One common accusation that is made against the Bible is that it does not give women the same status as men. Indeed, superficial reading of certain passages in the Mosaic Law and Paul’s writings initially seems to support such a conclusion. However, a proper reading of Scripture reveals a high view of women which is ultimately rooted in creation, and even the controversial passages, when seen in their historical context, are in agreement with this high view.

From the very first chapter of Scripture, women are afforded a higher place than in any other ancient writing; in Genesis 1:27, women are said to be created in the image of God just as men are, yet there is a distinction between the two from the beginning. “Although male and female hold in common the same unique God-given status as image-bearers, there is an inherent distinction within the human family by virtue of their different sexual roles, and this implies that other distinctions are present.” In the expanded account of Day 6 in Genesis 2, the author gives a more detailed account of the creation of woman. Up until this point, when God has evaluated His creation, He declared it to be “good”. However, in the first and only negative statement, He says that it is “not good” for man to be alone; he needs a “helper corresponding to him” (2:18). God essentially states that man by himself is not adequate; this highlights the high value and necessity of women in the biblical view.Adam’s joyful exclamation (2:23) at their introduction affirms Eve’s ontological equality with Adam, yet the fact that he names her indicates that she is subordinate to him in some sense. This is important because it shows that there was a pre-Fall relational subordination, so male headship, though doubtlessly twisted and abused by the Fall, was not itself…

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