Bespoke Epistles.

In Straining out gnats I noted that the CBMW’s argument for reinterpreting 1 Tim 2:12 is so weak, even people who prefer their interpretation avoid trying to defend their argument.  But there are other ways to create wholly new meanings from existing Scripture.  The most flexible method is to create a zany backstory that causes the existing text to have a whole new meaning.  For example, take 1 Cor 14:33b-35 (ESV):

As in all the churches of the saints, 34the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

At first glance, this is devastating to an enterprising feminists looking to rewrite Scripture.  But what if you cook up a kooky backstory, claiming that the Apostle Paul’s letter to Corinth was in response to a secret letter from Corinth to Paul that when considered, changes the whole meaning of the offending verses?  This example appears to come from a now deleted FAQ by Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church:

Question: I was reading in 1 Corinthians 14:34 that women are not allowed to speak in the church. Whoa– what’s up with this!?

Answer: Historical perspective really helps with this one. In that day, men and women sat on different sides of the church. For a woman to ask her husband a question she would have to shout it to the other side of the church or disrupt the church service by getting up and walking over to him. Apparently, this is exactly what was happening in the Corinthian church, and their worship services were becoming a zoo. Paul is saying, “Listen during the worship service, and talk about your questions on the way home.”

Note how much more freedom this method offers than chiseling around the edges using creative translations.  Using this method, you can make an Epistle appear to say anything you want it to say, by creating a tortured backstory instead of torturing the text itself.  All it takes is a convincing bluff and a gullible mark willing to buy it.

New commenter Derek Ramsey tried his hand with this same technique to create a new meaning for 1 Tim 2:11-15.  Here is the original Scripture for reference (ESV):

11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

As you can see, Ramsey has his work cut out for him if he is going to bluff his way into claiming that the Apostle Paul was actually saying that women can preach, and can exercise authority over men.  He needs to make the Scripture appear to say the opposite of what it actually says.  Yet this method is so powerful,  in the hands of a skilled manipulator a semi plausible BS backstory can be crafted:

The Ephesians were dealing with the cult of Artemis which taught that woman was the originator of man. These women were trying to assert their dominance over men by teaching that man comes from woman. Verse 12 instructs the woman not to teach that she dominates a man due to the superiority of her gender. Now the applicability of verse 13 is obvious: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve” directly contradicting the cultist teaching. Verses 14 and 15 states that Eve was deceived, cursed with painful childbirth, and will be saved through faith in Jesus Christ (a man who came through childbirth).

It all depends on your presuppositions. The woman (singular in the text) is supposed to be quiet in direct contrast to making her specific aggressive false teachings. The instruction to be quiet has no bearing on the broader issues of women teaching. The text is silent on that point.

As Ramsey notes, the key in this method is not to change the text itself, but to create the right presuppositions to change the meaning of the text into whatever you want to change it to.  One other key strength of this method is it is impossible to disprove, so long as the backstory you create doesn’t violate our historical understanding of the time and place involved.  Ramsey explains that his backstory not only gives the answer he wants, it doesn’t violate our historical understanding:

Timothy was in Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3). There is no historical question that Artemis was the fertility goddess of Ephesus. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. This isn’t even remotely controversial.

If you decide to create your own new meanings for the Epistles, you will need to do as Ramsey does and make up a story that fits with history.  From here, the critical next step is to be unshakable in your bluff.  This method will only work on the easily deceived, but for Ramses’ purposes this is all he needs.

Impressed with Ramses’ skill, I was inspired to try my own hand at this method by creating my own entirely new meaning for 1 Tim 2:12.  Note that I’m not actually trying to con my readers into a BS reading of the passage, so I’m not presenting this in a serious way.

——————————–  BS Backstory ——————————–

As we all know there was a famous library in ancient Ephesus.  It turns out that Paul was responding to a problem of Christian women talking loudly in the library in an effort to teach some of the men in the congregation.  Even worse, the women were being especially rude by loudly ordering the men to pay the fines for books the women hadn’t returned on time.  The librarian was upset and wrote to Paul begging him to solve the problem plaguing this magnificent library.  Therefore, Paul’s instruction to Timothy was not instruction on how women should conduct themselves in church, it was a lesson in how to properly behave in a library:  Be quiet in the library and always return your books on time!  That this was needed may seem strange to us in our modern era, but at the time libraries were still quite rare, and not everyone learned proper etiquette while growing up.

——————————– End of BS Backstory ——————————–

As I noted, I’m not offering this seriously.  This is the first problem with my bluff.  The other problem is that construction on the Celsus library didn’t begin until 117 AD, decades after 1 Timothy was written.  However, this was my first attempt, and if I had more carefully researched the history before creating the backstory I could have come up with a more convincing one.  In the comments section feel free to offer your own favorite BS backstory you’ve heard others use to redefine Scripture, or try your hand at creating one yourself.  Most importantly, understand what hucksters are doing when they use this method and don’t be taken in by them.

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94 Responses to Bespoke Epistles.

  1. Pingback: Bespoke Epistles. | @the_arv

  2. American says:

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” 2 Timothy 4:3 NASB.

    ^ Deconstruction and malignment of the truth and gross revisionism to serve special interests, reinvention of the meta-narrative, demise of the text, dominion of therapy, decline of orthodox authority, introduction of fallacious propositions, displacement of morality, etc… are all observable techniques being used today.

    In fact, the actual historical back story for 1 Cor 14:33-35 makes much more sense than the “progressive” inventions. The truth is that female false teachers had arisen and were threatening the very integrity of Christianity and putting the church at risk so action had to be taken.

    Upon reading 1 Timothy, one becomes immediately aware that the integrity of the Christian faith is at stake. There are some in the church who teach false doctrines and are occupied with myths and other speculative ideas which militate against sound and sincere faith (1 Tim 1:3–4).

    Some have wandered into vain debates, seeking to be teachers without understanding and discernment (1 Tim 1:6–7) and there is throughout a serious concern in reaction by Paul for maintaining and guarding the truth of the faith (1 Tim 1:19; 2:4–7; 3:14–16; 4:1–3, 6–7, 16;6:1–5, 12).

    The false teachings have led to a disregard for proper decorum and practices in the church (1 Tim 2:8–15) as well as to a rejection of the institution of marriage (1 Tim 4:3). In light of this last aspect of the heretical teaching, it is noteworthy that particular attention is directed to young widows (in 1 Tim 5:9–15), who are urged to marry, have children and manage their homes (1 Tim 5:14).

    When these normal, socially prescribed roles and functions are neglected or rejected, these women are prone to “gossiping” and being “busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Tim 5:13).

    Heretical teachings were upsetting accepted patterns of congregational and home life and they were emanating from women in the assembly.

    Such a situation in the Ephesian church is addressed in 2 Timothy 3:6–9, where women are the special targets of those “who oppose the truth” (2 Tim 3:8), becoming “unable to acknowledge the truth” (2 Tim 3:7).

    Paul’s restrictive word in 1 Timothy 2:11–12 must be understood within a context where false teaching is at issue.

    The general prohibition against all those who “teach false doctrines” (1 Tim 1:3) is now focused specifically on the women who have fallen prey to such false teaching and whom are involved in its promulgation.

