“Roles Within Marriage”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University



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            * How to Contact the Center for Cancer Care


     *  Roles Within Marriage”

        (The Essay of this Newsletter)




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      I would like to express my wholehearted appreciation to all who took time  to read the lengthy essay  on “Ellen White and the Future of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Your many notes of thanks are greatly appreciated. The essay was distilled from the new edition of Prof. Graeme Bradford’s book More than a Prophet that came out few weeks ago.


      Many told me that More than a Prophet was long overdue and will help to restore confidence in the prophetic ministry of Ellen White by helping people gain a balanced picture of her ministry. The responses have surpassed our fondest expectations. Pastors and Bible teachers from different parts of the world have expressed their appreciation for the essay. Some Bible teachers have made the book assigned reading for their classes.


      If you or your church have not ordered yet More than a Prophet, you are still in time to take advantage of the special offer.  See the details below or by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm  Note that with your order you will receive  also one FREE DVD with Prof. Bradford’s two hours lecture on Ellen White. Thank you for sharing this timely book and the DVD with your church members.




            In previous newsletters I gave an extensive report of the providential recovery from my colon cancer surgery and liver cancer treatments. You may wish to see the image of the last  PET/CAT scan taken on May 30, 2007, which shows that over 95% of the cancer cells have been shut down. To see the impressive color images of the three PET/CAT scans that I took, click on this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/colon/


            Considering that three months ago I was given only a few months to live because my liver was infested with a 3 pounds tumor, it is hard for me to believe that the Lord has restored my health so speedily.  I feel like a new man with a new lease on life.


      Last Sabbath at the Tottenham West Green SDA church in London, England, I felt a new surge of strength. The meetings were attended by a capacity crowd. The sanctuary was full with about 30 people standing along the walls and so was the fellowship hall downstairs where people could watch the program on a screen. We had many visitors, including a nice couple that flew in from Malta just to attend the meetings. When I asked them if they were visiting friends, they replied: "No we have no relatives or friends in London. We learned about your seminar from the newsletter that we receive and read regularly. We decided to fly to London to listen to you, because this may be the closest place to Malta you will ever come." For me it is of great encouragement to meet fellow believers in different parts of the world who are eager to deepen their understanding and experience of Bible truths.


       Thank you for your prayers! Thank you God for healing my body and restoring my health!  Truly I can say that I feel much stronger than before the cancer treatment. Last Saturday I still felt great after speaking from 7:00 to 10:30 p. m. Now I want to dedicate the remaining years of my life fully to His service.


How to Contact the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana


            To express my gratitude to God for leading me to the unique Center for Cancer Care, in Goshen, Indiana that offers clinical trials on different forms of cancer, I decided to post the information on how you can contact the Center. Over 150 Adventists have already contacted the Center. The Assistant to the President is Vladimir Radivojevic, who is a gracious and caring Adventist Christian.  Feel free to contact him at this address:


Vladimir Radivojevic MS, MBA

Assistant Vice-President

The Center for Cancer Care

200 High Park Ave.

Goshen, IN 46526

Phone: 574.535.2970      Fax: 574.535.2535

Email: vradivoj@goshenhealth.com

Websites: www.goshenhealth.com  or www.cancermidwest.com


            If you or someone you know has cancer, feel free to contact Vladimir. He will talk with you personally, gather your information, and place you in contact with an oncologist who can examine your situation and give you a second opinion. Vladimir told me yesterday that he wants to help Adventists unable to come to their Center for Cancer Care, by evaluating their medical records to see if their current treatments are adequate or should be improved.


      . What is unique about this Center for Cancer Care, is that they have a dozen of on-going clinical trials on different forms of cancer. This means that they use different procedures not available in most Cancer Centers.  I contacted a dozen of major Cancer Centers in the USA, but none of them had a clinical trial program for my liver cancer.  In my case the combination of chemotherapy and microspheres worked marvels. Chemo alone would hardly have shut down the activity of 95% of the cancer cells in less than three months.


            Feel free to contact Vladimir by email or by phone. You will find him to be most helpful.  Incidentally, the Center provides free accommodation in a nicely furnished Guest House with several rooms, each with private bathroom facilities. Vladimir will also arrange for someone to pick you up at the South Bend airport, which is about 30 miles away. You will be impressed by the caring and compassionate service the Cancer Center offers.


“Roles Within Marriage”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

7Andrews University


The Reasons for this Newsletter


      The inspiration for this newsletter has come from subscribers who ask me to comment on the first lesson of the new Sabbath School Quarterly (July 1-6, 2007), entitled: "Adam and Eve: The Intended Ideal." The authors and contributors to the lesson maintain that the intended creational marriage ideal was a relationship of perfect equality between husband and wife. They write: "The relationship of equality, mutual love, and respect between Adam and Eve was intended as the ideal for all couples. However, the ideal was marred by sin, and today conflicts plague marriages. We should strive to allow the Holy Spirit to re-create in us the original image of God." (July 6, 2007, p. 12).


      According to the Sabbath School Lesson, the relationship of perfect equality between husband and wife was shuttered by the Fall with the establishment of male headship and female submission. Such a functional distinctions are the result of "The Curse on the Relationship" (p. 11). "In one stroke Adam and Eve lost everything—innocence, rulership, immortality, Edenic home, and security. . . . In addition to all these losses they suffered the disruption of their ideal relationship." (p. 11).


Did Ellen White Teach that Headship/Submission Are the Result of the Fall?


      A subscriber asks me: "In your book Women in the Church you make a convincing biblical case for the existence of male headship and female submission before the Fall. How then do you reconcile your position the Adult Sabbath School Lesson for July 1-6, 2007, which quotes Ellen White to prove that male headship was the result of sin?"


      The statement of Ellen White quoted in the lesson reads: "In the creation God had made her [Eve] the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God—in harmony with His great law of love—they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 58).


      Did Ellen White really believe and teach that the husband headship and wife submission, were the result of sin? It is unfair to answer this question on the basis of the quoted statement alone,  because in other places she clearly states that “The Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife to be her protector; he is the house-band of the family, binding the members together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Savior of the mystical body. Let every husband who claims to love God carefully study the requirements of God in his position. Christ’s authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church.” (The Adventist Home, p. 215).


      If the husband headship was "constituted" by the Lord to be "the house-band of the family,"  and is to be patterned after Christ "the great Head of the church," then it can hardly be the result of sin. God did not constitute Christ as the "great head of the church" as a result of sin, because He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev 13:8).


      There is no question that Adam and Eve were created equal in nature and worth before God. They both reflected the image of God and were granted the opportunity to live eternally. If this is what Ellen White means by her statement  that "In the creation God had made her [Eve] the equal of Adam," she is absolutely correct. But their ontological  equality does not negate their functional distinction. Our Bible study will show that husband-headship and wife-submission were instituted by God at creation for the harmonious functioning of the home and the church. The Fall marks not the origin of man’s headship, but rather its distortion into oppressive domination. Some sinful men would now take advantage of his headship to dominate and oppress their wives.


Importance of this Bible Study


      This Bible Study focuses on the biblical teachings regarding roles within marriage, for three important reasons. First, because our Sabbath School Quarterly For Better or for Worse: Lessons From Old Testament Couples, explores the relationship of various OT couples to learn practical truths applicable to our marital relationship today. The effort is commendable, but in studying the lessons we must keep in mind that the authors subscribe to the "partnership view" of marriage promoted today through Adventist TV channels discussions, publications, and articles.


      The second reason for the importance of this study is the fact that “role conflicts” are a major cause for the breaking up of marriages today. Some men interpret the principle of “husband headship” as a biblical mandate to boss their wives and children. Some women accept for a time their submissive role until they revolt against a tyrant husband by leaving, divorcing, or looking for another man.


      The third reason is the fact that in recent years our Adventist Church has gradually accepted “partnership view” of marriage—a view which is reflected in our current Sabbath School Quarterly. During the past 30 years the "partnership view" of marriage has been promoted in numerous at conference constituency meetings, annual councils, articles and publications. The most comprehensive study is the symposium Women in Ministry: Biblical and Historical  Perspectives, which was published by Andrews University Press in 1988.  The symposium was prepared by a special committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.


