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Attitudes and beliefs about the roles and responsibilities of women in Christianity vary considerably today as they have throughout the last two millennia—evolving along with or counter to the societies in which Christians have lived. This is especially true for women in marriage and women in ministry. Some contemporary writers describe a significant role of women in the life of the church as having been downplayed, overlooked, or denied throughout much of Christian history up to the present. The Bible and Christianity historically have been interpreted as placing women in submissive roles in marriage and almost completely excluding women from church leadership, especially from positions requiring any form of ordination. Male leadership has been assumed in the church and within marriage, society and government.

The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches today maintain a position held from the patristic age to the mid-twentieth century that only men can be ordained to the clergy. Many of the major Protestant denominations, however, are now ordaining women to positions of ecclesiastical leadership. This shift has been resisted by a conservative evangelical movement known as "complementarianism" which argues that women should remain in a submissive role according to the literal teaching of Scripture. According to complementarian apologists John Piper and Wayne Grudem, male authority and female submission are integral to the “deeper differences,” the “underlying nature” and the “true meaning” of manhood and womanhood. These authors further maintain that men have the inherent right and responsibility to lead, while women are meant to be in submission to male leadership in the church and family.

In contrast, Christian Egalitarians' interpretation of scriptures and spiritual convictions bring them to the conclusion that the manner and teaching of Jesus abolished discrimination against racial minorities, slaves, and women, in both the church and marriage. They believe the exercise of spiritual authority, as biblically defined, is deemed as much a female believer’s privilege and responsibility as it is a male believer’s. In Christ there is no longer any distinction in spiritual privilege or status between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female. Husband and wife are equal heirs of God’s gift of life. Every believer is an adopted child of God, a recipient of the Holy Spirit and co-heir with Christ. Women and men share equally in creational authority, personal agency and responsibility, and spiritual rights and privileges.Groothuis, Rebecca M. "The Bible and Gender Equality." 31 Oct 2009. Web:/www.ivpress.com/groothuis/rebecca/archives/000262.php>

Christian feminism, a third perspective, argues not only for gender equality, but also pursues the use of inclusive language for God, and acceptance of lesbianism.

Bold textInsert non-formatted text here'== Women in the New Testament Church ==Beyond generally accepted social standards which are continually shifting, Christianity sets a moral standard—the attitudes toward and treatment of women by Jesus. There is no recorded instance where Jesus disgraces, belittles, reproaches, or stereotypes a woman. Examples of the manner of Jesus are instructive for inferring his attitudes toward women and show repeatedly how he liberated and affirmed women.

Jesus and women

From the beginning of the early Christian church, starting with Jesus, women were important members of the movement. There is no recorded instance where Jesus disgraces, belittles, reproaches, or stereotypes a woman. The examples of the manner of Jesus reveal his attitudes toward women and show repeatedly how he liberated and affirmed women. The gospels of the New Testament often mention Jesus speaking to women publicly and openly against the social norms of the time. He reached out to the marginalized in his society and thus, his appeal was great. He had female followers who were his sponsors and Mary Magdalene is recorded to be the first person to have the privilege of seeing Jesus after resurrection. As time went on and the disciples continued to spread Jesus' message by word of mouth, groups of Christians organized within the homes of believers. Those who could offer their home for meetings were considered important within the movement and assumed leadership roles.

Paul of Tarsus

The letters of Paul—dated to the middle of the first century CE—and his casual greetings to acquaintances offer information about Jewish and Gentile women who were prominent in the movement. His letters provide clues about the kind of activities in which women engaged more generally.



  • Paul writes that Priscilla and her husband risked their lives to save his life.


  • He praises Junia (or Junias) as "prominent among the apostles" (NRSV) or "well known to the apostles" (ESV), who had been imprisoned for their labor. Some theologians understand the name to be that of a woman, suggesting that Paul recognised female apostles in the Church.
  • Mary and Persis are commended for their hard work.


  • Euodia and Syntyche are called his fellow-workers in the gospel.


Some theologians believe that these biblical reports provide evidence of women leaders active in the earliest work of spreading the Christian message, while others reject that understanding. The evidence also indicates that these women "ministered" in supporting roles of the church much as the women who followed Christ supported his ministry.

Women in church history

Apostolic Age

From the very beginning of the early Christian church, women were important members of the movement, although much of the information in the New Testament on the work of women has been overlooked. Since sources of information stemming from the New Testament church was written and interpreted by men, many assumed that it had been a "man's church." Recently, scholars have begun looking in mosaics, frescoes, and inscriptions of that period for information about women's roles in the early church.

