Scripture gets a bad rap when it comes to women. I’ve always considered this fact a bit odd because when you compare the depiction of women in Scripture to other ancient literature and historical accounts, the Bible is revolutionary.
Homer portrayed women as objects, war prizes, pawns, and possessions, “the cause of all conflict and suffering” in the world.[i] Hammurabi discusses the legal rights of women “in terms of chattel, similar to slaves.” Hesiod, claimed that “woman was created as man’s eternal curse.”[ii]
And then there were the great Greek philosophers who established the definitive view on all things—more on them in a bit. Suffice to say, these highbrow, Hellenized thinkers had a rather low opinion of women. And because of them, every major western society has marginalized women since.
Scripture, on the other hand, has a very different portrayal of women than any other ancient book. We do see the mistreatment of women in the Bible, but it is never commended or condoned.
On the contrary, the God of Scripture creates woman from man’s rib and places her in the garden as his equal. She is called his “helper,” or “ezer” in Hebrew, the same word used to describe God Himself in Psalm 115:9-11 and 121:1-2. God blessed the man and the woman, telling them both to rule over the earth (Genesis 1:28).
Let’s compare Scripture with ancient culture to see how liberating God’s Word is for women.
Catherine Segars is an award-winning actress and playwright — turned stay-at-home-mother—turned author, speaker and blogger. She is dedicated to helping other women see their worth in a season when they often feel less-than.
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