Women in the Bible

In response to : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mukto-mona/message/5347

 In response to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mukto-mona/message/5384

My answers are in BLUE and Pink.

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Now our debate have turned into new phase. Now divinity of the holy book is shifted from Quran to Bible abruptly.

That's really a good sign :)

Well Dear Sajita, the mentioning of one verse (Galatians 3:28) does not prove anything.  In Quran also there are at least FOUR so called neutral verses where women are considered equal to men (at least not emeaning towards  women).

I agree that showing one verse will not prove anything but I can say that from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible talks about EQUALITY of women which I will discuss in this post.  I agree that Quran says equality of women but does Quran really gives equal status to women?  There is a phrase in Hindi "Kathni va Karni me bahut antar hai."(There is difference between speaking and doing). 

Let us look few verses from the Quran itself: 

Al-Baqara (The Cow) 2:228 Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah Hath created in their wombs, if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise. 

An-Nisa (Women) 4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath men the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.

Can you see the EQUAL status of women in Quran?  You will never find this type of command or verses in the whole Bible. 

Here are those :

"Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you MALE OR FEMALE, YOU ARE EQUAL TO ONE ANOTHER........." (Quran 3:195)

"As for those who lead a righteous life, MALE OR FEMALE. while believing, t hey enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice" (Quran 4:124)

Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness - MALE OR FEMALE - while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits.(Quran 40:40)

I have no problem if the above verses really says so and means so.    But the reality is far-far away.   Hadith says that, Mohammed was shown the hell and heaven in his vision.  And in his vision he saw that majority of women are dweller of hell. Read this in:

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 28:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you."

And Mohammed gives reason of women's doom is "ungrateful toward their husband".  My question is, why husband is not getting any punishment is he not ungrateful?  Where Allah gives permission to a man for marrying more than one woman(Sura3:4), it is obviously thinkable question that why woman should be grateful to her betraying and deceiving husband?  Bible very clearly says that marring more than one wife is SIN.  And Bible makes it clear that heaven is EQUALLY for women and men.  There is no difference between men and women in the Bible.

Does it make Quran divine ? Absolutely not. In opposition to above four (so called) neutral  verses there are hundreds of verses that deliberately defame womankind. Please check some of my previous post in response to Ms. Afsarunnesa ( post# 4977 )and Ms. Yasmin Amin ( post # 5014 ). Bible also is the same. Either you haven't read the entire Bible or you are hiding the discrimination for some wishful intention.

Of course comparing the women or men's status does not make any scripture divine.  But it makes very clear that if a God is talking ill of women and degrading her status then he is not god and what he said is not from god.

Umm.. I read whole Bible many a times.  Not only I read it but also experienced the EQUALITY of God in my life.   I wasn't a Christian fanatic.  I grew up in a very broken home though we had every thing in our lives but we were lacking PEACE.  I wasn't searching for God but I was looking for peace.  I was so troubled that many a times I thought of committing suicide.  But when Jesus came into my life, He took all my misery and pain.  He gave me PEACE that passes all understanding.  Why He gave me peace if He shows partiality toward women?  He would have said, hey you are a woman, go and take birth as man then come back and I will look about your miserable condition.  But I am glad that He moved with compassion for a worthless person like me.  You can read my story at http://bibleandquran.org/me.htm

Bible does not defame womanhood or womankind.  Of course I will discuss the verses which you have quoted here and show you why women have great status in the Bible.

Dear Sajita, legend of Adam and Eve   from the Old Testament is itself  defamatory towards women. When God created all the animals he made male and female together. Then he created Adam. Adam was alone in the Garden of Eden, so God puts Adam to sleep, extracts one of his ribs and out of that single rib creates Eve. Now my Question is, Why would an all-knowing God create man first then woman, shouldn't he have known that Adam would need a partner?

Yes, Of course God knows all things.  It is true that He created man first then woman, does it mean it defames woman or womanhood?   Let me put your question this way, woman gives birth to a male child, why?  Does it defame man or manhood?  Of course not...

