House Church Talk - There can not be male and female6

SameSpecies samespecies at
Thu May 6 15:22:02 EDT 2004

In this post we will examine whether God prohibits a woman from being in the

1 Timothy 3:1  "Faithful is the word:  If anyone aspires to the
overseership, he desires a good work."

Note:  Paul starts off saying "Faithful Word".  The King James translates it
"This is a true saying", the two Greek words are Strong's #4103 and #3056.
If we look these words up in the Strong's definitions we see "Faithful Word"
is the correct translation.  We also see that this "word" is the Greek text
Logos.  This is the same Logos found in John 1:1-3, the Word which became
flesh and dwelt among us, and the same "word" that is God.  Paul is starting
this verse with God, the Word, is faithful.  I do not believe Paul is
referring us back to any other verses or scriptures.  I believe he is saying
God is Faithful.  However, if some of us believe Paul is in fact saying
"This is a true saying", then that O.K. too, just remember that what Paul is
about to say is a very truth or true saying.  So what does Paul say next.
Paul says next, "...If anyone...".  Paul's inspired letter says "anyone",
and means just that, anyone, male or female.  It could have been said a
dozen different ways to make it male specific, but it wasn't.  The King
James says "if a man", but this is not a correct translation of the Greek
text, let's look at the Strong's and Zodhiates definitions;

1536. εἴ τις eí tis; conditional expression from ei (1487), if, and tis
(5100), any. If any, if someone, used with the sort of emphasis for hóstis
(3748), whosoever, whatsoever, everyone who. With the indic. pres. (Mark
9:35; Luke 14:26; 1 Cor. 3:12; 8:2, 3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 1:9; 2 Tim. 5:8;
6:3); with indic. fut. (1 Cor. 3:14, 15; Rev. 13:10); with indic. perf. (2
Cor. 7:14; 10:7); with indic. aor. (Rev. 20:15). Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992,
c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.)
(G1536). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

1536 εἰ, τὶς [ei, tis /i tis/] pron. From 1487 and 5100; GK 1623 and 5516;
79 occurrences; AV translates as “if any man” 35 times, “if any” 19 times,
“if a man” eight times, “if any thing” six times, “if ought” three times,
“whosoever” twice, and translated miscellaneously six times. 1 whoever,
whatever.  Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible
(electronic ed.) (G1536). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

So far we can see the verse should be translated "Faithful Word:  If anyone
aspires to the overseership...".  Now look at the words "he desires".  If we
check the Greek Critical Texts (Nestle-Aland or others) we do not find the
word "he" in any manner in this verse.  These words "he desires" are given
Strong's Identification #1937.   It is epithuméō, from epí ( 1909 ), in, and
thumós ( 2372 ), the mind. To have the affections directed toward something,
to lust, desire, long after.  The word is only "desire", the "he" is not in
the Greek text, it is just added in.  Let's look at Strong's and Zodhiates
definitions again to confirm this;

1937. ἐπιθυμέω epithuméō; contracted epithumó̄, fut. epithumé̄sō, from epí
(1909), in, and thumós (2372), the mind. To have the affections directed
toward something, to lust, desire, long after. Generally (Luke 17:22; Gal.
5:17; Rev. 9:6). To desire in a good sense (Matt. 13:17; Luke 22:15; 1 Tim.
3:1; Heb. 6:11; 1 Pet. 1:12); as a result of physical needs (Luke 15:16;
16:21); in a bad sense of coveting and lusting after (Matt. 5:28; Rom. 7:7;
13:9; 1 Cor. 10:6 [cf. James 4:2; Sept.: Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21; 14:26; 2
Sam. 3:21; Prov. 21:26]). Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete
word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G1937). Chattanooga,
TN: AMG Publishers.

