Scot begins part four by discussing his movement from a fundamentalist background, where there were few visible women in ministry, to his openness and acceptance to full acceptance of women in ministry in any role. He states that his view changed not by a world-view shift but in his actual study of the NT. He stated that we have to remember that the NT emerged from and therefore was shaped by first century Jewish and Greco-Roman culture, including what it said about women. As he was writing commentaries, he continually sketch how he thought we should read the Bible – as a culturally conditioned revelation of God’s Word that needs to be worked out in a modern context. Thus, we have to understand that Paul’s directions to his churches were culturally shaped.
Scot understands the injunctions from Scripture against women serving in leadership roles. In the world in which the NT was written, generally women were perceived as inferior. But, as we read the Bible, there were plenty of exceptions, exceptions that reveal an undercurrent that would eventually alter the current itself. We do find female heroes in the hard patriarchal world of the OT. We find mentions of women in “leadership” roles in the NT. Scot encourages us to understand that the biblical context is cultural and that even the biblical teachings reflect that culture. Scot then states instead of seeking to impose that culture and those culturally shaped teachings on women in a completely different world and culture, the mutuality view summons Christians to the Bible one more time. It knows the story of the Bible is one in which Jesus Christ makes men and women one again.
In the next post, Scot will begin to examine, What did women do in the Old Testament?