About Philip B. Payne Man and Woman, One in Christ Philip B. Payne, and the cover of his latest book, Man and Woman, One in Christ
January 15th
2010
written by phil

I found the following reviews of Man and Woman, One in Christ in respected blogs. Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed, writes, “Simply put, this is the most technically proficient study ever published on women in the Pauline texts.” Scot McKnight states regarding “Philip B. Payne’s new book, Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters“: “Philip Payne, whom I met when he was fresh out of his dissertation at Cambridge (on the parables of Jesus) and who was teaching at Trinity and then left to do missionary work in Japan, then became famous to all of us who are Mac users because he developed Linguist’s Software, and it was the font package I used for years and years … is also a very good NT scholar and this topic — exegesis of specific texts about women in the NT — has been his speciality. Two points need to be made: first, every Pauline text that deals with women is subjected to careful scrutiny, and this means this book is a must-read for anyone doing serious study or preaching about these texts. Second, Phil’s contention is that Paul consistently champions equality in Christ for both men and women. Simply put, this is the most technically proficient study ever published on women in the Pauline texts.”

Ben Witherington III on the Bible and Culture in Beliefnet writes:

“One of the questions I often get is what were the best Biblical Studies books that came out this year which should be added to a library. … Here are ten books you need if you wish to be a serious student of the NT– in no particular order:
6) Philip Payne, Man and Woman. One in Christ, As the culture wars rage on in the conservative church about the role of women, a few scholars have spent most of their careers dealing with the detailed historical and exegetical and theological issues. Few have done a better job of dealing with these issues than my old classmate at GCTS, Phil Payne.”

Paul D. Adams in his blog, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (in Christ Jesus), has given three parts already of a detailed chapter by chapter review of Man and Woman, One in Christ. Following are quotations from each of the first three parts of his review:

“I just received and have begun reading Philip B. Payne’s Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters. Scot McKnight gives it the highest recommendation saying “this is the most technically proficient study ever published on women in the Pauline texts.”
I would like to offer some important insights from chapters 1-3 that I found especially enlightening.
From Chapter 1 “Backgrounds to Paul’s Teaching regarding Man and Woman”: After dismantling eleven arguments traditionally put forth from Genesis 1-3 to suggest “God put man in a position of authority over woman,” Payne offers twenty statements based on Gen 1-3 that show man and woman are equal: [he lists all 20].
From Chapter 2, “Women Paul Names as Ministry Leaders,” Phoebe especially caught my interest.  Two things stood out to me: 1) “Since Paul includes himself as having been under Phoebe’s leadership, this was not simply a leadership role over other women.” 2) “Every meaning of every word in the NT related to the word Paul has chosen to describe Phoebe as a “leader” (προστάτις) that could apply in Rom 16:2 refers to leadership.”
From Chapter 3 “Paul’s Theological Axioms Imply the Equality of Man and Woman” Paul Adams lists all 12 axioms.
As I continue reading, more insights from this important work will be posted.”

Paul’s second post states: “Chapter 4 entitled “Galatians 3:28: Man and Woman: One in Christ” is a solid defense of equality for men and women in the Church.
Payne first shows the verbal and syntactical parallels between Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11, and 1 Corinthians 12:13 noting that the principle of equality over traditional barriers is removed and should be applied to all the churches. Later, Payne notes that in 1 Cor 7:17-27 Paul follows the same order of Jew/Gentile (=circumcised/uncircumcised), slave/free, and male/female (=married/unmarried) pairs admonishing all to be content with their status because in Christ these distinctions as barriers to relationships have no practical import.
What really piqued my interests here is Payne’s insistence that “Paul acknowledges the biological reality of male and female and repeatedly stresses the mutual obligations of husbands and wives (e.g., 1 Cor 7). Clearly, then, he is not denying or ignoring the reality of these distinctions.” This is a solid response to some who suggest biblical egalitarians seek to remove all distinctions of gender. Payne could not be clearer when he writes: [long quotation]
After a thorough exegesis of every word in Gal 3:28, as well as showing more parallels from Gal 5:6 and 6:16, Payne essentially argues that unless equality is realized in the practices of the church, there can be no unity. The latter presupposes the former. This is a powerful thought and has much to teach us in the body of Christ.
Finally, Payne beautifully captures the spirit of Paul to the Galatians when he says: “It is not the absence of diversity but the presence of harmony in the midst of diversity that distinguishes the body. ….”
More blurbs from this excellent text will be added soon.”

Paul’s third post states: “Chapter 5 titled “1 Corinthians 7—The Equal Rights of Man and Woman in Marriage,”  although brief, is pregnant with implications for traditional roles between husband and wife. What struck me was that I’ve always understood Paul’s instructions to husbands and wives as mere repetition and have never seen it as “symmetrically balanced to reinforce…equality.” The “symmetry” from the corresponding statements in the biblical texts is undeniable. It is not mere “repetition” as I once thought. In addition, Payne intimates that in cases where the husband is an unbeliever, the wife assumes spiritual leadership in the home (7:14), since she serves as sanctifier for her husband and her children. Payne’s conclusion that “Paul’s vision of the equality of man and woman in marriage” is evident…at least to me.”

“I very much appreciate Payne’s commitment to the biblical texts. While he shows appreciation for the cultural and social backgrounds surrounding the relevant Pauline texts, he does not “foreground” them unnecessarily such that they eclipse God’s holy Word. His high regard for Scripture is obvious. And, in the introduction he fully adopts biblical inerrancy as stated in The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.”

Thank you Scott, Ben, and Paul for your encouraging remarks!

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