"Good Order in the Church"

I’ve been reading through this recently. Lots of helpful stuff which some of you may be interested in. Especially helpful is the synagogue context to certain NT commands.

Can you give us some examples to pique our interest? Or briefly state the main point from the paper?

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It’s a thorough biblical defence of male headship in the family, church and wider society. His two main conclusions are that women should be silent in the church. Men should uncover, & women cover. In my own context, conservative evangelicals overwhelming disagree with these points.

Some of the arguments are fairly unique. I’ve never read anything that gives as much detail on the 1st century synagogue practice, the views of the rabbis, and the cultural expectations within the church. For example, a common evangelical assumption is that NT letters were written to women as much as men. Therefore the ‘one another’ verses all apply equally to everyone. He shows from the law, Jewish practice, and the wording of the NT that they were written to the brothers. Brothers meaning brothers.

Even some very minor points went against my assumptions. Following Jewish practice, Paul only mentions men as witnesses to the resurrection in 1 Cor 15, even though he must have known women were there first. Likewise, the Jewish practice of separating the sexes in worship is rooted in the OT. In other instances, he shows how Paul does away with the Jewish practice, (such as men covering in worship) and gives further theological reflection on why this is the case.

Overall, he takes the NT passages as they stand, and as they have traditionally been interpreted, but by giving such detail on the 1st century he shows that the popular revisions are impossible. For most people here I’m sure none of this is revolutionary, but I think it’s a helpful resource to dip into.


…He also has some stuff on house churches and abolishing paid ministers which I’m not endorsing…