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The immediate reaction to this by one woman was to quote 1 Timothy 3:1-7: elders. In real life, the woman who brought up this text was unimpressed by any of this “plain reading.” But she was very sure that an elder could not be a woman, even though the text doesn’t explicitly say that.
Our pioneers had to deal with this text and the one about women being “silent in church” very early in our history, and they did so admirably.
It was apparently first used among Christians by the “church father,” Origen or Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254).
It allowed him to find support in Scripture for some ideas that were not supported by a more natural meaning.
For instance, items in the sanctuary are assumed to have hidden meanings that are nowhere referenced either in Scripture or the writings of Ellen White.This method was used to arrive at the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church which are not supported by a more natural interpretation.Protestant Reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin rejected this method because it tended to ignore the plain sense of passages and were impossible to critique in any fair manner.Thus an examination of the literary, historical and cultural context of a passage is important in discerning its meaning for us today, particularly on potentially divisive subjects.While this method recognizes that God met man in the context of human culture, it also recognizes that the essential truths of the Bible transcend its cultural and functions as the Word of God for all cultures.