Podcast Episode #16

Our Discussion

What is the role of women in the church, and how has it changed from biblical times to the present? Our special guest for today is Dr. Lynn Cohick, Provost, Academic Dean, and Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary University! She will be providing us with her incredible insight as we take a close look into the role of women in the Bible and in the church today. We’ll discuss the interpretations of women in scripture, including the misconceptions and concerns regularly attached to them, so that we can gain a better understanding of the text and what it means.

We then shift gears in order to talk about reframing the discussion around women in the church, as well as approaching historical reconstruction. How do we recognize our modern biases and the influences it has over the way we view scripture? What are the differences of honor-shame standards of antiquity compared to today? What are the ways we can reinterpret Paul’s speech about the veil? We’ll be exploring all these questions and more! Join us and find new ways to better understand the text and the word of God today!

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Interpreting and analyzing the role of women in the Bible, from a modern lens and an ancient one.
  • Honor-shame standards of today versus the honor-shame standards of antiquity.
  • The honor behind women’s hair, and reinterpreting Paul’s speech about the veil.
  • How to better understand the text.
  • Reframing the role of women in the church today.

About Lynn Cohick

Lynn Cohick earned her Ph.D. in New Testament and Christian Origins from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After 18 years as professor of New Testament and Biblical Studies at Wheaton College (serving as department chair and dean toward the end of my time there), she accepted the invitation to join Denver Seminary as their Provost / Dean. Currently, she serves as Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs of Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois. Some of her many publications include: Ephesians in New International Commentary on the New Testament. (2020); Christian Women in the Patristic World (Co-authored with Amy B. Hughes, 2017); Women in the World of the Earliest Christians, (2009).


  • 0:00:00 Introducing special guest Dr. Lynn Cohick, the current Provost and Academic Dean at Northern Seminary University!
  • 0:01:30 What brings you to Phoenix?
  • 0:03:30 What are the most common questions and concerns you receive from women?
  • 0:06:35 What misinterpretations about women in the Bible do you see most often?
  • 0:10:20 The role of women in the New Testament era.
  • 0:13:15 How do we sexualize interpretations of women?
  • 0:20:10 The honor-shame standards of today versus honor-shame standards in the past.
  • 0:23:30 What is the modern Western view of head coverings for women?
  • 0:25:20 Is there agency in choosing culturally conservative modesty?
  • 0:28:55 How is a woman’s hair related to honor?
  • 0:31:20 Why could Paul be making a theological argument, not a cultural one, in 1 Corinthians?
  • 0:33:30 Could the issue have been from men trying to push a false theology of creation?
  • 0:36:20 How was the theology of creation reinterpreted to help reinforce the patriarchy?
  • 0:38:15 The benefit of text being written in character.
  • 0:41:45 What do we need to recognize about how text was written back then?
  • 0:42:55 What was Paul trying to say during his speech about the veil?
  • 0:45:35 What does “eternally begotten” mean and why was it stressed by Paul?
  • 0:49:30 How can we start to better understand the text?
  • 0:51:35 How can we better understand women in the text?
  • 0:55:55 How should we frame the discussion of the role of women in the church?
  • 1:00:20 Navigating the framing of Ephesians 5.
  • 1:03:25 How do our modern ideals and biases influence the way we read scripture?
  • 1:06:00 What would you say to people who fear historical reconstruction?
  • 1:10:00 How do you determine the burden of proof?
  • 1:14:10 What mindset should we approach the scriptures with?

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