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  1. #31
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    Jesus' teaching...

    When confronted with another equally hideous Mosaic Law issue (divorce for any reason by the husband), Jesus responded, "Moses permitted this because your hearts were hard...but it was not this way from the beginning..." (Mt 19:3-9). He did not affirm that any of this was "OK," but rather pointed back to God's original intent...in the beginning. In the beginning, contrary to most traditionalist teaching, God did not "command" that men "rule over" women (Gen 3:16). This was a [I]prophecy[I], not a command: this was Him saying, "Now that you have chosen to be separated from my perfect will, unfortunately these are the things you will have to endure...woman, your 'desire' will be for your husband (not a good translation--should read, "you will be 'turning to' your husband (as in for leadership from him instead of from Me directly, as it should be), and as a result, he will rule over you." It does not say "he SHALL rule over you," as O.T. command language usually reads--it says he "will." This was all a prophecy of how it was going to be now, unfortunately, because of their choice to disobey...it was not a command for all time!

    It's important to know God's original intent for marriage, and what was actually said:

    Gen 1:26-28
    26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

    27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

    28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." NIV

    This is the first passage on the creation of 'man,' which in Hebrew is the word 'adam' and here refers to 'humankind.' The important thing to note is that it is NOT just the 'male' that is created in God’s image—He created THEM, male and female, in His image and blessed THEM and told THEM to be fruitful and rule over everything—together. God is calling them both, male and female, 'adam' at this time. I personally believe this is the creation in the spirit realm (yet every bit as real as the physical realm), as Gen 2 is where Adam/male and Eve/female are formed in body. So let’s look at what precedes Eve being formed:

    Gen 2:18: 'The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

    The first thing to note is what God said was 'not good'—man being alone. He didn’t say, 'it’s not good that Adam has all this work to do by himself, he needs someone to assist him with this, someone to delegate to…' or anything like that (remember He had commissioned them both to rule/reign in Gen 1). It was Adam’s aloneness—his lack of fellowship with someone like himself that God called 'not good,' so God said He’d make a 'helper suitable' or a 'helper comparable.'

    There are several Hebrew words used in the O.T. that translate in English as 'helper.' The one used here is 'ezer'— ezer is a very strong word used 21 times in scripture, 20 of which refer to God's own help in our lives. The one time it is used to refer to human help, it's in the context of having help in times of trouble, especially when needing deliverance from one's enemies—in other words, this 'help' is coming from someone stronger and more able to help us than ourselves—are we to assume God is in subjection to us because He's described as our Helper? How about the Holy Spirit, who is The Helper, the Comforter…is He 'under' us in authority??

    One often overlooked method of Bible study that gives better understanding to what the text is saying is to look up which words were not used. For example, there are several other words translated 'help' in the Old Testament that are more close to the meaning of 'helper" as in a personal assistant, to just "help" with whatever needs done under the guidance of another. If God had meant for the wife to be a 'helper' in this sense, the writer of Genesis would have used one of those words, but He did not.

    The 'helper' God was making was also described as 'suitable' which is the Hebrew word neged and also translated 'comparable.' Neged means "to stand boldly out opposite; eye to eye; nose to nose; chest to chest; knee to knee; etc." This balances out the 'eger' help she was to be (help that comes from someone stronger than you) and shows specifically they were on equal standing--woman wasn't to be man's mother and dominate him, but neither was she to be his child to be dominated by him--she was to be his wife, and one with him. There was never a hierarchy from the beginning. If any argument for hierarchy could be made, we could say that God created things in ascending order of complexity in design and intelligence: water --> plants --> fish/birds --> animals --> Adam --> and finally, the crown of creation, the best He could do: EVE!! But we all know that's a ridiculous argument! They were EQUAL under God as far as authority, but differently created as to function. There is no indication otherwise, except where people have presumed something that is not there.

