Gender Politics in the Church // How One Popular Translations Diminishes the Role of Women with Ken Arrington

Lemon: 0:40
Welcome back to another episode of the milk and honey podcast with lemon. And I am so excited about my guest today. I have Ken Arrington here with me and. He’s amazing. He’s absolutely amazing. We’ve been talking for the last half an hour and I just can’t wait to see what comes out of this podcast. So I’m going to give you a little bit of background on him. So his passion is to see people reawaken their rightful birthright, authority, and inheritance as children of God through the love of Jesus. He’s a husband, a father, and a licensed pastor in multiple countries. And he’s currently serving full time overseas, planning regional houses of prayer and worship and directs a UK registered charity that provides hope and support for the neglected in need, trafficked, and addicted. He also is a content creator. That’s how I found him on Tik TOK, sharing some incredible insight, which we’re going to talk about today. And he really just desires to reveal the beauty of Jesus while offering a deeper understanding of the Bible. He currently has over 18 hours of online courses available through his website, revealed ministries. com, which I will link in the show notes for you. And his newest book, rending the veil, beginning the journey of intimacy with your creator is going to be released. In May. So I’m excited about this. You can find him on TikTok designing videos for his followers that offer a little history, a little mystery, and a whole lot of Jesus. So thank you for being here, Ken. I’m so excited to have you.

Ken: 2:00
Oh man, this is awesome. Thank you so much. I am blown away that I am your first male guest. On this podcast. Like I, I feel so honored from that that I’m, I really, it’s very rare that I don’t have anything to say. I, there’s nothing I can say. I’m just blown away by that. Thank you so much. That is that, that means a lot. It really does. Oh, thank you.

I y’all, I was, I saw Ken on Tik TOK sharing something that was really profound and it was like 11 o’clock at night and I looked at my husband and I said, I need to meet him. I was like, I have to have him on the podcast. I was like, nobody’s talking about this with the passion that he’s talking about it. And he was like, it’s 11 o’clock. Do not email this man. I said, I’m absolutely emailing this man at 11. And yeah, that was only what, a week or two ago maybe. And so I’m just so excited. And the video I saw that prompted this whole conversation is talking about gender politics in. Popular evangelical biblical translations and the way it diminishes the role of women. And so I would love for you to talk about that and how you got there.

Sure. Okay. So for those of you that don’t know me I’ve been in ministry probably for better part of a decade now. But I grew up in a evangelical church and my father was a pastor of a number of different churches. But early on in life that I began to see the politics behind Things that go on in church denominations and things like that. And I just totally it screwed me up when I was a kid. I’m telling you right now just seeing the machinations of how things worked and, hearing about the love of Jesus on one hand, but on the other hand, seeing The farthest from and now that’s not on my dad’s side. My dad’s the greatest man I know. But just some things that were done early in my life, as far as ministry was concerned. And so my father is now a non denominational pastor. I left the faith for the majority of my adult life until I had a face to face encounter with Jesus about a little over a decade ago, and that changed. Everything for me and, but my wife and I both, we both had powerful encounters with Jesus. And at that point it was, I can’t live my life normally anymore. We became what I call it crazy Christians. And what I mean by that is not fire and brimstone, but just like really just consumed with this love of Jesus. And one of the things that I grew up with. Was always seeing, in church structures the way kind of women were viewed and it wasn’t correlating with how I saw Jesus interacting with women in the Bible. And when I… When I was in my university years I was not Christian. And so I learned about but I was always fascinated with religion. Just deeply fascinated. I ended up owning a bookstore, a religious bookstore for a while. It was not a Christian-themed bookstore. It was all different types of religious religions. And I was just. fascinated with the evolution of how the Bible was constructed, what scholars had to say on it and then just finding out basically culturally, it became an obsession learning the history of this world that the Bible was created in. So I. In my postgraduate years, I focused more on classical history four years of Latin and just really obsessed with how did these cultures operate? And when you begin to… read this and understand early ancient Christian history where the first century women actually had a higher role. And then all of a sudden it begins to diminish quickly, especially when Christianity becomes more of a Greek religion. And When that happened that is when you began to see a shift in how women, the operation of women in the early church. And when this shift happened you had the growth of Gnostic sex or Gnostic Christianity. We call it Gnostic Christianity. They didn’t call it like, if you went to an ancient Gnostic 2000 years ago, they would just say that. If Christianity was a term, which didn’t start getting used until Antioch. But if the late first early second century, a person that believed in Gnostic Christianity, and you can’t see me doing my parentheses right now, Gnostic Christianity they would have just considered themselves Christian. There was no traditional church structure at that time. But one of the things that happened is that in. The oppression upon women became so extreme, the Gnostic sex of Christianity began to to elevate women to a point, and then, so you have this, and then as traditional Christianity begins to grow and become codified, there becomes this suppression of women, because in Greek society Greek writers Greek women normally were not educated in the way that, We think of education today, unless you were of the higher classes. So the Greek writers let’s just say they, like Aristotle and things like that let’s just say that they didn’t have a positive attitude towards women, and then you move to your church fathers, such as Augustine. Enough said there. If you know your church history and then you begin to see this kind of this really bad snowball rolling down the hill. The villainization of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute with Pope Gregory and that’s in 591 during his Easter sermon equating Mary Magdalene with a prostitute which that wasn’t a thing. Like for the first century church you start seeing this kind of demonization of women, and that was rising up as well in the Jewish, so as Christianity split off and you have the Jewish religion codifying more and beginning to codify their own texts, moving away from Greek texts to create the Masoretic texts which is basically the current Hebrew Bible you begin to see it again this lowering the position of women. And then moving forward, it just gets gross. So studying this, like when I was younger and seeing how this developed, you begin to like really see how politics and gender identity it is a big deal. It is a big deal. It’s been used for all types of horrible things, keeping women out of leadership in church by Misappropriating culturally what certain verses mean by cherry picking versus not understanding that the oldest texts that were ever, that we had any physical, that we, that scholars believe the earliest. Stories of the Bible that were passed down orally were the song of Miriam, okay, out of Exodus, and the song of Deborah, the story of Deborah in Judges. Those are believed to be some of the oldest oral traditions that were passed down that were integrated into early early parts of the Bible. I was like wait a minute. This is about women. What, what is going on? Wait a minute. These are, so it’s, and then you have the song Solomon, which, that, which is never taught about in churches today, most pastors won’t touch that with a 10 foot pole. Because it brings up all different types of issues about intimacy, about relating the relationships, not just between men and women, but between between. God and his chosen people, between Jesus and the bride, like we have such a, like people lose their mind when I talk about, when I get online and, I’ll do a TikTok video and I’m talking about Jesus as the bridegroom and we’re the bride. And I had, I get so much blowback on stuff like that. Just like men have such a hard time in general and some women, because of the way that they’ve been raised understanding that this, the whole way that we’re described in our relationship with Jesus as reflected in the prophetic work of the Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon and all throughout the New Testament is that we are a bride. We are a bride. That’s who we are as a people. We are the bride. We’re the bride of Christ. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, whatever. Doesn’t matter your gender. Nothing. We are collectively and individually. The bride of Christ. And that is a very, there are people that just have a hard time relating with that. They look at that as a negative. Oh, I’m in the, Oh, I’m just so uncomfortable with the way that you’re talking about Jesus as your husband. I get it. I get emails, I get messages, people just literally losing their mind. But that is literally what the Bible says. So when I say, here’s somebody go, Oh, I’m a Bible believing Christian and yada yada. And I’m like, Oh, okay. All right. Yeah. So you’re the bride. And it is, yeah but that gender politics that even plays into the translations of the Bible which is actually how this whole conversation started with you.

