Have The Roles Of Men And Women Established In The Old Testament Become Obsolete?
Some have made the argument that the roles of men and women established in the Old Testament have become obsolete because we are no longer under the Mosaic law. They will even point out that Paul stated that the roles of men and women were rooted in “the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34,35). They will then claim that we are no longer under “the law” and therefore we are at liberty to allow women to engage in the authoritative roles of the church and the home. Here is their argument in a syllogism:
Major Premise: All actions that are regulated by the Old Testament are laws that became obsolete.
Minor Premise: The roles of men and women are actions that are regulated by the Old Testament - “the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34,35).
Conclusion: Therefore, the roles of men and women are laws that became obsolete (Matthew 5:17-20; Colossians 2:14-17; Ephesians 2:14-16).
The syllogism is properly constructed, but is it sound (true)? No.
The following proves that it is not sound:
Major Premise: All acts that are regulated by the Old Testament are laws that became obsolete.
Minor Premise: The act of prohibiting murder is an act that is regulated by the Old Testament - “the law” (Exodus 20:13).
Conclusion: Therefore, the act of prohibiting murder is a law that has become obsolete (Romans 13:9).
There are eternal principles that overlap the covenants that God has made. [NOTE: Please consult our questions: “Are We Obligated To Obey The Principles of the Old Testament?” and “Are We Obligated To Obey The Specific Details Of The Old Testament?”. We discover that we are no longer bound to the specific details of the old covenant (Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:14-17), but we are obligated to obey the principles of the old covenant if they were brought forth into the new covenant, as is the case concerning the roles of men and women.]
When Paul is stating “the law” in 1 Corinthians 14:34,35, he is elsewhere referring to the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 where God established the roles of men and women (1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16), not particularly to the Mosaic covenant that was presented to the nation of Israel from Exodus 20 to the end of Deuteronomy.
No, the roles of men and women did not become obsolete. They are lasting principles that have been carried/reiterated throughout the dispensations of mankind and they are still binding upon us today.
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