Tuesday, July 3, 2018

1 Timothy Chapter 5: Women Elders, Interpolations, Misogyny in Translation,

       1: Rebuke not elders but entreat as fathers and the younger as brothers 2: The elders as mothers the younger as sisters with all purity [1] 3: Honor widows [who are] truly [destitute] widows 4: But if any widow have children or grandchildren let them [the children or grandchildren] learn first to to put their religion into practice at home and to recompense and repay their parents for that is good and acceptable before God [[[5: Now she that is a widow and truly desolate left all alone trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day 6: But those who are wanton are dead while they live]]] 7: And these things declare that they may be blameless 8: But if any provide not for their own and especially for those of their own house they have denied the faith and are worse than [those who are] faithless [[[9: Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old having been the wife of one man 10: Well reported of for good works if she have brought up children if she have lodged strangers if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted if she have diligently followed every good work 11: But the younger widows refuse for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ they will marry 12: Having damnation because they have cast off their first faith 13: And withal they learn to be idle wandering about from house to house and not only idle but tattlers also and busybodies speaking things which they ought not 14: I will therefore that the younger women marry bear children rule the house give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully 15: For some are already turned aside after Satan]]][2] 16: If any man or woman that believes has widows let them relieve them and let not the church be [unnecessarily] burdened that it may relieve them that are widows [who are] truly destitute 17: Let the presbyteros that rule[3] well be counted worthy of double honour especially they who labor in the word and doctrine 18: For the scripture says You shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn And laborers are worthy of their rewards 19: Against elders receive no accusations except before two or three witnesses 20: Them that sin before all rebuke that others also may fear[4] 21: I declare before God and [the] Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudices doing nothing from [motivated by] partiality 22: Hands quickly on no one lay [do not be quick to ordain] neither be partaker of the sins of others Keep yourself pure 23: Drink no longer water but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities[5] 24: Some people's sins are revealed beforehand and go before [them] to judgment and some they follow after 25: Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand and they that are otherwise cannot be hid [at the judgement]

[1] The elder women [presbyteros] and elder men [presbyteros] are treated with perfect equality in these verses, as are the younger men and younger women. There is no difference in role or function detected. It is unfortunate, that translators saw fit to separate verse :2 from verse :1, as both verses are part of the same thought, which commands purity for both young men and young women [purity is not limited to the younger of course, but is accepted that it is usually more of a struggle for the young]. Our Creator and Savior commands purity in all his children—not just his female children. To apply the word purity only to women [as the translators make it appear in this passage] is certainly in line with history and virtually all cultures, but is opposed to the entire volume and message of the Holy Scriptures. The word “presbyteros” in these verses, appears to refer to age rather than leadership, although the same advice applies to dealings with leaders in our congregations.
[2] The apostle Paul wrote that there were counterfeit letters, sent to the churches, “as from” him 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2. Because of this, in Pauline letters, deviations from style, thought, and most of all, agreement with the entire volume of scriptures as a whole, should be suspect. Using this standard, verses :5-6 and :9-15, of 1 Timothy chapter 5, are suspect. The prophet, Isaiah, wrote that if anyone wrote or said anything that did not agree with what had already been written, that it was false. The Christians of Thessalonica checked Paul’s claims against scripture,using Isaiah’s criteria, and were commended for doing so. This passage [1 Timothy 5:9-15] is nothing short of a diatribe against women, which contradicts the entire volume tone of scripture, contradicting even verses one and two of this same chapter, where older women are affectionately described as mothers and declared to be treated as such, and where younger women are affectionately described in the same familial way and commanded to be treated as sisters. Yet the interpolation [vs 9-15] categorizes these same “mothers and sisters” into two groups diametrically opposed to the idea of how either mothers or sisters should be viewed. Christian women are described here as either wanton or pious (the accepted opinion of the time)—with near impossible standards on the pious side, demanding absolute perfection. 

