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The 17th and 18th criteria in William Webb’s paradigm of the redemptive trend — or how we move the Bible’s message into our world in a progressive, redeeming way — deal with Extrascriptural criteria. No matter how biblical we think we are, extrascriptural factors play a role in much of what we do. Here are his criteria:
Do you think a change in pragmatics renders a text cultural, or does it create the need of “creative re-application”? And, does science work with you so that, once you learn something as solid in science that we will see more and more of the Bible as cultural?
Example: leaving the corners of your field unpicked so the poor can avail themselves of relief. Lev 19:10. If you live in the inner city of Dublin or Chicago, I doubt a farmer miles (kilometres) away leaving his filed unpicked is of much use.
Washing feet, obedience and submission to children, obedience and submission to kings/presidents, even congregational obedience — since congregational govt has softened this one.
Women and obedience to husband: influenced by lack of education, lack of social exposure and experience, lack of physical strength, economic dependence and marital-age difference (5-15 years norm). The only pragmatic concern that remains is physical strength, and he contends that it is insufficient to sustain the original pragmatically-based guideline to obey and submit. It becomes a non-hierarchical respect instead of obedience.
#18: Scientific and social-scientific evidence: a component of a text may be culturally confined if it is contrary to present-day scientific evidence. If the two conflict, there is a good indicator the text is culturally confined.
Women: women are seen as reproductive gardens and if no children the problem was the female and now we know it is an equal contribution. Women as poor leaders (Isa 3:12): today women are effective leaders in all kinds of capacities. Women as more easily deceived (some interpret 1 Tim 2:14 this way): both patriarchalists and egalitarians agree this is not an accurate interpretation of the text. (Webb engages a recent defense of the patriarchal view.) Webb thinks times have changed on this one because the original factors that gave rise to the problem are no longer present: women are not more easily deceived. 1 Tim 2:14 inculcates finding leaders who are not easily deceived, male or female.