Misogyny in the Old Testament Essay

1953 Words Jul 8th, 2016 8 Pages
Introduction In modern society, especially since the 1960s, there has been a strong push for women’s equality. There are many Christians and non-Christians who believe Christianity had a hand in the perpetuation of the patriarchy leading to misogyny. Christians who oppose this idea may argue that it is founded on a lack of theological knowledge, that there is biblical evidence supporting that God desires equality, and that discrimination is not condoned in biblical stories and teachings. It is easy to initially construct the notion of misogyny in the Old Testament when acquiring only a shallow view of scripture. However, when applying a hermeneutical approach, one can see that equality among genders is a common theme. The Bible itself …show more content…
This is supported by the examination of the Hebrew phrase, “ezer kenegdo,” which may be translated as “a helper equal to him.” The word “ezer” is also used several times in the Pentateuch to reference God as the helper. Examples include Genesis 49:25, Exodus 18:4, Deuteronomy 33:7, 29, and 29, as well as in Psalms and Isaiah. “The Hebrew word kenegdo translated as “suitable,” literally means “like opposite him,” almost a mirror image.” The main argument related to misogyny stemming from Genesis is based on Genesis 3:16 when God states, “your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Because they sinned against God, man, woman, and the serpent were punished. Now, instead of man and woman being equal, woman must be subservient to man. However, “and he shall rule over thee” describes a punishment, a state of affairs which is…undesirable.” The ideal relationship between man and woman is still that of equals, and there is no expectation that any human “is called upon to enforce God’s punishments.” David T. Lamb suggests that the punishments outlined in this passage of Genesis are only applicable to Adam and Eve, even though most interpreters would maintain the assumption that these curses are intended to affect all of humanity. Regardless, the punishment on Eve does not necessarily indicate oppression. Rather, as Paul states in Ephesians 5:21-22, wives are to submit to their husbands and is meant as mutual submission.

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