul met Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth, and every time the couple is mentioned it is obvious that the woman is respected by Paul every bit as much as her husband, and is even mentioned before him in most places where the two are mentioned (Acts 18:1, et al.).
- Paul entrusted a woman, Phoebe, to bear his epistle to Rome, and recommended her highly to the Christian assemblies there, also praising her for her assistance to him (Rom. 16:1-2).
- Of the people Paul specifically greeted in his epistle to the Romans, many were women, including Priscilla, Mary, Persis, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, the mother of Rufus (and Paul) and the sister of Nerea. Some of these were further lauded for their labor in the faith or for their having assisted Paul in some way.
- Other women mentioned are Chloe at 1 Cor. 1:11, and the text there infers that she is head of a household, and so probably a widow and a woman of means; Euodia and Syntyche at Ph’p. 4:2; Nympha at Col. 4:5 (although the A.V. and some early mss. have “Nymphas” as a man) and Apphia at Ph’m 2.
- Furthermore, in Paul’s letters to Timothy, he spoke especially well of Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, and must have known them personally (2 Tim. 1:5.) Paul also sent Timothy greetings from Priscilla, and from Claudia whom history shows is the wife of Rufus, and whom Paul is staying with at Rome when he wrote Timothy (2 Tim. 4:19, 21).
All of this shows that Paul certainly had all due respect for women in general, and had warm and Christian relationships with many of them.
The opinions which are formulated in and acted on by society today are not correct simply because a majority of people here are persuaded by them. Christianity is not a democratic institution, but rather a Theocratic one. A woman’s place was to be subject to her husband, as with Paul (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23; Col. 3:18), also with Peter (1 Pet. 3:1-5) and so with Yahweh (Gen. 3:16). A woman’s place was to keep the household, as it was in Greek society (i.e. Euripides’ Alcestis 304 ff., Electra 54 ff.) and so with Paul (Titus 2:5), and so in the Old Testament, i.e. Proverbs chapter 31. Those who doubt the validity of Paul’s instruction here contend not with Paul, but with the entire Bible!
Paul instructs that a woman is never to have authority over a man (i.e. 1 Tim 2:12), and in the Old Testament at Isa. 3:12 we see that it was a reproach for women to rule over men in that time also. Whether it was the noble Deborah, or the wicked Athaliah, doesn’t matter. Neither situation says much of the men of those times. Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Janet Reno, Diane Feinstein, et al. are certainly a reproach to all Saxon men today, along with the millions of women who have forsaken childbearing and normal household life for love of lucre and status. Those who feel otherwise contend not against Paul, but against Yahweh! And Judi Nipps and Nellie Babbs are among their number.
Only men participated in the “democracy” of Athens. Women were excluded from politics, did not speak publicly, and as Euripides’ character Aethra in his Suppliant Women says at lines 40-41 “It is proper for women, if they are wise, to do everything through their men.” So Paul’s admonition to women, not to speak in the assembly but to learn and inquire by their husbands (1 Cor. 14:34-35), was surely not a novel contrivance, but already a part of Hellenistic culture! In fact, Athenian life was stricter yet: For in Euripides’ Hecuba at lines 974-75 the title character states that “custom ... ordains that women shall not look directly at men.” The word translated “custom” in the Loeb Library edition of Euripides is νόμος, “law” everywhere in the New Testament. Paul’s admonition against women “wandering from house to house ... idle ... tattlers ... busybodies, speaking things they ought not” was a normal concern long before Paul wrote such words, and in Euripides’ Andromache lines 930-953, the poet through his character Hermione expressed very similar concerns.
I have cited Euripides here, having his writings at hand and having recently read them, yet may refer to a plethora of Greek writers, even those closer to Paul’s own time, to show that Paul was not being novel to the Greeks concerning treatment of women. Strabo, speaking of the Cantabrians of Iberia and some of their customs, where women have influence over their kinsmen, says: “The custom involves, in fact, a sort of woman-rule – but this is not at all a mark of civilisation” (Strabo 3.4.18, Loeb Library edition). Diodorus Siculus, speaking of the mythical Amazons, says “The men, however, like our married women, spent their days about the house, carrying out the orders which were given them by their wives; and they took no part in military campaigns or in office or in the exercise of free citizenship in the affairs of the community by virtue of which they might become presumptuous and rise up against the women”, and so of course in reality, in the Greek world women kept the home, having no voice in the community, nor role in government. The very role described in Proverbs 31!
As in the book of Numbers, so in Matthew (14:21, 15:38), women were not counted. It is not that women do not count, Yahweh forbid! Yet the woman’s role in a proper Christian society is clearly defined, and Paul explains that role properly. Pity those who doubt the truth of such matters. Nothing Paul says is contrary to Old Testament instruction or practice. Can the anti-Paulists make such a claim for themselves?