Patristic age

From the early patristic age, the offices of teacher and sacramental minister were reserved for men throughout most of the church in the East and West. Tertullian, the second century Latin father, wrote that "It is not permitted to a woman to speak in church. Neither may she teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal office" ( "On the Veiling of Virgins").

In early centuries, the Eastern church allowed women to participate to a limited extent in ecclesiastical office by ordaining deaconesses.

Middle ages

In the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church, the priesthood and the ministries dependent upon it such as Bishop, Patriarch and Pope, were restricted to men. The first Council of Orange (441) forbade the ordination of women to the diaconate.

With the establishment of Christian monasticism, other influential roles became available to women. From the 5th century onward, Christian convents provided opportunities for some women to escape the path of marriage and child-rearing, acquire literacy and learning, and play a more active religious role. In the later Middle Ages women such as Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Avila, played significant roles in the development of theological ideas and discussion within the church, and were later declared Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church.

Celtic Christianity gave women higher positions than any other Christian practice during this period.

Post Reformation

The Protestant Reformation, by shutting down female convents within the movement, effectively closed off the option of a full-time religious role for Protestant women. The majority of Protestant churches restricted ruling and preaching roles within the Church to men until the twentieth century, although there were early exceptions among some groups such as the Quakers and holiness movements.

Modern views

Some 19th century Christian authors began codifying challenges to the centuries-old traditional views toward women both in the church and in society. Only since the 1970s have more diverse views become formalized.

There are three major viewpoints in the modern debate. They are known respectively as Christian Egalitarianism, Complementarianism, and Christian feminism. The first two of these—Christian Egalitarianism and Complementarianism—represent conservative Christianity. Each holds a high view of scripture. Their point of divergence is a different theological framework that has direct bearing on how each group interprets the Bible.

Egalitarian view

Christian Egalitarians' interpretation of Scripture brings them to the conclusion that the manner and teachings of Jesus, affirmed by the Apostle Paul, abolished gender-specific roles in both the church and in marriage.

Official Statement
Men, Women and Biblical Equality was prepared in 1989 by several evangelical leaders to become the official statement of Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). The statement lays out their biblical rationale for equality as well as its application in the community of believers and in the family. They advocate ability-based, rather than gender-based, ministry of Christians of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic classes. Egalitarians support the ordination of women and equal roles in marriage, and are more conservative both theologically and morally than Christian feminists.

Some key Christian Egalitarian beliefs:
  • Both women and men were created equal by God
  • Neither man nor woman was cursed by God at The Fall of Man but were warned by God in a prophetic sense what would be the natural consequences of sin having entered the human race.
  • Jesus' radical "new Covenant" view was correctly articulated by Paul of Tarsus when he wrote that "...there is no male nor female, for you are all one in Christ."


A scripture passage they consider key to the advocacy of full equality of responsibility and authority for both women and men is contained in a Pauline polemic containing three antitheses:

Christian Egalitarians interpret this passage as expressing that the overarching teaching of the New Testament is that all are "one in Christ." The three distinctions, important for Jewish life, are declared by Paul to be invalid in Christ. Therefore, among those "in Christ" there must be no discrimination based on race or national origin, social level, or gender. They respect the natural biological uniqueness of each gender, not seeing it as requiring any dominant/submissive applications of gender to either marriage or church leadership.

David Scholer, prominent New Testament scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary, affirms this view. He believes that is “the fundamental Pauline theological basis for the inclusion of women and men as equal and mutual partners in all of the ministries of the church.” Galatians 3:28 represents "the summation of Paul's theological vision," according to Pamela Eisenbaum, professor at Iliff School of Theology, who is one of four Jewish New Testament scholars teaching in Christian theological schools.

Christian Egalitarianism holds that the submission of the woman in marriage and womanly restrictions in Christian ministry are inconsistent with the true picture of biblical equality. The equal-yet-different doctrine taught by Complementarians is considered by them to be a contradiction in terms.

Conservative theologian Roger Nicole, a Baptist considered an expert in Calvinism and regarded as one of the preeminent theologians in America, is a Christian Egalitarian and also a Biblical Inerrantist. He recognizes that biblical egalitarianism is still viewed by many as inconsistent with biblical inerrancy, although he disagrees. He writes that "the matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God’s will for women."

