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Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Lost

Men Abdicating their Headship

(c) 1992 Rev. Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, Th.M.

1992 National Teaching Pastors Conference

Judges 4-5


George Gilder in his book Men and Marriage stated one thesis on the differences of men and women. He proposes that men are barbarians who desire to hunt, to obtain power, and to wander. Women, on the other hand, have a maternal instinct and are sexually superior to men in that they experience sexual love, intercourse, marriage, child conception, childbearing and breast feeding. Gilder says that men must be tamed and transformed by the love of a woman. If the woman gives her love away freely to the barbarian, he will not be tamed.

Men lust, but they know not what for; they wander, and lose track of the goal; they fight and compete, but they forget the prize; they spread seed, but spurn the seasons of growth; they chase power and glory, but miss the meaning of life.

In creating civilization, women transform male lust into love; channel male wanderlust into jobs, homes, and families; link men to specific children; rear children into citizens; change hunters into fathers; divert male will to power into a drive to create. Women conceive the future that men tend to flee; they feed the children that men ignore.1

Gilder's view on the differences between men and women is based upon natural sexual differences and the roles that those differences promote. He believes that the confusion of sexual roles is causing the disintegration of our society. He continues to make his case by pointing out the tendency to deny the different roles for the sexes or to reverse the roles of men and women.

This is precisely what sexual liberals advocate. They assiduously deny that women have a maternal instinct and assert women's "right" to adopt male sexual attitudes and ape male sexual drives. At the very same time they argue that men can find sexual fulfillment in "nurturant" activities like child-rearing.2

Gilder believes that on a sexual level, encouraging the confusion of sexual roles is destroying both marriage, family life, and our society. Men and women do have different sexual roles and they also have different roles biblically as men and biblically as women. This point, however, is being disputed. The same type of encouraged confusion that Gilder has seen at the sexual level has entered into Bible­believing Christianity. The historical standards on the biblical roles of men and women derived from earlier more accurate (I believe) interpretations of the Bible are under attack. A branch of feminism, Evangelical feminism, has entered the church calling for "equality" of the sexes and pushing to assert itself by blurring the distinctions that exist, even at the basest level (as per Gilder), between the sexes. Biblical truth under attack is nothing new. Heresies have plagued the Church since the beginning, but the MEN of those early generations stood to the task of "hammering out" the faith or defending it. The councils of Jerusalem (Acts 15), Nicea (A.D. 325), Chalcedon (A.D. 451), and others saw the leadership of MEN, convinced of the faith, step forward to do exegetical battle for the faith. What is different with this heresy is that it is the result of men abdicating their spiritual responsibilities and biblical headship. In the major exegetical book written to respond to Evangelical Feminism, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, one of the editors, John Piper, a Senior Pastor, concludes that the real root sin of this heresy is not the woman's movement in itself, but the abdication of men from leadership.

If I were to put my finger on one devastating sin today, it would not be the so-called women's movement, but the lack of spiritual leadership by men at home and in the church. Satan has achieved an amazing tactical victory by disseminating the notion that the summons for male leadership is born of pride and fallenness, when in fact pride is precisely what prevents spiritual leadership. The spiritual aimlessness and weakness and lethargy and loss of nerve among men is the major issue, not the upsurge of interest in women's ministries.

Pride and self-pity and fear and laziness and confusion are luring many men into self-protecting, self-exalting cocoons of silence. And to the degree that this makes room for women to take more leadership it is sometimes even endorsed as a virtue. But I believe that deep down the men and the women-know better.3

It is the issue of the abdication of men from spiritual leadership that this study on the judgeship of Deborah addresses. Biblical manhood and womanhood are lost when men, fail to exercise their headship and lead as well as when women seek to move into a vacuum of authority to pursue a headship equal with men.

This study presupposes the affirmations of the Danvers Statement of Faith on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.4 In particular its affirmations on headship are found in points 2, 3, and 5.

2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart.

3. Adam's headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin.

5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women. Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community.5

With the above presupposition in mind, the lives and accomplishments of Deborah, Barak, Heber, and Jael are taken up as a commentary on the loss, for a time, of Biblical manhood and womanhood.

