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Women in the Bible and Their Gender Roles - Essay Example

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Introduction In a bid to provide a deeper understanding of women in the Bible and their gender roles, the following discussion revolves around works and writings of different scholars. Sexuality is an important aspect of human life…
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Women in the Bible and Their Gender Roles
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"Women in the Bible and Their Gender Roles"

Download file to see previous pages Topics of sexual morality within gender studies have spurred hot debates amongst various scholars. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that sexual morality emanates from the Bible. Perceptions of sexual morality in the contemporary church significantly borrow from the ancient Israelites and the lives of Christians during the life and after the death of Jesus Christ. Many women in the Bible have shaped the perception of contemporary church on gender roles. There is no doubt that the gender roles in which Biblical women subscribed to emanated from a culture that largely differs from contemporary culture. Women in the Bible and Gender Roles The Old Testament vividly describes the life of the ancient Israelites, which shaped the perception of women and gender roles. During the classical period women were considered to be wives in charge of domestic duties and not leaders. The Biblical perspective of women as portrayed in the Old Testament is that they (women) were never expected to participate in leading a given community (Belleville, 2000). Most women in the Bible during the Old Testament are seen as submissive and helpless as they abide by the directives of the men. From the onset of creation, Eve was created as Adam’s helper. Creating a woman as a man’s helper changed the perception of men towards women during the classical period. Consequently, women were despised and never allowed to take any leadership position within the society. In this perspective, the Bible identifies women as helpers and not leaders. Other than being wives, the other gender role of women in the Bible is being mothers. Many women in the Bible are portrayed as good and caring mothers with very few exceptions (Hancock, 2003). For instance, Moses’ mother was a good and caring mother to the extent that when Moses was born she placed him along the river banks with a view of protecting him (Moses) from Pharaoh. Even when the King’s daughter came across Moses, Moses’ mother accepted to take care of him (Giles, 2002). This depicts women as mothers besides being wives. In addition, the Bible describes women as those who prepare food for the family, provides a helping hand in the fields, sews, and sells merchandise amongst other functions, which are essential the functions of a mother. Therefore, the Bible portrays women as caring and good mothers who are able to take of their husbands and the whole family (Hancock, 2003). Despite the negative perception with respect to leadership and authority, there are women who excelled more than men when they were in leadership position. This was an indication that what men can do women can also do and in most cases better. For instance, the story of Deborah and Miriam being judge and prophetess respectively is a clear indication that besides being perceived as people who cannot take leadership or authority, women are better leaders than men in some cases. What’s more, the Bible does not identify circumstances under which God was never pleased with women leaders, an indication that besides being wives and mothers women can take up leadership roles within the society. Other than Debora and Miriam, Hulda was another woman figure that changed the perception of men towards women. Evidently, women in the Bible were not only wives and mothers but also leaders. On a different perspective, the New Testament, which revolves around the times of Jesus Christ, portrays women slightly different from the Old Testament while trying to describe various gender roles. Nonetheless, the New Testament identifies women as good and caring mothers (Groothuis, 1997). Good and caring mothers are seen amongst many women in the New Testament such as Mary mother of Jesus. Mary and Martha are also considered to be caring and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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