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Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture

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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 03:54:19 (permalink)
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I have rethought about Paul.
I used to think he was anti-woman however rereading Paul's letters and epistles I have come to the conclusion Paul was not so misogynist after all. A lot of biblical scholars and theologians including  Dr. John Wijngaards show that passages of what is recorded as Paul's writings have very likely been changed by misogynist writers- Pagan Roman law inserts.

  These theologians and bible commentarians  attribute to scribal insertions/alterations the misogynist passages- the ones that say women be silent , women submit to husbands. They claim this is NOT what Paul wrote.  Even Kenneth Davis in his Everything You Need To Know About the Bible But Were Afraid  To Ask book makes this point . It sure rings true that Paul's words have been interfered with for the purpose of maligning women and excluding them, which does not folloe otherwise the words and actions of Paul or Jesus. A careful reading of New Testament I think confirms Paul is not so misogynist and these anti-women passages are scribal insertions/alterations, not originally Paul's. 
 
Connie
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 03:55:14 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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The pseudo-Pauline texts are in large part to blame. I also have no doubt that texts were redacted. Paul calls women "apostles", and lists some even before their male partners. We have to take into consideration the cultural climate, not assuming that the letters (and that's all Paul's material is, just letters to specific communities) are equal to the gospels or that they were written by the hand of God. These are letters of encouragement from a preacher to his seed churches. They are our window into the pre-Gospel history of the church.

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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 03:56:21 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Correction: our window into the pre-gospel church as a hybrid for a gentile audience, but not one and the same with the teachings of the original apostles.
 
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 03:57:50 (permalink)
 



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I have rethought about Paul.

I used to think he was anti-woman however rereading Paul's letters and epistles I have come to the conclusion Paul was not so misogynist after all. A lot of biblical scholars and theologians including  Dr. John Wijngaards show that passages of what is recorded as Paul's writings have very likely been changed by misogynist writers- Pagan Roman law inserts.

These theologians and bible commentarians  attribute to scribal insertions/alterations the misogynist passages- the ones that say women be silent , women submit to husbands. They claim this is NOT what Paul wrote.  Even Kenneth Davis in his Everything You Need To Know About the Bible But Were Afraid  To Ask book makes this point . It sure rings true that Paul's words have been interfered with for the purpose of maligning women and excluding them, which does not folloe otherwise the words and actions of Paul or Jesus. A careful reading of New Testament I think confirms Paul is not so misogynist and these anti-women passages are scribal insertions/alterations, not originally Paul's. 

Connie


Connie,

I have also heard about the theory of scribal inserts. I am not sure how widely accepted this theory is and on what it is based. Regardless of their origin however, the passages are undeniably sexist. In my recollection the worst passages were attributed to Peter, Paul, and Timothy.

However even if the letters were genuinely from those disciples, I believe it is important to place them in the context of the times. Keep in mind there were also letters telling slaves to obey their masters and masters to treat their slaves kindly.

Such passages may simply be representative of acceptance of the cultural practices of the time. People owned slaves and women were treated as property. What Paul and others may have been trying to do was put a Christian spin on the social practices to make them more humane and in keeping with the teachings of Christ to love one another regardless of your station in life. However, there is no evidence that these men were social reformers, calling for freeing slaves or emancipation of women.

Whatever their source, I think the passages should be removed from the lectionary because they are no longer relevant to the moral and spiritual evolution of our Christian development.
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:00:33 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Whatever their source, I think the passages should be removed from the lectionary because they are no longer relevant to the moral and spiritual evolution of our Christian development.



Hello,

I am not familiar with scribal inserts.  This is interesting.

On a point of clarification to be certain that I understand: When you say, " removed from the lectionary,"  do you mean deleted from the usual cycle of readings that we hear at mass?

Therese
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:01:32 (permalink)
 
 
 
 



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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:03:11 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Hello Most theologians show the misogynist passages asking for silent women and subjection of women are scribal inserts/alterations.  I think I posted a quote from theologian Bart Ehrman in Women Apostles thread. Kenneth Davis in his equally interesting and witty book  (Everything You Wanted to Know About the Bible But Were Afraid to Ask) says the same. So do other bible commentaries and theologians. Analysis of wording and syntax and style and context shows that the passages are not original. Ehrman's book is listed in Theologians Who Support Women Priests thread and in Book, Movie Suggestions is called Misquoting The Bible.

   Bishop John Spong has also written great books which shed light on this too. I listed him in Book Suggestion thread too and I got the  books from the public library.  Dr. Wijngaards also shows that the passages are Roman Pagan civil law and not Paul or Jesus.