I. Historical Background

Judges takes up the history of Israel after the land was divided among the tribes as a result of the conquests of Joshua. Each tribe was to subdue its portion of the promised land before the Lord. The record contained in Judges shows that each tribe and the nation as a whole would fail miserably again and again to uphold the standards and the Laws of God that were designed to bring about victory.

As the nation would turn from the Lord, His Law and Commands, the Lord would allow for the prosperity and expansion of power of Israel's enemies that surrounded them. They would rise up as oppressors to the Israelites. Israel would then call out to the Lord for deliverance. The Lord would raise up a deliverer, a judge, who would lead the nation back to their place of prominence over the enemy nations.

The record given to us in Judges is an accurate account of God using persons and personages who were available and usable at different points when most of the nation was suffering from the effects of rebellion towards God and disobedience to His Laws and standards. Deborah arises in the midst of such a situation. The conditions of Israel are noted in her song as terrible. The highways are unoccupied, travelers took back ways, and outlying villages ceased to exist because of the oppression of enemies (Judges 5:6-7). She did not live during ordinary times nor under ordinary circumstances, yet God would use her as a women because the men had abdicated their spiritual and leadership responsibilities.

II. The Four "Hats" of Deborah

Deborah, has four specific titles and functions as wife, mother, prophetess, and judge.

Judges 4:4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading (judging) Israel at that time. (NIV)

Judges 5:7 Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. (NIV)

A. Deborah as Wife and Mother

The fulfillment of her callings as wife and mother are perfectly in keeping with some of the highest and most blessed affirmations of womanhood.

Deborah was married and normal married life would have brought forth children. No mention is made of any children nor of her family beyond her husband, Lappidoth. This does not mean that children did not exist, but they are unimportant to God's purposes in this account. Deborah does picture herself as "a mother in Israel" to which the commentators Keil and Delitzsch say was "on account of her having watched over her people with maternal care, just as Job calls himself a father to the poor who had been supported by him (Job 29:16)..."6 AS Deborah would rise to the Judgeship of Israel she would rule as a mother - a proper and wonderful fulfillment of her womanhood. The problem she would have was not her own, but she would have "to mother" men in Israel who should have been leaders and who would have to be encouraged and led back to their positions of leadership.

B. Deborah as a Prophetess

Besides being a wife and mother, Deborah had the ministry of prophetess. The gift and ministry of prophetess is a well documented gift and office that was given to women in both the Old as well as the New Testament. The Scripture calls attention to both Godly prophetesses who proclaimed according to the Word of God as well as prophetesses who did not prophesy according to the Word of God. The prophetesses mentioned in the Scriptures include:

1. Godly Prophetesses

-Miriam, sister to Moses, who is called a prophetess in Exodus 15:20 and exercised a specifically mentioned ministry of leading the women in singing. (Exodus 15:21).

-Huldah, consulted during the days of Josiah, in 2 Kings 22:14-20, had a specific ministry of individual consultation for both men and women.

-Deborah, was a prophetess during the period of the Judges (Judges 4-5). Information about the exercise of her gift is mixed in with her being a judge, which shall be taken up later. However from the information given, her gift of prophetess also involved private consultation with the children of Israel (Judges 4:5-6).

-Anna the prophetess appears in the New Testament and also has a specific ministry attached to her gift of "serving God with fasting and prayers" (Luke 2:36-38).

-Philip's four daughters all prophesied as stated in Acts 21:9. The exercise of their gift, in context was before Paul, and was probably under the directives given in 1 Corinthians 11:15.

-The Lord's directives on women prophesying as found in 1 Corinthians 11:15 allowed for many more women to exercise this ministry, but always under the biblical restrictions of being under the God ordained headship of the man as found in the context of 1 Corinthians 11.

2. False Prophetesses

-Noadiah was a prophetess during the days of Nehemiah who was not prophesying according to the Word of God (Nehemiah 6:14).

-Prophetesses during the days of Ezekiel were admonished by Ezekiel for prophesying according to their own heart and not prophesying according to the Word of God. (Ezekiel 13:17-24).

Deborah's gift of prophetess is clearly taught and upheld in the Scriptures. The question on how the gift was used is not fully understood. The conflict arises when Evangelical feminism imposes a supposed function of the gift of prophetess over an above the clear restrictions placed upon women to be under the Godly headship of men.7 The function of the prophetess is not necessarily the same as that of the prophet.