    So God makes Eve from one of Adam’s ribs/sides—which is why he declares 'bone of my bones'—and another picture of equality. Then immediately the Scriptures tell us:

    'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.' Gen 2:24

    'For this reason….' What is the reason? Because they were 'one flesh' in Adam before Eve was taken out of him and now the man is instructed to 'cleave' (adhere tightly to/BOND) to his wife to become as one again. Remember, in Gen 1 they were created in God’s image, male and female—it was as if the substance of God’s image was all just in Adam until the female part was removed (remember, God is Spirit, not flesh). When Eve was made, the image of God was not added to or subtracted from. It was divided into male and female. Yet they were one. Think of it as God’s image being purple, and Adam and Eve then divide to become blue and pink. It is only by their coming together, uniting 'as one' that they then reflect His full image again (blue + pink = purple). Note that it doesn’t say the female is to leave her parents and be joined to the male, but vice versa—and that’s for a reason: The male could forever then use that as his 'God-ordained' reason for the woman to be subjugated to him. But nor does this mean that the woman is to have 'authority over' the man—the two are to be ONE.

    Eph 5:28,33 (translated according to Vincent's Word Studies) says: "so husbands ought to love their wives since they are their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his wife as being his very self"

    Also, Gen 2:24 is repeated FOUR TIMES in scripture! (Gen 2; Matt 19; Mark10; Eph 5) When a word is mentioned once in the bible, we need to take special note. When it is mentioned four times, it becomes a red-flag alert! God wants us to pay very special attention!!

    Marriage was never supposed to be about who is in control or who serves who…it is about becoming one. But a married couple cannot enjoy this deep level of oneness if the man views the woman as an inferior person in any way.

    Next we see in Genesis 3 the temptation and fall. The temptation was to be 'like God' (Gen 3:5). Eve was deceived by the serpent and when confronted by God she acknowledged this, repenting of the sin: 'the serpent deceived me' (vs 13)—she spoke the truth of what happened. Adam, however, willfully indulged in this sin, deliberately disobeying the command God gave him not to eat of the tree. When confronted by God, he didn’t repent as Eve did—instead, he shifted the blame to both Eve and God: 'the woman YOU gave me…she gave me some fruit and I ate it' (vs 12). Adam never repents of his desire to be 'as God.' So what must have been the inevitable result of continuing to indulge that desire? Adam & Eve were already both given equal dominion over all the earth; so Adam, in his desire to be 'as God,' had no one else to be 'as God' to, but to Eve. Therefore, he would desire to extend his dominion by subjugating Eve to his rule. And this is what God addresses when he is pronouncing the curse and what will now happen to them as a result of their disobedience in Gen 3:16:

    'To the woman he said,
    "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
    with pain you will give birth to children.
    Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you."

    This is not a command from God as to how He wants the marriage relationship to be! This is part of the curse Jesus redeems us from!!! It is a prophecy of what’s going to happen now and not how He originally intended the relationship to be. It is Him saying to the woman, 'because you and Adam sinned, now one of the bad things that will happen is you will be turning to*/desiring your husband instead of Me, and as a result, he will take advantage of that in you and he will rule over you.' (Note: 'he will rule over you' instead of 'he shall rule over you' … 'Shall' was the O.T. terminology for commands from God; e.g. 'Thou shall not steal…')

    *The word "desire" as used here is wrongly translated in the English versions. The Hebrew word teshuqa is is best translated as "turning". Because of how the word is translated in other passages, the verse should read: "Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he will rule over thee." Eve is "turning" from God, and He warns her that if she does that, she will bring herself under the dominion of Adam.

    Even if it could be translated as 'desire' in the sense of affectionate desire, one Bible scholar states this: "There is therefore ground for the opinion that the author in this passage [gen 3:16] intended to make Jehovah say that the very tenderness of the woman for the husband would enable him to make and keep her his inferior."

