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Was God a Male Chauvinist?

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Vanguard

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No I am not insulting God, or implying anything negative about Him.

Many believe that the Bible is inerrent, the words are God's, and everything in it is divinely inspired and literal. That being said, let's take a look at the Bible and some specific verses...


NASB
Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and <SUP class=crossreference value='(B)'></SUP>he will rule over you.”

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, <SUP class=crossreference value='(B)'></SUP>be subject to your own husbands, <SUP class=crossreference value='(C)'></SUP>as to the Lord.

Titus 2:5 to be sensible, pure, <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>workers at home, kind, being <SUP class=crossreference value='(B)'></SUP>subject to their own husbands, <SUP class=crossreference value='(C)'></SUP>so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, <SUP class=crossreference value='(B)'></SUP>be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be <SUP class=crossreference value='(C)'></SUP>won without a word by the behavior of their wives...

1 Timothy 2:9-10 Likewise, I want <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

1 Corinthians 11:5-7 But every <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is <SUP class=crossreference value='(B)'></SUP>shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the <SUP class=crossreference value='(C)'></SUP>image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

The list of verses goes on and on.

It would seem, according to the Bible, women:

1. Are to be submissive to their husbands
2. Can't wear gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, and have to dress modestly
3. Can't braid their hair
4. Have to wear veils to cover their heads
5. Can't instruct/teach men
6. Are bound for domestic duties

Now do not get mad at me. I am not saying this stuff, the Bible is. It's all right there for the reading. I am merely introducing a topic for discussion.

Numerous passages talk about the role of women, how they should dress, act, and what their duties are. It would seem that God was a male chauvinist, if the Bible is taken literally.

Opinions?
 
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It would seem, according to the Bible, women:

1. Are to be submissive to their husbands
It also says to be subject to one another (submit) in the fear of Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

2. Can't wear gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, and have to dress modestly
It doesn't say that at all. Paul makes clear in the passage you quoted, not as it might be interpreted that these things are banned; rather, he is talking about the spiritual clothing of obedience and good works in Christ's name.

3. Can't braid their hair
Ditto. Not talking about physical raiment, but spiritual.

4. Have to wear veils to cover their heads.
5. Can't instruct/teach men
This is figurative relative to a woman receiving authority through her pastor or husband in order to be able to teach the word of God. In other words, as Paul stated in 1 Tim 2:12, a woman cannot have authority over men, and if she teaches men, she must have earthly authority as well as the heavenly authority of Christ. Note that Joyce Myers and Beth Moore never appear at a church or seminar without their husbands present.

6. Are bound for domestic duties
Read Proverbs 31. The woman therein is active and productive in the business world, but first and foremost she tends to her household. Don't be confused by the claims radical feminists (which they all are) voice that the Bible teaches women are subjugated in the Christian home. It is a massive lie. The key is to honor God as He commands. Obviously He approved of the Proverbs 31 woman, who was a loving wife and mother as well as a prosperous businesswoman. But she had her priorities in order.

Now do not get mad at me. I am not saying this stuff, the Bible is. It's all right there for the reading. I am merely introducing a topic for discussion.

Numerous passages talk about the role of women, how they should dress, act, and what their duties are. It would seem that God was a male chauvinist, if the Bible is taken literally.

Opinions?
And as I've pointed out, it is literal, but demands an understanding of context.
 
M

mdougie

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God isn't a Chauvinist, but many chauvinists try to use the bible to their sexist ends. They do this just like the Muslims do it. I don't think God wants Christian Sharia any more than Muslim Sharia. Also, not everyone thinks every book in the bible is literal.

The Marys were female and many others in the bible. Jesus was not a Chauvinist for sure.
 
V

Vanguard

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Also, not everyone thinks every book in the bible is literal.
I fall in this category. I fully understand the difference between literal, metaphor, allegory and etiology. All four are used in the Bible. Just seeing what others say/think.
 
V

Vanguard

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It doesn't say that at all. Paul makes clear in the passage you quoted, not as it might be interpreted that these things are banned; rather, he is talking about the spiritual clothing of obedience and good works in Christ's name.
That is not a literal reading then. That would be an allegory (or parable, depending on how one reads it). Far too many Christians pick and choose what they want to be literal, and discard the rest.

I am well aware of the context issue. That has become my staple since I joined these forums. But for this post, I used those verses as an illustrative example, outside of their chapters.
 
