What does the Bible teach about feminism?

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By BibleAsk Team


Feminism

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines feminism as the “belief in and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” Feminism holds the stand that societies prioritize the male point of view and that women are treated unjustly in these societies.

Originating in late 18th-century Europe, Feminism advocates have campaigned and continue to campaign for women’s rights. Some have argued that feminism often promotes the elevation of women’s interests above men’s, and criticize radical feminist positions as unhealthy to both men and women.

The Bible and Feminism

The Bible does not explicitly use the term “feminism” as it is a modern concept, but it contains numerous passages that address principles and values relevant to equality, dignity, the different roles for the sexes, and the worth of individuals. Let’s explore these principles in relation to feminism in the Scriptures:

1-Creation and Equality: The Bible begins with the creation account in Genesis, emphasizing that both man and woman are created in the image of God: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27, NKJV). This verse highlights the foundational equality of men and women in their shared creation in the image of God.

2-Partnership in Marriage: The Bible presents marriage as a partnership, with both husband and wife contributing to the relationship: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, NKJV). This verse emphasizes the unity and partnership between a husband and wife.

3-Mutual Submission: In the New Testament, the apostle Paul encourages mutual submission within Christian households: “Submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21, NKJV).

4-Women in Ministry: The Bible features several women in prominent roles, including prophetesses, judges, and leaders. Deborah, for instance, served as both a judge and a prophetess (Judges 4:4). Additionally, in the New Testament, Phoebe is described as a servant (diakonos) of the church (Romans 16:1-2), indicating a significant role.

5-Value and Dignity: The Bible emphasizes the intrinsic right of all individuals to receiving the benefits of salvation: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, NKJV).

6-Proverbs 31 Woman: Proverbs 31 describes a woman of virtue and capability, celebrating her skills, wisdom, and industriousness. “She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night” (Proverbs 31:18, NKJV).

7-Respect and Honor: The Bible instructs men to honor their wives as being the weaker vessels: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, NKJV).

8-Jesus’ Interactions with Women: Jesus often interacted with women in ways that challenged societal norms. He engaged in meaningful conversations with women and affirmed their worth. For example, the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and the woman caught in adultery (John 8) experienced compassion and grace from Jesus. “When Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity'” (Luke 13:12, NKJV).

9-The Biblical Hierarchy of Authority: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). The Word of God give us the three degrees of submission. The man is to acknowledge Christ as his Lord; the woman, while recognizing the supremacy of Christ as Lord over all, is to acknowledge that in domestic life she is placed under the guidance and protection of man; Christ, although equal with the Father, is represented as recognizing God as head.

10-Equal, But Have Different Roles: “And I do not permit a woman to … have authority over a man … For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” (1 Timothy 2:12-15).

Woman’s leading role in the introduction of sin and her present subordinate position in no way affect her opportunity for salvation. Men and women stand in equal need of the divine saving grace. In making provision for the birth and raising of children, the Lord has given a great honor and privilege to womankind. However, the role of the gospel minister is restricted to men (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).

Summary: The Bible does not use the term “feminism. But the overarching theme in God’s Word is the recognition of the equal worth, dignity, and value of both men and women in receiving the benefits of salvation. The Scriptures present principles with concepts of justice, equality, the different roles of the sexes, and the affirmation of the worth of all individuals.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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