Men should lead? Responding to Wbmoore (Foreword)

Wbmoore recently put together a men-should-lead post in response to this, which I commented on Wintery Knight’s blog:

How much Bible evidence can you give for husbands’ authority over wifes, or ruler of homes? To recap, verses telling slaves to obey DO NOT teach that God’s design is for masters to have authority as slave owners, and verses telling women to submit should be read in a similar fashion.If you want to develop a Bible doctrine of male authority being God’s plan from the “women submit” verses, it would be as much a fallacy, as to develop a doctrine of slave owner authority being God’s plan from the teachings to slaves.

So give any verses that teaches men should be spiritual leaders, or should be heads of households.

His argument could sound good to the unwary, to those who have been spoonfed themen-should-lead view from a young age, or men who in their pride and sin want to order others around. Sadly, what he sees in scripture just is not there. I ask you dear reader, to look out in his post for the one thing I assert is not present in scripture: Any Biblical orders that gives husbands the right/ responsibility to rule their wifes.

I will split this into 3 parts not to have it so long.

Part 1 Does creation and the fall make men leaders?; Does submission verses mean that men are to rule?

Part 2 Headship; Could we read that Timothy verse on face value?

Part 3 Ruling the household, ad hominems instead of answering

Why is there so little extra-biblical evidence of Jesus?

Once upon a time, about 75 years ago, an avid motor sport enthuisiast, R.A. Cing, set up a motor sport library. Over the next 30 years he collected reports of races all over Europe. Words like “Grand Prix” were found right through his library. Names like Tazio Nuvolari and Juan Manuel Fangio cropped up everywhere. He was so complete in his collection of motor racing data that the overwhelming majority of newspaper reports and other information on motor racing, had a copy of it in his library. He had some films and photo footage taken at races(there were no video cameras or DVD cameras then), that nobody else had.

Last year, some people started doubting wether these races that the library spoke of actually happened. They pointed out that:

a) Much of the library’s information do not exist anywhere else.
b) Those race programs and newspaper reports on old races that are found outside the R.A. Cing Library (RACL), mostly also has copies of them inside the library.
c) There are some contradictory reports in RACL, for example two reporters disagreeing on wether driver X or driver Y caused a certain accident.

From that, they concluded that RACL reports are faked, that most racers in the library never raced, that most of those races never happened. (Fictitious story)

And that is the main mistake in complaining that there is little extra-biblical evidence of Jesus.

Right from the beginning of Christianity, Jesus’s followers collected all the best and most reliable data about him, and made it part of what they kept. Some time later, they made an official list of all the best and most reliable material they have, the material they already valued most. That list was called the Bible.

And now people ask why there is little extra-biblical evidence of Jesus. What we actually have, that is wrongly called very little, is:

-> 27 documents collected in the New Testament, and some of those has quotes from even earlier sources
-> several 1st/2nd century Jewish references to him, including at least 3 in the Talmud and more than 1 from Josephus.
-> 10 pre-AD 50 (within 20 years of the death of Jesus) creedal confessions, and at least 7 other 1st/ 2nd century Christian writers
->at least 7 Pagan 1st/ 2nd century historians mentioning him

There is a wealth of early evidence of Jesus. Not to mention the wealth of other early evidence confirming Christianity and New Testament facts in other ways (outside the scope of this blog entry), without talking directly about Jesus.

Could the world have repopulated from 3 or 4 woman as is implied in the most literal way of reading the Noah’s ark story?

I got a confession to make: I started the calculations below with the assumption: “Genesis should in some places be read figuratively. Now what objective way can I proof that to other Christians? I know! I’ll show them how it is mathematically impossible for the earth to repopulate quickly enough after Noah!” Oops. When I finished the sums, the result did nothing to prove my stated objective. Here are my calculations:

Why these calculations will be inadequate:

a) Many believers hold that the flood in Genesis could be correctly understood as a local, instead of global flood. As such, it may not have been needed to repopulate the world from the few women on the ark.

b) The geneaologies of Genesis mentions very long life spans, and men who apparently still fathered children for a long part of those centuries. It don’t mention women’s ages in those geneaologies. It is very likely to assume, though, that if men in those times literally stayed reproductive for centuries, that women could have done the same. That means that each of them could have concieved many more children than in the calculations below.

c) Some Bible scholars also believe that the Hebrew word for “son” could also mean “grandson,” “great-grandson,” etc. In that case, the earth had even more generations to repopulate before the Tower of Babel or before Abraham encountered other nations.

However, here are calculations using my modern assumptions on how long woman can stay fertile, and assuming the fewest number of generations: These two assumptions are as strict as can be. If I assumed longer fertility times (argument b), or more generations (argument c), I would have made the job of proving the Genesis account a lot easier.

(It may seem strange to assume that a woman can have, on average, 3 or 3,5 daughters in a lifetime – thus 6 or 7 children. But in the times before birth control it was not rare for woman to have much larger families than that. One of my grandmothers married at 28, the other at age 30 – yet they each gave birth 6 times.)

The numbers below only represent the girls and women of the new generation. You could assume that there are still older woman too, and about as many men and boys as woman and girls.

SCENARIO 1: Each woman has, on average, 3 daughters who reach adulthood, and gets her girls on average at age 25

From the ark comes 3 woman of child-bearing age =3

25 years later: 3×3 young woman/ girls of next generation.

50 years later: 3x3x3

100 years later: 3 to the power of 5

200 years later: 3 to the power of 9 =19 683

350 years later: 3 to the power of 15 =14 348 907
500 years later: 3 to the power of 21= 10 460 353 203 (More young woman and girls than there are people in the world now.)

SCENARIO 2: Each woman has, on average, 3,5 daughters who reach adulthood, and get her girls on average at age 25 (Rounded off to whole numbers.)

From the ark comes 3 woman of child-bearing age =3

25 years later: 3×3,5 young woman/ girls of next generation =10 or 11

50 years later: 3×3,5×3,5 = 37

100 yr.: 3x(3,5 to the power of 4) =450

200 yr.: 3x(3,5 to the power of 8 ) =67 556

350 yr.: 3x(3,5 to the power of 14) =124 186 354

450 yr.: 3x(3,5 to the power of 18) =18 635 714 698
(More than double as many young woman and girls than there are people in the world now.)

The bible first mentions contact with other nations again, after the flood, at a time when Abram was older than 75 years. (Before that, it mentions nations in 2 ways: Mostly in the sense of “So-and-so was the forefather of this nation.” Secondly in the story “the tower of Babel,” an explanation why the one group split up into nations.)

Since the exact ages of Abraham’s forefathers are mentioned when they became fathers, it could be calculated that more than 367 years have expired from the ark until the date Abraham gets into contact with other nations. By either of my scenarios, there could have been more enough people on earth for different nations to exist.

The descendants of Noah could well have splattered into several large nations by the time Abram encounters other nations.

Conclusion: It is mathematically possible to believe that the earth could have repopulated from a 3 woman in a few centuries. It may not be necessary to assume that it happened (other options are mentioned in the “Why these calculations will be inadequate” paragraph), but it is possible.