This makes no sense outside of the context of the times and unless the higher [double] standard for women is taken into consideration. Any “so-called” God-breathed scripture, will not defend cultural standards against the entire volume of sacred writings, as a whole. Though 1 Timothy 5:5-6, 9-15, is in perfect accord with the cultural paradigm of the time, it is jarringly out of step, not only with the context of the chapter it is written in, but also with everything we know about the scriptures and our Creator, who made many provisions to protect women from misogyny. Yahweh, understood women would be the mercy of a fallen world, producing fallen systems, designed to keep men in power. This can only be done by oppressing women—keeping them in utter subjugation. It is written, that God sent his prophet well out of his way to provide for a widow and orphaned boy who did not even live in Israel—the scriptures provide no qualifiers that aid in judging her “worthiness,” outside of faith, for this miraculous intervention (whether she had only been widowed once, whether she was over age 60 etc… She was likely a young widow as her son is generally understood to still be a boy, as opposed to being a young man). We do not how many such missions of mercy there were [to widows] that went unrecorded in scripture. 

When bracketed off from the rest of the chapter, 1 Timothy verses :9-15 are easily seen to interrupt a clear and related train of thought concerning the responsibility of children to widowed mothers or grandmothers. The interruption is a barefaced tirade against women, painting them with a broad brush, accusing all women of being busybodies and sexually immoral, or both. The passage contradicts itself, painting marriage as an act of rebellion against Christ [while at the same time commanding young widows to marry], giving excuse to the greedy or stingy for withholding aid from destitute widows under the age of 60, whether or not they were pious. 

This writer believes the stereotype in 1 Timothy 5:5-6, 9-15, to be an interpolation, the work of a malicious scribe. Paul himself, warned that forgeries of his letters were circulating. They must have been abundant, and from the few examples we have seen, where the authenticity of a passage is in question 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, it is usually the status of women that is being addressed/corrected. Women in the early ekklesia, had broad discretion and large freedom under Christianity. Perfect equality was practiced, and many did not like this. Opposition began immediately. Thus, forgeries and interpolations.

There were few places in the economic structure of the time, for women alone. If they had no families, it did not matter if widows were 16 or 60, widows of any age were completely dependent. Younger widows were likely to have small children to provide for, and if they had no families, they were in dire straits indeed. Most widows with no relatives, were utterly destitute. This makes the instruction to provide no relief—at all—to widows under age 60, particularly heinous and contradicts clear scriptural instruction from James [1:27 and 2:14-18], where the brother of Jesus [without qualifiers of any sort], gives explicit instructions to care for widows and orphans. Professing believers are told that if they tell someone to go, be fed and clothed, without giving them the things needful for the body, then their religion is in vain. Yet the Pauline forgery [1 Timothy 5:9-15] mercilessly instructs Christians to just that. Believers are instructed not to provide for any widow under the age of 60 (tell them to go pray). 

The brother of Jesus, wrote that a believer’s generous response [or not] to widows and orphans, reflected the true status of their faith. What if a widow was 59 years old and married more than once? That would not have been uncommon. The Mosaic Law provided for this eventuality and commanded men to marry their brother’s widows Matthew 22:23-28, Genesis 38:8-26, Deuteronomy 25:5-10

This law was purely a protection for women, that, sadly, had to come with a necessary caveat to male pride as an inducement to obey. In light of the fact that God commanded men to marry widows, marked them as disobedient if they failed to do so (a scarlet letter for men, so to speak), how could a widow be considered as casting off her faith and condemning herself to hell…if she marries? What possible difference could the fact of previous marriages have to do with whether a widow is destitute and worthy, or not? Yet, according to the spurious instructions of verses :9-:15, a young widow (with or without young children), or a widow who had been married more than once, was to be ignored by the church regarding provision, because, according to the suspected forgery, such a widow would most certainly fall away into immorality—or, God forbid, get married again. 

This was the prevailing opinion of men towards women in the Greek culture of the day [and beyond] but is a blatant contradiction to both the spirit and the letter of both the Law and of Christian New Covenant. Even if young widows did not “damn their souls” by marrying again, the interpolation informs us that they will fall away anyhow—by falling to immorality, or by becoming lazy gossipers and busybodies. 

So what was a woman to do? Note the writer contradicting himself, when he commands the younger women to condemn themselves anyway, by getting married again! Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t! A note about the idea of marrying because one has abandoned Christ. Since when is marriage a sign of rebellion against God? The Bible says marriage is honorable. It was ordained by God Himself in the very beginning—one man, on woman (at a time). 

After the Fall, polygamy quickly became common [still is in patriarchal cultures around the world]. God permitted polygamy in ancient times because of the desperate straits patriarchal cultures and widowhood plunged women into. But Jesus made a point that polygamy was never God’s perfect plan for marriage. Under the New Covenant, polygamy was not permitted for men who aspired to church leadership (the husband of one wife, meant polygamy—not divorce**). 

