I appreciate AW’s support of the role of women and the implicit criticism of historic patriarchy of Mennonites and Christianity as a whole (“The liberating power of womanist theology,” March 24). I do not understand why we do not deal with the roots of Christianity’s patriarchy in the Bible itself. Jesus, and, especially, the Apostle Paul, were wholly egalitarian. But they are contradicted in the Bible itself, most particularly in the spurious books of I and II Timothy and Titus and in 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36, which biblical scholars have long recognized as a spurious insertion within a discussion of prophecy. How could Paul, who sent a woman, Phoebe, to read his letter to the churches in Rome, be opposed to women speaking in the church? It makes no sense. It seems that the purpose of these much later spurious insertions probably was to promote the pagan household ethic of Rome against that of Jesus and Paul. But why?
Donald E. Voth, Albuquerque, N.M.
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