    The admonition of 1 Timothy 2:11 to “learn in quietness and full submission” is thus directed at the women who, on the basis of the heretical teaching, have become loud voices, strident advocates of ideas that are upsetting the ordered contexts of congregational and home life.

    The “submission” enjoined on them is most likely a submission to the elders in the church, who are guardians of the truth and ordered worship.

    The prohibition against their teaching is occasioned by their involvement in false teachings and heresy. Finally, the prohibition against “authority over a man” (1 Tim 2:12) must be understood within the context of their rejection of the authority of others, probably the male leaders in Ephesus whose orthodox, authoritative teaching is being undermined by their heretical views.

    The unusual Greek word used carries primarily the negative sense of “grasping for” or “usurping authority.”

    Thus, the restriction of women’s place and participation in the life and ministry of the church at Ephesus is directed against women involved in false teaching who have abused proper exercise of authority in the church (not denied by Paul elsewhere to women where appropriate) by usurpation and domination of the male leaders and teachers in the church at Ephesus.

    Paul goes on to ground this instruction in reflections on selected passages from Genesis. Now you know the real back story.

    -American M.Div.

  3. Cane Caldo says:

    I confess I have trouble concocting such a backstory because fundamentally it is irrelevant. In no way do the particulars of Ephesus and Artemis change St. Paul’s instructions. Women’s behavior was to be a certain way because that way reflects Christ’s glory. Derek Ramsey seems to think that the goal is to be non-Artemisian rather than to be Christian. Presumably Ramsey believes St. Paul had no answer to the cults of Jupiter, Janus, and so forth.

  4. Swanny River says:

    I don’t like to think myself as gullible, but I am in favor of the portion of the verse about being saved through childbirth to be referring to Jesus. The rest of the modern redo though doesn’t make sense to me. It sounds an awful lot like the assertion that the bible is okay with monogamous gay love and only condemns a forceful version..

  5. Derek Ramsey says:

    I enjoyed reading this and got a few chuckles out of it. When you criticized the backstory the first time, I backed off the conjecture. Cultural context is just one tool in the interpretive toolbox. Any argument that relies too heavily on backstory (especially unsourced or contrived) is going to have serious problems. I also botched up the original argument in a couple other ways.

  6. Cane Caldo says:

    @Swanny River

    I don’t like to think myself as gullible, but I am in favor of the portion of the verse about being saved through childbirth to be referring to Jesus.

    That would be wrong. Jesus has already been born, died, and ascended into Heaven. Now, when St. Paul just before wrote:

    I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

    is he saying that men don’t have to pray because some other men before had already said the Best Prayer Ever, or that women could profess godliness with bad works because Mary had already performed the Good Work? No.

    Later, in the same letter to Timothy, St. Paul writes:

    9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

    Bear children. St. Paul puts young widows back into the same category as unmarried women, and what both should do is marry and have children.

  7. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Cane Caldo – “I don’t like to think myself as gullible, but I am in favor of the portion of the verse about being saved through childbirth to be referring to Jesus.”

    That would be wrong. Jesus has already been born, died, and ascended into Heaven.

    Salvation is future. It completes when Christ returns.

    While a number of theologians have proposed various versions of “saved through the birth of a Child [Jesus]”, perhaps the biggest problem with the interpretation is that none of the epistles mention the birth of Jesus and Jesus isn’t mentioned here explicitly. Why would women be saved through the birth of Jesus rather than his death? For it to work it has to be treated figuratively.

  8. Mandy says:

    If you spend more time reading Derrida than the scriptures, then the BS backstory just naturally crop up.

  9. earl says:

    Can’t do it…we already have the example of using BS to manipulate Scripture.

    Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple. “If You are the Son of God, he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

  10. Pariah says:

    I think the most obvious BS story which almost everyone in the modern church believes is that “men were oppressive towards women back then, and the Apostles were simply products of their time – but we’re more enlightened now…”

    This is basically the quip which I’ve heard repeated to me when trying to show someone what the Bible says – they basically just use it to dismiss scripture, because they do not like what the scripture says. It’s easier to use subversion in this manner than to plainly state you hate God’s word.

  11. getalonghome says:

    I’ve got a good one. Remember how Jesus said it was easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven? A preacher I knew used to make this a less formidable- sounding feat by claiming that there used to be a very narrow gate into the city called The Needle’s Eye. You couldn’t get a camel through it without first taking off his pack and making him kneel down. So a rich man just needs to lay down his wealth and humble himself. All nice and poetical, I guess, but I’m pretty sure Jesus meant a sewing needle. I can’t find anything about any such gate, though I haven’t searched the web about it very thoroughly.

  12. getalonghome says:

    Well, I stand corrected. Wikipedia seems to day there is such a gate. Many others say there isn’t. So ok. Whatever. Strange that the explanation didn’t turn up until modern times, though.

  13. getalonghome says:

    Then again, Jesus did say “the eye of a needle “, not “the”. Singular. So I’m back to skeptical now. Thanks for letting me comment here. Incessantly. 😉

  14. Nathan Bruno says:

    @getalonghome

    In George M. Lamsa’s Bible translation of the Aramaic from the Peshita, there is a preamble of “words resembling one another” at the front of the Bible. On page XVI of the 1968 Harper Collins printing, they assert that “gamla” in Aramaic means rope and camel. Therefore, they suggest that this be read as it is easier to stick a rope through the eye of a sewing needle.

    It remains a very challenging task, but it makes it less of an exercise in absurdity. Further, it does not rely on invention of a specific geographic location and some other obscurantist practice; it just relies on believing that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and that those two words are the same in Aramaic, and that later people, forced to choose when faced with writing it down in the Greek language, eventually picked one and introduced a confusion of translation.

  15. Nathan Bruno says:

    To add, the plausibility of this Syrian claim from Aramaic I have repeated – that it was encoding of the Aramaic idiom into Greek, not a translation into Greek – at least has some historical precedence, as people much more aware of Hebrew and Greek than I am have told me that the Septuagint is basically structured as forcing the Hebrew idiom into Greek words. (Hence somebody later, like Clement, could be deduced he was quoting the Septuagint when he commits similar errors and repeats Scripture that’s not quite right, as he is either reading encoded Hebrew as if it were Greek.) I find it interesting but ultimately, as they conclude in the preamble to my translation, nothing changes doctrine reading it as Aramaic readers read these passages; they are a minor curiosity.

    In contrast, the New Testament is pretty clear – the letters are the letters, they are meant to be read and understood and circulated broadly; there is no secret knowledge to those who have the Holy Ghost, and certainly the letters would not have been reproduced and circulated to other churches for preservation if they had some close contextual limitations – e.g., Cult of Artemis – that is not even mentioned in the body of the letter.

    Or, shorter: When Paul wanted to say a thing about two particular women he wanted to stop quarreling, he had no trouble saying this thing directly and naming them for all eternity. Why would he be so bashful as to require this elaborate story about Cult of Artemis priestesses?

  16. Lost Patrol says:

    Pariah’s example is by far the one most heard these days, and serves as a catchall to preclude the less adept from having to craft convincing back stories for specific events.

    This is a fascinating topic however. Derek’s and American’s back stories for the letter to Timothy are well done. Any Christian feminist man or woman could grab onto those and take flight. “It doesn’t mean all women, just some particularly troubling ones from that place”. “Okay then”, says modern day church lady, “that’s better. Let’s have no more of that ancient misogyny!”

