Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's "Women in the Bible" - Part 8.

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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's "Women in the Bible"

By
Abdullah Smith

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI] [Part VII] [Part VIII]

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

The Bible explains what the attitude and position of women should be in relation to this male leadership:

"What then, brethren? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached? If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized." 1 Corinthians 14:26-38

"likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." 1 Timothy 2:9-15

What these texts are saying is that women cannot hold a role of elder or bishop, and cannot make authoritative decisions in relation to Church governance since this is the function of the presiding elders. They must learn in quiet submission and not seek to usurp the authority which Christ has given the male leadership of his Church.

Sadly, some have distorted these last two passages to mean something other than what Paul intended. They claim that Paul is muzzling the women by forbidding them to speak altogether, which is the furthest thing from reality.

 

RESPONSE:

 

Paul uses the Greek word Hubrizo which means “shameful”, so it’s shameful for a woman to speak in Church.

 

Even when their drinks are gone, they continue their prostitution; their rulers dearly love shameful ways. (Hosea 4:18)

 

As marauders lie in ambush for a man, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, committing shameful crimes. (Hosea 6:9)

 

"When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved. (Hosea 9:10)

 

 

Why did Paul use the word “shameful” (Hubrizo) when it was applied to Israel for worshipping Baal?

 

Here is what the Bible says:

 

So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the LORD's anger burned against them. (Numbers 25:3)

 

You saw with your own eyes what the LORD did at Baal Peor. The LORD your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, (Deuteronomy 4:3)

 

It is shameful to worship Baal, and shameful for women to speak in Church!

 

The Bible says that sorrow is the result of Eve’s disobedience:

 

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16)

 

The Bible writers agreed:

Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. (James 4:9) 

Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:3)

We are quoting the King James Version for Genesis 3:16, the “most reliable” version based on Majority text.

 

 

HE WROTE:

 

In the first place, Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 14 is directed to Christians who were acting in a disorderly manner. Paul was correcting such chaotic behavior by telling believers how and how not to behave. In light of this context, Paul tells women not to contribute to this chaos but to remain silent and, if need be, ask their husbands privately. The reference to husbands clearly shows that Paul was addressing a specific situation where there were married women who were disrupting the worship service by acting out of line. Besides, it is not the place of women to administer discipline or to correct disorderly behavior and conduct in the congregation. That is the job of the male leadership appointed by Christ.

 

 

 

RESPONSE:

 

It is true the Church at Corinth was in contention, and Paul is laying down the laws for them to follow, however, the context of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 starts from 26-32, where Paul is talking about the “gifts of tongues and prophecy”. Paul is restricting women to prophecy or to speak when men prophesy.

 

The context of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 is talking about interpreting and understanding the gifts of tongues and prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:26-32). Therefore, 1 Corinthians 14:34 is not commanding women to be absolutely silent in the church all the time. It is only saying that women should not participate when tongues and/or prophecy is being interpreted and tested (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 1 John 4:1). This is in agreement with 1 Timothy 2:11-12 which says that women should not teach or have authority over men. If women were involved in deciding whether a prophecy was truly from God, they would be disobeying what the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Therefore, Paul tells women to be silent when tongues and prophecy are being interpreted so that they will not be disobeying God’s Word. (http://www.gotquestions.org/women-silent-church.html)

 

 

HE WROTE:

There are still others that claim that Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy that Eve was deceived, not Adam, is intended to show why women are inferior to men.

To correct this gross distortion of the text we need to remind the reader that the Holy Scriptures, specifically Paul, hold Adam responsible for the death and corruption of the human race, not Eve:

"But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me." Hosea 6:7

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-- for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:12-21

"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by A MAN came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

"Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven." 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

The foregoing makes it quite obvious that the blessed Apostle Paul holds the first man primarily responsible for the fall of humanity. Hence, his statement that Eve was deceived, not Adam, is no more an insult to all women then Paul’s claim that Adam plunged all humanity into sin and death is an indictment against all men. Paul is simply stating the facts, as reported in God’s true Word.

 

RESPONSE:

 

Hosea 6:7 records the word “covenant”, which is absent from Genesis (2:4-5:5), God warned Adam and Eve to avoid the “tree of knowledge” (2:7) but they disobeyed God and were banished as a result.

 

Yet the word “covenant” is first mentioned in Noah’s story.