    Please see what you think by looking how Paul praises women who prophesy and preach  outloud to congregation ---in assembly--therefore not told to keep quiet and away from community- then a few lines later it says women are to keep silent in church!!!  Clearly contradictory and to me clear that Paul approves of women preaching and prophesyzing because of how he encourages approval and support and praises women leaders, women deacons, women missionaries, women prophets and preachers to his congregations--Paul promotes acceptance of women in these roles to others, Paul does not promote denial of these roles to women. Junia "Oustanding among the Apostles"

"Greet Phoebe, deacon of the church at Cenchrae" are affirmation statements of the most sincere and emphatic degree.

        It is very interesting to read the Bible and to read these theologians and bible commentaries.  I am now looking at Episcolan priest and psychotherapist  John A. Sanford The Strange Trial of Mr. Hyde about evil and he has others about the bible and dreams and about the sayings of Jesus.  I will try to read these books too as they are very insightful.  Learning about the bible is very important and the message of love and courage Jesus teaches is illuminated by many authors. One must use discernment as always. I am reading about Jung biography Memories, Dreams, Reflections and it is fascinating. Jung is a luminousity , a psycholgical mystic and genius who showed many wonderful insights into the understanding of the world.  I have children, pets, husband  and job so not much time but I really enjoy looking at these.  My television time is nil right now due to my looking at this fascinating material. Friends suggest grerat books too and people at church as well told me me about  Jung and Spong. A friend a t church gave me Hidegrd of Bibgen  books and told me her DVD was at the library (one with Matthew Fox commentary) and her music and play and her visions shown in loverly illuminations.
 
God bless from Connie
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:04:10 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Kenneth Davis book is really called Don't Know Much About The Bible- Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book But You Never Learned  It is very good, and amusing and full of great accessible scholarship. Fun!
  Bart Erhman's book is Misquoting Jesus and the full title is listed in Book and Movie  Suggestions thread and also in Women Apostle Women Disciple thread. This computer is shared by all the family so most times some one is clamoring for me to let them get on it and so I get rushed with the posts I do make.   Have fun and enjoy our journey with Jesus and each other!  God bless from Connie  Bishop John Shelby Spong is the name of another great bible author and John A Sanford is another. Also lots of great lady theologians too- Women Priests book is super and is listed in Women Apostles thread and Theologian thread  and Book and Movie Suggestion thread too.
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:05:08 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Thomas Cahill's enjoyable book Desire of the Everlasting Hills also shows how Paul's writings in New Testament are indeed a "clarion call for equality of women."  A great endorsement that women too be equally able to serve God with "all their mind,  heart and soul".  His writings too- Cahill- about Virgin Mary are also very insightful. I recommend this book too.   C

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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:05:56 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Hi Connie,

You are another voice I appreciate so much!  I think you mentioned Kenneth Davis's book once before.  I've been trying to find a copy of it.  It sounds good.  The search is on.

I have Misquoting Jesus.  It is on the stack on my bedside table.  As the stack keeps growing, it is crossing my mind that I should get a bigger beside table!

in Christ's peace,
Therese
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:07:07 (permalink)
 



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Kenneth Davis book is really called Don't Know Much About The Bible- Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book But You Never Learned  It is very good, and amusing and full of great accessible scholarship. Fun!
Bart Erhman's book is Misquoting Jesus and the full title is listed in Book and Movie  Suggestions thread and also in Women Apostle Women Disciple thread. This computer is shared by all the family so most times some one is clamoring for me to let them get on it and so I get rushed with the posts I do make.   Have fun and enjoy our journey with Jesus and each other!  God bless from Connie  Bishop John Shelby Spong is the name of another great bible author and John A Sanford is another. Also lots of great lady theologians too- Women Priests book is super and is listed in Women Apostles thread and Theologian thread  and Book and Movie Suggestion thread too.



Though "Don't Know Much About the Bible" is just so-so, Ehrman's books are really worth the read.

His “Studies in Textual Criticism of the New Testament” is the height of scholarly work. Here's a review of the main points found in the The Gospel of Mark as an example of what he covers.

The Son of God: Mark 1:1: The vast majority of MSS read: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” But the final phrase, “The Son of God” is lacking in several important witnesses, including codices Sinaiticus and Koridethi, MSS 28c and 1555, the Palestinian Syriac, Armenian, and Georgian versions, and Origen. It is important to point out that the two earliest extant MSS attest to the omission: Sinaiticus and Koridethi. Scholars conclude with reasonable certainly that early manuscripts lacked the phrase. The later inclusion of the phrase appears to be an attempt by the early church to harmonize the witness of the synoptic gospels.