I love it. I love that you said people lose their mind because I actually hear it more from women, actually very angry when I talk about women in leadership in the church. I get, Titus thrown at me all the time and everything like, Nope, women are just supposed to stay home and raise children and things. And I’m like, yes, we can stay home and raise our children, but we also have a place in leadership.

Absolutely. The Bible is very clear. Absolutely. And every time I talk about somebody like Deborah or Priscilla or Lydia or any of these women, it’s a lot of hate. And I’m sure you get the same sort of hate for talking about. These women who are maybe like lesser known too, right? I don’t know a single pastor in the last decade that has talked to me about Lydia or Priscilla or, or any of these women. And again, that’s one of those things that. As we were talking about is frustrating. Is that makes me a lot of times frustrated rather as that makes me a lot of times I always have to take a step back and listen for the heart of the Lord and that position and. What the Lord tells me every single time is find sympathy for them simply because this is how that they’ve been raised. This is how they’ve been trained. This is how that they’ve been conditioned. And in that conditioning comes in this is wrong and everyone else that is wrong. Is my enemy. And it’s my job to correct their brain. And, that’s not the attitude that I take. And that’s why when I’ll, when I do like a social media post or a TikTok post or whatnot, I would just put the information out there. If you want to receive it. That’s my hope, that it intrigues a person enough to make them don’t accept what I say. That, just blind acceptance of what I say, that’s not what I want. What I want people to do is to become interested enough to engage and go. Wait a minute, like my favorite emails, Oh, I just did this post on Mary Magdalene, right? And in the comments and in the emails, just getting swarmed with people like I like for this particular, I’ve gotten more love off of this post. I think than any post that I’ve ever done. And except for tick tock, shut it down. I don’t know if you saw that. That was funny. It jumped up to 135, 000 views and then all of a sudden it was put on a content sensitive warning saying it was talking about violent acts. And I was like, huh? So I reposted it. But but I’ve gotten so much love from that of people going, I had no idea about any of this stuff with Mary Magdalene. I had no clue. And now that you’ve said it, I’m looking in the Bible. And I see it. It’s literally everywhere. And thank you so much. And, thank you so much for talking about her, our, my favorite one, which is the woman at the well which the woman at the well I don’t know if you’re familiar with that story, but that is. That is Jesus’s longest conversation with another human being in the entire Bible is with the woman at the well. And in the Eastern Orthodox tradition her name’s Fatini. And there’s this whole backstory that she’s recognized as a saint in Greek Orthodox. And in some… Parts of the Catholic Church as well. But she like her story after she met Jesus and what, she reportedly went on to do is just phenomenal. And when people realize that, wait a minute, there is a voice for women in the Bible. There is a voice. It’s not just, we’re not just supposed to be subservient, that we can be leaders, that we are, the first person that Jesus commissioned to spread the word that he has risen is Mary Magdalene. The first, like he could have just sit back and chilled and just showed up to the disciples, right? That’s what he could have done. He could have just, he could have just said, Oh, hey guys, what’s up? But that’s not what he did. The first thing, the first person he appeared to was Mary. And I’m not getting into the whole Jesus wife thing and all that stuff, because I personally don’t believe in that conspiracy theory. I know all about the conspiracy theory. I can tell you where it came from way before Dan Brown and all that sort of stuff. And I can, bring you back to the Gnostic Gospels and actually show you where it crops up. If you want, if people want to believe it, that’s fine with me. Like I said, I’m not here to debate. But. But with, but just I think saying that she’s Jesus’s wife and presenting that kind of cheapens her in a way Because it’s like she doesn’t need to be for her to be a powerful voice right and In the Bible, she’s mentioned 12 times by name, which is more than 90% of the other apostles. She’s the apostle to the apostles in a lot of ways. Just that sort of she’s just very powerful. It’s a very powerful thing, especially when you understand that day and age, like people have no clue. They think that, back then, the biggest thing that I feel that modern day Christians are so weak in Is a cultural understanding. of the Bible that we think that they think or they thought exactly like we think, right? We think that ancient people thought the same things they thought they, we think that they thought the same things when they read the Bible that we do. If you want to go back 1500 years ago, we think that ancient Christians, their idea about the world was the same as our idea about the world, our idea about society is the same. And none of that is true. They, you can go back 200 years ago, and their idea of the Bible is going to be completely different than our idea now. 200 years ago, the idea of the rapture was not a concept. And I’m not even going down that road right now but that whole idea didn’t even exist. Really, like it, we understand it today. So the focus on John 3, 316. So God still loved the world if he gave his only begotten son, right? That is like a lot of people’s hallmark voice, verse now. We’re like, that is THE verse, right? Of the New Testament. That is also a very recent phenomenon. That, that’s not, traditionally that was not a strong verse when you go back. Into, a thousand years ago, that was not a verse that was often mentioned for God so loved the world. So we, we tend to put our ideas, our blinders on and think that’s how people, excuse me, 2000 years ago, believed. But it’s not. And when we, and culturally the way that we look at women, like in our society, Equal rights, equal pay, equal this, equal that, we’re all for it, that’s what we want etc. But 2, 000 years ago, a woman didn’t even have the right of divorce. So when she could, a woman could apply for divorce under egregious in, in Hebraic times 2, 000 years ago, she could apply for divorce under, under certain situations. But she had to bring that petition before a court of men, who nine times out of 10 are going to side. with the husband because to give the woman those rights, they, and it’s still believe this today. And I, and you think we have grown past that. We believe that in giving someone equal rights, it, but it diminishes the rights of those in power. And it’s this concept that Jesus He directly addresses on the Sermon of the Mount when he talks about divorce. I had a sweet lady email me this morning. She’s just torn apart because she’s going through a divorce. She reads this line. She thinks that she’s doing, she’s sinning. Even though her husband was not a good person. And I get these emails like all the time of people like, Like taking these verses out of cultural context because that’s how they’ve been taught to do it, right? That’s how their pastor their church leader whatever has given it to them because that’s what they’ve been trained But they don’t realize that at that time women didn’t have a right to divorce But a man could divorce a woman for any reason that he wanted He could say I don’t like the way you clean my house and he could write He didn’t have to go to a council. He didn’t have to go to anything. He would just write a bill of divorce Sign it she’s divorced A woman had no social protection, none. All right. 2000 years ago in, in Judea, she had very little to any protection. And a man, if a woman gets divorced in their society, a man’s I don’t want to marry a divorced woman. That’s going to bring shame on my house. Okay. So a lot of times these women, they would get divorced. They would have no rights, no pillages, no income, no money, no way, no real way to create a living for themselves. Are their children. And if a man is oh, I have male heirs He could take the children and she’d leave her literally destitute with nothing. So jesus is okay We’re gonna play at this game The only way that the only reason you can get a divorce and he’s addressing this to men not women The only way you can get a divorce is through adultery other than that. It’s a sin. Okay So it’s all of a sudden the men were like I can just imagine And I try to do this as much as I can. I try to place myself With Jesus saying these things. I can just imagine the literal heads of men Exploding when Jesus says this because he’s addressing Pharisees when he’s saying this. Okay So when he says this there’s this huge crowd of people he’s saying these things he’s having people go up what do you say about this? This is what I say and like the heads of these men Exploding because he’s literally eroding their power position He’s literally eroding their patriarchy and I can hear at the same time the hearts of women literally just swelling, like just being filled with for the first time, someone who is moving in authority, someone who is moving in power, someone who is moving in love, is coming to their defense. And that was Jesus. And I think as Christians, we have truly dropped the ball in every way, shape and form by cherry picking and taking things out of context and outright manipulation of the Bibles which