  17. Pingback: Bespoke Epistles. | Reaction Times

  18. feeriker says:

    All it takes is a convincing bluff and a gullible mark willing to buy it.

    And gullible marks are as ubiquitous in today’s western world as rats, plague, and filth were during the Middle Ages.

  19. Hose_B says:

    1 Cor 14:34
    Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be submissive, as also says the law.

    Paul didn’t need a backstory. He was repeating existing law. Once again showing that Jesus did not come to change the law, but to fulfill it.

  20. Swanny River says:

    Ok, I will take a crack it after going to a Saturday evening service for inspiration. The backstory to the Great Commission is that the disciples were very nationalistic and that made Jesus uncomfortable so to break them of that, he wanted them to go to other nations because he really wanted them to be world citizens. An additional bonus is that it shows Jesus to be an open borders advocate because citizenship was hard to obtain and going to other nations would make them more sensitive and more zealous to be refugee advocates.
    Cane, thanks for the feedback, I plan on thinking about it and responding tomorrow.
    Derek, your position is starting to sound very similar to a global warmer, except you are saying 97% of scholars are in agreement,this verse is ambiguous therefore you should err on the side of the arc of history.

  21. American says:

    @LostPatrol (June 24, 2017 at 8:18 pm). And if they did that, then they would be taking truth which was communicated to them and misusing it. The Pharisees and Sadducees often did that with the truth that Jesus Christ shared. Obviously, such behavior never made them “righter.” Yet Jesus shared the truth nonetheless.

  22. feeriker says:

    @Swanny:

    If you do a bit more Googling, I’m sure you’ll find that some heavily-credentialed “clergyman” has probably already posted something very similar to your “backstory.”

  23. cnystrom62 says:

    One problem with the letter for a specific incident at the time backstory technique is that multiple letters for different people, times and places all basically say the same thing: women should keep silent. 1 Cor 14 and 1 Timothy 2 were written to different audiences for different reasons but they each support the other on the basic doctrine.

  24. Pariah says:

    When Nathan Bruno mentioned above “words resembling one another” it reminded me of how some premillennialists claim that Gog and Magog = Russia, because “Meshech” sounds similar to “Moscow.”
    This makes me laugh.
    People come up with all sorts of wacky wordplays in every area of theology, not just when trying to support feminism.

  25. Don Quixote says:

    A great way to understand the passage in 1Cor.14:34 is to read down to verse 37:

    34 Let your[a] women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
    36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

    Paul is not speaking from cultural context as is sometimes claimed.
    Nor is Paul is speaking his own views. the things which I write to you [v34 – 35] are the commandments of the Lord.

    No BS backstory required.
    It should be in red letters, to help with our impaired understanding.

  26. Don Quixote says:

    Steven Anderson does a good job on this, if you have an hour to listen most here would enjoy this sermon:

  27. bdash77 says:

    woah!
    This is crazy, eye opening.
    Went back to one of my old churches where my parents attend…
    Older men encouraged their daughters to marry House Husbands…
    In fact half the couples in that group now have kids and the husband looks after the home?

    They talk about how God saved them etc

    What book are they reading?
    What kind of man likes to submit to his wife and be supported by her?

  28. Novaseeker says:

    What kind of man likes to submit to his wife and be supported by her?

    A guy who wants to a be cuckold, because that’s likely what he’s going to be, in most cases.

    A woman who has a financially dependent husband will view him, in part, no matter what, as a child she is supporting. She may resent that without saying anything (I have read quite a few stories of couples like this which split up because the W eventually resented having to support the H). In any case, she will be meeting men in her professional, bread-winning, life that are go-getting breadwinners themselves, and are much more sexually attractive to her than her dependent Mr. Mom husband is. Cucking ensues, typically. I have seen it numerous times among colleagues and clients over the years who have tried arrangements like this (obviously the colleagues and clients were women).

    Only exceptions I have seen to this pattern (that is, instances where it works out long term) are the following two scenarios: (1) husband doesn’t have a conventional job but has a LOT going on — i.e., he’s an active musician, a published writer or artist, a retired professor who writes books or gives lectures, an active and financially successful blogger/YouTuber, an established extreme sports athlete, etc. OR (2) husband is a male 9 or 10 in appearance/persona and is arm candy/boytoy for W, where W really is one of the few women who has more of a dominatrix personality in all aspects of her life (not just a made up persona … she’s one of the few really hardcore dominant women). I have personally witnessed both of those scenarios among female executive clients of mine over the years and they were stable long term. However, note that neither of them involved the simple “stay and home Dad”/Mr. Mom scenario — these guys were just guys who didn’t have conventional jobs, they had a lot going on and/or were super attractive, and therefore provided value to the W and weren’t just financially dependent homemakers.

  29. feeriker says:

    When Nathan Bruno mentioned above “words resembling one another” it reminded me of how some premillennialists claim that Gog and Magog = Russia, because “Meshech” sounds similar to “Moscow.”

    You still hear this nonsense in certain evangelical churches even today, a quarter century after the fall of the USSR. It’s always 1979 in Fundyevangeliland.

  30. feeriker says:

    What book are they reading?

    They’re not reading any book. They’re just following the cultural, as good little worldly churchians do everywhere.

  31. Swanny River says:

    Cane,
    One reason I like childbirth referring to Jesus is that I think it fits a fundamental principle of the bible pointing to Jesus. That take doesn’t prevent the verse from also promoting childbirth as part of the sanctification process.
    Your point about Jesus already being born,lived and died doesn’t seem like a barrier to me for Paul telling women that they can be saved still and through Jesus. Anyhow, I can tell I don’t have the patience to give the needed time for this on this phone , the hunting and pecking drives me crazy.

  32. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Swanny River – “this verse is ambiguous therefore you should err on the side of the arc of history.”

    No, I would not go that far. We should err on the side of increased caution. Withhold judgement or take the effort to evaluate the options. This isn’t to say you must abandon your beliefs, but certainly don’t vilify those who came to a different opinion honestly.

    Cultural/historical context is not an end-all, but it can be useful. There are times when it resolves all difficulties nicely, like treating the fishing rope through the eye of a needle as an idiom.

  33. Jason says:

    It is God’s will that every man have not only a wife, but a car. That’s right, a car. We know that God wants us all to have a car because He has one Himself and He demonstrates it’s use in the Garden of Eden. It’s right there in scripture. In Genesis 3 it states specifically that God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden.

  34. The Question says:

    I love how some verses apparently require elaborate backstories and explanations that make them “mean” something totally different from what they actually say, yet somehow “love your neighbor as yourself,” “don’t take revenge,” “turn the other cheek” and other declarations are taken in a literal fashion with no need whatsoever to put any context or definitions as to what “love” means (which always eerily resembles the concept of love found in a typical Beatles song).

    This is how you get cucks saying women can preach but men need to call other men to come defend their families when someone breaks into their home, because ‘muh cheek, ‘muh revenge, and “guns are scary!”

  35. Bdash77 says:

    @nova
    Yikes
    What v kind of man is attracted to a female dominatrix or just wants to be a toy boy?
    I imagine they were not Christian?

  36. Boxer says:

    What v kind of man is attracted to a female dominatrix or just wants to be a toy boy?
    I imagine they were not Christian?

