Sunday, January 27, 2008

Subordination of Christ and woman

It seems to me that the church fathers and all the theologians which I have read (not all that many) up until well after the reformation, thought that woman was subordinated by her transgression and the fall.

This is because Bibles up until after the Reformation said in Gen. 3:16 - in Latin, "she will be under the power of her husband" and in French “she will submit to her husband”, the LXX simply has “turn back” - she will turn back to her husband.

Here is Chrysostom on woman in creation,

    In the beginning I created you equal in esteem to your husband, and my intention was that in everything you would share with him as an equal, and as I entrusted control of everything to your husband, so did I to you; but you abused your equality of status. Hence I subject you to your husband: Homily on Genesis
and on why woman does not have the image of God,
    The image has rather to do with authority, and this only the man has, the woman has it no longer, Discourse 2 on Genesis
Why would he say “no longer” if woman was created with less authority? I am sure he believed that woman was created with equal authority. I believe that this was the widely held belief even by the Reformers. They believed that because of the transgression of Eve, woman is subordinate.

No one has ever shown me that the subordination of women and the subordination of Christ were related until the last 30 years.

3 comments:

Martin said...

The gender hierarchlists were safe for a long time with idea that because of Eve's deception she was the greater transgressor and thus needed to be unconditionally subordinated to men during her life. When it was realized that Gen. 3:16 was not really a curse but was a negative response to life because of sin, then the hierarchalists had to come up with something more difficult to refute. The dichotomy is that while the concept of original subordination by birth seems secure by reason of being before the fall, it is also easily refutable because there is nothing from God giving such authority to Adam over Eve. And of course it flies in the face of God's giving both equal authority over the earth.

The new doctrine of Subordination in the Trinity takes more knowledge of Scripture and more research to refute. Thus the gender hierarchalists think they’ve a sure run in with this one. Giles is doing a good job for those who like his writing style. But we need to do some major work in exposing the lie of eternal subordination in the Trinity. You'd think the Athanasian Creed said it well enough. But I guess some don't understand it either. :)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks for your thoughts Martin. I am still thinking about this and trying to read up on historic precedents.

Bruce Harkins said...

Keep on writing and thinking Suzanne. These are the large issues that must be continually worked upon.