The paradigm of the female pastorate in the evangelical church today

DOI: 10.32749/nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/theology-en/female-pastorate
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CONTEÚDO

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

SÁ, Danielle Mendonça de [1], GHEDINI, Robson Maurício [2]

SÁ, Danielle Mendonça de. GHEDINI, Robson Maurício. The paradigm of the female pastorate in the evangelical church today. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 06, Ed. 12, Vol. 07, pp. 159-173. December 2021. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access Link: https://www.nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/theology-en/female-pastorate, DOI: 10.32749/nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/theology-en/female-pastorate

ABSTRACT

Currently, there are churches that choose to limit the contribution of women in the exercise of their ministry in some ecclesiastical sectors, or even to silence her. Therefore, this research is based on the following question: how does the analysis of the role of women in the biblical context help in accepting the legitimacy of the female pastorate in the evangelical church today? Thus, the objective of this study is to provide a new horizon in the understanding of the theme of female ecclesiastical leadership, in order to contribute to the solvement of this problem and to the breaking of paradigms, in the light of the Holy Bible, describing the main difficulties faced by women in the ministerial exercise, while seeking to understand the thought derived from aspects of the social context, political, historical, economic and religious from the time when the biblical texts were written. For this purpose, bibliographic research and the qualitative approach were used as a descriptive methodological presupposition, because it was necessary to present elements and facts extracted from history regarding these aspects, since the combination of all made it possible to translate the way men and women of that time behaved, thought and felt. It is also understood that this thought permeated the tradition of the Church over the centuries, however, it is emphasized that the cultural tradition of the time does not have the same sociocultural elements of today. In this sense, information is gathered about the difficulties faced by women in the social and religious field, the female function in Judaism, their participation in Christianity, since the way Jesus treated them; to their participation in the Early Church, in addition to offering space for analysis of biblical texts that shed light on the biblical view of female ministries, an account of the history of Deborah, a pastor in practice, although she does not bear the title, as well as, addresses on pastoral ministry as a gift given by God. It is concluded that today it is called for more fearless, courageous, faithful to God, godly, obedient, loyal women, pastors of souls, such as Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, among others. After all, for men and women there is one God, one mission (his), one vision and one target, Jesus.

Keywords: Bible, church, leadership, women, tradition.

1. INTRODUCTION

On the subject of female leadership in today’s society, if the following question were directed at people of different genders: “Would you willingly accept being led by a military captain if it were your subordinate officer? Would you agree to be the co-pilot of an airplane aware that he’s flown by a woman? Would you agree to submit to the guidelines of a company manager?” possibly the response of many, both men and women, would be, “Yes, as long as she is fully qualified for the role.” However, in the ecclesiastical environment, the ordination of women to leadership positions has been the subject of many discussions in recent times.

Ecclesiastical tradition often prohibits women from preaching or teaching. The theological basis for this theory is based on instructions, such as paulines, which occur within a context in which women were generally not instructed, in a society attached to values and customs arising from the Jewish tradition, and also gentile, where there was a need for the apostle to rescue and maintain order in the Church, so as not to scandalize the newly converted brothers to Christianity. Jewish tradition forbade women to teach in the synagogue. The Greek tradition prevented them, almost entirely, from having social life, because they were far from places and public events, including religious.

Over the centuries, the female figure has suffered from intellectual repression, albeit silent, and sometimes humiliations, which has triggered the female struggle for its space in a world dominated, by entire generations, by the male figure. Factors such as wage inequality, invisible obstacles in promotions, disrespect and abuse of male authority, have still been the reality of many women today. Faced with this difficulty of understanding, this research is justified by bringing together biblical concepts and foundations that address the theme of female ecclesiastical leadership, after all, God does not depend on human judgments to accomplish his redemptive work. In the history of the Church, Jesus relies on men and women as co-workers of his Mission given to the Church (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 3.9).

With the increasing number of Christian denominations that accept the legitimacy of the female pastorate and the multiplication of churches planted by women, many clashes have taken place among different groups in the evangelical environment. Of those who defend and believe that women can occupy positions of ecclesiastical pastoral leadership, and of those who defend and believe that only men have divine authorization to occupy such positions. There is a counterpoint to be considered that it is of fundamental importance, to know what the Bible says about this subject. Therefore, we sought to gather information from biblical and Judeo-Christian literature on the subject, in order to clarify the following question: how does the analysis of the role of women in the biblical context help in accepting the legitimacy of the female pastorate in the evangelical church today?

The Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God (BÍBLIA, 2011, 2 Timóteo 3.16). Considering that men inspired by God lived within a social, political, historical, economic and religious context, in order to extract the Biblical truths contained therein, it is essential to know the culture and the original proposal of biblical texts before performing their proper interpretation and, when it comes to Jewish culture, it is necessary to be even more cautious due to their literary and poetic particularities, for if elements strictly linked to the culture of the Jewish people were preserved in the contextualization of texts, situations such as women using veils as a prerequisite in the worship of God, as written by the Apostle Paul in the Bíblia Sagrada (2011) in 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, would be currently experienced.

Thus, this research aims to contribute to the clarification of what the Bible teaches about the role of women in christ’s Church and how He makes her a participant in her Mission, with elements and facts extracted from history, in order to provide a new horizon in understanding the theme of female ecclesiastical leadership. In addition, it also aims to contribute to the solution of this problem in the light of the biblical view on the subject and, for this, bibliographic research and qualitative approach in a descriptive way were used as a methodological presupposition. In the collection of information for the collection of data and facts, in addition to the Holy Bible, this study had the following authors: Curtis Allen, Branca Moreira Alves, Jacqueline Pitanguy, Simone Beauvoir, Russell Champlin, Arthur Cundall, Kathy Keller, Sandra Kochmann, Lucado, John MacArthur, Eugene Merril, Flávio Josefo, Charles Pfeiffer; Everett Harrison, Fani Averbuh Tesseler, Nicholas Thomas Wright, among others.

This article applies to women who, like the author, have suffered from the lack of acceptance and prejudice from leaders who do not recognize the Divine authority in the exercise of female pastoral ministry, and also to all those who are cooperators and lovers of the Mission of God and His Holy Word. In its structure, initially, the topic called “a repressed voice in society” is addressed, an account of the main difficulties faced by women in accessing education and the way in which they are seen by society in the social and religious sphere. In the third topic, information is gathered on “the role of women in Judaism”, considering, mainly, the thinking of Rabbi Sandra Kochmann on the subject.