 

But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. (Genesis 6:18)

 

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; (Genesis 9:9)

 

And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. (Genesis 9:17)

 

The word is mentioned several times between God and Noah; Hosea did not realize the word “covenant” is absent from the story of Adam.

 

In the Hebrew language, the word ‘covenant’ is the same that would be used for an international treaty. Often we find in the political history of the Jewish people that they would contend one of God’s covenants in the same manner as a political treaty. From a Koranic point of view all such covenants are in fact declarations from Allah. They are not agreements or treaties between two parties of equal status. It is God that takes the initiative of His own free will and choice, draws up the terms and then declares them or reveals them to His servants. The Koran has also defined such covenants by using such terms as “We bestowed favours” or “We Blessed”. (Akberally Meherally, Understanding the Bible Through Koranic Messages, p. 39)

 

God did not establish a covenant because Adam was predestined to fail (Al-Quran 2:34-36, 17:61-68) and dwell on Earth.

 

Hosea is not declaring Adam a sinner, he uses the words “transgressed the covenant” which means “breaking the law”, and the verse equally applies to Eve who initiated the response to Satan by eating the fruit which God forbade them to eat!

 

Eve was the one deceived, Adam was the one seduced.

 

The woman is not mentioned because of her feminine status (Genesis. 3:6).

 

The Quran does not blame Adam or Eve; they were forgiven equally, and Satan is the blame:

 

O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith. (Al-Quran 7:27)

 

According to the KJV, Adam is absent from Hosea 6:7.

 

But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. (6:7)

 

This is the true reading of Hosea 6:7 because the KJV is considered the most authentic version; Shamoun avoided using the KJV because “Adam” is clearly absent from the verse.

 

Adam and Eve were sent to earth as a test.

 

God created Satan with the knowledge to deceive Adam and Eve, so it was the plan of God for Adam to fail.

 

“…They did not realize how deceptive the devil was, and so prompted by him, they made the wrong choice. Will God remain forever angry with them over that one mistake? No! Instead, God taught them how to repair their relationship with Him by praying for forgiveness. Muslims still often recite the same prayer, as follows:

Our Lord, we have wronged our souls. If you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, then surely we are lost (Qur'an 7:23).

What we obtain from that incident is not original sin, but original forgiveness, and an original lesson on how to seek that forgiveness. God set the precedent that He will forgive those who turn to Him in sincere repentance. We will all find ourselves in a similar situation as Adam and Eve. The prophet, on whom be peace, said that every child of Adam is a sinner, and the best of them are those who turn back to God in sincere repentance.

This shows that God does not demand absolute perfection from us humans. That would be an impossible demand, since God alone is absolutely perfect. To err is human. God wants us to know that he will accept us as we are, shortcomings and all, as long as we are trying our best to obey Him. Even in our human situations, it is well understood that absolute perfection is not to be demanded from anyone. Suppose teachers were to demand that all students must score 100% on all their tests, and that if they make even one mistake they will not pass. No one of sound mind will demand this, for it is clearly beyond human capacity. Similarly, God does not demand from people what is beyond their capacity (see Qur'an 2:226).

Some will say that Adam was created perfect and that when he sinned he ruined that perfection. This suggestion makes no sense. If perfection meant that Adam had no ability to choose between good and evil, then how did he exercise that choice which he supposedly did not have? And if he had the ability to choose, as Muslims believe, then why would God remain forever angry with him for his first mistake? Humankind was then in its infancy. We needed someone to pick us up when we fall, not someone to bulldoze us with a tremendous burden of sin and guilt.

Some will say that God could not forgive Adam even if He wanted to do so, since God is Just and He must exact justice. This is as if to say that justice is contrary to mercy, and that God is so fenced in by His own law that He has no freedom to do what He wants to do. How silly! The truth is that God warns us of His punishment, but He also promises forgiveness for those who sincerely repent. If He decides to save sinners, who is there to say He cannot do what He wishes?

 

The saying "every child of Adam is a sinner" means that every human being is a sinner, sin being an inevitable outcome of a fallible human nature. No matter how righteous a person is, he or she may at times disobey God through ignorance or forgetfulness. The prophet, on whom be peace, meant to emphasize that the best person is the one who seeks forgiveness for his or her sins. Furthermore, he said that one who repents from sin is like one without sin. God says in the Qur'an that He will replace the evil deeds with good for those who repent, believe, and do righteous deeds (see Qur'an 25:70).

