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
October 15th
written by phil

Two new reviews on Amazon.com give Man and Woman, One in Christ a five star rating (just like the two earlier reviews). Following are the complete contents of these new reviews. I have interspersed a few personal comments into the second review.

Donald B. Johnson, Manassas, VA

Payne’s new book is an incredible work. He gives very good insights into the “gender” verses in the Bible. If you think you know what the Bible says on gender but have not read this book, I strongly encourage you to read it.

Payne has a blog where he answers questions and responds to reviews, most recently to Schreiner’s negative review.

Marc Axelrod, Potter, WI

This is a strong scriptural look at the unity of women and men in Christ according to Paul’s writings. Dr. Payne wrote this for the Evangelical Free Church so that they would reconsider their stand of not ordaining women. He cogently argues from Galatians 3:26-29, 1 Corinthians 12:12, Colossians 3:11, and elsewhere that Paul’s uniform vision is Jew and Gentile, man and woman, slave and free, united and equal in Christ. No problem there.

Dr. Payne goes on to expound some controverted texts in 1 Corinthians. He argues at length that wherever the word kephale (Head) shows up in 1 Corinthians 11:1-10, we should interpret this to mean source rather than leader or authority. {Note by Payne: Actually, I argue that some are most naturally understood as literal, such as”having down from the head” in 11:4 and “a man ought not to cover his head” in 11:7 and “a woman ought to exercise control of her head” in 11:10. Others might be literal and/or figurative in the sense of “self,” as in “dishonors his/her head” in 11:4, 5, though Paul may also imply in these verses that their source is also dishonored.} Therefore, Paul is not saying that the leader of every man is Christ, and the leader of the woman is man, he is saying that the source of every man is Christ, and the source of the woman is man, and the source of Christ is God. He gives parallels in ancient literature, but the argument is strained. The head covering debate is really a hair covering issue rather than a hat covering issue according to Payne, and this may be right. He also shows from 1 Corinthians 11:5 that both women and men can pray and prophesy in church.

Payne then goes into 1 Corinthians 14 and gives a painstaking, 42 page deliberation on why verses 34-35 were interpolated into the text centuries later. He argues forcefully for this, because he knows if Paul really did say that women are to be silent and submissive in the churches at all times, this shoots down Payne’s position that women can pray and preach and lead in church. {Note by Payne: In fact, this was not my reason, but rather that if Paul really did say that women are to be silent and submissive in the churches at all times, this contradicts his affirmations of women praying and prophesying in ch. 11:5-16, his encouragements to all believers to prophesy throughout ch. 14, and his many affirmations of women in vocal ministry, e.g. Rom 16:1-15.}

Payne shows that these verses were not quoted in the first couple of centuries of the church, and when they show in later texts, they are not always in the same place. He also demonstrates that Paul says elsewhere that we are not under the law, but under grace (Rom 6:14), so why would he invoke the law to keep women from speaking? No where else does Paul invoke the law.

After a long, passionate discussion, I must say that Payne has finally persuaded me in the end that these verses could very well have been interpolated.

There is also a long discussion of Ephesians 5:21-33 where Payne reminds us that the word “submit” cannot be found in Ephesians 5:22, and there is an intense, scholarly, cogent exegesis and exposition of 1 Timothy 2:8-15, where Payne interprets Paul as saying “Since women are the targets of the false teachers in Ephesus and since they are helping to propagate this false teaching, I do not permit (right now) for a woman to teach or assume authority over a man, she should learn in quietness and silence. We need to remember that Adam is to be respected as the one who is the source of women. Moreover, just as Eve was seduced by false teaching in the garden of Eden, so also the Eves of Ephesus are being seduced by false teaching. But women will be saved through the childbirth of Jesus Christ if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with propriety.” Payne may be right again!

Then Payne takes great pains to show us that the instructions to elders and deacons in chapter 3 apply to both women and men. But if he is declaring that women ought not to teach at the present time, it’s hard to imagine that they would be given instructions on how to be elders and deacons, especially since one of the big requirements is to be “able to teach – 1 Timothy 3:2). {Note by Payne: This explains why Paul does not at this point in time include “Women [overseers] also” as he does for women deacons in 1 Tim 3:11} Also,the reference to elders and deacons being the husband of but one wife cannot easily be swept aside, as Payne tries to do. {Note by Payne: Since women are included in 1 Tim 3:11 among those qualified to be deacons, “the husband of but one wife” in 3:12 must not exclude women but rather men who have more than one wife (or any man who is unfaithful to his wife).}

At the end of the day, I believe that Payne has shown that the ordination of women into pastoral ministry should not be forbidden, but it is not a slam dunk. Much hinges on whether or not Payne is correct about the interpolation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and the temporariness of the injunctions in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. This is an important book and is probably going to be considered the benchmark for the egalitarian position regarding man and woman in Christ.

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