Good Example Of Thecla: Before And After Critical Thinking
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. ("Bible Gateway Passage: 1 Timothy 2 - New International Version.")
Thecla’s clear submission to the teachings of Paul would garner her favor in the eyes of the author of 1 Timothy. Her desire to hear Paul tell her the Word of God was so strong that she gave up getting married to follow him. She was obedient to what God told her to do, I could see the author holding Thecla up as a model for women to follow at this point.
As Thecla goes through various trials, she is always spared by God. Her continued faith in God throughout the trials would be something that the author of the Pastoral Epistles would admire. In 1 Timothy 1:18b-19a it says, “I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience” ("Bible Gateway Passage: 1 Timothy 2 - New International Version."). Thecla makes the choice to be unafraid, and pray through each trial. This is what the author would have done as well. Finally, she is baptized. After her baptism, she gains a following. In the beginning it was women following her, and who she led to know God. This is something the author of the Pastoral Epistles would have admired and encouraged.
The issue comes when, “Thecla kept seeking Paul; and it was told her that he was in Myra of Lycia. And taking young men and maidens, she girded herself; and having sewed the tunic so as to make a man's cloak” ("The Acts of Paul and Thecla."). The quote above from 1 Timothy makes it clear that the author of the Pastoral Epistles is against women being in any kind of authority over men. The author also has a clear ideal of appropriate dress for women. Thecla not only takes young men as her followers, she also dresses as a man. There is no way this would be acceptable. The author expects women to dress in a proper manner, which would not draw attention. A women dressed in men’s clothing in this time period would definitely draw attention and be considered inappropriate.
"Bible Gateway Passage: 1 Timothy 2 - New International Version." Bible Gateway. Biblegateway.com, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2015.
"The Acts of Paul and Thecla." New Advent. Newadvent,org, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2015.
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