I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 1Timothy 2:13-14 (ESV)
NT Wright is theologian and former Anglican Bishop. Charisma News highlights a recent interview at the link above where he defends the notion of women in leadership positions over men in the church. I often read pieces like this in the hopes that someone would come up with something new to research but the arguments are always the same old tired recycled lines. They avoid what is clear instruction given by God in favor of wild interpretations and assumptions of what Paul really meant. They seemingly stop at no end, changing the actual meanings of word to prop up their unbiblical points. They open up scripture to the wiles of their imagination in order to make Junias an apostle or Phoebe a deaconess. As I have said before, this subject gives me no joy. I know godly women who can preach the paint off the walls but that does not change what God has said. So let us reason together once more through scripture and reality through the above link and try our best to listen only to what God is saying.
"N.T. Wright says that the New Testament clearly shows that women can be church leaders and preachers, and added that many American churches that deny women opportunities to lead do so off a "highly selective reading of Scripture" that misses the bigger context. In an interview with Premier's Justin Brierley, Wright bases his argument off the existence of female church leaders in Romans 16. "Romans 16 is explosive," Wright says. "Paul greets all these church leaders in Rome, many of whom are women who are church leaders in their own right, one of whom is an apostle--he says so, Junia. There's been a huge attempt to try to make out this as Junius, a man, but the scholarship is quite clear. This is a female name and she is an apostle. For Paul, that means somebody who has seen the Risen Jesus and is thereby commissioned to be an authorized representative." Wright adds that Paul selected a woman to be the carrier and likely reader and expositor of the letter which became Romans, which means both Paul and the church recognized she possessed a certain level of authority." -- Charisma News
The truly sad thing about people who insist on disobeying the key scriptures today is that they all recycle the same tired arguments that have been thoroughly debunked by Scripture over and over again. Mind you, what we see in the key verses are clear and directive scripture. The language is definitive and final. I do not permit. Period. Full stop. We do not have to wonder or speculate what Paul means. To claim this is selective is asinine. This is not interpreting scripture -- it is reading it. When Wright is forced to view the closing salutations in the Book of Romans and assume conclusions in it that are not supported by other scriptures, the context is not "bigger." It is "weaker."
Romans 16 is not "explosive." It is Paul giving greetings to those who have helped him and the cause of Christ and let us not lose sight of what we are discussing. No one is suggesting females cannot serve Christ in His church. What we see in the key verses is they are forbidden from serving with authority over men in teaching and preaching. God then does something extraordinary -- He explains why! Probably because He knows how our depraved hearts will try to be disobedient in this area, God explains that it is because Eve was deceived that this prohibition exists. This also should put to rest the fanciful teaching that Adam was just as much to blame as Eve in the garden. His sin was different. He listened to his wife instead of God. Eve on the other hand listened to the devil instead of God. Wright's assertion that Junias was a female is untrue. Many scholars believe Junias to be a male, especially in light of the text itself referring to Him as a "kinsman."
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)
However, we do not even need to be sure of the gender of Junias because there is no way they were an apostle! Read the text! It says that Andronicus and Junias were "well known to" the Apostles. So among the Apostles, these two men were well known. They themselves were not Apostles. These are the lengths people like Wright will go to in order to prove their unbiblical point. To dismiss clear and directive scriptures in favor of redefining someone's gender and then twisting the one scripture they appear in to create doctrine out of whole cloth. The scholarship of the gender is only clear to those wishing to dismiss the key verses and the larger point is it is irrelevant. What is most sad here is that Wright actually goes as far as to say Junias must have therefore seen the risen Christ even though this is mentioned nowhere in the entire canon of scripture.