March 30th, 2019| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


My current project is a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles—1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.

Not surprisingly, one of the major struggles I face is with 1 Timothy 2:11–15, Paul’s exhortation regarding the role and behavior of women in the corporate setting of the church. Its 51 words (in the Greek text) have generated at least 652 journal articles (that I found listed in a theological database), not counting the quires, reams, bundles, bales, and pallets of paper that have been consumed on this section in commentaries.

One of the verses in this thorny section goes this way:

For it was Adam who was first created, then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:13

And just the other day, I saw this in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) by neurologists and neuroscientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri: “Persistent Metabolic Youth in the Aging Female Brain.”

Here’s the long and short of it:

Prior work has identified many sex differences in the brain, including during brain aging and in neurodegenerative diseases. Notably, many of these studies are performed by comparing age-matched females and males. Evolutionary theorists have predicted that females might have more youthful brains …. We find that in terms of brain metabolism, the adult female brain is on average a few years younger than the male brain.”

In humans, normal aging is associated with a decline in the metabolism of the brain, how it utilizes energy—”from a mixture of nonoxidative and oxidative use of glucose to predominantly oxidative metabolism.” In order to study if sex difference was a factor in brain metabolism, they studied the brains of 205 cognitively normal individuals (from 20 to 82 years old) employing PET scans that measured a variety of metabolic readouts.

The mean metabolic brain age (minus actual age) was on average 3.8 y less for females compared with males (n = 108 females and 76 males, 95% CI 1.0–6.6 y, P < 0.010 ttest, Cohen’s d > 0.40).”

So they conclude:

Our results demonstrate that from an in vivo metabolic view, throughout the adult life span the typical female brain is more youthful … than the male brain.”

Well, what’s new?

Way back in the first century, a guy called Mark wrote an unusual book, a Gospel. The strangest thing about it is his take on women. Every single one of the women who come into contact with Jesus in Mark’s Gospel is a heroine (but anonymous, one even a Gentile, and often not even saying a word), in contrast to the male disciples (named, Jewish, and overly verbose) who keep falling on their faces throughout.

Check the former out:

And He came to her and raised her up,
taking her by the hand, and the fever left her,
and she served them.
Mark 1:31

And He said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has made you well;
go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
Mark 5:34

And He said to her,
“Because of this word go;
the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
Mark 7:29

Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them,
“Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;
for they all put in out of their surplus,
but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all her life.”
Mark 12:43

“She has done what she could;
she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.”
Mark 14:8

Obviously, their brains are in far better shape than those of the men!

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