A limited notion of gender complementarity is held and is known as "complementarity without hierarchy."

Complementarian view

Complementarians believe God made men and women to be equal in personhood and value but different in roles. They understand the Bible as teaching that God created men and women to serve different roles in the church and the home. In the 1991 book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, leading Complementarian theologians outlined what they consider to be biblically sanctioned definitions of masculinity and femininity:

"At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships.
"At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman's differing relationships."


Official Statement
The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was prepared by several evangelical leaders at a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts, in December 1987. The statement lays out their biblical rationale for male priority and female submission in the community of believers and in the family. Additionally it cites a set of concerns shared by complementarians over other contemporary philosophies about gender:

  • Cultural uncertainty and confusion over complementary differences between masculinity and femininity
  • Unraveling marriages
  • Increasing attention given what they termed to be feminist egalitarianism
  • Ambivalence about motherhood and homemaking
  • Claims of legitimacy for illicit sexual relationships and pornography
  • Upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family
  • Emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership seen as nonconforming to Biblical teaching
  • Nontraditional reinterpretation of apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts
  • A growing threat to Biblical authority.


They attribute these ills to the "apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which…may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture."

Interpretation of Scripture
Complementarians tend to be biblical inerrantists who take a more literal view of biblical interpretation. They disagree with Christian Egalitarians on most theological positions related to gender such as these:
  • Man was created superior to the woman by being created first (according to ) and by woman being created from the first man's rib (NIV: "side").
  • Woman was cursed by God at The Fall.


Complementarians believe that refers only to equal availability of all to salvation. They hold that the writer, the Apostle Paul, is saying that all believers, no matter what their racial, social, or gender status, share the same spiritual status in their union with Christ. They do not believe that Galatians 3:28 or any other scriptures put an end to existing privileges or restrictions based on race, class, or gender, as a matter of Christian principle.

Their understanding is that both Old and New Testaments do prescribe a male-priority based hierarchy and gender roles in the church, in marriage, and in secular society. These prescribed gender roles only recently have come to be modified by some Complementarians as being "different but equal." Complementarians describe men and women as having "complementary non-overlapping" roles in the church and home.

Christian feminism

Christian Feminists take an actively feminist position from a Christian perspective. Recent generations have experienced the rise of what has been labeled by some as "Christian feminism" —a movement that has had a profound impact on all of life, challenging some traditional basic Christian interpretations of Scripture with respect to roles for women.

However, Christian feminism represents the views of the more theologically liberal end of the spectrum within Christianity. In contrast to the more socially conservative Christian egalitarians, Christian feminists tend to support homosexual rights and a pro-choice stance on abortion. The Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus, a major international Christian feminist organization, values "inclusive images and language for God."

Terminology

Although much of the contemporary literature settles on the terms Complementarianism and Christian Egalitarianism, a number of other more pejorative terms are frequently encountered.
  • In complementarian literature, the term "Christian feminism" is sometimes incorrectly used synonymously with "egalitarianism." For examples, see books by Wayne Grudem on the topic. Christian egalitarians generally object to being labeled "feminist" or "evangelical feminist." Their belief in biblical equality is said to be grounded in the biblical teaching that all believers have been given authority in Christ. Conversely, feminist ideology is derived from cultural factors and philosophies. Christian egalitarian author Rebecca Groothuis writes, "Like most cultural systems of thought, feminist ideology is partly true and partly false—almost entirely false at this point in history."Groothuis, Rebecca Merrill. "The Basics of Biblical Equality: Belief and Practice." Net:Nov. 1, 2009. /www.cbeinternational.org/?q=content/basics-biblical-equality-belief-and-practice>
  • In egalitarian literature, the terms "gender traditionalist," "patriarchalist" and "hierarchicalist" are sometimes used with reference to complementarians. The use of these terms in egalitarian literature is defended in . "…it is probably most fitting to refer to those who believe in restricting leadership to men as simply advocates of male leadership, or patriarchalists… traditionalists… or hierarchicalists."


William J. Webb describes himself as a "complementary egalitarian." He defines this as "full interdependence and 'mutual submission' within marriage, and the only differences in roles are 'based upon biological differences between men and women'." He uses "Complementarianism" to describe what he calls "a milder form of the historical hierarchical view."