Another saying of the prophet indicates that God actually intended that humans will be a species that commit sins so they can turn to Him and He would forgive them (see Sahih Muslim, Eng. Trans., vol.4, nos. 6620-2). This is a much better explanation than the popular conception according to which God at first sees that humans are good, then God discovers that they are wicked and so, being sorry that He made them in the first place, God eventually decides to wipe them off the face of the earth; but then he changes His mind again and lets them eventually procreate and fill the earth although they are still sinful as ever. The better explanation is that God knew in advance that we would sin, and we turned out just the way God planned. God does not discover new things - He knows everything always. (Shabir Ally, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, pp. 33-37)

 

 

The Prophet dictated a conversation between Adam and Moses:

 

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Adam and Musa argued and Adam got the better of Musa. Musa rebuked Adam, 'You are Adam who led people astray and brought them out of the Garden.' Adam said to him, 'You are Musa to whom Allah gave knowledge of everything and whom he chose above people with His message.' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Do you then censure me for a matter which was decreed for me before I was created?' "(Malik Muwatta, Book 46, Number 46.1.1)

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. 'O Adam! You are our father who disappointed us and turned us out of Paradise.' Then Adam said to him, 'O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?' So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 8, Book 77, Number 661)

The Prophet Muhammad said:

"When Allah had finished His creation, He wrote over his Throne: 'My Mercy preceded My Anger.'  (Narrated Abu Huraira, Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 518)

Adam was predestined to fail because it was God’s plan, He created the earth as a testing ground (2:155, 5:94, 8:28, 18:07, 20:31) and God created everything in truth (6:32, 29:64, 47:36).

 

Regarding the passage Rom. 5:12-21, Paul avoided Eve because of her feminine status, for example, would Paul mention Eve and leave out Adam?

 

Eve is the progenitor of sin:

 

If there dwelt upon earth a faith as great as is the reward of faith which is expected in the heavens, no one of you at all, best beloved sisters, from the time that she had first "known the Lord," and learned (the truth) concerning her own (that is, woman's) condition, would have desired too gladsome (not to say too ostentatious) a style of dress; so as not rather to go about in humble garb, and rather to affect meanness of appearance, walking about as Eve mourning and repentant, in order that by every garb of penitence she might the more fully expiate that which she derives from Eve,-the ignominy, I mean, of the first sin, and the odium (attaching to her as the cause) of human perdition. "In pains and in anxieties dost thou bear (children), woman; and toward thine husband (is) thy inclination, and he lords It over thee." And do you not know that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert-that is, death-even the Son of God had to die. (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-04/anf04-06.htm)

 

Paul is speaking of Adam because of his masculine status.  

 

For example, why do the Scriptures speak of God as “He” when God is neither male nor female?

 

Paul refers to the woman indirectly, because she is the progenitor of sin (Gen 3:6-10, 1 Tim. 2:14, 2 Cor. 11:3).

 

Ambrose stated:

 

"Adam was deceived by Eve, not Eve by Adam... it is right that he whom that woman induced to sin should assume the role of guide lest he fall again through feminine instability." (339-97 CE)

 

Paul is speaking about “original sin”, a doctrine he borrowed from past religions!

 

Like Christianity, the Mysteries had a doctrine of "original sin." Plato teaches that the soul is banished into the body as a punishment for some unnamed ancient crime. According to Empedocles, we are wandering through the four elements to atone for guilt incurred in the divine world. The Mysteries taught that the original sin was separation from God. The sacrificial death of the godman, or the sacrificial animal he kills, represents the initiate's own symbolic death to their lower "animal" nature and rebirth into their divine nature, which unites them with God and so atones for this original crime. (Timothy Freke, The Jesus Mysteries: Was the “Original Jesus” a Pagan God? p. 54)

 

 

Paul separates Adam from Eve:

 

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Tim. 2:14, New American Standard)

 

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression. (Amplified Bible)

 

And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result. (New Living Translation)

 

and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived, in breaking of the law. (Wycliffe New Testament)

 

 

Paul blames Eve directly:

 

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV)

 

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (NAS)

 

He used “men” and “Adam”, but this does not preclude the fact that Genesis blames Eve.

 

And the LORD God said, Behold, the man (and woman) is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his (their) hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (Genesis 3:22) words in brackets are mine

 

The verse equally refers to Eve, the Bible says “the man” as redundant expression which includes the woman too.

 

Shamoun believes the exact opposite of the commentaries on Genesis. A careful reading of Genesis shows that Eve is responsible for the corruption of Mankind.

