My article with Priscilla Papers was published this summer:
“Teach Us, Mary: The Authority of Women Teachers in the Church in Light of the Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55)”
When it comes to hierarchalists urging that women do not have teaching authority in the church, the go-to passage tends to be 1 Tim 2:11-15. In fact, when I contacted a pastor once to see what their church thought about women in ministry, he simply told me to read 1 Tim 2 to understand his position.
Now I believe 1 Tim 2 is less “straightforward” than it can appear in English, but that is not the approach I take in this article. Instead, I consider the fact that voices of women are encoded within Scripture and, by virtue of this “inscripturation” their voices become the living voice of God. This is a canonical approach to re-considering the authority of female teaching. The case study I use is the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). This is one of the most important texts in the whole of the Bible and is perhaps one of the most lucid and powerful articulations of the gospel. What are the implications of the fact that Mary speaks these words? Here is how I conclude the article:
In a hierarchical church where no women preachers are allowed, what happens on [the Sunday when the male pastor preaches from Luke 1:46b-55]? How is it possible that the male pastor who says, God has simply not seen it fit to allow women to exercise teaching authority over men in the church, must sit down in his pastoral study on this particular week and spend hours upon hours poring over the words of young Mary that also happen to be the life-changing, world-shattering, church-guiding Word of God? What happens when, at that same church, the people of God stand to hear the reading of Scripture, to hear the Spirit of God move among the people as Mary’s soul, once again, magnifies the Lord with an echo that rings though millions of chapels and sanctuaries each year? How could the supposed non-authoritative female-genderization of this text not be deconstructed as the Word of Christ dwells richly among the people of God? One wonders if anyone has ever walked out on the reading of scripture on the Fourth Sunday of Advent [where the lectionary reading is Luke 1:46b-55]! (p. 13)
Check out the article for more information.
Another note: I dedicated this article to Catherine Kroeger, Christians for Biblical Equality founder who passed away in 2011. I had the privilege of serving as her research assistant for a couple of years at Gordon-Conwell. She was a wonderful teacher, scholar, and advocate for the marginalized. I hope this article pays a small tribute to her important legacy.
The latest issue of Interpretation is on economic justice (Oct 2015)
“The Justice Imperative in Scripture” (Samuel L Adams)
“You Shall Not Bow Down and Serve Them: Economic Justice in the Bible” (Richard Horsley)
“How Economic Inequity is a Theological and Moral Issue” (Douglas Hicks)
“Poverty, Politics, and Faithful Witness in the Age of Humanitarianism” (Luke Bretherton)
Sermons by folks like Michael Barram and Warren Carter.
In the reviews Todd Penner reviews Joel Green and Lee Martin McDonald’s (edited) The World of the New Testament and Andrew Das reviews Doug Moo’s Galatians commentary.
I read a few of the essays and Horsley’s in particular struck me as one that would be fun to use in a college or seminary course.
I wasn’t really paying attention, but when I got to my office, wordpress.com had sent me a “Happy Anniversary” message. Six years ago today, unemployed with a PhD in hand (and living with a wife and three kids in my in-laws’ home), I started my first blog, PEJE IESOUS. I spent the first four and a half years blogging there and have spent the last year and a half here on Crux Sola, blogging with Nijay.
I’m not sure how “successful” I am or have been as a blogger as it is only one small piece of my life as an academic. However, I have enjoyed it and it has served as a way for me to flesh out ideas and interact with those in the field. I would say, “here’s to six more years,” but I wonder if biblioblogs will even be around then(?). Who knows how things will have changed by 2021? So, instead I’ll say, “Here’s to tomorrow!”
Just in case you hadn’t seen it, this past Friday Mark Goodacre allowed a guest post (and a Saturday recap) by Andrew Bernhard over at the NT Blog. Bernhard’s posts are dedicated to demonstrating, quite convincingly in my opinion, that the poorly-named Gospel of Jesus’ Wife is a “patchwork forgery” drawn from an earlier version of Mike Grondin’s widely used, online interlinear translation of the Gospel of Thomas. If there was doubt before about whether GJW could be authentic, I think all doubt will be removed after you have read Bernhard’s evidence.
Prof. Pete Enns is scheduled to give our annual Harrison Lectures here at the University of Mount Olive, October 12-13, 2015. Pete will be speaking on issues related to his recent book, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, as well as his forthcoming book on doubt. Lectures will be free and open to the public. You can find more information here. Please feel free to contact me directly for more information.
The Vivian B. Harrison Lectures were established by the Rev. Frank Harrison, former chaplain of (then) Mount Olive College, in honor of his late wife. The stated purpose of the lectures is, “to provide a medium for continuing education for the ministers and laypersons of North Carolina.” Lecturers from recent years include Willie Jennings, Yale (2014), Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary’s Seminary and University (2013), and Kavin Rowe, Duke (2010).
Nijay and I are currently co-authoring a book for Baker Academic that is tentatively titled, Across the Spectrum: Understanding the Key Issues in New Testament Studies (forthcoming 2017). The book is intended to be a broad coverage of the spectrum of views on major issues in NT research and is aimed at upper-level undergraduate and divinity school audiences. In recent months I have been weighed down with completing several other projects but now I am in a position to turn my attention to this project. We have discussed the merit of blogging through our thoughts, ideas, musings, and revelations as we work through the chapters on this book. So consider this post an introduction to our task, a “heads-up,” and most of all an invitation. In coming months, if you see posts with the title, “Across the Spectrum…..,” we will be talking about issues related to the book. In those cases, PLEASE feel the freedom to weigh in on the conversation. We want this, above all, to be useful for students and non-specialists and our interactions with you will help us sharpen our thinking and writing. Thanks in advance!
I have the privilege of serving on the board of the Institute for Biblical Research, and each year we provide an academic program on the Friday night of the beginning of SBL. This year we are honored to have Dr. Craig Bartholomew (Redeemer Univ College) as our keynote speaker on the subject “Old Testament Origins and the Question of God.” Responses will come from Dr. Sandra Richter (Wheaton) and Prof. N.T. Wright (St Andrews). Everyone is welcome whether you are a member of IBR or not.
The details for our Friday program are below. Please feel welcome to attend!
Institute for Biblical Research
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Room: Marquis A-B (Marquis Level) – Marriott
Theme: Annual Lecture
The Institute for Biblical Research, Incorporated (IBR) is an organization of evangelical Christian scholars with specialties in Old and New Testament and in ancillary disciplines. Its vision is to foster excellence in the pursuit of Biblical Studies within a faith environment. The achievement of this goal is sought primarily by organizing annual conferences, conducting seminars and workshops, and by sponsoring academic publications in the various fields of biblical research. IBR’s conferences, seminars and workshops are open to the public and its publications are available for purchase. For further information go to http://www.ibr-bbr.org.
Tremper Longman, Westmont College, Welcome (10 min)
Milton Eng, William Paterson University, Scripture Reading and Prayer (5 min)
Mark Boda, McMaster Divinity College, Introduction
Craig Bartholomew, Redeemer University College
Old Testament Origins and the Question of God (40 min)
Sandra Richter, Wheaton College (Illinois), Respondent (10 min)
N. T. Wright, University of St. Andrews, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Presentation by Zondervan Publishing Company
The IBR Reception follows the Annual Lecture and is sponsored by Zondervan