The Spirit Descends Upon Jesus: Mark 1:10: In codices Vaticanus, Bezae, and several other important witnesses, when the Spirit descends upon Jesus at his baptism, it becomes a dove εις αυτον, “unto” or “to” him. But the preposition εις can also mean “into”, which Gnostics would have asserted to mean that the heavenly Christ came into Jesus in the form of a dove. The subsequent change is also noted in Matthew and Luke, where the word επι (upon) is used in order to avoid the implication.

An Angry Jesus: Early MMS present Jesus with a full range of emotions. Mark 1:39-45 is an example of a leper in the hands of an angry Jesus. A literal TR of an early account with the word that was changed because scribes could not explain Jesus’ anger reads as follows:

39 And he [Jesus] came preaching in their synagogues in all of Galilee and casting out the demons. 40 And a leper came to him beseeching him and saying to him, “If you will, you are able to cleanse me.” 41 And [becoming angry (οργισθεις) /feeling compassion (σπλαγχνισθεις)] reaching out his hand, he touched him and said to him, “I do will, be cleansed.” 42 And immediately the leprosy went out from him, and he was cleansed. 43 And rebuking him severely, immediately he cast him out 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing that which Moses commanded, as a witness to them.” 45 But when he went out he began to preach many things and to spread the word, so that he [Jesus] was no longer able to enter publicly into a city.

The word οργισθεις / becoming angry is found in only a few Western MSS of Mark, in the fifth-century Codex (D) and several Old Latin MSS (a ff2 r1), but scholars attest that their witness goes back at least to the second century.

In this narrative it is said that Jesus “casts him out” (εκβαλλω), a term usually reserved for demons in Mark’s narrative. Also, Jesus appears to break the law by touching the leper (see Lev 13) but then seems to affirm it by telling the man to do what Moses commands.

In short, the difficulty arises in the passage because the leper doubts Jesus’ willingness to heal him, which to Jesus would be unthinkable. God and God’s life-giving and healing gifts are never willfully withheld from those who believe. Jesus presents a faith without compromise. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus becomes angry when anyone questions his authority, ability or his desire to heal.

Another citation will help to clarify Mark’s purpose as he demonstrates a definitive case for Jesus’ just anger in Mark 3:4-5:

4 Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. 5 Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

Again, this scenario points out a failure to wholeheartedly live in a way that bears witness to God’s mercy and goodness. Jesus’ question is met with silent attestation to a ‘letter or the law’ mentality that spawns timidity or indifference to the human condition. It is clear that inaction falls short of God’s intention for humanity to live in faith.

Jesus anger/aggravation is also detectable in Mark 10:14 when the children are being prevented from being brought to him. Both Matthew and Luke retain the story, but both delete the reference to Jesus’ anger (see Matt 19:14 and Luke 18:16). Both Matthew and Luke use Mark as a large portion of their source material, but have difficulty presenting Mark’s angry Jesus; both change the wording in order to present a compassionate Jesus.

The High Priest: Mark 2:26: Material derived from codex D has been changed in some subsequent manuscripts. It reports that David entered into the Temple to partake of the showbread, which took place “while Abiathar was the high priest” (which in fact he was not), and some of the later MSS show correction on this detail.

Tekton: Mark 6:3: In most of our Greek and versional witnesses, the people of Nazareth identify Jesus as the “carpenter, the son of Mary”. Celsus found this identification of Jesus as a τεκτων (tekton) important, though his principal opponent, Origen of Alexandria, felt this to be disingenuous, claiming that there is no MS of the Gospels that provides this identification. Conceivably all of Origen’s texts agreed with P45, f13, and 33 in changing the passage in order to identify Jesus as “the son of the carpenter”. The second-century modification aligns Jesus’ employment and socioeconomic status for the sake of an apologetic theme.

Fasting: Mark 9:29: Regarding Codex D, the most well known incident of ascetically-oriented corruption of text is found in Mark’s account of Jesus’ words to his disciples after they have been unable to cast out a particularly difficult demon: “This kind comes out only by prayer”. Codex D as well as a host of other MSS, both early and late, have added to them the phrase “and fasting”, indicating that ascetic practices are necessary to overcome satanic evil in the world.

The Encratitic* Gnostic influence attributed to Tatian can be found in the Sinaitic Syriac text of Luke 2:36, wherein it is related that the prophetess Anna enjoyed marital bliss not for “seven years” but only for “seven days”; the other example is found in Matthew 22:4 of the same manuscript where the oxen and fatted calf have been omitted from the description of the divine marriage feast. The Gospel of the Ebionites also shows scribal changes in the text to indicate a vegetarian cuisine indicating that John the Baptist ate pancakes (εγκριδες) rather than locusts (ακριδες). (There is also some evidence in favor of the argument that the word ‘locusts’ actually meant to indicate the “lightening” or ripe tasseled-tops of grain plants.)
*encratitic: ascetic, anti-conjugal, against sexual intercourse

The Crowd: Mark 15:8: Pilot attempts to release Jesus when “the crowd” begins to make demands for his execution. The codex D text presents this more emphatically, and the Jews thereby more culpable by wording of “all the crowd” that demands Jesus death.