    We have to recognize that Eve's subordination to man did not occur at her creation--it occurred here; it was a consequence of their sin. God's original plan was not that women be oppressed and "ruled over." In some cases the church has taught that Eve's curse was God's ultimate will for her: like, "From now on, because of Eve's deception, women must be ruled by men as a form of punishment, or everlasting consequence of Eve’s sin. But this isn't God's intention--it is simply the consequence of disobedience APART FROM redemption! It’s actually an affront to the atonement Jesus gave to believe this—as if He gave His life to redeem us all from all sin, but somehow that didn’t cover Eve’s sin? Somehow women everywhere are destined to be ruled by their husbands because that part just wasn’t covered in the atonement?! It’s a ridiculous assumption.

    Adam was told that he would have to toil by the sweat of his brow in the fields because the ground was now cursed. This refers to a curse of poverty--not a curse that he'd now have to work, because he was already given meaningful, purposeful work when he was placed in the garden. It's a curse of tragic economic depravity that rules every pagan culture. But we don't use this verse to teach that abject poverty is God's perfect will for men any more than we believe that because of verses 17-19, all males should have agricultural occupations.

    The curse of poverty on man--along with the curse of oppression on women--was reversed because of the grace that was released into the world by the finished work of the Savior's cross. God's plan to draw all of his fallen creatures back into fellowship with Him through Jesus includes the strategy to restore both men and women to a place of rulership that the first couple enjoyed before the fall. Through the cross, women overcome the curse, and they can once again eat from the Tree of Life. It is at the Tree of Life, the place of restored relationship and intimate communion with our heavenly Father, that we find woman's ultimate calling. Yet we have tried to define a woman's destiny by the act of disobedience that occurred at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God has offered woman redemption through the cross and deliverance from the curse of sin--yet our tendency is to continue to blame Eve for her deception.

    One more note on this passage. Gen 3:17 says: 'To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you…' Some people try to imply from this verse that Adam’s sin was in 'listening to his wife,' because he was supposed to be the leader and make the decisions. This cannot be true. If the serpent would have spoken directly to Adam instead of Eve, the verse would read, 'because you listened to the serpent and ate from the tree…' The issue is not the listening, it is the eating of the fruit that God had directly forbidden him to do! He never forbade Adam from listening to his wife, but He DID forbid him from eating from that tree. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, and God doesn’t change, and if God had meant that the sin was in listening to his wife, we would never find in other O.T. passages how God commanded the husband (Abraham) to listen to the wife (Sarah)!

    Gen 21:12
    12 But God said to him, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.

    Actually, the word 'listen' in that verse is most often interpreted as 'obey'! We could build a doctrine that the husband is to obey the wife just as easily from this one verse as others have on that one in Genesis!

    There is another popular argument used to support the idea that God established Adam’s authority over Eve from the beginning. It states that 'to name someone or something in ancient times implied having authority over the one named.' But assuming that Adam had authority over Eve simply because he named her and that’s what the 'ancient practice' meant is faulty logic and certainly not following sound interpretation practices. In fact, it’s conjecture bordering on 'adding to the Word of God.' How could there possibly be an 'ancient custom' in place when they were the first created beings?! The custom did not precede the first instance! Adam didn’t name Eve because this was the established practice/custom of his day—he was the first to do this!! And just because he did in no way implies having 'authority over' her.

    In fact, in the entire Old Testament, there is NOTHING supporting male 'headship' as in the husband is in a higher position of authority over his wife. There are, however, a few cases supporting the husband deferring to his wife or the wife 'disobeying' her husband’s wishes and being commended for it! But the fact is, God doesn’t want them in any kind of hierarchy—they are to be 'one'—which is on the same level—different functions and different predisposed masculine and feminine tendencies and roles, but never one 'above' the other in any way as far as authority.
    Last edited by debz; 12-11-2011 at 04:07 PM.

  2. #32
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    The Male Bias of the Bible

    Hi all,

    Great post, debz. Really enjoyed it, especially:

    'The 'helper' God was making was also described as 'suitable' which is the Hebrew word neged and also translated 'comparable.' Neged means "to stand boldly out opposite; eye to eye; nose to nose; chest to chest; knee to knee; etc." '

    A very big Amen to all that you shared.


