Women and the Bible

4:30 AM

I love the Bible. That's not a pious statement: I love its literature, its theology, its life and its puzzlers. Fun for me is picking through a tough passage and seeing the light bulb go on.

I also love women. I know so many strong women, women I'm proud to befriend and encourage and be encouraged by. Their inner beauty, intelligence, servant attitude, humor and passion inspire me. 

My dream job? Expositing the Bible to women in a way that's practical and deeply theological at the same time. I think women deal with so many theological questions practically -- mothers witness original sin firsthand, women react to this world's injustices, girls feel the sting of trying to gain approval (God's and man's). Instead of offering them solid meat, we stick to fluff -- trivial references to chocolate, coffee and big girl panties; "Biblical" fashion advice; overboard emphasis on the importance of crocheting. Many women drown their deep questions in what's fashionably "Biblically woman" at the time, thinking it will satisfy.

It doesn't. I know.

So we're left asking the question: According to the Bible, who am I? (And that's why all roads run back to the complementarian vs. egalitarian argument.)

Hermeneutics (the study of how to study) is crucial because many passages particularly referencing women are downright confusing. Women will be saved in childbearing? Women must wear a head covering but their hair is their head covering but it isn't? Women can prophesy and speak in tongues but must remain silent in the assembly? 

So I thought it would be fun -- and perhaps beneficial to you, dear readers -- if we discuss those passages pertaining "women's issues" that have confused us. Leave a comment and share your question/problem passage. If I have any brilliant breakthrough in my studies, I'll write something up and we can discuss it. If you have any brilliant breakthroughs, don't hesitate to share them!

Happy Hermeneutics, ladies!

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10 impressions

  1. I would definately love to talk aout all three of those passages. I feel that my hair is my covering, but I would love to talk more about that in depth.

    Keep up digging in the Scriptures Bailey! I am encouraged by your eagerness to expose Gods Truth to others.

    In Christ,

  2. Ooh! This'll be fun.

    I definitely want to discuss all three of those. :]

  3. Awesome idea! I would love some insight on the whole head covering issue. I've always been a little confused by that.

    Oh, I was also curious, where in the Bible does it say women will be saved in childbearing? I've probably read the verse, but unfortunately, I am terrible at remember Bible references. Numbers. *Grrr*. ;-)

  4. Julia, the passage is 1 Timothy 2:15.

    I better pray for insight fast...the head covering thing has ALWAYS stumped me. :D

  5. Great ideas, Bailey! Thank you for encouraging us to discuss the 'good, the bad, and the just plain 'ol confusing'!

    I'll be thinking of things to discuss.... :)

  6. I recently read an interesting take on 1 Timothy 2:15. The lady wrote a blog post about her life and having kids, and her version of that verse, applied in her life, has that she had a brain tumor that's symtoms were only noticable when she was pregnant because of weird health issues. The tumor was life threatening. So, she was saved (is alive today) because the symtoms of the tumor happened while she was childbearing. Just thought I would share that!

    And, I'll looking forward to your take on head covering. I've read one woman's opinion that she started wearing a head coverning because 2000 years of women wore it, so it is a tradition that has only been dropped in the last 200 years or so. But, the problem I have with that is that, just because something is tradition or has been done for a number of years, or that lots of people do/did it, doesn't make it right in God's eyes. Does that make sense?

    God Bless,

  7. This should be very interesting. =) Just a caution...I think we have to be careful when we study these kind of things to not try to study them into our pre-existing views on the subject. For instance, we can't go at the passages on women in the church trying to show how they don't say that women can't preach, or go at 1 Corinthians 11 merely for the purpose of proving that we don't have to wear a headcovering. As in everything, it's important to study with an open mind, a teachable heart, and a pleading for the Holy Spirit. That said...I"m looking forward to hearing your thoughts. =)

  8. Here is a link to a blog post by a Christian woman who covers, telling her story and the reasoning behind her decision: http://pursuingtitus2.com/2008/09/06/the-view-from-the-veil-my-journey-into-full-time-headcovering/ This is a very friendly, gentle, easy to read article and it includes a link to a denser and more scholarly article on the subject by her father-in-law. I find the comment thread on this post interesting too because a few of the comments offer arguments why the verse does not mean women should cover and/or why they choose not to cover and then the blog author responds to those comments.

    I'm offering this link as a possible jumping off point for your discussion, NOT as "the answer".

    Have fun!


  9. Hey Bailey! I would love to hear your thoughts on head covering, too ... :-)

    Here are a couple of other hot-button issues that I thought of, just in case you're looking for more variety:

    - Women working (as in a career) vs. staying home
    - Quiverfull vs. deciding on number of children
    - Contemporary Christian music vs. old-fashioned hymns
    - Public, Christian, or home school
    - Thoughts on Christian nonresistance
    - Thoughts on Christians in politics and government

    There are probably more, and these are probably stale issues by now ... but I thought no list of hot-button issues was complete without them. :-)

    I loved your marriage post today, BTW - your last few paragraphs were almost poetry! :-)


  10. oooo....good ideas, Vicki! I've removed myself so far from most of these debates that I forgot those were even issues! I'm thinking I might address the first two.

    I decided to tackle the head covering passage. I was surprised what my conclusion was. It will definitely spawn some good conversation. :)


Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)