Internet search engines have given rise to a bunch of pseudo intellectuals that assume because they have read something compiled by someone that can push buttons on a keyboard that they have in fact learned something valuable and or truthful. Guess what? To truly learn anything of value takes hard work, time, and a heart prepared to receive. Nothing makes this observation more clear than the many Bible bashing hoards of closed minded internet surfers. Let’s take for example the number of random verses selected by these pseudo intellectuals as examples of how horrific, contradictory or downright evil the Bible is. For the next ten days I am going to briefly comment on the so called top ten worst Bible verses as listed on various internet sites.
Worst Bible verse number one; “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)
Without considering the pretext and post-text, this verse might seem a bit sexist. But to not consider the pretext and post-text of any writing is ignorant. Furthermore, to not study the cultural implications at the time the text was written is either a result of laziness, the inability to have critical thinking skills, or just plain stupid.
The pretext tells us that God wanted the Disciples to spread the Gospel over the entire earth to every peoples. The pretext also shows us quite clearly that the Christians were the first group to not only respect women but to also take their testimony as credible and worthy. For example, the Bible said it was a woman that first saw the empty tomb of Jesus. At the time, in the Roman empire, women were not respected as witnesses and their testimony was not credible. But the Bible reported the truth and gave worthiness to the women reporting this truth. There are many other examples of how the Bible treats women as equals.
Culturally, the Roman empire did not allow women to teach or get involved in politics. Because of this, Paul knew that no Roman would ever hear the Gospel if a woman was teaching it. Paul was simply stating that women should respect the cultural norms of the day as to not freak out the people of that society. It did not say God liked the cultural norm or that God advocated for it, but simply that the culture was what MAN chose. In order to change man, the gospel would first need to be heard, and then change can be possible.
That brings us to the post-text. We know quite clearly how important and revered women are in the Bible. The entire last book of the Bible begins with the Woman of the Apocalypse. “A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet…” To simply take a verse out of context and not to consider the cultural implications is simply ludicrous. That would be like conducting a scientific experiment without isolating any of the variables.
Next time we will examine the so called 2nd worst Bible Verse; “This is what the Lord Almighty says… ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (1 Samuel 15:3)