For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. -- 1Timothy 2: 13-14 (ESV)
Sigh, it seems every week now I have to write about yet another biblical distortion by Eddie Hyatt regarding women in ministry. I realized last time that he is engaging in this media blitz because he is promoting his book on the subject. In these last days it is becoming more frequent that the church is compromising on what are clear instructions in the Bible regarding gender roles. I say this while reminding us that women are just as vital for the body of Christ as men. They can serve in nearly any role within the church except for two conditions that God has said they are not to usurp. One is preaching/teaching and the other is exercising authority over men. I say this admitting it gives me no pleasure in pointing this out. I know many powerful women of God who genuinely want to only serve Him. I know many men have abdicated their divine role in these last days. It would be easier to simply look the other way and say what's the big deal. Except God said what He said and He must have said it for a reason. Eddie Hyatt on the other hand is trying to sell books. His agenda is clear from the beginning. He believes in his own theology that is unbiblical and is trying his best to shoehorn it into Scripture. With each passing article however he seems more desperate and thus more obvious. Let us reason together once more as we review his latest butchery of the Bible in pursuit of elevating women beyond what God has ordained
"1 Timothy 2:11-12 is considered by many to be the Bible's clearest statement against women functioning in authoritative roles of leadership in the church. It reads, "Let a woman learn in silence with all obedience.I do not permit a woman to teach or to usurp authority over a man, but to be silent." For many, this passage has become a canon within the canon and is used as the standard by which every other passage about women is measured. Passages that obviously recognize women functioning in authoritative roles of leadership are not given equal consideration but are subordinated to this one passage and forced to fit within the narrow parameters of the interpreter's take on this verse." -- Eddie Hyatt
We have several points here to address. First of all, canon means general rule, so yes Scripture sets up general rules sometimes so long as they are supported by the larger canon of Scripture, as is the case here. Secondly, one of the main rules of sound hermeneutics is that you defer to the clearer Scriptures. What that means is when you have a clear passage you do not make it even with one that requires hermeneutical gymnastics to discern. So 1Timothy 2:11-12 is considered clear by anyone not selling books. I do not permit is not ambiguous. We do not have to wonder what Paul could have meant when he said he does not permit a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man. Thirdly, we see the gymnastics begin as Hyatt is forced to turn to passages that do not provide clear instruction but rather historical narratives that require the reader to make assumptions about certain women who appear in the Biblical story. We saw this in his last article when he concluded that because Priscilla is mentioned before her husband in four out of the six times they are mentioned that not only must she have been more important than her husband but that somehow she was Paul's pastor! Never mind that clear instruction in 1Timothy! I can read into a salutation to elevate Priscilla to a pastorship. How absurd. Fourth, Hyatt tries to throw shade at the clarity of the Timothy passage by pretending it is only a narrow interpretation which is ridiculous. Anyone with a third grade readeing comprehension can see what these verses are saying. In order to pretend they do not say what is obvious, one has to read something else into it, abuse other historical narratives, and peer into the mind of someone dead for centuries. Lastly here, Hyatt cleverly removes the remaining context found in verses 13 and 14, the key verses today. Beloved not only are verses 11 and 12 crystal clear but 13 and 14 actually give the reason why Paul stated what he did in 11 and 12! Oh that all Bible passages were this clear! Paul was not some misogynist or chauvinist. Remember, we believe the entire Bible was written under divine inspiration so it is actually God who wrote this. It has been popular in these end times to rewrite the Garden of Eden story so that Adam was next to Eve when she sinned but that is equally untrue. These verses corroborate that it was Eve who sinned first and was deceived. This is why God has determined that women should not teach/preach nor usurp authority over men. No matter how much Eddie Hyatt tries to twist the Bible to say otherwise.
'This, however, is not good hermeneutics. Passages showing women functioning in leadership roles must be given equal consideration and conclusions drawn after each passage has been carefully examined and compared. Even the non-academic leaders of the Azusa Street Revival understood this interpretive principle, and in the 1908 edition of the Apostolic Faith, they exhorted their readers, "We must rightly divide the Scriptures and compare Scripture with Scripture so that there is no confusion, and no deceptive spirit or wrong teaching may creep in."' -- Eddie Hyatt
Azusa should hardly be held up as a bastion of sharp doctrine but that aside Hyatt is right to state that we ought to use scripture to confirm scripture. Where he is wrong is in insisting that historical narratives that require assumptions and biased conclusions should be given equal weight to actual instructions that have been clearly given. This would be like contradicting the teaching from Christ about loving each other because we can find stories in the New Testament where it seems that level of love was not provided. The Timothy verses clearly state I do not permit. To then go find historical narratives where women are mentioned prominently does not change what that instruction is. As for Scripture confirming Scripture:
As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.If 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. -- 1Corinthians 14: 33-35 (ESV)
This is from a different letter regarding a different congregation! It also says "as in all the churches of the saints!" The Eddie Hyatts of the world however will insist that there were problems with gossipy women in Corinth and apparently Ephesus where Timothy would pastor. That it was some local phenomena that Paul was addressing not a doctrinal statement. The problem with that is it is nowhere in the Bible. It is made up completely to fit a pre-determined narrative. Additionally, the deeper context in the key verses dispels such a conclusion. So Paul is referencing just these local women yet uses the fact that Eve was deceived as his reason? That makes zero sense. God is not the author of confusion beloved. We have two extremely clear passages that instruct the same thing and they trump whatever fairy tales we want to create about cultural or congregational issues that would somehow change what these clear passages say.
In my book, Paul, Women and Church, I show the numerous women whom Paul recognizes as coworkers and fellow-ministers. He specifically refers to one woman as an apostle and another woman as his spiritual mother. He refers to another woman as having "stood before" many including himself. There is no reason to believe that these women were confined to teaching only women. In the case of Priscilla, it is specifically stated that she was equally involved with her husband in instructing the learned Apollos, "the way of God more accurately" (Acts 18:24-26). -- Eddie Hyatt
Here is the first plug for the book along with an irrelevant and inaccurate point. The reason why it is irrelevant has been explained already. In the Timothy and Corinthian verses we have clear and matching instruction regarding women not being permitted to teach/preach or exercise authority over men. The inaccuracies are varied. The Bible does not refer to any female as an apostle. The person he is referring to is Junia, who most scholars say was actually a man. Even if you wish to overlook this fact and make him female, the verse reads as follows:
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. -- Romans 16: 7 (ESV)
Junia is a what? KinsMAN. That aside the verse simply says that these people were well known among the apostles. That means the apostles knew these people well, not that they were actually apostles themselves. I am unsure who he is claiming was a spiritual mother but it doesn't matter because that does not mean that she taught or exercised authority over men. Neither does "standing before many." Again these are the gymnastics one is forced to perform in order to ignore plain and clear Scriptures. Now let us see if the referenced Acts verses help his cause: