Event Title

The Letters of Paul in Regard to Women’s Leadership

Faculty Mentor

Peter Judge, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Location

DIGS 221

Start Date

20-4-2018 12:45 PM

Description

For my research paper, I have compared what biblical scholars note as the authentic and inauthentic letters of Paul and examined how these letters differ in their attitudes towards women’s roles in church leadership. Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon are noted as Paul’s authentic letters and are typically seen as portraying a message that is quite radical in embracing the equality of all people that are in Christ. In contrast, the inauthentic letters – Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus – seem to convey a more conservative and gender-exclusive message that contradicts Paul’s previously written authentic letters. I have examined passages from Paul’s authentic letters in order to demonstrate how he himself gives support to the spiritual gifts of women and lifts them up as worthy contributors to the life of the Church. Conversely, I have chosen specific passages from inauthentic letters to shed light on how later schools of Pauline thought worked to regain the patriarchy of their culture by suppressing the leadership of women. After setting the historical background for understanding Paul’s letters, I then go on to examine how the Church Universal is still divided over the discussion of women’s rights in concerns to church leadership. My goal is not to deem the inauthentic letters “wrong” and the authentic letters “right,” but instead, I hope the reader will understand the complexity of Paul’s letters in order to realize that the topic of women’s equality in the church has been and still continues to be controversial among believers of the past and present.

Course Assignment

RELG 495 – Judge

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Apr 20th, 12:45 PM

The Letters of Paul in Regard to Women’s Leadership

DIGS 221

For my research paper, I have compared what biblical scholars note as the authentic and inauthentic letters of Paul and examined how these letters differ in their attitudes towards women’s roles in church leadership. Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon are noted as Paul’s authentic letters and are typically seen as portraying a message that is quite radical in embracing the equality of all people that are in Christ. In contrast, the inauthentic letters – Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus – seem to convey a more conservative and gender-exclusive message that contradicts Paul’s previously written authentic letters. I have examined passages from Paul’s authentic letters in order to demonstrate how he himself gives support to the spiritual gifts of women and lifts them up as worthy contributors to the life of the Church. Conversely, I have chosen specific passages from inauthentic letters to shed light on how later schools of Pauline thought worked to regain the patriarchy of their culture by suppressing the leadership of women. After setting the historical background for understanding Paul’s letters, I then go on to examine how the Church Universal is still divided over the discussion of women’s rights in concerns to church leadership. My goal is not to deem the inauthentic letters “wrong” and the authentic letters “right,” but instead, I hope the reader will understand the complexity of Paul’s letters in order to realize that the topic of women’s equality in the church has been and still continues to be controversial among believers of the past and present.