Moreover why Eve has to be created from Adam's rib not from anything else?

Well, I am glad that God took extra effort to create man and more extra effort to create woman.  I am glad that God gave extra effort on woman.. just kidding.. anyway to your question..

There is a scientific reason of creating Eve from Adam's rib..

Recently I read one article, "Regenerating ribs -Adam and that 'missing' rib" by Carl Wieland, First published in: Creation Ex Nihilo 21(4):46-47, September – November 1999. I took it from http://answersingenesis.org/docs/4145.asp 

In this article author talks about his experience after met with an accident he had to go through series of operations to reconstruct many parts of his body particularly facial bones.

Carl Wieland writes in his article and I quote, "These operations often required using my own bone for grafting. I noticed that the plastic surgeon would keep going back to the right side of my ribcage, through the same horizontal scar, actually, to get more bone for these procedures. One day, I asked him why he hadn't 'run out of bone'. He looked at me blankly, and then explained that he and his team took the whole rib out, each time. 'We leave the periosteum intact, so the rib usually just grows right back again'.

Despite having trained and practiced as a family doctor, I was intrigued; I had never realized this before. The periosteum (the literal meaning of this word is 'around the bone') is a membrane that covers every bone -- it's the reason you can get things stuck between your teeth while gnawing on a leg of lamb, for instance. The periosteum contains cells that can manufacture new bone. Particularly in young people, 'rib periosteum has a remarkable ability to regenerate bone, perhaps more so than any other bone'.

Thoracic (chest) surgeons routinely remove ribs, and these often grow back, in whole or in part. A lot depends on the care with which the rib is removed; it needs to be 'peeled' out of its periosteum to leave this membrane as intact as possible. A major reason why the rib is the ideal situation for such regeneration is that the attached intercostal muscles provide it with a good blood supply." Unquote.

How Moses knew these advanced medical science more than 3500 years ago?  If we think from our brain then we can say like Mohammed as he said in Hadith:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 114:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbor. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women."

That's the greatest difference between Bible and Quran.  Bible's description of creation of human being was written more than 3500 years back while Quran was written 1300 years back.  See the difference!.

From these slender sources Christian (and later Muslim) theologians have concluded that man was the original creation—womankind was created secondarily for the pleasure and repose of man. The legend was further developed to reinforce the supposed inferiority of women. Finally, the legend was given a sacred character so that to criticize it was to criticize the very words of God, which were immutable and absolute.

No matter what theologians or scholars say but I am sure that Bible does not say so.  God of the Bible did not create women to be just a sex icon or to bear the hardship of men.  No, Bible is very clear about creation of woman as we read in Genesis 1:27-30, "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.  And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.  Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.

When God created Adam and Eve, He treated them EQUALLY.  And in the above verses you can see that God gave them EQUAL blessings. God did not say that, "I give to Adam some superior blessings and I ignore Eve." No, He did not say that but His treatment toward man and woman was SAME and EQUAL.

Despite apologists attempts to "white-wash" the bible with a litany of excuses, it does not change the fact that the bible is totally anti women. One or two so-called sugar-coted pseudo-neutral verses will not chage the fact.

There is no excuses or no so-called sugar-coted pseudo-neutral verses in the Bible.  Bible speaks the TRUTH very loud and clear.  Let me tell you why you feel that women are defamed in the Bible.  Before Adam and Eve sinned they had equal status, they had all the blessings of God.  But all the difference came when they sinned, God's curse came upon THEM(on both).  And further we read the stories of fallen human being who bow down before sin and the result was all kinds of misery, pain, sorrow, tears and even death.  Please read my article on salvation at my website at http://bibleandquran.org/salvation.htm   But Jesus' sacrifice on the cruel cross took all our misery, pain sorrow, sin, tears and death.  Now those who are in Christ(I am not talking about traditional Christians but those who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior) they are no longer in BONDAGE of sin and misery but they are freed by God Himself whether they are men or women. 

I request you not to take my word for it but to check it out yourself. Here are quote some  biblical "gems" to look up for you:

Sure, let us see all the verses one by one.

