There is some division between those bearing witness to Christ and those espousing secular views due to misreadings of crucial bible verses. This has subjected the bible to accusations of sexism, and one of the trials we must undergo as religious individuals is defending our faith. One of the ways we can do this is by taking these misinterpreted verses and analyzing how they prove the bible’s elevation of women, not their oppression.
He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.
This verse has mistakenly been interpreted as meaning a woman can never divorce her husband, and, once the vows have been uttered, there is no possible grounds for separation. But this is untrue.
A better translation of this verse would be: Anyone who divorces his wife [for the purpose of marrying] another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband [for the purpose of marrying] another man, she commits adultery.
Sexual immorality is grounds for divorce and marriage partners should strive to be faithful towards one another, but if one divorces their spouse with the pre-planned intention of marrying another, this is a form of adultery.
King Herod Antipas— whom this verse is critiquing— had done this very thing. Antipas was married to the daughter of an Arabian king, but became infatuated with his brother’s wife, Herodias. The union between Antipas and Herodias was an unlawful one, as it was forged through their mutual desire to abandon their spouses. It was John the Baptist’s critique of their marriage that would bring about his beheading.
But here we also see how the bible sought to protect women, as Jesus rejected the notion of men dismissing their wives on baseless grounds. The notion of a man being unfaithful to his wife was relatively unheard of before then, as it was thought only a woman could be capable of committing adultery. Here we see how the bible enforced equal, complimentary roles for men and women. Not only did it hold men to the obligation of committing to their wives, it dictated that both sexes must be held to the same moral standard when it came to faithfulness in marriage.
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Taken out of context, it almost appears the apostle Paul is calling for a woman’s silent submission to be absolute. But Paul is not prohibiting all forms of speech from women in the church. Rather, he is critiquing the women who regarded congregational meetings as a time for idle chatter. Paul rejects the notion of reducing a time of worship to a social gathering at the market, and he sought to protect it from inconsiderate gossip.
God does not favor gender, as he intended for the roles of men and women to be balanced. The idea of a woman’s testimony not being valued within the Christian religion is unfounded, and it is an idea widely disputed by the text of the bible itself. Throughout the Bible, we see multiple instances where God entrusted the gospel to women, and the value Christ has for women.
In John 12:1–8 a woman anointed Jesus with an expensive perfume, and she kissed his feet, wet them with her tears, and dried them with her hair. When the woman was rebuked for her actions, Jesus silenced them. He praised her, and he declared the story of this woman’s faith must be told.
We saw Christ reach out to a woman once again in John 4:1-42 when Jesus encountered the woman at the well. This woman had been wed to 5 husbands and was shunned by society. But Jesus entrusted her to evangelize to the Samaritans, and, because of her testimony, they accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
But perhaps the most important point is the matter of Christ’s resurrection. If God truly discriminates against gender, then why would he entrust such a precious component of our Christian faith to a woman? Our faith is centered around the third day in which our Lord rose from the dead, and the testimony of this event is inherent upon the words of a woman.
Jesus revealed himself first to Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-18. The story of Easter is centered around Christ telling a woman to spread the good word that he had risen from the dead. Womankind was responsible for this good message.
God did not intend for either sex to be superior to the other. Both of us have the privilege of carrying a certain set of strengths for the purpose of complementarianism, as well as allowing us to uphold God’s message. None of us would be here without the strength of a woman, as a mother bore every one of us, allowing us to live a life that can fulfill God’s plan for us.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.