Biblical Concept of Gender and the Philosophical Consequences of Wrong Scripture Translation (2) Final

Biblical Concept of Gender and the Philosophical 

Consequences of Wrong Scripture Translation (2) Final

In Genesis 5: 1-3, God created man. He made man in the likeness of God. Male and female, He created them and blessed them and named them ‘Man’ when they were created (cf. Gen. 1:27). The Hebrew term translated as ‘Man’ is Adam. The same term used for the name of Adam and the same term that is sometimes used of man in distinction from a woman (Gen. 2:22, 25; 3:12; Eccl. 7:28). [5]

The fact that a man is in the image of God means that man is like God and represents God. Some aspects of humankind’s existence that show humans to be more like God than all the rest of creation include Moral, Spiritual, Mental, Relational, and Physical Aspects. These aspects are visible in both genders, and the realization of these aspects gives humanity a profound sense of dignity and significance. Both genders created by God in His image and likeness are the culmination of God’s infinitely wise and skillful work of creation. Though sin has marred that likeness, a reflection of much of it becomes evident as a man grows in likeness to Christ.

The differences in roles and authority between members of the Trinity are consistent with equal importance, personhood, and deity. If human beings are to reflect the character of God, then there would be some similar differences in roles among the gender, even for the most basic of all differences among human beings. It is what is evident in the biblical text. Paul makes this parallel explicit when he says, “I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” – 1 Cor. 11:3. This is a distinction in authority just as God the Father has authority over the Son, though the two are equal in deity. Also, in marriage, the husband has authority over the wife though they are equal in personhood. [6]

The question is, why? Are the distinctions between the roles of gender part of God’s original creation, or were they introduced as part of the punishment of the Fall? When God admonished Eve and said to her, “Yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16), was that when Eve began to be subject to Adam’s authority? Aida B. Spencer[7] and Gilbert Bilezikian[8] are among the writers that have advocated the idea that differences in authority were introduced only after the ‘fall of man.’ Bilezikian says, “Because it resulted from the fall, the rule of Adam over Eve is viewed as satanic in origin, no less than death itself.” [9] Some scholars affirm that the creation narrative in Genesis shows indications of differences in the role of gender between Adam and Eve even before there was sin in the world. To those scholars, the fact that God first created Adam, then Eve (Gen. 2:7, 18-23), suggests that God saw Adam as having a leadership role in the human family. Other factors deduced for Adam’s leadership role included:

  • Adam named Eve.
  • God named the human race ‘Man,’ Not ‘Woman.’
  • The Serpent came to Eve first.
  • God spoke to Adam first after the Fall.
  • Adam, not Eve, represented the Human Race.
  • The Curse brought a distortion of previous roles, not the introduction of new roles.

It is important to note that the redemption in Christ reaffirms the creation order. There could not be political empowerment without economic, educational, and knowledge. Women empowerment has continued to be a topical issue at the center of most discussion and dialogue sessions at various levels and organs of governance. This issue has become even more crucial in the face of rising poverty, maternal mortality, epidemics, and a general Fall in the standard of living across the developing economies of sub-Saharan Africa and other third-world economies.

For over 100 years, women have been agitating for gender equality and economic empowerment as an essential part of their ‘Rights.’ The Beijing Platform for Action Commits governments to pursue and implement sound and stable macro-economic and sectoral policies designed and monitored with women’s full and equal participation. Encourage broad-based sustained economic growth; address the structural causes of poverty, and are geared towards eradicating poverty and reducing gender-based inequality.

There are several legitimate hindrances to the total emancipation of womanhood. All of these are significant and real but not impossible to overcome. Some hindrances are gates erected by the masculine gender, and some are self-imposed by the feminine gender. Liberation theology teaches that the world’s people need to be free from social-political-cultural-economic oppression, but the Gospel relates primarily to sin. Christ’s future kingdom on earth will ultimately deal with all problems – 1 Pet. 2:24-25. The truth is that the world teaches the opposite of the teachings of the Bible. The world needs not politics, philosophy, or religion but a right relationship to God through Jesus Christ – the mission of missions that will grow world Christianity.

God handed the microeconomics and macroeconomics of the whole world to both male and female as He created them; Gen. 1:28-30. All power belongs to God, and He has given equal leadership power to both male and female gender in secularity and religion. In essence, gender discrimination is a ‘sin.’

Consequences of Wrong Translation:

  • Domestic Violence

Gender-based violence against women means violence perpetrated against a woman merely because she is a woman. Violence against the female gender is a significant catalyst to the underdevelopment of the female gender and, indeed, the entire society they live. Gender-Based violence is universal, differing only in scope from one society to another. Spouses, parents/guardians, or relatives inflict much of the gender-based violence making such homes a dangerous place for the victims to continue to live. Domestic violence exists in a “culture of silence” and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse at every level of society. Domestic violence has long been considered a ‘private affair’ and has contributed to the severe gap in public health policy-making and the lack of appropriate programs. There is a trauma that lots of people pass through, especially the female gender, that cannot be shared with friends. Although there have been recent encouraging policy statements on gender-based violence, the health consequences of the physical and psychological violence against victims have hardly been touched by the public health sector.

  • Migratory Flow of Labour

The patterns of migratory flow of labor have changed. Women and girls are increasingly involved in Internal, Regional, and International Labour Migration by pursuing many occupations, mainly in farming labor, domestic work, and some forms of entertainment work for men. As this situation increases, their earning opportunities and self-reliance expose them to inadequate working conditions, particularly for the poor, uneducated, unskilled, and undocumented immigrants.

  • Sexual Abuse/Rape

It is estimated that more than 60% of rape victims know their attackers but often prefers to remain silent about it. Article 2 of the Paris Declaration presents what the International Community recognizes as generic forms of violence against women. The definition encompasses physical, sexual, and psychological violence in the family. And in the community, which includes wife battering, sexual abuse of female children, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, spousal violence, violence related to exploitation, sexual harassment, and intimidation at work and in educational institutions, forced pregnancy, and violence perpetrated or condoned by the State.

  • [5] Wayne Grudem, 440
  • [6] Fee, Gordon, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, N.I.C., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987, 503
  • Gordon says, “Paul’s understanding of the metaphor, therefore, and almost certainly the only one the Corinthians would have grasped, is the ‘head’ as ‘source,’ especially source of life.”
  • [7] Aida B. Spencer, Beyond the Curse, 2nd ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985), 20-42
  • [8] Gilbert, Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985), 21-58
  • [9] Bilezikian, 58

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