Women in Ministry: Biblical and Historical Perspectives


      After the 1995 General Conference vote against the North American Division (NAD) request to ordain women pastors, NAD church leaders  encouraged the faculty of the Theological Seminary the Seminary to come up with biblical and theological answers to the question “Can a woman legitimately be ordained to ministry?” Some members of the Seminary Faculty accepted the challenge and produced  the 439-page book, Women in Ministry: Biblical and Historical Perspectives.


       Fifteen other Adventist scholars, church leaders, and lay people responded to the symposium Women in Ministry, by publishing in the year 2000 a book entitled Prove All Things: A Response to Women in Ministry.   I contributed chapter 4 entitled “Headship, Submission, and Equality in Scripture”—a chapter which has also been added to my book Women in the Church.


      According to the “partnership view” of marriage promoted in Women in Ministry, the husband-headship and wife-submission are not part of the creational functional distinction in marriage, but came about as the result of sin and are to be eliminated by the gospel. Thus, it is alleged that the Bible teaches that husbands and wives are to be mutually submissive to one another and share responsibility in the home on a 50-50 arrangement. Essentially this is the view presented in the current Sabbath School Quarterly. Our study will show that a mutually submissive relationship, does not negate the creational principle of headship and submission.


The Partnership View Is Designed to Promote Women Ordination


      The partnership view of marriage is apparently inspired by the desire to find a biblical justification for women ordination. By arguing that the role distinctions of husband-headship and wife-submission originated as a result of the Fall, and are to be eliminated by the gospel, ordinationists wish to prove that women can be ordained to serve in the church to the headship position without violating a biblical principle.


      In the light of its far-reaching implications, I feel that the egalitarian or “partnership view” of marriage deserves careful scrutiny. This we shall endeavor to do this in two installments. The present newsletter focuses on the biblical teaching regarding husband-headship and wife-submission. In the next newsletter we shall reflect on the implications and applications of the headship/submission principle.


      The material presented in these newsletters is largely excerpted from my two books The Marriage Covenant and Women in the Church, which have been favorably reviewed by scholars of different persuasions.  In fact Women in the Church  has been adopted as required reading in several theological seminaries.


      Some informed sources told me that Women in the Church played a role in the decision of the Southern Baptist Church (the largest in the USA with over 15 million members) to reverse their position on women ordination. During its June 1998 convention the SBC amended their Church Manual, called  Baptist Faith and Message concerning the limitations of women in ministry and in marriage. Article VI, The Church reads: " While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The role of pastor is reserved for men and therefore ordination of women should not be allowed."


      You can order online a copy of the new edition of Women in the Church  by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=38. If you have a problem ordering online, feel free to call us at 269-471-2915 and we will take your order by phone.


Role Conflicts Within Marital Relationships


      The stability of marriage depends largely upon the way the husband and the wife fulfill their respective roles. Marriage counselors often point to “role conflicts” as a major cause for the breaking up of marriages. “Those of us who do marriage counseling,” writes Paul Stevens, “realize that many marriages are struggling desperately at just this point. Some men insist that the Bible makes them responsible to God for the family. They are boss. Some women believe this is true and try for years to submit to a weak man or a tyrant. But there comes a day, almost inevitably, when the woman revolts. She may revolt by having a nervous breakdown, by getting a plane ticket and flying away, or by leaving him for another man.”


      Role conflicts within marital relationships largely stem from the different interpretations and applications of the Biblical teaching on husband-headship and wife-submission. The very mention of the terms “headship/submission” is anathema for many who in recent years have made the quantum leap from “Adam’s rib to women’s lib.”


      Any one who dares to drop the phrase “submission of the wife” into a conversation with a “woman’s libber” risks the danger of being “categorized as some ignorant weirdo who believes in slave chambers of torture and one who promotes chaining women in a washroom. The very idea! I mean, what thinking person today can possibly imagine squashing a woman under the heels of a man . . . or shoving her in a corner, reducing her activities to changing diapers, doing dishes, checking off a grocery list, and mopping floors?”


      The widely publicized misrepresentation and rejection of the Biblical roles within marriage has been largely influenced by the Women’s Liberation Movement which received renewed impetus in 1966 with the founding of the National Organization of Women (NOW). The radical groups in the movement go as far as promoting the abolition of marriage to liberate women from their submissive role. Shelia Cronan, a leader in the Women’s Liberation Movement, unequivocally states: “Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women’s Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”


      The more moderate groups take issue with the radicals who reject marriage altogether, promoting instead the “partnership paradigm” within marriage, according to which husband and wife function as 50-50 partners. For the most part, Evangelical Feminists espouse the egalitarian view of marriage, by interpreting the male-headship and women-submission texts in accordance with the partnership position. They believe that the Bible teaches that husbands and wives are to be mutually submissive to one another and share responsibility in the home on a 50-50 arrangement.


Adventist Gradual Adoption of Partnership Paradigm


      In recent years an increasing number of Adventist scholars have adopted the egalitarian or partnership view of marriage. This view is reflected in the symposium Women in Ministry, mentioned earlier.  It is also found in the recommendations proposed by the 1999 Annual Council to the General Conference Session regarding changes to be made in the Church Manual. Chapter 15 of the proposed recommendations deals with “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage.”


      The brief section on “Biblical Teachings on Marriage” proposes the partnership view of marriage—a view which is presented more fully in Women in Ministry. It is alleged that husband-headship and wife-submission are not part of the original functional distinction in marriage, but came about as the result of sin. “The entrance of sin adversely affected marriage. When Adam and Eve sinned they lost the oneness which they had known with God and with one another (Gen 3:6-24). . . . As part of the curse of sin, rulership was given to the husband (Gen 3:16; see also Patriarchs and Prophets pp. 58-59).”


      The implication is that prior to the Fall, Adam did not exercise a headship role. This is the view expressed in the Sabbath School Lesson mentioned earlier. Husband-headship and wife-submission are the result of sin and redemption is designed to eliminate these functional distinctions by restoring “marriage to its original ideal . . . of oneness and equality” in Christ.  “The gospel emphasizes the love and submission of husband and wife to one another (1 Cor 7:3, 4; Eph 5:21).”


      Simply stated, the 1999 Annual Council recommended that the SDA Church adopts at the forthcoming General Conference Session “the partnership view” of marriage. This recommendation was apparently inspired by the desire to find a biblical justification for women ordination. By arguing that the role distinctions of husband-headship and wife-submission originated as a result of the Fall, and are to be eliminated by the gospel, ordinationists wish to prove that women can be ordained to serve in the church in headship position over men without violating a biblical principle.


      It is imperative for those of us who find the egalitarian view of marriage unbiblical, to reexamine the biblical teachings on roles within marriage. If, the egalitarian view of marriage is proven to be unbiblical, then our Adventist Church position needs to be modified in accordance to biblical teachings. The Southern Baptist Church and other Evangelical churches like the Missouri Lutheran, the Christian Reform and others, offers us a worthy example to follow.


Objectives of this Study


      This Bible Study  is divided into two parts. The first part posted in this newsletter, considers the Biblical meaning of “headship” and “submission,” in the light of Genesis 1-3 and  of Paul's interpretation of the order and manner of Eve's creation.


      The second part of this study will appear in the next newsletter. In it, we reflect on the practical implications and applications of the Biblical principle of headship/submission. Specifically, we shall consider what it means from a practical standpoint for the husband to practice headship and for the wife to practice submission.

The Fundamental Assumptions of the Partnership Paradigm

            The fundamental assumption of the partnership paradigm is that the role distinctions of male-headship and female-submission were not divinely ordained at creation, but were introduced after the Fall, and are limited to the governance of the home, not to the community of faith. Thus, Christians are called to  return to the creation ideal of “perfect equality”– understood as obliteration of the gender-based role distinctions.

            Before examining the specific arguments of used in Women in Ministry to construct this position, two general observations are in order regarding the moral implications of these assumptions. First, the assumption that male-headship and female-submission reflect “God’s plan for fallen human beings rather than an original mandate for the sinless world,”  implies that functional role distinctions are intrinsically evil.