GENESIS

2:22 Eve created from Adam's rib.

I replied it so I will not go in this again!

3:16 Cursed with painful childbirth and domination by husband.

Why? The reason is very simple, she sinned against God.  And Adam also got curse of God.  I would have agreed with you if you might have shown me the partiality of God here.  I mean if God only cursed Eve for the mistake they committed.  But God is JUST, He does everything justly.  I do not see any mistake or defaming or degradation of women in this passage.   But she got the punishment of what she did.

4:17 Cain marries sister?

You can find a better answer at http://answersingenesis.org

4:19 Man marries two wives.

Because of FALLEN NATURE of human being.  Of course God did not intend this for man or woman.  Bible says in Genesis 2:24, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

12:13-19 Abraham prostitutes wife.

Same reason as above!

19:1-8 Rape virgin daughters instead of male angels.

Again it is a fallen nature of fallen angels and fallen nature of human being. (Bible talks about those angels who rebelled against God and fallen)

19:26 Lot's wife turned into pillar of salt for disobeying god.

That's right!  There is a judgment for those who go against the laws of God.  And I can show you hundreds of verse where men equally got punishment from God for their mistakes.

19:30-38 Lot impregnates his two daughters while drunk. (So much for "family values"!)

Again it is a fallen nature of human being! Sin came through Adam but forgiveness and salvation came through Jesus the second Adam.

20:2-12 Abraham prostitutes wife - again.

Same reason!

25:1-6 Keeping many concubines is OK.

Again it is because of sinful nature of human being.  God did not say that you can marry as many you want.. NO!

EXODUS

20:17 Wife as property.

Where does it say that wife is property in this verse?

21:7-11 OK to sell daughters. Female slaves can be used for sex.

I do not see, what you are saying about this passage!  Bible condemn the act of prostitution and adultery.

Exo 21:7  "And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

Exo 21:8  "If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her.

Exo 21:9  "And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters.

Exo 21:10  "If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights.

Exo 21:11  "And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.

Polygamy permitted. Unwanted female slaves can be set "free" without payment of money.

The slave girl can go free without giving any money to her master, so where do you see polygamy permitted in it?

 LEVITICUS

12:1 Childbirth a sin, Women unclean after childbirth.

Umm.. where does it say that childbirth is sin?  This passage only talks about the days of purification for the mother.  Psalms 127:3, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."

15:19-32 Menstruating women are unclean.

Are you saying that these rules are for only women?  Try to read Lev 15:16-17 where the same rules are applied for men.  I do not know how a person like you who is highly educated, believe on someone's prepared stew.  Bible does not discriminate women by saying this but I think it is necessary for sanitation etc.

20:10-16 Death penalty for homosexuality and various sexual transgressions.

True!  There is punishment for every sin, no matter what it is!  If you think that our sins must not get any punishment then why we have law in our states and nations and why we have jail for punishment?  Even in many nations like USA etc. they give death penalty. 

And the Bible says we deserve death because of our sins or because we broke the laws of God.  But it is God who loved us so much that He came down in the form of man to save us from all our sin and sinful nature and to give eternal life.

21:7 Priests must not marry prostitutes or divorcees.

Yes, because it is sin before God.  Not only before God but in our society itself we see these type of people badly.   But God changes these type of people too and gives forgiveness of their sins.   Once people brought a women to Jesus who was caught in adultery and they said to Him in John 8:4, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"  Then Jesus replied them in John 8:7  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."

21:9 Burn daughters.

The verse says, "if she profanes herself by playing the harlot,"  Do you think that a man or woman can live any kind of life and there should be no rule to correct them?   If you think so then why we have jails and courts and laws? 

21:13-14 Priest must marry virgin, not "used" woman.

True! I replied earlier.

NUMBERS

1:2 Census lists only men - women do not count.

Because God says in "from twenty years old and above; all who are able to go to war in Israel."  So I do not see any degradation of women here.

CH 12 Miriam punished for rebuking Moses.

