Women: Time for an Update

This is an interesting article that I found on the internet. Read the full post here.

History sometimes changes. This idea surprises many people, because how can something that has already happened change? The events and facts don't change because they are written in stone. What changes is our understanding of those events and facts. We sometimes come across information that had been missed or discarded and have to update our conclusions based on them.

One area of history that has been going through rewriting is women in church ministry. Many people in churches today think that women have never been allowed in ministry until the sexual revolution of the mid-twentieth century. But the truth is that from the first century church, women have been allowed to be in ministry. Over time, this has been forgotten and obscured by men who didn't like the idea.

Sandra Glahn writes about how new technology and recent archaeological discoveries help reveal this forgotten past. She writes:

The primary documents reveal that the phenomenon of women standing side-by-side with our brothers, partnering to train and care for the church, has been happening for 2,000 years. And our understanding of backgrounds has exploded, affecting how we interpret texts, including some texts about women.

She lists two books by Dr. Lynn Cohick as accessible starting points on the subject: Women in the World of the Earliest Christians and Christian Women in the Patristic World. I can also add Beth Allison Barr's The Making of Biblical Womenhood to the list, as it shows how the principle of women in ministry has become obscured through history.