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By the numbers, men and women are on fairly even footing — from a global population standpoint, at least. But for all of that statistical equality, it’s a well-known fact that society is governed almost exclusively by the men. This gender gap extends far beyond American borders.

Ideally, you would think things would be different within the Church, but sadly, it is not. Is the Lord guilty of being sexist? The book of Genesis states, in the beginning God created both sexes as equals. He made male and female in His image and gave both dominion over His of creation, equally.

The problem of sin

So, what happened? Well, as the story goes Adam and Eve were created sinless, but eventually they partook of the forbidden fruit and became sinful. This explains how sin entered the world, but not the equality issue. The root of the problem lies in the New Testament. The apostle Paul was against women being over men. His rationale was the created order from Genesis chapter one, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” (1 Timothy 2:13) Many claim this is a doctrinal statement and not Paul’s opinion.

If God through the order of creation intended for men to have authority over women, it would be pointless to curse the woman stating, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” If this is a curse, it means originally the situation was different. In the beginning, we know God created male and female as equals.

Since Eve is cursed, we are back to square one. The order of creation becomes a moot point. Women are under the authority of men, due to her transgression. Before we jump to this conclusion, we need to under something about Adam.

What’s in a name?

The equality of men and women seems clear until we reach Genesis chapter two, then things get muddled. When the Bible was interpreted to English, the translators changed the Hebrew term “āḏām” into a proper name. However, “Adam” means humanity. Translators most likely made the change in order to correlate with the creation of the woman, also called Eve in chapter 3. This assumption has obstructed our understanding of Adam for centuries.

If we take the word “man” and replace it with the more accurate “humanity” the text reads smoothly. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

The Hebrew term “Adam” is used in 527 different verses in the Old Testament, only the garden story declares it is a proper name. If this story is an exception then we have a pronoun agreement error between the singular term “man” and plural expression “them”.

In addition, Genesis chapter five confirms the same truth about Adam. It reads, “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” (Genesis 5:2 KJV) The scripture explicitly states God called both male and female, Adam. Therefore, “āḏām” is not a name, but it is a classification of our species.

Call to action

Once we realize the term Adam refers to male and female, a couple of things become apparent. Eve in the garden is not a literal, but a figurative woman. Consequently, the curse applied to women in Genesis 3:16, does not apply to actual females.

Therefore, we need to look at the story of Adam and Eve with fresh eyes. I believe the church and most denominations have done a great disservice to women, based on erroneous interpretations of the scriptures. Gender bias beliefs are unsound and need to give way to the truth of what God truly wants. God made males and females in His image and gave both of them dominion over all of creation and He has never rescinded this decree.

Women make up more than half of the parishioners in the average church. They are the backbone of most congregations. We cannot undo the past, but we need to make things right today, by appointing women to the leadership roles they deserve without reservation.

Sources:

Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), except where noted

Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Robert R. Davis is an ordained minister, author, teacher and software developer. He has a deep passion for understanding the meaning behind the commands and precepts of the Bible. He has written five books to date. If you want a deeper understanding of Adam and Eve, or you want to know who the Woman really represents, read his latest work “In the Beginning: The Truth Behind Genesis.”

Website: robertrdavis.com

 

23 Responses

  1. Jason

    So to,whom does the curse in women belong to, if It does not apply to actual females?

    Reply
    • Jason

      For the record, I could not disagree with the article more…I am just drawing out one if the glaring questions that should arise from this atrocious hermsneutic.

