5. Ephesians 5:21-33 Paul’s words

being holy and blameless in Messiah

Because of the world’s use and understanding of kephalé, along with hypotassó‘s military usage, and the automatic replacement of man with husband in our bibles, most will understandably identify Ephesians 5:22-24 as being specifically about women’s submission to their men’s authority. However we know this can never be so in Messiah because of Yeshua’s own words concerning authority over others, and because it emulates that of the world. The overall context of Pauls letter to the Ephesian community of believers was for them to fully realise what it means to be in Messiah – that all the nourishing and growth supplied to each individual person (in connection to every other believer) in Yeshua, flows from Him and through us to each other:- supplying, strengthening and supporting us all in Him.

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4. Ephesians 5:21-24 kephalé

what it means to be ‘head’ in the body of Messiah

21 Arrange under one another in fear/reverence of Messiah.

22 The women to their own men in-the-same-manner-as to the Lord. 

23 For the man is the head of the woman as also the Messiah is the head of the church, He Himself the savior/preserver of the body. 

24But, just as the church arranges under Messiah, so also women to their men in all-things-pertaining.

How we understand the Greek word kephalé (translated ‘head’) in verse 23 will define what hypotassó looks like – whether it simply means ‘arrange under’ or is that of ‘submission’, and whether andros (man) can be acceptably translated as ‘husband’ with its additional meaning of master/owner. Understandably so, the figurative meaning of kephalé therefore tends to have a polarising effect on the body of Yeshua, creating trenches of defense and hostility to those in disagreement. 

It does all come down to authority and power – YeHoWaH Elohim’s… Messiah’s… men and women’s, but more to the point, whether or not Ephesians 5:21-24 actually addresses authority at all.

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3. Ephesians 5:22-24 anér

the subtle replacement of man with husband

On the way to Eilat, Israel 2017

“Obedience and respect must be instilled. And that is why no woman here is going to be allowed To walk all over us. Otherwise, as men we’ll be disgraced. We won’t deserve the name.” 

Sophocles -5th century BC 1

22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. -ESV

In our English bibles husband, is translated for anér (manin all three verses of Ephesians 5:22-24, and sits in close proximity to kephalē (head) and hypotassó (arrange under). This word helps define women’s ‘arrangement under’ as being ‘subjection’ or ‘submission’ to their men, and directs the understanding of kephalē –head to that of authority. This context of understanding however remains at odds with v21, the overall context of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and also stands in direct opposition to the words of Yeshua Himself, 2 as it imitates that of the world’s system of power.

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2. Ephesians 5:21-24 hypotassó

what it means to ‘arrange under’ in the body of Messiah

I’d like to begin this post with the basic understanding that:

  1. Yeshua’s words concerning authority over others 1 determines the validity of Ephesians 5:21-24, so should Paul’s or the translator’s words divert from Yeshua’s, their words are of little value. If however they uphold the words of Yeshua they add to the treasury of our understanding of what it means to be in Him.
  2. We need to keep in mind our inherent self-importance is ever at the ready to accept positional preference 2 often to the cost of others. These next few posts look closely at the words Paul used to convey to those already in Messiah, their arrangement in Him. I hope you will be as blessed as I have been in searching out and finding Paul’s intent.

The author of Hebrews 4:12 tells us: …the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ESV

Paul chose some interesting words to use in Ephesians 5:21-24, words that could easily be taken out of context to mean the very opposite of that which was intended. Given the right tweak, these words have been successfully used in upholding worldly positional power over others. Traditional views of men and women indistinguishable from that of the world are normalised and presented as godly behaviour in the church. Translators and scribes of the past who were beholden to wealthy and powerful benefactors (eg. King James 3 ) obscured Pauls message, endorsing the very thing of which Yeshua warned by filtering it through the lens of worldly wisdom. Hence this particular age-old human relationship continues to manifest common ground between Christianity and the world (be it Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism…as well as those in denial of any God). We should be a peculiar people in Yeshua but in this area we are not. Ours may be a softer version (this is obviously debatable in individual cases) compared to other segments of society, however degrees of expression do not negate the sin – it appears we are all in the same boat.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 14:12
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1. Ephesians 5:21-24 Yeshua

valuing Yeshua’s words over that of another

For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am crushed.

