Women in the Early Apostolic Church
30 – 80 AD
In this section we cover mainly the evidence we find in the letters written by St Paul. Paul endorsed the fundamental equality in Christ of women and men. Women took part in the Church’s apostolate, like Phoebe whom Paul calls ‘the deacon’ of the church in Cenchreae. But Paul also faced the fact of the strong social customs restricting women’s freedom. In this context Paul asked women to wear a veil in the assembly to forestall cultural clashes.
All this is explained in the following texts:
- the principle of equality
- women’s ministries
- women deacons
- Mary seen as role model
- the wearing of the veil
- Would Paul not raise his eyebrows? by John Wijngaards in ‘Did Christ Rule out Women Priests?
- “St. Paul’s Attitude Toward Women” by John L. McKenzie in ‘Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Declaration’
- DUBLIN, Aug 29, 2000.CWNews, New Testament texts ‘harmful’ to women.
- A “Pauline” Defense of Women’s Right to Baptize? Intertextuality and Apostolic Authority in the Acts of Paul, Stephen J.Davis.
- Women in the Acts of the Apostles, Ivoni Richter Reimer.
On Specific Pauline texts:
- “Transitory Character” . . . Only in “Disciplinary Cases of Minor Importance”? by Juliana Casey in ‘Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Declaration’
- “Women in the Pauline Assembly: To Prophesy, But Not To Speak?” by Robert J. Karris in ‘Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Declaration‘
- “The Divine Plan of Creation: 1Cor 11:7 and Gen 2:18-24” by Thomas L. Thompson in ‘Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Declaration’
- “It is not Good that the ‘Mensch’ Should be Alone; I Will Make Him/Her a Helper Fit for Him/Her” (Gen 2: 18) by Walter Vogels in Êglise et Théologie, 9 (1978). (n.b. English text. The article refers to 1Cor11)
- “Is Silence Golden? Paul and Women’s Speech in Corinth” by Caroline Vander Stichele in ‘Louvain Studies’, vol.20 (1995) pp.241-253
- Paul and Sexual Identity: 1 Corinthians 11.2-16 by Timothy Radcliffe in ‘After Eve’
- Mutuality and Interdependence of Man and Woman: An Exegetical Study of 1 Cor 11, 11-12, by K.J. Mercy, Bible Bhashyam, 2000, vol.XXVI, pp.196-204