In the fourth topic, “the participation of women in Christianity” is addressed, subdivided into: “Jesus broke human paradigms”, which presents information about the way Jesus treated the religious authorities of his time, who invalidated the Law of God to the detriment of the human traditions; “Jesus valued women”, based on this theme, explains the way Jesus behaved with the women of that time, valuing and including them, without meaning, even contradicting rabbinical traditions, such as the one that prohibited him from directing. meet them publicly; “the women without speech in the church”, which analyzes and offers an adequate interpretation of controversial biblical texts, such as 1 Timothy 2.11,12 and 1 Corinthians 14.34,35, for a proper understanding of the proposed message; and the last subtopic, which gathers some data related to the “the participation of woman in the primitive church”, in the biblical context.

In the fifth topic, the story of “Deborah, a shepherdess in practice” is reported, who, despite not bearing the title, had all the attributes that confer it, mainly, the call of God, which enabled her to lead her nation, without this overshadowing her role as a good wife and mother, a true example to be followed by all. Finally, the last topic of discussion presents “the pastoral ministry as a gift given by God” and that, therefore, He gives it to whomever and as He wants, without any distinction, solely for the edification of His Church; ending with final remarks.

2. A REPRESSED VOICE IN SOCIETY

Religious leadership for many generations belonged to the male figure. For Rabbi Kochmann[3] (2005), throughout history, the preference in the study of the Bible was man’s, because women did not have access to as much information as they do today. On the female figure in the 4th century BC, in ancient Greece, Xenophon declares: “[…] live under close surveillance, see as few things as possible, hear as few things as possible, ask as few questions as possible” (ALVES; PITANGUY, 1985, p. 12). Such statements reflected the thinking of the time on the subject and the way women were repressed by the society of primarily male domination. In Brazil, only from the end of the 19th century, women began to attend schools, and even then, timidly, because, initially, only private schools were intended for women (TESSELER, 2009).

On the way she is seen in society, Beauvoir (1970, p. 72) states in a text written in the 1970s that “man is defined as a human being and a woman is defined as female. When she behaves like a human being she is accused of imitating the male.” In a more recent text, containing the testimony of Kathy Keller, wife of one of today’s most prominent pastors, Tim Keller, whom she married and accompanied him in the leadership of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Virginia for nine years, she states:

Em todos os lugares nos quais tenho ministrado desde então, sinto-me como uma mulher sem país. Em alguns deles, sou vista com suspeição, como uma ‘louca feminista’, porque encorajo mulheres a ensinar e a liderar, e eu mesma faço. Certa vez, no norte da Escócia, durante uma sessão de perguntas e respostas conduzidas pelo Tim após o culto de uma congregação da Free Church of Scotland (Igreja Livre da Escócia), eu entrei na conversa. Como normalmente fazíamos a sessão de perguntas e respostas juntos todo domingo em nossa casa, após o culto da noite, nunca liguei sobre expressar minha opinião. No entanto, todas as cabeças viraram para me olhar com incredulidade estampada em face, masculina e feminina. Foi como se o cachorro de repente tivesse falado (KELLER, 2019, p. 8).

The problem experienced by Keller in his testimony, unfortunately, has still been the sad reality of many women, whether in the social or religious environment. According to Perrot (1992, p. 185), “of history, often, women are excluded”. According to data from the Ministry of Economy, 43.8% of women hold management positions in Brazil, that is, they still represent the minority in higher-ranking positions and, despite holding leadership positions, their average remuneration is still lower than that of men, at 69.8%, for the same positions of board, leadership, supervision, management, coordination and management (BRASIL, 2019).

3. THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN JUDAISM

The role of women in Judaism, according to Kochmann (2005), diversified according to her historical social-context and suffered foreign influences, especially the Greek one, which prevented her, almost totally, from having a social life, because it kept her from places and public events, including religious ones. According to her,

Na época bíblica, as mulheres dos Patriarcas eram as Matriarcas, mulheres ouvidas, respeitadas e admiradas. Havia mulheres profetisas e juízas. As mulheres estavam presentes no Monte Sinai no momento em que Deus firmou o Seu Pacto com o povo de Israel. Participavam ativamente das celebrações religiosas e sociais, dos atos políticos. Atuavam no plano econômico. Tinham voz, tanto no campo privado como no público. Com o decorrer do tempo e por força das influências estrangeiras, especialmente a grega, foram excluídas de toda atividade pública e passaram a ficar relegadas ao lar. Essa situação das práticas cotidianas daquela época foi expressa nas leis judaicas então estabelecidas e permanece a mesma até hoje (KOCHMANN, 2005, p. 35-36).

In agreement, MacArthur (2019) states in his account of the female position at the time of the Patriarchs of the Bible, that

Os relatos bíblicos dos patriarcas sempre dão o destaque devido às suas mulheres. […] Miriã, irmã de Moisés e de Arão, era tanto profetisa quanto compositora – e em Mq 6:4, o próprio Deus a honra, ao lado de seus irmãos, como uma das líderes da nação durante o Êxodo. Débora, também uma profetisa, era juíza em Israel antes da monarquia (Jz 4:4). […] Em Provérbios, a sabedoria é personificada como uma mulher. A Igreja do Novo Testamento é igualmente representada por uma mulher, a noiva de Cristo (MACARTHUR, 2019, p. 16-17).

However, the pagan religion tended to devalue women. Greek and Roman mythology had its gods, such as Diana and Aphrodite, served by sacred prostitutes, a practice reportedly humiliating for women (MACARTHUR, 2019). Over time, some elements were incorporated into jewish tradition and gathered in the Talmud, a collection of Jewish holy books. For Kochmann (2005, p. 37), “in the Taludic period”, between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, “a time when the rules of Jewish day-to-day were established, based on the interpretation and analysis of biblical texts by rabbis (exclusively men)”, the woman encounters barriers to attend the public scene, because this conception “receives direct influence from the ancient Greek society in which she was inserted. In it, the woman had virtually no social life, since she was away from public places and events, including religious ones.” According to Judith Baskin,

Carol Meyers argumenta que, quando o trabalho agrícola e a gravidez, duas esferas nas quais as mulheres desempenhavam um papel ativo, eram centrais na sociedade bíblica, a vida social e religiosa no Israel antigo era relativamente igualitária. Quando o estado político e a monarquia emergiram, e a vida religiosa foi institucionalizada no culto ao templo e na burocracia sacerdotal (a partir do século X a.C), no entanto, as mulheres foram cada vez mais excluídas da arena pública e perderam o acesso à autoridade comunitária (BASKIN, 2020, s.p.).