Under both Covenants, marriage is honorable and provisions for the care of widows is explicit. So, how, under the New Covenant, could marriage suddenly be interpreted as rebellion against Christ? How could abandoning widows (and by extension, fatherless children) suddenly become a good thing? Are men who marry widows also in rebellion against Christ? This omission is a clue that this passage is a fake. Where do we read in the Bible that widows who have been widowed more than once or possibly been divorced by treacherous husbands [either before or after becoming believers] be disqualified from receiving basic necessities of life? This writer does not believe there are contradictions in the Word of God, which God declared he would preserve to every generation. Yet this passage is so fraught with contradictions [both within the passage itself and with the Bible as a whole], it so utterly opposes both the letter and spirit of what had already been written Isaiah 8:20, that fakery is obvious. 

[[[9: Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old having been the wife of one man (James gave no age qualifier) 10: Well reported of for good works if she have brought up children if she have lodged strangers if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted if she have diligently followed every good work  (what if she was a new believer with no history as yet? Again, James gave no such qualifier)11: But the younger widows refuse for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ they will marry (Misogynistic Stereotype. And so what if they do? Why wouldn't we care for them during their time of need, and then, later, celebrate their happiness in a new marriage?) 12: Having damnation because they have cast off their first faith (where does the Bible say that marriage is sin?) 13: And withal they learn to be idle wandering about from house to house and not only idle but tattlers also and busybodies speaking things which they ought not (evil woman stereotype. Misleading Broad Brush) 14: I will therefore that the younger women marry (contradiction of verse 11 where marriage is viewed as a bad thing, a defection from the faith, bringing damnation) bear children rule the house give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (the forger flip-flops, now marriage is Ok) 15: For some are already turned aside after Satan (Look at those faithless wanton women! They are all alike!)]]]
Accountability is required in God’s people. “Let the prophets speak…and let the others judge.” Unless this passage can be authenticated “in the mouths of 2 or 3 witnesses [let every word be established]—which it cannot—this writer has judged 1 Timothy 5:5-6, 9-15 to be a malicious fraud:

1.     Where are two or three witnesses found [in the Bible] that all young widows are prone to immorality, laziness, and gossip? Plato would agree to that, but he doesn’t count. It was the prevailing opinion of all ancient philoshophers (and beyond), but the scriptures never accuse women as such.
2.     Where are two or three witnesses [in the Bible] where men are commanded not to marry widows? We see the opposite in scripture. The Bible contains at least two or three witnesses where men are commanded to marry widows and are censured if they do not. The Bible contains more than two or three witnesses about God’s will towards marriage, that men who find a wife find “good” and that marriage [if not a “good” experience for one or both of the spouses] is always honorable.
3.     Where are two or three witnesses [in the Bible] that show “damnation” connected to widows who marry? This passage stands alone in stark contradiction to scriptural declarations that wives are good for men and marriage is honorable.
4.     Where are two or three witness [in the Bible] commanding backs to be turned on widows and orphans? We read just the opposite—care for them.
5.     Where are two or three witnesses [in the Bible] that show it is God’s nature to give a person only two choices—either to be pious and starve or to condemn one’s self to hell by marrying again. Both are ludicrous ideas with not one word of supported in the sacred writings of Jews or Christians.

The possibility is high, that the passage [vs 9-15] in 1 Timothy 5,  is a malevolent , misogynistic, forgery, that was copied, re-copied, and liberally shared among all the churches, and eventually adopted by early church “Fathers,” as authentic, is high. There were undoubtedly many who understood that only male dominated structural hierarchies, could effectively combat the elevated status and influence of women in leadership, which influence was not only common but encouraged in the early ekklesia.

Anti-woman Jewish Tradition, was rife among early Christian converts (for a time, almost the entire early ekklesia consisted of Jews—even the twelve were aghast when Jesus spoke with certain women, allowed women to touch him, and spoke against putting wives away for just any reason). Paul’s letter to Galatia contested the Law of Judaism, along with the racism and misogyny that its Traditions fostered. Here are a few examples from third century Christianity and Jewish Tradition; (Ecclesiasticus) Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good; and it is a woman who brings shame and disgrace. Ecclesiasticus (also called the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach) is 3rd century BC. Things could only have been worse—if possible—in the 1st century. Tertullian (c. 200 AD) wrote to women: You are the devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that [forbidden] tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert – that is, death – even the Son of God had to die. Precursors to Tertullian and his ilk, were do doubt just as numerous in the 1st century.

