Women in Ephesus

Gary Hoag

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Download this one page guide, with an emphasis on discussion, to use in small groups or Sunday School. You may make as many copies as necessary for local use. 

In 1 Timothy 2:11 Paul writes to Timothy, his pastoral trainee, “A woman must learn in quietness and submission.” Paul also instructs women on how to dress and to be modest. Is this just another expression of ancient, patriarchal culture that sought to marginalize women? What might this cryptic text mean, and how does it relate to the situation of the church to which he was writing? The ancient writings of people like Xenophon of Ephesus offer important cultural details that greatly affect how we ought to interpret passages like this one, and they help us determine what their significance is for contemporary Christians. In the case of women in Ephesus, it may just be that the customs associated with the cult of Artemis offers surprising insight into the actual intention of Paul the apostle.

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