I mourn; horror has gripped me. Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter 

of my people not been restored?

– Jeremiah 8:21,22

In the last 40 years before the Kingdom of Judah’s exile into Babylon God used the voice of Jeremiah to speak to His people. Understood as referring to the people of Judah (and often translated as such), ‘the daughter of my people’ (who are described as broken) are the words Jeremiah chose to use in describing the least powerful of Jewish society who relied on others for their social worth and through whom they recieved God’s word. Jeremiah highlights a particularly vulnerable sector of Jewish society totally reliant on the goodwill of those holding power for their individual survival. (I am sure this includes male individuals, considered ‘honorary daughters’ who also fell into the same condition of vulnerability and ignorance at the hands of others.) For these people, Jeremiah’s heart (and the heart of YeHoWaH) was crushed and outraged as they also in their ignorance of God’s Words would share in the consequences of walking in idolatry with those knowingly doing so. Earlier in verse 8 of the same chapter, Jeremiah reveals corruption in the ranks of those holding great influence and power, that of the scribes whose ‘lying pen’ turned God’s word into a deception for his people. These scribes, whose job was to communicate the Word of God to others, mislead them to walking after idols. It is this subtle misdirection (as seen in Eden of God’s command passed on to the woman by Adam) that proves the most devastating for those unaware of their sin against God. It appears Isaiah also was clearly aware of the corruption in human power and its manipulation of others to their demise:

The head is the elder and honorable man, and the tail is the prophet who teaches lies. For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those led by them are swallowed up (-devoured /destroyed).

Isaiah 9:15,16

Jeremiah used the ‘Balm of Gilead’ as a metaphor of the Word of God – present and available for His people then as it is today, and the ‘physician’ being that of the teacher/scribe who present it to the people (of whom also there was no lack in Jeremiah’s day, as there is no lack today). And still yet, the daughter of God’s people continue to remain in a state of brokenness though their health has always been able to be restored by those in possession of God’s Word. Ephesians 5:21-33 is part of that healing balm for women and men in Messiah were it to be applied to our wounding as Paul’s letter intended.

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Wait, What? Women Are Too Emotional To Teach!

woman in gray tank top looking furious

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

This is the last of three posts I had in mind to address some too quickly swallowed, erroneous, not biblical but claimed as doctrinal teaching.

This one is a sticky one, a statement that even other women have defended. Quite a few years ago I was having what started out as a cordial conversation and ended with a women quite intensely stating women are not to teach because they are too emotional and therefore easily deceived! My reply with a reddening neck and cheeks and quavering voice, trying to stand my ground but keep up my polite ‘Christian’ demeanour was that no where in the Bible do I see that women are too emotional to teach!

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A Sad Day for New Zealand

IMG_20200229_142615Many New Zealanders will be weeping today (19 March 2020) for the actions of their parliament last night in enabling the abortion bill by MP Andrew Little to be legalised. 68-51 was the 3rd and final vote that saw it further progress into law.

Though abortion was previously under the Crimes Act, no woman had ever been convicted in NZ for the murder of her unborn child. Now, moved to that of being a woman’s health issue, it has legally dehumanised the growing person within her to simply that of being tissue for removal. All proposed amendments to the bill (1) were defeated even that of simply ensuring unborn babies over 20 weeks – undergoing abortion – would not feel pain, in stark contrast to the Animal Welfare Act that ensures animals under veterinary care will not suffer undue pain.  

The New Zealand Government have not only closed their eyes and ears to the rights of our unborn children, they have also closed their hearts. Continue reading

It Hurts!

Many of you may have read or heard of John MacArthur’s latest words expressing his views about women.

Below is some of what he said:

“Eve got out from the protection of Adam, she was vulnerable, she was deceived. He sinned because he couldn’t live without her. She had become everything to him. When the roles are reversed, the women are deceived, bad things happen, the men are made weak, worse things happen. The whole human race went down with Adam. You tamper with this order, chaos is unending.”

https://www.christianpost.com/news/john-macarthur-clarifies-views-on-beth-moore-women-preachers-empowering-women-makes-weak-men.html

I am so grieved by the continual blame on Eve and therefore women, blaming us, and not trusting us. The more I look into it, I believe the opposite is more likely and MacArthur and friends seem to be repeating Adam’s line …’“The woman whom You gave me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Rather than him owning it and saying ‘Actually, ever since you said I can’t eat the fruit from that tree, all I have wanted to do is eat it and I did.’

