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April 6, 2012


Just Makin’ Stuff Up: History

The Church of England is currently engaged in a great debate over whether to allow women to become bishops. I don’t have a dog in that fight (sometimes being the lone non-Anglican on Stand Firm has its benefits), but I do know that some of what passes for arguments in favor of the proposition should come with a provision that the one making it has to pass a lie detector test. The Christian Post reports:

In an attempt to support the ordination of women bishops in The Church of England, a British historian is emphasizing the importance of women in religion and posing the idea that God could be female.

Bettany Hughes, a specialist in ancient history, asserted in the U.K. publication Radio Times that Christianity “was originally a faith where the female of the species held sway” and to deny this connection would be to deny the central role of women in the church.

She also wrote, “Who knows whether God is a girl, but mankind has turned to the female of the species for good ideas. Our own monotheistic institutions might do well to take a leaf out of the book of human experience and build on this consensus when it comes to reaping the benefits of a close relationship between women and the divine.”

Hughes, who will explore the role of women in the early church in a new BBC2 series called “Divine Women” this month, noted that in the early church women were allowed to preside as deaconesses, priestesses and bishops.

Women “held sway” in the early church? Served as bishops? This is “history” as wish fulfillment—no evidence needed, just a desire for things to have been different from what they actually were. By the same standard, I could announce that all of the rulers of the Roman Empire were Romanian, all of the successors to Mohammad were Polish Catholics, and until the advent of capitalism, all people were well-fed, absolutely equal in wealth, and totally healthy until the day they died. That’s the way I would like history to have been (for obscure political reasons that I don’t need to go into here), and who’s to say it wasn’t?


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8 comments

The new theological academic trickery:  “There’s no evidence that…..” then fill in the blank.

Any honest academic institution would fire someone for trying that sort of thing.

[1] Posted by Bill2 on 4-6-2012 at 03:07 PM · [top]

Hard to believe anyone takes this crapola seriously.  Unless of course you are running from God…

[2] Posted by B. Hunter on 4-6-2012 at 03:14 PM · [top]

That sucks.  I used to think Bettany Hughes was actually kind of hot.

[3] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 4-6-2012 at 03:53 PM · [top]

Hmm, there is actually quite a lot of archeological evidence of Women being ordained to the Priesthood and Episcopate.  There is also Junia whom Paul calls an Apostle in Romans 16:7 As I recall it wasn’t until around the year 1000 than people began to refer to Junia as a man.  The patristic writers uniformly thought of her as a woman.  Here is a link to a list of archeological evidence. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDIQFjAB&url=http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/RCWP_Resource.pdf&ei=amh_T5PMAcGqiQLlsrmmAw&usg=AFQjCNGGFyLk5cKQsT6O5WPM6Y8iVPfdPg&sig2=SeRaEqfYekhkFajipF1REg

Now the question is “Whose making stuff up?”

[4] Posted by Ed McNeill on 4-6-2012 at 05:14 PM · [top]

Unfortunately, I don’t tink that a lie-detector will work in these instances.  I’m becoming more and more convinced that many who put forth cockamamie theories like this actually believe them.

[5] Posted by DeeBee on 4-6-2012 at 05:31 PM · [top]

You don’t understand the purpose of this flapdoodle, David.  Every edifice of lies has its foundation, and this is one of the footings.  Eventually, additional academics will cite it, who in turn will be themselves cited by other academics and in time no one will ever remember or care to trace down Ms. Hughes’ baseless assertions.  We will all just know that it was always so, and demand that it be again.

[6] Posted by Jeffersonian on 4-6-2012 at 06:18 PM · [top]

Ed, the title of “apostle” was never restricted to men or the ordained.  There are “a"postles and there are “A"postles.

[7] Posted by Nikolaus on 4-6-2012 at 06:28 PM · [top]

Sorry Ed - I let that one fly right past me.  Maybe I’ll learn next time…or the time after that…or somewhere down the line…    tongue rolleye

[8] Posted by Nikolaus on 4-6-2012 at 06:36 PM · [top]

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