What is our purpose in studying the Bible?
Our purpose is to know the truth ... and act on it.
What was Paul's goal?
Paul's goal was to spread the truth of Jesus Christ to everyone and anyone willing to listen and learn. He didn't care about race, gender, or social status . "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:27-29)
Who was Paul's audience?
Paul is credited with writing thirteen books of the New Testament: Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, I & II Corinthians, Philippians, I & II Timothy, I & II Thessalonians, Titus, and Philemon.
He addressed diverse topics such as basic Christian beliefs, church problems, christian life and the community, his authority as an apostle, the correction of false teachings, the encouragement of new believers, and even advice to specific individuals.
From approximately A.D. 46 to A.D. 58 Paul's combined missionary trips by land and sea equaled more than 13,000 miles. He founded churches in Corinth, Berea, Thessalonica, Philippi, Athens, Ephesus, Pisidian, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Perga, Cyprus and probably Spain as well.
What was the culture of the times?
Most assuredly, the culture of the times was as diverse as our culture is today.
I wish to focus on the things that Paul said regarding women in particular. Looking at Paul's thirteen letters only four address specific instructions regarding women's behavior within the church community: Ephesians, Corinthians, Titus, and Timothy.
Ephesians and Corinthians were letters written to the church in general while the letters of Titus and I & II Timothy were written to Paul's faithful co-workers. Do you know who Titus and Timothy ministered to? Titus was specifically sent by Paul to deal with the difficult situations in Corinth (2 Corinthans 2:4, 9, 7:8-9). Timothy, a fellow traveler with Paul for much of his missionary journey, was leader of the church in Ephesus.
I think it is important for us to explore further the churches of Ephesus and Corinth, don't you?