**One possible motivation for the forged stipulation of a widow being the wife of “one man” (thereby disqualifying all women who had been widowed more than once from receiving assistance), could be that it was written as a backlash against the stipulation that male leaders in the church could only have one wife at a time. The forger could have been a polygamous scribe who was disqualified himself from church leadership, and therefore bitter. The restriction referred to polygamy and not to divorce.

1 Timothy 5:9-15, as far as this writer knows, is found in virtually all extant manuscripts. That does not mean, however, that the original autographs and earlier non-extant copies contained the anti-woman invective. The same can be said of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, as is said of 1 Timothy 5 (that it is found in all extant mss). Yet, despite this, many excellent scholars believe the 1 Corinthians passage to be a scribal interpolation. This writer concedes, that unlike the Timothy insertion, there may be some scriptural arguments for the 1 Corinthians inclusion (Fell and Boothe). But it is astounding that the unscriptural broadside against women in 1 Timothy, has never been challenged as being a fraud, though it has no redeemable quality nor merit to it.

Read 1 Timothy 5:9-15, and experience the seamless unity of the message, without the interpolations: 1: Rebuke not elders but entreat as fathers and the younger as brothers 2: The elders as mothers the younger as sisters with all purity 3: Honor widows [who are] truly [destitute] widows 4: But if any widow have children or grandchildren let them [the children or grandchildren] learn first to to put their religion into practice at home and to recompense and repay their parents for that is good and acceptable before God And these things declare that they may be blameless 8: But if any provide not for their own and especially for those of their own house they have denied the faith and are worse than unbelievers 16: If any man or woman that believes has widows let them relieve them and let not the church be [unnecessarily] burdened that it may relieve them that are widows[who are] truly destitute 

[3] Jesus was the first person to use the words “New Covenant” in reference to a change from the Old, Mosaic, Covenant to the new one that he ushered in with his death and resurrection. As such, Jesus alone set the example for how his church should operate. His example made no place for a ruling class in the Body of Christ. His example gave no hint that followers should establish hierarchical organizations and call them churches. There is only ONE Church, and it is relational in structure—not organizational.  Both women and men were elders (presbyteros) in the early Church, and anyone who was a presbyteros, cared for the flock like shepherds caring for the flock and living their lives as examples to the flock John 13:14-15, 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Peter 2:21

They were considered mothers and fathers to the flock—not rulers of the flock. 

Even under the Old Covenant, the prophets [who superseded the King] did not rule, but served as examples James 5:10. Deborah, Leader of all Prime Minister), Israel, both Prophet and Judge, was called a “Mother” in Israel. The example of Jesus, Creator, Savior, and Lord of all creation, and Everlasting “Father,” gives solid hermeneutical ground for assigning the biblical meaning to the word, proïstēmi (G-4391), as lead—not rule when it is used in a non-judicial context. 

Jesus commanded his followers not to imitate the culture surrounding them, where the priesthood in most religions (even in Israel) were a ruling class and where husbands and fathers were literally priests in the family cults of ancient Greece. Jesus, in both word and example, made it clear that in the Body of Christ, there is no room for any human to “rule” in either our homes or our assemblies. 

[4] Sin is dangerous to to everyone, even believers. Sin does not just effect the person committing the sin.  Just like good, evil has a ripple effect. Others can and do experience the consequences, which can range from inconvenient to downright fearful. Paul alluded to such in his letter to the Corinthians where he admonished them about their sinful behavior when taking the Lord’s Supper together. He pointed out that some were sick and some had died because of their sin in this regard. Writing to believers, James described the progress of sin, from conception, to gestation, to birth, to death. Sin is nothing for believers to take lightly, and just like the prophets under the Old Covenant, the writers of the New Testament warned believers against complacency regarding sin. 

Does that mean believers should be constantly afraid they are sinning? No. Both Jesus and Paul said that to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves is to fulfill all of the Law and all of the Prophets. In the Body of Christ, the laws of love and liberty reign. Although sin has temporal consequences (at the very least, it steals peace of mind) If we repent of [and confess] known sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us, not only of the sins we are aware of and are turning from, but we are also cleansed from all unrighteousness (sins we may as yet be unaware of). The sins we need to be greatly afraid of, are the sins that we, as believers, engage in knowingly and deliberately, as well as the more subtle (but deadly) sins of greed, pride, and arrogance.

