Biblical sexism

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Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18

The Bible is rife with sexism. More liberal Christians are quite rightly embarrassed by this and consequently try to ignore it and may wish to dissociate themselves from it by attributing it to the patriarchal ancient Near East societies of the authors and compilers of holy scripture. The societies who created the bible certainly did treat human females as objects and as property.

More conservative Christians, who might hold to more "traditional" family values, might or might not be uneasy by the outright displays of male chauvinism, but literalists really do have no choice but to accept biblical sexism as fact, and to conclude that they support it as prescribed. Some encourage and advocate such sexism in practice.



Part of the New Testament.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.

But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head — it is the same as having her head shaved.

If a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.

A man ought not cover his head, since he is in the image and the glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

For man did not come from woman, but woman from man.

Neither was man created for women, but women for man.

For this reason, a woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

Doesn’t nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?

For long hair is given to her as a covering.

If anyone is inclined to dispute this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God.

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.


Part of the New Testament.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.


Part of the Old Testament.

And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife.

Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails.

And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will...

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.


Part of the New Testament.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

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.


Part of the Old Testament.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.


Part of the Old Testament.

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes.

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

Worth noting is that Abraham already had a wife at this point (Sarah), as well as his very own abandoned sex slave concubine (Hagar).

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants...

And Esau took his wives...


Part of the Old Testament.

Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;

And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.

And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them.


Part of the Old Testament.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean...

But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.

If a woman gives birth to a male child, she is unclean for seven days. If she has a female child, she is unclean for 14-66 days. Go figure.

And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver...

And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.

And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.

And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.

And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.


Part of the New Testament.

I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be quiet.

Women in the Bible[edit]

Amusingly, there are several prominent women throughout the Bible who actually go against the above norms and rules, especially in the Old Testament. A standout example is the story of TamarWikipedia in Genesis 38.

Tamar was a woman who married a man, but he was murdered by God for being evil before they had any kids. She then married his brother Onan, who was killed for God for performing coitus interruptus.Wikipedia before she got knocked up. Their dad, Judah, thinks Tamar is cursed and tells her to wait before marrying his youngest son, as the custom of the time is a woman must marry the brothers of her husband if he dies childless. Any children from those unions are considered the dead eldest brother's. Tamar has to wait before she can marry again, however, when the youngest does come of age, Judah still won't let them marry. So Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute, tricks Judah into getting her pregnant and is given his signet ring so he can pay her later. When her pregnancy is discovered, Judah wants to burn her alive for adultery, until Tamar gives him the ring. Realizing he's the father, Judah admits Tamar is in the right and he in the wrong for not freeing her from the marriage obligation. Tamar had twins, one of whom is an ancestor of Jesus.

See also[edit]