 

HE WROTE:

If anything, Paul’s comments are intended to protect women by placing the responsibility on men to insure that Christ’s Church does not fall prey to the enemy’s cunning:

"And from Mile'tus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: ‘You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, bound in the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there; except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."’" Acts 20:17-35

For example, Paul reasons that Eve being deceived by Satan is tied in with the fact of a reversal of roles, an implicit indictment against the first man for failing to protect her and do what he was created to do. Adam was supposed to lead Eve as her head, and yet he allowed the serpent to deceive her and lead them into sinning against God. Had Adam intervened to protect Eve by opposing the serpent, she wouldn’t have been deceived into becoming a sinner. In other words, it is precisely because of Adam’s failure to take responsibility as the head of the relationship that the woman was deceived into becoming a transgressor against God. After all, had Adam done what he was created to do then Satan would have failed to achieve his task. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Adam is blamed for plunging humanity into sin and despair.

This also explains why Paul goes on to say that, instead of assuming a role which God assigned to men, women would do well to perform their roles as mothers and nurturers of the family. Women honor God by carrying out the specific directives which God gave them to do, thereby resulting in their salvation (or more precisely, is the evidence of their salvation since one is saved purely by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone [cf. Romans 3:20-28; 11:5-6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-10]).{4}

 

RESPONSE:

 

If Adam had the knowledge to protect Eve, why didn’t he first cover up his wife’s nakedness? Why didn’t he cover up his own shame? It is because he did not possess the knowledge to exercise this authority yet, as both were created sinless; they were created without any knowledge of good and evil.

 

Let us review the story

 

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis. 2:25, 3:1-10)


How can Adam protect his wife when he didn’t possess the knowledge? The knowledge was not given until after he ate from the tree (Genesis 3:22)

 

 

HE WROTE:

At this point we want to summarize what we have discussed and seen thus far. This is what we have learned from God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, regarding women:

  1. They are created in the image of God.
  2. They share the same essence and nature of men, and therefore have the same intrinsic value and dignity in the eyes of God.
  3. They are designed to rule, along with the men, over God’s physical creation.
  4. They could function as prophets, leaders, teachers, missionaries, and evangelists.
  5. They are given the same kinds of spiritual gifts that the men receive.

At the same time, the Holy Bible teaches that:

  1. Men are the head of women. This doesn’t mean that every man is the head of every woman, since sons are not the heads of their mothers, a person cannot be the head of another man’s wife etc.
  2. Even though women are co-rulers with men, man holds authority over them because he is the head in the relationship.
  3. Women cannot hold authoritative roles of teaching or eldership over men, since God has designed that the men will function as leaders and protectors of the Church of Jesus Christ.

RESPONSE:

1.      The Church Fathers agreed that woman is not God’s image, because she seduced Adam (mankind) from everlasting bliss. Paul wrote “woman is the glory of man” (1 Tim 2:14).

2.      They do not share the same essence or nature, God cursed the ground (3:17, 5:29) but Eve is cursed by God directly (3:16).

3.      Genesis gives power to man to rule over physical creation, not the woman.

4.      Female prophets are ignored (Deut. 13:5, 18:19, Jeremiah. 23:34) they were primarily teachers of men, Miriam was not a prophetess because God cursed her for being racist (Numbers 12:1-10) She was not a prophet but a teacher.

5.      Woman are not given the spiritual gifts of prophesy [1]

6.      Yes, men are the head of woman, because of their masculinity and strength, yet Adam did not become the “head of woman” until after he ate from the tree (Gen. 3:22).

7.      Women are not co-rulers over the physical creation “with men”. Genesis signifies that males rule the physical creation, not woman, as the word “them” refers to the male (1:26).

