RlG241 Final Exam Question 6! (Real Question)

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21 Apr 2012
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RlG241 Final Exam
6. How do the Pastoral Epistles differ from the Acts of Paul and Thecla on the topics of the acceptable
roles of women, the values and criteria for true belief and asceticism?
- How Roman marriage used to function: Cum manu marriage verses sine manu marriage
- In cum manu marriage a women was under the authority of her husband
- Husband was her Patria Potestas (power/authority of a male head)
- In sine manu marriage, women still remained under the authority of her father
- Women had more power in this type of marriage as if her father died she became sui iuris (able
to own property
- Preference for sine manu marriage because 30 year old women, only 25% chance father still
alive
- Law of Augustus- lus trium liberormn- law of 3 free births, women who has had 3 or 4 children
are exempt from being under guardianship (all women, not just free Roman women)
Should also mention that the Acts of Paul and Thecla differ from The Pastoral Letters because the
Pastoral Letters are not written by Paul
- Proof
- Lack of attestation in canon of Marcion (before 144)
- Lacking P(46) earliest Pauline Canon
- Language and style is un-Pauline
- Historical situation can’t be reconciled with Paul (sexual ascetism not in Pastoral letters)
Pastoral Letters differ from the Acts of Paul and Thecla
- Reason 1: Nature of sex
- The Acts of Paul and Thecla uphold celibacy as a highest value, Thecla is repeatedly praised by
Paul for practicing celibacy. Women could be saved by living chaste lives.
- Pastoral Letters actively preach sex as an essential component of Christian identity, having
children saves you. In fact, First Timothy states that young widows should become remarried
and have children. Also laws that forbade marriage were seen as created through the hypocrisy
of liars.
- Reason 2: asceticism (meat)
- The Acts of Paul and Thecla embrace vegetarianism, possibly because it was believed that meat
would inflame sexual passion
- The Pastoral Epistles did not view eating meat as being problematic. Example, 1 Timothy
proclaimed that teachings which forbade marriage and demanded abstinence from certain
foods came from demons (4:1-3). God created this food to be received with thanksgiving.
- Reason 3: Nature of women
- In the Acts of Paul and Thecla, women were portrayed to be active agents. Thecla was
commanded by Paul to preach the Gospel. Her authority is highlighted by her own self-baptism.
Mention of other prominent women: Phoebe (a patron), Cloe (her people had slaves)
- In the Pastoral Epistles women, it is mentioned repeatedly that women are supposed to keep
silent and not assume any authority over men. This would condone their preaching that they are
instructed to perform in Paul and Thecla. Emphasis on the man being the head of the
household.
- Reason 4: true belief
- Acts of Paul and Thelca emphasize renunciation, contrastingly the Pastoral Epistles warn against
false teachers who instruct people to practice renunciation and ascetism (1 Tim 4:1-3). Thecla
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