[5] Taken in context with verses :22-24, verse :23 must be a metaphorical reference to taking a stronger stance against sin. It is not speaking of literal, physical, infirmity but rather the sickness of sin invading Timothy’s congregation.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

1 Timothy 4: Women in Ministry Gender Bias in Bible Translations Meditation

    1: Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils 2: Speaking lies in hypocrisy having their conscience seared with a hot iron 3: Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from food which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them who believe and know the truth Romans 14:1-4 4: For every creation of God is good and no thing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving 5: For it is cleansed by the Word of God and prayer 6: If you put the brothers and sisters in remembrance of these things you shall be a good diakonos[1] servant, minister, pastor, deacon of Jesus Christ nourished up in the words of faith and of good teaching to which you have attained 7: But reject profane and graōdēs[2] foolish myths and exercise yourselves rather to godliness 8: For bodily exercise profits little but godliness is profitable to all things [so] hold fast [to the] promises [for the] life that now is Exodus 15:26, Matthew 22:36-40, 2 Peter 1:2-11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Romans 8:28 and [also for that which] shall be 1 John 3:2 9: This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance 10: For because of this we both labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all people especially of those who believe[3] 11: These things declare and teach 12: Let none despise your youth but be an example to the faithful in word in lifestyle in agapē The kind of love that only comes from God in spirit in faith in purity 13: Till I come give attendance to reading to consolation comfort, encouragement to teaching 14: Neglect not the gifts [that are] in you which were given forth [to] you by prophecy with the laying on of hands [by the] elders 15: Meditate[4] Psalm 1:1-2 upon these things give yourself wholly to them that your profiting may appear to all 16: Take heed to yourself 2 Peter 3:17,  and to the doctrine continue in them[5] for in doing this you shall both save yourself and them that hear you

[1] Timothy is called a diakonos, which is usually translated as deacon in English. The word, diakonos, is translated alternatively (depending on which translation one reads) as either minister or servant. But, as we see in this passage, the word is also used in reference to Timothy’s calling and work as pastor and teacher. Much controversy surrounds the function of a diakonos, most especially who can be one and if women are excluded from the office. But the controversy could be ended in a moment by consistently translating the word, diakonos, as "Servant of God," **  

We do not know if Timothy ever served as a deacon in the modern sense of the word. We also do not know if the seven chosen to oversee the daily administrations to widows [in the Book of Acts], were actually called deacons, or functioned as the office is understood in many churches today. The word has evolved to mean different things in different denominations and fellowships. But one thing is certain, deacons often wield great power in churches. They frequently compose the board of directors or hold some other position of authority. In many churches, the pastor answers to the deacons, and to cross them, means his days as pastor of that church may be numbered. If he cannot be brought to heel, he is likely to be voted out of the pastorship.

 This example may seem extreme but it is not rare, and is an obvious abuse of the calling. This type of thing occurs because many are appointed as deacons based on how much money or influence they have, rather than whether or not they been called into the ministry. The woman, Phoebe, was also called diakonos [Servant of God], in Romans 16:1, which means that she, like Timothy, could also have been serving as either pastor, teacher, or deacon—or a combination of the three. But not surprisingly, in most cases, gender-biased translators simply call her, servant.  

It is through the Greek words Dia and Konos, that we derive the English word, deacon.
** KONOS is the Greek word for cone. KONOS uses the inverted cone to symbolize God at the top of all creation and all knowledge. https://konos.com/why-konos/?v=47e5dceea252 
So, we see that a diakonos is more than a mere servant but specifically, a servant of God. And this word is used in the New Testament, without regard for whether the servant of God is female or male.