            Is that true? Absolutely not! The most compelling proof is the fact that functional role distinctions exist within the Holy Trinity.  The Bible tells us that  “the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3) and that the Son Himself “will be subjected to him [the Father]” for all eternity (1 Cor 14:28). If there is nothing morally wrong with functional distinctions within the Trinity, why is it morally wrong for functional distinctions to exist within male/female relationships?

            This leads us to the second observation, namely,  the assumption that male-headship entails superiority and female-submission inferiority. This is a subtle and deceptive assumption that underlies the whole symposium Women in Ministry.  But do functional male/female role distinctions imply superiority/inferiority?  Absolutely NOT!  This is true in the Trinity and is also true in male/female relationships. 

            In the Trinity the headship of the Father does not make the Son ontologically or functionally inferior, because of His submissive role.  Christ Himself affirmed: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). In human relationship, male headship does not make women ontologically or functionally inferior because of their submissive roles.  The reason is that we “are all one Christ,” and consequently there is no male superiority or female inferiority (Gal 3:28-29).

            The fact that I am a man called  by God to serve as the head of my family, does not make me superior to my wife.  In actual fact she is “the boss,” because during the 46 years of our marriage, she has constantly reminded me  of my God-given responsibilities to serve as the spiritual head of our home. Functional role distinctions have nothing to do with superiority or inferiority, but only with different and yet complementary roles God has called men and women to fulfill in the home and in the church.

The Real Issue in the Debate Over Women's Ordination

            The real  issue in the debate over women’s ordination is not whether men were created superior and women inferior. No Evangelical  scholar opposed to women’s ordination holds such a view.  Rather, the real issue is whether God created men and the women equal in nature and worth, and yet different in function, with the man called to serve in the servant headship role and the woman in the submissive helper role.

            It is most unfortunate that the symposium Women in Ministry, fails to address this fundamental crucial issue, choosing instead to set up and knock down pseudo arguments about superiority/inferiority–arguments which are foreign to the Bible and to the whole question of women’s ordination. By trying to build a case for women’s ordination on the basis of faulty assumptions, the symposium fails in its task to help readers understand what Scripture really teaches on the role of men and women in the home and in the church.

            Those of us who, for Biblical reasons, oppose the ordination of women to the headship role of elders or pastors, are generally accused of trying to deprive women of the opportunity to minister in the church.  Nothing could be further from the truth. I strongly believe that if ever there was a time when the ministry of women in the church was needed, such time is today. The many broken homes, single parents, and abused children inside and outside the church, call today more than ever before for the ministry of women who have been trained theologically and psychologically to meet these crucial situations.

            Simply stated, the issue is not, Should women minister in the church? On this point we are all in full agreement. Furthermore, the issue is not, Should women be ordained to serve the church in supportive roles? The answer of Ellen White is clear: "Women who are willing to consecrate some of their time to the service of the Lord should be appointed to visit the sick, look after the young, and minister to the necessity of the poor. They should be set aside to this work by prayer and the laying on of Hands" (Advent review and Sabbath Herald, July 9, 1895, p. 434)

            Rather the issue is, Should women be ordained  to serve in the headship role of elders or pastors in order to minister in the church?  The answer of Scripture, according to my investigation, is abundantly clear.  Both in the Old and New Testaments, women were precluded to serve as priests, elders, or pastors, not because they are inferior or less capable than men, but because these offices entail the headship role of a spiritual father and not the supportive role of a spiritual mother. 

            This does not mean that the church does not need spiritual mothers.  The contrary is true.  As a home without a mother lacks that tender, loving care that only mothers can give, so a church without spiritual mothers lacks that warmth, care, and compassion that spiritual mothers can best give.  Summing up, my understanding of the Biblical teaching is that men and women are equally called by God to minister in the home and in the church, but in different and yet complementary roles.

            To appreciate the Biblical teachings on role distinctions within marriage, we shall now examine, first key statements found in Genesis 1, 2, and 3, and later Paul's interpretation of these statements.



            Genesis 1:26-31 contains three key statements:  (1) God created mankind in His own image and likeness; (2) God created mankind as male and female; (3) God gave mankind dominion over all the living things and power to increase and multiply, that is, to become a race.  These three statements embody two vital concepts:  equality in being and differentiation in gender.

Equal and yet Different

            Equality is suggested by the fact that both man and woman are created in the image of God.  Genesis 1:26-27 states:  “Then God said:  ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea . . . .’ So God created man in his own image in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”   “Man” is mentioned twice here and refers inclusively to men and women.  This is indicated first by the Hebrew word for “man” (’adam) which can be translated equally well as “mankind, humanity”:  “Let us make mankind in our own image.”  The second indication is the plural “them,” which points to “man” as being  a plurality consisting of both man and woman.  The fact that Genesis 1:26-27 moves back and forth three times between the singular “man” and the plural “them,” clearly indicates that the term “man”  is used collectively to refer to both man and woman.

            Genesis 1:27 corroborates this conclusion.  The statement, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him,” is clarified by the following statement,  “male and female he created them.” Genesis 1 does not say much about the roles of men and women.  It simply affirms that man and woman are equally created in the image of God, but they are sexually different. The implications of the gender distinctions are explained subsequently in the Bible, beginning with Genesis 2.

God Designated both Male and Female as “Man—ha ‘adam

            The second important consideration is the fact God designated both male and female as “man—ha ‘adam.”   We see this  again in Genesis 5:2 where the word man denotes both male and female: “He created them male and female; at the time they were created, he blessed them and called them ‘man.’”   This striking statement demands an explanation. If radical feminists today were to create this planet with man and woman as the crowning creatures, would they use the name of “man” as a generic name for both?  I hardly think so. They would consider the term as a blatant discrimination against women.

            Fortunately God was not affected by the feminist agenda when He decided to call the human race  “man—ha ‘adam.”  Genesis 1 does not give us the reason for God’s decision.  The burden of Genesis 1:26-28 is to affirm male-female equality.  But by  twice calling the human race “man” (Gen 1:26-27), God whispers male headship, which will be explained in chapter two.

            Raymond Ortlund perceptively observes: “God did not name the human race ‘woman.’  If ‘woman’ had been the more appropriate and illuminating designation, no doubt God would have used it.  He does not even devise a neutral term like ‘persons.’  He calls us ‘man,’ which anticipates the male headship brought out clearly in chapter two, just as ‘male and female’ in verse 27 foreshadows marriage in chapter two. Male headship may be personally repugnant to some people, but it does have the virtue of explaining the sacred text.”

            Paul alludes to Genesis 1:26-27 when he writes:  “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man” (1 Cor 11:7).  Here Paul is not implying that woman reflects the image of God to a lesser degree than man.  The focus of his discussion is not the personal dignity or worth (ontological value) of men and women which is mentioned in Genesis 1:26-28, but rather the headship of man in marriage and worship, which is implied in Genesis 2:18-23.  Paul refers specifically  to it in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9.  It is in this context that man images God and that woman does not.  It is obvious that women bear God’s image in other senses, as Paul himself recognizes in Ephesians 4:24 where he speaks of all believers being renewed according to God’s image in terms of “righteousness and holiness” (cf. Col 3:10).           

            In the light of these considerations we conclude that Genesis 1:26-27 does affirm male/female equality, but it  also alludes to male headship by twice calling the human race “man­—ha ‘adam” rather than “woman.”  Furthermore, by  differentiating between man being “the image and glory of God” and  woman being the “glory of man,”  Paul shows that the ontological equality between men and women affirmed by Genesis 1:26-27 does not negate their functional distinction explained in Genesis 2:18-23.



             Genesis 2 contains a considerable expansion on the creation of mankind covered in Genesis 1:26-31.  While Genesis 1 affirms that God created mankind as male and female in His own image, Genesis 2 elaborates on how the two sexes were created and the relationship between them.  God first created man  from the dust and breathed into him the breath of life (Gen 2:7).  He stationed man in the Garden of Eden to develop it and guard it (Gen 2:15).  He instructed man  to eat of every tree except of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:16-17).