Complementarian scholar Wayne A. Grudem objects to Webb's use of "complementary" and "egalitarian" together to describe a thoroughly egalitarian position. Calling the terminology "offensive and confusing," he reasons that doing so simply confuses the issues by using the term "complementary" for a position totally antithetical to what complementarians hold. Grudem finds Webb's use of the term "patriarchy" to be especially pejorative because of its connotations in modern society. He also rejects the term "hierarchicalist" because he says it overemphasizes structured authority while giving no suggestion of equality or the beauty of mutual interdependence.

Theological issues

Biblical authority

In general, all evangelicals involved in the gender debate claim to adhere to the authority of the Bible. Egalitarians typically argue that the dispute has arisen because of differences in interpretation of specific passages. Nevertheless, Wayne Grudem and other complementarians have accused egalitarians of adopting positions which deny the authority, sufficiency and inerrancy of scripture.

Biblical hermeneutics

The egalitarian and complementarian positions differ significantly in their approach to hermeneutics, and specifically in their interpretation of biblical history. Christian egalitarians believe that male and female were created equally without any hierarchy of roles. God created both woman and man in His own image and likeness. God made the first couple equal partners in leadership over the earth. Both were jointly commissioned to “be fruitful and multiply...to fill the earth...subdue the earth...and rule over it.” At the Fall, God prophesied to Eve that one result of sin entering the human race would be that her husband would "rule over" her. Conservative Christian theologian Gilbert Bilezikian points out that throughout the Old Testament era and beyond, just as God had prophesied, men continued to rule over women in a patriarchal system which he sees as being a "compromise" or "accommodation" between sinful reality and the divine ideal. The coming of Jesus is understood as moving forward from Old Testament patriarchy, re-instituting full equality of gender roles, as succinctly articulated in . New Testament passages such as which teach submission of wives to husbands are typically understood by egalitarians as a temporary accommodation to a harsh first century culture.

The Christian egalitarian hermeneutic has received a highly systematic treatment from William J. Webb, professor of New Testament at Heritage Theological Seminary, Ontario, Canada. Webb argues that a major challenge is determining which biblical commands are "transcultural" and therefore applicable today, versus those which are "cultural" and therefore only applicable to the original (first century) recipients of the text. His "redemptive movement" hermeneutic is justified using the example of slavery, which Webb sees as analogous to the subordination of women. Christians today largely perceive that slavery was "cultural" in biblical times and not something that should be re-introduced or justified, although slavery was (a) found in the Bible and (b) not explicitly banned there. Webb recommends that biblical commands be examined in light of the cultural context in which they were originally written. According to the "redemptive approach", slavery and women's subordination are found in the Bible; however, the same Scriptures also contain ideas and principles which, if developed and taken to their logical conclusion, would bring about the abolition of these institutions. According to that ideal, biblical patriarchy should be replaced by the "all one in Christ Jesus" proclamation of which says "There is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Some other New Testament instructions that are almost universally considered "cultural" and therefore only applicable to the original (first century) recipients of the text are for women to wear veils when praying or prophecying, Christians to wash each other's feet (a direct command from Jesus in the Upper Room discourse, the instruction, appearing five times in the New Testament, to greet one another with a holy kiss—among others.

In contrast to egalitarian teaching, complementarians teach that male priority and headship (positional leadership) were instituted prior to the Fall and that the decree in merely distorted this leadership by introducing "ungodly domination." Complementarians teach that the male leadership seen throughout the Old Testament (i.e., the patriarchs, priesthood and monarchy) was an expression of the creation ideal, as was Jesus' selection of 12 male apostles and New Testament restrictions on church leadership to men only.

Complementarians criticize Webb's hermeneutic. Grudem argues that Webb expects Christians to pursue a "superior ethic" to that found in the New Testament, therefore undermining the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. He claims that Webb and some other evangelicals misconstrue the biblical teaching about both slavery and women, and inappropriately confuse the two. He writes that slavery is tolerated in Scripture but never commanded but in some cases is criticized, whereas wives are explicitly commanded to submit to their husbands and male leadership is never criticized. Additionally, Grudem believes that Webb's "redemptive-movement" hermeneutic (itself a variation of the "trajectory" hermeneutic commonly employed by egalitarians) ultimately relies on subjective judgments that are incapable of producing certainty about ethical views.

Gender and the Image of God

Complementarians have traditionally held that Christian ministers ought to be men, because of the need to represent Jesus Christ, who was the "Son" of God, and incarnate as a male human being. A related position is that while both male and female were made in the image of God, the woman shares in the divine image through the man because she was created out of him, and is his "glory."