In Jewish culture, certain customs and habits considered so degrading and humiliating for women were inserted, which Sandra Kochmann states:

Começar cada dia escutando os homens dizerem ‘Bendito sejas Tu, Eterno, nosso Deus, Rei do Universo que não me fizeste mulher’ não é agradável para mulher alguma que, por sua vez, deve proferir com ‘resignação’ as palavras ‘Bendito sejas Tu, Eterno, nosso Deus, Rei do Universo, que me fizeste segundo Tua vontade’. Essas bênçãos fazem parte da liturgia tradicional judaica dentro do conjunto de ‘agradecimentos a Deus’ conhecido como ‘Bênçãos matinais’ e que são recitadas toda manhã ao despertar. […] Segundo o rabino contemporâneo Joel H. Kahan, essa bênção se originou do dito helênico popular, citado por Platão e Sócrates […]. ‘Ser homem e não mulher’ era central em ambas as culturas, onde a mulher ocupava um lugar secundário, especialmente na vida pública (KOCHMANN, 2005, p. 36-37).

The above-mentioned rite was incorporated into the Jewish tradition and the female figure was inferiorized in relation to the male one, classified as a “second-rate human being”. Even in Jewish society, women and children were not counted in the censuses and this makes it difficult to determine their population sum. Vaux (2004) states that even the lowest total of 2 Samuel 24.1-9 (BÍBLIA, 2011) is very exaggerated, because statistical documents are lacking, that is, although, in the Bible, there are some numerical indications, they do not help much.

Reading the Torah in a public way is part of the aspect of the synagogue’s liturgy of worship, from which women would be exempt. If a woman stood up in the place of a man to perform the reading of the Torah, because it was included among the readers of the ceremony, in all seven, this would imply that none of the men present would be able to fulfill such an obligation, a shameful situation, for many Jews (KOCHMANN, 2005). Others interpret that the attitude would be considered dishonorable only in cases where the reading was made entirely by a woman (SHPERBER, 2003).

Kochmann (2005) argues that, considering the fact that, at present, Jewish women are already allowed to assume religious attributions from which they would previously be exempt, as is also the case at other levels of society, many of them have claimed the right to study to form rabbis and community leaders. For her, the knowledge of antecedents and mutations of Jewish law would help to understand how dynamic it is and, consequently, would allow a greater acceptance of this new reality.

4. THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN CHRISTIANITY

All Holy Scripture points to Jesus, for He is the subject, the target, and fulfillment of the Prophecies of the Old Testament (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 1.22; 2.6,15,17-18,23; 3.3; 4.14-16). According to Keller (2019, p. 10), “Jesus trusted in the inspiration of the Old Testament and promised the inspiration of the New Testament”, through the Holy Spirit (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 14.26). On the proper interpretation of biblical texts, Allen (2012) states that it is necessary to interpret them respecting the context in which they are inserted and in the light of Christ, the fulfiller of the Bible in its entirety, assuming that He is the model of conduct for every Christian (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 João 2.6), as Sheldon (2007) in his book entitled Em seus passos o que faria Jesus? Therefore, it is necessary to analyze what He teaches about the role of women in His Church and how He, too, makes them a participant in His Mission of salvation and rescue of humanity. This information is summarized below.

4.1 JESUS BROKE HUMAN PARADIGMS

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, among the religious authorities of the time, a group called “Pharisees”, men respected by the Jews as profound knowledgeable of Jewish laws stood out (JOSEFO, 2004). However, they had built their own system of interpretation, which became a set of traditions and rules, often placed above the Holy Scriptures when there was disagreement between them, which became dangerous because they valued human traditions more than the Word of God, as Jesus warned them in Mark 7:13. Josefo (2004, p. 819) classifies them as “[…] a sect of men who want us to judge them more educated than others in religion, that they are so dear to God, that He communicates to them and gives them knowledge of things to come.”

According to Allen (2012, p. 54), in his commentary on Matthew 12:1-8, “Jesus speaks directly to the arrogance of the Pharisee interpretation.” He accused them of not practicing God’s Law, even though they were knowledgeable about it (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 23.23-28). For Merril (1987, p. 412), “Jesus, in fact, affirmed that the judgment imposed on the Pharisees would be greater than that which fell on Nineveh. […] the Pharisees did not repent with the preaching of him who was greater than Jonah (Lk 11:32).” Jesus rejected the set of instructions imposed by the Jewish tradition, which were contrary to the true Divine purpose, of saving sinful man (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 18.11), among them those who tried to prevent him from performing miracles on the Sabbath, the day of rest of the Jews, according to the Law of God (BÍBLIA, 2011, Êxodo 34.21).

Soon after healing a man who had one of his deformed hands inside the local synagogue (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 12.9-10), Jesus responds to the Pharisees who questioned him as to the lawfulness of his action, saying, “[…] What among you shall be the man who has a sheep, if on a Sabbath it falls into a pit, will not lay on it, and lift it up? Yes, how much more is a man worth than a sheep? It is therefore lawful to do well on Saturdays” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 12.11-12), which means that the practice of good must be daily, regardless of the day of the week. Jesus is the Lord, “even of the Sabbath” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 12.8). He broke human paradigms and established the Kingdom of God (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 14.6), according to his good, perfect and pleasing will (BÍBLIA, 2011, Romanos 12.2).

4.2 JESUS VALUED WOMEN

As mentioned above, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, the female figure was undervalued by the society of the time. However, the Master made no distinction. Although he selected twelve apostles for himself, the apostolic collegiate was not composed only of them. He also had many other disciples, among whom there were also women, “an unknown practice among the rabbis of his time” (BÍBLIA, 2011, p. 1639), and some of them assisted him with the donation of his own financial resources (BÍBLIA, 2011, Lucas 8.1-3). They played a fundamental support and role in Jesus’ ministry. The Master encouraged them to discipleship, even raising their importance to that of domestic service (BÍBLIA, 2011, Lucas 10.38-42). In the accounts of Jesus’ disciples, the Bible quotes more about Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mary, mother of James, and Salome, than about Nathaniel or Matthias. In addition, Jesus also had many anonymous disciples and beloved co-workers (BÍBLIA, 2011, Lucas 10.1) and today the Lord Jesus’ Church is scattered throughout the world in countless disciples (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 28.18-20; Romanos 12.4-5).

