Text:God's Word to Women:Foreword to the 1943 Edition
By Ray Munson who originally republished published this book
In reading this reprint of God's Word to Women, it will be valuable to consider seriously the "Author's Note" of introduction in which she draws attention to the undeniable inconsistencies existing between what theologians think Paul taught and what close examination of the original Greek (as used in his letters) reveals. Undeniably, Paul both taught and acted contrary to their interpretation of his message in regard to the female sex.
Bushnell was a scholar of both Hebrew and Greek, and when God called her to be a missionary preacher, she told God that if He would prove to her that St. Paul was not against women preaching, she would obey. The revelations of divine truth revealed in this book are the result of God anointing her "Language Scholarship Potential,” and using it "to the praise of the glory of his grace" Ephesians 1:6. Although she was not on a man-ordained translation committee, the Lord commissioned her to reveal the glorious truth of His planned role for woman's participation in this "so great salvation" Hebrews 2:3 and this book is a "Tell It Like It Is" of God's unchanged plan for the role of the female sex in the rescue of the fallen race of the first Adam. The shameful reflections that have been cast upon the inspired ministry of St. Paul about women's ministry are clearly seen by noting the following facts:
1. The Old Testament Scriptures were all that Jesus and the early Christians had for literary authority for their message and they referred to these Scriptures many times in their teaching and preaching as is recorded many times in the four Gospels and the Epistles. In Romans 16:25, 26, Paul refers to "the Scriptures of the prophets" as the basic authority for the truth commanded of God to be preached to all nations for the obedience of faith. 1 Peter 1:10, 1 Peter 1:11 and 1 Peter 1:12 teaches the same thing. Now notice a few things that are attributed to Paul teaching others: First Corinthians 14:34, 35, "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." Also 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 is interpreted as Paul forbidding women to teach men. With the many new translations into more modern language now being published, many of these inconsistencies are being streamlined into the accepted traditional interpretation thereby strengthening error and further falsifying truth. Jeremiah 8:8 states, "How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it." A marginal note in the King James Version states, "The false pen of the scribes hath made [of it] falsehood. Also "When Scribes with their lying pens have falsified it?" (NEB). With this also note Romans 1:25 and 2 Peter 3:16.
Now let us note where Paul's ministry contradicts this false interpretation of both his teaching and conduct. His evangelistic ministry produced the assembly at Galatia to the extent that the miracle working power of God operated among them Galatians 3:5. But after he left, Judaizing teachers come in and "perverted" them back into Old Testament ordinances. Paul wrote and rebuked them for their "bewitched condition" in departing from the truth Galatians 3:1, and for his authority he quoted Genesis 21:10 which were the inspired words of Sarah (recorded in Holy Writ) to her husband, Abraham, instructing him in what he must do to set their house in order (and God honored her instructions and He ordered Abraham to obey her). Also Paul calls Phoebe deacon of the church at Cenchrea and orders the church at Rome to "assist her [men and all] in whatsoever business she hath need of you" (Rom. 16:2). Paul was no Scripture ignoramus, for when he was correcting the Galatians, he knew that he was quoting the words of Sarah to her husband, Abraham, as his authority to prove to them he was teaching them sound doctrine. Also he knew that there is not one instance recorded in the Old Testament where inspired women were divinely ordered to refrain from speaking as 1 Corinthians 14:34 would infer and as if it was a command of Paul authorized by “as also saith the law,” which it was not. But it was a requote by him of what he had received in the letter from the spiritually reliable "House of Chloe" regarding what the Judaizinig teachers were feeding the assembly at Corinth. And after he quotes it, he immediately rebukes it, as he remonstrates, “What? Came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (l Cor. 14:37, 38). Satan could not cause that Judaizing teaching to succeed in Paul's day, but now he giggles as he has blinded ministers to try and silence God's ministry through the female sex of the body of Christ by changing God's truth into a lie (Rom. 1:25) and in representing Paul as teaching this false doctrine of the Judaizers. And as you read this book you will find that this is only one of the several such “sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they [ministers] lie in wait to deceive” Ephesians 4:14 in regard to God's ministry through women.
I know that Sister Bushnell at times conveys thoughts that stray from the woman ministry subject in which she expresses things that can be misleading, especially where she suggests that the first five books of the Bible could have been produced by oral history repeated down through successive generations by the overlapping lives of contemporaries of each generation and culminating in Moses writing the historical account excepting the account of his own cessation of earth ministry. Also where she suggests that the flood might have covered only the known world in Noah's day. But the Scriptures teach that God can put his Spirit upon persons and cause them to write accurately both past and future events as He did to the worldly ignorant Chinese children recorded in Visions Beyond the Veil, by H. A. Baker. Both Scripture and scientific geographical research evidence proves that a tremendous violence of water covered the whole world (see The Three Worlds, by H. A. Baker, Osterhus Publishing Company, Minneapolis, Minn.).
Nevertheless, I feel the reprint of her book is fully justified by the many important things she has clarified in respect to the misleading impression conveyed in reading the present Scripture translation of God's role for women which at the present time is being ardently discussed pro and con by Christendom, forcing Christians to decide what is really God's inspired truth about it. There is only one instance where I have deleted from the author's text, in a part of one paragraph, where I felt it could pose a problem of misunderstanding in the minds of some, but it does not in any way cancel any of the truth for which the book was written.
I want to acknowledge my indebtedness to the body of Christ for the reprinting of this book. 1. To the Lord Jesus Christ (the Head) who planned and supervised it all. 2. To the late Harry Austin of South Dayton, New York, who furnished information that led me to discover that such a book had once appeared in print (last edition was published in 1923). 3. To the prayer warriors who interceded to the throne of grace for its successful publication. 4. To those who financed the first reprinting.
May this book serve God’s purpose in the lives of all whom it contacts. "The Lord giveth the word, [the women] . . . that publish the tidings are a great host" (Psa 68:1 1), KJV, margin note, Oxford University Press).
Ray B. Munson
Note: The deleted paragraph on page 243 & 244 mentioned in Ray Munson foreward has been replaced in this edition.