is basically what’s happened in this in this criticism of the ESV, which is actually how we started talking because someone and that video came about because someone asked me what Bible version would I never recommend? Or no, what do I recommend? So I listed off five and one that I don’t, and it was just randomly. And I was like, I just don’t recommend the ESV and me and my dummy brain. I’m thinking that other people know why. So the next thing you know, I, the comments blow up. Why would you like the ESV? What’s wrong with the ESV? And so I’m like, all right I need to do a video on this because apparently people don’t know what’s going on in the ESV translation. And like I said in, in, in the video, the ESV, it’s a great translation in many ways. I own an ESV. I’ve had one for about 15 years even though I’ve only been Christian for 10. But with the actually 11 now but with the ESV it, it’s designed for an eighth grade reading level. It’s amazing it’s very easy read as far as the Bible’s concerned. But it’s, it was designed with its intent directed and created for the conservative evangelical church. It, it was designed for conservative evangelical churches. It’s sold I think it’s up to 300 million copies now. Most of which I would say 90% of which have been sold within the United States. It is. huge in the USA. Not so much here. If I was to go to a a bookstore here, I’m not going to find an ESV. It’s just not a thing, but it was the ESV was created by a team of over a hundred evangelical Bible scholars editors, pastors. It took three years for the first edition to be complete. And they based its source work on the RSV but. Which is a, an older Bible, but they changed a few things. But the big thing that you got to know about the ESV is it was let the scholarship program. Part of it was, or the translation part was led by a guy named Lane Dennis, and he’s the president of Crossway books. And if you don’t know what Crossway is, Crossway publications and Crossway books, they are pretty much like the leading evangelical publisher out there. And they. The first thing they did is they created this book and they went to the big dogs. They went to R. C. Sproul, John Piper some of these other guys and said, Hey, this is a book. We’re designing this for the evangelical church, a Bible version. And you read 99% of it. And it’s just every other Bible, but there are a few little changes that they made. And this is why it’s important that I tell people to read multiple Bibles. Because every Bible translation has a motivation behind it. Every single one. It’s, everybody brings a bit of their bias into it. Everybody brings their attitude into it. I think it’s important and I don’t want to take up too much time, but I think it’s important for folks to know something because it’s an issue that comes up again and again over the life of the Bible’s creation. And I keep forgetting we’re not on video. So I keep trying to grab stuff to show you. But I get people that go, what is the. What is the closest translation to the actual Hebrew, and the actual Greek Bible, and I’m like, they don’t exist. That’s not how it works. And it’s not how language, especially ancient languages regarding cultures that we’re not a part of, it works. We can go round to get the correct meaning of text, but it’s not exact. And in my classes, this is something that I teach on when I have one class that’s tilted. Ultimate Bible History for Believers intro workshop. And I also have another version of that class that’s 12 hours long. But in this course one of the things that I discuss is Just how much English has changed. Like we all speak English, right? We’re like, Oh English. I take this and I know your readers can’t, or you’re watching or your listeners can’t see this, but like I take this and this is old English here, and that was about 800, 900 years ago. And then we have, different levels of, basically, I take this sentence and I go through to the modern translation of it. And basically, this, what starts off as this sentence, over four iterations 600, 300 years ago to the present it comes up with The way, what it says is then she spoke late modern English, but that’s not exactly what it says. Like you have to move words around. And then I told my students, now imagine doing these. Doing this to ancient languages that are thousands of years old. And you can, you see how biblical translations not cut and dry. So when you have a Bible that says it’s a word for word translation, like the ESV or the KGV or KJV, that’s all I say, KGV, KJV, things like that. They say they’re a word to word translation. They’re really not, they’re not word to word translations because that’s not how. That’s not how Hebrew works. That’s not how Greek works. You can it’s amazing that this book exists the way that it is the way that it’s held up. But it’s easy for modern scholars to see where people are putting changes in what tweaks are how just the change and inflection of a word changes the meaning of the text. But it’s very easy to do that. And that scares us as Christians when we hear this stuff, because the next question is if the translations have been changed so much, then how do we know what’s true? And I explain it like this, God is unchanging. Jesus as the, as God’s word represented, God’s word represented in Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ. Is the word of God. Okay. The Bible didn’t exist in its current form, in this form that we have it right now. Up until about five centuries ago, the first iterations of the Bible didn’t exist until, 3 97. You had ACEs who put together his New Testament canon, but the Bible as it exists to us, is a fairly recent codified thing. Jesus is the word of God. The Bible is people’s understanding of God. It is scripture. I believe it is holy. Therefore, it is holy. Okay? Because I believe it’s holy. In and of itself, is the Bible holy? God never told us to put together a Bible. Okay? Do I believe in this Bible? Is it holy? Yes. Yes, it is. But I have been places and in cultures where they do not view it as holy. Okay, but it’s holy because that is the value that I have brought to the text. Okay, I believe it is the Word of God. It’s the people’s understanding of how God moves in this world. But this is the thing. God is unchanging. God’s Word is represented in Jesus Christ is unchanging. But the Bible, it changes all. The time. It does. You go back and you read through history, you will see the Bible has changed a lot, and our understanding of it changes. Our understanding of the Bible is, our understanding of the Bible is different than somebody that lived in 1611, when the King James Version came out. Okay and different translations and their teams, like the ESV team, you have a little leeway in how they present things. So the ESV, like many other Bibles, it claims to be a word for word translation because what that means is it attempts to make one word mean one thing and make that word say the same thing throughout the Bible. But you can’t do that with Hebrew because and you can’t do it with portions of Greek because just, I’ll give you, I’ll give you an answer. The Hebrew word kikar. Off the top of my head, Kikar. It means roundabout. Okay? It means roundabout. It also means loaf of bread. And it also means a town square. Okay? A town square and a roundabout are completely different things. I’m not even putting the loaf of bread thing in there. But that meaning of that word changes upon the context of the sentence in which it’s used. There’s another word la mut which means to die or to be passionate about something. Two completely different things. Okay. So the way a word for word translation doesn’t really work because you have to use context clues. So what happens is. You have to, when you’re reading a Bible, you have to understand where the translators of that Bible are coming from. And when you understand that the ESV is written from for folks with a conservative evangelical background, you can be rest assured that they’re going to play with language to diminish the role of women. I’m not saying that’s what happens in all evangelical churches, but let’s be real. The evangelical church does have a very strong tradition. Of this no women in leadership. No women teaching. No women doing this. No women doing that So what happens is you will have the esv insert little things that completely changes the textual implications the biggest example of this the most egregious example of this Is genesis 3 16 and what happens in genesis 3 16? For your listeners who might not know this and who love their esvs. Don’t throw your esv away If you love your esv keep your esv. It’s like I said, it’s a great translation But be aware that it makes changes in like for instance Most bibles put genesis 3 16. It says your desire shall be contrary Are not sorry your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you Okay, so when the curse comes down and god is saying okay You have to leave the garden because if you don’t you’re going to eat from the tree of life and you’re going to be live in eternal separation. So you’ve got to get out of the garden at this point in time, you’re going to have to till the land. This is going to happen because of this, you’re paying in childbirth, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And one of the things the Lord says is your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you. Okay. But the ESV changes this, what they do, they insert a little thing and it changes the textual implications. It says your desire shall be Contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you. Okay, so I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does