            God paraded the animals before Adam for him to name them (Gen 2:19-20). This task entailed more than slapping an arbitrary label on each beast.  It required considering the characteristics of each animal so that its name was appropriate to its particular nature. From this exercise Adam  discovered that there was no creature that shared his nature (Gen 2:20).  God, who had already planned to create for Adam a “helper fit for him” (v. 18) even before He brought the animals to Adam, now proceeded to create the woman from the rib of the man (Gen 2:21-22).  Adam greeted Eve with rhapsodic relief by acknowledging her as part of his own flesh and calling her Woman because she was taken out of Man (Gen 2:23).

            In her equality with himself, Adam perceives Eve not as a threat, but as a partner capable of fulfilling his inner longing.  God blessed the blissful union, saying: “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). The creation account closes with a reminder of the perfection in which Adam and Eve first came together: “And the man and his wife were both naked and they were not ashamed” (Gen 2:25). They felt no shame because they had nothing to hide. They lived together in perfect integrity and harmony.

            Although the focus of the narrative is on the sameness of nature and the partnership between man and woman, within that equality and partnership there exists a clear sense of the woman’s submission to man.  The term “submission” is used here not in its negative connotation of oppression, denigration,  or inferiority, but in its positive sense of depending upon another person for direction and protection.  Its purpose is to ensure unity and harmony.

            Four  main elements of the narrative suggest a distinction between the headship role of man and the “helper” role of woman:

(1) The priority of man’s creation (Gen 2:7, 22)

(2) The manner of the woman’s creation out of man  (Gen 2:21-22)

(3) The woman’s having being  created to be man’s “helpmate” (Gen 2:18-20)

(4) Adam’s naming of  the woman both before and after the Fall (Gen 2:23; 3:20).

            Let us examine these four elements.

The Priority of Man’s Creation

            Does the temporal priority of man’s creation reflect God’s plan that man should serve in a leadership role in the home and the church?   The answer suggested by story is yes. Genesis 2 suggests that the creation of woman is the climax and culmination of the story because in her,  man found at last the “helper fit for him” (Gen 2:20).  This is evident by Adam’s exclamation: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;  she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man” (Gen 2:23). The movement of the narrative is indeed “from incompleteness to completeness,”  but it is Adam who experiences the completeness as a result of Eve’s creation, and not vice versa.

Paul’s Interpretation of the Order of Creation

            Paul’s interpretation of the event is the most decisive line of evidence that discredits the attempts to negate any headship significance to the priority of Adam’s creation.  If we did not have the internal witness of the Bible as to the meaning of the priority of Adam’s creation, then speculations would be in order. But since we do have such a witness, subjective speculations are unnecessary.   It is unfortunate that ordinationists consistently interprets the critical passages of Genesis 1 to 3 in isolation, without taking into account the inspired commentary provided by Paul. 

            Paul appeals to the order of the creation of Adam and Eve to justify his injunction that a woman should not be permitted “to teach or have authority over a man” (1 Tim 2:12, NIV). He writes:  “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (1 Tim 2:13-14, NIV).  The temporal sequence of man/woman’s creation is strongly marked by “protos—first” Adam and “eita—then” Eve.

            The logic of this passage and of the parallel one in 1 Corinthians11:8-9 where Paul speaks of the manner of the woman’s creation out of  man and not vice versa, is abundantly clear.  Paul saw in the priority of Adam’s creation and in the manner of Eve’s creation a clear indication of the headship role God intended man to exercise in the home and in the church. The fact that the woman was created after man, out of man, and as his helper, meant to Paul that God intends the woman to fulfill a submissive role in relation to man. This role is violated if a woman teaches in the church in a headship position or exercises authority over a man.

            By rooting the headship/submission principle in the order and manner of creation, rather than in the consequences of the Fall, Paul shows that he views such a principle as a creational design and not  the product of the curse, presumably to be phased out by redemption.  Contrary to ordinationists who argues that headship/submission are the consequences of the Fall (Gen 3), Paul grounds such a principle in the pre-Fall order of creation described in Genesis 2. 

            The local circumstances of the Christian congregations in Ephesus and Corinth may have provided the context of Paul’s injunction, but they do not provide the reason.  Paul’s reason is creational,  not cultural.   This is a most important consideration that makes Paul’s injunction relevant for us today.  It is unfortunate that ordinationists choose to ignore the creational reason given by Paul for not permitting a woman to teach in the church as the head/leader of the congregation.

The Manner of the Woman’s Creation out of Man

            The principle of headship/submission is suggested in Genesis 2 not only by the order of creation of Adam and Eve, but also by the manner of their creation.  God created man first and then made woman out of his rib (Gen 2:21-22). He did not make Adam and Eve from the ground at the same time and for one another without distinction.  Neither did God create the woman first and then man from the woman and for the woman. God could just as easily have created the woman first and made man out of Eve’s rib, but He did not. Why?  Because  that would have obscured the distinction between the male-headship and the female-submission that God wanted to make clear. 

            It is impossible to know all the reasons why  God created the woman from Adam’s body instead of making her a separate creation from the dust like Adam.  However, three reasons suggest themselves. First, the creation of woman from man’s rib suggests the sameness of nature between man and woman.  As Adam acknowledges, the woman is the very bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh (Gen 2:23).  The actual selection of man’s rib from which to create the woman suggests that “she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him.”

            Second, the human race, including the first woman, derives from the same source, Adam, who is the head and representative of humanity (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:22).  Third, the creation of woman from man establishes the basis for the one-flesh principle in marriage (Gen 2:24; 1 Cor 7:4).  This principle rests on a real biological and historical foundation.

Paul’s Interpretation of the Manner of Creation

            The decisive line of evidence that undermines the egalitarian interpretation of Genesis 2:21-22 is Paul’s interpretation of the same passage.  If we did not have a biblical interpretation of the significance of the manner of Eve’s creation, then it would be proper to seek to interpret the text according to an egalitarian construct.  But since Paul does provides us with an inspired interpretation of Genesis 2:21-22, it is futile to submit alternative interpretations.

            In 1 Corinthians 11:8,  Paul defends his call for women to respect the headship of man by appealing to the manner of the woman’s creation: “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.”  For Paul, the order and manner of the creation of Adam and Eve are the theological foundation of the headship/submission principle. In biblical thought origin and authority are interrelated (cf. Col 1:15-18).  A child must respect the authority of his parents because he derives from them.  In Adam’s historical situation, Eve derived from him in the sense that God formed her from his body.  Thus, Adam was her “source,” and to him was due appropriate respect. 

            This line of reasoning, though present in Hebrew minds, is not explicit in Genesis 2.  What is explicit  there is that God entrusted Adam with certain responsibilities.  He named first the animals (Gen 2:19-20) and then the woman herself, both before and after the Fall (Gen 2:23; 3:20).   By this act  Adam exercised the leadership role assigned him by God.  Man was also instructed by God regarding the forbidden tree and was apparently held responsible for passing on the information to his wife (Gen 2:16-17).  After the Fall, God held man accountable for the original transgression (Gen 3:9).  In the light of these facts, Paul’s

The Woman Created to Be Man’s “Helpmate”

            In Genesis 2 the principle of headship/submission is also suggested by the central role of man in the account of the creation of woman.  God created man first and  provided him with a garden, an occupation, and finally a wife to be “a helper (‘ezer ) fit for him” (Gen 2:18).  It is true that the word “helper” in itself, whether in Hebrew or in English, does not necessarily imply submission. But the meaning of a word cannot be determined without consideration of its context.  In this case, the word occurs within the phrase which says that God created woman to be a helper fit for man.  “If one human being is created to be the helper of another human being,” as  George W. Knight rightly notes, “the one who receives such a helper has a certain authority over the helper.”  This does not mean that woman exists solely for the sake of helping man, but rather that she is a helper who corresponds to man because she is of the same nature.

                  The woman’s creation from man and for him (“a helper fit for him”—Gen 2:18) suggests a functional dependency and submission.   As Gerhard von Rad points out, Genesis describes the woman not in romantic terms as a companion to man, but in pragmatic terms as a “helper” to him.  Bible writers speak of human relationships with a certain practicality.