Jesus broke human paradigms by referring to the Samaritan woman in Jacob’s well (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 4.9), contrary to the criticisms of society and even the misunderstanding of her own disciples (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 4.27) and also transformed her into a missionary of her people (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 4.28-30). According to A Bíblia da Mulher: “Culturally, Jews and Samaritans did not associate with each other. In addition, it was considered inappropriate for a rabbi to talk to a woman in public. Christ’s consideration of this woman was therefore revolutionary.” (BÍBLIA, 2011, p. 1639). He treated women who were marginalized by the society of the time (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 9.20-22; Lucas 7.37-50; João 4.7-27). During Jesus’ ministry, women were not only valued, but also commissioned, together with men to be “light of the world” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 5.14-16) and empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness to God’s salvation to the ends of the earth (BÍBLIA, 2011, Atos 1.8).

MacArthur (2019, p. 190) states that “Christ encouraged men and women to take upon them their yoke and learn from Him. This is also another proof of how women are honored in scripture.” They were also the first to witness his resurrection and to be ordered to share with others the news that He is alive (BÍBLIA, 2011, Marcos 16.7; João 20.15-18). It is possible to affirm that the cultural turn of his time, in Peter and in the other disciples of Jesus, was preponderant for them to doubt the account of the women who had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus (BÍBLIA, 2011, Marcos 16.9-11; Lucas 24.9-12), for, as mentioned above, according to ancient Jewish tradition, their public testimony was unreliable.

He also states that Mary Magdalene, a disciple of Jesus, “emerges as one of the most important women in the New Testament” (MACARTHUR, 2019, 183). Concerning her past, the gospels describe her as a woman who had been freed from demonic possession (BÍBLIA, 2011, Lucas 8.2; Marcos 16.9). He argues that “without revealing any degrading detail of this woman’s past, they record her slavery to demons in order to exalt the generous power of Christ” (MACARTHUR, 2019, p. 190), that is, from a slave of demons to the faithful follower of Jesus Christ, she “became part of the inner circle of disciples who traveled with Jesus on their long journeys” (MACARTHUR, 2019, p. 189). According to him, she, too, was one of the women who helped Jesus and his disciples with financial donations. According to Lucado (2018, p. 213): “After the Lord Jesus healed Mary, she also became a devoted follower. Hippolytus of Rome, a 3rd-century theologian, would later call it “the Apostle of the Apostles”. Her devotion even made her remain in Jerusalem during Jesus’ crucifixion (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 19.25).

In John 20:1-17, Mary’s attitude draws attention. After seeing Jesus resurrected, his reaction possibly was to hold Him strongly, not to let Go of Him, to the point that He declared in verse 17, “Do not stop me.” On this expression, Champlin (1982, p.  636) argues that “the original Greek is “aptomai”, […] this word may have the meaning of handling or deter, indicating something more than the mere touch of some object. […] Mary Magdalene probably threw herself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and clung to them.” Accordingly MacArthur (2019, p. 196) states that “Mary in a very different way did not want to leave Jesus. That is why Jesus bestowed him an unparalleled honor, allowing her to be the first to see and hear him after his resurrection”, such was his devotion to Him. She truly recognized him as the Son of God.

4.3 THE WOMEN WITHOUT SPEECH IN THE CHURCH

In 1 Timothy 2:11,12 the Apostle Paul wrote, “A woman learns in silence with all submission. I don’t allow a woman to teach, or have authority over the man. But be silent.” However, it is clear to see that, according to the Bible (2011), women are not forbidden by God to speak in public. According to Kathy Keller,

[…] há vários exemplos no Novo Testamento de mulheres sendo elogiadas, e não condenadas, por falarem em público. Mulheres profetizam em 1Coríntios 11:5 (observe que, em 1Coríntios 12:28, o dom de profecia é considerado superior ao dom de ensino); Priscila e Áquila explicam o evangelho a um homem (Apolo) em Atos 18:26 e, em Romanos 16:3, Paulo se refere à Priscila como uma ‘colaboradora’ (synergos), designação também aplicada à Evódia e Síntique em Filipenses 4:3, mulheres que participaram do trabalho de evangelismo ao lado de Paulo. Também há no Antigo Testamento exemplos de mulheres líderes e profetas, como Miriã, Débora e Hulda […] (KELLER, 2019, p. 25-26).

Therefore, for Keller (2019), in the text mentioned above, and also in the text of 1 Corinthians 14:34,35, which says: “Women be silent in churches, because they are not allowed to speak; but are subject, as the law also commands. And if you want to learn something, ask your own husbands at home; because it is indecent for women to speak in the church,” Paul refers to order in worship, in continuity with what he had been addressing since chapter 11, by teaching that men and women should keep their roles as commanded by God, and the act of covering their heads in worshiping Him in 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, a cultural sign related to women. She states that “the Early Church was taught to guide their worship according to the model of worship of the Jewish synagogue” (KELLER, 2019, p. 28), however, for her, women were not forbidden to exercise their gifts publicly, for the apostle would not be condemning this conduct, but rather regulating it.

However, Champlin (1982) states that the Apostle Paul recognized the absolute prohibition of women from participating in any way, actively and orally, in public services, but despite this, such prohibitions merely reflect the attitude of the time, the practice of an ancient Jewish custom employed in synagogues, for the New Testament was not written in a vacuum. Therefore, it is natural that some teachings of a strictly “local and cultural” nature have been included, but they may not be mandatory for all places and times.

Casos notáveis de mulheres crentes, que foram mestras, profetisas e elementos de autoridade, são chamados de ‘atos extraordinários de Deus’, por Calvino, o que não perturbaria a ordem normal da Igreja. Mas essa ordem ‘normal’, conforme ensinado neste texto, na realidade só se aplica bem ao antigo judaísmo, e não à igreja moderna, onde os preconceitos contra as mulheres tem desaparecido grandemente, e onde uma atitude mais realista é mantida (CHAMPLIN, 1982, p. 304).

