Event Title

What Was So Attractive in Artemis/Diana Worship, and What Was the Rationale for Christians Not to Follow Pagan Ideology?

Location

Seminary Room N110

Start Date

15-2-2019 8:55 AM

End Date

15-2-2019 9:15 AM

Description

The last few decades of archaeological research in Ephesus have revealed new insights into the context of Paul’s writings. In the past many commentators have assumed that the Artemis cult was sex-saturated at the time of Paul, and therefore interpreted the biblical texts from that perspective. However, more recent scholarship has suggested the opposite. Mystery religions elevated the status of women. In the creation narrative of Artemis, the woman was born first. In refraining from everything that is part of a marriage, women could reach salvation. It is therefore not surprising that Paul addressed issues connected to women (creation, marriage, women’s clothing, hair, and giving birth). Context may help to explain why he expressed himself the way he did, especially in difficult passages about women that today many readers find hard to understand, for example, that women could be saved through childbearing. It is far easier and more understandable to read the writings of Paul as an apology against false teachings in connection to the Artemis worship in Ephesus. It takes away the misunderstanding that he writes to women in general when in some texts he most probably addresses wives and in other texts women who earlier had been followers of the goddess Artemis.

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Feb 15th, 8:55 AM Feb 15th, 9:15 AM

What Was So Attractive in Artemis/Diana Worship, and What Was the Rationale for Christians Not to Follow Pagan Ideology?

Seminary Room N110

The last few decades of archaeological research in Ephesus have revealed new insights into the context of Paul’s writings. In the past many commentators have assumed that the Artemis cult was sex-saturated at the time of Paul, and therefore interpreted the biblical texts from that perspective. However, more recent scholarship has suggested the opposite. Mystery religions elevated the status of women. In the creation narrative of Artemis, the woman was born first. In refraining from everything that is part of a marriage, women could reach salvation. It is therefore not surprising that Paul addressed issues connected to women (creation, marriage, women’s clothing, hair, and giving birth). Context may help to explain why he expressed himself the way he did, especially in difficult passages about women that today many readers find hard to understand, for example, that women could be saved through childbearing. It is far easier and more understandable to read the writings of Paul as an apology against false teachings in connection to the Artemis worship in Ephesus. It takes away the misunderstanding that he writes to women in general when in some texts he most probably addresses wives and in other texts women who earlier had been followers of the goddess Artemis.