William Weinrich, in his contribution to Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood quotes Origen from the third century to show that this was understood early in Church history.

Commenting on 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Origen (third century) criticizes the Montanist prophetesses. Apparently the Montanists justified their prophetesses by an appeal to the four prophet daughters of Philip and to Old Testament prophetesses. To this Origen replies: "If the daughters of Philip prophesied, at least they did not speak in the assemblies; for we do not find this fact in the Acts of the Apostles." Deborah, Miriam, and Huldah were prophetesses. Yet, "there is no evidence that Deborah delivered speeches to the people, as did Jeremias and Isaias." Miriam and Huldah also did not speak to the people. Similarly, in the Gospel the prophetess Anna "did not speak publicly." The apostolic statements in 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:22 correspond to the Biblical history.8

When properly understood, Deborah's gift of prophetess was a woman's ministry that functioned in harmony with God's design of male headship. The gift of prophetess was a normal and proper biblical gift for women of the Old Testament and pre-Canon New Testament periods to exercise. As such it would not have been exercised contrary to clear New Testament teachings. The very fact that the Apostle Paul encourages women to prophesy in 1 Corinthians 11:5 places women prophesying into the very context of recognizing the headship of the man. Thomas Schreiner rightly observes this when he writes:

That women prophesied to men is clear in the case of Deborah, other women cited above, and 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. The last passage cited, however, is absolutely crucial for rightly understanding a woman's relationship to man as she prophecies. What is Paul's concern in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16? It is that women who prophesy do so with proper adornment. Why is Paul concerned about how they are adorned? Because a woman's adornment says something about her relationship with men (11:3-20). Indeed, .... 11:3 is the key to the passage: "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God" (NIV). Thus, the reason Paul wants women to be adorned properly is that this adornment shows that a woman is submissive to male headship, even while prophesying. The way she is adorned indicates whether the man is the head, i.e., the authority.

The implications for our study are clear. Paul affirms that women can prophesy, but even in the process of prophesying they are to do so in a manner and with a demeanor that will not violate male headship. Paul does not place the same limits on men, and thus upholds and preserves the notion that male leadership is God's ordained pattern in the church. Note carefully that this does not mean that women will not prophesy in church. Paul affirms that women have prophetic gifts, and he wants them to exercise those gifts in church, but he does not want them to overturn male leadership.9

Therefore, Deborah's gift of prophetess, when properly understood, poses no problem to biblical womanhood nor biblical manhood. She would have functioned as a biblical prophetess and be completely in keeping with God's standards and guidelines of biblical womanhood.

C. Deborah as Judge

The fourth "hat" worn by Deborah is that of being "judge" in Israel. Evangelical feminists consider Deborah particularly significant to their case because she functioned as a judge over Israel, which included the judging of men, and she exercised authority over the man Barak, the commander over Israelite troops.10 This fact is only part of the story. It is extremely important that the larger context and immediate context of Deborah's judgeship be understood.

1. Overview of Deborah's Judgeship

I believe that the context of Deborah's judgeship shows that she "arose" as a Godly wife and prophetess to fill a vacuum of male leadership which had abdicated its spiritual and leadership responsibilities. The men of Deborah's generation had lost the essence of biblical manhood and would be dishonored for abdicating their leadership positions. At the same time, Deborah and Jael would minister to a nation to relieve its oppression and to the men who needed to be "mothered" back to the forefront into their leadership positions.

Deborah's judgeship was not normal but abnormal, yet by her attitudes and actions, Deborah would function properly in a woman's ministry that was not in competition with, but seeking to fill the vacuum of male leadership by helping reestablish that male leadership.

2. Judges, the Large Context

The basic structure of Judges upholds the principle of blessing and judgment that was summarized for Israel in Deuteronomy 28. God promised blessing for obedience and judgment for disobedience. As Joshua would divide the land of Canaan among the twelve tribes, each tribe was to act in obedience to the Lord and gradually subdue their territory by obedience to the Laws of the Lord that included either evangelizing or driving out the Canaanites.

Initially Judges reports that the Israelites were faithful in their obedience to the Lord (Judges 1:1-7). However, their faithfulness did not continue. One by one the tribes of Israel progressively did not fully obey the Lord and conquer their portions of the Land (1:18-36). The Lord's evaluation is found in Judges 2:1-5.

