Paul knew he was sending his readers to Genesis 1–3 & 5:1-2 when he wrote
1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 11. Some of the “wise” and many of his critics insist that he cared little for women and robbed them with his rabbinic teaching. But it wasn’t rabbinic teaching he offered when he sent the members of the congregation he founded on the Lord Jesus (Acts 19) to Genesis. He did what Jesus Himself did in
Matthew 19. And look what Jesus and Paul knew was there!
- The image of God is male and female (Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2) and not male or female. Without both in relation as creatures created by God there is no “image of God” in the Genesis narrative.
- As the Holy Scriptures tells us, the male was first made. Whether we judge that as significant or not, it’s what the Holy Scripture tells us.
- As the Holy Scripture tells it, God chose to make the female out of the male. Whether we judge that significant or not, it’s what the Holy Scriptures tell us.
- The Holy Scriptures tell us that when the male existed alone that God’s view of that was, “It is not good!” (That is to be construed to mean something like “it doesn’t suit” God’s purpose rather than, something like, “It is morally wrong.” We construe it that way because the male’s existence and his being alone if God’s creative work and that cannot be morally evil.) In any case, during the time the male exists alone he is not the image of God for the image of God is male and female.
- The female is then created and the male sees his own self in her existence. The female’s entrance brings about the “image of God” which could not be until there was both male & female.
- The female not only makes it possible for there to be “the image of God” she enables the male to become (with her) the image of God. The female is at the same time the glory of the male from whom God made her and the glorifier of the male who without her was neither complete or the image of God. She is “made for the male” and she is the “maker” of the male in that he could not be who and what he was meant to be without her.
- The female is called: “The mother of all the living!” We do understand that she can’t be the mother of all the living without the male. Nevertheless the Holy Scriptures make a point of telling us a female is the “mother” (let all that that means settle in our thoughts). Think also that a female was the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate God and hear Paul’s word that He was “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4).
- As the Holy Scriptures record it it is the female who engaged in the “first strike” that became humanity’s alienation from God. It is not only that a female sinned it was that that female sinned and her act as the “mother of all the living” had historic ramifications.
- But as the Holy Scriptures go on to say it was that woman—the “mother of all the living” whose descendant(s) God would set against the seed of Satan. We recognize that it could not be her descendants without being the man’s descendants but the Holy Spirit’s narrative makes the point that it was the woman’s child(ren) that would go against the satanic seed. And that it was GOD who commissioned or enabled or set the woman & the woman’s offspring against the satanic figure. We must not slip on by this element in the record. It is the section that Paul takes us to and we’re to pay attention to all of it and it says marvelous things about women!
- The Word of God, tell us in this section that “the seed of the woman” would trample the serpent’s head and receive the serpent’s “bite”. And it is Paul who alone, Paul the maligned one that takes that text about the woman’s fierce opposition to the Serpent and her children “crushing” Satan in a remarkable defeat. See Romans 16:20!
- Let the “wise” critics develop these truths and tell them of the glory of womanhood as Paul knew it and embraced it and sent us to read about it. Tell them that instead and maybe they won’t think as little of Paul as the preaching and professorial critics. Maybe they won’t believe they are enslaved and robbed; maybe they’ll look at one another and be glad they’re GOD’s women. More to come, God enabling.