I just happen to be reading through, at my normal snail’s pace, St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
An argument in the women bishops’ debate is that St Paul said that women should submit to their husbands.
By a funny accident of coinky-dinky, I have, this week, been at the place in his letter where St Paul addresses that very issue. (He also says that husbands should be caring, loving and dutiful towards their wives.)
But I have now got to the bit just after the ‘women submit’ bit. In the very next chapter, St Paul tells slaves how to behave towards their masters.
Doesn’t that put his comments on women in a little bit of historical context?
It’s funny how such context doesn’t get mentioned in these debates. It reminds me of people who pick little bits of Leviticus to make their point, ignoring all the other bits. For example, the bit about a man not lying with another man gets repeated ad nauseam, but there is no mention of the bit which says, a few verses later:
A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.