something subconsciously. Basically, it’s saying that God is now designing it through the curse of the fall, so that a woman’s desire will be opposed to a man’s leadership. That’s basically what it’s saying. So basically is God’s designing it for a woman to rebel against the man’s leadership, which that’s not what the original text said at all. That is not what it said. That was never part of the original text and it has been proclaimed. There are some people who have just thrown their ESBs out. There are a lot of teachers that when they find out about this, they’re just like, oh, wait a minute. Contrary to that. Contrary is a lot different. Then this and then then you have for instance we were talking about this earlier, how people manipulate Timothy for Timothy to 12. And anytime you post. Anytime you post anything about women in leadership, this is the verse that gets thrown in your face. The one verse in the Bible. Every woman knows it’s used and it’s to keep women out of leadership in churches. But there’s a lot of things going on with this verse and there’s a lot of things going on with Timothy first. Based on our earliest translations no scholar in this world believes that Paul wrote Timothy. Not one. You will not find one. That’s on a university level. That’s, that, and that pretty much goes throughout. If you go to, if you go to any university that’s a real university. That’s an accredited university. Timothy is, everyone knows that Timothy was not written by Paul. Paul Paul actually spoke of women in Romans. He elevated women. He talks about Junia as an apostle talks about talks about Phoebe as a diaconess, a deacon in the church. She was also the one that basically, was responsible for carrying his letter. You have Priscilla who he worked closely with and he depended on as a teacher. So you’ve got you’ve got Paul like putting women in a position that, that in that culture, wasn’t normally a thing, it wasn’t normally a thing, and especially coming out of his background. Where he comes from, that wasn’t a thing. So all of a sudden hearing Paul talk about women in this way, it’s dude, this dude’s obviously had an experience with Jesus. He’s obviously wow, okay, this is some major transformation. You don’t hear about rab guys that were Pharisees at that time talking about things like this, but he’s talking about women, and women flocked to the early church because of this. Historically, you can look back and there were many women in the church because they’re finding levels of authority that they never had before. And what happens is you see this shift and most people, most scholars believe that Timothy they’re now referred to as the pastoral epistles. And the writer of those epistles is simply called the pastor. It was a person that anonymously wrote under Paul’s name. This is not don’t freak out people when you hear that I cover this in the courses that I teach This is a very common practice in the bible. James did not write james. Peter did not write peter it’s believed that first john second john third john We’re not written by john Revelation was not written by John the Apostle. It was written by John Patmos. It doesn’t mean these books are less sacred. It doesn’t mean they’re less applicable. It doesn’t mean anything like that. It’s just most books were, the practice was, if an anonymous book was written, you apply the name of a famous person to it. And are you, are sometimes like in the case of Paul, and this is what I personally believe is the situation going on with Timothy and a lot of scholars agree with this is that, that Paul is that the writer of Timothy is one of Paul’s disciples, either a first generation disciple or second generation disciple writing under Paul’s authority. But it’s well known that. that Paul did not write this between 30 to 60 before his execution in, the 60s AD. So you have a person writing with Paul’s authority that is talking about women in the position of the church. And so it’s constantly thrown out there. We know that Paul didn’t have issues with women in leadership. Mentioning Eunie as an apostle is a big one. But When you get to Timothy, there’s a shift, right? And you also have Corinthians, which, like, when Paul addresses the church in Corinth, there’s something going on where he’s talking about the position of women and to remain silent and things like that. When you understand culturally what’s going on that Corinth and Ephesus, Those two cities particularly were known for temple prostitution. That was how people celebrated their belief. Not Christians. A lot of Christians in the Corinthian church would kept doing this, but but what happened is that these women would they were in, in general, they were in positions in there, the pagan religions that were there, the long time pagan religions that had been there for thousands of years. It was the women who led the temples. So when you came to the Christian church there, there had to be a shift in that leadership in those particular churches, right? You couldn’t have, you can have a priestess leave one cult and come over and there was like, it was just like, Hey, let’s the way that they express themselves and worship the things that they wore, you don’t take people that have been in a. culture where, which had temple prostitution was the norm, and then all of a sudden they’re Christian, you’ve got to put protections in there. And Paul didn’t know that what he was writing to that church would one day be a part of the Bible. In fact, no person writing any of these books in the Bible knew that one day these things would be assembled into a Bible. The Bible is the most beautiful, incredible thing, book, physically created. I truly believe that. I love this book. But let’s be honest, not a single one of these people knew that what they were reading or were writing would be read thousands of years later. Or I think Paul might have cleaned some things up, Ooh, wait a minute. Okay. Maybe I should preface this because he’s writing to individual churches with individual problems. But then you have the writer of Timothy and, Paul believed that And it’s very obvious that Paul believed that Jesus return was going to be within his lifetime. He believed that. Obviously, didn’t happen. What happens is, you have, people after, Oh, Jesus didn’t come back. We need to get some stuff down. We need to create some systems. We need to create some traditions. We need to keep this ball rolling. Especially after the fall of the Temple of Jerusalem, Jews, poof, Christianity begins to explode, but Christianity begins to become a Greek. Not a Hebraic religion, the first Christians were Jews, they were Hebrews. And then as everything grew out and everything changed, blah, blah, blah. But so you have the writer of Timothy come and says I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man. Okay. Now. We read that because of the way that we’ve been conditioned. We read that and we’re like, women can’t be in a position of authority. But when you understand culturally what was going on at the time, when you understand and when you actually sit back and read it outside of that lens, just shut that lens down and say, I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man. That’s talking about balance. That’s talking about, that’s talking about a woman can’t come in and seize authority from a man. It expresses dominance. Okay? So basically, it’s not saying women can’t. Teach, okay? It’s to assume authority over a man, okay? In the ESV though, that changes, okay? They change the wording. It says, I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority. Now, assume authority and exercise authority are two completely different words that have two completely different implications. And so basically it implies a woman shouldn’t have a leadership role At all. Okay. And then the editors of the ESV, they go through and they change a few little things here and there. One of the big ones is talking about like in, like when Paul addresses Junia the earliest translation of the Bible it says that when, Paul is basically saying, Hey greetings to Andronicus and Nunea and it calls them outstanding prominent and of note among the apostles that were in Christ before he was. So right there, he’s acknowledging her. As an apostle and Unia is a gendered female name called the name Unia comes from the goddess, And the earliest church fathers the earliest ones Theodore at origin Regarded her as an apostle. They said she was an apostle but in the ESV and in some other Bibles they footnote it And they call it, and they say some translation, early translations have her name as Junius, but that’s not true. Later translations change her name to Junius, which is not a name that existed. I can tell you, I got four years classical Latin, didn’t, don’t have a master’s in Latin, but I know enough to know that I got curious about this. And I think the first reference I can find comes from the 8th century. All right, so the first 800 years of church history. Junia was regarded as an apostle, as a female apostle. But what happens is in the later translations, especially after the 5th and 6th century, you begin to see that that the name Junius is being used. And everybody knows that has studied this, is that. Okay, you shouldn’t even put that footnote in there anymore. It doesn’t need a footnote in there anymore. It’s not a, it’s not a real thing. And what happens is in the ESV chart version, they also repurpose it. And they say, greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. So the earliest translations say that Andronicus and Eunia were apostles. They were well known, right? But