Now as to nuances and degrees.
I am not sure what the current prevailing meaning of those terms are. I tried to find out by researching through the internet, but couldn’t really find out what ‘degrees’ meant.
I understand ‘nuance’ to mean that it is extremely difficult to translate a word from the original Scriptures into English. To do so, we must know what the word meant to those people in those times, and find a word that describes the same thing in English.
Using that meaning, I certainly believe that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures regarding a multitude of things. I believe that we often have chosen which meaning to use because it coincides with what we want to believe. I see that with the scriptures regarding women in ministry.
I have spent many hours reading about egalitarian versus complementarian and the nuanaces given to those scriptures supporting each view. I came to the conclusion that we are beating that horse to death with the same scripture arguments and not getting anywhere. It is like the neurons in our brains are following the same path and cannot get free to see any other way. So we must go at it in another direction.
And that is what I am attempting to do. I attempt to use satire as you will find in my cartoons on my website, humor as you will find in my letters, poetry (We Twitter, We Facebook, We Blog), and other ways to get the message across. I am afraid most do not get the humor, but when you allow yourself to see it, it is there. I take the risk of making many people angry at me.
Today I had lunch with a group of older women who were celebrating finishing “Esther – Its Tough Being a Woman” by Beth Moore. The 25 year old daughter of one of the women asked this question to the group and I jumped in before anyone else could speak to answer.
“When did it quit being all right for men to have multiple wives?”
I told her that it was never all right for men to have multiple wives, and that it has not stopped even in our own United States. Many Mormons illegally have multiple wives, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) do, the Muslims can have 4 wives and probably do in the US, and our missionaries encounter that in the African countries today.
But it was never right. God worked through people who did have multiple wives as we know.
I quoted what Jesus said “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” (Matt 19:8). He starts out by saying that “in the beginning the Creator made them male and female…and the two will become one flesh.” That eliminates multiple wives or husbands. (I would add this to the original letter: That law has never been abolished within the Jews, and as recently as 50-60 years ago, some Jews immigrated into Israel with multiple wives. However, I stick with my original belief – that it was never right. It couldn’t have been right to have multiple wives, because today we have hinged the whole Baptist religious doctrine on “husband of one wife.”) (yes, I know – that is a corruption of meaning – but that is my attempt at humor!)
I reminded her that the Bible is a record of how things were – warts and all. We also learn from the Bible how things ought to be.
This was my attempt today to help a 25 year old woman begin to think.