      Reply
    • Betty C Dudney

      This second creation story is a parable about how sin came into the world, and like all parables not to be taken literally. It is a story told at campfires by just one of the tribes of Israel to justify sexism and the enslavement of women, but it is not the official or Priestly Creation story of Both the first Creation Story of Chapter one 1:27 and at the very beginning of the third Creation story added to Genesis chapter 5:1
      The second parable story of Creation does not even have the same order of Creation as the first official version. Genesis was not put together as a book until hundreds, thousands of years after the fact and gathered the stories of different tribes as they did not have paper like we have today.
      Even if you do think God would or did curse all women from one woman’s sin, did not Jesus free us from sin? I don’t believe God curses anyone, that is just a term males use to blame what they do on God. God loves all people with a perfect Love that has no curses in it. When we don’t love we curse ourselves, as well as others and inequality is one of the biggest curses on earth. Totally against what Jesus said about the Laws of God and The Prophets: to Love God and Love One Another, even your enemies as the only way to make them a friend instead, as you love yourself and like The universal Golden Rule, the heart of the message found in most of the world’s religions and even in good hearts of unbelievers who are trying to go towards the best and not the worse.
      Which direction are you going towards?

      Reply
      • Jason

        There is no indication in the biblical text to support this poor hermsneutic that Gen 2 is a parable…and nothing but human “wishes and feelings” would twist it any other way than a literal (close-up view) interpretation.

        There are too many problems with your statements to dissect and address in this format, though.

  2. Russel Moldovan

    While I fully support women as clergy and church leaders, this handling of the creation and fall count in Genesis is a novel one indeed. I have never heard this before. Is there any evidence that the early church or church fathers understood Genesis in this way? A better way to approach the issue of women in leadership is to look at how the New Testament treated women. They are referred to as deacons (Phoebe) & apostles (Junia) and heads of house churches (see Romans 16). Also in Paul’s teaching on spiritual gifts, he never categorized them as feminine or masculine gifts.

    Reply
  3. Jeff

    Obviously, Christian Media magazine will post such articles for the purpose of being “all inclusive.” I am sure the majority of its readers are female. My wife has always said women should not be Pastors and Elders, and I tend to agree. Leaders in the church?, yes, and I thank God for all the ways He has spoken through the women in my life. I believe the mainstream denominations that allow and encourage women Pastors, such as United Methodist, have steered off course and have taken the all inclusiveness to a new and very dangerous level.

    Reply
    • Betty C Dudney

      This second creation story is a parable about how sin came into the world, and like all parables not to be taken literally. It is a story told at campfires by just one of the tribes of Israel to justify sexism and the enslavement of women, but it is not the official or Priestly Creation story of Both the first Creation Story of Chapter one 1:27 and at the very beginning of the third Creation story added to Genesis chapter 5:1
      The second parable story of Creation does not even have the same order of Creation as the first official version. Genesis was not put together as a book until hundreds, thousands of years after the fact and gathered the stories of different tribes as they did not have paper like we have today.
      Even if you do think God would or did curse all women from one woman’s sin, did not Jesus free us from sin? I don’t believe God curses anyone, that is just a term males use to blame what they do on God. God loves all people with a perfect Love that has no curses in it. When we don’t love we curse ourselves, as well as others and inequality is one of the biggest curses on earth. Totally against what Jesus said about the Laws of God and The Prophets: to Love God and Love One Another, even your enemies as the only way to make them a friend instead, as you love yourself and like The universal Golden Rule, the heart of the message found in most of the world’s religions and even in good hearts of unbelievers who are trying to go towards the best and not the worse.
      Which direction are you going towards?

      Reply
  4. Andre

    No no no. Also [I desire] that women should adorn themselves modestly and appropriately and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with [elaborate] hair arrangement or gold or pearls or expensive clothing, But by doing good deeds (deeds in themselves good and for the good and advantage of those contacted by them), as befits women who profess reverential fear for and devotion to God. Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness. I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies]. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; [Gen. 2:7, 21, 22.] And it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression. [Gen. 3:1-6.] Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls’ salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] through the Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child.
    1 Timothy 2:9‭-‬15 AMP