now in the ESV, and the ESV is not the only version that’s guilty of this but now in the ESV, they’re well known to the apostles. Because, if Eunia is a female she… She couldn’t be an apostle. She couldn’t be a leader in the church, could she? You got Phoebe, Romans 16, one through two. We talked about this a little bit like the word used there is diakonos, which means deacon, but translated in the ESV and some other Bibles as servant. Just little tiny things, little tweaks. little tweaks to not come out directly and say it, but to basically give the implication to conservative leadership. Because the writers of the ESV, they know that a Lutheran Isn’t going to pick up that Bible, right? Like it’s not that they have anything against it, but Lutherans have, the NRSV, they have other versions. A Methodist probably isn’t going to pick up an ESV, right? They might, they’d have sold 300 million copies. There is a targeted audience for the ESV. Okay. Eat hard, hardline evangelicals, conservative evangelicals. That’s who their target market is because Bibles have to sell. Bibles have to sell, right? Bibles are created to be sold. Let’s, I know we want to think of it as all sacred. And we want to think of it as, as, and it is sacred. Alright, but we want to think of the publishers as being sacred. Now, they’re trying to make money. All right. So different Bibles are written and they’re targeted to different groups. And the ESV is targeted to conservative evangelicals. So do you think they’re going to rock the boat? No, they’re not going to rock the boat. They’re going to speak specifically to those people and their hot point buttons, which is women, no authority in the church. Okay. It’s crazy. It’s why I don’t recommend the ESV. And this is why I say we all need to have many different versions of the Bible. I, in our house, I think we have maybe 55 different Bible translations. No, we’re a little extreme but it, we need to be reading different things and it’s a big deal. Women belong in leadership in the church, period, point blank. And I, Jesus created, God created us to co labor with one another. If you want to go and read it literally if you’re a biblical literalist and you want to go and you believe that Adam was created and then Eve was created out of his rib, why was he created out of the rib? To be equal. Okay. In God’s kingdom, we’re equal. Okay. When God sends out of the garden, he’s okay the man, the man, man, man’s the head, blah, blah, blah. But that’s in a fallen state. Okay, that’s in a fallen state, but we don’t live in a fallen state. We don’t because if we say as humans if we say if I have jesus living in me I’m, sorry. I don’t live in a fallen state. I don’t now we can play with those dynamics and go Oh you still sin. Yes, but that’s not my nature anymore. My nature is the kingdom and in the kingdom Men and women were created To co labor equally, the bride and the groom to rule and reign. We were created to to work together. And because there are things that my wife do, just like we were talking about earlier, there’s things my wife do. My wife does in our relationship that I can’t do. Like my wife can sit with my young kids in homeschool. She’s good to go. I can’t do that. I can’t do it. I lose my mind. But yeah, sorry. I just took off and and I’ve just been rattling off stuff off the top of my head, but this is a subject that I get very passionate about because for 2000 years. For 1900 years the way women have been positioned to make to believe that the fall was their fault to, that’s not Eve’s fault, the Bible is clear. It says, and Adam, who was with her, he could have stepped up at any point in time. And said, Hey, we shouldn’t be doing this. But what happens is the first issue is Adam has not communicated effectively what God said to Eve because Eve tells the serpent, basically, God says, we shall not touch it or we should die. Okay. That’s not what God said. Said, if you eat of it, you will surely die. She said, if we touch it, we will die. And that gives the serpent, that’s that moment to step in and go you won’t die. And Adam was there the whole time. That was his failure. That’s why the early church said, that’s what Paul, you have these early writers saying, Sin entered through Adam. Okay, it’s his fault. But for 1900 years, what have we been taught? Eve’s fault. It’s Eve’s fault. It’s not. It’s Adam’s fault. And because he was the one that didn’t communicate the message, he was the one that didn’t put a stop to it, and he was the one that joined her in what she was doing. Just, and the way that’s been framed and used to really demonize women is a tragedy. And I, and honestly, I think it’s something that grieves Jesus. I believe it does. I really I believe that it grieves him. He had a relationship with women, with very strong women. The earliest scriptures that we have that the earliest oral traditions that became strict scriptures were stories of women such as Deborah, Miriam. Is it, is a tragedy. What. What’s been done to women especially in areas of leadership, because there, there are things that women do well, that in general, men don’t do, that we need in the church. And this whole, oh women are supposed to lead, they can lead at home. They can stay at home and they can manage their house and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And the church is missing out. They’re missing out. They’re missing out on 50% of what the Lord has for the church. Because we are created equally and we are created to be helpers for one another and in true kingdom dynamic, which is the restoration of what was lost. In that original position, they were, she was created to be a helper. Like they were created not from the foot, not from the head, created from the rib symbolically, meaning equal. And yeah. And so when there are Bible translations, like the ESV, it fires me up and the fact that. Most evangelicals are clueless about it. The fact that most conservatives are clueless about it. The fact that it’s even a thing is messed up. It really is and there’s so much that if people could just go, that’s why I love You know, teaching on this stuff and talking about it in some of the courses that I do and really just seeing people wait a minute, I have a seat at this table, because women for so long have not had a seat at the table, like with the ESV. And this is the last thing I’ll say about it. Cause I know we’re going to, I want to respect your time and we’ve gone over. But the ESV. is one of the few recent Bible translations that had no women in any capacity on the board assisting with the translation teams, anything. No women involvement in that translation, which tells you all you need to know, because there are incredible women Bible translators out there. There are incredible teams, even evangelical, even concert even in the evangelical world that women are, it’s didn’t even invite them to the table. It’s like you have. Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know personally the people who, anybody that sat on, I know a lot of folks who have sit on Bible translation teams because I work with a lot of interfaith councils. But it is shocking when you dig past the surface and see how that Bible translation was put together and how it’s marketed. And it’s just really sad and it’s sad that people read that. And because they’re told it’s a Bible, and that you’re supposed to read, that’s what we’re all told, right? Start here, end here, believe every single thing you read in between. What happens is, when your Bible translation, It says that, it’s part of God’s design that women are contrary to their husband’s wishes. What the heck did you just do to somebody’s marriage? What the heck did you just do to, to what you teach your daughter? You really want to teach your daughter that crap? Let’s just be honest that’s what it is. You really want to teach your kids that? You really want to… It’s gross. It’s gross. I get fired up about it. I’m sorry. I love it. That’s why I brought you on. I’m very passionate about this topic. And so I just got really excited to hear somebody else have the same sort of passion that I do and to let women know like you have a seat at the table. Yep. You have a seat. Yeah, you don’t have a junior. You don’t have a junior table. It’s like it’s oh, you can have a seat at the table you know that table at Thanksgiving where the little kids sit at that the adults try to ignore Yeah, that’s the table you can go sit at. That’s garbage. It’s garbage. Jesus welcomed Women to the table. Jesus, there were women at Pentecost receiving the fire of the Holy Spirit. You’re telling me you’re receiving the fire of the Holy Spirit and you don’t have the authority to go out and teach about it? Come on. Then why did you get it? So you could manage your home? What kind of crap is that? Like sometimes I wish, it’s like sometimes I wish we could listen, we could smell what we’re shoveling. It’s wait a minute. What are we doing? Like why is it’s women in God’s eyes, there’s neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek. We’re all invited to the table. We all can, we are all leaders. We all have value. We all, there. Gosh, man, like my even my wife just, like she was a worship pastor for years and people, there were churches that we get you, you can’t use that, we’ll call her a worship leader. And I’m like, nah. She’s worship. That’s what she’s doing. She’s pastoring. She’s raising people up. She gets the phone calls at 3 or 4 a. m. in the morning from people in her worship team who’ve, had something horrible. She’s a pastor, it’s yeah, so Sorry, I didn’t know I was just going to like word bomb it on everybody.