    Be careful not to indulge in victim blaming. I’ve seen this process occur a few different times. Largely I blame the anti-male workplace, which has been fine-tuned to fire men first and hire them last.

    Often a decent man loses his job for no fault of his own, and his wife or girlfriend has a much easier time finding employment due to bizarre social-engineering incentives and HR cronyism. Some of these men get so dejected they just give up.

    It’s sad for the men, of course, but it’s doom for our society, which treats its makers and doers so poorly.

    Boxer

  37. Dale says:

    Sorry, wall of text ahead…
    A problem is that we DO need to consider “meta-data” about the passage, before we attempt to interpret the passage. So the technique is not necessarily invalid.

    By the term “narrative prose” below, I mean text that is a straightforward retelling of literal history or events; there are no metaphors, hyperbole forms, parables, or anything that should affect the interpretation.

    First example: Parables are not narrative prose. Jesus gives the parable of the sower in Matt 13:1-9, but the explanation in Matt 13:18-23. And a straightforward reading of 13:1-9 would NOT give the correct interpretation, as stated by Jesus. A straightforward interpretation would have farming applications, and no spiritual applications.

    Second example: All prophecy apocalyptic literature. Examples are in David, Revelation. Should we expect to actually see an example in history of someone making a statue with gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay? Do I claim God is a liar if I fail to find an archeological dig showing statue was actually created? Or do I accept the interpretation that the various metals represented various (then-) future kingdoms?

    From the first two examples, I think it obvious that those well-meaning people who say they take a literal approach to interpreting Scripture are missing the boat. Determine the literary form first, then interpret. Cue off-topic argument on Genesis 1 and dozens of other passages.

    Third example: The need to consider the people to whom God was actually writing. This is where we can start to have arguments. Consider Titus 1:2, which addresses teaching for “the older men”, followed by 1:3-5 which gives teachings for “the older women” and “the younger women”. It is obvious (to me) that it is fair for men to say that the command from verses 3-5 to “be busy at home” does not apply to them — it applies only to the women. So the men will claim to be fully-accepting the word of God, while simultaneously denying that those words restrict themselves — the men will say that command is for “other people”. (Although the men would not deny the words have any affect; rather, the words are to restrict the women, and further, would restrict the kind of woman that he would agree to marry and bring into his house; see Josh 24:14-15.)
    Similarly, consider the famous words from Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
    Some non-Jewish Christians today will claim this promise of God for themselves. But if you read verse 1 of that chapter, it is obvious that God made this particular promise to the leaders and people of Israel/Judah who were living in Babylon at that time. Unless you are a member of that community, I will claim this promise is not for you. And verse 10 shows what I think is an obvious time-frame for the promise as well, that being only seventy years (the then-future time of the return from Babylon). So unless you lived within 70 years of the promise, you are similarly out of luck. I will not say God will not bless you, but you should not use Jeremiah 29:11 to demand or expect it.

    Fourth example: Now we will really get into arguments. Awhile ago, it was fashionable for movie companies to include a message on their movie DVD discs, telling people “do not steal this movie” — meaning, to not make a copy of your friend’s DVD. And Ex 20:15 says, “You shall not steal.” So, we see that movie DVDs have a no-copy protection order, given by God himself, right? Well, not quite. When the command, “You shall not steal” was given, there is no way the people would have understood that to mean, “do not make copies of DVDs”. Such things did not even exist. Scrolls did, but there is no hint I find in Scripture that God ever forbids copying a story or text from a scroll either. So, I deny that copying a DVD is “stealing”, and I claim the passage from Ex 20:15 does not apply to me, at least with respect to me copying your DVD. It only applies with respect to me stealing physical property, as the command would originally have been understood. (Matt 7:12 would however apply to the idea that I should not take the results of someone’s work without paying for it.)
    So, I will claim we need to understand how the original people would have understood the words, before attempting to interpret those words.

    With Dalrock’s example of fabricating a back story, people who do so are not examining the word of God to find the meta-data; they are coming up with their own ideas, outside of Scripture, and then trying to restrict the Bible with their outside ideas.
    My first three examples rely only on what the Bible itself says. Considering the literature form, and the people being addressed, does not require anything outside of the Bible.
    The fourth example is where we can get into trouble, as it assumes that I know the principles and mindsets of people who have been dead for about 3 millennia. How am I supposed to “know” what these dead people thought about stealing? In this fourth example, I attempt to form my views on how God’s people would have interpreted “steal”, based on what other commands God gave about stealing. E.g. do not steal your neighbours sheep, goat, money, etc. But still, I am attempting to tell you what the words “really” meant at that time in history, and then additionally to restrict the command from God based on my guesses. Which might, coincidentally, coincide with my desire to rip off a bunch of movies.

    The problem I see is, if we accept that my fourth example is legitimately humble toward the word of God and possibly the correct interpretation, how do we distinguish between that, and a case where someone is rationalizing their desire to ignore the command of God because they are rebellious? As our host has repeatedly demonstrated, humans, in particular women (1 Tim 2), have a great capacity to be deceived. I think it is valid to claim that Eve’s deception was self-deception — she wanted the knowledge, and used the flimsy excuse from Satan to give cover to what she wanted to do anyway. (“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate…”) So not only can we be deceived, but we can engage in self-deception, to pretend we are not disobeying the Creator, to whom obedience and glory is due.

    So the idea of considering the “backstory”, that is, attempting to understand how the original recipients of God’s commands would have understood those commands, is not the problem. Granted, the backstory creation that Dalrock shows is more elaborate than the fourth example I gave, but the idea is similar.
    I see the problem as one of either open rebellion against God, or self-deception allowing me to claim to myself that I am being obedient while doing what I wanted to do anyway.
    And how do you, as the brother attempting to bring me out from my sin, prove to me that I am deceived? Best way I can think of is by testing the results of my teaching/claims, per Matt 7:15-20 (“by their fruit you will know them”), but that assumes we want to stand idly by, watching false teaching long enough to see the results thereof.
    Can anyone articulate a clear and obvious test for distinguishing between my fourth example, where I make denials about “what stealing REALLY means” based on the original situation/understanding at that time, and Dalrock’s example? Alternatively, feel free to blast my claim that the command “you shall not steal” does not apply to the 21st century concept of intellectual property rights.

  38. Novaseeker says:

    What v kind of man is attracted to a female dominatrix or just wants to be a toy boy?
    I imagine they were not Christian?

    Of course they weren’t serious Christians in the cases of “Type 2 natural dominant W with boytoy” relationships that I have seen with my own eyes, no.

    As to why the guys do it? Well, let’s just say that some of these guys are having more fun on the side when W is at work than you think — remember that type 2 “boytoy” type is, in the few cases I have seen, very attractive and has no problem getting plates on the side, as it were … he isn’t the guy who lost his job and she had to pick up the slack, he’s the very physically attractive guy she picked from the outset because that’s what she wanted, and she didn’t want to marry another hard-driving breadwinner type (she likes to rule the roost, remember), but instead chose a very hot boytoy type because her need for him is largely physical (dominant women are like this — they have male personalities and often male type libidos as well in terms of triggers and desires and so on — they are also very rare, as you can imagine). These are obviously not traditional relationships, so people are not behaving traditionally in them, to say the least.

    But again, the bottom line is that the cases where this kind of thing “works”, in terms of being stable over the long term, are outnumbered significantly, just among the cases I have seen myself over the past 20 years or so, by the ones where it doesn’t work because W (who in most cases is not a naturally dominant type as in the Type 2 scenario, but rather a woman who is driven at work but wants to be a girl in bed and emotionally and so on) gets sick of the arrangement and/or wants an upgraded man.

  39. Dale says:

    ARGH! In my second example, I meant to write: Examples are in Daniel, Revelation. Not the mythical book of “David”.

    @ Jason re God has a car: That is fantastic 🙂

  40. Gunner Q says:

    ” In the comments section feel free to offer your own favorite BS backstory you’ve heard others use to redefine Scripture, or try your hand at creating one yourself.”

    A popular fallacy is that Apostle Paul was a “task theologian”. Meaning, his epistles weren’t about setting doctrine for all Christianity, only specific churches like Ephesus and named individuals like Timothy. Example, Paul writes in Galatians 1:1 “To the churches in Galatia:” Do you live in ancient Galatia? No? Then the Epistle wasn’t written to you and you can safely ignore Paul’s instructions. Those were only for then, when the faith was young and people were not as wise as they are today. (Yes, they actually said that straight-faced.)

    “Task theologian” is a sneaky argument because Paul really was putting out doctrinal fires across the Eastern Mediterranean. The catch is that we today are the same morally flawed people facing the same doctrinal errors that the early Church did. If this is not the case then the continued legitimacy of all Scripture is doubtful but they never go that far. They deny the entire Epistle but only to negate the bits they don’t like.

    The easiest response to “task theologian” is “buffet Christianity”. They take what they like out of Scripture and leave the rest.

    getalonghome @ June 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm:
    “Remember how Jesus said it was easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven? A preacher I knew used to make this a less formidable- sounding feat by claiming that there used to be a very narrow gate into the city called The Needle’s Eye. You couldn’t get a camel through it without first taking off his pack and making him kneel down. So a rich man just needs to lay down his wealth and humble himself.”

    That sounds reasonable enough. I take Christ to simply have been speaking metaphorically because if rich people can’t go to Heaven then, for one example, Abraham is screwed despite being repeatedly pronounced “justified by faith”.

    Wealth is not a crime and poverty is not a virtue. (Exodus 23:3) But when you have the world at your feet, it’s very hard to accept you still need a Savior.

  41. Boxer says:

    Dear Gunner Q:

    A popular fallacy is that Apostle Paul was a “task theologian”. Meaning, his epistles weren’t about setting doctrine for all Christianity, only specific churches like Ephesus and named individuals like Timothy. Example, Paul writes in Galatians 1:1 “To the churches in Galatia:” Do you live in ancient Galatia? No? Then the Epistle wasn’t written to you and you can safely ignore Paul’s instructions.

    If you scale this up, you’ll find it’s a good description of what Brother Derek and others are trying to do. The fetishization of “cultural/historical context” is thus just an excuse to rewrite parts of the text, discarding whatever might not support their theses.

    By their own standards, we should just discard the text in toto, because the “cultural/historical context” is irretrievably lost at this point. Of course they aren’t honest enough to carry their own argument to this inescapable conclusion. They still want to use the text as an authority, to beat you guys over the heads with. They just want you to discard all the bits that dismiss their own positions, while continuing to revere the non-threatening parts.

    People who read the Bible do so for practical reasons. It doesn’t really matter if there are minor inconsistencies in translation. What matters is that the translation has been used successfully to create a well-ordered society. The English-language KJV works perfectly well as a manual for human self-organization, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s verbatim from the Greek, or whether it’s all a total work of fiction. (The ignorance of this principle is why atheists and agnostics foolishly sit on the sidelines during these debates, they should really wise up).

    Boxer

  42. Cane Caldo says:

    @Jason

    It is God’s will that every man have not only a wife, but a car. That’s right, a car. We know that God wants us all to have a car because He has one Himself and He demonstrates it’s use in the Garden of Eden. It’s right there in scripture. In Genesis 3 it states specifically that God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden.

    Yep. Hondas. People in the Bible are always in one Accord.

  43. Oleaginous Outrager says:

    @Boxer –

    Not Pax Dickinson‏ @NotPaxDickinson Jun 23

    HR stands for “Her Rules”

  44. Robert What? says:

    Can anyone come up with a good back story using “Life of Brian”? The CBMW attempts are reminding me of it.

  45. American says:

    Correct. Feminists are among many who have long understood the power of naming and renaming, applied in many different ways including this example occurring among some Christians which Dalrock has so kindly chronicled, to accomplish sociopolitical objectives. But as some here are pointing out, what is even more troubling is the fact that the very notion of truth has largely become a casualty of their assertions.

    Truth is no longer “the” objective truth (as in Jesus being objectively “the truth” [John 14:6]). But rather, objective truth is dismissed and a fallacious assertion of relativism used as if it were a suitable replacement for “the truth.”

    It’s unfortunate that we see a range of conflicting and erroneous so-called “truths,” invented to accomplish the objectives of special interests, accepted as “legitimate” ways of perceiving reality. “Truth” is reduced by such to their preferred, culturally conditioned, socially constructed reinvented version of reality rather than the “true truth” as Francis Schaeffer called “the truth.”

    Biblical scholars still holding to orthodoxy understand that Christians are to emphatically affirm the possibility and reality of objective truth not merely subjective, relative “truths” designed to promote modern, post-modern, and radical sociopolitical special interest ideologies and agendas.

    The Christian worldview is not a socially constructed “truth” that can be reinvented to accomplish the political agenda of feminists, homosexuals, etc… but rather it is objectively, historically, and universally true and true in the manner in which it was given sans-reinvention.

    This idea (e.g. deconstructionism) that every text must be deconstructed and supported with fanciful back stories because every text contains a subtext of oppressive intent on the part of the author subjects the Bible to radical misinterpretation and subsequent heresy.

    For the genuine Christian, it is nonsense that the Bible is merely the words of people to be twisted to fit whatever narrative a particular special interest group deems beneficial but rather the ‘Word of God’ and as such needs to be rightfully understood in the orthodox manner and context it was given.

  46. Something about house churches leading to house music and minus electricity some kind of pre-derivative of hip hop or rap, hence, be quiet women while the men make percussive. rhythms. Teach them how to dance by showing, not speaking.

  47. earl says:

    ‘What v kind of man is attracted to a female dominatrix or just wants to be a toy boy?’

    My educated guess is often many of them are in the grips of some unrepentant sexual sin.

  48. Spike says:

    With Churchian Pastors like this, is it any wonder that when you talk to someone about the need for salvation through Jesus, they respond with,
    ..”But there a lot of interpretations of the Bible. That’s your interpretation….that doesn’t apply to me……”
    It becomes difficult to refute, because pastors themselves are the ones who do it.

  49. 8 in the Gate says:

    Another thing I notice about the backstory interpretations, is that the examples given are always about what could have happened, never what genuinely did happen that we have knowledge about. It reminds me a bit of Cane’s historical challenge to find an actual woman settler that fought off the Indians while her husband was away. Sure it is possible that it could have happened, but fables don’t need concrete evidence to take deep root.

    Speaking of camels and the eye of the needle, does anybody remember that comedy skit many years ago (could have been SNL – I can’t remember) where there was this really rich man that didn’t particularly like that Bible passage very much, so he hired a bunch of scientists whose job it was to breed small camels and make really giant needles…?

    Maybe we have it all wrong – if we just hand out earplugs to all the men who come into the church…”If a tree falls in the forest, but there is nobody there to hear it, does it really make a sound?” Instantly the women become more godly and the men don’t have to take up the fight. Nothing to see here, move along.

  50. MarcusD says:

    Marriage counseling question
    https://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1056276

    Struggling to face reality of marriage
    https://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1056267

    Any tips for dealing with a young teen who’s a “thinker”?
    https://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1056301

  51. Carlotta says:

    Just a quick comment regarding a women being saved through chikd birth.

    1 Timothy 2:15 Context

    12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    I always thought it was clear here that this is a remedy for living sucessfully with the curse brought on by her transgression was by behaving yourself and raising children. That the being saved referred to the transgression. Just like Adam is to work, protect and provide in this fallen world. This further explains one of the reasons being barren would be so painful, or being a spinster. Similar to the agony of a man unable to work, protect and provide due to injury or some other reason. It is not eternal salvation, it is a way to survive the curse. Like working out and eating right saves a fat person. Comparing my younger, single and childless self to now is sobering.

  52. DrTorch says:

    Reasonably in context here, since the pastor I mentioned was preaching on one of the epistles.

    Anyway, I posted the link to that sermon on the Honor Your Father thread. It’s here:
    http://thekingschapel.org/resources/sermons/

    His twisting of scripture is pretty much, “Being a servant leader means obeying your wife to honor Christ.” Don’t need to twist history, just make up a new rule to add to Christianity. Contradicts other scripture? “You need to adopt a servant’s heart.”

  53. PokeSalad says:

    Wikipedia seems to day there is such a gate.

    That’s what they want you to think…

  54. PokeSalad says:

    Can anyone come up with a good back story using “Life of Brian”? The CBMW attempts are reminding me of it.

    Well, are you in the People’s Front of Judea or the Judean Peoples’ Front? It’s important, you know….

  55. Damn Crackers says:

    Actually, men are to submit to their wives at home according to this guy:

    http://www.instonebrewer.com/visualSermons/Submission/_Sermon.htm

  56. Swanny River says:

    Dr. Torch,
    Your examples are perfect. Those are the phrases used to say they are for biblical headship and at the same time ensure they are not offending women. Beautiful strategy. They get to feign defensiveness at Red Pill rebuttals by saying they are being biblical and that any correction is divisive or due to anger. How can growth occur when they trap themselves like that?

  57. Swanny River says:

    Dr Torch,
    I have found that using Dalrock’s phrase of “cross-dressing” to be an effective way of penetrating their barrier.

  58. Gunner Q says:

    American brought up the “Historical Jesus” in the previous thread and that’s worth mentioning here as another revisionist fallacy. The idea is that the real Jesus of Nazareth is buried underneath Christian mythologizing. What sounds like a search for truth is actually an attempt to strip Christ of all those miracles and “I am God”isms that get in the way of His being another easily ignored great teacher. Hence the Jesus Seminar.

  59. DrTorch says:

    “I have found that using Dalrock’s phrase of “cross-dressing” to be an effective way of penetrating their barrier.”

    Agree, that’s a great term. I have to keep these concise descriptions in mind.

  60. Gary Eden says:

    To me the most notable use of this approach is in reference to 1 Cor 11:1-16. American Christians absolutely hate the thought of women having to cover their head (as the passage plainly states and all Christians practiced from the 1st century until the rise of feminism in the 21st).

    So a great number of twisted backstories, reinterpretations, redefinitions and tortured logic have cropped up to hand wave away the passage; all novel to our time. Some are very very convincing; such that it takes a very strong grasp of the passage to ferret out where they went off the rails.

    CBMW’s Wayne Grudem use such a story to mistranslate 1 Cor 11 in the ESV (woman vs. wife), overturning a translation that has been settled since the time of Tertullian.

  61. red6020 says:

    There’s already a bunch of these BS stories floating around.

    I’ve also heard similar stuff with regards to the verses on homosexuality. Typically, someone says that the Apostle/Apostles were familiar with pedophile pagan sex cult prostitution and were condemning that when they said “men that sleep with men” or “women that sleep with women”. “The Bible writers didn’t have any experience with long-term, loving homosexual relationships. So how could they condemn what they didn’t know about!?!” is usually how it goes.

    One I’ve had experience with is 1 Cor 11:1-16, like an above commenter mentioned. It was explained to me as because ancient pagan women wore headcoverings/veils and pagan men did not and St. Paul wanted the Christians to observe this out of respect for the local culture. I’ve also heard that it was so Christian women wouldn’t be associated with prostitutes at the local pagan temple of Aphrodite. I’ve also heard that “cover your head” really means “don’t shave your head” for the same reasons, (to avoid looking like a cult prostitute or something). The worst thing about all of these arguments is that the Temple of Aphrodite had been in ruins for centuries before 1 Corinthians was written.

  62. RPC says:

    Derek Ramsey pleads: but certainly don’t vilify those who came to a different opinion honestly.

    The problem here is that, assuming you did come to your opinion honestly (which I have no reason to doubt), it is still a wrong opinion. And, because male-female relations are fundamental to God’s creative design, even meant to model Christ’s relationship to the church (a profound mystery), it is under relentless attack by the evil one, with armies of fundamentally dishonest “christian” eager to take your honest but incorrect opinion and use it for destructive ends. THIS is why, even if your opinion is “honest,” it still deserves the harshest condemnation, and you deserve vilification for placing yourself in a teaching role and advocating it.

    Christ himself models the attitude one should have toward false teachers. Do you really think he cared whether or not such teachers came by their false opinions honestly?

  63. American says:

    @Gunner Q (June 26, 2017 at 10:34 am): The real Yeshua is who and what He said he is and that is knowable. This is not negated because a group forms possessing a prior commitment to a philosophic position that is already hostile to Christ’s claims and the events described in the text of the Gospels which then engages in deeply flawed research methods to produce a faulty conclusion… the type of behavior that Dalrock has been holding those who claim to be Christians accountable for in this forum with respect to feminism.

  64. Some Guy At Work says:

    How about this one: Matthew 19:9 is not actually a teaching against divorce. True, the verse says that you should not divorce except for sexual immorality, but what Christ meant by this is that if you are planning to engage in sexual immorality, you should get divorced first.

    Seems airtight to me.

  65. Hey, when did it become appropriate to use the initials ‘BS’ when discussing scripture? Or anything for that matter? Was there a memo? Should I have gotten an email?

  66. Gunner Q says:

    red6020 @ 12:48 pm:
    “I’ve also heard similar stuff with regards to the verses on homosexuality.”

    That reminds me, another fallacy is that the sin of Sodom was lack of kindness to strangers. For proof, Genesis contains no judgment for the rape and murder of Lot’s daughter, either on the mob’s part for butchering her or Lot’s part for offering her… or for Lot having sex with his other daughters later on, so God’s motive couldn’t have been illicit sex. Besides, Mosaic Law restrictions hadn’t been imposed yet. Therefore, the real lesson of Sodom is that God will destroy us if we mistreat “refugees”.

    Never mind Jude 7. Jude wasn’t there and had only Genesis to work from so he obviously made it up. Probably he was a closet homosexual who needed gay pride to stop hating himself!

  67. earl says:

    ‘That reminds me, another fallacy is that the sin of Sodom was lack of kindness to strangers. ‘

    LOL…I’ve heard that tall tale before. That’s why the definition of sodomy is not being kind to refugees.

  68. @American:
    quote:

    The false teachings have led to a disregard for proper decorum and practices in the church (1 Tim 2:8–15) as well as to a rejection of the institution of marriage (1 Tim 4:3). In light of this last aspect of the heretical teaching, it is noteworthy that particular attention is directed to young widows (in 1 Tim 5:9–15), who are urged to marry, have children and manage their homes (1 Tim 5:14).

    When these normal, socially prescribed roles and functions are neglected or rejected, these women are prone to “gossiping” and being “busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Tim 5:13).

    Feminists will go to just about any length to reject motherhood.

    Example from Medusa Magazine:


    White women: it is time to do your part! Your white children reinforce the white supremacist society that benefits you. If you claim to be progressive, and yet willingly birth white children by your own choice, you are a hypocrite. White women should be encouraged to abort their white children, and to use their freed-up time and resources to assist women of color who have no other choice but to raise their children.

    https://medusamagazine.com/beyond-pro-choice-the-solution-to-white-supremacy-is-white-abortion

  69. Boxer says:

    Hey, when did it become appropriate to use the initials ‘BS’ when discussing scripture? Or anything for that matter? Was there a memo? Should I have gotten an email?

    This is a place where men congregate. We don’t get offended by the truth.

  70. Boxer says:

    Related meme…

  71. American says:

    @Gunner Q (June 26, 2017 at 3:19 pm). Correct. You’ve identified another example of a special interest group engaging in erroneous exegesis to justify a sinful behavior they’re practicing which some in Christendom are wrongly accepting.

    The homosexual acts (including homosexual rape) occurring in Sodom (Genesis 19) are of such a harsh and disturbing narrative that they echo through the rest of the canon. For example, from Genesis on Sodom becomes an image for gross immorality such as in 2 Peter 2:6–8 and Jude 7.

    Certainly it’s true that in contexts like Isaiah 1 and Ezekiel 16 the Sodom symbol also refers to injustices including adultery and neglect of the poor; however, the exegesis of the Sodom and Gibeah stories (Genesis 19; Judges 19-20) certainly refutes the claim that the sin God punished on these occasions was a breach of hospitality etiquette without sexual immorality. The double usage of the word ‘know’ (yāḏa‘) and the reason behind the substitutionary offer of Lot’s daughters and the Levite’s concubine are clear.

    Now forward to Romans 1 in which Paul condemns all homosexual acts, lesbian as well as male, in the same breath as idolatry (vv. 23–27). But note that his theological canvas is broader than that of Leviticus. Instead of treating homosexual behavior as an expression of idolatrous worship, he traces both to the bad ‘exchange’ fallen man has made in departing from his Creator’s intention. Seen from this angle, every homosexual act is unnatural. This isn’t because it cuts across an individual’s preference or infringes Old Testament law; but because it flies in the face of God’s creation scheme for human sexual expression.

    Look at Genesis 5:2 (NASB), “He [God] created them male (1) and female (2), and He blessed them and named them Man (3) in the day when they were created.”

    1 male = זָכָר
    2 female = נְקֵבָה
    3 Man = אָדָם

    1 male means a biological male not just a gender role. 2 female means a biological female not just a gender role. 3 means mankind or humanity encompassing both biological males and females.

    When we line up Genesis 1-3 with Ephesians 5, we see that husband and wife means a biologically differentiated man and woman and that this was God’s intent from the beginning. Christ did not come to destroy gender distinctions between biologically differentiated men and women but to repair them so that they might operate in the manner they were originally intended to.

  72. infowarrior1 says:

    ”Being a servant leader means obeying your wife to honor Christ.”

    Being a servant leader means submitting to your wife as Christ submitted to the church. As Christ obeyed the church so should the servant leader obey his wife.

  73. infowarrior1 says:

    As we can see above the implications and results of such a false teaching of obeying wife is heresy.

  74. JDG says:

    That reminds me, another fallacy is that the sin of Sodom was lack of kindness to strangers. For proof, Genesis contains no judgment for the rape and murder of Lot’s daughter, either on the mob’s part for butchering her or Lot’s part for offering her…

    Those guys need to work on that back story. Lot’s daughters were offered, but not butchered. The mob refused Lot’s offer and the Angels struck them with blindness when they drew near to break down the door of his house (Gen 19:8-11). The daughters that were offered, but refused, were the same girls who got their father drunk to sleep with him (Gen 19:30-38).

    There was a similar situation accounted for in Judges 19 where the woman did die and her body was cut into 12 parts that were sent to the 12 tribes of Israel. Judges 20 then gives an account of the battles between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of Israel that followed. None of that would help the faulty Sodom and Gomorrah back story though.

  75. coloradomtnman says:

    @Michael Alford

    ‘Hey, when did it become appropriate to use the initials ‘BS’ when discussing scripture? Or anything for that matter? Was there a memo? Should I have gotten an email?’

    Hah, thanks I needed a good laugh! Cucks ‘cuck’ – it’s what they do in this country. Rank and file ‘Christians’ have been so concerned with semantics and window-dressing while we are literally up to our eyeballs and drowning in a sea of Am Herratz. We’re swimming in filth and you want to argue about the appropriateness of using the term ‘BS.’ Classic cucking.

  76. Gunner Q says:

    “Those guys need to work on that back story. ”

    God didn’t give them much to make a pro-homosexual statement with.

    If you want an even better example of people refusing to understand Scripture, I once heard a megachurch pastor describe the Book of Job as a love story between God and Job. Emo-feel-good, nonjudgmental love. Yeah… Job, of all people. See, Job suffered because he was hung up on justice and righteousness and doing stuff. Once God gently took him on a beautiful tour of majestic creation, Job’s heart softened, he repented of masculine honor and God filled his heart with love and new babies. Or something like that; I didn’t exactly take notes at the time, not having properly descriptive words until finding Manosphere terms like “female territory marking” and “pussified mangina”.

  77. Oscar says:

    Today’s “strong, independent feminist women who don’t need no man” divorce husbands who aren’t employed full time.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/harvard-study-shows-main-reason-wives-divorce-husbands

    “… for the gendered institution perspective is that, for marriages begun in 1975 or later, divorce is more likely when husbands are not employed full-time. Consistent with my hypotheses, there is no evidence that this association is weaker for later than earlier marriage cohorts. Just as male breadwinning has remained important for marriage formation (Sweeney 2002), the results here demonstrate its enduring importance for marital stability. The results are consistent with claims that bread-winning remains a central component of the marital contract for husbands (Nock 1998).”

  78. Dave says:

    Then again, Jesus did say “the eye of a needle “, not “the”. Singular. So I’m back to skeptical now….

    I believe that Jesus used the terms “a camel”, and “a needle” literally, and not in a figure of speech. He was not trying to refer to a gate that was called “an eye of a needle” in Jerusalem, where a camel would have to unpack its load, and crawl through.

