Is Paul a Male Chauvinist? Part 2 of 2

(Continued from yesterday)

• You may be reading too much into 1 Tim 2:14. All it said was Adam was not deceived but Eve was. It said nothing about Paul’s attitude towards women, that he was a woman-hater as some feminists claim, or at least a male chauvinist. Paul was not married (1 Co 7:8) so he never had the responsibility of a husband to protect his wife, nor did he condone men blaming women for the husbands’ mistakes. My opinion is based on:

1. As a Pharisee who knew the Law (Php 3:5), he understood fully a husband’s “covering” of authority over his wife:
Num 30:6-8 “However, if she should marry while under her vows or the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day he hears it, then her vows shall stand and her obligations by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if on the day her husband hears of it, he forbids her, then he shall annul her vow which she is under and the rash statement of her lips by which she has bound herself; and the LORD will forgive her. (Also Num 6:10-12)
If Adam were there all the time, since he said nothing and did not forbid Eve, he gave his tacit approval by his silence and eating the fruit himself; he cannot avoid his responsibility. I understand the Law came later, but the principle is the same.

2. Paul was the one who penned:
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
• Eph 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
• Eph 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

As such, it is highly unlikely that he would condone husbands blaming their wives for their own mistakes.

3. Although Eve sinned first, Paul never charged woman with greater responsibility. The primary responsibility of sin and death entering the world rest with Adam as head of his family and mankind:
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned
• Rom 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one (Adam), …

So I find faulting Paul for something he never did, or even stood against, to be an unfair accusation. Hope this helps.

Weird Logic?

head covering 1

Q. Isn’t Paul illogical when he argued that women should have their head covered while men shouldn’t? As Christ is the head of everyman, and the man is the head of a woman (v 3), why is it that every man who has his head covered while praying or prophesying disgraces his head (v 4), but every woman who has her head uncovered while doing the same thing disgraces her head (v 5)? This is especially so since man is the glory of God, and woman is the glory of man (v 7). It doesn’t make sense!

A. I have touched on the subject before in
On the surface it does look strange, as:

1 Co 11:3
Christ is the head of man
Man is the head of woman

1 Co 11:7
Man is the glory of God
Woman is the glory of man

There is symmetrical parallel. So why should there be a discontinuity requiring a woman to cover her head while praying or prophesying but not for a man?

There is a discontinuity for two reasons. The first is that Paul was contrasting man and woman, rather than comparing their similarities:
• Origin: man does not originate from woman, but woman from man (v 8);
• Purpose: man was not created for woman’s sake, but woman for man’s sake (v 9). So there is no need to assume everything to be similar.

The second is the meaning of the covering, as a symbol of authority on the head (v 10). God made man first, then woman as his helper suitable for him (Gen 2:18). Though both are equal before God in terms of their essence, man was given the role of “head” and woman wear long hair/covering as a symbol of authority over her.

Then why doesn’t man wear long hair or covering, as Christ is his head? For two reasons:
• Man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God (v 7), and God is invisible (Col 1:15). A visual symbol is not necessary.
• Nature itself teach that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him (v 14).

While the logic may appear baffling to contemporary thinking, it is consistent with the rabbinic style of argument.