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The Ordination of Women and Sacred Scripture

Overview of scriptural documents on our website

Introduction 1. Four rules for interpreting Scripture correctly

  1. The literal sense.
  2. Literary form.
  3. Intended scope.
  4. Rationalizations.

Course on Interpreting Scripture

We must know what the human author wanted to say before we can come to any conclusions as to what God is telling us.

In many texts we have to discern the teaching by analysing the literary form the scriptural author is using.

We may not ascribe statements or assertions to a biblical author which lie outside his intended scope.

We have to distinguish substantial statements by the author from rationalizations and popular reasonings in which he expresses his own human opinions.

Introduction 2. The Formation of the Gospels

To understand the Gospels correctly we need to know the way in which the Gospels came about: from Jesus’ teaching,
through oral catechesis and written records to the composition of the
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Women in Old Testament
1000 BC – 30 AD

Men dominated in society and religion

Male Domination:

Read also:

Regarding rabbinical teaching on women:

Jesus Christ and women 28 –
30 AD

Jesus did not tackle male dominance directly. But he established a new priesthood that includes a radical openness to women.
Women were present at the Last Supper.

Read: Jesus from an Ecofeminist
, by Ivonne Gebara.

Jesus Christ:

On the Last Supper:


On appointing only men among the twelve apostles:

Women in the Early Apostolic
30 – 80 AD

Paul endorsed the fundamental equality in Christ of women and men. Women took part in the Church’s apostolate. Paul asked women to wear a veil in the assembly to forestall cultural clashes.


On Specific Pauline texts:

Women among the disciples of the Apostles 80 AD – 120 AD

In a reaction against Gnostics, some local Church leaders forbid women to speak in the assemblies.

Read on women in the Early Christian Church:

On Ephesians ‘Bride and Bridegroom’

On Luke:

On John:

On Hebrews: