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Colossians Remixed 40

posted by xscot mcknight

What about women?, so asks Nympha in Walsh and Keesmaat’s imaginary dialogue in the church at Colosse (in Colossians Remixed).
If Paul is concerned with liberating slaves, she says, so also is he concerned with liberating women.
Apphia speaks up: it’s about slaves, not women. Nympha: Paul speaks about submission as is fitting “in the Lord”. “Hierarchy is gone” (210). Nothing about women at Jubilee (Apphia). Nympha: Jubilee is Sabbath and women rest on Sabbath, too. Jesus had women followers.
She asks Tychicus to explain Paul’s practice. There are, he says, women in authority in Paul’s churches — Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, …
Tycichus said he had heard the “no slave nor free” also with a “no longer male and female” but it wasn’t in this letter to Colosse (it’s in Galatians 3).
Paul, Nympha says, is undermining paterfamilias.
W-K then suggest a radical model of educating children — homeschooling.



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RJS

posted November 9, 2007 at 12:40 pm


If Nympha can bring Galatians and the greetings at the end of Romans into the discussion, does Tycichus bring 1 Tim. 2 and 1 Cor. 11 into the discussion?
And how in the world does one pull homeschooling out of this?



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Julie Clawson

posted November 9, 2007 at 5:19 pm


I thought the Nympha story was one of the most creative and pointed parts of the book. I liked the challenge to the typical, “well this really doesn’t apply to women don’t waste your energy on the woman issue” sort of approach to scripture I hear all the time.
Homeschooling if I remember right was the way to subvert the empire by not allowing its ethos to be indoctrinated into one’s children. If Christians are truly to love and serve others, live counter to Empire, and all that then our children need to be shaped under those values and not the values of empire.



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RJS

posted November 9, 2007 at 5:50 pm


Julie,
Well – that’s an interesting take on the homeschooling question – and it does fit with the theme they’ve been developing.
Scot is, of course, only giving a snapshot of the Nympha story here, and I have not read the book. I was only commenting on the point that if the discussion goes beyond Colossians it should acknowledge all of the texts. Certainly the con argument – that it can’t mean liberating women – will be quick to invoke these texts. But I also see that I may have misread Scot’s summary.
I agree with Nympha. Paul is undermining paterfamilias and leveling the relationship(s).



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