“I permit no woman to teach
or to have authority over a man;
she is to keep silent” – 1 Timothy 2:15
I suppose I could leave this page blank to honour the sentiment of this teaching. Or not!
I was first introduced to this verse of scripture between the stacks in the library at Mount Allison in my first year by an earnest fourth year student. I was an intended candidate for ministry. He was a lover of proof texts. I resorted to the experience of a deep sense of call. He piled up more texts from scripture. We couldn’t even agree to disagree.
I love scripture. I have countless proof texts of my own, I guess. These are touchstone verses that speak truth to my very core. I’ve blogged many of them in this journey of holding up one verse from each book of the bible.
I love scripture. I studied scripture formally in school, with textbooks, commentaries, and professors. That training serves me well now, but for a while, this intellectual pursuit stole something of the passion of hearing a scripture story come alive in my heart, a hearing just for me. (Read “Wings of my Own.” )
I love scripture. Even when I wasn’t preaching weekly, I still sat with a text week after week, studying and mulling, and anticipating the subtle aliveness that comes from ancient words to waiting hearts. If I could only take one book to a lonely desert island, I would take a bible. (One that contains some of the missing ancient Christian texts would be nice.)
I love scripture. I’ve learned to find a place for the violence, harsh portrayals of God, and for all the unacceptable verses. I continue, even after all these years, to hold the authority of scripture against other authorities, like experience, so they can talk and maybe even agree to disagree. I’m tender toward scripture with all is faults and failings, discrepancies and unique cultural declarations.
I love the practice of listening for the Word. And teaching!