Archive for June 2nd, 2012
For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:7 NASB
Glory – What an exegetical disaster we have made of Paul’s off-hand remark! What nonsense, what heresy we have perpetrated upon women as a result of the male proclivity to power! As Ellul rightly observes, this passage “has often been misconstrued as teaching a hierarchy from God to man and from man to woman. But this is not its point or purpose. The question is that of the relation between powers, and of mediation. . . . I have often recalled that glory is revelation. God glorifies himself when he reveals himself as he is. Jesus Christ glorifies God when he reveals him to us as the God of love who is also the Father. We ourselves are called upon to be the glory of God as we are his image, as we show by what we are who is the God to whom we bear witness. In this passage Paul then adds that the woman is the glory of man: she reveals him; she shows what a human being truly is.”
We already know that the rabbis taught that Woman is the final formative act of creation, the capstone of God’s design. We already know that the serpent attacks the Woman because she is the relationship manager of the unity of the two. We already know that Adam acknowledges her place as the director and protector in his excuse before the Lord. Certainly Paul knew all that we know – and much more. Ellul is right. God designed the woman to glorify the man; to reveal to him what it means to be fully human. Rabbinic teaching concludes that the Woman is the first truly human creature since she comes from (finds her source in) the man. Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) teaches nothing different. If you want to see what it means to be fully human according to God’s design, look to His deliberate blueprint in Woman. Any interpretation that ignores or intentionally misinterprets this passage in order to justify a non-existent hierarchy in the Kingdom is not only erroneous, it is salacious.
We are fortunate to have had thinkers like Ellul. It’s too bad that the majority of Christian teachers didn’t listen to him. It’s not simply a tragedy for proper biblical exegesis. It is a tragedy for all those couples who were seduced by the power-hungry Church of male prominence. This false hierarchy has destroyed more marriages (intended to be billboards of unity, not hierarchy) and ruined the contribution of more women to the Body than just about any other blasphemy of the Church. It’s time to overthrow such patent error, regardless of the supposedly learned Christian theologians who continue to proclaim such foolishness. It’s time for every husband to realize and appreciate the representative of God’s glory given to him in his wife. It’s time for every unmarried man to search for the woman who reveals what it means to be truly human, and to settle for nothing less.
It’s time for the Church to repent.
Topical Index: glory, doxa, woman, 1 Corinthians 11:7
 Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, p. 76.