    Reply
    • Betty C Dudney

      Oh, only Eve was deceived? Not true both were, and what kind of God curses his children? Only evil people curse and read what they want into scriptures to continue their inequalities and sinful natures!
      This second creation story is a parable about how sin came into the world, and like all parables not to be taken literally. It is a story told at campfires by just one of the tribes of Israel to justify sexism and the enslavement of women, but it is not the official or Priestly Creation story of Both the first Creation Story of Chapter one 1:27 and at the very beginning of the third Creation story added to Genesis chapter 5:1
      The second parable story of Creation does not even have the same order of Creation as the first official version. Genesis was not put together as a book until hundreds, thousands of years after the fact and gathered the stories of different tribes as they did not have paper like we have today.
      Even if you do think God would or did curse all women from one woman’s sin, did not Jesus free us from sin? I don’t believe God curses anyone, that is just a term males use to blame what they do on God. God loves all people with a perfect Love that has no curses in it. When we don’t love we curse ourselves, as well as others and inequality is one of the biggest curses on earth. Totally against what Jesus said about the Laws of God and The Prophets: to Love God and Love One Another, even your enemies as the only way to make them a friend instead, as you love yourself and like The universal Golden Rule, the heart of the message found in most of the world’s religions and even in good hearts of unbelievers who are trying to go towards the best and not the worse.
      Which direction are you going towards?

      Reply
  5. Teddy

    Quite the set of mental gymnastics the author has undertaken to make his point. Then 1Tim2:14, which says, “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman who was deceived and fell into transgression…” according to the author, would be translated, “and it was not the man and the woman ( together = adam) who were deceived, but it was the woman who was deceived…” So the woman (along with the man) was not deceived, but the woman was deceived. Huh? Secondly, to follow the author’s logic, if Adam (humanity) was not deceived, then we have no original sin, because no one (man or woman) was deceived.

    Reply
  6. Andrew

    Whilst, I have an opinion on female leadership, I don’t feel that Christian _Media_ Magazine is the correct forum to be expressing an opinion on the matter. We are here to discuss and learn about _media_, across the broad church, and not to discuss doctrine outside this remit. Surely?

    Reply
  7. Denise

    You state, “Consequently, the curse applied to women in Genesis 3:16, does not apply to actual females.” But you conveniently leave out the first part of Genesis 3:16: “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.'”

    How can the second part of God’s curse not apply to the ‘actual’ female when so obviously the first part does? The argument you make is distorted at best.

    Reply
    • Betty C Dudney

      Denise,
      You are taking literal a parable which is not to be taken literally.
      This second creation story is a parable about how sin came into the world, and like all parables not to be taken literally.
      It is a story told at campfires by just one of the 12 tribes of Israel to justify sexism and the enslavement of women, but it is not the official or Priestly Creation story of Both the first Creation Story of Chapter one 1:27 and at the very beginning of the third Creation story added to Genesis chapter 5:1
      The second parable story of Creation does not even have the same order of Creation as the first official version. Genesis was not put together as a book until hundreds, thousands of years after the fact and gathered the stories of different tribes as they did not have paper like we have today.
      Even if you do think God would or did curse all women from one woman’s sin, did not Jesus free us from sin? I don’t believe God curses anyone, that is just a term males use to blame what they do on God. God loves all people with a perfect Love that has no curses in it. When we don’t love we curse ourselves, as well as others and inequality is one of the biggest curses on earth. Totally against what Jesus said about the Laws of God and The Prophets: to Love God and Love One Another, even your enemies as the only way to make them a friend instead, as you love yourself and like The universal Golden Rule, the heart of the message found in most of the world’s religions and even in good hearts of unbelievers who are trying to go towards the best and not the worse.
      Which direction are you going towards? Equality or inequality. My “God is Love, and when we love, we live in God and God lives in us” I John 4:16
      To separate men’s traditions and customs from God’s Word that only men were allowed to express at that time takes having God’s Holy Spirit live in your heart from asking to have a spiritual “Rebirth” and then letting God’s Holy Spirit guide you to the fullness of Truth, so many men will try to keep from you so they can continue to use you for their own purposes. Commit to God’s Ways not sinful men’s ways. There are Loving men in our world who do understand that and can love you equally as they love themselves, the others only have a primative selfish love who can’t see you as their equal.

