Posted by: thaishin | May 5, 2016

Is the bible sexist?

Question from a listener on moody radio openline on April 30, 2016:

I love Jesus dearly and I really want to believe that the Lord loves women as well as men but it seems that in the bible men are put in a higher stands with regards to God, male pronouns are always used unless women are specifically addressed. If God is no respecter of any persons, why is he/him is used instead of she/her?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik:

I think this is a function of language to be honest. Language always has used the male as the generic use for a person and then specified male or female. Here’s the example I will give, it’s in the creation, it says that God made man in his image, he made them male and female. So, we used to talk about mankind and now we talk about humanity. Mankind was a generic term for humanity and encompasses both male and female. That was how language was used. What happens is that as time goes on and we come into the modern era and the rise of feminism. People are looking at language and they want to change how we use language. The whole idea of Mr/Ms/Mrs, so what do we get? A nonmarried term Ms and was shocking to avoid whether a person is married or non-married. That was considered sexist and people started calling people Ms. There’s other things going today and they are trying to make things  indistinguishable. However, the language of the bible itself is just using man in a generic way. So when it says blessed is the man, it means blessed is the person and we have to not try to impose our own cultural sensitivities from today onto the scriptures. The bible is  really affirming and it says in the creation narrative that women are made in the image of God. That grants women full and equal status to man. Women are elevated, you look at the proverbs 31, this was an oppressed society, the woman of valor described there, she’s got a business, she’s taking care of her family, she’s serving God, she’s the phenomenal woman and she’s become the role model, not just for women but for men as well. Do not confuse gender neutral language which is part of our culture as somehow the fact that the bible does not use gender neutral language, which because it uses the man in the generic sense to represent humanity, do not take it automatically to mean that the bible is demeaning to women. It’s just the way the language was used and the bible use the language of the time it was written.

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Responses

  1. I feel currently in our country too much time is spent on words or terms and many people are trying their best to change the bible or what it means. We, as man, have more than we can handle just living a holy life and without sin as much as we can. The words “he” & “she” causes me never to worry if our God has favor over man than woman. We do not need to dig in deeper to learn more from the holy scriptures. Even the most versed seem like have debates telling us peons what the verses mean. Why don’t our ministers preach about “hell” or we will go to hell if we don’t believe in and belong to God? Preachers and ministers seem to be scared to preach the truth as was preached some 100 years ago. Are they afraid more of their congregation will be gone so the minister preaches to just simply tickle their ears? Most ministers today are “wimps.” If they don’t have super churches and write books they are not important. I say that many are not doing their jobs and will partly or wholly be responsible for the millions of souls who will be lost at judgement day.


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