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Is the Bible Sexist?

Is the Bible Sexist?

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So what do we do about the fact that all this stuff turns up in our holy book? The one that’s meant to bring us solace and guidance with our morning coffee? How do you read the Bible and stay sane? However, when it comes to the stories of the Bible, there are more examples of strong, resilient women who didn’t stop short of great achievements because they felt they weren’t able to accomplish them. They went forward, believing God would strengthen them to take on these great responsibilities, and in turn inspired women generations later to believe they can do anything through the strength of Christ. The Bible, Holladay and Schuyler Brown of the American Bible Society argued, must be read in its historical context, and when the Lord's Prayer begins "Our Father . . ." that is representative of Jesus mentality and that of a near-Eastern male-dominated family of his age.

Last week, an article entitled, " Students 'angry and confused' over Archbishop Glenn Davies' comments on gender equality", was published by the ABC. The students who spoke to the ABC not only misrepresented the Archbishop's stance on the role of women in the church, but largely neglected even to engage with it, preferring instead to make sweeping generalisations about how his ideas were "outdated", that they contradicted messages "told to them by their parents, educators and society in general" and that he spoke of men as having "higher status and more power". (Interestingly, I have no memory of him saying anything of the kind). Both depersonalizing women and defining them by sexuality represent moves away from the biblical vision that so transformed history. 7. Christians Are Called to Promote God's Superior Vision Christopher Rollston is one of the world’s leading paleographers of ancient Near Eastern inscriptions. I have been harshly critical of some of his views, principally regarding unprovenanced inscriptions—inscriptions that have surfaced only from the antiquities market, not from a professional archaeological excavation. They may be forgeries, he argues. Although my criticism of Chris’s position is intense, 1 we remain good friends and regularly share a meal. Chris is also a master carpenter. Above my office door hangs a beautiful polished wooden plaque expertly carved with my name in paleo-Hebrew script—the kind of Hebrew letters used before the Babylonian destruction of the Solomonic (First) Temple in 586 B.C.E. Third, Jesus did not gloss over sin in the lives of the women he met. He held women personally responsible for their own sin as seen in his dealings with the woman at the well (John 4:16–18), the woman taken in adultery (John 8:10–11), and the sinful woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:44–50). Their sin was not condoned, but confronted. Each had the personal freedom and a measure of self-determination to deal with the issues of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. Jesus's Valuation of Women Today Most who take the “extract and apply” approach to biblical interpretation consider New Testament injunctions about household and church to be analogous – that is, whatever a New Testament writer says about the home applies to the church and vice versa. Some, though, do distinguish between women’s roles in public (i.e., churches) and women’s roles in private (i.e., in the home). The man I met at SBL would have agreed with complementarian George Knight, who writes that 1 Tim. 2 does not say that women “may not teach anyone , but that within the church she must not teach and have authority over a man.” A common exception is when women are allowed to teach children in the church (as long as a male pastor oversees them). In this sense, setting is significant, but only insofar as it circumscribes women’s roles in particular settings, not as a way of softening a text’s claims about female submission.

The Rev. Neichelle Guidry Jones washed Ramona Gant’s feet during a Shepreaches gathering at a Hyde Park apartment in Chicago on Thursday. Credit: Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times. What is the task of Christians, Ware asked, in confronting this ideology of the church and its Bible? Speaking of the anti-semitic nature of passages in the narratives of the passion, she said: "If we have a 2,000-year-old history of fostering contempt for Jews, then it becomes horrendous to talk of fidelity to the text." The Archbishop managed - quite compellingly, in my opinion - to reconcile the seemingly sexist discourse of the Bible with our understanding of God as loving his children equally, who created both men and women in His image, and who would never regard a person as being of greater worth - or choose to bestow greater status on them - simply by virtue of their being a male.

