“The Bible is so harsh against women!” “The Bible hates women!” “Women are looked down upon in the Bible.” These are some examples of what I have heard in my time as a pastor. However, for those who have read the Bible, these charges are confusing considering the historical context and the value that is placed on women when considering the time. The Bible consistently gives value to women when the culture around them doesn’t. I wrote this so that non-Christians and Christians would be able to learn where these ideas come from and what the Bible truly says on what the Bible says about women. Cuurio would love to help you if you have more questions or want to know more about your purpose. If I can be of help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact SteepleLess Church. There also is a sermon that relates to this topic, if you are interested in watching it please click here.
5 Questions about what the Bible says about Women
1. How does Culture Play a Role in the Bible for Women?
In the time and culture of Jesus, women were looked down upon. Their word was not to be trusted, only a man’s word was useful in a court of law. Women were frequently meant to keep quiet in public and to speak openly brought shame upon their families. Women in the Jewish culture of this time were to cover their heads, keep quiet, and take no public role in the synagogue. In the Greco-Roman culture, women were to remain completely in their private spheres. We have to remember that the Bible plays out in this culture.
The things we read in the Bible are often descriptions of the time, not a prescription given by God. Many things in the Bible are described as being done, even by those following God, that the Bible calls evil but is not immediately called out in the passage. The people reading the Bible would know that these actions are evil because they have read the parts that call these things evil.
2. How are Women Portrayed in the Bible?
When Jesus is raised from the dead, the first person to be told about it is a woman. This is important because it shows that women are trustworthy and in no way more important than men even though their culture would have completely dismissed them as being liars, as would anyone who read the Bible in that culture. The first person that Jesus tells Him is the Messiah is the woman at the well. Mary Magdalene is named among the followers of Jesus and often women are named or given preference over their husbands in the Bible. The women that interact with Jesus are treated with dignity and respect and in no way differ in their interactions from men.
Also, the idea that women are not allowed to have jobs, etc., is unfounded in the Bible. This is common in American culture, especially in the early to the mid-20th century, but is not from the Bible. For further reading on women in the Bible portrayed in a position of honor, often above men (which remember in this culture is unheard of). Please see the biblical women Deborah, Lydia, Esther, Miriam, and Proverbs 31 for further reading.
3. What does God say about Women?
The Bible says that all humans are made in the image of God. This is easy to gloss over as many of us in America are aware of this. However, being made in the image of God shows how much God loves us. The morally perfect God, who created everything, allowed Himself to not only be copied but also to be blasphemed by His creation because He loves them. All humans are fearfully and wonderfully made and worthy of coming to God and asking Him for what they need. All are sons and daughters of God when they become Christians. The Bible never says to preach to women differently or suppose that they are not as intelligent as men. However, men and women are treated differently in the Christian home and the Church.
4. Why are Men Treated Differently than Women in the Bible?
The Bible gives extreme value to all humans. Men and women are completely equal in the Bible. If we look at the creation stories in Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in complete harmony with each other and God. Adam and Eve are equal though they may have different roles. Eve is called the helper of Adam but in no way is this an inferior position. Rather, they are completely equal in every way. However, when humans rebelled against God, God denotes that the man is to be the head of the woman and that the husband and wife will fight over this.
This is why we believe that in heaven there will be no submission to each other in heaven, for we will be like Adam and Eve. Therefore, the man is meant to lead the household, and men are allowed to be pastors, but women are not. There is not a difference in the value of men and women; they are equally valuable in the Bible. Humans are so valuable that God died for them. Men are to be above women in the role of leader in the household and the Church (1 Tim. 2:11-14).
5. What is the Desire of God for Women Today?
Women are called to everything a man is to do in the Bible, except in leadership roles in the home and the Church. All humans are called to love God first and to love others as themselves. God desires that everyone would come to Him and spend eternity with Him in heaven. God has put an extreme value on women and men. He even died for us so that we can be made whole with Him. Have you made the step to have faith in God? Do you have more questions? I would love to help. Please reach out to me at SteepleLess Church. God bless you.