Obscure Texts Sometimes Used to Diminish Women

Recently, I received a note from Marg Mowczko, a blogger who lives north of Sydney, Australia in which she mentions her post dealing with four obscure Old Testament passages sometimes used to diminish women. These four passages have caused much confusion in the minds of many people because of the problems involved in understanding how women are treated in these texts.

Marg Mowczko
Sydney, Australia

Below is the introduction to Marg’s post on these four passages:

It is not surprising that certain verses, such as 1 Timothy 2:12 and Ephesians 5:22-24, are frequently brought up in discussions about women in ministry and in marriage. What continues to surprise me are the obscure Bible passages that are brought up in discussions on gender.

Sometimes these obscure verses are brought up by Christians, both men and women, who believe it is God’s will that women be in a subordinate position, with less power and less rights than men—there are still Christians like that. But these verses are also brought up by women who see a sting in them, another reminder that perhaps, after all, women really aren’t equal to men in God’s eyes.

In this article, I look at four passages from the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, that cause concern for some. Perhaps there is something here that may be useful if these verses are brought up in your conversations.

These are the four passages Marg studied in her article:





I have written four posts on WOMEN’S VIRTUE IN ECCLESIASTES 7:28. Here are the links to my posts:

Ecclesiastes 7:28: Not One Upright Woman?

Ecclesiastes 7:28: In Search of a Better Translation

Ecclesiastes 7:28: Was Qoheleth a Misogynist? – Part 1

Ecclesiastes 7:28: Was Qoheleth a Misogynist? – Part 2

I told Marg that I would address the other three difficult passages in future posts. In a few days I will publish a post on “Women Rulers in Isaiah 3:12” in which I will give my own perspective on this controversial passage.

Until then, you should visit Marg’s blog and read what she has to say about these four obscure Old Testament passages sometimes used to diminish women.

Here is the link to Marg’s article:


Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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This entry was posted in Book of Ecclesiastes, Book of Isaiah, Book of Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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