King of the Jews: Mark 15:12: The codex D text changes Pilot’s words from “whom you call King of the Jews” to “who is called king of the Jews”.

Forsaken/Reviled/Left Behind: Mark 15:34: Codex D and its Old Latin allies reflect changes that align with the Christology of the second century, particularly where material may have tended to support Gnosticism. The codex D MS, rather than report Jesus crying out “My God, My God, why have you left me behind”, was modified to read “My God, my God, why have you reviled me”. Most English translations use the word “forsaken” in place of “reviled”.

The Longer Ending: Mark 16:9-20: Most scholars agree that the longer ending was incorporated into the Gospel of Mark in the second century. It is viewed as a type of resume of the gospel material.
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:08:49 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Bishop John Shelby Spong is the name of another great bible author and John A Sanford is another. Also lots of great lady theologians too- Women Priests book is super and is listed in Women Apostles thread and Theologian thread  and Book and Movie Suggestion thread too.


Sanford's "Mystical Christianity" is excellent.
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:10:16 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Dear Person  Could you please use an identifying name  as it is hard to follow posts. Can you give me please a brief synopsis of Sanford's Mystical Christianity and why it is recommended and why you like it. I have just been reading The Strange Trial of Mr. Hyde by Sanford and am really enjoying it. He shares great insights and I think he attributes many to Carl Jung's theories about psychology and archetypes , mind-body connection.  The explanation of evil is fascinating and helpful for me to understand people a bit more.
   Why does someone refer to Rottweiler or brainwashing or pontificating or group imagined leadership?  Is not Holy Spirit, God and Jesus our  ultimate leader  and if we can come from an attitude of respect and compassion is that a goal? Having preferences and opinions is all part of being human, based on beliefs and experiences and "truth" as one knows it.  It is tough to "agree to disagree" and politeness even in internet talk creates positive energy. It is like we could attempt to behave as if we were face to face. Would we hurl insults if face to face and then expect to continue to dialogue, or expect to end the dialogue?  This is tough if we have contempt for another and there is no shared communion if hate and contempt take over.  I am sorting out what is the dynamic in some of the posts and why the effect appears to be so angry and negative.  Is that the intent and why?   from Connie
 
 
 
 
 
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:11:06 (permalink)
 



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Dear Person  Could you please use an identifying name  as it is hard to follow posts. Can you give me please a brief synopsis of Sanford's Mystical Christianity and why it is recommended and why you like it.
from Connie

 
“Mystical Christianity – A Psychological Commentary on the Gospel of John; John A. Sanford; Herder & Herder/ Crossroads Publishing, New York.

In the Introduction, Sanford likens the 4th Gospel to a kaleidoscope that can be turned ‘this way’, and now what you will see will be various forms emerging. Now turn it another way and see it differently, yet it is always one and the same Gospel. He presents 4G as a treasure-house of psychological and spiritual insights, a manual and model for discipleship.

Sanford digs beyond the superficial to uncover the “Logos”, reaches beyond English translation to show the underlying message in the context of the original terminological intentions of the (group of authors) Johannine community who compiled the text. In much the same way that John Pilch contributes to our cultural knowledge of the Hebrew people, Sanford offers cultural material that fleshes out the 4th Gospel, making the ‘signs’ palpable as he, at times, contrasts the material with Paul’s teaching. He's not just giving us the "how" of it, but the "why".

Jill
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:12:43 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Dear Jill   Sanford's book sounds very interesting.  How does he view what I consider to be very remarkable, Jesus's acceptance and affirmation of much remarried Samaritan woman?  How does he interpret "beloved disciple?'  One of the gospels says this person is a young child who goes running after Jesus when Jesus is arrested or running off to inform loved ones. Sounds like it may be like Simcha Jacobovichi suggests recently in his Jesus Family Tomb maybe a child, the son of Jesus?  Sounds kind of plausible. Quite ambiguous wording regarding this person in the NT.
  How does he view the concept of living waters of faith, eros and "logos" please?  Was this book published in 1980's and have you ever been to a lecture of Mr. Sanford's or read Carl Jung's work? I am new to this author and to psychological terminology and concepts.  Thank you for suggesting this book.  from Connie
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:16:53 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Dear Jill Sanford's book sounds very interesting. How does he view what I consider to be very remarkable, Jesus's acceptance and affirmation of much remarried Samaritan woman?

