Learning to thrive in the new life Jesus offers us – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Googling “Bible Women”

This article is also available in Spanish here.

Googling "Bible Women"

 

When I google “Bible Women” into Google Australia a drop down field gives me three suggestions to narrow the search, as can be seen in the screenshot above.

(1) Bible women should not speak
(2) Bible women names
(3) Bible women inferior

The second suggestion is fine, but one and three are just terrible.

Google’s suggestions are based on what real people search.  Why would thousands of people regularly search the internet using phrases such as “Bible women should not speak” and Bible women are inferior”?[1]  Do people believe that these phrases might actually be true?

I hope that people are searching with these terms in the hope that they will be reassured that Bible women did speak and were not inferior.   Many Bible women spoke and their words have even been recorded and preserved in Scripture.[2]  I hope the searchers will discover that the Bible never says that women are inferior to men and that it says a lot of good things about women.  But why would people need this reassurance?

I’m disturbed by Google’s suggestions.  It shows to me that the Church is failing to get the message across that women and men are equal — completely equal.  This is such a fundamentally and vitally important message, yet we are lousy at proclaiming it widely and convincingly.  The Church — and that’s us — needs to actively and authentically teach and demonstrate and broadcast that the body of Christ should be without any castes (Gal 3:27-28), and that all humanity is fundamentally and intrinsically valuable and made in God’s image (Gen 1:26-28).

Equality, and certainly not female inferiority, is a principle of the New Creation which Jesus inaugurated and which Paul taught about.  Men and women, together, are made in the image of God.  This is what the Bible teaches.

We still have so much prayerful work ahead of us . . .


Endnotes

[1] I suspect that the first and third search terms show that people are searching for what the Bible says about women not speaking and supposedly being inferior, rather than Bible women themselves.  There is only one passage in the entire Bible, consisting of two verses, that says women shouldn’t speak.  I have written about these two verses here.

[2] The inspired songs, prayers, praises, teachings and declarations of Miriam (Ex 15:20-21), Deborah (Judges 5:1ff), Hannah (1 Sam 2:1ff), Abigail (1 Sam 25:28-31), King Lemuel’s Mother (Prov 31:1-9), Mary (Luke 1:46ff) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:41ff) are considered prophetic and are recorded in the Bible.  These  women spoke, and they continue to speak through the Bible to men and women today.

For the sake of comparison I also googled “Bible men” in Google Australia.  While the first option looks promising, too many of the articles about “men and women being equal” (on the first few pages of Google) still advocate for male leadership.


Related Articles

The Portrayal of Women in the Bible and Biblical Inspiration
Bible Women with Spiritual Authority
Paul and Women
Gender Division Divides the Church

Posted November 22nd, 2012 . Categories/Tags: Equality and Gender Issues, ,

Unkind, judgemental, bizarre, and off-topic comments will be deleted.

8 comments on “Googling “Bible Women”

  1. Heather says:

    Unfortunately, I think that a lot of the teaching on gender coming out of the US is harming the church as a whole. You would be shocked to hear what some of our most “Famous” pastors are teaching regarding women. It’s disgusting to me and does not represent the heart of God. Luckily, there are still people out there, like you, that are speaking the truth. Women need to know their value. Either we are taught that we are easily deceived and vulnerable or we are taught radical feminism that tells us that we are far superior to men. Neither is true and we need to walk in the truth and freedom that we have in Christ.

  2. Marg says:

    Hi Heather. I try to keep my ear to the ground about Christian views on women. I am shocked and dismayed by what some respectable American pastors say about men and women. They believe and teach that men have the authority and power, and women have none. It’s an unjust, suppressive, damaging and dangerous teaching.

    An American reader told what comes up if you google “Bible Women” in Google US:

    (1) bible women should not speak in church
    (2) bible women can’t teach
    (3) bible women’s rights

    *sigh*

  3. Heather says:

    It is true, sadly. These same people are teaching women that they have to stay in an abusive marriage and that to do so, ” glorifies God “. This is spiritually abusive, in my opinion. America has a huge crisis within Christianity and needs to wake up. People are being hurt and abused by those who should be loving them the most. It’s no wonder people are leaving the church in mass numbers.