Judges 2:1-5 1 The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, `I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3 Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you." 4 When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD. (NIV)

It would be from this point on that the cyclical ups and downs, deliverances and oppressions of Israel are presented. When Israel began to immerse themselves into the culture and faiths of the Canaanites, honor other gods, and disobey God's Word, God would send oppression and judgment. When the people cried out to the Lord in their oppression, God would send a deliverer, a judge to lead Israel out from under the oppressors. As God was honored and His Word obeyed, the tribes prospered, were at peace, and were blessed by the Lord.

3. The Immediate Context

Deborah is the fourth judge in the presentation of the up and down cycles of Israel. Immediate to the context of her judgeship is the failure of Israel to follow the Lord and His Word. Sometimes the failures took the form of making covenants with the Canaanites (which were forbidden), worshiping their gods, or intermarriage. This particular cycle of disobedience, included the fact that the men had abdicated their spiritual and leadership responsibilities. No mention is made of any other voices for the Lord who are men. When it comes to military leadership, the other possible leader mentioned, Barak, will refuse to take the leadership. Piper and Grudem agree that Deborah's position of leadership over the men in spiritual and authoritative areas is not normal but abnormal.

The differentiation of roles for men and women in ministry is rooted not in women's incompetence to receive or transmit truth, but in the primary responsibility of men in God's order to lead and teach. The instances of women who prophesied and led do not call this order into question. Rather, there are pointers in each case that the women followed their unusual paths in a way that endorsed and honored the usual leadership of men, or indicted their failures to lead.

For example, Miriam, the prophetess, focused her ministry, as far as we can tell, on the women of Israel (Exodus 15:20). Deborah, a prophetess, judge, and mother in Israel (Judges 4:4; 5:7), along with Jael (Judges 5:24-27), was a living indictment of the weakness of Barak and other men in Israel who should have been more courageous leaders (Judges 4:9). (The period of the judges is an especially

precarious foundation for building a vision of God's ideal for leadership. In those days God was not averse to bringing about states of affairs that did not conform to His revealed will in order to achieve some wise purpose [cf. Judges 14:4].)11

Thus, the context of Deborah's judgeship is a picture of biblical manhood being absent or lost and the position that Deborah found herself filling, was not a true picture of the sum of biblical womanhood, but rather of a faithful biblical woman who took on the additional responsibilities of biblical manhood in the absence and abdication of the men.12 This is not the ideal model nor example as Piper and Grudem agree.

We must also keep in mind that God's granting power or revelation to a person is no sure sign that this person is an ideal model for us to follow in every respect. This is evident, for example, from the fact that some of those God blessed in the Old Testament were polygamists (e.g. Abraham and David). Not even the gift of prophecy is proof of a person's obedience and endorsement by God. As strange as this sounds, Matthew 7:22, 1 Corinthians 13:2, and 1 Samuel 19:23-24 show that this is so. Moreover, in the case of each woman referred to above we have an instance of a charismatic emergence on the scene, not an installation to the ordinary Old Testament office of priest, which was the responsibility of men.13

III. Details on the Loss of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

1. At the point that Deborah rises to assume leadership, the men, exemplified by Barak, who refused to accept his biblical headship, and Heber,14 a covenant maker with Jabin and husband of Jael, failed to assume their positions of biblical manhood. The result was disobedience to the Lord and the bringing on of the oppression of the Canaanites under Jabin.

In the prophecies of Isaiah, God pronounces that one of the signs of a people under judgment will be a reversal of roles to find women ruling over men. In Isaiah 3:1-5 the context is judgment upon God's people. In Isaiah 3:12 part of the judgment is women ruling over the men in a reversal of roles.

Isaiah 3:11-13 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. 12 Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. 13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. (NIV)

The role of Deborah was not as a tool of God's judgment, but as an indictment against the men who had lost sight of the position and responsibilities of biblical manhood.

2. Deborah is not pictured as having been "installed" by the Lord to her position as a judge, but as one rising to the position. Although this is a weak argument from silence, it is also stated by Schreiner.

