Thursday, December 22, 2016

Misogyny Not Promoted in Bible

With the disgusting boastings of a candidate that purportedly promoted misogynic ideology (debated by supporters), it dawned on me that some people feel even the Bible promotes such an attitude. (The term misogyny and its conjugations have been loosely applied to negative perception of woman. The word itself defines “hatred of woman” and does not address objectifying them or other such things.) While this charge against the Bible is based on ignorant and misinformed understandings, it still is worth examining at least one scripture that seems to have some people confused.

Revelation 14:4 speaks of faithful, heaven-bound Christians as being undefiled by women. (Other translations) The notion that being with a woman is “defiling” offends some peoples sensitivities. Taken on the surface, it is understandable. But as with all scriptures, plucking a single verse out of the Bible without taking into account the whole Bible is unfair to God, who believers are convinced is the true author of the Bible.

So let’s cover some key points. Genesis indicated that God made both man and woman and that a woman would be a complement (a completing) of man. This mutual complement was to be so bonding that they should consider themselves not two separate people, but “one flesh.” Adam and Eve were specifically instructed to have sexual relations. Throughout the whole Bible, specific women are mentioned by name as being “godly.” (Rather than go into lengthy discussion of the good light in which scripture casts women, see this 2014 article, “What Is the Role of Women in Jehovah’s Purpose?”) So neither women nor sex are evil.

What then about Rev.14:4? Barnes’ Notes (scroll down to find) indicates the context intends immoral relations with women. The “Insight On Scriptures,” vol.2 further adds that the defilement would also be on figurative moral, spiritual, social, and doctrinal levels. Especially so, would those of Christ’s bride remove themselves from Babylon, The Great Harlot.” That symbolic “woman” is disgusting in extreme!

So no, God doesn’t promote hatred of women in the Bible. Those who have interpreted that way are greatly misinformed. Fortunate for us, God is not thin-skinned. Once we come to realize our mistaken ideas and change for the better, we can still become God’s friend.

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