How far can you be a Feminist Biblical Scholar and Remain a Faithful Christian?

How far can you be a Feminist Biblical Scholar and Remain a Faithful Christian?

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How far can you be a Feminist Biblical Scholar and Remain a Faithful Christian or Jew?
The number of feminist scholars critically assessing Biblical narrative has risen since the second feminist movement of the 1970s (Scholz 2014). A common theme of their scholarship has been to what extent the Bible may be seen to favour men. Some feminist scholars may not be able to legitimately assess the Bible and remain faithful to it because of such outdated views on women in a time when women’s equality is encouraged. I will firstly discuss the difficulties of being a feminist scholar and a Christian or Jew with particular reference to belonging to men, being of less value in society, and finally with a focus on key issues arising from Genesis 2 and 3 whereby gender roles and woman’s blame for the Fall of Man have been central to feminist interpretations. I will then assess ways in which such difficulties may be overcome with a different interpretation, beginning with refuting claims concerning the Creation story. This will be followed by analysing how the Bible is read and the value of historical context when doing so. By discussing these aspects, I will reach a conclusion as to how far you can be both a feminist scholar and a faithful Christian or Jew.

The first issue which feminist scholars face in whether they can be a faithful Christian or Jew is that the Bible states multiple times how women are subordinate to men. This can be seen in 1 Corinthians 11:7-9 where it is said that the man ‘is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man… neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man.’ This clearly states that women are inferior to men and belong to them similar to a po...

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...orm Criticism and Beyond’. Journal of Biblical Literature. 88 (1), pp.1-18.
Russell, L. M. (1985). ‘Authority and the Challenge of Feminist Interpretation’. In: Russell, L. (ed.). Feminist Interpretation of the Bible. Oxford. Basil Blackwell. pp.137-146.
Scholz, S. (2014). Feminist Scholarship on the Old Testament: Introduction. Available: Last accessed 19th March 2014.
Schungel-Straumann, H. (1993) ‘On the Creation of Man and Woman in Genesis 1-3: The History and Reception of the Texts Reconsidered’. In: Brenner, A. (ed.). A Feminist Companion to Genesis. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. pp.53-76.
The Holy Bible, New International Version
Trible, P. (1973). ‘Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Interpretation’. Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 41 (1), pp.30-48.

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