Paul’s Interpretation of “Helper”  

            The decisive factor that discredits the egalitarian interpretation of the phrase “helper  fit for him” (Gen 2:18)  is Paul’s allusion to this text  in 1 Corinthians  11:9:  “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”   Paul makes this statement in the context of his admonition that women should respect male headship in the church by covering their heads according to the custom of the time. The head covering was a custom (1 Cor 11:13-15) subservient to the principle of male headship (1 Cor 11:3).  While the principle is permanent, its application will vary in different cultures.

            Significantly, Paul alludes to Genesis 2:18 to buttress his admonition to women to respect  male headship, but he does it without using the phrase “helper fit for him.”  Instead, he gives his own interpretation of this phrase, namely,  that woman was created for man and not vice versa. There is no doubt in Paul’s mind on the meaning of “helper fit for him.”  The Apostle states unequivocally  the plain meaning of the phrase “helper fit for him,” namely, that woman was created for the sake of man.  If woman was created for man’s sake, that is, to help him in the tasks God gave him, then it follows that her helping role is a submissive one. 

            To avoid possible misunderstandings, we must note that Genesis 2:18 and Paul’s interpretation of it in 1 Corinthians 11:9, do not say that woman was made to be man’s slave or plaything, but rather to meet man’s need for a fitting companion and fellow-worker.  When men view their wives as less than a God-given help, they are unfaithful not only to the teaching of Genesis but also to the example of Christ’s servant headship, which is the model for husband-wife relationships (Eph 5:23-30).

            The foregoing considerations show the fundamental importance Paul attached to the order and manner of creation of Adam and Eve as found in Genesis 2.  For Paul the creational order constitutes the theological justification for  excluding women from serving in a headship representative  role in the church.  Such a role would not accord with the submissive, helping role envisaged for woman at creation.  To reject Paul’s interpretation of  Genesis 2 means to reject the self-authenticating internal witness of the Bible. Ultimately, this methodology undermines the normative authority of Scripture for defining our beliefs and practices, by reducing the meaning of Bible texts to a matter of private speculation.

Are Submission and Equality Contradictory?  

            Radical feminists today view the principle of equality in nature and submission in function, which is present in Genesis 2, as a contradiction of terms.  For example, Scanzoni and Hardesty write:  “Many Christians thus speak of a wife’s being equal to her husband in personhood, but subordinate in function.  However, this is just playing word games and is a contradiction in terms.  Equality and subordination are contradictions.”

            Those who claim that equality and subordination are an unacceptable contradiction  fail to recognize that such an apparent contradiction exists in our Savior Himself.  On the one hand Christ says,  “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and on the other hand He states, “I can do nothing on my own authority; . . . I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30) and “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).  Christ is fully God (John 1:1;  Col 1:15-20) and yet “the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3;  cf. 15:28).

            The submission in Genesis 2 is similar to the one that exists in the Godhead between Father and Son.  In fact, Paul appeals to the latter model to explain in what sense a husband is the head of a wife, namely, as God is the head of Christ (1 Cor 11:3).  This is a unique kind of submission that makes one person out of two.  Man is called to be the head of a one-flesh relationship. Submission in Scripture does not connote subservience, as commonly understood, but willing response and loving assistance.  

            Susan T. Foh aptly remarks: “We know only the arbitrariness, the domination, the arrogance that even the best boss/underling relationship has.  But in Eden, it was different.  It really was.  The man and the woman knew each other as equals, both in the image of God, and thus each with a personal relationship to God.  Neither doubted the worth of the other nor of him/herself.  Each was to perform his/her task in a different way, the man as the head and the woman as his helper.  They operated as truly one flesh, one person.  In one body does the rib rebel against or envy the head?



            The first two chapters of Genesis present God’s creation as He intended it to be.  We have seen that God built male headship (not male domination) and female submission into the glorious pre-Fall order of creation. The third chapter of Genesis describes the disruption and distortion of the order of creation brought about by the Fall.  Our purpose here is to briefly analyze how the Fall affected the relationships between man and woman.

Distortion of Creation

            Genesis 3 is a crucial chapter of the Bible for understanding what went wrong with God’s original perfect creation. If human life started out in Edenic bless, how do we account for the pain, sorrow, conflicts, and death that afflict mankind today?  Genesis 3 explains their origin and gives us hope for God’s provision of redemption and ultimate restoration.

            Much of the chapter consists of what might be called a trial where God interrogates Adam and Eve,  establishes their guilt, and pronounces the punishment over the serpent, the ground,  the woman and the man. Of special interest for our study is the judgment pronounced over the woman in Genesis 3:16.  This judgment has two aspects.  The first relates to childbearing and the second to her relation to her husband.  Childbearing, which was part of the pre-Fall divine design for the filling of the earth (Gen 1:28), will now become a  painful process (Gen 3:16).  The husband-wife relationship will also now experience a painful distortion:  “your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16).

             Does Genesis 3 mark the origin of male headship and female submission, as ordinationists claims? Or  does it allow for the possibility of a painful distortion of an already existing headship/submission principle? (Is male headship restricted to the home, as ordinationists contends, or does it extend also to the community of faith in such a way to exclude women from serving in a headship positions over men?  We shall attempt to answer these questions by considering first the role of Adam and Eve in the Fall and then the divine judgments passed upon them.

The Nature of the Temptation

            In the first five verses of Genesis 3, Satan, masquerading in the guise of the serpent, plants seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind which lead her to question the limitation God placed on them regarding the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The serpent pretended to disclose to Eve an important secret, namely, that  by partaking of the forbidden fruit she would reach her full potential and become divine. Eve succumbed to the deception.  Genesis describes in a matter-of-fact way the actual acts of Adam and Eve: “She took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Gen 3:6, NIV).

            What happened has significant implications. The text clearly indicates that Eve played the leading role in taking the fruit, eating it, and giving it to her husband, who apparently joined her while the temptation was in progress. The latter is suggested by the prepositional phrase “with her” (‘immah) which, as Leupold points out, “strongly suggests that at the outset, when temptation began, Adam was not with Eve but had only joined her at this time.” Ellen White supports this interpretation, saying that after eating the forbidden fruit Even went in search of Adam and brought some to him (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46).

            Note that Adam did not take the fruit from the tree but received it from his wife who plays the leading role in the Fall. Adam appears just a passive onlooker who willingly lets his wife lead.   Apparently, as Ellen White indicates, Eve “was flattered [by the serpent] with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned to her,” at her husband side (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 59).She usurped Adam’s headship and instead of being his helper to live as God intended, she led him into sin.

            A careful reading of Genesis 3  suggests that the original sin of Adam and Eve was largely due to role reversal.  The Fall did not originate male-headship and woman-submission, as ordinationists contends, but was caused by the failure to respect these roles. Adam failed to exercise his spiritual leadership by protecting Eve from the Serpent’s deception, and, on her part, Eve failed to respect her submissive role by staying by her husband’s side. The tragic consequences of the first sex role reversal carry a solemn warning for Christians today who are told by the feminist propaganda that role interchangeability is a sign of human emancipation.

Why Is Adam Responsible for the Mankind’s Sin? 

            If there were no role distinctions before the Fall, why didn’t God summon Adam and Eve to account together for their transgression? After all,  Eve had played the leading role.  Why did God call out  only to Adam, “Where are you” (Gen 3:9)?    Why does Genesis 3:7 say that it was only after Adam ate of the forbidden fruit that the eyes of both were opened?  Why does Paul hold  Adam responsible for the entrance of sin into this world when he writes, “Sin came into the world through one man” (Rom 5:12)? Why didn’t he  say “sin came into the world through one woman” or “through the first couple”?  Why is Christ portrayed as the second Adam and not the second Eve? 

            The answer to these questions is simple. God had appointed Adam to serve in a headship role. He bore primary responsibility for failing to exercise his spiritual leadership at the time of the temptation. Consequently, as the head of Eve and of the human family, his transgression brought sin and death to fallen humanity.

