Men and Women are not Equal?: Biblical Analysis Part 1

This is the first post in a multi-part series dealing more specifically with the equality of men and women in the Bible.


Today I will respond to yet another comment from The Jaded View of Church.This one was given by astarwashere. I don’t plan to respond to the whole thing just some of the cliams about the belief of Christians. Here is a link to his blog.

You’re skirting the issue. You believe in the Judeo Christian god. You believe that the word of god is in the bible, is perfect, and if you are truly devout you will uphold what is prescribed to its followed there. You believe men and women are not equal, and that people who don’t follow your god should be put to death. It’s all in your “holy” bible. Study the history of your beliefs.

I will only be addressing his assertation that Christians believe men and women are not equal and will be ignoring the tone as I have already received personal correspondance on the issue. Some of the passages that lead to people believing this statement are:

  • Exodus 21:7 – “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.”
  • Deuteronomy 22:13-21 – Speaks of a woman having to prove her virginity under false accusation

While there are many other passages used I will not be referencing them all. Use the above as a taste of where we are heading.

What I really want to do is judge the scripture in the light of it’s cultural context. As with any written word, it was written at a specific time to a specific culture. While there are many good ideas in many books we must recognize this fact before carte-blanch decisions are made about the work.

In the world at the time women often served as prostitutes. Even now, most people realize that this exacts a terrible cost for the women that are involved in it. If we look through the Old Testament we will see that the sexuality of women was elevated above this. Just one passage (Leviticus 19:29) states that giving of your daughter to this life degrades her. This is said in a cultural environment that thought nothing of giving daughters to prostitution. Deuteronomy 23:17-19 states the neither a man or a woman should become a prostitute. Nor should they bring their tithe to the house of the Lord. This makes both a man and a woman prostitute equal in God’s eyes. Still on the topic of sexuality it is interesting to note that Assyrian rape laws of the time held the woman guilty whether she was forced or seduced. At times the man was let off with no charge at all. Deuteronomy 22:23-28 gives a different picture of the consequences of rape. If the woman did not scream in the town then she too was held responsible. If it happened in the country then she had no fault in the matter and only the man was punished. While this still seems barbaric by today’s standard’s it is nonetheless much more advanced in morality and equality than the surrounding lands.

Here are the book resources for this post.


~ by curtismchale on October 11, 2007.

2 Responses to “Men and Women are not Equal?: Biblical Analysis Part 1”

  1. Interesting. I usually wonder, when reading blogs attacking Christianity, if the authors have even read the Bible.

    What ever happened to “there are no male and female,” according to St. Paul? We are all one in Christ, period. But I’ll bet you were about to get to that in the next part.

  2. Yes part two will be dealing with the NT.

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