Essay PreviewMore ↓
Jesus, Gender and The Bible
Sunday evening I attended my weekly Ecumenical Christians of Oberlin meeting. This is a group of generally open-minded individuals that get together on Sundays to have dinner and discuss topics related to Christianity. Topics range from "What is the Kingdom of God?" to "Pacifism: Turning the Other Cheek." Our topic this Sunday was "Women and the Bible."
At first I thought that we might be studying Esther or one of the many Marys - prominent women in the Bible that are always mentioned whenever the subject is brought up. I was partly correct: we did mention most if not all of the Marys, although we did not mention Esther. Being primarily a non-fundamentalist Christian group, we tend focus on the New Testament. I also thought that this might end up being a discussion on the women who were important to Jesus and why they were important. Once again, I was partly correct: we did discuss them, but we ended up discussing much more.
The first of two questions we considered was "How does my being male or female affect my spirituality?" I thought for a while and could not think of a single way in which it did. I often ponder how my being male affects my relationships with my biological father, the opposite sex, and society. But, before this meeting, I had never pondered how being male affected my spirituality. Most of the men in the room seemed to be in a similar state of confusion at the question. The women, however, had a more varied response. Some felt the same way I did - they had never really thought about it. A couple mentioned how being able to give birth to another human brought them closer to God, the creator of life. Several more mentioned sexism in the church and how it interfered with their spirituality. This got the discussion rolling, although in a slightly different direction from what the discussion leader had planned. We talked about how sexism in the church had affected our lives. The church often seems to push men and women into specific roles. Women are not always taken seriously, and their spiritual gifts and needs are sometimes ignored. These shortcomings, caused by members of the church as well as tradition, are harmful to members of both genders because they can distort people's views of the world, the Bible, and God.
How to Cite this Page
"Jesus, Gender and The Holy Bible." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Dec 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Is Jesus truly a Male?” “Could our Savior have been a woman?” People, especially feminism, tend to ask these type of questions. Feminism, and all the other people who agree with them and support them, in this specific topic, are clearly unbelievers of God and Jesus, the Son of God. In other words, Christianity. They are unbelievers of Christianity. They obviously do not believe in Christianity because in order to believe in Christianity you have to believe in God, Jesus, the Son of God, and the resurrection of Jesus.... [tags: Jesus, Christianity, God in Christianity, Gender]
1611 words (4.6 pages)
- At St. Joseph Parish in Windsor, Connecticut, women are seen as equals to men. They are greeted by a handshake and a warm smile, just like their husbands or siblings they attend church with. I got the feeling that they didn’t care that I was a woman attending Sunday mass alone, they just cared that I had come at all. On every wall of the church were beautiful stain glass with pictures of Jesus and his disciples, while behind the altar, a painting of Jesus on the cross was painted so that everyone who walked in would see it.... [tags: Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Holy Spirit]
1840 words (5.3 pages)
- Holy Woman Introduction Do you feel alone, underappreciated or even oppressed by others oaround you urging you to ‘change’ to be someone other than you authentic self. Why/ how does this notion of radical belief structures, such as patriarchy, fit into Jesus’ concept of discipleship and solidarity. In a world where even faith is segregated into a white woman’s Christ and a black woman’s Jesus, how does someone like myself of mixed ancestry, find an identity in a world that is often viewed as black or white, but not in varying shades of gray.... [tags: Gender Studies]
2128 words (6.1 pages)
- If the Bible is indeed the Word of God, perfect and without error, then the issue is settled. Homosexuality is a sin and we must condemn it's practice. However, if the Bible is the writings of men who were only capable of seeing dimly, as if in a mirror, the way Paul described it, then we have a long way to go before we settle the question. John's teaching concerning the third person of the trinity, God's Holy Spirit, has that person leading us into truth, and not a book...even if that book is called "the Holy Bible." I maintain that the conservative doctrine that the Bible is the express Word of God, perfect and without error, is a heresy.... [tags: essays research papers]
370 words (1.1 pages)
- The most widely read book in the world, the Holy Bible, often finds itself correcting, guiding, being interpreted, and being reimagined by people all around the world. Frequently to make sense of the stories the Bible depicts, its readers will envision the accounts in a new way or setting to better understand an element of the original. Movies such as: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Evan Almighty; and East of Eden are examples of what reimagining biblical stories can look like. Sometimes, though, people will reinvent the biblical narrative for a good laugh, satire, or to poke fun at it.... [tags: Jesus, Bible, New Testament, Old Testament]
982 words (2.8 pages)
- The question, “Who here has had a word given to them by the Lord today?” is one that is asked on a daily basis. Denominational organizations, as well as the vast majority of those who claim to be “non-denominational” groups, are found to ask questions or have practices that relate to the idea of “new revelations” in our present age. This has been a largely debated issue, and while one side has soundly, Biblically, and evidentially proven itself to be the truth, there still is much teaching and correction that needs to take place in order to properly guide mankind in the truth that God’s inspired Word sets out to and does affirm.... [tags: New Testament, Jesus, Bible, Christian terms]
1040 words (3 pages)
- Christian church services Based on the Great Commission of Jesus Christ the Lord , firmly and clearly , Jesus Christ gave tasks and commands you [ pointing to the churches , as well as those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior ] , as written in the Bible , namely : "To me has been given all authority in heaven and on earth . Therefore go and make disciples of all nations , baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit , and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you .... [tags: marturia, diakonia, christianity]
