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Equality of The Sexes
by Mark Nickles
1/15/2020 / Education
The equality of men and women is no new issue; it has been talked and written about, mused and debated throughout much of the history of mankind. And, while the Bible (and therefore, God) is often accused of showing a bias favoring men, nothing could be further from the truth. Following are just a few examples.
In the first chapter of Genesis, the 27th verse indicates that God made man AND woman in His image, indicating equal spiritual “footing” between the two. In the second chapter, an understanding of the original language reveals an important nuance when reading verse 22. The verse reads, “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” The original meaning indicates that mankind was, at that moment, made as it was meant to be, as if an unfinished building had just been completed.
In an example of God ruling against the traditions of man, Numbers 27:1-11 records the story of the daughters of a man named Zelophehad, who had died and left no sons. In the account, God granted them rights to their father’s property, instead of it going to other male relatives.
In the fourth chapter of John, we find an often-taught passage in which Jesus breaks with Jewish social morays of the day, taking time to speak at length with a Samaritan woman. At that time, a Jewish man wouldn’t think of speaking to a woman in public, much less one who was not a Jew. Even Jesus’ disciples were “surprised to find him talking with a woman.” This verse supports not just equality of the sexes in God’s eyes, but of all nationalities, as well.
Finally, in Ephesians 5:22-33, a passage which often is criticized for the admonition for women to “submit to your husbands” (a largely misunderstood concept, today), it seems lost on most readers that the author actually spent more than twice as many verses instructing husbands as to how they should love their wives.
Though human beings struggle with the practice of equality, God does not. The best concepts of equality are found in the Bible, springing from the very heart and mind of God.
Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.
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