Christian egalitarians respond by arguing that God is not gendered, and that males and females image God equally and without any differences. In addition, terms such as "Father" and "Son", used in reference to God, should be understood as analogies or metaphors used by the biblical authors to communicate attributes about God in a culture where men had social privilege. Similarly, Christ became a male not because it was theologically necessary, but because first century Jewish culture would not have accepted a female Messiah. Wayne Grudem takes exception to these egalitarian arguments, insisting that Christ's maleness was theologically necessary; he also alleges that egalitarians are increasingly advocating that God should be thought of as "Mother" as well as "Father", a move which he sees as theologically liberal.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has become a major focus of the contemporary gender debate, specifically in relation to . In 1977, George W. Knight III argued in a book about gender roles that the subordination of women to men is theologically analogous to the subordination of the Son to the Father in the Trinity. Australian theologian Kevin Giles has more recently responded that complementarians have "reinvented" the doctrine of the Trinity to support their views of men and women, suggesting that some complementarians have adopted a heretical view of the Trinity similar to Arianism. A vigorous debate has ensued, with some egalitarians moving towards the idea that there is "mutual dependence" within the Trinity, including "subordination of the Father to the Son", which must be reflected in gender role relations. Wayne Grudem has countered this by asserting that mutual submission in the Trinity cannot be supported by scripture and church history.

Relationship between ontology and roles

Modern complementarians argue that and establish the full equality of males and females in terms of status, worth and dignity. Complementary roles in marriage and church leadership, including the primary authority of men and the submission of wives, are not thought to contradict this principle of ontological equality. The equation of role or functional subordination and ontological inferiority is considered to be a category confusion.

Egalitarian author Rebecca Merrill Groothuis has objected to this position. She argues that "woman’s spiritual and ontological equality with man rules out the sort of subordinationprescribed by gender traditionalists…. It is not logically possible for woman to be essentially equal to man, yet universally subordinate to man on the basis of an essential attribute (i.e., femaleness)."

Current views by denomination

In general, the issues have been what the proper role of women is (a) in marriage; (b) in the church; (c) in society at large. Among the denominations, movements, and organizations that express or have previously expressed a view, there are four main views:

  1. Full equality of roles and rights:
  2. Full secular equality but restricted ecclesiastical roles and privileges:
  3. Restricted roles or rights in both secular and ecclesiastical life:
  4. Mixed
    • Southern Baptist Convention's official position is to prohibit females from becoming clergy, and to insist that a wife "graciously submit" to the leadership of her husband. Members of an individual ("local") Southern Baptist church are allowed to vote on matters of business of the church that include the hiring of a pastor. However, many churches that have chosen female clergy as their pastor have been disenfranchised by either local or state Baptist associations. The vast majority of the congregations tend to hold full secular equality for women.


The above lists are examples and are obviously not exhaustive. It is not always clear which category a church or movement falls into.

The Wesleyan tradition and the Holiness and Pentecostal movements, as well as a growing number of contemporary Charismatic churches which draw from them, have increasingly accepted women as leaders on an equal footing with men.

Roman Catholicism, addresses the issue from the highest levels, including the Papal Office. For instance, Pope John Paul II has addressed this issue in his 1995, his 1996, and the 1988 Apostolic Letter, for examples.