      Reply
  8. Jackson

    I will be unsubscribing to this website’s emails due to yet more amateur theological writing like this.

    Reply
  9. Carl

    I am all for equality among the sexes in everything, but there is an emotional side to things which no one seems to understand. As women take more leadership in the church men fall away and lose interest in the church. Look at all the stats in the mainline churches that have appointed women pastors and leaders. There are several reasons for this – non of which are scientifically proven but which I have observed.
    1 – Men emotionally will say in their heads – I have to do what my wife says at home so much in order to keep our marriage intact that I don’t want to listen to a women preach at me in church as well.
    2 – I can’t interact with her to determine how to apply the preaching to my life. If I do so, and object to something she says, it turns in to an emotional argument – and believe me – I am NOT near as emotional as most women and will lose that argument for sure. So instead of that, I will do something else.
    3 – She is a woman. She doesn’t understand the stresses and struggles I go through.
    I remember a pastor who told me – Children will always love their mother – but will follow in the paths of the father. If the father doesn’t enjoy church, neither will the children. If we want to have growing churches, you must have the men – and that means men as leaders as well. I don’t put down the women. They are smarter and more talented than men (IMO) but if you want your church to have a future – get the men involved in leadership.

    Reply
  10. David

    What a bunch of bunk. Poor hermeneutics at best and out right distortion of the Word. Please don’t publish bunk like this anymore. Get the scholarliness back or I will no long subscribe.

    Reply
  11. Linda

    Gods first question to Adam and Eve 3:9 was ‘Where are you’, not what have you done. He was more interested in them than what they had done. Secondly,the serpent and the ground gets cursed, Adam and Eve don’t. Yes there was consequences to their disobedient actions, but in 3:23 we read how God covers Adam and Eve with garments of skin. Garments which he made not created.
    End result, Adam and Eve experienced what we all get to experience as human beings; consequences to our actions, salvation and the grace of God.

    Reply
  12. George O'Henry

    I wonder. Is this CMM’s official opinion on the subject? I disagree.

    Reply
  13. Engle

    I agree with Jackson and David!
    I had this web site as my homepage because I thought it was about christian “Media”. No longer my home page!
    I couldn’t disagree with this article more!
    Scripture is very clear on this topic people!

    Reply
  14. Arira

    I do not allow any man other than my own husband to teach me anything. I do not think there are any regulations that disallow women to teach women. There are regulations that forbid women to submit to any man (male pastor/male priest/male minister/male elder/) other than her own husband. This obsession with power (teaching is power over others) is evil-mindedness. There are no new commandments written in the New Testament – people treat Paul as if he were Moses for some reason – why is that? Power and control is all Church members think of. Power and control over men, women and children. What is the punishment, what terrible consequence will happen if a woman teaches a man something? Fools. Eve was taken from Adam. Eve and Adam are One flesh – his, Adams. God made Adam from the dust, Eve was from the dust once removed; made of Adam who was made of dust. When a man abuses his wife he abuses his own self. When a pastor abuses his flock he makes all the men’s wives submit to his authority first – that way he causes you all to sin. The men for allowing another man to rule over his own wife and the women for allowing a man other than her own husband to rule over her.

    Reply
  15. Jasmim

    My Pastor is a women she knows the word of God and preaches very good. God has given her athority in his name she is a true Blessing in my life my spirtual mother. When she preaching the word you can feel the Holy Spirt its wonderful and beatiful not only men can preach its i knew time we are not in the old ages it’s 2016 almost 2017. Women have the same equal rights just like men do…. Praise the all mighty one thank You Jesus for making both men and women thank you for all your teachings im truly thankful that you choose my our pastor to preach your word .. the Lord said i am the Alpha and Omega the begging and the end… Praise you lord Jesus.

    Reply

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