No, this was so great for being my first male guest. Like what a way to kick it off. I just, I really appreciate you being here and just giving a voice to people who maybe haven’t had one or didn’t know that they had one.

It’s, I can go through the Bible and I can find evidence for anything I want. If I want to find evidence to defend slavery, I can find evidence to defend slavery. If I want to find evidence to put women in a place of submission, I can find that. If I want to find evidence for the right to kill, I can find that. I can find evidence. For whatever I want in the Bible. And that’s because the Bible is a multivocal work written by many different authors over the span of a little over a thousand years using some stories that were even 800 years old. So you’re looking at about 1800 years of different cultures, different identities, different identity politics, different gender politics different things. When we understand that the Bible is what, multivocal, many different voices, What we then have to do is bring our lens to it. And each of us has a different lens. Each of us has a different bias. We all do. And I can make the Bible say pretty much whatever I want to say. So can anybody, right? What’s different is this is why Jesus is so important. Why I love his style, why I love his style when I hear him say things like, you have heard it said, but I say. That is, that, dude, like when he drops those bombs, that’s when I Oh, wait a minute now. Okay. Like he’s redefining everything and he continues to redefine everything and I really feel that if we listened for his voice now and my prayer is that if these leaders who use the Bible to subjugate Not only women but whatever. If they could just learn to look at it through the lens of what Jesus said, which is love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second command is like it, love your neighbor as you love yourself. I think if that is the lens, that’s the key. If that is the lens that we could read the Bible through and understand what we’re reading in the Old Testament is what we’re reading is different people’s understanding of God at the time that they lived and existed. Like I said, the word never changes, but our understanding of it changes. And, when we understand that, wait a minute, maybe God wasn’t ordering the death of all the men, women, and babies. That’s just what they understood God to say. But then when we fully see, when we see Jesus, who is the full realization. of the father upon earth. Jesus says, you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father. When we see Jesus, what is reflected in his character what is reflected in his identity and who he is as the son of God, the physical representation of God upon earth, and we, what, if we cannot find it in the character of Jesus, anything that we do not find in the character of Jesus, we have to redefine in the Old Testament. Period, point blank. And it’s the same, that doesn’t all only apply to the past, that applies to the future. And what that means is that anything that is in this finished work of the Bible, which wasn’t finished and wasn’t canonized in the Protestant, world until 1611 or whatever, and even then it’s not a, even then it’s crazy up until 1885 because it still had the apocrypha in it until 1885. Anyway, that’s a whole other story. That applies forward. So anything. So what I mean by that is no matter what our interpretation is. If it’s not seen through Jesus, it’s wrong. So that means anything that we read in the Bible that’s not seen through the lens of love, that’s not seen through the lens of love the Lord your God, all your heart, soul, mind, strength, love your neighbor as yourself. If you’re not, if you’re not reading it from that, you’re going to go off the rails. You’re going to be, you’re going to read it. You’re going to get afraid. You’re going to, you’re going to find, you can defend, like I said, you can defend slavery, you can defend all different types of stuff. But anything outside the lens of Jesus is, I know people that have got, gotten A’s in Bible translation, biblical history. I know people that have gotten A’s in Bible theory apologetics and flunk the love of Jesus. And so it’s you’ve missed it. You, it doesn’t matter how well, it doesn’t matter how much you can recite. It doesn’t matter any, none of that matters. What matters is, do you understand the love of Jesus?