1937 ἐπιθυμέω [epithumeo /ep·ee·thoo·meh·o/] v. From 1909 and 2372; TDNT
3:168; TDNTA 339; GK 2121; 16 occurrences; AV translates as “desire” eight
times, “covet” three times, “lust” three times, “lust after” once, and
“fain” once. 1 to turn upon a thing. 2 to have a desire for, long for, to
desire. 3 to lust after, covet. 3a of those who seek things forbidden.
Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible (electronic ed.)
(G1937). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Now, this section of the verse, correctly translated should read "that one
desires", not "he desires".  The whole verse correctly translated should
then read "Faithful Word: if anyone aspires to the overseership, that one
desires a good work."  Now lets move on to the next verse that would still
mislead us into believing God prohibits woman from functioning as an
overseer in the

1 Timothy 3:2  "The overseer then must be without reproach, the husband of
one wife, temperate, of a sober mind, orderly, hospitable, apt to teach;"

Note:  The section of this verse "the husband of one wife" is much disputed
by scholars.  It is frequently understood to refer to the marital status of
the church leader, excluding from leadership those who are unmarried,
polygamous, divorced, or remarried after being widowed.   A different
interpretation is reflected in the NEB’s translation “faithful to his one
wife.”  Let's look at this verse translated exactly word for word from the
Greek text, it says "to be of one wife husband".  It does not say "the
husband of one wife".  Can you see how the word order, between the actual
Greek text, and the English translation has been switched around.  There is
no necessity for this action, other then how we wish to understand the
meaning of the verse.  Another words, it is done based on how we understand
the text, or how we will translate it based on our understanding.  What we
believe Paul is saying.  This understanding is also influenced by our
understanding of the scriptures and things like what doctrine we hold as
correct.  Look for example how the NEB translator rearranged this section of
the verse;  first they added the word "faithful", then they reversed the
words "husband" and "wife", next they moved "one" between the words removing
it from before the words, and then they replaced "husband" with "his" to
show possession.  We must also know that in the Greek text there is no
punctuation.  We must also determine what if any is the correct punctuation,
and this again can be very subjective.  I believe this section of the verse
is saying "to be of one wife, husband" or "to be of one wife or husband".
This would be supported by the fact that the Greek text did not use
punctuation.  In the English language were we would place a comma, or  a
dash, etc., they would not place a comma or dash, they didn't use
punctuation.  In places we might put an "and" or an "or" they wouldn't
necessarily.   When translating it to English however, we might add an "and"
or "or". The fact that there was some polygamy at that time would also
support the translation of "to be of one wife or husband".  Let's look at
some of the other understandings by the scholars.  Another opinion is it was
meant to mean an unmarried person could not be an overseer.  Well, we can
throw this one out right away, because we know Paul counseled men and women
that they were better off not to marry, but instead be devoted only to the
Lord.  What about divorced or remarried?  Well, is the blood sufficient for
cleansing, can there be repentance and cleansing, are we not a new creation,
are any of us without sin, to what degree is adultery, adultery?  These are
question we will have to wrestle with in determining whether the verse
section should be translated with a meaning that prevents divorced or
remarried ones from overseership.  The best support I see for the
translation being "to be of one wife or husband" is the Greek text and the
word order it's self, combined with the correct understanding we now have of
1 Tim 3:1.  Concerning the Greek text word order, it says "to be of one".
This is very clear, just one wife or husband, to be of one, no polygamy.
Now, combine this with our correct translation of 1 Tim 3:1, which says
"Faithful Word:  If anyone aspires to the overseership, that one desires a
good work."  Combine it with the fact that in previous posts we saw Paul was
not the male chauvinist we thought.  Combine it with the fact that we have
the Spirit being poured out on men and women, with the fact that we saw
women were apostles, prophets, evangelists, deacons, judges, etc.  I believe
we have made the case that Paul said "to be of one wife or husband".  Let's
see if we can support this translation further.  Look at 1 Timothy 3:12,
"Deacons must be husbands of one wife...".  Now turn to Romans 16:1-2  "I
commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a Deaconess of the church which is
in Cenchrea, that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the
saints and assist her in whatever matter she may have need of you;  for she
herself has also been the patroness of many, of myself
as well."  Here it is clearly stated that Phoebe is a Deaconess.  The text
the King James translates as "servant" is the word for "deacon".  It is the
same text found in 1 Timothy 3:12, that is translated deacon.  He instructs
the saints to assist her in
whatever matters (business?) she may have.  Then we see that she was also a
"patroness of many, of myself as well".  The word "patroness" is Strong's
#4368 and it's primary and foremost meaning is a leader, ruler or director.
Phoebe was a deaconess and considered a patroness of many, as well, as the
Apostle Paul (His words not mine).   Now, how can a female (a deaconess) be
the "husband of one wife" as stated in 1 Timothy 3:12?  If we conclude in 1
Timothy 3:2 that a woman can not be an overseer because an overseer has to
be a man, as it says, "the husband of one wife", then we must conclude based
on the same exact wording that a woman can not be a deacon either, as it
also says "Deacons must be husbands of one wife".  However, Phoebe was a
deacon.  Again, consider what the Greek text really says in 1 Tim 3:1
"Faithful Word: if anyone aspires to the overseership, that one desires a
good work."

