Powerful and Free Series Notes Part 1

This is the first in a series to help us renew our minds about the Bible’s position on women’s place in Church leadership.  If you wonder if the following “truths” are really true, every quote is documented and easily confirmed. Listen to the ALCC “Powerful and Free” podcast series and order the book or ebook, The New Covenant Role of Women in Leadership at markdrake.orgScreen Shot 2017-06-09 at 11.50.41 AM

Please send questions to askmark@abbottloop.com.

Other notable books:

Powerful and Free by Danny Silk

Why Not Women by Loren Cunningham


“Church, we have a problem; a real problem!”  -Mark Drake

From Aristotle and Socrates, to First Century Rabbis, to famous “Church Fathers,” to King James; most men throughout history have viewed women as genetically inferior and incapable of being educated.  As you read these documented quotes, is it any wonder so much of church teaching has demeaned women?

But did Jesus believe what these men believed?  Did Paul teach this view of women?

World Renowned Philosophers

The courage of a man is shown in his ability to command.  The courage of a woman is found in obeying.  –Aristotle  

By all means get married.  If you get a good wife, you will be happy.  If you get a bad wife, you will become a philosopher.  –Socrates

Women are those who fell prey to their irrational, emotional side, and are therefore incapable of reason and making rational choices…moreover as irrational beings, women may not always know what they really want and it is the man’s domain to decide for them.   –Plato                                                         

We have courtesans for our sex and pleasure.  We have young slave prostitutes for our physical use and we have wives to bring up legitimate children.   –Demosthenes

Do not admire your wife’s beauty…from the time women are fourteen years old they think of nothing and aim at nothing except going to bed with men.    –Epictetus

First Century Jewish Rabbinical Teaching

Praise be to God that he has not created me a Gentile, a woman, or a hog.  –First Century Jewish Prayer

Even the most virtuous of women is a witch.   –First Century Jewish Oral Law

The woman is inferior to the man in every way.  –Josephus  

If a man gives his daughter a knowledge of the Law, it is as though he taught her lechery. -bSot. 4.3

It is better that the words of the Law should be burned than that they should be given to a woman. – jSot. 3.4; 19a

Early Church “Fathers”

Woman is a temple built over a sewer.  It is contrary to the order of nature and of the law for women to speak in a gathering.  –Saint Jerome

Because of you we are punished by death…because of you, women, the Son of God had to die.  –Tertullian

Men should not listen to a woman even if she says admirable things or if she says saintly things.  They are of little consequence since they come from the mouth of a woman.  – Origen

A man may marry again if he has divorced his sinful wife because he is not restricted in his right as is the woman, because he is her head.   –Ambrose

There is nothing for a man that is shameful, for a man is endowed with reason.  But for women, it brings shame to even reflect on that she is.   –Clement of Alexander

By herself woman is not the image of God.  The man, on the other hand, alone, is the image of God. We should look upon the female state as if it were being a deformity.   –Augustine

For a man to go to a woman for advice is like going to the lowest kind of animal to seek advice.  –Chrysostom

Woman is defective and misbegotten…Woman is naturally subject to man because in man the discernment of wisdom predominates. –Thomas Aquinas

The wickedness of women is greater than all other wickedness.  A dragon is more curable than the familiarity of a woman.  Avoid them like poisonous animals. –Pope Innocence III

The “Reformers

There is no gown or garment that worse becomes a woman than when she would be wise.  –Martin Luther

Let the woman be satisfied with the state of her subjection and that she is made inferior to the more distinguished sex. Because she receives her origin from man she is therefore inferior in rank. All women are born that they may acknowledge themselves as inferior to the male.   –John Calvin

To make women learned and to make a fox tame work out to the same end.  Educating a woman or a fox simply makes them more cunning. –King James

After copying these statements from their historical sources, I wish I could apologize on behalf of all men.  But, these are the beliefs that have influenced the way the Bible passages about women have traditionally been understood.  And, since we are on a search for truth, and not just personal opinion, let’s climb this mountain and wade into the fight.

“Church, we have a problem; a real problem!”  -Mark Drake