Biblical Concept of Gender and the Philosophical Consequences of Wrong Scripture Translation (1)

Biblical Concept of Gender and the Philosophical 

Consequences of Wrong Scripture Translation (1)


The concept of gender refers not only to males and females but also to the power relations between them. The relationship between a man and a woman to God and one another depends on the biblical theology in Genesis 1: 27. Religion sustenance of male’s power is based on a mythical superiority, which makes man the norm of humanity. The imprint of the myth is in the wrong translation of Scriptures by male religious leaders that have equated them with the word and will of God. The consequences of wrong Scripture translation have aided gender-based inequality and led to domestic violence, the migratory flow of labor, sexual abuse, and rape.

This article challenges this mythical superiority as the human origin. of course, what goes for culture is read back into religion. This article points out not only how religion has contributed to gender-based violence but also how it could be a cure to the malaise. The methodology I implored included philosophical inquiry, systematic/hermeneutic interpretation of scripture, and descriptive analysis. My clarion call is for religious leaders to play complementary roles with the political leaders for a ‘Just’ society. They should address the plight of the discriminated female gender, facilitating improved living and working conditions and enabling them to play more roles in top leadership in churches and society. The systematic study of the Bible and hermeneutic exegesis by scholars would help to avoid wrong biblical interpretations.

Biblical Theology of Gender:

Gen. 1: 27 initiates the biblical theology of gender: “So God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them (R.S.V., in poetic structure).” The inner logic of the whole, bound together with the same verb (‘created’), demands that both males and females alike be dignified as bearers of the divine image. [1].

While Gen. 1 emphasizes the divine image in man and woman, defining them vertically concerning God, Gen. 2 explains more fully their earthly relationship to one another. The Pentateuch law enforces the protocols of manhood and womanhood as created by God as their outer parameters (Lev. 18: 28-32; 20:13, 15-16; Deut. 22:5) and their inner dynamics (Lev. 18, passim; 20:10-210. The modern mind, however, questions whether the law treats the sexes’ equally’. Some laws do (Exod. 20;12; 21:28-32; Lev. 13:29, 38; 20:9, 15-16; Num. 5:6; 6:2; Deut. 5:16; 17:2-5; 27:16; 29:18; 31:12, but Old Testament (O.T.) law generally does not lay out equal terms for both sexes as expected in modern law, e.g., Lev. 12: 1-5.

The atmosphere of O.T. law appears to be that of benign patriarchy. The rest of the O.T. teachings on the significance of man and woman may be interpreted regarding three hermeneutical touchstones[2]:

  • The ideal in Gen. 1-2
  • The Fall in Gen. 3
  • The Mosaic guardianship of God’s under-age children in the law

After Gen. 2, the most explicit biblical exposition of gender is found in the epistle of Paul. Paul affirms that ‘there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3:28). The Gospel dignifies all God’s people as ‘Abraham’s children, heirs according to promise (v.29), without rank or distinction. Only Faith is required to receive redemption in Christ. So human barriers of gender inequality and discrimination in race and class are transcended in Christ, producing a new oneness concerning spiritual privilege.

F. Bruce said, “It is not gender distinctiveness, but their inequality of religious role, that is abolished in Christ Jesus.” [3]Consistent with Galatians 3:28 is the outpouring of the Spirit upon all believers alike. The results of the spirit outpouring bring a united prophetic voice (Acts 2: 17-18), the divine empowering of each believer to serve the whole Church (1 Cor. 12: 7-11), a common baptism by the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), and the sharing of the burdens of the church work (Rom. 16:1-23; Phil.4:2-3). The NT respires a spirit of gender equality and inclusiveness created by the complete revelation of the Gospel of Grace.

From an African perspective, the relationship between gender and Pentecostalism is unique because of the influences of culture on women’s leadership in churches. Historically, women have played vital roles in biblical history, the proclamation of the Gospel, and the establishment and growth of churches. Yet they play second fiddle in the top leadership of Pentecostal churches, at best, being second to men.

1 Cor. 11;3-15 is a problematic passage in hermeneutic interpretation for scholars. Paul’s concern seems to be the blurring of sexual distinctions as members pray and prophesy in the assembly of the Corinthian Church. Women are participating with their heads unveiled (v.13), displaying an improper manliness (vv. 14-15). Paul upholds the distinctiveness of the two sexes from the relational dynamics within the Godhead (v.3) and from human origins (vv. 7b-9; cf. Gen. 2:18-25). For a woman, therefore, to venture into male behavior violates the transcendent ordering of relationships. [4] A woman should retain her feminine dignity, and the man his original headship, so that there is no falsifying of manhood and womanhood in the Church.

A convention on eliminating ‘All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)’ guarantees equal rights with men in all spheres of life, including Education, Employment, Health Care, Voting Rights, Nationality, and Marriage. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women was established to review reports submitted by all countries signatories to the Convention on women’s status. The female gender faces a lot of systematic discrimination from entrenched power relations that perpetuate the universal subordination of females. This discrimination makes them highly vulnerable to being harmed physically, sexually, or psychologically by men in their families and communities.

The Pentecostal churches, some very wealthy, have hardly intervened to address the challenges of these women facing economic deprivations. Despite decades of human rights agitations and resolutions to protect women’s rights, gender policies still expose them to stressful working conditions, economic deprivations, and political/religious discrimination. They are often victims of terrorism that have led to the death of their husbands and children or displaced their families.

  •   [1] New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 650
  • [2] Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 652
  • [3] The Epistle to the Galatians, NIGTC, Grand Rapids, 1982, 189
  • [4] Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 653

**Conclusion on Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Leave a Reply