A few days ago, a reader sent me a link for an article dealing with the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. The article depicts how women are treated by their fathers and other relatives. The story of these women is filled with pathos. It is amazing that at the dawn of a new century, women still live in situations where their worth and potential are not appreciated.
The picture of women in the gospels is different than the one found in Saudi Arabia. There is no question that Jesus reached out to women and involved them in his ministry. Several texts in the gospels illustrate how women had a very special place in Jesus’ ministry. The prominence of women in the resurrection narrative is a clear example of how Jesus valued women in proclaiming the glorious event of Easter Sunday. Jesus’ treatment of women differed from the way Judaism treated women in the first century.
The same principle is found among the disciples of Jesus. The negative view about women that existed in many parts of the ancient world did not become the norm in the life of the church. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:28 Msg). The gospel of Christ broke down the barriers that separated people because of race, social status, and gender.
Describing how men and women become new persons in Christ, Don Williams, in his book, The Apostle Paul and Women in the Church (Van Nuys, CA: BIM Publishing Co, 1977), p. 70, wrote: “Male dominance, egotism, patriarchal power and preferential priority is at an end. No longer can Genesis 2-3 be employed to reduce women to an inferior position or state. If redemption is real the warfare between the sexes is over.”
With this understanding of how the Gospel of Christ has revolutionized the way women should be treated in society, read how women are treated in Saudi Arabia by clicking here [NOTE : The article is no longer available; it has been removed by the publisher] .
Now that you have read this article, let me know what you think about what you read.
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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