    A great deal of confusion today arises because fallen women are trying to be like fallen men, rather than trying to be like redeemed women, who fit naturally and effectively in relationships with redeemed men.
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  3. #33
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    Hi Debz,

    Excellent post.

    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    When confronted with another equally hideous Mosaic Law issue (divorce for any reason by the husband), Jesus responded, "Moses permitted this because your hearts were hard...but it was not this way from the beginning..." (Mt 19:3-9). He did not affirm that any of this was "OK," but rather pointed back to God's original intent...in the beginning. In the beginning, contrary to most traditionalist teaching, God did not "command" that men "rule over" women (Gen 3:16). This was a [I]prophecy[I], not a command: this was Him saying, "Now that you have chosen to be separated from my perfect will, unfortunately these are the things you will have to endure...woman, your 'desire' will be for your husband (not a good translation--should read, "you will be 'turning to' your husband (as in for leadership from him instead of from Me directly, as it should be), and as a result, he will rule over you." It does not say "he SHALL rule over you," as O.T. command language usually reads--it says he "will." This was all a prophecy of how it was going to be now, unfortunately, because of their choice to disobey...it was not a command for all time!
    I woke up today to your post and it brought a huge smile to my face. This is the same understanding my wife and I have always had about our marriage in the Lord and the scriptures. Jesus Christ really is the "Magna Carta" of women. He brings liberty not only to the woman but also to the man. Liberty to trust, share, love and work together for the glory of God.

    Rick
    Last edited by heb13-13; 11-22-2011 at 08:10 AM.

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    When confronted with another equally hideous Mosaic Law issue (divorce for any reason by the husband), Jesus responded, "Moses permitted this because your hearts were hard...but it was not this way from the beginning..." (Mt 19:3-9). He did not affirm that any of this was "OK," but rather pointed back to God's original intent...in the beginning. In the beginning, contrary to most traditionalist teaching, God did not "command" that men "rule over" women (Gen 3:16). This was a [I]prophecy[I], not a command: this was Him saying, "Now that you have chosen to be separated from my perfect will, unfortunately these are the things you will have to endure...woman, your 'desire' will be for your husband (not a good translation--should read, "you will be 'turning to' your husband (as in for leadership from him instead of from Me directly, as it should be), and as a result, he will rule over you." It does not say "he SHALL rule over you," as O.T. command language usually reads--it says he "will." This was all a prophecy of how it was going to be now, unfortunately, because of their choice to disobey...it was not a command for all time!

    It's important to know God's original intent for marriage, and what was actually said:

    Gen 1:26-28
    26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

    27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

    28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." NIV
    Hi Debz

    Welcome to the Forum... I so glad you chose to comment on this Thread.

    Focusing on Jesus for a moment...it is true that of all the characters of the Bible he stands a head and shoulders above all the rest when it comes to women's equality. There was only so much Jesus could do to try and salvage the egregious errors contained in the Old Testament Scriptures, he believed to be inspired by his father Yahweh.

    You mentioned that Moses permitted this (the egregious discrimination of women) because of the hardness of their hearts, well...it was actually Yahweh who gave Moses the laws that allowed for women to be abused in horrendous ways. Genesis 1 is in direct conflict with Genesis 2-3; the god Elohim of Genesis 1 decrees that male and female are created in his image equally and told to be fruitful and multiply, this is not the case in Genesis 2 where the god Yahweh first creates Adam and tries to find a mate for him from all the animals, finally ending in the female being born from the male...what a flip that was!

    There is no getting around it, the way the actions of Yahweh are portrayed in the Bible is directly in keeping with the way the male bronze age mind thought and those ideas were directly translated onto the pages of Scripture. Modern man tries to correct for all the Bible errors by making it mean and says things that it doesn't. The Bible is full of moral abominations that by today's standards should cause any person to shudder in horror. Why justify a book that is so morally wrong?

    Since your post is quite long I am going to respond to it in parts...