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That is not a literal reading then. That would be an allegory (or parable, depending on how one reads it). Far too many Christians pick and choose what they want to be literal, and discard the rest.
I understand what you're saying, and would point out that many Christians regard the meaning of a "literal interpretation" as embracing the allegories, parables, figurative images as well as the historical, factual passages. In other words, those methodologies used by the authors in presenting the word of God are to be taken as the mechanisms they are, but are also to be considered to teach a literal truth.

I am well aware of the context issue. That has become my staple since I joined these forums. But for this post, I used those verses as an illustrative example, outside of their chapters.
I understand that also, and agree that the reader must be prepared to understand the passage as intended. Too many do not, which is why we have so many differing interpretations of passages that should be easily understood, with the proper knowledge of biblical structure and literary license used to bring God's word to life.
 

God&DogGirl

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A pastor I spoke to once said that the way Jesus treated women was completely unheard of in those days. He treated them with kindness, not seeing them as inferiors at all. He allowed them to come hear his teachings. He spoke to a Samaritan woman, which was unheard of in that culture. Jesus was not a chauvinist.

Plus a lot of those verses are talking about marriage. The Bible never implies that women are to submit to all men, just their husbands and people in authority over her in the church. As a single woman, I wouldn't be disobeying God's law if I refused an order given to me by a man as long as he is not in authority over me. That's how I interpret this.

Husbands are also commanded to love their wives. And if you love your wife that much, you're going to respect her and listen to what she has to say. You wouldn't be bossing her around or demanding that she submit to you because if you love her that much, she's going to submit to you on her own. I was at a wedding a few months ago when the minister brought up these roles and said that if they're followed, they will come naturally.

God is not a male chauvinist. He believes in different roles for men and women and created them with these roles in mind. But He also makes it clear that both are created in His image and He loves both equally, not favoring one or the other. A friend of mine used to say that if the man is the head of the household, the woman is the heart. I think that's a good metaphor.
 
V

Vanguard

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The one element that is not being taken into consideration is the cultural element of the time. Back then, women were seen as little better than slaves, only fit for housework and making babies. The society was very male chauvinistic. Remnants of it still exist in the Middle East to this day (especially among Muslims). This begs the question of:

Is it possible that parts of the Bible were not God's word, but rather the ideas of men, and included in the Bible to justify beliefs and social hierarchy?

Before you start quoting verses, remember this...the entire Bible was written by human hands.
 

Deborah13

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The one element that is not being taken into consideration is the cultural element of the time. Back then, women were seen as little better than slaves, only fit for housework and making babies. The society was very male chauvinistic. Remnants of it still exist in the Middle East to this day (especially among Muslims). This begs the question of:

Is it possible that parts of the Bible were not God's word, but rather the ideas of men, and included in the Bible to justify beliefs and social hierarchy?

Before you start quoting verses, remember this...the entire Bible was written by human hands.
I agree with you that in the world culture women were seen the way you describe. I do not agree that that was the Jewish culture. Clearly I see in scripture that Jewish women were to be favored by their husbands. If a man treated his wife badly simply because she was a woman than he was NOT being obedient to God.
I could be wrong but I cannot think of any Godly man in the old testament or the new treated his wife like a slave or abused her?
 
V

Vanguard

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I agree with you that in the world culture women were seen the way you describe. I do not agree that that was the Jewish culture. Clearly I see in scripture that Jewish women were to be favored by their husbands. If a man treated his wife badly simply because she was a woman than he was NOT being obedient to God.
I could be wrong but I cannot think of any Godly man in the old testament or the new treated his wife like a slave or abused her?
I do not recall any actual account in the Bible of a man treating his wife that way.

However...

Exodus 21:1-11 Now these are the <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>ordinances which you are to set before them:
<SUP class=versenum>2 </SUP>“If you buy <SUP class=crossreference value='(B)'></SUP>a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. <SUP class=versenum>3 </SUP>If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. <SUP class=versenum>4 </SUP>If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. <SUP class=versenum>5 </SUP>But <SUP class=crossreference value='(C)'></SUP>if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ <SUP class=versenum>6 </SUP>then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

<SUP class=versenum>7 </SUP>“<SUP class=crossreference value='(D)'></SUP>If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free <SUP class=crossreference value='(E)'></SUP>as the male slaves do. <SUP class=versenum>8 </SUP>If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. <SUP class=versenum>9 </SUP>If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. <SUP class=versenum>10 </SUP>If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or <SUP class=crossreference value='(F)'></SUP>her conjugal rights. <SUP class=versenum>11 </SUP>If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.


The Bible speaks of Hebrew slaves (male and female) and how they were treated. Verse 7 especially defines the male chauvinistic theme of the culture. "...she is not to go free <SUP class=crossreference value='(E)'></SUP>as the male slaves do. [after 6 years]" Female slaves, married to the master or not, were viewed as sex objects.
 

Claudya

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No I am not insulting God, or implying anything negative about Him.

Many believe that the Bible is inerrent, the words are God's, and everything in it is divinely inspired and literal.
That's a strong assumption. Of course the Bible is inspired, but I can't imagine the author writing down their experience with God can ignore their cultural background. Nobody can ignore it.
So not God is a chauvinist male, but some of the Bible authors were, because that's how maleness was constructed in their day and age.


NASB

1 Timothy 2:9-10 Likewise, I want <SUP class=crossreference value='(A)'></SUP>women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.
Awesome, no styling!!! That means I can sleep an hour longer in the morning.
Thank you God, you must really love women! :)

Really I don't see any discrimination in that. Men are asked to focus on good works rather than appearance, too.

Edit: meh, seems I'm late for the discussion. :sad
 
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mdougie

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Well to be honest the entire idea that God is male is chauvinist.
 

Deborah13

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I do not recall any actual account in the Bible of a man treating his wife that way.

However...

Exodus 21:1-11 Now these are the <sup class="crossreference" value='(A)'></sup>ordinances which you are to set before them:
<sup class="versenum">2 </sup>“If you buy <sup class="crossreference" value='(B)'></sup>a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. <sup class="versenum">3 </sup>If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. <sup class="versenum">4 </sup>If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. <sup class="versenum">5 </sup>But <sup class="crossreference" value='(C)'></sup>if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ <sup class="versenum">6 </sup>then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

<sup class="versenum">7 </sup>“<sup class="crossreference" value='(D)'></sup>If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free <sup class="crossreference" value='(E)'></sup>as the male slaves do. <sup class="versenum">8 </sup>If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. <sup class="versenum">9 </sup>If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. <sup class="versenum">10 </sup>If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or <sup class="crossreference" value='(F)'></sup>her conjugal rights. <sup class="versenum">11 </sup>If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.


The Bible speaks of Hebrew slaves (male and female) and how they were treated. Verse 7 especially defines the male chauvinistic theme of the culture. "...she is not to go free <sup class="crossreference" value='(E)'></sup>as the male slaves do. [after 6 years]" Female slaves, married to the master or not, were viewed as sex objects.
Yes, but here we see the law revised to...
Deuteronomy 15:12-18

King James Version (KJV)

<sup class="versenum">12 </sup>And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
<sup class="versenum">13 </sup>And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
<sup class="versenum">14 </sup>Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.
<sup class="versenum">15 </sup>And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
<sup class="versenum">16 </sup>And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;
<sup class="versenum">17 </sup>Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
<sup class="versenum">18 </sup>It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.

We see here when the law is revised there is no difference in the treatment between male and female, that both are considered brothern. We also see that a male maybe be sold into slavery. I think this could happen because they themselves had a debt they could not pay or the family was in poverty so they were sold. One less mouth to feed and hopefully they would be well cared for.
I personally do not see this as slavery in the same since as we would view the slavery in America as such as captive slaves but rather as endentured slaves or as what one did for the family in order to live. Very much like in our own country when one family would give one of their children (usually male) to another family as a farmhand. People would also adopt boys to work on their farms and girls to work in the house in turn for caring for them. When they were grown they could leave but some stayed simply because they had no where to go that was any better. Thus we see servants working for families generation after generation.
 
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Vanguard

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Yes, but here we see the law revised to...
Deuteronomy 15:12-18
Now we're cooking! Amazing what one can find when they take the time to read and explore the Bible.

