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The Role Of Women In Religion

1356 words - 6 pages

The Role of Women in Religion:
The role of women in religious scripture dictates an inferior position in society. Beginning with the creation of Adam and then Eve, as his helpmate. Her purpose was that Adam would not be lonely. This origin provides the ground work for inequality of genders on the basis of religious scripture. The roles prescribed determined that women should be in a subordinate position to man. The female role and relationship with God is defined by the various books of the Old and New Testaments, the reported actions of Jesus Christ, and finally the Qur'an.

Initially, Old Testament describes women as the corrupter of man. However, through interpreting the action ...view middle of the document...

He could have been unwitting the first night but not the second. Again in Judges 16, Delilah seduced Sampson in order to find out the secret of his great strength. This ultimately led to Samson's death.8 1 Kings 11 describes how Solomon's many foreign wives and concubines convinced him to worship other gods and build Pagan temples. This led to his downfall.8 The moral to these stories seem to be that women are responsible for the mistakes and men are easily corruptible by women. One would assume this is telling men to beware of women and their influence.

It is possible the deceitful ways of women were brought about by the treatment women typically received in scripture and society. One example of disregard was again with Lot and his daughters. In Genesis 19, The men of Sodom gathered around Lot's house, and asked that he bring his two guests out so that the men can "know" them. To “know” is interpreted as a desire rape the visitors. Lot offers his two virgin daughters to the angry mob instead.8 For this deed, Lot is regarded as an honorable man and was saved when the city was destroyed. A similar story occurs in Judges 19:16-30, some men in the city wanted to "know" a visiting Levite. The owner of the house offered his virgin daughter and the concubine of the Levite so that they could "do to them whatever you wish." The man sent his concubine outside to the gang, who proceeded to serially rape her. She died of the attacks. The Levite only learned of her death when he was leaving the house in the morning and stumbled across her body. The woman was clearly considered expendable and of little value.8

The story of Sarah and Abraham seems to hit all the negative female themes but also gives Sarah more power than is typically held during the time. In the story, Sarah could not conceive, a woman’s sole purpose of the day. She suggested that Abraham take the Egyptian slave woman, Hagar, as his wife. With Hagar, he had a child named Ishmael. Much later, Sarah did conceive a child and told Abraham to send Hagar and his eldest son, Ishmael away. She had used her influence on Abraham to encourage he take a wife and her jealousy forced him to send them away. So much influence, by a woman, of the time was uncommon. During the Second Temple period, women were not allowed to testify in court trials. They could not go out in public, or talk to strangers. When outside of their homes, they were to be doubly veiled. "They had become second-class Jews, excluded from the worship and teaching of God, with status scarcely above that of slaves."

7, after Jesus' resurrection, "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary" receive the first apostolic commission of any human -- to tell the good news of the resurrection to the disciples. This is reinforced by Jesus' appearance before the two women. The two Marys were thus the first apostles.7

When the bible is...

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