The Biblical view of women
The God of the Bible decrees that woman must submit to the dominance of man.
"The social and legal position of an Israelite wife was inferior to the position a wife occupied in the great countries round about... all the texts show that Israelites wanted mainly sons to perpetuate the family line and fortune, and to preserve the ancestral inheritance... A husband could divorce his wife; women on the other hand could not ask for divorce... the wife called her husband Ba'al or master; she also called him adon or lord; she addressed him, in fact, as a slave addressed his master or subject, his king. The Decalogue includes a man's wife among his possessions... all her life she remains a minor. The wife does not inherit from her husband, nor daughters from their father, except when there is no male heir. A vow made by a girl or married woman needs, to be valid, the consent of the father or husband and if this consent is withheld, the vow is null and void. A man had a right to sell his daughter. Women were excluded from the succession."
-Roland de Vaux, archaeologist and priest
Blue words represent Bible quotes
"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9)
A priest's daughter, if found to have lost her virginity without marriage, can receive the death penalty, but in the form of incineration.
How many fundamentalist priests who so easily condemn others would carry out the burning of their daughters if they found them "whoring"?
(See also Genesis 38:24)
"When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her." (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)
A wife would naturally wish to come to the aid of her husband in any way she could if he desperately struggled with an opponent, but the Hebrew law specifically forbade a wife to help her husband in distress if that support consisted of her grabbing the enemy's genitals in an effort to stifle his onslaught. The penalty? Amputation of the hand that fondled the genitals!
Only in an overly obsessive male dominated culture could men create such atrocious laws. As such, the penis ranked sacrosanct in the minds of men (as it still stands today). If a male lost his penis for any reason, he would lose the right to enter a congregation of God. (See Deuteronomy 23:1)
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean." (Leviticus 12:2)
"But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days." (Leviticus 12:5)
A woman who gives birth to a child must undergo a purification ritual lest her "uncleanness" contaminate others. This not only entails her isolation, but also payments to priests for the ritual acts. Thus the male dominators had even made birth dirty.
Notice here that if a woman bears a female child, her isolation must last twice as long as that if she gives birth to a male child!
(See also Psalms 51:3-5)
"The Bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of woman's emancipation."
--Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (I Corinthians 11:3)
"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (I Corinthians 11:8-9)
The Bible's decree of male supremacy has kept woman inferior to men for centuries. For the religious, it comes as a sad fact that a human must have a penis to receive any respect or power within the Church.
All woman should realize that such phrases in the Bible has justified for many Christian men, not only their supremacy but a reason to sexually abuse women.
(See also I Cor. 14:34-36, I Timothy 2:8-15, I Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 5:22-24, Col. 3:18-19)
"Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." (Revelation 2:22-23)
If anyone thinks Jesus represents only a peaceful loving soul, then think again. For an act of adultery, Jesus would kill innocent children for the adultery of others; hardly fair justice, love, or the concern for human beings.
Some apologists claim that "children" refers to the followers of a cult of Jezebel and not to children birthed from Jezebel. However, if this proved the case, the situation would appear even more horrific, for a cult of believers could number in the dozens, hundreds, thousands, or more. The deaths of these multitude of cult believers (which would include children within its membership) would only make the moralistic problem far more atrocious.
"It's interesting to speculate how it developed that in two of the most anti-feminist institutions, the church and the law court, the men are wearing the dresses."
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Whoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. He that sacrificeth unto any god, save to the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed." (Exodus 22:18-20)
These verses attest to the power of belief as they led to the slaughter of thousands of defenseless people throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
Understand that these verses not only authorize the executions but they explicitly command them.
Verse 18 justified the burning of women in Europe judged as witches. In early America, the Salem witch trials resulted in the deaths of women and men.
Verse 19 refers to bestiality, a sin considered worthy of death. Christians used verse 20 to justify religious wars, Crusades and the slaughter of unbelievers throughout Europe. And the condemnation of heretics still goes on.
"Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go." (Judges 19:24-25)
Judges 19 describe a father who offers his virgin daughter to a drunken mob. When the father says "unto this man do not so vile a thing," he makes clear that sexual abuse should never befall a man (meaning him), yet a woman, even his own flesh and blood, or a concubine belonging to a perfect stranger, can receive punishment from men to do what they wish. This attitude against women still persists to this day and we have the Bible, in large part, to thank for this attitude against women.
Verse 25 describes the hours long gang rape of the poor concubine. The Bible gives not one hint of compassion or concern for the raped girl. Considering that many people believe that every word in the Bible comes from God, it should not surprise anyone why people still use these verses to justify such atrocities.
"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14)
Another case where the Bible makes it quite clear that women live for man and must submit to them.
"Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being. For the Jews, Mohammedans and Christians among others, man is master by divine right; the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female."
--Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex 1949
(See also I Cor. 11:3-12, I Cor. 14:34-36, I Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 5:22-24, Col. 3:18-19.)
"If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;" (Deuteronomy 22:22)
"Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you." (Deuteronomy 22:24)
(Read also Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
The discovery of a bride lying with another man can yield disastrous results.
If the wife's parents can produce tokens of the damsel's virginity and spread the cloth before the elders of the city, the husband has to pay the bride's father one hundred silver shekels and he may not send his wife back to her parents as long as she lives. But if the bride's virginity does not satisfy the requirements, the husband can get rid of her by letting the men of the city stone her to death.
From a practical level, these designed laws regulating women's virginity protected economic transactions between men rather than for the sake of morality. (See Virgin's Worth below)
"Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
Perhaps the most famous mistranslation of the Bible, the word virgin here comes from a mistranslated Greek word for virgin.
The original Hebrew version uses the word "almah" which means "young woman" which may or may not refer to a virgin. Of course the context of the original Hebrew Isaiah does not refer to a virgin at all, as scholars the world over agree, but only refers to a young woman.
Later, the author of Matthew 1:22-23, quoted from the mistranslated Isaiah version, and thus the error turned into a world-wide belief.
Today a few of the modern bibles such as the Revised Standard Version, have corrected this mistranslation and have replaced the word virgin with "young woman." (Isaiah 7:14, RSV)
Apparently either God makes errors or the Bible does not come from god, but rather from fallible men.
"If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silvers, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
The belief some get about the Biblical law leads them to think that it represented a great advancement in morality. However, if we look at this law in the social and economic context, it becomes evident that it did not come from any moral ground, but rather to protect men's property rights of their wives and daughters.
This law says that since an unmarried girl, a non-virgin, no longer serves as an economically valuable asset, her father must receive compensation. As for the legal requirement of the man that caused the economic problem, his marriage in that society gave him practically unlimited power over their wives. Such forced marriage can hardly serve as a concern for the poor girl's welfare.
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)
These words of Paul describe another instance for the calling of the submission of women to their husbands. Note that the all inclusive "everything" could allow husbands to submit their wives to anything, including rape, beatings, slavery, etc.
(See also I Cor. 11:3-12, I Cor. 14:34-36, I Timothy 2:8-15, I Peter 3:1-7, Col. 3:18-19.)
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)
If one ever wishes to find an explanation of woman's inferiority to men, one only has to look in the Bible. Paul makes clear and delineates the importance of woman recognizing her place, "ad nauseam."
(See also I Cor. 11:3-12, I Timothy 2:8-15, I Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 5:22-24, Col. 3:18-19.)
"The bible teaches that women brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire... Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up."
--Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." (Genesis 3:16)
Not only does the Woman get blamed for the Fall, but God decides to multiply her sorrow, plus, she must submit to her husband like a slave.
Religionists have used this verse as justification and "reason" for the pain and punishment (sin) of childbirth and the sin of mankind. And to this day many Christians, Jews and Islamics place women lower then men in the ranking of Godly order. If ever there existed a more cruel justification against women, it could not have done as much damage as from belief in Genesis 3:16. Because of the belief in the Fall, countless Christians have branded the entire human race as depraved.
Before the advent of male dominated religions, cultures around the world respected women and worshipped goddesses. The Old Testament records the brutal slaughter of surrounding cultures and slowly throughout the centuries, the goddess religions faded away in place of the belief-system of a jealous, scatological, male war god.
"Christianity teaches that the human race is depraved, fallen, and sinful."
--D. James Kennedy (Why I Believe, World Publishing, 1980)
"Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." (Hosea 13:16)
Throughout the Bible, God smites those who do not believe in him or those who do not follow his commands. Here we have the grotesque description of infants dashed to pieces and pregnant women ripped up. Whatever rebellious nature an infant's father or mother may have had, it bears no justice to an innocent child or to an unborn fetus who could not possibly have rebelled against God, much less understood him.
Anyone who claims to love such a God, must accept infanticide as one of God's ugly revenges.
(See also Psalms 137:9)
"Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman." (Eccles. 25:13)
"Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die." (Eccles. 25:22)
"If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh, and give her a bill of divorce, and let her go." (Eccles. 25: 26)
"The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids. If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty." (Eccles. 26:9-10)
"A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord: and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed. A shamefaced and faithful woman is a double grace, and her continent mind cannot be valued." (Eccles. 26:14-15)
"A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog; but she that is shamefaced will fear the Lord." (Eccles.26:25)
"For from garments cometh a moth, and from women wickedness. Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach." (Eccles. 42:13-14)
Ecclesiasticus of the Apocrypha does not appear in most Bibles. However, in Catholic Bibles, the inferiority of woman still appears in the verses of Ecclesiasticus. These verses give only a sampling from this book that lowers the status of women.