November 23rd, 2017

A reworking by WATCH of the original MOW pamphlet “Jesus and Gender” by the Revd Dr Jonathan Inkpin

Women have been ordained as priests in the Church of England since 1994. They have been priested in many other parts of the Anglican Communion for much longer. Indeed it is more than 55 years since Li Tim-Oi was ordained as the first woman priest by Bishop Hall in southern China in 1944. Yet there are still people who find it hard to accept the fact that women can be priests. One argument used, which may seem trivial to many people but is serious and important for others, is the fact that Jesus was male and only chose men to be his apostles and therefore women cannot be priests. This argument is pressed further by those who say that the priest at the Eucharist represents Christ and so only men can be priests as only male human beings can be true representatives of the male Christ. This pamphlet tries to explain some of these issues by discussing:

  • Men and women in the body of Christ: Does it matter that Jesus was a man and not a woman?
  • The priesthood of all believers: Women and men share in that priesthood through Baptism
  • The sacramental priesthood: Has it not always been confined to men? Is this not because Jesus chose twelve men as his apostles and they laid hands on others to take their place?
  • The role of the priest as the representative of Christ: Does this mean that the priest has to be male?
  • What about the “ikon” theory?
  • Can a woman be an ikon of Christ?
  • What is our calling?

The full version of this pamphlet can be downloaded above