Bronze-level article

Biblical sexism

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Light iron-age reading
The Bible
Icon bible.svg
Gabbin' with God
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18

Sexism in the Bible is quite rife. This sort of thing is mostly ignored by more liberal Christians and accurately attributed to the patriarchal society of the time, which really did treat women as objects and property.

More conservative Christians, who might hold "traditional" family values may also be quite embarrassed by the outright displays of chauvinism but literalists really do have no choice to accept this as fact, and conclude that they support these positions.



Part of the New Testament.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:3-10:
    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.

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.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:34-35:
    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.
  • Colossians 3:18:
    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.


Part of the Old Testament.
  • Deuteronomy 21:11-14:
    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...


Part of the New Testament.

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.
  • Exodus 21:7-8:
    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.
  • Genesis 3:16:
    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.
  • Genesis 19:8:
    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.

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

  • Genesis 26:34, Genesis 29:29:
    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.
  • Genesis 32:22:
    And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants...


Part of the Old Testament.
  • Leviticus 12:2 and Leviticus 12:5:
    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.

  • Leviticus 19:20:
    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.
  • Leviticus 27:3-7:
    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.
  • 1 Timothy 2:12:
    I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be quiet.

See also[edit]