For more than a thousand years, the Church employed a Greek philosophical paradigm when it interpreted this verse. That Greek model comes directly from Plato and Aristotle who taught that women were defective men. It isn’t too much of an exaggeration to say Greek philosophers despised women, considering them intellectually inferior, emotionally immature and generally incapable of the actions and attitudes of men. The early church fathers were immersed in Greek philosophy so it is not surprising to find their exegesis reflects Plato and the Academy. As a result of this paradigm, the Church and the culture engaged in withholding education, development and leadership from women. Predictably, the result merely confirmed what the paradigm taught: women were inferior.
But Paul is no Platonist. He is a Second Temple rabbi. His approach to the role and status of women is based in Scripture, not philosophy. A thorough analysis of Paul’s full understanding of women would reveal exactly what he shares in Galatians 3:28. In the Body, there is no hierarchy! All the world’s false distinctions – Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female – are overcome and set aside. So, what do we do with this apparent misogyny. Skip Moen
Well said! Poor Paul. He gets blamed for the way women are treated in the church. But his position is worthy of examination. It is not all that it seems.