Now there is many other misleading word choices throughout 1 Tim 3:1, all
the way into the end of chapter five.  We will find even deleted words for
the male gender, deleted from the scriptures, leading us to believe chapter
five is talking about women, and not men too.  Also, leading us to believe
that this chapter is about another subject other then a continuation of
overseership.  In many other places we have added words, for male gender,
making us think this is a male only issue.  Lord willing we will cover more
in a couple of days.  Well, we have seen so far that there were women
apostles, prophets, evangelist, deacons, and today hopefully that women are
not really prohibited from being elders, functioning as shepherds, in the
overseership.  We saw that unlike what we thought before, God hasn't said
"if a man... he...", instead God said "if anyone... that one".  This is
consistent with God choosing, God placing and God appointing some, God
pouring out His Spirit on both men and women, and God being the Gift in
vessels that will produce His fruit, so that God will have His glory, His
expression, His
image in the church, and consistent with there can not be male or female.

Here's something I observed in Watchman Nee's writings.  I'll add it to this
article, because allot of brothers respect him, and I know you don't know me
from Adam.  I am quoting from the book "The Assembly Life", first question
on page 39.  This is a question to Watchman Nee in a church meeting
consisting of a gathering of different local churches; "Question:  Can a
woman have the pastoral gift?  Answer:  Gifts are given without distinction
of sex.  A woman can also have the pastoral gift.  The
daughters of Philip had the gift of prophecy."  Let me affirm that Watchman
Nee gave a correct answer.  I believe the Spirit of the Lord will also
confirm it, in our spirits, if we will seek Him about the matter.  Watchman
Nee was right to say that a woman can have a pastoral gift.  Let me quote
him again from page 38.  "Answer:  The word pastor has been used only once
in Ephesians 4...  In other passages, the word is translated "shepherd."
The words pastor and shepherd are the same word in the original language.
The meaning of this word is to feed and guard.  Those who are given the gift
of pasturing should be able to lead and feed the believers."  Watchman Nee
is referencing Ephesians 4:11 which says "And He Himself gave some as
apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds
(pastors) and teachers,"  In this church meeting Watchman Nee not only
acknowledged that women could have the pastoral gift, but also stated that
he was aware
that to have the pastoral gift was the same as having the gift of
shepherding.  Now, according to the grammatical construction in Ephesians
4:11, we see that shepherd and teacher is a single class of gifted persons.
Now, if we will refer to Acts 20:17 "...he (Paul, the Apostle) sent word to
Ephesus and called for the elders of the church."  Now, let's turn to Acts
20:28.  Here Paul instructed them (the elders), "Take heed to yourselves and
to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to
shepherd (that is pastor) the church of God, which He obtained through His
own blood."  The elders of the church in verse 17, which are placed as
overseers, to shepherd the church, prove that overseership is the office.
That elder denotes the person, and shepherd and teacher refers to the
functioning.  We can see this by comparing verse 17 to 1 Timothy 3 which
speaks also of the functioning of that office.  Well, just a side note to
help us see the connection between pastor, shepherd and teacher, elder, and
overseer.  If you want to take the time, look at the Greek text of Eph 4:11
and 1 Cor 12:28.  You will notice that the same rules, or standard of
translation, have not been applied to each of these Greek words, that denote
when translated into English.  In some cases the Greek text is
transliterated into English, from Greek, to Latin, to Old English, to Middle
English, leading us to believe that it is more of an office then a function
being described.  In other cases, the Greek text is translated giving the
meaning of the word, revealing the function more plainly.  If we were to
apply the same standard in
translating all the words, that denote these functions, then the word for
Apostle would be translated "sent one" and not transliterated.  Then would
follow spokesman, teacher, etc., etc., depending on whether we are in Eph
4:11 or 1 Cor 12:28.  This shows us more clearly, that these are functions,
and not a matter of rank.

Until all rule and authority is placed under Him,


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