Peter’s simple, straightforward logic, and God’s obvious affirmation, rendered them speechless. There was no tenable argument, no counterpoint could be made, God had made His desire and will abundantly clear. But this issue was going to crop again and again. Prejudice is hard to get rid of.
Crazily enough, these verses mean exactly the opposite of what you and I have been lead to think.
You know how it feels to be stuck? You can’t see any way out, and you sure wish you could get out. This onramp at the end of Acts chapter 9, leading to Acts chapter 10, is all about breakthroughs, Peter willing to cooperate with God as God began to expand the church and take it in new directions.
I learned in my own Greek class that whenever a group was mixed, male and female, only the male gender was used to describe the group. If you were looking at a group of, let’s say, six girls and one boy, you would use male gendered language to describe that group, if you were speaking Koine Greek.
Now, just think about that for a minute, as you review famous Bible phrases and passages
What if we’ve been trying to unlock 1 Timothy from a modern, western, Age of Enlightenment perspective when the letter itself is based upon the logic, letter-writing customs, and Greek idiosyncrasies of the ancient near east?
The Chiastic Structure or Pattern shows a different emphasis in 1 Timothy, one in which proto-gnostic teaching was becoming a problem that must be addressed head on. Timothy was to make sure everyone was properly educated before they were entrusted with being deacons and elders, teachers and leaders within the church.
The part people often miss is that Paul wanted women in the classroom, learning scripture, theology, Greek and Hebrew, reading and writing, and presumably teaching and evangelizing, right alongside the men.
This is a 36-page paper, exhaustively studying 80 of the 329 instances this word has been seen, so far, in the ancient record. The 80 instances she chose to study occur within the timeframe of Paul’s letter to 1 Timothy, therefore offer the most accurate renderings known to Paul, and used in his day.
There are four important points to consider before wading into a Bible passage in order to try to understand what it’s saying and what it means, let alone to try and figure out how to live it out.
Surely some of you are asking why. Why would God say the Levites were to be priests? Guess what. There is an answer to that, but it’s a triggering kind of story, if you have a low tolerance for evil and violence.