I can show many verses where men were punished for their mistakes.

DEUTERONOMY
28:18 The FRUIT of your womb will be cursed - eclectic "pro-life" verse!

You forgot to read the previous verses which says:

Deuteronomy 28:15  "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

JUDGES

14:20 Samson gives wife to another man.

What?  You should read the whole passage, it was not Samson who gave his wife to another man but the girl's father gave her to other man.

16:1 Samson visits prostitute.

Again it is because of the sinful nature of human being.

CH 19 Concubine pack-raped and butchered.

True! and the reason is again the same!

RUTH
Ruth shags Boaz.

Its a wrong information!

2 SAMUEL

5:13 David took many wives and concubines.

Again the answer is fallen nature of human being.

CH 13 Ammon rapes his own sister.

Again the answer is fallen nature of human being.

16:21-22 Absalom sleeps with his father's concubines.

Again the answer is fallen nature of human being.

6:20-23 Mischal punished with bareness.

That's what happenes when a person mocks God or His prophets.

1 KINGS

11:3 Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

Again the answer is fallen and sinful nature of human being.

2 KINGS

9:30-37 Brutal murder of Jezebel.

Read the history of Jezebel first!  She was a wicked woman and killed many prophets!!  What a person sows he/she will reap it again.

ESTHER

CH 1-2 Queen Vashti dethroned for disobedience; setting "bad" example to all other women.

So what is your point here?  Did God do this with Queen Vashti? 

PSALMS
51:5 Sinful since conception.

Are you saying that women are sinful since conception?  Try to read it carefully, David is speaking about himself in this passage.

127:3 Sons are heritage from god.

Where does it say "SONS"? I am quoting the verse here: Psalms 127:3, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."

137:9 Seizes infants and dashes them against rocks.

Psalms 137:7-8  Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, "Raze it, raze it, To its very foundation!"  O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, Happy the one who repays you as you have served us!

So what is your point here?

PROVERBS
CH 5 Beware of wicked women!

What is your point here?  I can show you the same type of verses for wicked MEN.  This verse does not say as all women are wicked but gives warning to be cautious of wicked women.

31:3 Do not waste strength on women.

I think it is spoken for illegal relationship with women.

ISAIAH
3:16-26 Lord punishes haughty women.

To much for your reasoning!  Let me ask you a question, do you not punish your children for their mistakes? Very strange!

4:4 Filthy women.

Isa 4:4  When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning,

Where does this verse say that women are filthy?  This verse talks about Nation Israel (Zion).

13:16 Ravish wives, dash infants.

Well, these are the prophecies spoken by prophet Isaiah and it happened exactly.  And still happening today.  Do you believe what is happening today in Israel is in the Bible?  Spoken many hundreds and thousands of years back!

19:16 Will be like women! (insult to Egyptians)

Again it is a prophecy for Egypt!

EZEKIEL
CH 16 Prostitutes, stoning, promiscuity...

CH 23 Tale of two adulterous sisters - reads like the script of a pornographic film. I bet you weren't told this story at Sunday school!

These verses talks about the real human nature.  God is Holy and He wants us to pull out from this life style.   This passage talks about unfaithfulness and deceiving nature of human being.  I always wonder why our modern society does not bother about watching and listening of the filthy stuff in movies?  People do not condemn those nude actress and actresses but they pay to see their filth, even they take their children to show all those things. Why?

NAHUM
3:4... wanton lust of a harlot... prostitution... witchcraft.

3:5 I will lift your skirts over your face!

Nineveh a nation who seduced so many nations like a harlot, Nineveh had enticed many nations into her clutches.  And this is the same nation where Jonah went and preached the repentance of God.   God forgave them when they repented but the history shows that this nation was destroyed 70 years later.

MATTHEW

5:32Husband can divorce wife for adultery. Can wife divorce husband for the same?

Mark 10:12  "And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."  Yes, she can but divorce is abomination before God.

CH 25 Sexist tale of ten virgins.

Strangest thing I ever heard!!