            In both Genesis 2 and 3, Adam is addressed as the one to whom God had entrusted the responsibility of spiritual leadership. Adam received the divine instructions not to eat of the tree of knowledge (Gen 2:16-17); consequently, he was in a special way responsible for instructing Eve so that neither of them would transgress  God’s command.  The great fault of Adam in the Fall was his failure to exercise his spiritual leadership role.  Instead of leading his wife into obedience to God’s command, he allowed his wife to lead him into disobedience.

The Curses Upon the Serpent, the Woman, and Man

            After interrogating of the first human couple, God states the consequences of their actions to the serpent, the woman, and the man.  These consequences have been generally referred to as “curses.”  The curse upon the serpent affects not only the serpent as an animal (Gen 3:14), but also the relation between Satan and mankind, characterized by “enmity” and hostility which will eventually be terminated by the destruction of Satan himself (Gen 3:15).  God’s merciful promise to defeat our enemy through the victorious offspring of the woman is our only hope for a glorious destiny.

            The divine judgment upon the woman is of central concern for our study, because it deals directly with the impact of the Fall upon the husband-wife relationship.  The judgment upon the woman has two aspects.  The first relates to her role as a mother and the second to her role as a wife.  As a mother she will still be able to bear children, but God  decreed that she will suffer in childbirth: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children” (Gen 3:16).  Childbearing, which was part of the pre-Fall divine design for the filling of the earth (Gen 1:28), will now become a very painful process. 

            As a wife, the woman will suffer in relation to her husband. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16). This divine judgment represents a measure-for-measure response to  Eve’s attempt to usurp her husband headship.  The meaning of the first phrase appears to be, as Leupold puts it, “She who sought to strive apart from man and to act independently from  him in the temptation, [now] finds a continual attraction for him to be her unavoidable lot.” Feminists may try to banish a woman’s attraction for man, but it is there to stay.  This is not necessarily a punitive element. The meaning of the word “desire–teshuqah” is illuminated by its occurrence in Song of Solomon where the Shulamite bride joyfully exclaims, “I am my beloved, and his desire is for me” (Song 7:10).

            The second phrase “he shall rule over you” has been the object of numerous interpretations.   The meaning appears to be that, as the woman sought to rule man by taking control in her own hands and leading him into temptation, now her penalty is that she will be ruled by her husband.   This does not mean that God gives a license to man to exercise despotic rulership. The Hebrew word for “to rule” mashal  is used in many passages “in the sense of servant leadership, to ‘comfort, protect, care for, love.’”  The Old Testament uses mashal in a positive sense to describe God’s rule (Is 40:10; Ps 22:28) and the eschatological rule of the Messiah (Mic 5:2).

            When man rules in the spirit of Christ, such rule is not harsh or domineering, and “may be regarded as a blessing in preserving the harmony and union of the relationship.”  But where sin prevails, then such a rule may be degraded into a miserable domination.   God  ordained that  man should exercise godly headship, and not ungodly domination over his wife.

            The phrase “he shall rule over you”  represents God’s rejection of the woman’s attempt to take on the leadership role at the time of the Fall and His summon to the woman to return to her creation submission to man. The story of the Fall shows how the woman endangered herself and her husband by her bid to dominate.  God’s judgments upon the woman  represent the divine remedy to maintain the intended order of the sexes, as it appears in Genesis 2.  The divinely intended submission of women has nothing to do with male domination and oppression of women. It is a beneficial arrangement designed to protect men and women from the destructive powers of evil.

            Summing up, we can say that the wording of Genesis 3:16 does not warrant the ordinationists conclusion that the relationship between man and woman has been fundamentally altered by the Fall.  George W. Knight cogently points out that “Genesis 3 presumes the reality of childbearing (Gen 1:28), in which the woman will now experience the effects of the Fall and sin (Gen 3:16).  It presumes the reality of work (Gen 1:28; 2:15), in which the man will now experience the effect of the Fall and sin (Gen 3:17ff.).  And it presumes the reality of the role relationship between wife and husband established by God’s creation order in Genesis 2:18ff., a relationship that will now experience the effects of the Fall and sin (Gen 3:16).  ‘He shall rule over you’  expresses the effect of sin corrupting the relationship of husband (the head) and wife.  Just as childbearing and work were established before the Fall and were corrupted by it, so this relationship existed before the Fall and was corrupted by it.  Neither childbearing, nor work, nor the role relationship of wife and husband is being introduced in Genesis 3; all are previously existing realities that have been affected by the Fall.

The Judgment Upon Man

             The divine punishment for Adam’s disobedience contains three significant points worthy of consideration. First, man’s relationship to the ground is distorted: “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; . . . In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread. . .” (Gen 3:17-19).  Work is not the punitive element, just as childbearing was not Eve’s punishment. The punitive element is the pain in cultivating the ground in the sweat of his brow.

            The second important point is God’s rationale for inflicting the punishment. The first reason given by God for inflicting the punishment is not “Because you have eaten of the tree which I commanded  you,” but “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you” (Gen 3:17). The point here is obvious. Adam sinned first of all because he listened to the voice of his wife rather than to the command of God. By so doing he abdicated his headship. Second, Adam sinned by transgressing the simple and plain command God had given him (Gen 2:17).

            Note that God issued a formal indictment only before sentencing Adam, not for Eve.  The reason is because Adam was the head, and thus ultimately responsible for the disobedience of both.  God does not place the blame on both as if both shared equal responsibility.  God says: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife . . . cursed is the ground because of you” (Gen 3:17).  The “you” refers exclusively to Adam because he had been entrusted with the responsibility to serve as the spiritual and moral leader.

            A third point to note is that God told only to Adam that he would die: “till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).  Eve died too, but God pronounce the death sentence on Adam alone, because he was the head, and the death sentence upon him included Eve and all the members of the human family he represented.

Paul’s Use of Genesis 3

            In our study of Genesis 1 and 2,  we noted that Paul faithfully appeals to the implication of these chapters to support his teaching that women ought not “to teach or to have authority over men” (1 Tim 2:12). We must now turn our attention to Paul’s use of Genesis 3.  His main reference to Genesis 3 is found in 1 Timothy 2:14:  “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”  This is the second of the two reasons given by Paul to support his teaching. The first reason is the priority of Adam’s formation (1 Tim 2:13).

            This second reason, based on Eve’s deception,  has produced many dangerous interpretations.  Some have assumed that this verse teaches that women are disqualified to act as leaders in the church because they are more gullible than men.  Paul “may have in mind the greater aptitude of the weaker sex to be led astray.”  A variation of this interpretation is that women “are inferior in their gifts so far as the teaching office is concerned.”

            These interpretations are wrong because nowhere does the Scripture suggest that women are more prone to err than men or that their teaching gifts are inferior.  If the latter were true, how could Paul admonish women to teach their children and other women (Titus 2:3-5; 2 Tim 3:15)?  How could he praise women fellow-workers for their roles in the missionary outreach of the church (Rom 16:1, 3, 12; Phil 4:3)?

            To understand the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:14  we must note that this verse is linked to the preceding one by the conjunction “and” (kai), which Paul often uses as an explanatory connective (see 1 Tim 4:4;  5:4-5).  In this case the connective “and” suggests that the typological meaning of Adam’s having been formed first, as mentioned in verse 13, is connected with the typological meaning of Eve’s deception mentioned in verse 14.

            Apparently, Paul is saying that both Adam’s formation and Eve’s deception typologically represent woman’s subordination to man. Paul’s first reason for his teaching given above, appeals to the order of creation and the second reason to the Fall. The second reason shows what happens when the order of creation is disregarded.  When Eve asserted her independence from Adam she was deceived.  

            The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary supports this interpretation: “The apostle’s second argument for the submissiveness of women is that when Eve tried to assert leadership she was beguiled.”  On a similar vein George W. Knight writes:  “In 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul also refers to the Fall after citing the creation order . . . to show the dire consequences of reversing the creation order on this most historic and significant occasion.”


            Our study of the first three chapters of Genesis has shown that the principle of male headship and female submission was established by God at creation, and not, as ordinastionists contends, after the Fall.  We have found that Genesis 1 simply affirms that man and woman are equally created in the image of God, but they are sexually different. By twice calling the human race “man” (Gen 1:26-27),  God whispers male headship already in Genesis 1, though it is explained in chapter two.