Thus, the prohibition expressed in the biblical text does not imply that women are denied administrative positions in the evangelical Church today. Champlin (1982) considers that both in the text of 1 Timothy 2 and in 1 Corinthians 14,34,35, it is possible that the order given to women was directed to the local church, taking into account specific situations involving women who dishonored the church and leadership, thus not being normative for all women of the Church of the Lord Jesus. He also considers that, in Jewish tradition, a decent woman should never be seen in public, except on some special holidays, which is not convenient in today’s Evangelical church. Therefore, within these social conditions, how out of place it would be to allow women to participate orally in public services. In Jewish synagogues this procedure would be considered a scandal. However, such instruction is classified by him as a cultural sign, as well as the aforementioned one, referring to the veil use of women in public worship, in 1 1 Coríntios 11.1-16 (BÍBLIA, 2011). Therefore, such a tradition does not apply to the present Evangelical Church.

On the instruction given to a woman that she does not teach man, based on the order of creation, expressed in the text of Genesis 3:1-6, Russell Champlin argues that

[…] Aquela primeira ocasião em que a mulher resolveu ‘ensinar’ ao homem, ou exercer influência sobre ele, foi horrivelmente fatal. […] Por meio desse exemplo tornar-se-ia óbvio que a mulher não é digna de gozar de igualdade com o homem. Antes, a ordem natural das coisas é que a mulher sempre se ponha sob a autoridade masculina, pois isso evitará maiores desastres. Esse é o raciocínio por detrás desse versículo, o qual concorda perfeitamente com a atitude judaica acerca das mulheres. […] Dessas maneiras é que vários intérpretes têm procurado subestimar o papel de Adão em toda a questão, fazendo Eva parecer muito pior do que realmente ela foi, o que é típico da mentalidade judaica. Os judeus chamavam Eva de ‘mãe de toda a iniquidade e pecado’ (Talmude Hieros. Sabbat. fol 5:2; Sohar em Gênesis, fol. 27:3) […] (CHAMPLIN, 1982, p. 305).

In relation to the text of 1 Timothy 2.11,12, the Bibliatodo (2020) considers the fact that the church of Ephesus would have problems with false teachers and, as Jewish women were denied the right to learning in a similar way to what was offered to men, they would be unprepared to deal with these issues, becoming easy targets of these deceiving masters, because they are unable to discern the truth. And he also comments that

[…] Assim como Eva tinha sido enganada no jardim do Éden, assim as mulheres na igreja estavam sendo enganadas por falsos professores. E assim como Adão foi o primeiro ser humano criado Por Deus, assim os homens na igreja de Éfeso seriam os primeiros em falar e ensinar, porque tinham mais experiência. […] Outros eruditos, entretanto, sustentam que os róis que Paulo destaca são os intuitos de Deus para sua ordem criada (BIBLIATODO, 2020, s.p.).

However, just as both Adam and Eve found the righteousness of God, both of them also experienced their grace (BÍBLIA, 2011, Romanos 5.18-19). For Russell Champlin,

O autor procura justificar suas regras severas e restringidoras acerca das mulheres à base do fato que é a ordem da criação […]. Para o autor sagrado, a inferioridade de Eva, o fato que ela veio à existência depois de Adão, significa que todas as mulheres devem ocupar posição de inferioridade. Mas esse conceito foi abolido em Gl 3.28, pois Cristo é o fim de tudo isso (CHAMPLIN, 1982, p. 305).

On the other hand, Wright (2020) states that, at no time does Paul condemn the ordination of women to pastoral ministry. For him, the focus is just the opposite, that they should not be prevented from studying and learning, since this would not imply that they would become bossy, like the women priestess of the temple of Arstanis in Ephesus (for, according to him, there are indications that Timothy was in this city when he received this letter, directed at him. He states that in verse 12, this is what Paul denies by using the phrase “neither exercise man’s authority”). Thus, for the apostle, women should be encouraged to study and learn to take leadership positions, for Adam deliberately sinned knowingly, he had received the order directly from God. However, Eva was deceived. Therefore, women should be encouraged to study so as not to be confused.

He argues that motherhood, for the apostle, was not seen as a curse, as a sign of God’s contempt, as many Jews saw at the time, but as a contribution to God’s creation. According to him, the author of the biblical text intended to contribute to the building up of Christ’s Church, so that, in unity, they could serve God.

In the interpretation of the texts analyzed above, this research defends the theory that the Apostle Paul, although a supporter of the female ministry, to be exposed in the following topic, due to the model of worship provided resemble that of the Jewish synagogues and the fact that the local churches to which he addressed in his letters possess, in his member, many Jews and also Greeks converted to Christianity, still very ingrained, in their cultural traditions, he had to be energetic and cautious in his actions related to the role played by women, with the aim of promoting order in worship and, especially, the unity of the Church, since female leadership would be a subject that would scandalize the brothers newly converted to the Christian faith, which would justify such prohibitions, as supported above by Champlin (1982). However, because they come from a cultural custom, they do not apply to the current evangelical church.

Among those who are against female pastoral ordination, there are those who say that women ordained to the pastorate will have to give an account to God for exercising their ministerial functions, which, they believe, is “unauthorized by God.” However, it would not be contrary to God himself who represses, humiliates, and even suffocates, the ministry of a woman chosen by Him to exercise the pastoral ministry, with attributes that qualify her, which includes an unblemished character before God and men? (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1Timóteo 2.15). In other words, it is as if God elected and qualified women to the pastorate and this, based on elements of the cultural tradition, as mentioned above, said: “I cannot accept it, because it is a situation that goes against the socio-economic and religious tradition of the time. in which the biblical texts were written.

It is as if, once again, the Church experienced a situation similar to that of the Apostle Peter in Acts 10, when God told him “Do not make you common to what God has purified” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Atos 10.15), referring to the evangelization of the Gentiles, yet presenting, in the vision, animals considered unclean to the Jews, according to the Law of God, in Leviticus 11. Although in different contexts, the understanding also applies to the theme, because the apostle, on several occasions, insists on his conviction based on human traditions, opposing God’s will to reach the Gentile people as well, but through The Revelation of God, he recognizes that Jesus Christ died for all, without distinction at all (BÍBLIA, 2011, Gálatas 3.28), and then declares, “[…] I recognize, for truth, that God does not like people.” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Atos 10.34). Likewise, one should not try to limit God’s action by imposing on him elements specific to human traditions.

As in biblical times, God has chosen women clothed by the Holy Spirit, capable of leading and shepherding lives for his Kingdom, which, despite going against the sociocultural context of the time when biblical texts were written, has no similar aspects today. For God, the important thing is that his children serve him in obedience, faith, and love, heeding the ministerial call he has bestowed upon them. Just as the Pharisees mentioned above, the will and the Divine election are called into check due to the worldview of those who, insistently, decide to apply to the Christian reality elements specific to the local culture. Contrary to the tradition of the time, Jesus valued women, allowed them to learn, and to be constituted co-operators of God’s Mission, as did men.

4.4 THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMAN IN THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH

Women had active participation in the biblical context. The establishment of the church of Philippi involved women (such as Lydia, in Atos 16.11-15, 40 (BÍBLIA, 2011)) and they were also involved in proclaiming the Gospel in Berea (BÍBLIA, 2011, Atos 17.12), and together with men they were commissioned to proclaim the good news of God’s salvation (BÍBLIA, 2011, Mateus 28.18-20) to serve God and teach mankind its message (BÍBLIA, 2011, Atos 18.24-26; Romanos 16.1-7). The early Church gathered in homes (BÍBLIA, 2011, Romanos 16.3-5; 1 Coríntios 16.19; Colossenses 4.15; Filemon 1.2), and the women actively cooperated with discipleship. Was the church that met in homes “less church”? Tupan Júnior (2017, p. 18), states that “Church is not structure, it is not a temple, it is not an institution, but it is people converted to the Lord Jesus.” For Champlin (1982, p. 160) “most Christian communities of the apostolic era met in houses, probably for financial reasons.”

As mentioned above, Paul greets Nymph and the church in his home (BÍBLIA, 2011, Colossenses 4.15). At no time does he quote, for example, “to the priest” or “to the apostle” who is in Nymph’s house, but refers directly to her, so that it is possible that she herself was the leader of the church that gathered in her home. In his greeting to the Romans, he quotes:

Recomendo-lhes nossa irmã Febe, serva da igreja em Cencréia. Peço que a recebam no Senhor, de maneira digna dos santos, […] pois tem sido de grande auxílio para muita gente, inclusive para mim. Saúdem Priscila e Áquila, meus colaboradores em Cristo Jesus.  […] Saúdem também a igreja que se reúne na casa deles. […] Saúdem Maria, que trabalhou arduamente por vocês (BÍBLIA, 2011, Rm 16.1-7).

It is possible to notice that at various times the apostle addresses words complimentary to the exercise of female ministry. In others, such as 1 Timoteus 2, analyzed above, according to Champlin (1982), the apostle had to be tough, to preserve order in the cult, without scandalizing the Jewish and Gentile brothers converted to Christianity, many still rooted in their cultural traditions. So at what point do scripture claim that women should not exercise pastoral ministry and receive ordination, that is, “recognition of the gift”? None at all. Although the Apostle Paul, inspired by God, compares the husband’s love to his wife to that of Christ to his Church (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 5.25-26) and to do the same in relation to subjection: “You women subject yourselves to your husband, as to the Lord; for the husband is the head of the woman, as Christ is also the head of the Church, being himself the savior of the body” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 5.22-23), ecclesiastical leadership by a woman does not obfuscate, nor change, her role as mother and wife and submission to her husband. The husband’s domination over the wife is Biblical (BÍBLIA, 2011, Gênesis 3.16), but the domination of the entire male class over the female class, that is, of all men in a society to all women, is a cultural sign, as mentioned above.

The Bible quotes a woman who was called by God to shepherd an entire nation. She was leader, but she was Lappidoth’s wife, she judged the cause of the people, but she was Lappidoth’s wife, she was a minister of the Word, but she was Lappidoth’s wife, she was Lappidoth’s wife, but she was Lappidoth’s wife. At no time does the Bible present Lappidoth as a leader or with some attribution that he might possess. She mentions only that this woman, elected by God himself to be leader, was Lappidoth’s wife. According to Cundall (1986, p. 81), “Nothing is known of Lappidoth, Deborah’s husband, except for the mere mention of his name, which was not the only one to be erased, since Baraque himself played a secondary role in the fight. He received courage and inspiration for the presence of this great and talented woman.” Deborah was the government, military, and spiritual leader of her nation (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 4.4,5), but was a reference of good mother and good wife to the “unknown” Lappidoth.

When God elects to the ministry, He also empowers. When he does, he teaches, too, he teaches. It was He who taught Deborah to have all these leadership and government assignments and continue to be a good wife and good mother, to the point of being a reference for an entire nation (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 5.7). God himself placed the right words at the right time and in the right measure on Deborah’s lips, and all she needed to do was obey Him and continue to be Israel’s leader and Lappidoth’s wife (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 4-5).

5. DEBORAH, A SHEPHERDESS IN PRACTICE

Deborah was a leader of the people of Israel who lived in a time when men neglected God. Calvin recognized Deborah’s leadership and government and attributed it to what he called “extraordinary acts done by God” (CHAMPLIN, 1982, p. 304). The rulers of that time were the judges (MERRIL, 1987). These judges, under the action and government of God himself, performed heroic acts on behalf of the nation. God appointed judges to rule over his people, for “under the leadership of Joshua the initial phase of the conquest of the land took place. The land was divided among the tribes, but it was necessary for the Israelites to occupy the territory that had been assigned to them” (PFEIFFER; HARRISON, 1985, p. 42). Kings only came into existence years later, the first being Saul (BIBLE, 2011, 1 Samuel 8).

At the time of the judges there was no King over the people, but God constituted them, so that they would lead them, judge israel’s cause and lead them, following the leadership of Moses and Joshua’s. Therefore, Deborah, being a judge in Israel, was also ruler of that nation, both civil (judged the cause of the people, Juízes 4.4 (BÍBLIA, 2011)), and military (he gave war strategies, Juízes 4.6-7 (BÍBLIA, 2011)), and spiritual (he received the direction of God and delegated his orders to the people of Israel, Juízes 4.4-7 (BÍBLIA, 2011)). There was a Divine purpose in appointing Deborah to lead her people, a function of extreme responsibility and authority, while he suffered from the oppression of Jabim, King of Canaan. “These chaotic conditions existed because Israel had adopted new gods and was therefore experiencing divine judgment. Then God raised Deborah, who gathered men from all tribes, and achieved a mighty victory in Quisom and Zaananim” (MERRIL, 1987, 170).

There was also another decisive and primordial aspect, it was available and, with faith in God and courage, obeyed his calling (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 5.7). Merril (1987, p. 170) states that “after Deborah’s triumph, the earth rested for forty years.” Inspired by God, she presented to The Baraque the strategies of war and encouraged them to combat: “Baraque and the rest of the Israelites, amazed by the multitude of enemies, tried to withdraw and walk away […]. But Deborah stopped them and commanded them to fight that very day without fear, for victory depended on God, and they should trust in his help” (JOSEFO, 2004, p. 227).

Baraque’s initial cowardice in leading the army in the difficult situation of the nation and Deborah’s boldness and fearlessness in leading an entire nation show that God acts in the life of that servant or servant who puts himself at his full disposal, regardless of his gender (later, Deborah would sing this prophetic song: “Then […] did the Lord dominate me over the valiant” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 5.13), referring to the valiant of war, in notorious participation as leader, together with Baraque). Cundall (1986, p. 23) states that they shared the nation’s leadership: “[…] Deborah, with Baraque, as support (Jz 4:5), […]”. However, in Hebrews 11:35 (BÍBLIA, 2011), she is not mentioned, only Baraque, the male figure, despite the proven leadership exercised with civil and spiritual authority granted by God, honor, prominence, and courage. The possible explanation is based on the predominant culture of the time, which disqualified the woman from the exercise of such positions, as mentioned above.

Moreover, it is totally understandable that, although Deborah had all the attributions of a “shepherdess”, the text does not explicitly present her as such, but rather as a judge and prophecies, therefore, the idea of “shepherdess” linked to the conduct of persons, it was only mentioned, later, in the Books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah (BÍBLIA, 2011, Ezequiel 34; Jeremias 3.15-17). Previously, it was associated solely with God (BÍBLIA, 2011, Gênesis 49.24; Salmo 23.1). Thus, the possibility of the writer of the Book of Judges is discarded, referring to it as such, although it presents all the characteristics of a shepherdess ordained by God. The closest to this word in the Old Testament, considering his attributions, was the term “priest.”

According to Cundall (1986, p. 18), “the high priest, by virtue of his position in the central sanctuary, could be considered a judge since the sanctuary was the traditional place for the right to settle disputes, and was also the place sought to obtain God’s blessing before a military campaign.” However, this occupation was in disrepute at the time due to the unpreparedness and lack of seriousness of the priests of that time (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 17-18). But in the midst of sin and idolatry, Deborah remained faithful to God and the Torah. A wise and God-beading woman, many crowded around her to counsel and ask her for help. She then judged under a palm tree, outdoors, that is, where everyone could hear and observe her, and warned them to repent of sins (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 4.5).

According to Cundall (1986), Baraque himself recognized the prominent government and leadership in Deborah. Thus, although she was qualified as a “judge” and “prophetic”, her attitude was of a true “shepherdess” of God’s flock, and this is evident in the way she transmitted the divine Message of salvation to the people of Israel, in the prophetic character of her ministry, in spiritual discernment, in sensitivity to God’s voice, in her posture of leadership and integrity that were so noble and inspiring, to the point of being considered “mother of all Israel” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Juízes 4,5), with an undoubtedly exemplary conduct.

6. THE PASTORAL MINISTRY AS A GIFT GIVEN BY GOD

The Apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 4:10-11, inspired by God, wrote to the Church of Christ the guidance that each one should administer the gift he received, as good thinkers of the multiform Grace of God. He mentions the following spiritual gifts: the “gifts of speech (“if anyone speaks”)”, which include “apostolate, prophecy, discernment of spirits, teaching, evangelism, and exhortation” and “gifts of service (“if one administers”)”, which consist of “leadership, faith, administration, help, and celibacy” (BÍBLIA, 2011, p. 1979-1980). In the biblical text provided above, he instructs that every Christian should apply his spiritual gifts to service to others, to the building up of the church, and to glorify God. In his statement, there is no distinction as to gender, male and female, race, and social class, as he recognizes that God makes no sense in distributing his spiritual gifts. MacArthur (2019, p. 15) states that “from the first chapter of the Bible, we have been taught that women, like man, bear the seal of God’s own image (Gen 1:27; 5:1-2)”, that is, God wishes to relate equally to everyone.

In 1 Corinthians 12:7, the Apostle Paul says that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given for what is useful.” This means that it is God who chooses, designates and qualifies a Christian to the ministerial exercise within the Body of Christ, without any distinction, for the building up of Christ’s Church, growth, maturity, and unity, for a mature church is not driven by every “wind” of doctrine (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 4.12-13). On the term “shepherd”, from the Greek “poimén“, according to A Bíblia da Mulher,

Davi é apresentado como um pastor cuidando do rebanho de seu pai. No mundo antigo o termo “pastor” costumava ser usado como metáfora para governante. Tanto no Antigo Testamento quanto no Novo Testamento, o povo de Deus é descrito, por analogia, como um rebanho, enquanto os representantes de Deus são chamados de pastores (2Sm 5.2; 7.7-8; Sl 23.1; 78.71-72; Ez 34.1-31; Jo 10.1-18). […] A imagem de pastor/rebanho é associada repetidamente a Davi e a Jesus (Sl 23, 1Sm 17.15, 20, 28, 34, 40; 2Sm 5.2; 7.8; Ez 34.23) (BÍBLIA, 2011, p. 488).

Although the biblical text mentions the responsibility of earthly shepherds in caring for “sheep” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Hebreus 13.17), it is important to point out that they are not, and will never be, of him, but of Jesus, as He himself declared to Peter, in summoning him to shepherd his “sheep” (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 21.16-17), therefore, government, supremacy and authority belong only to God. He designates them as co-workers of his Mission (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 3.9, Mateus 16.18), after all, Christ is the head of the Church (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 4.155) and uses those who want, as either man or woman (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 12.6-14).

As mentioned above, following the clear concept of the term “ordain”, “recognize the gift”, to deny this recognition of the gift conferred on someone by God himself, would mean resisting God’s will (BÍBLIA, 2011, Atos 11.17-18). Since pastoral ministry is also understood as a gift given by the Holy Spirit to the Church of Christ, it is possible to show that God, through the Holy Spirit, can grant it to both men and women for what is useful to him (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 12.7). Also in 1 Peter 4:11, “the word ‘realizes’ comes from the Greek verb energeo,which means to work, to work, to produce, to effect” (CHAMPLIN, 1982, p. 193), that is, God is sovereign and omniscient and does not mean people, but attracts everyone, saves everyone who believes in Him, by his grace and love (BÍBLIA, 2011, João 3.16-18), and empowers those he wants, to produce what he pleases.

The Apostle Paul says, in describing Christians as co-workers of Christ: “What do we possess that we have not received from God? “For who makes you come out? And that you have that you did not receive it, and if you received it, why do you boast, as if you had not received it?” (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 4.7), for there were some who boasted as if they were holders of The Glory, which is of God. In this regard, Champlin (1982, p. 157) states that, even today, “some act as if what has been produced by them”. After living an intense experience with God, Job said, “I know that you can do everything and that none of your plans can be stopped” (BÍBLIA, 2011, Jó 42.2). Therefore, if everything belongs to God and is for the praise of his Glory, He himself distributes his gifts for the benefit of his saving work. According to A Bíblia da Mulher, “spiritual gifts […] are divinely granted, not to exalt the individual who has them, but to increase their efforts in ministry. Gifts are poured out upon women and men, but without a requirement that all gifts be in one sex or another” (BÍBLIA, 2011, p. 1802), which reaffirms that God makes no distinction in distributing his gifts.

Lima and Mello (2016) show in their research that there are cases in which there is recognition of the gift of God granted to women, but denying her the title, which is, at the very least, incoherent. There are those who prefer to refer to them as “missionaries”, or even “doctors”, but not “pastors”, although they have all the qualifications for the exercise of pastoral ministry, including, most importantly, the call of God. On the other hand, there are also many men who bear the title without ever being given to the pastorate, many of them, unfortunately, serving as a mockery of the Gospel. In an interview with Seara magazine (which succeeded “A Seara”), Nascimento (1998, p. 17), he states: “[…] although there has been a great advance in the church with regard to women’s work, prejudice still exists, especially in the hierarchical sphere. The woman, even a leader, does not have the importance that a priest has.” In any case, it is important to point out that every Christian is a servant of Christ and a “desthoughtor of the mysteries of God” (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 4.1), so Glory, authority, and dominion are, and always will be, exclusively of God.

7. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

According to the elements and facts evidenced in the research, it is possible to conclude that, mainly due to the influence of Jewish culture and traditions, and other peoples, from the time when the biblical texts were written, the preponderance of leadership in the Bible was masculine. However, women clothed by the Holy Spirit, consecrated and chosen by God, have never been prevented from performing ministerial and leadership functions, nor in the exercise of spiritual gifts he bestowed. It is possible to see that the domination of the husband over the wife is biblical (BÍBLIA, 2011, Gênesis 3.16), but that of the whole male class over the feminine class, that is, of all men in a society to all women, is a cultural sign. Thus, on the fundamental issue in relation to ecclesiastical leadership on the part of women, this article shows that the analysis of the role of women in the biblical context, in fact, helps in the acceptance of the legitimacy of the female pastorate in the evangelical church today, since it would be inappropriate to owe these numerous Biblical evidence, in the name of ecclesiastical traditions, to deny women their due and Biblical freedom of expression in the exercise of their ministerial duties bestowed by God himself.

However, today, there are still many who, with their preformed ideas, cannot conceive or assimilate what seems to them to be contrary, and with this, as far as women are concerned, they try to silence their voices, restraining them to hold positions of ecclesiastical leadership, even if, with zeal, authority, daring, faith and love, granted by God. Many God-fearing women, virtuous, pious, obedient, servants of the Most High, filled with the Holy Spirit, committed to the study of the Holy Scriptures, to prayer and the shepherding of souls and who, too, have conviction of their ministerial calling as being on God’s part, have been rejected, and even humiliated, in their ministerial exercise, for many are opposed to the female presence at the pulpit of the churches in the role of preachers of the Gospel or shepherds of Christ’s flock, for they consider unbiblical and inadmissible the idea of submitting to the authority of a female leader, even with the absence of a biblical authority for the establishment of these rules, as mentioned in the research.

However, it is important to be aware that Christ’s disciples are only co-workers of God’s Mission (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 3.9) and that it is He who holds all authority (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 4.15), to use those who want, as he wants, according to his will (BÍBLIA, 2011, 1 Coríntios 12.11), for the building of his Church. Research shows that God empowered and approved Deborah’s leadership over his people, not to give a “lesson” in men who chickened out and neglected his calling at the time, but rather to prove, once again, that He is sovereign and that he distributes his spiritual gifts to those who want, whether man or woman (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 4.12-15; 1 Coríntios 12.6-14). Therefore, instead of clinging to elements of the sociocultural context in which the Church lived at the time when the Biblical texts were written, every Christian can grow and strengthen himself in God as an integral part of the Church of the Most High.

Thus, today, more men of faith, warriors, courageous, pious, pastors of souls and obedient to God, like Paul, Peter and so many others, are called for today. For more fearless, courageous, god-faithful, godly, obedient, loyal, soul-pastors such as Deborah, Miriam, Huldah and so many others to this day. That God’s purpose in raising co-workers for his mission to the Church (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 4.11-12) may be fulfilled and his Church built, enlivened and strengthened for his Glory, after all, it was for this purpose that mankind was created by Him, male and female, both for the same purpose, o Praise of His Glory (BÍBLIA, 2011, Efésios 1.11-12). So that together Christians form one body in Christ and are individually members of each other (BÍBLIA, 2011, Romanos 12.5), in other words, it is Christ for all and all by Christ, after all there is one God, one mission (his), one vision and one target, Jesus. To him all honor and glory, for centuries, Amen!

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APPENDIX – FOOTNOTE REFERENCE

3. “Rabbi Sandra Kochmann, is a graduate of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary ‘Marshall T. Meyer’ of the Conservative Movement in Argentina, and in Organization and Direction of Non-Profit Institutions, by the Hebrea-Argentina Bar-Ilán University. Participated in the ‘Melton’ Program for training Jewish Diaspora Teachers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; since September 2003, she has been a Rabbi of the Israeli Religious Association of Rio de Janeiro (ARI), being the first woman to perform this task in Brazil” (KOCHMANN, 2005, p. 35).

[1] He holds a Master’s degree in Theology in progress in the line of research Rereading Of Texts and Biblical Contexts by FABAPAR, postgraduate in Analytical Studies of the Pentateuch from FABAPAR, postgraduate in Theology and Biblical Interpretation from FABAPAR, bachelor of informatics degree from UNESA and bachelor’s degree in theology from UNICESUMAR, in the conclusion phase. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0150-6313.

[2] Advisor. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6862-8799

Sent: November, 2021.

Approved: December, 2021.

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