Attendees hold up their ballots during a session at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


We Christians believe the Bible is God’s Word, beautiful and infallible.

Wise, humble Christians who know God’s Word admit their interpretations can be biased and fallible.

God makes no mistakes when He speaks. We make plenty of mistakes when we listen.

Simply stated:

God doesn’t stutter when He speaks, but we can mishear Him as we listen.

According to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention, women can’t preach God’s Word; women can’t teach God’s Word; women can’t shepherd God’s people; women can’t function as pastors.

“That’s what the Bible says!” SBC pastors declare.

No, that’s your interpretation of the Bible, and your interpretation is not the same as the inspiration of Sacred Scriptures.

I and other SBC Bible believers have a different biblical interpretation of Spirit-gifted women serving Christ’s people.

I’m not demanding that you conform to my interpretation, but I’ll also politely push back on your creeping creedalism.

Creedalism is the demand for conformity in biblical interpretation.

Baptists have never been a creedal people.

Thinking that my interpretation is on par with God’s inspiration is hubris.

Interpretative dogmatism is institutionally dangerous. God promises to bring down the proud.




Wade and Rachelle Burleson

Paid professional preachers pontificate proudly, “Thus saith the LORD!”

Immediately, you should know that pastors who say such things are paid professionals who place their interpretation on par with God’s inspiration.

Those pastors are in trouble.

If a preacher thinks your disagreement with him is disagreement with God, then that preacher has an issue with God, not you.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727), tired of his scientific, philosophical, and mathematical studies, would work on his “hobby” of biblical chronology and synchronizing biblical events with the secular histories of ancient nations.

I’ve read Newton’s posthumously published The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended a dozen times.

Newton writes:

“The following Treatise was the fruit of his vacant hours, and the relief he sometimes had recourse to, when tired with his other studies.”

Imagine that! Isaac Newton would read the Bible for pleasure, not for pay.

Newton privately presented his biblical chronological treatise to Queen Anne of England (1665-1715).



Queen Anne of England (1665-1714)

After Newton died in 1727,  book publishers Amended Newton’s Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms and published it for the world to read.

Newton wasn’t paid for his treatise on Bible chronology, and his work is stunning.

One of the great dangers of the Southern Baptist Convention is that paid preachers are now telling 45,000 individual SBC churches what they must believe and how they must behave.

Creedalism places man in the position of God.

Sadly, there can be no questioning of the whooping and hollering professionals at public church conventions without being told you’re questioning God.

However, no Christian church, denomination, pastor, or institution survives without the humility of accepting other Christians who interpret the Sacred Text differently than they.

God brings down the proud.



I’ve studied the Bible for fifty years. I can read Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.

I know I can make mistakes in my interpretations of the Sacred Text. I also know enough to raise questions about your demand that others agree with your interpretation.

Like Newton, my hobby is biblical chronology.

I want to prove the lunacy of demands for conformity in biblical interpretations by asking a simple chronological question from the Bible that every Southern Baptist pastor will find simple to answer.

The question is not hard. Here it is.

“How many days was Noah in the Ark?”

That is a TIME question.

Just read the Bible and give me your answer.

In Genesis 7:10, we are told Noah entered the Ark seven days before the flood came. Then, in the next verse, we are told the flood came…

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month.”

So Noah entered the Ark seven days before the seventeenth of the month, entering the tenth day of the second month of his six-hundredth year of life. 

Sidenote: Noah, this preacher of righteousness, entered the Ark seven days before judgment “and left the door open” for others to join him. Sorry, my Calvinist friends, Gospel preaching involves leaving the door open for whosoever the Spirit compels to come into the Kingdom.

Then the Bible tells us God’s flood of judgment came and destroyed the earth.

Genesis 8:13-16 tells us when Noah left the Ark:

13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the ground’s surface was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was completely dry. 15 Then God said to Noah 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.

So by reading the biblical text, we discover that Noah stayed in the ark for one year and seventeen days, from the tenth day of the second month of his six-hundredth year of life to the twenty-seventh day of the second month of his six hundred and first year of life.


So again, how many days was Noah in the Ark?





THE FIRST INTERPRETATION: PRISCA SAPIENTIA – Latin for “ancient wisdom” or “primal wisdom.”

Medieval Christian scholars believed that the Creator gave Adam all the science of the universe in what they called Prisca Sapientia. Adam passed this primal knowledge to Seth, who gave it to Enoch, who passed it to Lamech, who taught it to his son Noah. Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth left the Ark with this primal wisdom passed to them by Noah. The great Pyramids of Egypt (Ham’s descendants), the crossing of the Seas to establish civilizations (Japheth’s descendants), and the Temple of Solomon (Shem’s descendants) all used the Prisca Sapienta for their technological advances. The understanding of the solar (365 days) was primal.

Thus, Noah was in the Ark 365 days (one year) plus 17– 382 days.

William Whiston and Immanuel Velikosvky


These two men possessed brilliant minds. They knew Hebrew as their first language, and both were scientists. Whiston was a friend of Isaac Newton. Velikovsky was a friend of Albert Einstein. Both Whiston and Velikosvky believed God ordained the 360-day year parallel to the 360-degree circumference of the circle. In addition, the planets circled the sun in the same 360-degree orbit. Both believed that a COMET in the days of Noah disturbed the earth’s revolution around the sun and the rotation of the earth itself, causing a lengthening of the days and the destruction of the earth. Before the flood, the earth’s year was exactly 360 days. After the flood, the earth’s year became 365.4 days.


Thus, Noah was inside the Ark for a year (360) days plus 17 – 377 days.




This position holds to a blend of the solar and lunar calendars into the sacred HEBREW calendar that added an additional month of 25 days during Noah’s 600th year.

Thus, the number of days Noah was on the Ark from this interpretative method was 385 days.

There are other interpretations of the number of days Noah stayed in the Ark, including the figurative interpretative method, which states that the numbers in Genesis 7 and 8 are to be taken symbolically and not literally.



If you can’t articulate the various interpretations of the number of days that Noah was in the Ark, then don’t dare demand conformity on your interpretation of women serving in the church.

Be humble.

Avoid creedalism for your sake.

I wrote a Preface to John Zen’s book “What’s Up with Paul and Women?

“To silence women in the assembly, to prevent them from teaching men, to forbid them from sharing responsibilities with men, and to somehow say that a woman’s place is to be subservient to men, is to deny the teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ as portrayed by the New Testament writers.” – Wade Burleson

The overwhelming teaching of the Bible is that the Spirit gifts Christ’s people with no reference to gender.

A couple of restrictive passages about women leading in churches are time and contextually-specific prohibitions, not eternal and universal principles.

Those of you who’ve spent a lifetime studying the Word and are interpreting the sacred text differently than I regarding Spirit-gifted women serving Christ’s Church should pause for a moment.

All of us must have the humility to listen to what other Bible believers who love the sacred text are saying and refrain from demanding conformity.

Do this for the Kingdom’s sake.

Do this for your sake.