- Women in the Bible
Theology 4 major positions Church and society Organizations Theologians and authors Feminist:
Letha Dawson Scanzoni · Anne Eggebroten · Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
William J. Webb · Kenneth E. Hagin · Gordon Fee · Frank Stagg · Paul Jewett · Stanley Grenz · Roger Nicole
Don Carson · John Frame · Wayne Grudem · Douglas Moo · Paige Patterson · Vern Poythress
Doug Phillips · R. C. Sproul, Jr. · Douglas Wilson
The role examples of 188 named Women in the Bible, and a host of others left unnamed, identify prominent queens, prophetesses, judges, and military leaders. Most Biblical stories are about men. The roles of women were severely restricted and treated as inferior to men during Biblical times. Women's roles in the history of Judaism and Christianity often were omitted or presented as stereotypes, "as if all the women in the ancient world had been saints, whores, or invisible." This article considers some of the specific roles of women described in the Bible, along with some of the more apparent attitudes held about them.
Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
The Hebrew Bible (also called Tanakh in Judaism, Old Testament in Christianity and Taurat/Tawrah in Islam) is the basis for both Judaism and Christianity, and a cornerstone of Western culture. The views of women presented in the Hebrew Bible are complex and often ambivalent. Through its stories and its elaboration of statutes, the Hebrew Bible's views on women have helped shape gender roles and define the legal standing of women in the West for millennia. This influence has waned somewhat as Western culture has become progressively more secular, beginning at the Enlightenment.
Eve and Genesis
The creation of Adam and Eve is narrated from somewhat different perspectives in and . The Genesis 1 narration declares the purpose of God, antedating the creation of the sexes. It has been called the "non-subordinating" view of woman. God gave the human pair joint responsibility and "rulership" over his creation.
The Fall of humanity
Eve's weakness has sometimes been blamed for causing Adam's fall, and thus for humanity's fall into original sin. This claim was made during the Middle Ages and was a subject in John Milton's classic epic, Paradise Lost.
Old Testament views on gender
According to classicist Edith Hamilton, the Bible is the only book in the world up to our century which looks at women as human beings, no better and no worse than men. She writes that the Old Testament writers considered them just as impartially as they did men, free from prejudice and even from condescension. However, it cannot be said that the society and culture of Old Testament times were consistently favorable to women.
The accounts of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden
There is a male bias and a male priority generally present in both the private life and public life of women. However, it never becomes absolute. In the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) of , aspects of both male priority and gender balance can be seen. In the tenth commandment, a wife is depicted in the examples not to be coveted: house, wife, male or female slave, ox or donkey, or 'anything that belongs to your neighbour.' (NIV) On the other hand, the fifth commandment does not make any distinction between honor to be shown to parents: "father and your mother." This is consistent with the mutual respect shown for both parents throughout the Old Testament.
Jesus' interactions with women
According to New Testament scholar Dr. Frank Stagg and classicist Evelyn Stagg, the synoptic Gospels of the canonical New Testament contain a relatively high number of references to women. The Staggs find no recorded instance where Jesus disgraces, belittles, reproaches, or stereotypes a woman. These writers claim that examples of the manner of Jesus are instructive for inferring his attitudes toward women and show repeatedly how he liberated and affirmed women.
Paul of Tarsus on women
The statements by and attitude of Paul of Tarsus concerning women is an important element in the theological debate about Christianity and women due to the fact that Paul was the first writer to give ecclesiastical directives about the role of women in the Church. However, there are arguments that some of these writings are post-Pauline interpolations.
Apostle Peter on women
Submission to husband:
- Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives...."
Women as weaker partner:
- "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
- Christian feminism
- Feminist theology
- Gender and Judaism
- Jewish feminism
- List of women in the Bible
- Women as theological figures
- Women in Christianity
- Women in Judaism
- ^ "Women in the Bible." WebBible Encyclopedia. Sept. 22, 2009.
- ^ Robinson, B.A. "The status of women in the Bible and in early Christianity." Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 2010. Web: http://www.religioustolerance.org/fem_bibl.htm 11 Sep 2010.
- ^ "Introduction. Women in the Bible." Web: http://www.womeninthebible.net/1.0.Introduction.htm 11 Sep 2010.
- ^ Starr, L. A. The Bible Status of Woman. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1926
- ^ a b c d Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978
- ^ Smith, Russell E. Jr. "Adam's Fall." ELH: a Journal of English Literary History, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Dec., 1968), pp. 527-539
- ^ Quoted in Tanner, Stephen L. Women in Literature of the Old Testament. University of Idaho, 1975. ERIC ED112422.
- ^ Hyers, M. Conrad. The meaning of creation: Genesis and modern science. Westminster John Knox Press, 1984, p.3. ISBN 978-0804201254
- ^ Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
- ^ Odell-Scott, D.W. "Editorial dilemma: the interpolation of 1 Cor 14:34-35 in the western manuscripts of D, G and 88." Web: 15 Jul 2010. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0LAL/is_2_30/ai_94332323/
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