1366 words (3.9 pages)
- ... Moses birth is the beginning of an incredible story which is narrated to us by the scripture of the Exodus. At the time of Moses birth he had to be hidden for a period of three months by her mother Jochebed. When the three months passed her mother couldn’t hid Moses anymore from the Egypts then she decided to put him inside a chest and let him flow through the Nile river. Moses was found by the Pharaohs daughter who with compassion adopted this little child. By this means we can begin to see Gods power and also we can acknowledge that there is a plan already set for everyone of us.... [tags: prophets, knowledge, guide, writings]
901 words (2.6 pages)
- The Holy Bible is Fact, Not Fiction The Hebrew word used for "day" is the word yom. Every other time the word is used in the Old Testament in conjunction with a number, a literal, 24-hour period of time is being described; what we know as a day. The word is never used metaphorically in the Bible. The verses most commonly used to say that the word day in Genesis could mean more than a 24 hour period are Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3, which quotes Psalm 90:4. Psalm 90:4 - For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.... [tags: Holy Bible Essays]
1379 words (3.9 pages)
- The Authorship of Genesis Is the book of Genesis real or fiction. This is an age-old question. There are many thousands of Christians, who believe that Genesis is the absolute word of God. Many of these people believe that Moses wrote the book of Genesis, and believe that God himself told him what to write. Those who believe Moses wrote it really believe that God created the heaven and earth as well as all living things including man. Then there are those who believe Genesis is nothing more than fiction.... [tags: Holy Bible Genesis Essays]
981 words (2.8 pages)
The second question brought us back to the original direction of the topic. "How as a male or female do I feel about the balance of female to male stories and people in the Bible?" Once again, the men in the group pondered a relatively new question. Of course, we knew that most of the stories in the Bible are about men, and we knew that all of the twelve apostles were men. But we agreed that it really did not affect us in any particular way, and some women said that it did not really affect them either. However, others said that it put a distance between them and the scriptures - that it limited their ability to relate to the scriptures.
I had never realized that this could be a problem. To be sure, there are many passages that I do not relate well to, often because of a lack of understanding, but occasionally because the story just really does not relate to my surroundings, my situation, or myself. Overall though, I tend to understand and get something out of the stories fairly easily - I can find some aspect that relates to me. Women, however, have an extra barrier to overcome; they must, even in the realm of spirituality, overcome the gender barrier.
The reason for the mixed reaction from the women, and lack of reaction from the men, we decided is because the Bible takes the male gender to be the "normal" gender. Of course, Western society in general takes this view. We struggle now in writing with the still awkward "s/he"s and "his/hers"s. In speaking we always make sure that we include female examples, avoid stereotypes, and talk about women engineers and male nurses. We do this because we are trying to make up for centuries of treating the male gender as the normal gender. The Bible is just as guilty of this sexism as any other piece of historic literature. However, the sin is more grievous because this is the book on which so many people base not only their lives, but their souls.
So, the Bible is guilty of sexism. But was Jesus? Was Paul? As an exercise, we named all the women we could think of who were close to, or at least mentioned in conjunction to Jesus and Paul. The lists were hard to do, especially when compared to how easily we could name men. And the lists were not very long - but they were lists. Paul, we noticed, had a shorter list, and we agreed that he was at times a bit sexist (when speaking of adultery, it is usually the woman he refers to). However, we decided this was excusable when we considered the number and importance of the women he worked with and wrote to. Also, though Paul says, "Wives, be subject to your husbands," he also instructs husbands to "love your wives and never treat them harshly." In fact, in Corinthians he says "For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." That almost puts husband and wife on equal footing. As for the over abundance of male names, our discussion leader, having studied this topic in some detail while in the seminary, talked about how the gender of some names had changed to male over centuries of translations. This also helped us to forgive Paul's male-oriented language.
The list for Jesus, though, really touched me. When we started listing women whose names were not given, the list became a respectable size. Many of Jesus's miracles were for women (whose names we do not know) - the widow whose son he resurrected, the crippled woman he heals on the Sabbath (getting himself in trouble in the process). Plus, the women in Jesus's life were really important to him. They traveled with him; they gave financial support; they were disciples. Often, they were not the stereotypical weak and silent women. The women disciples are the ones that stayed with Jesus, even through the crucifixion, while Peter, one of Jesus's closest apostles, denied he even knew Jesus when Jesus was captured. And even the sexist Bible speaks lengthily of the women disciple's role in the days of Jesus's death and resurrection. Women seem to be important to Jesus, and he does not treat them as less than men. He heals as many women as men. He defends persecuted women (imagine someone publicly defending an adulterous woman even now), he holds real conversations with them. Though the Bible is sexist, Jesus does not seem to be.
This discussion had a real impact on the people participating. I think we all began to look at the scriptures in a different light. For the first time, I realized the problems that many women must go through when reading the Bible. I saw another example of sexism that I as a member of the "normal" gender just never had reason to notice before. We all discovered, though, that in spite of the faults in the language of the Bible, the messages in the Bible were still meant for all of us.