Sexism in the Bible

General responses (offsite)

Glenn Miller gives an explanation of Paul's teachings as part of his series Women in the Heart of God.

Should Women Be Pastors? - Sue Bohlin addresses a young woman's questions about the role of women in the church


Specific verses and responses (linked responses are offsite)

1 Corinthians 11:5 (Response)

And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head - it is just as though her head were shaved.


1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (Response)

As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.


Ephesians 5:22-24 (Response)

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.


1 Timothy 2:9 (Response)

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes


1 Timothy 2:11-12 (Response)

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.


1 Timothy 2:15 (Response)

But women will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.


1 Corinthians 11:5

1 Corinthians 14:34-35

Ephesians 5:22-24

As a married Christian woman, I have to apply this passage to my own life. Does this mean that I meekly obey my husband while he takes advantage of me? No, for he follows Ephesians 5:25-30:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body.

Since he loves me as Christ loves the church, he continually looks out for my needs and makes sacrifices on my behalf. Far from taking advantage of me, he does the opposite by serving me. By submitting to him, I am giving him the authority he needs to make decisions and act for our family's best interests.

But what is submission? In practice, we use it as a sort of tiebreaker. Married couples often have to make decisions when the husband wants one thing and the wife wants another. Often, compromise is possible; and in an ideal Christian marriage, compromise comes naturally as the wife wants to serve her husband by honoring his wishes while the husband wants to love his wife by fulfilling her wants and needs. In other cases, the decision is a yes-or-no case that doesn't allow for compromise. While the husband and wife both take each others needs and wants into consideration, a decision has to be made one way or the other; if no agreement can be reached, then the wife should submit to her husband's decision. This doesn't mean that a husband should force his will on his wife - he is still responsible for caring for her needs as well as his own. But a family will function more effectively if there is a leader who is able to make decisions (in the best interests of the entire family) without having to fight for the right to act; it will function less effectively if the husband and wife continually vie for dominance.

1 Timothy 2:9

1 Timothy 2:11-12

1 Timothy 2:15


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