    All the Best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post

    Eph 5:28,33 (translated according to Vincent's Word Studies) says: "so husbands ought to love their wives since they are their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his wife as being his very self"

    Also, Gen 2:24 is repeated FOUR TIMES in scripture! (Gen 2; Matt 19; Mark10; Eph 5) When a word is mentioned once in the bible, we need to take special note. When it is mentioned four times, it becomes a red-flag alert! God wants us to pay very special attention!!

    Marriage was never supposed to be about who is in control or who serves who…it is about becoming one. But a married couple cannot enjoy this deep level of oneness if the man views the woman as an inferior person in any way.
    Hi Debz

    Have you ever wondered why the husband had to be told "he ought to love his wife"? If as Paul says: the man's place is to be in the position of headship over the wife, why should he have to be told to love her? To qualify for a position of leadership shouldn't one already possess the qualities of leadership before one is given the position? But as we know in the case of the Bible authority is given based solely on ones gender, it has nothing to do with qualifications.

    Another question I've thought about goes back to the Garden story...doesn't it seem a bit odd that Adam who followed the woman's lead in eating of the fruit when he knew Yahweh had told him not to was the one who was given a position of leadership? It appears Yahweh is not a good judge of character, putting someone who is easily influenced in a position of leadership and giving blanket ruler-ship based on gender.

    Just some things to ponder

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  6. #36
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    The Male Bias of the Bible

    Hi Rose,

    the way the actions of Yahweh are portrayed in the Bible is directly in keeping with the way the male bronze age mind thought
    This is an astonishing statement!

    How could you possibly know what the general mindset of bronze age males was?


    Have you ever wondered why the husband had to be told "he ought to love his wife"
    Paul the apostle, and Paul Washer's cryptic (but genuinely sincere and deadly serious) answer would be - God is saying 'you know how to love yourself! Now go and love others that way!'

    Of course, loving one's wife is a whole different ball of wax, and neither Paul the apostle or Paul Washer are in any doubt about that. This instruction is a direction to embrace the cross, and love someone selflessly and unconditionally in the way Christ loved the Church by dying for her. Who wouldn't find this a major challenge?

    Be honest. We are not without our own faults, sisters.
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Debz

    Have you ever wondered why the husband had to be told "he ought to love his wife"? If as Paul says: the man's place is to be in the position of headship over the wife, why should he have to be told to love her? To qualify for a position of leadership shouldn't one already possess the qualities of leadership before one is given the position? But as we know in the case of the Bible authority is given based solely on ones gender, it has nothing to do with qualifications.

    Another question I've thought about goes back to the Garden story...doesn't it seem a bit odd that Adam who followed the woman's lead in eating of the fruit when he knew Yahweh had told him not to was the one who was given a position of leadership? It appears Yahweh is not a good judge of character, putting someone who is easily influenced in a position of leadership and giving blanket ruler-ship based on gender.

    Just some things to ponder

    Rose
    Thanks, Rose...although from your responses I am not sure you understood what I was saying in my post. The teaching on male "headship" and "authority over women" is SO prevalent in the church, sometimes we can't even see that this is not actually what the Bible teaches--which is what I was trying to show. I was saying God did NOT give Adam a position of leadership "over" Eve, despite the popular belief. Same with Paul and "headship."

    Eph 5:23-24: "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

    Many men have read this to say something like, 'For the husband is the boss of the wife as Christ is the boss of the church.' And that supports their sinful desires to be 'as God to,' to control the relationship, to assure their self-interests will always win out, etc. But it cannot mean that and keep with the rest of Jesus' teachings ("do not call anyone lord or master, for One is your master"). Once again we have to also look at which words were NOT used here—and although there are several Greek words that could have been chosen that have the clear meaning of 'chief' (as in boss), or 'governing authority,' 'leader,' 'lord,' or 'master,' NONE of these words was used. So we have to see which meaning best fits with the concepts being taught, and which are also in agreement with the rest of Scripture.