Dia: means through, on account of, because of: Original Word: διά Part of Speech: Preposition
Transliteration: Phonetic Spelling: (dee-ah') Short Definition: through, on account of: Definition: (a) gen: through, throughout, by the instrumentality of, (b) acc: through, on account of, by reason of, for the sake of, because of. http://biblehub.com/greek/1223.htm

[2] The Greek word, graōdēs [Strong's G1126], frequently translated as “old wives’ or “old women’s” tales, occurs only once in the New Testament, and is more likely to be incorrectly translated than not. As we look from one Bible version to another, the translations go from bad to worse. In the King James Version, the word is translated as “old wives” fables. It is the same in the NIV. The translation becomes even more despicable in the NASB, where elderly women are so disrespected by the translators—not in the Greek written by Paul—that “old women” are portrayed as “fit” for worldly fables (or, as the NIV correctly calls them—"godless myths” [“profane” fables in the KJV]).  Really? Aged women deserve to believe in (are “fit” for) profane, godless, myths? That is what the the NIV and NASB translations say. Though misogynistic Bible translators demonstrate contempt for women, it is certain the apostle did not. No doubt, he had many elderly women in his congregations, of whom he had instructed believers to treat as mothers. To insult them, as gender-biased-Bible-translators do, would not only have been repugnant to the apostle, but would also have been rebellion against God, who commands his people to honor both mother and father and to treat all people with respect, most especially the elderly. But such is the prevalence of translator prejudice against women, that the misogynistic translation of this verse survives and continues to be accepted in most of our English Bibles to this day.  Surprisingly, the ESV, which claims to be a complementarian (patriarchal) version, follows the lead of the RSV. The ESV comes close to translating the word “graōdēs” correctly. It does not associate the word directly with women, but it does so, indirectly. Expositors have traditionally associated graōdēs with women—although for no good reason. The biased association is capricious at best. Both the RSV the ESV render the word graōdēs as “silly.” The word “silly” cannot be applied to profane and godless myths. These are certainly not silly but rather detestable and dangerous. The word “silly,” can apply to clowns. And, in some instances, the word can correctly apply to playful, childish, interactions between adults and between children and adults. The word, silly, is never used in regards to the actions of [or of interactions between] men but is spuriously used to describe behavior and ideas of post-adolescent girls and adult women. Using such words, loads the language against women and girls and perpetuates gender-bias in the human psyche. In 1 Timothy 4:7, the word “gullible” is associated with women, but the word is not found nor even suggested, in the Greek Majority Text. Never-the-less, the NET translates the word, graōdēs, as “gullible. It reads: "But reject those myths **fit only for the godless and gullible…." There is one other place in the New Testament where the word “silly” is mistranslated in associatation with women. In this case, the mistranslation is also caused by anti-woman bias. Traditionally, women and men have quietly accepted misogyny coming from pulpits, Sunday School teachers, Christian resource materials, Bible translators, and lexicons, but, thankfully, passive acquiescence in that regard, is changing.  

**No one, is “fit” for profane and godless myths.

[3] Jesus died to become the Savior of the world, but the whole world is not saved. He is the Savior especially of them that believe, because only by coming to Christ through faith in his atoning death and resurrection, can Eternal Life be attained Romans 10:9-13.  

[4] Biblical meditation bears no similarity to eastern style (transcendental) meditation, where mantras are used to clear minds of all thought, in order to hear the voice of God.  Biblical meditation is exactly the opposite. Psalm 1:1-2 instructs us to fill our minds with the written Word of God, the Bible, so that we will not confuse the voice of God with the voices of strangers, so that we can recognize HIS voice when we hear it. 

[5] There are two schools of thought on whether or not one can lose salvation. The one hold’s to “Eternal Security” (Once Saved Always Saved), and the other hold’s to, “If Ye Continue.” Concerning the first, the two phrases they are best known by, cannot be found in scripture, neither in English nor in Hebrew or Greek. However, Bible assurance for Believers is strong, as seen in 1 John 1:8-9 and 5: 11-13. Concerning the second, the phrase quoted above is found more than once in scripture, as are multiple other strong  warnings Hebrews6:4-6, 10:26-29, James 1:12-16 .

Woman this is WAR! examines Bible commentary and translation practices which have historically been androcentric (male centered) and even misogynistic (anti-woman). 

   These have adversely effected understanding of the scriptures, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel, by forbidding women to preach, pastor, or serve as elders or deacons. The book chronicles the early history of the women's rights movements, as well as the role of church leadership in aggressively suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within the movements. 
   Through the complementarian movement, many of the same arguments used to support the institution of slavery, are still used today in suppressing the rights of Christian women. This book documents identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both movements and is an unparalleled resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender equality from a historical and Christian perspective. 
   This book traces history of women’s rights, much further than usual, to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. This work, provides valuable historical insight into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s rights, that are rarely included in Christian literature. Visit this link for more information or to buy the book: