Sometimes people say very ignorant sexist things about God and the Bible. It is only the second week of the class on the Pentateuch I am taking this summer and already I have heard numerous such ignorant sexist statements.
Perhaps the worst was that one woman said something along the lines of, feminists have had some good insights, but they've gone too far, because after all the Bible refers to humanity as "man."
Good grief. This is about on the level of people who say we know God is male because Jesus is male. That's like saying, "We know God has brown eyes, because Jesus has brown eyes." Sloppy, uncritical thinking!
It is not generally believed that every accident of the way of the Hebrew or Greek language works was specifically designed that way for the purpose of biblical revelation. The fact that Hebrew used the same word adam, to mean "a person," "a man," "Adam," or "humanity" is not an indication that humanity as an entity is essentially male. If we believed that, we would also believe that the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament was female, but then became genderless in New Testament times. The gender of a word--whether it is used of God or humanity--is in most cases only accidental, and is certainly not a revelation of the true gender of things.
Someone else objected when Dr. Goldingay pointed out that in the creation story of Genesis 2-3, the woman's subordination to the man is one of the curses, a regrettable result of sin having entered the world, not part of the way God originally ordered creation. The student was genuinely puzzled, "But aren't God's pronouncements meant for our benefit?"
Dr. Goldingay: "I don't see how the ground yielding thorns and thistles, and the breakdown of relationships between parents and children is for our benefit." The student had no reply, but remained unconvinced.
When you look at the texts of Genesis 1-3 without assuming they have to teach women are supposed to be suboridinated to men, it is more than obvious that they clearly support an egalitarian view of relationships between men and women. I don't know how people can think they've somehow gotten around that.
Well, anyway, that's all I wanted to say for now.
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