    The word 'head' (kephale) as Paul intended here can be likened to the 'head of a river'—it is not the boss of the river, but it is the river’s 'source.' This also keeps with the Greek culture’s belief at the time this was written of the head of the body being the 'life source,' or having a supportive, life-giving role to the physical body. This is why the verses also affirm Christ’s role to the church—they are not referring to His Lordship (they could have chosen that word, but didn’t)—they are referring to His role as the 'life giving support' and "source of Life" of the Church. And as the church submits to Christ (is built upon, arranging herself after and responding to that Life source), so the wife responds to the life-giving efforts of her husband. Husbands can be a source of life or a source of death to their wives—and how he treats her will also be reflected through her attitude in their home, even extending to the children. Sources of life build-up, support, tenderly care and provide for, and help them attain their best and highest. This is why it goes on to show Christ’s role in helping the church become 'without spot or blemish'—He is helping her attain her best and highest. Sources of death expect subordination, want to be served and honored, want to 'lord over' others, criticize, neglect, etc., and end up sucking the life out of their wives. The reference to Christ is the relationship of Him to His Bride, to whom He says 'come up here,' 'sit with me in high places,' 'become one with me,'—it is not a reference to His lordship, of which He is Lord of ALL—He is woman’s Lord individually every bit as He is man’s Lord individually—she is to obey HIM alone as Lord, but not her husband as Lord. If read properly, these verses speak of the union God desires of 'oneness' between husband and wife, not of one ruling over the other.

    Another little thing to note in the Eph 5:24 passage is that the word 'should' is not in the original text and therefore changes the meaning. The literal translation says this: 'Therefore as the church submits to Christ, so do wives to husbands in every way.' Or, if properly translated, 'as the church responds to Christ’s life-giving support, so do wives respond positively to their husbands in every way.' 1 John 4:19 says, 'We love because He first loved us' – it is this same concept that is reflected here. Husbands, love your wives, and in response to that you’ll be loved and respected back. Makes much more sense and fits in with the rest of Jesus’ teachings this way, but it’s a hard one to swallow for self-centered men who want the preeminence (no matter how much they claim to be 'loving, servant-leaders').

    The only leadership supported in the Bible between husband and wife is for the man to go first. Be the first one to love. Be the first one to serve. Be the first one to lay down your life. Then the wife responds in kind, with respect because they deserve respect. Masculinity includes being an initiator, and femininity includes being a responder—women will respond to whatever men initiate, whether positive or negative. Husbands can be life-givers, or a source of death, and women will respond, reflecting whatever their 'source' is delivering. There is no hierarchy despite the passages that seem to say so. However, it takes humility and a real desire to know the truth on this to actually 'get it.' So many men and women don’t get it and that’s why there are so many problems with 'Christian' marriages.
    Last edited by debz; 11-22-2011 at 12:38 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    Thanks, Rose...although from your responses I am not sure you understood what I was saying in my post. The teaching on male "headship" and "authority over women" is SO prevalent in the church, sometimes we can't even see that this is not actually what the Bible teaches--which is what I was trying to show. I was saying God did NOT give Adam a position of leadership "over" Eve, despite the popular belief. Same with Paul and "headship."

    Eph 5:23-24: "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
    Hi Debz,

    I did understand what you were saying, but sad to say I cannot agree...the Bible most definitely DOES teach male headship! I wish it were only that simple as to change the meaning of a few words having to do with male headship to make everything nice and equal, but alas Scripture is filled from beginning to end with male bias against women and there is no getting around it by tweaking a few words. From its first pages the Bible is written through male eyes and their desire to control women, so if one is to believe that it was inspired by 'God' then one must also believe that the 'God' of the Bible is a misogynistic male warrior named Yahweh.

    It would have been very easy for Yahweh to have inspired his word in such a manner as to have no ambiguity about female equality if that is what was intended. Women can't have their cake and eat it too! If they want to believe the Bible was inspired by Yahweh then they are going to have to accept that he is a misogynistic god who believes that males are superior to females. I choose to view the Bible as an historical book giving great insight into the mind of Bronze Age man.




    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    The only leadership supported in the Bible between husband and wife is for the man to go first. Be the first one to love. Be the first one to serve. Be the first one to lay down your life. Then the wife responds in kind, with respect because they deserve respect. Masculinity includes being an initiator, and femininity includes being a responder—women will respond to whatever men initiate, whether positive or negative. Husbands can be life-givers, or a source of death, and women will respond, reflecting whatever their 'source' is delivering. There is no hierarchy despite the passages that seem to say so. However, it takes humility and a real desire to know the truth on this to actually 'get it.' So many men and women don’t get it and that’s why there are so many problems with 'Christian' marriages.
    I don't know where you got the idea of men being the initiators and women being the responders...I see both qualities manifest in men and women. Male and Females are both perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, take a look at the animal kingdom; the female of the species raises the young, hunts for herself and her young usually without the help of the male. It is a totally male/man imposed idea that women somehow cannot make it without the leadership of a male, but that is not to say that working together as a family unit doesn't benefit both the man and woman greatly. The marriages that work are the ones where both partners equally respect the intelligence and integrity of the other.

    All the Best,
    Rose
    Last edited by Rose; 11-22-2011 at 05:05 PM.
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Debz,

    I did understand what you were saying, but sad to say I cannot agree...the Bible most definitely DOES teach male headship! I wish it were only that simple as to change the meaning of a few words having to do with male headship to make everything nice and equal, but alas Scripture is filled from beginning to end with male bias against women and there is no getting around it by tweaking a few words. From its first pages the Bible is written through male eyes and their desire to control women, so if one is to believe that it was inspired by 'God' then one must also believe that the 'God' of the Bible is a misogynistic male warrior named Yahweh.

    It would have been very easy for Yahweh to have inspired his word in such a manner as to have no ambiguity about female equality if that is what was intended. Women can't have their cake and eat it too! If they want to believe the Bible was inspired by Yahweh then they are going to have to accept that he is a misogynistic god who believes that males are superior to females. I choose to view the Bible as an historical book giving great insight into the mind of Bronze Age man.


    I don't know where you got the idea of men being the initiators and women being the responders...I see both qualities manifest in men and women. Male and Females are both perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, take a look at the animal kingdom; the female of the species raises the young, hunts for herself and her young usually without the help of the male. It is a totally male/man imposed idea that women somehow cannot make it without the leadership of a male, but that is not to say that working together as a family unit doesn't benefit both the man and woman greatly. The marriages that work are the ones where both partners equally respect the intelligence and integrity of the other.

    All the Best,
    Rose
    Rose, I do understand how it looks that way--I believed the same thing for the first 30 years of my Christian life, and would adamantly defend that position. When I first heard people teaching this, I thought the same thing: "You can't twist the words to make it be something you want it to be..." It wasn't until about 10 years ago I really started researching it in depth--I mean, I read everything written on both sides of the argument (egalitarian/complementarian), and in between. In the end I reached the conclusion that they were both wrong, and both right in some ways. It's a shame it isn't more clear, but I also believe that is the result of mistranslations from the scribes over the years--and didn't you just post Dr. Ehrman on another post proclaiming the very same thing? Could not this be the result of MALE scribes and kings who believed it should be this way, therefore had a bias in the translations? It really was not what God intended--and there really are some clear things right beneath the mistranslations that anyone with a concordance can discover.

    As for the idea that males are initiators, women responders...I didn't make that clear enough. Because yes, obviously there are many instances where sometimes men are more passive and not comfortable initiating. And yes, women are perfectly able of taking care of themselves--I was a single mom with a disabled son for 7 years, ran a business, went to school, led ministries and owned my own home, so I understand that! What I should have said was the Bible instructs them to be initiators, and when they initiate positively, women will respond positively. For example, the "leave and cleave" passage is given to the husband only -- for a reason -- the wife will respond in kind, but the instruction is given only to the husband. Also, only the husband is instructed to agape love in the marriage relationship -- for a reason. Not that the wife won't agape love too, but she is never instructed to specifically "agape" her husband. It is in this sense alone that men are instructed to "lead": in going first, but never as having "authority over." The wife is never instructed to "obey," although that word could have been clearly chosen by Paul, as he used it in other places--"hupotasso" is the word for "submit" and it is used for all Christians in how they should relate to each other. In Eph 5:22, the famous "wives, submit to your husbands..." the word "submit" isn't even in that verse! It only makes sense when it's pulled from Eph 5:21 -- submit to each other: wives, to your husbands...and husbands...lay down your lives for your wives..." (husbands actually have a "stricter" instruction in this!).