8.      The Bible does not use the word “deacon” (1 Tim. 3:11) in the original Greek manuscripts. [1]

9.      Phoebe is the only character in the New Testament to possess this title. (deacon)

 

HE WROTE:

We conclude our discussion by looking at some final references from God’s true Word in praise of godly women. This should confirm to the reader that our analysis that the Holy Bible grants women great honor and dignity is correct and sound:

"He who finds a wife finds what is GOOD and receives FAVOR from the LORD." Proverbs 18:22

"Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD." Proverbs 19:14

The ideal woman is one who maintains godliness, manages her family, and is successful at business. Such a woman is priceless according to the Holy Bible:

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth FAR MORE THAN RUBIES. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD IS TO BE PRAISED. Give her the reward SHE HAS EARNED, and let her works BRING HER PRAISE at the city gate." Proverbs 31:10-31

 

RESPONSE:

Correct and sound? Here is what the Bible really says about woman:

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:19)

When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. (Leviticus 15:19)

"Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. (Leviticus 12:2, 5)

The Bible says woman is wicked:

Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, "This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth. (Zechariah 5:7-8)

 

HE WROTE:

In the NT Church, the office of deacon was instituted specifically because the Apostles were need of believers who could serve and attend the needs of the believing community so that the twelve could focus on prayer and preaching the word:

"Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch'orus, and Nica'nor, and Ti'mon, and Par'menas, and Nicola'us, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them." Acts 6:1-6

So in one sense a deacon is a servant, which means that everyone serving could be viewed as being a deacon of sorts:

"It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant (diakonos), and whoever would be first among you must be your slave (doulos); even as the Son of man came not to be served (diakoneetheenai) but to serve (diakoneesai), and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-27

"What then is Apol'los? What is Paul? Servants (diakonoi) through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each." 1 Corinthians 3:5

"But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant (diakonos) of sin? Certainly not!" Galatians 2:17

"provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister (diakonos)." Colossians 1:23

Yet, just as the above text implies regarding Paul being appointed a minister in the sense of his commission as an apostle, one could serve as a deacon in an official capacity, as a specific role or function either within the Church or government:

"Then the king said to the attendants (tois diakonois), ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’" Matthew 22:13

"For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant (diakonos) for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant (diakonos) of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer." Romans 13:3-4

Thus, deacon in a more restricted sense refers to an official role within Christ’s Church.

 

RESPONSE:

There were no female deacons prior to the year 325. Despite the NT’s use of the word “deacon”, the office was established three hundred years later.

 

A fourth century basilica excavated in Philippi revealed inscriptions from the fourth to sixth centuries that list women as deacons and canonesses. (Bonnie Thurston, Women in the New Testament, p. 50)

 

Why don’t the inscriptions date prior to the 4th century? We challenge Shamoun to produce historical evidence to prove the office of deaconess prior to this year.

 

 

HE WROTE:

But even this point is not so ironclad since in the previous chapter Paul uses the same word in connection to Jesus being a servant to the Jews:

"For I tell you that Christ became a servant (diakonon) to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs," Romans 15:8

In light of this, one can legitimately argue for the view that Paul was simply calling Phoebe a servant, taking deacon in the more general sense of one who serves and not as one holding a specific office in the Church.

It may even be that Paul used the title deacon in relation to Christ to show how the Lord Jesus perfectly fulfilled this role (as well as a host of others) as an example for the others who assume these various positions and functions within the Church. After all, Christ is given many of the same titles and roles assumed by believers. For instance, both the Lord Jesus and believers are called living stones:

"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:4-5

Both the Lord Jesus and believers are called shepherds and overseers or bishops:

For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer (episkopon) of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25

"And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." 1 Peter 5:4

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (episkopous), to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Acts 20:28

Both the Lord Jesus and believers are called apostles and priests, with Christ being the High Priest of our faith:

"Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;" Hebrews 3:1

"He appointed twelve—designating them apostles —that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach." Mark 3:14

"But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:15-16

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9

"and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 1:5-6

"And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’" Revelation 5:9-10

 

RESPONSE:

 

Many of the titles of Jesus are not unique but were ascribed to him later, we find examples like “son of man” (Ezekiel 2:1, 3:10, 17), and “son of God” (Exodus 4:22, Psalms 2:7). Even the “Lamb of God” is borrowed from pagan religions.

The various deific titles applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament are regarded by some Christian writers as presumptive evidence of his divinity. But the argument proves too much for the case; as we find the proof in history that many other beings, whom Christians regard as men, were honored and addressed by the same titles, such as God, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Mediator, Messiah, etc.

The title "Son of God" was so common in nearly all religious countries as to excite but little awe or attention.

St. Basil says, "Every uncommonly good man was called ,the Son of God.'" The "Asiatic Research" says, "The Tamulese adored a divine Son of God," and Thor of the Scandinavians was denominated "the first-born Son of God;" and so was Chrishna of India, and other demigods.

It requires, therefore, a wide stretch of faith to believe that Jesus Christ was in any peculiar sense "the Son of God," because so denominated, or "the only begotten Son of God," when so many others are reported in history bearing that title.