  4. Marg says:

    Advising a spouse to stay with an abuser is unethical and just plain wrong. We should be protecting those who are in danger of abuse. We should be offering empathy, support and love; and we should be helping those who are hurting to heal.

    I’m still very hopeful for the Church. There are plenty of Christians who are doing wonderful things to ease the suffering of others, and who are spreading the Good News of Jesus.

  5. Heather says:

    I agree ! My pastor is one of those people , thankfully 🙂

  6. Waneta Dawn says:

    Marg,
    We feel like David fighting Golieth here in the US. One of the problems in the US is that we’re told if a woman says it, it’s probably false doctrine. Most of the books against abuse are written by women, so a woman who reads of liberty in Christ, freedom from a domineering & abusive husband, will doubt what she reads. Additionally, untwisting scripture can sound like heresy to a woman who has been fed a diet of scripture-poison that she thinks is truth. After years of letting new doctrinal ideas simmer, I started to see they were true. But the real help was my own Bible studies with a concordance. What an eye opener!! Bias against women is in most translations. The concordance tells another story than what we’ve been sold. I was amazed to find out Paul recommended that young women rule the house. I Tim 5:14. It’s wonderful what that knowledge does for my relationship with God. Now that I know God doesn’t favor men, that He actually put things in place to protect women from abusive men, (like divorce) that He has a heart for women, there is a closer connection to Him. I didn’t know I thought of myself as secondary in God’s eyes, until I found out it wasn’t so. Before, I knew God cared (song: Does Jesus care? Oh yes He cares, His heart is touched with my grief..) but I didn’t know He cared enough to DO something about it. Before I thought He commiserated with me, but he was being sympathetic while leaving me in misery; that was just my lot in life. Then I found out he commiserated AND provided a way to get out of misery. Wow!! But the best way out of bondage is bible study, getting the person to think for themselves, compare scripture with scripture, check the concordance, read various interpretations. Complementarians tell people what to think, make it sound so godly. But if a person checks out what they are saying, they’ll find it is NOT scriptural. Most of what they say is not commanded, but the comps claim it is “inferred.” .Why are people believing what may be inferred above what is commanded?? Because it is taught as a commandment. Perhaps we need to speak more in terms of commandments–like the commands to husbands to love and to the disciples– for all of us–to not rule over.
    I wrote a novel about non-equality in the home in 2007- 2008. (Behind the Hedge) After I published it, I found out its even worse in other denominations. Furthermore, the message of freedom and equality for women is largely rejected here. We’re still working on that, though.
    I like that Equal–no buts symbol you had on a recent post.

  7. Marg says:

    Waneta, I agree with you entirely! I became an egal only after I started reading the New Testament in Greek.

    Bible study is so important, and so is time. I also had to let new understandings simmer slowly; but with the Holy Spirit’s help I was gradually able to embrace the paradigm shift from the old cultural norm of patriarchy to the New Covenant ideal of equality for all.

    For some reason I have never felt “secondary” in God’s eyes. But, as a woman, I have been made to feel second class by the culture in some churches. This is bad. What’s even worse is that many Christian women are content to be regarded as second class in ministry and marriage because they truly believe this is scriptural. God’s ideal is a body of believers without a class or caste system.

  8. Heather says:

    Waneta,
    This is what has been happening to me . It’s like The Lord opened my eyes to see the truth regarding His will for women . My husband has always thought the comp/patriarchy view was really wacky but I bought it ( not patriarchy but comp views) and never questioned it . Then I started listening to Mark Driscoll because I live in the Seattle area and thought it would be interesting to hear a pastor from my area . At first , I agreed with some of what he would say and then as I got deeper into his sermons I just felt very oppressed and that something was very wrong . This led me to research Mars Hill which in turn resulted in me finding about all the abuses that have gone on there . Then , I started researching the comp doctrine and the more I researched the more unbiblical I found it to be . It is a travesty that we are taught this in our churches all across America . Some of the best known pastors coming out of America are the ones teaching the Mose oppressive and bizarre teachings that I have ever heard . It makes my stomach turn .

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