Women and Religion in the Greco-Roman Period

Topics: Woman, Gender role, Paul of Tarsus Pages: 4 (1269 words) Published: March 11, 2012
Essay #1
Christian women during the Greco-Roman period, according to the church fathers, were allowed few privileges. Women were thought of as being subordinate to men and therefore the men should have all the leadership roles, rights and responsibilities within the church, since they believed women were incapable of handling such a task. According to the newest Revised Standard translation, it was written “women should be silent 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.” Also within the New Testament there is a passage which states, “Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.” The proper place for Christian women is to keep their mouths shut, exercise authority only over their household and children and never over men, they should also confine themselves to the private, domestic sphere. It would seem quite apparent from these translations that women did not hold any type of leadership role within Christianity, however there is evidence to the contrary.

In Dr. Kraemer’s book it said “feminist scholarship has demonstrated irrefutably that women constituted a significant presence in the Jesus movement, despite all the attempts by both ancient writers and subsequent transmitters and translators to obscure that presence.” In the Greco-Roman period, there was an apostle named Junia, Paul found women apostles to be problematic and considered them a threat so he just changed her name to a male’s name. So in studying his writings it would seem that all apostles were male, but in actuality there were women apostles who played very important roles. In the Montanist movement it is noted that Paul requires women to pray and prophecy with their heads covered, which implies that women...
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