And how did Jesus feel about women? He empowered them. He raised them up. He gave, the first minister that said he’s risen was a woman. When he was hanging at a cross and he looked at his disciple and he looked at the disciple that he loved. He said, disciple, look on that woman. She is your mother now. Moms have authority, right? He’s saying submit to her authority, okay? This is your mother, right? Little things like that you go back and you you say, wait a minute, hold on the fact that Martha could call out Jesus on the road yo, you knew three days ago that he was gonna die, you took your sweet time That is egregious in that society. Women did not talk to men that way, and Jesus didn’t call down hellfire on her. He went and raised her brother from the dead. His mom. His first miracle. He doesn’t want to do it. Woman, it’s not my time. She’s I think you need to make it your time. And Jesus is we’ve had a change of plans. All right, so here we go. Like Jesus loved and empowered women. He protected Sermon on the Mount we were we were discussing this and like the right of divorce, men could divorce women for any reason and leave them destitute and forlorn, and women could not divorce men legally unless they took it before counsel, which 99% of the time it was denied, and Jesus flips that on its head and says, men, no divorce unless she’s cheating on you. Which that literally took all that patriarchal power out from underneath him. Out from underneath the Pharisees there and like totally redefined what marriage meant before God. And there’s time after time. The cow woman who worshiped other gods cows, thes, sorry, sir. Venetian woman. They worship other gods like. They caused their children to pass through the fire. They were considered the dogs, the abomination. They were considered an abomination to the Jews. And, Jesus is sounds mean to her. She’s Lord, Lord, my, my, my child is sick. And he’s Hey, sorry, this is for the Jews, we can’t throw it to the dogs. But he was using a colloquial expression, which his disciples would understand. And when she says, yes, but even the dogs eat the scraps from the master’s table, Jesus is like, woman, your child is healed. Like even in that space, like he shouldn’t even given her time of day, like he culturally. Like he should not have even spoken and he acknowledges her and he hears her heart and he’s oh man You know, he didn’t ask her. Did you pray your prayer of forgiveness? Did you did you say goodbye to all those other gods? that you’ve worshiped in your past because of your where you’re from and have you gotten rid of all that and do you could swear filthy to me now and forevermore? Are you going to do that? He didn’t do any of that He said, woman, your faith has made your daughter healed. He’s so dynamic. It’s so lost on so many people. He the love and the passion and the upsetting of the cultural apple cart. His interactions with women in the Bible. Like when you go back through and you understand, you start reading about the cultural history.

