The Method That Guides Our Bible Study


Keys to “the patriarchy passages”

Here are the five famous passages people get wrong about women and men in the home and the church. Each can be corrected by recognizing one or more errors made in their translation. Most are due to misunderstanding the true meaning of Genesis 3:16. (See

1 Peter 3:1-7. How to win to Christ your unsaved spouse.  “If” in verse 1 means “since.” None of their husbands obeyed the Word. Verse 7 begins with “likewise” in Greek. Only unsaved wives are “weaker.”

1 Timothy 2:8 and 11-12. Correcting certain men and women teachers who had gone astray, as had Eve. Woman” in verse 11 has no article in Greek. It means a subgroup of women or “these women” who you need to retrain – not all women, everywhere. Once corrected, thanks to Christ “the faithful Word,” all can aspire again to ministry (3:1).

Ephesians 5:21-32. As Christ” is the key illustration and is used three times. The main point is about “about Christ and the church” (verse 32). It’s not about marriage. The head/body metaphor Paul uses indicates unity. The word “head” used in this metaphor stands for neither “hierarchy” nor “source.”

1 Corinthians 11:2-16. Paul corrects teachers of Jewish oral law and restates his own teaching. He taught this clearly in Galatians 3:28. He accepts no extra “laws”for women. All are united in Christ as is made clear each time the head/body metaphor is used. He quotes the deviant teaching in verses 4-7 and corrects it. He appeals to Jews (verses 7-9), to the church (verses 11-12) and to Greeks (verses 13-16. Note the Greek says “Nature itself does not teach you …”). His main point comes in verse 10: a woman has full authority over what to put on her own head to follow to Paul’s teaching. Since women too will judge even the angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3) they certainly could judge this issue! In this entire passage Paul encourages them to keep following what he taught them from the beginning (11:2).

1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Paul quotes the oral “law” and refutes its teachers in 35-38. “Add quotation marks here” like translators do in most other cases when Paul makes a quote. These words come from their “law.” In 14:34-35, as in 11:4-6, these are not Paul’s words.” They certainly aren’t based on God’s words to Eve (see

Want more? It is found in our book, Familiar “Leadership” Heresies Uncovered by an inside look at the Bible, 2005.

(cc) Bruce C. E. Fleming (October 28, 2019)

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