It is perhaps also significant that most of the other prominent judges in the book of Judges are explicitly said to have been raised up by the Lord: Othniel (3:9), Ehud (3:l5), Gideon (6:l4), Jephthah (11:29), and Samson (33:25; 14:6). But in the case of Deborah, there is no explicit statement that the Lord raised her up: we simply read, "Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time" (Judges 4:4).15

Deborah herself proclaims in her song that she "arose as a mother in Israel" (Judges 5:7). In the beginning context of her song, Deborah proclaims the conditions in Israel of abandoned roads, travel by hidden paths, and the cessation outlying villages. Clearly, nothing was being done about it through responsible male leadership. As a result, she would arise as a woman to fill the male position as judge in the midst of the vacuum of power.

In calling herself a "mother in Israel," it seems that she pictured her role as a temporary leader over men - as a natural mother - to encourage them back into their headship and leadership roles. Deborah sought to give Barak the leadership, but he refused to take it. For his refusal to assume the responsibility and leadership of biblical manhood, Barak was told that he would be dishonored in that Sisera would be delivered into the hand of a woman - Jael. Schreiner calls attention to this in his essay on women's ministries.

Deborah is a special case because she seems to be the only judge in Judges who has no military function. The other judges also lead Israel into victory in battle, but Deborah receives a word from the Lord that Barak is to do this (Judges 4:6-7). Deborah is not asserting leadership for herself; she gives priority to a man. (2) There is an implied rebuke of Barak because he is not willing to go to battle without Deborah (Judges 4:18). Because of his reluctance, the glory that day will go to a woman (Judges 4:9), but note that the woman is not Deborah but Jael (Judges 4:l7ff.). In other words, Deborah did speak the word of God, but her attitude and demeanor were such that she was not asserting her leadership. Instead, she handed over the leadership, contrary to the pattern of all the other judges, to a man.16

3. Barak abdicated his headship as a man and would not go to battle without Deborah (Judges 4:8). As Deborah accompanied Barak to Mount Tabor, she was not competing with him to take authority as a biblical woman over the armies of Israel, but she encouraged him as a mother and gave him a second chance to take back his biblical manhood and lead. Barak took this second challenge and led ten thousand Israelites against Sisera (Judges 4:14). Having taken a first step of faith back into his biblical manhood, God honored it by giving him victory over the king of Canaan, Jabin's armies (Judges 4:15).

Barak, now functioning under his role of biblical manhood, continued in pursuit of the scattering armies and of Sisera on foot. However, as Deborah had said, Barak would not be honored with the victory because of his earlier refusal to assume male headship. Sisera would be delivered into the hand of the woman Jael (Judges 4;18-22).

After the battle was completed and the victory was won, both Deborah and Barak joined in the praise Song of Judges 5. The oppressors had been defeated, the men in the armies of Israel had participated in a military victory, and Deborah had successfully functioned as a mother to thrust Barak back into a position where he again functioned as head and leader in Israel.

In the concluding verse on this chapter of Israel's history, Judges 5:31, it is simply stated that the land would have rest for forty years. What is absent is whether or not Deborah continued to exercise a role of judge for the rest of those forty years? Based upon Judges 5:12, I choose to believe that she returned to her main ministry as prophetess and the men, restored to their positions of biblical manhood, returned to positions of spiritual leadership, headship, and responsibility. The song of Deborah alludes to the difference in roles as God states (Judges 5:12)...

Judges 5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.

Barak took the role of leading "captivity captive," while Deborah returned to her complimentary ministry of "doctrinal" songs as a prophetess.

IV. Summary and Conclusion

1. Biblical manhood was lost because of a failure of the men to take spiritual responsibility (Heber) and leadership responsibility (Barak). The men were in conflict with the Lord in obedience (Barak), in serving the Lord (Heber), in conflict with themselves (both), and in the case of Heber, in conflict with his wife Jael over serving the Lord.

2. Deborah did not pursue a feminist/equality expansion of her biblical womanhood, but arose as a judge by default being found in this position and used of the Lord due to the vacuum caused by a lack of leadership on the part of the men. In this position Deborah took upon herself to serve not as a feminist in competition, but as "a mother" seeking to lead immature sons (the men of Israel) to the maturity of their headships and proper roles under biblical manhood.

3. Under the headship mandates of a biblical manhood, Barak would begin as a failure. However, as he was "mothered" into decision and action by Deborah through the proper understanding of his role and her role, Barak saw his headship, leadership, and role in biblical manhood restored.

