Since so many people here seem shy about "complex" discussions and would love to live in a black and white world as opposed to the HD colour world we live in - I'm going to dumb this question down to it's simplest point.
Show me a verse in the Bible where it says either "women cannot be ordained" or "only men may be ordained".
Better yet, let's dumb it down even more, since so many of us can't handle such complex things. Let's instead find the verse that says women CAN be ordained.
Deborah was not a priest, she was a prophet. There is a big difference between the two.
In Galatians, Paul is not talking about church leaders, he is talking about the whole family of Christ. Paul himself made it clear that he did not allow women as bishops, so he would not have intended Gal 3:28 to mean that.
Acts 2:17 is speaking to the gift of prophecy, something that Ellen White was charged with.
Acts 21:9, once again is not talking about being a leader of the church, its talking about prophets. Anna was a prophet, not a priest, she served God in the temple during the days that Jesus was born.
I fail to see how Romans 16 even applies. There is nothing in those passages that says these women were ordained as leaders in the church.
They (the women in Rom 16) were deacons, an ordained office.
Although I love that old stand-by of the old guard "She was just a prophet, not a pastor"...
...even though "Prophets" OUT RANK a "Pastor"....Talk about a Woman being the Head spiritually. LOL
And what does "prophet" mean in the orginal? To preach.
Prophets outrank pastors? I thought both were spiritual gifts..I didn't know there were rankings in spiritual gifts.
many people who say
"She was just a prophet, not a pastor"...
USE IT AS A RANKING SYSTEM TO DEFEND NOT ORDAINING WOMEN
There are no rankings Sarah. A Pastor is an under-shepherd appointed to look after a church or churches. A Prophet is someone who relays messages from God to the church.
And as to the original meaning, in Hebrew it was nabiy'Strongs H5030 and it means: spokesman, speaker, prophet
b) false prophet
c) heathen prophet
The Greek word is prophētēsG4396 and it means
1) in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things
2) one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation
a) the OT prophets, having foretold the kingdom, deeds and death, of Jesus the Messiah.
b) of John the Baptist, the herald of Jesus the Messiah
c) of the illustrious prophet, the Jews expected before the advent of the Messiah
d) the Messiah
e) of men filled with the Spirit of God, who by God's authority and command in words of weight pleads the cause of God and urges salvation of men
f) of prophets that appeared in the apostolic age among Christians
1) they are associated with the apostles
2) they discerned and did what is best for the Christian cause, foretelling certain future events. (Acts 11:27)
3) in the religious assemblies of the Christians, they were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak, having power to instruct, comfort, encourage, rebuke, convict, and stimulate, their hearers
3) a poet (because poets were believed to sing under divine inspiration)
a) of Epimenides (Tit. 1:12)
It literally means to preach.....and it does outrank the pastor title.
Concerning Romans 16 which speaks of Pheobe as a "servant" which is derived from the Greek word "diakonos" which is also used for the word "deacons" in 1 Tim. 3:8,12; --- and the notion that this must [supposedly] mean that Pheobe is an ordained "deacon" of the church and thus a church officer.
That argument is at best weak/shallow and thus proves nothing to support their anti-Biblical agenda -- because diakonos is NOT "ALWAYS" used as a technical term for a "deacon" or "minister" in the New Testament. --- In fact, its basic meaning is "servant" and is used that way in Matthew 23:11; Mark 9:35; John 2:5, 9; 12:26, and also the text currently in question: Romans 16:1-2.
Paul says in verse 2 about Pheobe: "That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succorer of many, and of myself also."
--- Thus, Paul was saying to the people that Pheobe had been a servant of hospitality to many, including himself, and he was encouraging them to give her a helping hand.
Ellen White comments on a similar situation about the widow of Zarephath found in 1 Kings 17:12-15, and the hospitality of this widow toward Elijah. These passages are right in line with the correct reasoning of Paul in Romans 16.
"Brethren and sisters, invite to your homes those who are in need of entertainment and kindly attention . . . and show them genuine Christian hospitality. . . . In the providence of God we are associated with those who are inexperienced, with many who need pity and compassion. They need succor, for they are weak." (6T 343-8).
Not only is Spirit of Prophecy right on target in its correct application, but an article found in Christianity Today magazine, 2/20/81, pp. 18-20 brings out the same point.
Quoting Dr. George Knight, as referring specifically to Pheobe, a "succorer" in Romans 16:2, he states:
"An appeal to the usage of the feminine word prostatis . . . is often made to attempt to establish Phoebe as a leader in the congregation. The argument often proceeds from this word to a verb with the same root (proistemi) and the similar masculine noun (prostates). It usually insists that since the masculine noun and the verb are directly associated with leadership, the feminine noun must be also. As a matter of fact, New Testament Greek lexicons and classical Greek lexicons consistently indicate that this is not the case, and that the feminine noun indicates one who is a ‘helper’ or ‘patroness’ but not a leader . . . , ‘one who cared for the affairs of others by aiding them with her resources.’ "
Interestingly too, in harmony with the last sentence immediately above, the Greek word "prostatis", found in Romans 16:2, is translated "helper" in NASB, RSV, ASV, and "good friend" in NEB, GNB.
According to the SDA Bible Dictionary, p. 881: "Pheobe ... is described as having been a . . . prostatis . . . of many in her home church."
Prostatis means "patroness", "protectoress".
So, based on the analysis of the study above, Pheobe would have held the position of what is now termed "deaconess".
In the SDA Church Manual, 1963 edition, (pp. 87-8), and 1976 edition (p.95), and in the 1986 edition (p. 64) we read:
"Deaconesses were included in the official staff of the early Christian churches (Rom. 16:1, 2). Pheobe was a servant — servant in this instance meaning ‘deaconess’ — of the church at Cenchrea. Other references indicate that women served in the early church as deaconesses. There is no record, however, that these women were ordained; hence the practice of ordaining deaconesses is not followed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
Really entertaining reasoning: So prophets have a "lower" responsibility than pastors?
I agree AlexandIer. I pray that the MEN will stand up and BE the head of the household. Women stop marrying wimpy men! ;)
AMEN!!! EZRA! We have to be diligent and not read in to what we 'think' it does say. There is a whole book on it- Titus.