Was Jesus Christ the "Lamb of God?" (John i. 9.) So was Chrishna styled "the Holy Lamb." The Mexicans, preferring a full- grown sheep, had their "Ram of God." The Celts had their "Heifer of God," and the Egyptians their Bull of God." All these terms are ludicrous emblems of Deity, representing him as a quadruped, as the title "Lamb of God" does Jesus Christ, a term no less ludicrous than the titles of the pagan Gods as cited above.(http://www../library/historical/kersey_graves/16/chap9.html)

 

HE WROTE:

Thus, Paul calling Jesus a deacon is quite in line with the fact that Christ assumed many of the roles found within the Church in order to set forth the example for others to emulate. If understood in this manner then the reference to Jesus being a deacon wouldn't undermine the point of Phoebe having functioned in an offical capacity as a deaconness of the Church.

 

RESPONSE:

 

The word “deacon” is applied to Jesus as “one who serves”, yet Jesus is recorded to have said:

 

I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:16)

 

Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. (John 15:20)

 

"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. (Matthew 10:24)

 

God is the Master and Jesus is the servant. So how could Phoebe be a deacon when Jesus is greater than her?

 

The word “master” is applied to Jesus:

 

And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. (Matthew 26:49)

 

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. (Mark 9:5)

 

Phoebe is the servant (diakonon), Jesus is the master (Didaskalos), and Phoebe is not a “deacon” in the same sense as Jesus because she is less great than Jesus, who is lesser than God (John 17:3).

 

In conclusion, Phoebe is merely a servant who followed Paul; her title of “deaconess” is not significant because the office was established 325 years later.

 

We believe the word “deacon” was applied to Phoebe by forgery:

 

“…Thus, a year after the Council of Nicea, he sanctioned the confiscation and destruction of all works that challenged the orthodox teachings – works by pagan authors that referred to Jesus, as well as works by ‘heretical’ Christians. He also arragned for a fixed income to be allocated to the Church and installed the bishop of Rome in the Lateran Palace. Then in A.D. 331, he commissioned and financed new copies of the Bible. This constituted one of the single most decisive factors in the entire history of Christianity, and provided Christian orthodoxy – the ‘adherents of the message’ – with an unparalleled opportunity.

 

In A.D. 303, a quarter of a century before, the pagan Emperor Diocletian had undertaken to destroy all Christian writings that could be found. As a result Christian documents – especially in Rome – all but vanished. When Constantine, commissioned new versions of these documents, it enabled custodians of orthodoxy to revise, edit and re-write their material as they saw fit, in accordance with their tenets. It was at this point that most of the crucial alterations in the New Testament were probably made, and Jesus assumed the unique status he has enjoyed ever since. The importance of Constantine’s commission must not be underestimated. Of the five thousand extant manuscripts versions of the New Testament, no complete edition pre-dates the fourth century. The New Testament, as it exists today, is essentially a product of fourth-century editors and writers – custodians of orthodoxy, ‘adherents of the message’, with interests to project. (Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, pp. 338-339)

 

Phoebe was never a deacon! The word diakonon is probably forged.

 

 

HE WROTE:

Muslims who bring up such objections are either being dishonest or do not know what their own religious scriptures and traditions teach about women. For example, there are several narrations which are classified as sound by Sunni Muslim scholarship that blame Eve for women’s negative and sinful behavior toward their husbands:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Were it not for Bani Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not FOR EVE, no woman would ever betray her husband." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 611)

Hammam b. Munabbih said: These are some of the ahadith which Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated to us from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and one of these (this one): Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra'il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been FOR Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3472)

Thus, if Muslims have a problem with what Paul wrote regarding Eve, they must definitely have a problem with Muhammad who blamed women’s betrayal of their husbands entirely upon Eve.

 

RESPONSE:

Shamoun has misunderstood the Hadith; the Prophet is describing Eve’s disobedience towards Adam was followed by later generations (mankind).

For example, the murder of Abel by Cain was followed by later generations, and up to the present day:

http://www.govspot.com/know/murder.htm


Christianity teaches something much worse that sin was passed through Adam and Eve, and God murdered a sinless man to atone for mankind!

Eve was pardoned for her “aggressive behavior”, so woman today can be forgiven equally, and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.

Women in Islam and the Bible.

Contradictions and Errors in the Bible.

Articles by Abdullah Smith.


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