And like just who he was as a person you can’t help but fall deep in love with this guy. I’m smitten with, phew, I’m smitten with Jesus every single day. Because of his nature, because of who he was, and because of, he was like, he saw that people were missing it, man. He saw the power that women had. And he empowered them. He supported them. And he’s amazing. He’s amazing. And the fact that we’re sitting here 2, 000 years later and we’re still arguing about this dumb stuff. It’s ridiculous. It makes me angry. But with, but it’s, he’s amazing and he’s, he championed women and I championed him. So yeah, yeah it’s time that we let the dumb stuff go and recognize women’s place in the faith and be honest about it. They have been mistreated and they do have a place at the table and they do have a co leadership place at that table. Not just a place at the table where they get told what to do and they have to go clean up the plates and do all the washing after everything’s done. But a real place at the table of making real decisions and seeing the kingdom of God and the glory of, and awareness of the glory of God spread across the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Thank you, just, thank you so much for being here and just sharing all this.

This is… It’s probably going to be my favorite episode because there is so much rich, beautiful history in here. And I just, I really appreciate just the level at which you brought it to for the women who are listening, who probably are hearing this maybe for the first time.

And so I really appreciate what you just did.

You’re welcome. You’re very welcome.

Y’all, please go. I will link to all of Ken’s social media. I will link to his courses. Please go and check it out because. He’s probably my favorite person on tick tock and probably one of my favorite people now in general Because this was just so beautiful and something I probably needed to hear. Even a year ago and so just thank you for being here and just thank you for the passion and the love that you have for all of God’s People and just it’s just the way that you share it. It’s needed and so I appreciate what you did Thank you. Thank you.

And thank you for inviting me. This is awesome. This is great. I loved it.

Until next time, y’all, we will see you later.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *