Luke 1: 26-38 the Patriarchal Fractured Translation
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, to the Father of a virgin named Mary. The angel said: “father of Mary, tell your daughter that she will be of child with the Holy Spirit. I would have told her myself; by I didn’t want to violate my hierarchal rules of authority that place you in authority over your daughter.
I’d stay longer, but now I have to tell her future husband Joseph, of my plans. And since you are both her spiritual covering, be sure to explain all this to her, as I know it will be hard for a lowly woman to understand my deep spiritual work.” J
I am continually amazed at the lies that are taught concerning women’s roles in the Church.
One of these lies is that a woman must have a man to be a spiritual covering over her. We can see from this passage in Luke, that God certainly doesn’t agree with that position. He sent his message to Mary directly and not thru any intermediary. He didn’t check it out first with her father, or with Joseph her husband to be.
The scriptures are full of examples of God speaking directly to woman. In many cases, the husbands didn’t even get what God was trying to say. It was the woman who was more adept at hearing God’s voice.
To imply that a woman needs any other covering, other than the blood of Jesus – is ludicrous. 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” To imply that a woman needs any mediator, other than Christ is contrary to the Gospel.
Jesus’ was Revolutionary in his Elevation of Women
John 4:27 “Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman.” One of only a handful of Gentiles Jesus ever spoke to was, a Samaritan woman. The disciples were amazed, because in the culture of the day – men did not speak to women. But this story goes on. The woman became an evangelist – one of the first mentioned in scripture – and went and preached about Jesus to the men and women of her town – and they came to Jesus. Here is a woman preaching to men. At no time did Jesus reprimand her for preaching to men. Yet some of our modern day preachers think it is wrong for a woman to teach or preach to a man. Jesus certainly felt differently.
We could also mention Priscilla and Aquilla, the husband and wife team, who both instructed Apollos. Also notice that Paul mentions her name first, as she was probably the better teacher of the 2. (Acts 18)
There is also Phoebe, who Paul calls a servant of the church and tells the Roman church to receive her. (Romans 16) In the same chapter we see Priscilla and Aquilla called fellow servants. The terminology servants and fellow workers, probably indicates these people were apostles. It would not be too difficult to find several woman apostles in the New Testament. Notice: Romans 16:7
“Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” Junias is unquestionably a woman’s name. And she is referred to as an outstanding apostle.
Mary & Martha is a well know story. But- we are missing the main point. In the culture of the day, a woman was not allowed to sit at the feet of a Rabbi and be taught. Martha didn’t just want help in the kitchen. She was telling her sister to assume her womanly role and prepare food. She had no right to be learning from a Rabbi. Only a man is allowed to do that. But – did Jesus reprimand her for sitting at His feet. No – he said: Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:42)
Time and time again, Jesus goes against the patriarchal culture of His day. The woman caught in adultery – notice they brought the woman to be condemned and stoned - where was the man involved? Jesus brought the issue home – “let him” (obviously it was men who brought her to be stoned) who is without sin cast the first stone” -- and they all left.
Jesus had women who traveled with him and supported him.
How could anyone read the new testament and think that women are not, as Paul pointed out, Joint Heirs, and full participants in all aspects of church life.
When Paul speaks of the roles of men and women, we must take into account the culture he was speaking to. Women were considered to be property; they had no rights at all. For Paul to tell men to love their wives, like Christ laid down his life for the church – is huge. Such love and concern was unheard of in that day. Paul told wives to be attached to their husbands. The word obey is not an accurate translation.
Speaking of authority: Christ never imposed His will. He laid down His life. Men are not to force their wives to submit to them. They are to lay their lives down for their wives.
Oh yes, we can’t forget the famous passage that supposedly says women can’t speak in church. Well – we can’t base a whole doctrine on one passage. We must see what the whole bible says. We must see how church life was practiced in the New Testament. Paul clearly speaks of women praying and prophesying in church. So we know women spoke in church.
I could go on… but if you want to read more:
One of the excellent books on this subject – and a good one to start with:
“10 Lies the Church tells Women” by J. Lee Grady.