 
Sanford takes the tack that this may be an uncomfortable reality brought up, the way an analyst might lead a patient into facing uncomfortable truths about oneself. (I think, in this regard, he has missed an opportunity to show that the ‘five husbands’ were the various gods the Samaritans worshipped during their captivity.)
 

How does he interpret "beloved disciple?'

 
If I remember correctly, it seems that the “Beloved Disciple” is the one who hears the message and follows, and it is not meant to be a particular person. He says that an unpolished Galilean could not have been the author. It had to be an educated person, trained in philosophical thought, who possessed sophisticated Greek in her/his repertoire, and was also one intimately familiar with Jerusalem and the inner priestly circle – a religious genius who employed Jungian active imagination.

 
How does he view the concept of living waters of faith, eros and "logos" please?
 

 
 The words “living water” [hydor zon] relate to the prologue – “All that came to be had life [zoe] in him and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). See also Isa 12:3, Jer 2:13.

There’s a whole chapter on “logos”.

(I can’t find a reference to “eros” in the index.)
 

Was this book published in 1980's and have you ever been to a lecture of Mr. Sanford's or read Carl Jung's work? I am new to this author and to psychological terminology and concepts. Thank you for suggesting this book. from Connie


 
No, I’ve never been to an ‘in person’ lecture by him. I have read Jung, and Sanford makes quite a number of references to Jung.

Jill


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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:17:49 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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 Dear Jill  An amazing idea that the "husbands are gods" that they worshipped. So it could be allegorical. Jesus is so patient and compassionate as he invites her to a newer understanding - God is Spirit.  How does  Sanford interpret if Jesus baptises her in the "living waters of faith"? This well that bubbles up from within, this is the kingdom within? Does he say why a woman is chosen as receiver of Messiah news and to be Gentile preacher? Is this new to choose a woman, or just repressed information as Old Testament does have mention of some women prophets and judges. Does Sanford shed light on the equality Jesus gives to women?  What do you think of Jung's ideas? I quickly scanned his 4 Archetypes book and I really liked it.  This field is new to me.  How did you come to conclusion it can refer to 4 gods formerly worshipped? Waves of invaders' gods?  Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian ???  Is this-John text- considered Gnostic flavour to it by anyone you have read? The Mark gospel has Jesus silent through most of crucifixion, overtones like the Gnostic Gospel of Judas newly published text. Did this text influence the writing of Mark gospel or vice versa?  Where did you learn this?  It sounds very interesting!  from Connie
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:18:35 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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 I am going to look up the beloved disciple in the gospel accounts that mention this and see if  Simcha Jacobovichi has maybe got a point here: he claims it is a child who runs at the time of the arrest of Jesus and then is at the foot of the cross with the women- Mary Mother of Jesus (grandmother?) and Mary Magdalene ( Mother?) and the words of Jesus about this is your son and this is your mother are like saying look after each other like a blessing. 
        Could be a term, we are all "beloved disciples" too- metaphor or could be this is a child of the family.  I am going to look at each gospel passage that has the part about "beloved disciple".  Keeping the identity quiet could be a safety issue too as life would be threatened, or could be not in interests of "virgin" birth and "celibacy" to maintain Jesus never married or had a child of his own, too "human" for some parts of the church?  Just trying to figure out this "beloved disciple" part.  C
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:19:32 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
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Dear Connie and Jill,

Since this particular thread is devoted to discussion about being Agents for Change, I will in the next short while be shifting discussion related to scripture to the appropriate thread -- Women Priests from the point of View of Scripture. I will provide links to assist you in connecting with posts once they have been moved there!

with love and blessings,
~Sophie~
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RE: Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture 2007/06/28 04:21:03 (permalink)




the following is a transferred post
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Thanks Sophie
It is about Scripture really.  Women Priests as Viewed from Scripture.
Great impact on women being valid for priesthood I think if we can see the  possible reality that Jesus  maybe was a married man who had a child .  This lessens the primacy of the obsession with celibacy and ascetism that still pervades the church, and gives power to ideas of negating married sexuality or motherhood and fatherhood as  being rather unworthy and lesser than celibacy.  This notion of Jesus's perpetual virginity and celibacy cements a continuing disapproval by a lot of the church hierarchy that sex and women are worthless animalistic  lesser realities .  A stumbling block to acceptance and validity of women who are viewed as "animalistic breeder' and "sexual" beings.  Bizarre attitudes I think still held by many Vatican curia.      Connie



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