            Genesis 2 clarifies the equality and gender distinctions of Genesis 1.   Man and woman are equal in nature because they share the same human flesh and bone and have the same  spiritual value before God.  Yet they are different in function because woman is to be submissive to man.  The latter is indicated by the followings four elements of the narrative: (1) the priority of man’s creation (Gen 2:7, 22), (2) the manner of the woman’s creation out of man (Gen 2:21-22),  (3) the woman’s creation to be man’s helpmate (Gen 2:18-20), and (4) man’s naming of  the woman both before and after the Fall (Gen 2:23; 3:20).  The headship of man is implied also in chapter 3 where God calls upon the man to answer for the pair’s transgression and indites man (not the woman) for failing to fulfill his headship role by listening to the voice of his wife rather than to His command.

            Genesis 3 describes the distortion of creation’s order brought about by the Fall. This distortion affected not only the serpent, the land, work and childbearing, but also the submission of woman to man.  Sinful man would now take advantage of his headship to dominate and oppress his wife.  Contrary to the claim of ordinationists,  the curse on the woman marks not the institution of submission but rather its distortion into oppressive domination.

            Paul attaches fundamental importance to the teachings of the first three chapters of Genesis.  We found that he appeals to the pre-Fall order and manner of creation to defend the submission of women to the leadership of man both in marriage and in the church.  Paul’s appeal to the order of creation is in line with Christ’s teaching that calls for a restoration of the creational relationship (Matt 19:8) by the members of His kingdom. The function of redemption is not to redefine creation, but to restore it, so that wives learn godly submission and husbands learn godly headship.

            Paul bases his teaching concerning the role of women in the church, not on the consequences of Fall described in Genesis 3, but on the pre-Fall order of creation presented in Genesis 1 and 2.  The foundation of his teaching is not the divine judgments pronounced at the Fall, but God’s original purpose manifested in the order and manner of human creation.  It is unfortunate that ordinationists consistently ignores Paul’s appeals to these chapters to support their male/female parternship paradigm in the home and church. To ignore the self-authenticating internal witness of the Bible, can give rise to gratuitous private interpretations.

            Genesis 1-3 deals primarily with the husband-wife relations, but the underlying principle of equality and submission has broader implications for the roles of men and women within the community of faith. This becomes evident when we examine the ministry of women both in the Old and New Testaments. 

            If you take time to read chapter 9 of Women in the Church, you will see that though women ministered to God’s people in a variety of vital religious roles, including that of prophet, there are no indications in Scripture that they were ever ordained to serve as priests in the Old Testament or as pastors/elders/bishops in the New Testament.  The reason is to be found, not in the patriarchal mentality of Bible times, but in the recognition of the headship role which God appointed man, as the “firstborn” of the human family, to fulfill in the home and in public worship.  The Bible implies this principle in the creation story of Genesis 2 and upholds in both the Old and New Testaments.

            In the next newsletter we shall reflect on the practical implications and applications of the Biblical principle of headship/submission. Specifically, we shall consider what it means from a practical standpoint for the husband to practice headship and for the wife to practice submission.  I look forward to share with you the second part of this timely Bible study.






      Prof. Jon Paulien’s DVD album on SIMPLY REVELATION was released at the end of May.  We have been airmailing the DVD album to church leaders, pastors, and lay Adventists in different part of the world. Several pastors have already shown the lectures to their congregations.  They wrote to me saying that viewing the lectures was an enlightening experience for their members.


      My wife and I viewed the first two lectures of Simply Revelation on our TV on a Sabbath afternoon. Though I had already heard Prof. Paulien’s lectures during the taping session, I was spellbound to hear him again offering so many refreshing insights into the most difficult book of the Bible. For me it is a thrilling experience listening to a scholar like Prof. Paulien, who knows what he is talking about.


      Prof. Paulien is one of the most respected Adventist scholars. Besides serving as the chairman of the New Testament at Andrews University Theological Seminary, he writes and lectures extensively in many parts of the world. He is rightly regarded as a leading Adventist authority on the book of Revelation which he has taught at the Seminary for the past 20 years. His doctoral dissertation as well as several of his books deal specifically with the Book of Revelation.


      The constant demand for Prof. Paulien’s CD album with his publications and articles, led me to discuss with him the possibility of producing a live video recording of a mini Revelation Seminar, which he chose to call Simply Revelation. As suggested by its title,  Simply Revelation aims to simply present the message of Revelation—not to read into Revelation sensational, but senseless views.


      The preparation of this video recording took several months. The Simply Revelation seminar consists of four one-hour live video lectures, which have just been recorded in the studio of Andrews University. An impressive virtual studio provides the background of the lectures. Each lecture is delivered with about 50 powerpoint slides.  I have spent long hours looking for suitable pictures to illustrate the text of each slide in order to enhance the visual effect of each lecture. This mini Revelation seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation. Be sure to inform your pastor about the newly released Simply Revelation, if he is not aware of it.


      You will be pleased to know that we have placed on a separate file all the powerpoint slides and text used for the live video presentations. Each slide has the script of the live lecture.  This means that if you are a pastor or a lay member who want to use Prof. Paulien’s Simply Revelation Seminar, you can pick and choose the powerpoint slides that you like.


      The file with the powerpoint slides is placed on Prof. Paulien’s CD album containing all his publications and articles.  The reason is that there was no memory left on the DVD disks.  In spite of my pleas, Prof. Paulien was so full of the subject that he used the full 60 minutes of his four lecture, leaving no space for the slides’ file.


      This has been a very expensive project, both in time and money.  The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you can order it now until July 30, at the introductory price of  only $50.00.  The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination. 


      If you have not ordered before the CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, we will be glad to add it to your DVD order for only $20.00, instead of the regular price of $60.00. This means that you can order both the DVD album with Prof. Paulien’s four live video lectures on Revelation and his CD album with all his publications and powerpoint slides of Simply Revelation, for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00.


               As an additional incentive, I am offering you together with Prof. Paulien’s DVD/CD albums, also my own popular DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for an additional $10.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. This means that you can order the DVD and CD albums by Prof, Paulien, together with my DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for only $80.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00.


               This research on The Mark and Number of the Beast, was commissioned by Prof. Paulien himself. He asked me to trace historically the origin and use of the Pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei and of the number 666. I spent six months conducting this investigation which was professionally taped at the Andrews University Towers Auditorium. I use 200 powerpoint slides to deliver this informative two hours lecture which is warmly received by Adventist church leaders and pastors in many parts of the world. For a detailed description of this DVD album click: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Beast/BeastPromo




* ONE DVD Album of Prof. Paulien’s four video lectures on Simply Revelation at the introductory price of $50.00, instead of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.


* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation and ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.


* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation,  ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, and ONE DVD Album with Bacchiocchi’s two hours video lecture on The Mark and Number of the Beast for only $80.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.




      (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/revelation/


      (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.


      (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.    


      (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.




        The newsletter no. 172  on “Ellen White and the Future of the Adventist Church,” was distilled from Prof. Graeme Bradford’s book More than a Prophet.   The new edition with an additional 20 pages was released few weeks ago and many churches have ordered the book by the case of 30 copies for only $150.00, that is, $5.00 per copy.  This book is urgently needed to restore confidence in the prophetic ministry of Ellen White by telling the truth about her divine revelations and her human limitations.


        The most gratifying responses have come from former Adventist. One lady wrote: “After reading More than a Prophet, I am seriously reconsidering returning to the Adventist church.” It is unfortunate that many Adventists have left the church, because they felt that they had been deceived about Ellen White. They could not reconcile in their mind that prophets do make mistakes. But Prof. Bradford compellingly shows that the mistakes found in the Bible or in the writings of Ellen White, do not negate the divine inspiration of their messages.


        For a detailed description of More than a Prophet,  together with the reviews and a picture of the book, click at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm


        To facilitate the distribution of this timely book among your church members, we are offering you two things:


1) Special discount on quantity orders of the book. Only $5.00 per copy, instead of $25.00 for a case of 30 copies.