4. In this interpretation, Deborah shines as a magnificent example of how to be used as a tool of God's judgment. Under this judgment (Isaiah 3:12), a women rose to rule in Israel. She did not seek to pervert nor confuse the roles of biblical manhood or womanhood as Evangelical feminism has sought to do. She simply filled the vacuum understanding her proper role under biblical womanhood as well as the role of Godly men. Deborah then used her position to encourage and cause a return of the men (exemplified by Barak) to biblical manhood. In the end she was successful and God's blessing was bestowed.

In conclusion, remember that God's order of masculine spiritual headship, leadership, and responsibility and feminine order as "help­meet" honoring and affirming that leadership is God's own chosen order. Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood can be lost when one or both sexes fail to understand, believe, and uphold His order. The quickest way to lose it is for the men to abdicate their responsibilities or to translate spiritual headship into some master-slave mentality. The way to further ruination is for the women, in the midst of men's failures, to assume and promote some form of non-biblical equality and move themselves permanently into God ordained masculine positions.

If women ruling over men is part of God's judgment (Isaiah 3:12), then the quickest way out of that judgment is to proclaim true biblical manhood and womanhood to both sexes and become obedient to His standards. If leadership has been placed with the men (and it has) then it begins with the men to assume biblical leadership now! The rest should fall into place.

Selected Bibliography

Bush, George. Notes on Judges. Originally published by Newman and Ivison. New York, 1852. Minneapolis: James & Klock, 1976.

Jordan, James. Judges: God's War Against Humanism. Tyler: Geneva Ministries, 1985.

Keil, C.F. and Delitzsch, F. Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968.

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1991.


* Copyright notice: The information in this paper is made available to be used and can be used freely as long as proper credit is given as to its source.

1George Gilder, Men and Marriage, (Gretna, 1986), p. 5.

2Ibid., p. 7.

3John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, 1991), p. 53.

4Danvers Statement of Faith - The Danvers Statement of Faith was composed by concerned evangelical pastors, professors, and lay people who formed the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 1987. The statement was finalized in Danvers, Massachusetts, in December 1987. It was made public in November 1988 in Wheaton, Illinois, and published in an advertisement in Christianity Today, January 13, 1989.

5Danvers Statement, Published in Piper and Grudem, op. cit., pp. 469-472.

6C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes, (Grand Rapids, 1968), II, p.312.

7The conflict involves the Feminist idea that the female gift of "prophetess" must be in total equality with the male gift of "prophet." The issue of equality is raised above the specific biblical evidences. Any supposed equality in the prophetess having a gift to be exercised just like the gift of prophet is an arguement from silence. The Scriptures do not portray prophetesses functioning contrary to the teachings of the New Testament to pursue leadership in competition and equality with the leadership of men. In fact, the women named in the Bible as propheteses all seem to have ministries complimentary to male leadership when it existed.

8William Weinrich, Recovering op. cit., p. 275.

9Thomas Schreiner, Recovering op. cit., p. 215.

10Ibid., p. 211.

11Piper and Grudem, Recovering op. cit., p. 72.

12The fact that Deborah could and did take on the added responsibilities of male leadership, as well as the act of the woman Jael in slaying Sisera, the military leader, shows that the issue is not incompetence, inability, nor strength. Women are well able to adapt themselves to carry out male roles. The issue is one of the God ordained order of male headship. In light of the God-ordained order, God has suited each sex to their positions, but to argue on the basis of superiority or inferiority is to miss an important point and lower the level of arguement to "my sex is better than yours."

13Piper and Grudem, Recovering op. cit., p. 72.

14Heber, the husband of Jael the slayer of enemy general Sisera and victor in the battle, is an example of the failure of biblical manhood. He was a Kenite. Moses father-in-law was a Kenite and Heber's family had undoubted converted from Baal worship to the worship of the Lord God. Heber had apostasized from the Godly Kenites, including his wife, to establish a covenant with Jabin (Judges 4:17). He and his wife were in conflict over the worship of the Lord. Moreover, Heber would give "classified" information on the troop movements of Barak and the armies of Israel. His wife, Jael, who took the Lord's side in this conflict would be vindicated as she was given the ultimate victory in the conflict and called "most blessed of women" (Judges 5:24).

15Schreiner, Recovering op. cit., p. 216.

16Ibid., p. 216.