Equal treatment of women in the Bible?


There are two aspects of how women were being treated according to the Bible narrations.

(1) How the ancient Hebrews treated their women which was pretty much the people’s culture. The women were regards as properties and have no inheritance right. Ruth exemplified this very well. Thus there was strong emphasis ‘to care for the widow’. When their husbands died, they were practically relegated to beggars if they had no male offspring to inherit their husbands’ properties which would be passed on to the husbands’ male next of kin, usually the brothers.

(2) The New Testament teaching on wives however is also clear: – That the husbands are to love the wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. That the husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. That they love their wives like they love themselves as Christ does to the church. Ref. Eph 5:25-33

This is a tall order indeed to the husbands. To love the wives like Christ loves the Church is for the husband to nourish and sanctify her so that she will be holy and perfect and that he would even die for her as Jesus did. And in turn the wife respects her husband.

The wife submits to the husband insofar the submission is not asking the wife to commit sin but to righteousness. The submission is as to the Lord – that’s only insofar it is holy. Ref. Eph 5:22

The two should not be mixed together. (1) is the culture of the era and (2) is the Biblical teaching on women.


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