New Testament Household Codes

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New Testament Household Codes

Postby John Chrysostom » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:12 am

This article is part of a series from a blog that is talking about the Household Codes of the New Testament. Those verses and passages that talk about wives submitting to their husbands, slaves obeying their masters, and children obeying their parents. I think it's a very interesting look at the passages and it really got me thinking. What are your thoughts?

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/four-in ... hold-codes
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Re: New Testament Household Codes

Postby Margaret Thatcher » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:01 am

I think this is liberal nonsense, trying to contextualize the Bible out of existence. If the husband is no longer the head of the household, then this same passage could be used to say Christ is no longer the head of the church.
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Re: New Testament Household Codes

Postby Kait » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:44 am

I have to say: I love Rachel Held Evans. One of the few women Christian writers who I consistently agree with, despite not actually being a Christian.

Having studied those passages in the bible in-depth through my Religious Studies courses, she got everything absolutely spot on from a historical context.

There are two different ways of looking at the new testament:
1. The apostles/writes somehow existed outside universe and dimension of time and were thereby able to write everything from a COMPLETELY REVOLUTIONARY perspective that was not at all influenced by their culture and society. Thus, we can ignore the existence of that culture and society and read the bible however we want. OR
2. The apostles/writers definitely existed in 1st Century Middle East and everything they wrote was in the context of their time and social structure. Thus, we should probably attempt to learn about that time and society in order to better understand how what they wrote fit into that time and how the 1st Century church would have interpreted things.

Of course, I suppose one could acknowledge they lived 2000 years ago and STILL ignore the history and social context. But that would just be silly. ;)
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Re: New Testament Household Codes

Postby John Chrysostom » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:21 am

I'm glad you like Rachel Held Evans, I really enjoy her writing too. Here's the next article in the series: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/aristot ... -different

@Thatcher No one is making that argument. We're simply saying, like Kait said, that there is a context to this writing and that context needs to be considered. Scripture wasn't written in a vacuum after all.
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Re: New Testament Household Codes

Postby Margaret Thatcher » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:39 pm

But the Bible also wasn't written in just the context of the times, like the article says, it was written by God who knows everything and knew that He was writing a universal standard for all time.
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Re: New Testament Household Codes

Postby TigerintheShadows » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:08 pm

Rachel Held Evans wrote:The purpose of the household codes is to point to Jesus Christ as the model for interpersonal relationships. That model transcends culture and can be applied to any household, past or present. And it is a model that, rather than reinforcing hierarchal relationships, should point us in the opposite direction—to the radical humility and servanthood of Jesus, who did not see power as something to grasp, but humbled himself and became submissive to the point of death on a cross.


@Maggie: I'm not getting where you see this as "liberal nonsense". I'm pretty conservative myself, and I'm not getting a liberal perspective here. I'm getting a perspective that says, "Forget cultural and societal norms and do what we are called to do--imitating Christ in your relationships". It's not saying, at least to me, that the husband shouldn't be the head of the home; it's saying that he should be head of the home because Christ is head of the church, which represents the wife--not because HE IS A MANLY MAN and STAY IN THE KITCHEN PUNY WOMAN :x . It's saying the exact sort of thing we should--if your view lines up with Christ, that is far more important than lining it up with an approved societal norm.
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Re: New Testament Household Codes

Postby John Chrysostom » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:22 pm

Knowing Rachel Held Evan's other writings, this article is stating categorically that the husband should not be the head of the household.
Rachel Held Evans wrote:From this perspective, there is much we can learn from the household codes about confronting our own privilege, keeping whatever power we may have in check, responding to our feelings of powerlessness, practicing mutual submission in our marriages, and imitating Christ in all of our interpersonal relationships. We apply the Household Codes most faithfully to our own lives, not when we use them to reinforce power structures and hierarchy, but when we use them to break those power structures down at the foot of the cross.
Rachel Held Evan is talking about mutual submission and breaking down power structures.
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