2) A FREE ALBUM of Prof. Bradford’s DVD with a live two hours lecture on Ellen White.  The DVD contains also a PDF file with all of Prof. Bardford’s books and articles. The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you will receive it FREE with an order of 2 or more copies of More than a Prophet.


      The reason for offering a Free Album of Prof. Bradford’s DVD live lecture on Ellen White, is to give your members the opportunity to enjoy the highlights of the More than a Prophet.  After viewing the DVD, most members are eager to order the book.




      ONE COPY of More than a Prophet for $20.00 (instead of $25.00), plus $5.00 for mailing in the USA, or $10.00 for airmailing overseas.


      TWO COPIES of More than a Prophet plus the DVD album with Prof. Bradford’s live two hours lecture on Ellen White, for $50.00 (instead of the regular price of $150.00). Add $10.00 for airmailing overseas.


      THIRTY COPIES of More than a Prophet plus the DVD album with Prof. Bradford’s live two hours lecture on Ellen White, for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $850.00. The price includes the mailing in the USA.  Unfortunately as of May 14, 2007, the USA Post office no longer offer surface mail service for overseas. Everything must be sent AIRMAIL. The cost for airmailing a case of 30 books, is $95.00. Thus, the total cost for a case of 30 copies AIRMAILED overseas is $245.00. The advantage is that you will receive the case within a week.




      (1) Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm


      (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.


      (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.


      (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.




      This offer may sound too good to be true, but it is true.  Many have taken advantage of this incredible offer. To make it possible for many others to take advantage of this offer, I decided to extend it until July 30, 2007.  You can order the complete package of all my DVD and CD recordings, consisting of 6 Albums, for only $100.00, instead of the regular price of $700.00. This is a one-time incredible offer.


      You can see the picture of all the SIX ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this URL address:



      You can order the complete package of 6 DVD and CD Albums for only $100.00,  instead of the regular price of $700.00, in four different ways:


      (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm


      (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.


      (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     


      (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $100.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.




            Gradually I am rescheduling some of the invitations I had to cancel because of the colon cancer surgery and liver treatments. Here is a list of the upcoming weekend seminars for the months of July, August, and September.



Location: 43 Roman Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2  OHA.

For directions and information call Elder Cliff Hilton at 01376 334 848



Location: 253-255 West Green Road, Tottenham, London N15 SED

For directions and information call Elder Orville Baxter at 01992 621 599



Location: Via Vittorio Veneto 24, Conegliano. 30 miles from Venice.  This is my wife’s home church where I have preached on numerous occasions. The sanctuary accommodates about 100 persons and it is always packed.  For directions and information call Pastor Gianfranco Irrera at 0422 460660 or 338 2676792



Location: Via Del Pergolino 12, Florence, Italy. The church is located on the campus of our Italian Adventist Academy that I attended from 1952 to 1956. It will be for me an emotional homecoming to my alma mater which I have not seen for over 30 years. The church where I will preach on Saturday June 28, was built recently and has an attendance of 400 to 500 members. I look forward to a blessed experience of worship and fellowship. For directions and information, call Pastor Davide Mozzato at 055 4378544



Location: 401 North State Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. This is one of the most beautiful Adventist churches that was ever built.  It can seat over 2000 people. When in 1962 Loma Linda University decided to relocate its students and faculty to a consolidated campus in Loma Linda, the membership gradually declined from over 2000 to the current 350. 


      I have reasons to believe that the new senior Pastor Benjamin Del Pozo, D. Min., will build up the attendance. He is a creative thinker and a good communicator.  He speaks with his hands like an Italian. (Please laugh!)  He invited me twice at the Temple City SDA Church where he has served for several years, doubling the attendance.  For directions amd information call Pastor Benjamin Del Pozo at (626) 292-1305 or 323-440-1200.



Location: 401 North Williamson Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.

For directions and information call Pastor William Barrett at (386) 258-1073.



Location: The Lecture Hall, Knoxville Convention Center, 701 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37920.  This Sabbath Conference is organized by English Prof. Bruce Horne, Ph. D., a leader of the Seventh-day Christian Assembly in Knoxville with about 120 members. Several non-SDA sabbatarian churches and groups from neighboring states are participating at this Sabbath Conference. 


      Adventists living in the Knoxville area are encouraged to attend this Sabbath Conference.  I will be the keynote speaker on Friday evening and Saturday. We are planning also for a panel discussion conducted by church leaders of various sabbatarian churches.  This will be a unique opportunity to become acquainted with other sabbatarians.  For directions and information call Prof. Bruce Horne at (865) 671-4342 or (423) 914-5475.



Location: Adam’s Mark Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46241. The hotel phone number is: (317) 248-2481.  This is the international World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union that brings together WWCTU delegates of different denominations from all over the world.


      Ellen White was very active in this organization and was often featured as the keynote speaker. Our Adventist church had an active Temperance  program in the past. Today we hear little from our pulpit about Temperance, partly because alcohol and drugs are seen more as a medical than a moral issue.


      I have been invited to deliver the keynote address on Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 10: 30 a. m. Prior to my lecture, there will be a church service from 9:00 to 10:00 a. m. My powerpoint lecture is entitled “The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages.” I will be sharing the highlights of my book Wine in the Bible, dealing with the biblical imperative of total abstinence. If you live in the Indianapolis area, I would urge you to attend the meetings, especially on Saturday. For directions and more detail information, contact Sarah R. Ward, WWCTU President, at (765) 345-2306



Location: 1128 Banyan Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817.

For directions and information call Pastor Michael Asuega at (808) 261-7321 or (808) 206 5892.



Location: 2313 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. This will be the Hawaii Conference Convocation for all the churches in Oahu.

For directions and information, call the Hawaii Conference Office at (808) 595-7591.




      If you are planning to move to Andrews University, you will be pleased to learn about a new Townhome Community being developed less than a mile away from the campus of Andrews University, by our son, Danny Bacchiocchi. He is a gifted architect who has build prestigious homes on the shores of Lake Michigan and close to Andrews University.


      This is a Townhome community designed around the needs of empty nesters, retirees or young professional families, who have no time to mow the lawn or shovel the snow. These services are provided to the  community.  You will like the open living area and the large windows. It is nestled in a peaceful setting, with easy access to downtown Berrien Springs and the campus of Andrews University. Feel free to come and visit the model home, while others are being build.


      For a description and a picture of the Townhome Units, click at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/danny




          HITACHI has given us an additional discount on some of their projectors to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. This is the special offer on the following three models:


CP-X260 HIGH RESOLUTION 2500 LUMENS - Only $1095.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2500 lumens was $2395.00.


CP-X444 HIGH RESOLUTION 3200 LUMENS - Only $1695.00

          Previous SDA price for the 3200 lumens was $3295.00.


CP-X1250 HIGH RESOLUTION 4500 LUMENS Only $3795.00

          Previous SDA price for the 4500 lumens was $4900.00.


WARRANTY: The above prices include a 3 years 24/7 replacement warranty worth about $285.00.


You can order the HITACHI projectors online by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=24


If you have a problem ordering online, call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. Your order will be processed immediately.




            If you are looking for an outstanding REMOTE for your PowerPoint presentations, you will be pleased to know HONEYWELL has just come out with the smallest and most powerful remote in the market.


            The size of the transmitter is smaller than a credit card. You can stick it inside the palm of your hand and nobody can see it. I tested the remote in an open environment, and the radio signal can go up to 400 feet of distance. IT IS INCREDIBLE! The transmitter has three button: forward, backward, and laser.


            You can order online the new POWERPOINT  PRESENTER simply by clicking here:  http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=67


            If you have a problem ordering online, simply call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. You can also email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date.




            If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at about 30% discount.


            The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that you need, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.




            If your travel plans call for a stop in London, you will be pleased to learn about a most gracious Adventist couple that offer the best accommodation and breakfast I have ever enjoyed. It has become my home away from home when in London.  See details at: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Promotions/BED&BREAKFAST.htm




            TAGnet provides an incredible number of webhosting services to our churches and members. This newsletter comes to you through their gracious and efficient service. For detail information, visit their website at http://www.netadventist.org or   http://home.tagnet.org/ You may also call their office 800 - 9TAGNET. They are ready and eager to help you.