References and notes

  1. Blevins, Carolyn DeArmond, Women in Christian History: A Bibliography. Macon, Georgia: Mercer Univ Press, 1995. ISBN 086554493X
  2. Duncan, Ligon. Male Authority and Female Equality: In the beginning—Genesis 1-3 being understood as part of God’s created design. Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. December 15, 2004. Online at http://www.cbmw.org/Resources/Sermons/Male-Authority-and-Female-Equality-In-the-beginning-Genesis-1-3, accessed Oct. 31, 2009
  3. Piper, John and Wayne Grudem, “An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Crossway Books, 1991. ISBN 0-89107-586-0
  4. Piper, John and Wayne Grudem, “A Vision of Biblical Complementarity: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Crossway Books, 1991. ISBN 0-89107-586-0
  5. Bilezikian, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles (2nd ed.) Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1989
  6. Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Westminster John Knox Pr, 1978. ISBN 978-0664241957
  7. Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Westminster John Knox Pr, 1978. ISBN 978-0664241957
  8. Bilezikian, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles. Baker, 1989. ISBN 0801008859
  9. Margaret MacDonald, "Reading Real Women Through Undisputed Letters of Paul" in Women and Christian Origins, ed. by Ross Sheppard Kraemer and Mary Rose D'Angelo (Oxford: University Press, 1999), 204
  10. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/first/missions.html#letters letters of Paul
  11. Wallace, Daniel B. "Junia Among the Apostles: The Double Identification Problem in Romans 16:7"
  12. King, Karen L. "Women in Ancient Christianity: The New Discoveries." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/first/women.html
  13. http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fem08.html Women's Roles in the Early Church
  14. MacHaffie, Barbara J. Her story: women in Christian tradition. Fortress Press, 2006. ISBN 9780800638269.
  15. .
  16. Allen, Charlotte. "The Holy Feminine." Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life, 1999. Online: http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=3241
  17. For example, Katharine Bushnell, L.A. Starr, Charles H. Pridgeon, Phoebe Palmer, A. J. Gordon, Frances Willard, and many others
  18. Christians for Biblical Equality. "Men, Women and Biblical Equality." Ltd. CBE on the Web at "Biblical Equality." 1989. Online: http://www.cbeinternational.org/new/about/biblical_equality.shtml
  19. http://www.cbeinternational.org Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE)
  20. The natural consequences of sin mentioned by God in the Creation account included increased pains in childbearing, and the husband will rule over you
  21. Scholer, David M. “Galatians 3:28 and the Ministry of Women in the Church,” Theology, News and Notes. Pasadena: Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1998
  22. Eisenbaum, Pamela. "Is Paul the Father of Misogyny and Antisemitism?" Cross Currents, Association for Religious and Intellectual Life. Winter 2000-2001, 50:4
  23. Iliff School of Theology http://www.iliff.edu/academics/faculty/profiles/peisenbaum/index.php
  24. Strauch, Alexander. Men and Women, Equal Yet Different: A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender. Lewis & Roth Publishers, 1999. ISBN 0936083166
  25. Nicole, Roger. "Biblical Egalitarianism and the Inerrancy of Scripture." Priscilla Papers, Vol. 20, No. 2. Spring 2006
  26. Koessler, John. "Wounds of a Friend: Complementarian." Christianity Today June 2008, Vol. 52, No. 6.
  27. The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. 1987
  28. See
  29. About EEWC
  30. Grudem, Wayne A. "Should We Move Beyond the New Testament to a Better Ethic?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS), 47/2 (June 2004) 299–346
  31. http://www.dashhouse.com/resources/Gender/index.htm Gender and Leadership
  32. Walther, Emily, and George H. Walther. "Celebrating Our Partnership." Priscilla Papers, 'Autumn 1991 Volume 5, Issue 4.
  33. Doug Heidebrecht. "Distinction and Function in the Church: Reading Galatians 3:28 in Context." Direction. Direction Journal, Mennonite Brethren
  34. Webb, William J. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. InterVarsity Press, 2001. ISBN 0830815619. Webb understands biblical issues of slaves and women to be cultural principles, applicable to that culture, but the biblical principles about homosexuality to be transcultural.
  35. , , , , and
  36. Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, The Bible and Gender Equality, Christians for Biblical Equality 2005.
  37. The Baptist Faith & Message
  38. "Letter to Women"
  39. "Address on Promoting the Well-Being of Women"
  40. the Dignity and Vocation of Women"


General references



  • Fiddes, Paul S. ' "Woman's head is man": a doctrinal reflection upon a Pauline text.' Baptist Quarterly 31.8, 1986. 370-83








Catholic references

  • "Declaration Inter Insigniores on the question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood." Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 15, 1976.
  • Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Ordination to the Priesthood)." Pope John Paul II, May 22, 1994.
  • "Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity of Women)." Pope John Paul II, August 15, 1988.
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church. Many Christians also see Mary as the prototypical Christian, as in the Bible she was the first to hear the Good News of Jesus' coming. She is one of the few of Jesus' followers reported to be present at his crucifixion. Thus she is a woman who is most imitated among Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saints.


References on the history of women in the early Christian Church

  • MacDonald, Margaret. "Reading Real Women through Undisputed Letters of Paul." In Women and Christian Origins edited by Ross Sheppard Kraemer and Mary Rose D'Angelo. Oxford: University Press, 1999.
  • Torjesen, Karen Jo. When Women were Priests: Women's Leadership in the Early Church & The Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher, 1995.
  • Wiley,Tatha. Paul and the Gentile Women: Reframing Galatians New York: Continuum, 2005.
  • Witherington, Ben III. Women in the Earliest Churches. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.


See also



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