Another example is in the creation narrative, where God says “Let us make man in our image and likeness” describing them as “male and female,” (Genesis 1:26 and 27). The Old English term “man” describes all humanity. Yet the ESV retains the Old English language, while the TNIV and NLT substitute “human beings.” That modern linguistic clarification doesn’t make the text gender-neutral, but rather gender-accurate—reflecting the actual meaning of the biblical text. Speaking to an audience of men and women whose questions made clear their concern over sexism in the Bible, Phyllis Trible said that feminism had enabled people to scrutinize the male dominance of Scripture. The amended section on “ The Family” stated, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.” Even though clear role distinction is seen in Christ’s choice of the apostles and in the exclusive type of work they were given to perform, no barriers need exist between a believer and the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of gender. Jesus demonstrated only the highest regard for women, in both his life and teaching. He recognized the intrinsic equality of men and women, and continually showed the worth and dignity of women as persons. Jesus valued their fellowship, prayers, service, financial support, testimony and witness. He honored women, taught women, and ministered to women in thoughtful ways.Within a decade, the council and the Danvers Statement began to have significant influence among evangelicals, particularly Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Entrenched evangelical beliefs Christopher Rollston, “The Marginalization of Women: A Biblical Value We Don’t Like to Talk About,” Huffington Post, August 31, 2012. But we seem to see only one alternative to the male-dominated, sexist social structures which arose as the product of this perversion - to eliminate difference altogether; to create uniformity. We regard equality as being achieved when men and women are treated identically, when a person's gender is not permitted to have any implications for who they are or wish to be. And that's OK, I suppose, if the only alternative is patriarchy. But what if what the Bible advocates is not the inequality of patriarchy, but rather an equality that is altogether different from what we have come to define it as? And maybe even one that is far richer and even more interesting, which resonates with the reality of how we humans were created. In his Systematic Theology, Grudem defends his complementarian rational for insisting on retaining “man” for human beings:

If that important American document were being crafted today, a modern Thomas Jefferson would ignite a firestorm of protests if he chose the same outdated wording. Language is dynamic. Scripture encourages wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord. However, a godly marriage involves mutual submission and husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the church ( Ephesians 5:21, 25). Wives are not subordinate or less than their husbands. If you want to make a claim about women based on the texts in the New Testament, you can find your verses. The texts simply do not speak with one voice regarding women. How, then, should we adjudicate between these disparate messages, especially as Christians who hold these texts to be the Word of God for the people of God? How can we hope to communicate with Christians who hold different views about women/gender if we do not understand their approach to interpretation? Elizabeth:At the same time that Mary learned she was to bear the Savior, her cousin Elizabeth was also pregnant with a special child, the future John the Baptist. Deemed too old for children, God used Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias to bring forth a child that “will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” ( Luke 1:15).How do you feel about feminism? I believe that feminism was and is necessary in society. For every radical that gives feminism a bad name, there are probably five liberal feminist that make up for them. Obviously I consider myself more of a liberal feminist, one of those whom aim to find equality and reconciliation instead of seeking ascendancy. As a female I see no need to be superior to men, but to simply be equal. Although I think equality is key in making a harmonious society, I do not think that men and women are the same. It is very true that we are inherently different, not only by physical features but also mentally. The way men and women’s brains develop and function are quite different, as the brain is altered by the type of hormones that we produce, for men testosterone being the main one, for women estrogen being the latter. Therefore, no one is morally better than the other or physically superior, we are simply different. …show more content… Esther:Esther is, by far, one of the most recognized women in the Old Testament, even told by her Uncle Mordecai, regarding her current position as queen, that “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” ( Esth. 4:14). Throughout the Bible there are numerous positive images of women. In the Old Testament women share the image of God at creation. At the second coming of Jesus, the Church is represented as the bride of Christ. From beginning to end, the Bible includes the feminine as an integral part of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. While it is true that the Bible is written over a long period of time into specific cultures, and that some of these contexts did not give equal social advantages to women, it would not be true to say that the message of the Bible is sexist or discriminatory against women. Paul was writing to a mixed audience. So to make sure readers understand that Paul is also including daughters, gender-accurate translations substitute “children” for sons. The sonship offered through Jesus is not just for sons (versus daughters). This has the unfortunate effect of obscuring something powerful Paul is communicating. Sadly, people have often cast a shadow on the gospel because of the way they approach differing views or criticism. Instead of getting irritated, we should remember that everyone needs salvation, including the person who thinks God’s Word demeans women.

It breaks my heart to imagine how cultural lies around Christ, Christianity, and the church being “sexist” could possibly create a barrier to them knowing Jesus.

LISTEN: Three Common Obstacles to Understanding the Bible

Timothy 2] begins by stating that “men should pray” (and the word used here for men is andras, a gendered word that refers only to males) and then says “women should dress themselves modestly and decently” (vv. 8–9). So men are to pray, and women are to dress modestly. That’s quite a contrast. But there’s more: “Let a woman learn in silence and full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to be silent” (vv. 11–12). The author’s rationale: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (vv. 13–14). According to this text, women were to be silent in worship gatherings (and men were certainly not told to be silent), and the rationale for this mandate is that woman (Eve) was created second and sinned first. And the final blow is this: A woman “will be saved” (the future tense of the standard word for “be saved,” “be given salvation”) “through childbirth if she remains in faith and love and sanctification with modesty” (1 Timothy 2:15).



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