----------taken from biblestudy notes------------

astern weddings were set for a given day, but Orientals have never been as bound by precision of starting or ending times as are those in western culture. The bridal party was to be ready. Sometime after sundown, members of the groom's party, bearing lamps on poles, would depart from the home of the groom and proceed through the streets in a gala procession. They would join with the bridal party, and the two would wind back through the village to the place designated for the ceremony and the wedding feast. The ten virgins of the parable are part of the bridal party. Five realize that a time lapse could occur and come prepared for any exigency. Five are foolish (morai, Gk.) and consequently unprepared. The application by Jesus is that men must continuously be prepared and watching if they wish to enter the kingdom when the King comes (v. 13).
-----------------------end of quote----------------

LUKE
2:22 Mary must be purified after birth of Jesus.

So what is your point here?

2:49 Jesus rebukes his mother.

Where do you see any rebukes in this verse? Luke 2:49  And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

I CORINTHIANS

11:2-10... Woman created for man.

That's true!  When Adam was alone God created woman(Eve) for him.  Does it mean women are any less then man?

14:34 Women must be silent in churches.

Paul is dealing here about a cultural problem where in Church, men and women used to sit in opposite sides.  When they had to ask anything they would speak loudly and ask.  That's why Paul forbid to speak here.  But there are many women who were prophetess in Church even the same Paul says about women evangelists and prophetess in the Bible.

EPHESIANS
5:22-24 Wives must submit to husbands in everything.

If these verses are spoken to degrade women then why the same passage talks like this: Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Eph 5:28  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

Sometimes people want to degrade women and they swallow half of the verses and present before you.

COLOSSIANS

3:22 Slaves must obey masters in everything.

I did not get your point here?

I TIMOTHY

2:11-15 Woman must not have authority.she must be silent. Women can be saved with childbearing.

I replied it before!

5:9-10 Widows should be faithful to husband and must wash saints' feet.

What do you mean by, " Widows should be faithful to husband"   I checked the verse and there is no such thing?

1 PETER

2:18 Slaves submit to masters, even masters who are harsh.

3:1 Wives submit.

3:5-6 Sarah calls husband master.]

I think I replied all things above....

REVELATION
CH 17 Destroy great prostitute.

What's your point here?  This verse talks about Babylon.. I think you should have read the verses before you posted.

BTW, I consider Quran/Bible/Gita not as divine, not just because of those discriminations that I mentioned  between men and women, but because of it's theological absurdities.

Umm.. actually there is no discriminations in Bible but of course it is misunderstanding or yours or those who made this questions.  I replied hundreds of times the same questions on many forums.  If you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation you will see that God gave EQUAL status to women in the Bible. 

As for as the theological absurdities, let me quickly summarize Quran, Gita and Bible's theology.

Quran says that, do good works and believe on Allah and you will be going to heaven.  Further Quran/Hadith says that when Muslims will go to heaven, Allah will weigh their good deeds with bad deeds and if their good deeds will be more than bad deeds they will be eligible to go to heaven. 

But we all know that, no one can do good works constantly.  We fail in one or other area.. so according to Quran no one can go to heaven.

Gita says, "Karm kiye ja phal ki asha mat rakh"(keep on working but don't except any reward). 

It seems to me like groping in dark, not knowing the destination.

Bible talks about the creation of human being without sin, without misery, without death.. etc.  But when Adam and Eve sinned they were separated from God and lost the original good nature and good blessings.  Death, pain, sorrow, sin, misery pain and sickness came in this world.  But God could not see this terrible condition of human being.  He gave the Laws to Moses with which a person could get the forgiveness of their sins.  But it wasn't   a permanent solution so He came down in the form of a man to die for us.  Bible says there is no salvation by our good works.  Our good works or our efforts cannot save us from our sin, guilt and misery.  But Jesus who gave perfect sacrifice on the cruel cross and fulfilled the law by His own sacrifice and finished the work of salvation.  So we do not need to do the work for our salvation but by just accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior we can obtain forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.

Thanks and God bless
Sajita
http://bibleandquran.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bibleandquran

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