    Same with "master of the house" -- in the NT the only reference to this describes a WIFE, not a husband!

    1 Tim 5:14 says: '14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.' Some translations say 'guide the home.' Either way, they are not being honest in their translation of the word for 'manage their homes.' The word is oikodespoteo, and in the Greek it means (copied from Strong’s): 'from NT:3617; to be the head of (i.e. rule) a family'

    NT:3617 is oikodespotes: 'from NT:3624 and NT:1203; the head of a family/master of the house'; NT:3624 = house and NT:1203 = 'despotes': 'an absolute ruler/despot'

    However, since the translators could not imagine a wife having such 'power,' they had to water that down to fit their preconceived notions. Again, Paul could have used the Greek word oikonomeo –which actually means 'to manage a house' or 'to be a steward of the house'—which would fit more with the translators ideas, but he didn’t! (There are several other instances of similar 'watered down' translations when it comes to describing women apostles, pastors/leaders, etc.—like Phoebe described as a 'servant' when the same word, applied to men, is interpreted as pastor/teacher/leader of the church.)

    But that's OK...you don't have to agree with me. ;) I resisted this plenty myself for years. If ever you might have an inkling to examine this again, I recommend "God's Word to Women" by Katherine C. Bushnell, a medical doctor and advanced Hebrew and Greek scholar in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Amazing woman--did much for mistreated women in her day, including a home that housed 5000 abandoned woman, and exposing Indian government's control of prostitution. She does the most thorough job, IMO, of really showing what the Bible teaches--if translated properly--and shows that God is really not the misogynist He has been portrayed to be. Quite the opposite. He can't be. He is Love.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    Rose, I do understand how it looks that way--I believed the same thing for the first 30 years of my Christian life, and would adamantly defend that position. When I first heard people teaching this, I thought the same thing: "You can't twist the words to make it be something you want it to be..." It wasn't until about 10 years ago I really started researching it in depth--I mean, I read everything written on both sides of the argument (egalitarian/complementarian), and in between. In the end I reached the conclusion that they were both wrong, and both right in some ways. It's a shame it isn't more clear, but I also believe that is the result of mistranslations from the scribes over the years--and didn't you just post Dr. Ehrman on another post proclaiming the very same thing? Could not this be the result of MALE scribes and kings who believed it should be this way, therefore had a bias in the translations? It really was not what God intended--and there really are some clear things right beneath the mistranslations that anyone with a concordance can discover.
    Hi Debz,

    Up until a couple years ago my solution to the male bias of the Bible was to try and explain it away or simply ignore it, then I became a freethinker and ask myself the question 'why do I believe the Bible is the word of god?'. If the Bible was truly god’s word why wasn’t he able to make his views clear and unambiguous, and why did I have to keep making excuses for Yahweh’s bad morals. Time and time again I would say to myself why does it seem like my morals are better than the god of the Bible? Slowly but surely I began to see that I had no solid reasons for why I believed the Bible was the word of god, it was just that given the culture I grew up in there was no other book to map my innate concept of god onto.

    The Bible is so full of errors and flaws that I see no reason that could possible justify a person in this modern day to believe in it except ignorance, and I include myself in that statement. Does it not seem strange that Christians have to continually make excuses for why there are no original translations, or that Scribes may have made mistakes or copy errors. If the Bible truly was the inspired word of the creator of the universe shouldn’t we at least have an original, reliable, unambiguous translation?

    All the Best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

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