When they say Adam sinned because she became everything to him – they are blaming Eve. When they say Adam was not exercising his headship – they are blaming Eve. When they say she went out from under the covering or protection of her husband – they are blaming Eve. When they say she usurped Adam’s authority – they are blaming Eve. When they say she was vulnerable because she spoke to the serpent – they are blaming Eve. No matter how much they tag on the ‘Adam sinned’ it is because of her, it is her fault. When they say she should have remained silent – they are blaming Eve.

Adam was never protecting Eve in the garden, she didn’t need his protection, she was in the presence of God. The one she did need protection from was possibly the man who had in his heart decided to turn away from God and go his own way.

My Evidence:

God saying something was not good even before Eve was brought forth from Adam.

In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17

And we know what commands do;

But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.” (Romans 7:8)

Directly after the command:

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

The fairy tale commentary now taken as Scripture continues; “She had become everything to him’ says MacArthur – Really? Proof please? Did she still mean everything to him when he threw her under the bus saying “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

‘When the roles are reversed, the women are deceived’ Again I need more evidence? Women are in power (where? the church, the world? the Whitehouse?) What is the gender ratio of leadership in all the churches MacArthur would denounce as ‘off the track, deceptive?

‘the men are made weak, worse things happen’. Still waiting Mr MacArthur, what are you thinking of when you write this?

Has he forgotten that Jesus didn’t have a problem with weakness? Don’t we want to see God’s strength rather than our own?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

The whole human race went down with Adam. You tamper with this order, chaos is unending.”

Yep, the whole race went down with ADAM, not because of some order tampering but because of the condition of his heart, wanting to go his own way – away from God. Can we stop blaming poor Eve?! and then burdening saved women filled with God’s Spirit in the church with it?

“Don’t misunderstand this: This is what we are living in today,” he warned. “Empowering women makes weak men. Weak men make everybody vulnerable to danger.”

I really want to know how empowering women makes men weak? By his thinking women should sacrifice any desire to have power so men don’t lose theirs. Women should purposely make themselves weak so men can be strong? Is Mac threatened by powerful women?  I have seen and know of women who have tried to do this in the church, in their marriages – they think they are doing God’s will but they lose who they are, they hide the gifting God has given them and make themselves as nothing – and they are miserable and confused, and anxious.

The world tries to sell us the line to be someone we are not, why is the church doing it too?

I could go on, his comments towards women and female preachers are harsh and untruthful and not based on any sound reason or Scripture. Unfortunately the world will see another disgruntled, middle class white male who fears losing his power and the traditions that have kept him sitting pretty all these years. He does himself, men, women and the church a disservice.

 

– Leanne

 

Jordan Peterson’s Mythology vs Truth

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Earlier this year our house caught on fire. It was a stinking hot day and a chewed lighting cable, embedded in dry bird nest material, arched in the roof cavity of our front porch eave. We were all there at the time and with the help of the local fire service managed to save the house with not too much damage done. One of the casualties however was that we lost our TV reception as it had destroyed the wiring to the ‘receiver’ (not quite sure what its called). My husband Tim, an electrician by trade added it to his to-do list but other more pressing jobs have left it gathering dust. I haven’t minded at all, in fact it’s been a blessing. Our TV is now a dedicated internet screen, via which we’ve enjoyed finding out all the local and global news and the plethora of Youtube videos available seem never ending. One person to catch both Tim’s and my interest in our viewing has been the person of Jordan Peterson, Continue reading

Another Con – Swallowed Hook Line and Sinker?

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How is it that we as women seem to fall so easily into the ‘photo-op’ blame shot of human history mega sin? –Not saying all mega sin that has occurred – but at least two that I’m aware of anyway. The first epic historic stitch-up (still in use today) has been well and truly covered in previous posts concerning Eve’s contribution (or more precisely her lack of contribution) to the ‘Fall of Man’ and sin’s entry into our world.

The other may well be happening right now in our lifetime.

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