The scriptural story of God's love for women, from creation through redemption
Religiously justified misogyny is bolstered by the perspective that God is best represented by men, and as male. The question of how women represent God’s image is typically ignored.
Women were not created to help men. Women were created to represent God who helps. In my mind that distinction changes the whole conversation on the role of women in the church.
Hello-I really enjoyed this article. I loved that you brought up the early Christian women virgins, who had the opportunity to give themselves completely to God through their vocation. I am guessing that the Catholic faith would be considered the epitomy of Patriarchy here. While Mary is discussed for her Magnificat and bearing Jesus in the post, I think that one aspect of Catholic view of Mary can help round out the position of the post. Christ is considered "the new/last Adam" (1 Cor15:45) that redeems man. Using a similar typological approach, Mary is considered the "new Eve." Where Eve said "No" to God as she took the fruit, Mary says "Yes" to God, by the grace she is given from God. To me, this is a counterpart to a new Adam. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying the Mary redeems women or men. I am saying she cooperated with God to the full when Eve did not. And in that sense, she is a new Eve and that part of our story is redeemed as well. I think it supports the ideas in the post well, even if outside your tradition. Peace and All Good, Gina
Beth, I've done hundreds of hours of reading and then teaching as I worked through these questions in my own life. Your article may be the best I have ever read in presenting the biblical case against patriarchy and for mutual and equal callings. Thank you.
Particularly appreciate this point: "All this happens when Jesus makes it clear that adultery is not a property crime but a violation of covenant." (Hope you get some sleep tonight!)
You would LOVE Wm. Paul Young and Proffessor John Behr on this! If you want the links let me know and I will post them. And have you read Katherine C Bushnell ‘God’s Word to Women?’ Published 1925? She would tell you well done. This is beautiful.
the OT family structure you describe had changed to a top down pater familias structure. Do you have any insight into when and how the change began?
This is so insightful and so helpful to thinking about and trying to communicate on this topic. Thank you so much!
“Sin mars the marriage relationship; her desire will be for her husband (instead of for God? instead of for the good work of the creation mandate? Because of the vulnerability of death, especially as childbearing makes her so vulnerable?)”
I have a different explanation of this. “Desire” is not a good translation of the Hebrew word. “Concern, preoccupation, (single-minded) devotion, focus” are better renderings.
A woman’s concern, preoccupation, single-minded devotion, and focus would be for a husband (her husband) to show empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and loving-kindness towards her--- in contrast to the blame-shifting which Adam had done to Eve.
More on this here: https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2016/04/17/the-womans-desire-in-genesis-316-lets-be-consistent-with-the-context-and-with-actual-life-pt-2-of-2/
Excellent article. For a little more detail of woman’s role as ezer kenegdo, check out the following.
A fabulously thorough and helpful summary of a narrative that women like you and I are holding out....to those in the Church who still seem determined to be patriarchy hold-outs. I recently graduated from North Park Theological Seminary and have a few friends/colleagues at Northern.
I'm trying to recall if I've read some of your work prior to discovering your Substack? I recently decided to dive in to this space as well. Thank you for writing!
Yes!!! Thank you!!!
Thank you, I had not seen this before and it is very helpful. I love the freeing provision of the CHURCH you included. I always thought it was interesting that according to Paul, the Church (the BRIDE of Christ) would be the mouthpiece/means to reveal the many-colored wisdom of God to rulers, and authorities in the heavenly realms...(Eph. 3:10-11). If the BRIDE, entrusted with the God's wisdom, can make known the same to those in the heavenly realms, then surely women, members of the Church, can preach/teach the Gospel to anyone, especially men on earth. Likewise, if God can use Paul, the least of all God's people (his words), then the grace given to everyone else in the Church is enough to preach, teach, plant, or lead others to Christ (3:7-9).
Thank you again for sharing and for all you do for Christ and the Church.
I have taught that redemption means that humans are returned, or at least should be working towards returning, to the original state pre-fall. The Ephesians household passage takes three relationships of power and inverts them. Men have to love, parents have avoid abusing, and owners have to treat their slave the way that they expect to be treated. Paul's comments point to a reversal of the relationships and imply that the person traditionally "superior" has to serve the person who was not. It is easy to see how this fits with 1Co. 12 as well.
If the OT anthropology suggests Israel did a better job than Rome, I am curious about how you handle all the clearly misogynist passages.
Your discussion of the father at the center of a family gathering is fantastic. And I would like it to be true, but I find it a difficult sell with my female relatives.
Beth, so so good, and helpful. I am reading Practicing Christian Doctrine, great book!! And, really glad to be on your Substack as well.