From here I could go into half a dozen different side debates (we did in a theology class for like 2 hours) but I'll save those for another thread...although I'll give you something to chew on for a bit: why the need for revisions? Did God make a mistake with His first set of laws, or were those the laws of men, written into the Bible? :confused
 
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A pastor I spoke to once said that the way Jesus treated women was completely unheard of in those days. He treated them with kindness, not seeing them as inferiors at all. He allowed them to come hear his teachings. He spoke to a Samaritan woman, which was unheard of in that culture. Jesus was not a chauvinist.
The pastor was wrong. Consider Mary, who in her "Ave Maria" passage quoted directly from the books of wisdom and exhibited a superb understanding of them. The Israeli women were not ignorant of God's teaching, nor were they treated as inferior to men. That is a misconception people have from hearing others who don't know what they're talking about say similar things. The Jewish women were the only ones in the Mideast of those days who could be property owners, business owners and had inheritance rights. Yes, Jesus spoke kindly to and highly of women, but as a Jewish man He was not unique in that aspect.

Plus a lot of those verses are talking about marriage. The Bible never implies that women are to submit to all men, just their husbands and people in authority over her in the church. As a single woman, I wouldn't be disobeying God's law if I refused an order given to me by a man as long as he is not in authority over me. That's how I interpret this.
You are absolutely correct. And don't forget, both are to submit to one another, as I pointed out from Ephesians 5:21.

Husbands are also commanded to love their wives. And if you love your wife that much, you're going to respect her and listen to what she has to say. You wouldn't be bossing her around or demanding that she submit to you because if you love her that much, she's going to submit to you on her own. I was at a wedding a few months ago when the minister brought up these roles and said that if they're followed, they will come naturally.
Amen.

God is not a male chauvinist. He believes in different roles for men and women and created them with these roles in mind. But He also makes it clear that both are created in His image and He loves both equally, not favoring one or the other. A friend of mine used to say that if the man is the head of the household, the woman is the heart. I think that's a good metaphor.
So do I.
 

for_his_glory

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"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27).

"Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created" (Genesis 5:2).

It is interesting to note that God called both male and female, "Adam" in the day they were created. Adam means "man." Adam and Eve were created with God-ordained differences from each other, but together they made a full "man," or a complete picture of God Himself. There was perfection in their union. Their differences were not a source of discord or inequality, but a beautiful compliment to each other. Together, God gave them the task of overseeing and ruling His creation

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:28).

Notice that God gave the above commission to them both. There is no hint that there was anything but equal authority between man and woman as they existed in a sinless state.
 
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Vanguard

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"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27).

"Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created" (Genesis 5:2).

It is interesting to note that God called both male and female, "Adam" in the day they were created. Adam means "man." Adam and Eve were created with God-ordained differences from each other, but together they made a full "man," or a complete picture of God Himself. There was perfection in their union. Their differences were not a source of discord or inequality, but a beautiful compliment to each other. Together, God gave them the task of overseeing and ruling His creation
Actually, this is subjective and whether it used the term adam [the implied name of Adam, a singular person] or ha-adam [the name for manking, both male and female]. The KJV dropped the "ha-adam" part and just uses Adam. It changes the context. According to the KJV, man is referred to as Adam, which is wrong according to the Hebrew. The NASB got it right by taking out Adam and using Man instead (to denote mankind...masculine pronouns were used back then).
 
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"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27).

"Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created" (Genesis 5:2).

It is interesting to note that God called both male and female, "Adam" in the day they were created. Adam means "man." Adam and Eve were created with God-ordained differences from each other, but together they made a full "man," or a complete picture of God Himself. There was perfection in their union. Their differences were not a source of discord or inequality, but a beautiful compliment to each other. Together, God gave them the task of overseeing and ruling His creation

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:28).

Notice that God gave the above commission to them both. There is no hint that there was anything but equal authority between man and woman as they existed in a sinless state.
The name Adam gave to his wife's gender (Genesis 2:23) is 'ishshah which literally means "out of man, the opposite" a whole sentence in one word. It can also be translated "womankind" setting the gender apart, but not separate, from mankind. The entire concept is that of a complement to man, a completion, that without one another, neither is whole.
 

Kaliani

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Well to be honest the entire idea that God is male is chauvinist.
Well, I think so too. As if saying God has feminine aspects is to put Him down. Only a chauvinist would give you a black eye for saying that about him.

Certainly, Jesus was not hypermasculine. He could and did turn off the hard aggressive side - like the way He treated children and women. I suppose He, unlike some men, was unashamed of that softer, feminine side. And He was more of a man for it too, IMHO.
 
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