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Does the Bible support women's rights?
« on: August 08, 2012, 06:13:20 pm »
The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (New International Version). This is very interesting given the fact that many people accuse Christianity of going against women's rights, probably because we oppose abortion. A lot of the time, critics of Christianity will try to use this one passage in one of Paul's letter to Timothy that says something like women cannot speak in church. But there are two things wrong with this accusation: 1) That passage is not saying that women should not have teaching jobs at Universities, or that they should somehow have less opportunity. It's simply saying that in a church, men are the ones with the main responsibility. 2) Ironically, most scholars and historians do not even think that Paul actually wrote the two letters to Timothy, but rather, they were forged by people claiming to be Paul. So ultimately, when critics use the Timothy passages, it actually back-fires on them without knowing it.
My account name, 'Copleston' is named after the famous Jesuit Philosopher, Frederick Copleston, who famously debated atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell on BBC Radio in 1948.

Re: Does the Bible support women's rights?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 02:51:51 am »
<span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia,palatino;">2) Ironically, most scholars and historians do not even think that Paul actually wrote the two letters to Timothy, but rather, they were forged by people claiming to be Paul.</span>

Hi Anthony. I'm curious to this point that you have given in defence for women's rights. To those that have misinterpreted the letters to Timothy will as you have said, find comfort in believing that they are only forgeries. However, I am curious to your confidence in claiming that most scholars and historians back this claim. I have come across disputes on the authorship of the Pauline epistles a number of times, but never have they bared this position with authority on such a large scale as most scholars and historians. If you (or any other readers out there) would be so kind as to offer sources on this, I would be most appreciative.
"And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."
- Mathew Arnold, Dover Beach



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Re: Does the Bible support women's rights?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 06:42:35 pm »

I am not a christian, and I don´t have an stake on this, but I am of the impression that Paul, in goodwill or not, overtook Jesus message, and made it his own, in some important sense.

Nevertheless, I think people confuses, modern morals with religious, scripture, and morals through history.
I don´t think Paul or any one else was worried about anyone´s rights at the time, they were interested in the case of Paul and his community, in the message of their savior and God, there was no space, for right´s movements, neither in their society or their minds.

I think it is wise not to try to force into a culture of thousand of years our modern expectations.

Just an opinion.



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Re: Does the Bible support women's rights?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 05:18:21 pm »
I am female and have no issues with the bible at all.


Born Again

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Re: Does the Bible support women's rights?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 06:38:52 pm »
There is no 'culture' in Christ, and no generation gap either. This is a deception of 'the spirit of the age'. Culture is part of the worldsystem (that developped after the fall - Gr. 'kosmos'). In this verse Paul says that regardless of gender or background, all are christian brethren in the house of God and stand on the same ground as sinners saved by grace. This is our position in Christ. The other verse has to do with God's way of governing the earth and the church in this dispensation; there still is a difference there. We are not in heaven yet. Some denominations are so overly spiritual that they will not even observe the Lord's table and baptism (because christians are already baptized in Christ's death; but they forget that this is an outward testimony to the world that something has changed inwardly). They only want to live in the heavenly reality and do not pay attention to the sacraments.

As Clarke comments on this verse: 'With great reason the apostle introduces this. Between the privileges of men and women there was a great disparity among the Jews. A man might shave his head, and rend his clothes in the time of mourning; a woman was not permitted to do so. A man might impose the vow of nasirate upon his son; a woman could not do this on her daughter. A man might be shorn on account of the nasirate of his father; a woman could not. A man might betroth his daughter; a woman had no such power. A man might sell his daughter; a woman could not. In many cases they were treated more like children than adults; and to this day are not permitted to assemble with the men in the synagogues, but are put up in galleries, where they can scarcely see, nor can they be seen. Under the blessed spirit of Christianity, they have equal rights, equal privileges, and equal blessings; and, let me add, they are equally useful.'

Those who like to study textual criticism, here's a good site:
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 07:20:16 pm by Born Again »


Lothars Sohn

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Re: Does the Bible support women's rights?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 05:07:14 pm »
Hello Antony, my response to such a challenge would be:

1) the Bible contains human thoughts about God and people can get God wrong at times, especially due to the effect of cultural memes
2) for their time, Jesus (and to a lesser extent Paul) were extremely progressive with women
3) there are also faulty teaching in the Bible (I know this blasphemous to write that here  :)     )
4) many texts militant atheists interpret as being immoral can be quite naturally interpreted in other ways.

Be blessed!

Lovely greetings from Germany.
Liebe Grüsse aus Deutschland.

Lothars Sohn - Lothar's son
"The whole modernist worldview stems from the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are explanations of the phenomena of nature."
Ludwig Wittgenstein.


Re: Does the Bible support women's rights?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 04:47:43 pm »
Hell no.

The second century St. Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman."

 The Church father Tertullian explained why women deserve their status as despised and inferior human beings:

 "And do you not know that you are an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert that is, death even the Son of God had to die."

 The sixth century Christian philosopher, Boethius, wrote in The Consolation of Philosophy, "Woman is a temple built upon a sewer."

 In the tenth century Odo of Cluny declared, "To embrace a woman is to embrace a sack of manure..."

 St. Thomas Aquinas suggested that God had made a mistake in creating woman: "nothing [deficient] or defective should have been produced in the first establishment of things; so woman ought not to have been produced then."

 And my favorite.
“If a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing - she is there to do it.”
- Martin Luther

Gen 3 says man is to rule over women.

Equality and women's rights are the last thing Christianity gives women. I recall my mother being turned away from church because she had forgotten to put something on her head.