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Why Should Women Read Ephesians?

This letter [Ephesians] was probably written during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome … Many consider this epistle to hold some of the greatest Pauline theology, coupled with practical truths for living,

And the brief letter continues to influence the church today. Women can especially appreciate the passage on understanding God’s design for marriage found in Ephesians. (from: “When was Ephesians Written?”, “Why Should Women Read Ephesians?” and “What is Ephesians About?”)

Hard Question - Did Paul Hate Women

Much has been said about the Apostle Paul’s attitude toward women. In fact, some feminist theologians have reacted so strongly against Paul’s words that they have simply rejected the words penned by Paul in Scripture. Feminist theologians suggest that Jesus loved women but that Paul was speaking under the influence of his own culture. In other words: Jesus spoke for God, but Paul spoke only for himself. A brief look at Paul’s historical context shows that nothing could be further from the truth.

Paul undoubtedly had been immersed in an atmosphere in which the understanding was that women were not as valuable to society as men. However, this historical reality actually makes Paul’s words of encouragement toward women more profound. While some interpret Paul’s words toward women as pejorative, the truth is that Paul was not reflecting his culture; he was reacting against it. His strong stand on divorce (1Co 7), his encouragement of the women who ministered to and with him (Lydia, Ac 16:40; Phoebe, Rm 16:1; Priscilla, Rm 16:3), and even the way he encouraged women who were great participants and patrons for world missions (Priscilla, Ac 18)—all illustrate that Paul was bringing to his world a new way of thinking about the value of women within the context of Christianity and about their usefulness in the spreading of the gospel.

In Eph 5:25-30 Paul makes three revolutionary statements about women. First, Paul’s teaching style illustrates that men and women are equal. He gives instructions to both. Second, Paul commands the men to love their wives as their own bodies (vv. 26,28). The verb (Gk agapate) indicates continuous and habitual action (5:25). Third, this love leads to a man’s nourishing and cherishing his wife.

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