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  • Writer's pictureKent Brandenburg

The Portrayal of a Man Versus a Woman

Several passages of scripture distinguish the role and nature of men from that of women. Scripture reveals two sexes and genders, male and female. In 1 Corinthians 16:13, the Apostle Paul speaks to men under the inspiration of God, saying, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” The English word “quit” is a form of “acquit.” It translates a Greek word, which means: “act like a man.”

In both Job 38:3 and 40:7, God says to Job, “Gird up thy loins like a man.” This verse distinguishes the man from the woman in his appearance and in his function. Characterizing the man, Paul commands, “Be strong.” He said the same to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong.”

“Be strong” is a command, coming from authority. With the conjunction, “therefore,” Paul connected that command to the previous chapter. He emphasizes ‘not being ashamed’ in chapter one, using the word three times (verses 8, 12, and 16). Paul commended Onesiphorus, who “was not ashamed of [his] chain,” speaking of Paul’s imprisonment for his bold preaching.

The opposite of “be strong” in this context is “be ashamed.” This relates to the truth. Men are bold in their proclamation of scripture, the truth, not shunning the declaration of it. Then in 2 Timothy 2, Paul explains to Timothy how to be strong.

Paul uses four portrayals of strength, a faithful man, a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. These are manly functions that necessitate manly qualities. They describe what it means to be a manly man, someone strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. God wants “faithful men,” who will endure hardness and not entangle themselves with the affairs of this life.

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