    Jesus meant to impress upon His hearers that, humanly speaking, it was impossible for a rich person to enter into God’s Kingdom. He later confirmed this (“…With men, this is impossible; but not with God…”).

    Wealth provides a false sense of security, especially concerning spiritual things. The wealthy is likely to think that God must be pleased with them for being prosperous. Wealth also insulates the wealthy from the rich of the simple Gospel message, keeping them away from those that could lead them to salvation in Christ, and getting them preoccupied with wealth-related activities.
    The wealthy is also likely to be accustomed to an easier lifestyle which makes consistently following Christ rather unpleasant and undesirable.
    Thus, it is very difficult for the wealthy to embrace the gospel, and to conform to its demands–the two prerequisites for getting into God’s Kingdom.

    Even then, God can still save the rich in His own way. After all, most of the OT patriarchs were wealthy. What humans find impossible is quite easy with God.

    Just my opinion.

    Matthew 19:23-26:

    23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

  79. Snowy says:

    There are some very outlandish backstories made up to justify corrupting the plain Word of God. I’m so awed by God’s ways and works, that would see us being blessed and rewarded beyond imagination, when He causes us to live and breathe His Word. That the Spirit would lead all who would profess and proclaim His name, to live His word, and be blessed.

  80. Snowy says:

    @ Derek Ramsey

    We have a full and complete salvation in Christ right here, right now, if you’ll only see and receive it. There’s no past, present, future in God. Yes, there are more blessings to come, beyond our wildest imaginations, but salvation is full and complete right here, right now. Heaven is all around us, if you’ll only see it. Try to get with God’s program.

  81. Snowy says:

    Good to see you again earl.

  82. BillyS says:

    Gunner Q,

    You are mixing 2 stories. Lot never sent his daughter out, the angels blinded the men first.

    The concubine was chopped up due to a similar incident in Judges.

  83. BillyS says:

    JDG beat me to it.

  84. BillyS says:

    These stories have been around a long time. I remember hearing many of them (eye of the needle, yelling between sections) in the early 1980s….

  85. Heidi_storage says:

    @gaikokumaniakku:

    Maybe the women of color should try not butchering their own children if they’d like to end white supremacy?

  86. Damn Crackers says:

    @red6020 – Just because the Temple was in ruins didn’t mean the city wasn’t loaded with prostitutes dedicated to Aphrodite:

    “A famous temple to Aphrodite had stood on the summit of Acrocorinth in the Classical Age… It had fallen into ruins by Paul’s time, but successors to its 1,000 cult prostitutes continued to ply their profession in the city below. Many of them were no doubt housed in the lofts above the 33 wine shops uncovered in the modern excavations. Corinth was a city catering to sailors and traveling salesmen. Even by the Classical Age it had earned an unsavory reputation for its libertine atmosphere; to call someone ‘a Corinthian lass’ was to impugn her morals. It may well be that one of Corinth’s attractions for Paul was precisely this reputation of immorality.” (The Biblical World In Pictures).

    This gives a whole new meaning to the term “Corinthian leather.”

  87. UK Fred says:

    From being a small boy in Sunday School, I have always understood that God was unchanging, because He is infinite, omniscient and omnipotent. Yet we have seen only recently in the UK the same sorts of arguments being used to justify church support of homosexual marriage. The favourite seems to be, “It was culturally relevant in that place and time but we are in a different place and time.” Yet the most common vernacular translation into modern English of “an abomination in the eyes of God” would be to say “This made God sick to the pit of His stomach”. No-one has yet explained to me how something could have that sort of effect on God, who is infinite, omniscient and omnipotent at one time and place and yet be perfectly acceptable to Him who is totally outside time and space at another time and in another place.

  88. bw says:

    “Genesis 3 it states specifically that God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden..

    And of course we know the disciples in ACTS drove hondas because they were all in one Accord.

  89. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Snowy – We have a full and complete salvation in Christ right here, right now, if you’ll only see and receive it. There’s no past, present, future in God.

    We have salvation here and now, but it has not been completed. Salvation is past (Ephesians 2:8-9), present (1 Corinthians 1:18), and future (e.g. Romans 5:9; Philippians 1:6).

    @RPC – it is still a wrong opinion

    So you say. I might be wrong, but evidence must be presented to change my mind. It’s not enough to merely insist that I am wrong.

    Not all disagreements are the same (e.g. Dale’s wall-of-text comment). To add to that, there are various kinds of ways an argument can be flawed. God owning a car is equivocation. So is the objection to “assume” in 1 Tim 2:12. It isn’t always obvious which plain meaning of an English word is what the Greek word means. Dalrock’s library example cannot be true because it has a historical flaw (among various other flaws). Some passages of the Bible are substantially clearer than others for a wide range of textual and contextual reasons.

    “Christ himself models the attitude one should have toward false teachers. Do you really think he cared whether or not such teachers came by their false opinions honestly?”

    If only we were as flawless and accurate as Jesus! We must be careful precisely because we cannot fully emulate our master. I struggle with that, as evidenced by my proposal/suggestion/dialogue being treated as preaching/teaching. Jesus corrected the Pharisees when they were wrong and called them, like all of us, to repentance (Matthew 23). Yet, he said we need to be even more righteous then the Pharisees, who were a high moral standard (Matthew 5:20). Everyone falls short of the glory of God. As for whether intention matters in the Law, of course it does.

    …with armies of fundamentally dishonest “christian” eager to take your honest but incorrect opinion and use it for destructive ends. THIS is why, even if your opinion is “honest,” it still deserves the harshest condemnation, and you deserve vilification for placing yourself in a teaching role and advocating it.

    I said that the text was ambiguous. Why assume I was presenting an ultimate conclusion? It doesn’t even make logical sense! It is not my fault people don’t see that. People see what they want to see. It’s a whole lot easier to vilify me than it is to weigh the merits and demerits of the arguments.

  90. FFY says:

    Funny that Derek brings up the Pharisees as he exhibits the pedantry, wordsmithing, and sophistry that Jesus called them out for… He didn’t just call them out for being wrong they were trying to twist and “contextualize” scripture.

    Every comment of Derek’s gives me this feeling like a snake is trying to whisper in my ear

  91. Derek Ramsey says:

    …the pedantry, wordsmithing, and sophistry that Jesus called them out for

    Citations?

  92. Gunner Q says:

    “Citations?”

    Mark 7:6-13: “[Christ] replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

    And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

    Sounds like the Pharisees found new information that made them uncertain of “traditional” interpretations of the Law, eh, Derek?

  93. FFY says:

    “Citations?” he asks, a time honored tell of the disingenuous on an internet forum

  94. Gary Eden says:

    None of these passages are hard to understand or unclear. The Bible really is quite plain. The problem is the will to follow it when it goes against the grain of the world’s feminist belief system. When a person is unwilling to obey, no amount of proof will be sufficient to convince otherwise.

    Its all classic double mindedness. Loving the world. Hypocrisy. They want to conform scripture to their own, and the worlds, beliefs rather than conforming themselves to scripture. To be thought of as or feel like Christians yet not to have to actually follow scripture.

    In a way its another sign of the feminization of modern Christianity. Some of this comes from an over-concern for what others will think if you go against the grain; classic herd mentality of the female. The saints of old faced burning at the stake to tell the truth about God’s scripture. Moderns can’t bare to face bad feels on the part of their wives.

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