If the Bible Had Been Written by a Woman
William C. Sexton
St. Joseph, Missouri
Recently in a study with two people, I was asked: "If the Bible had been written by a woman, would it not have been different
Perhaps this question is worthy of our consideration. I suggest that we kick it around a bit and see what is implied by such a question. Look at the premise that is necessary to support such a conclusion. It might be good for us to reflect on just how such a question may be viewed.
1. NECESSARY PREMISE FOR SUCH A CONCLUSION: The basic idea underneath the surface of such a question is: "The Bible places woman in a subordinate position, if woman had written . . . she would have elevated woman rather than place her in a subordinate position . . ."
First, I suggest that we need to see that the glory of woman lies in the fact that she is different from man. If it were not for this "difference," there would be no place for her; she would not be needed. The value of anything and all things lies in its utility, its usefulness. Therefore, woman need not feel inferior because she is needed, but in modesty recognize and manifest her appreciation of her true value. God created her as a "help meet for" man (Cf. Gen. 2:18). Her role then is one of subordination, and therein lies her glory (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:8-12). She should recognize this, and be glad rather than feel degraded, inferior, etc.
Experience shows that when she leaves her God-given position by forgetting or by arrogantly rebelling, she brings disgrace and shame on herself and all related to her. In the third chapter of Genesis is the record of her unwise usurpation. All around us is evidence of her actions - sin and corruption, death and sorrow. So has it always been and so shall it ever be as long as the world stands.
Secondly, I suggest that 'it is not at all degrading to woman for her to be subordinate to man. Everything has a purpose, and when it fulfills its purpose, it manifests its glory. As an example water and fire both have great value, they are needed. When they are properly employed, their value is seen and is apparent to all. Employ them wrongly, try to replace one with the other and only harm will result. Accordingly, it is not degrading to man to say that Christ is his head. Neither is it any more degrading to woman to say that she is to recognize man as her head. For man to recognize CHRIST AS HEAD is to his glory. So is the same true with regard to woman's subordination to man. She is not a slave. No such idea is attached to the idea of subordination; rather she is to be a companion. Her makeup is such that she can serve man, enjoy life and fulfill her purpose, only if she is subordinate. Nothing is as distasteful as a lady acting "Un--lady-like."
2. UNAIDED HUMAN WRITINGS WOULD INDEED BE DIFFERENT: A basic fact is that if man or woman unaided by inspiration had written the Bible, it indeed would have been quite different. God guided the persons who wrote the Bible. Therefore, it is not the thoughts, intents and interpretations of the persons writing (2 Pet. 1:2021). This is a basic lesson: Peter said "knowing this first . . ." Until this fact is learned and accepted, one shall fail to gather the treasures from the scriptures that are there for him. It is my judgment that this is the principal reason for many not knowing what the scriptures teach. They view it as man's writings. Therefore, they do not approach it with the respect necessary to find its teachings, to gather its fruit. Paul said: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine . . . 11 (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Its value lies in the fact that it is given by "inspiration of God."
Man needs to be convinced of the origin of the Book, and then he can understand its contents. There is, I am convinced, ample proof of its inspiration. If a man will approach it honestly and diligently, consider its claims and then the evidence to support the claims, I believe that he will be rewarded with faith. Until he is decided on this point, he will not receive its teachings. Going to it thinking that it is the work of man unaided by God, then he will look at it as he would any other man's work - with skepticism, accept what he wants, and reject the rest. Such a person shall continue to be unmoved by the Book. Herein lies the secret, I believe, to why so many are unaffected by the greatest of all books, the Bible.
3. IF WRITER MAN OR WOMAN INSPIRED, THEN MESSAGE IS OF GOD: If God did guide the writers of the books of the Bible, then what is written therein is the message of God to man. Thus, it matters not whether the writer was a man or woman, king or shepherd, philosopher or fisherman. This the Bible claims, and this we affirm to be the truth concerning the contents of the Bible. I affirm also, that man cannot consistently claim to believe in the Bible and at the same time reject the claims it makes regarding the divine origin of its message. The two positions are incompatible and contradictory. One person cannot logically hold both positions.
Paul affirms that the message he preached did not come to him by way of man, rather by "revelation" (Gal. 1:11-13). He states that his purpose in writing was that man might "Understand" when he reads (Eph. 3: 1-5). Only the Spirit of God knows the mind of God, and that Spirit was given the apostles, and they spoke as the Spirit gave them "utterance" (Cf. 1 Cor. 2:9-13; Acts 2:4-40).
It is no wonder to me that men and women who reject this basic truth concerning the Bible fail to be impressed by it. This, I contend, is the very reason you cannot get a goodly portion of the people today to be particular about what they do in religion. Man's writings are equal to, and often respected above the Bible. Possibly, we fail to begin at the proper place in teaching people. We assume that they believe the Bible to be the word of God, when in fact they do not. Until we convince them of this, it does little good to point out what the book says. Much preaching, I suggest, goes unheeded simply because men are not convinced of the divine origin of the message. This is not always found only among denominational people. I see some of it among those who claim to be members of the "church of Christ."
What is your view of the Bible? Are you aware of its claims? Have you considered its evidence to the point you are convinced? If you have not, this may be the secret to your apathy toward it; your lack of study in it! Where are you? Think, consider, read and be convinced. Then beloved, you will be moved by its teachings!
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIII: 10, pp. 18-19