Posted by: Ety W. | June 16, 2008

Submission: Biblical Inequality?

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This is part 3 in a series on Biblical Submission. To start at the beginning, click here.

I have appreciated the interesting comments to my last post, Submission For Husbands! You’ve Got to be Kidding. Between those, and past discussions I’ve had with women on biblical submission, I’ve come to realize that part of the problem women have with submission, is because the word itself carries connotations of inequality: leadership means telling others what to do; the superior gives the orders and the subordinate obeys; giving in to someone else is as a sign of weakness.

While these are commonly accepted concepts in the modern world, they are examples of what I call “worldly” thinking rather than “Wordly thinking.”

If you’ve read through many of my posts, you have seen a pattern: the biblical definitions of many words are not the same as the worldly definitions. For examples, see the posts on love, temperance, or encouragement.

As Christians, one thing we must guard against when trying to interpret the Bible, is assuming that the world’s definitions are the only correct definitions. If we do, then we are going to reach wrong conclusions. “Submission” is a case in point. And sadly, not only do women often buy into the idea that the biblical submission means an inequality between the sexes, many Christian men do too.

We’ve already taken a look at the biblical definition of submission and seen that it does not refer to a hierarchy of importance, rather it refers to orderliness.

However, I’d also like to present you with some verses to contemplate, along with a few notes about them.

And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Gen. 1:27

“Man” here is Strong’s #H120, ‘adam, which refers to the species of mankind. God created human beings as male and female in His own image.

For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:24

“Man” here is Strong’s #H376, ysh, meaning a male person. Man as an individual, was not created complete in himself. He is incomplete without woman. Only together are they whole.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:28

This is how God sees us, not in ranks, but as one. The Bible only distinguishes between two classes of people: those who believe and accept the truth, and those who reject it.

You husbands ….. grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

Husbands are warned against treating their wives as inferior. She is a fellow heir (Strong’s #G4789, sugkle ̄ronomos = joint heir, participant in common.)

The bottom line in Bible study is to let the Bible define the terms, not let the terms define the Bible. To assume that the Bible teaches that women are inferior to men is an incorrect interpretation. An incorrect interpretation does not make the Bible wrong. It only makes the interpreter wrong.

Conclusion? If God sees men and women as equal, then “submission” refers to something else. The purpose of this series of posts on submission is to discover what that something else is.

Next ……. Changing Our Husbands


  1. I look forward to the “something else”.

  2. Razzler,
    I’ll join you. Tea or coffee?

  3. Ety,
    This point you make at the end is well worth remembering.

    “The bottom line in Bible study is to let the Bible define the terms, not let the terms define the Bible. To assume that the Bible teaches that women are inferior to men is an incorrect interpretation. An incorrect interpretation does not make the Bible wrong. It only makes the interpreter wrong.”

  4. The one simply obeying the equal to barking them out?

    • Chris, let me ask you something. What do you think makes people equal?

      • That the one barking orders to someone else is also following that someone else’s better yet, Boone is barking out orders, and everyone is compromising. And noons is considered the lowest form of human life, as in the bible ( god is head of men, men are head of women).

      • Okay, well, I’m not really sure what you’re saying. I would be annoyed as well at someone barking orders at me. Unfortunately, human nature on it’s own invariably wants to elevate Self. The Bible teaches the opposite.

  5. Why do you think the bible refers to women as the lowest form of human life (God is head of men, men are head of women, so women are the.lowest)? Why do you think that God wants.women to have a.head (master) to male.all of.their decisions? I’m not.saying you said these things, but the bible is very clear it thinks.women are the lowest.why would God even creates these vile creatures described by the God of the bible? These deficient creatures that need the.people God actually likes (men) to determine their.every move or choice? Also, the bible describes men as god, and the wife to a church. Is God equal to the church? So, the god of the bible clearly states that women are inferior to men. I don’t want to put down your views, I just want to hear your views on these disturbing words.

  6. I realize that words can be interpreted incorrectly, and I hope with all my heart that that is what I am doing. I gave up Christianity because of those “words”, I always thought is was sexist, bit I never knew how much until I started reading these blogs. I know that.the bible is toxic to me because with those shut up and submit verses, I can only see hate. And I cannot think of my God as hating women, and this is what I get from those vile verses. I even read some blogs, like yours, who seem to think the word are not what.they seem. But the words.are there, and they are words of hate. God wants to make slaves.of women. Aren’t they both commanded to submitto their masters. And to submit is to submit, whether as a slave.or as a wife. Oh, bit the husband is told to be.nice to his little slave, so that makes them.Equal-NOT.

  7. Also, the bible clearly.states.that only men are the image.of god, women are merely the.image.of men. And women are not made for themselves, they are made for man only. Oh, ans they should authority in marriage.or at church. They are also unclean creatures. The bible puts women so far below men, that it’s as if they aren’t even the same species.

  8. Chris, I’m going to address all three of your comments in one response. Obviously you have already made up your mind, so why do you even bother to comment on my blog? Initially I was trying to figure out if you really wanted answers to your questions, or if you are so angry at God that you are just looking for somebody to take pot shots at. If you’ve actually read my posts, then you know the correct interpretation for the words and their context. However, if your belief system gives you contentment with yourself and your life, then why bother giving someone else a hard time just because they believe differently?

    • I was just trying to understand why god seems to hate me so much. Bit thanks anyway.

  9. Gabrielle, why do you think God hates you? Because someone in your life is constantly barking orders at you? Because someone else told you so? Or are you basing it on what that one verse says? All I can say is, if a person tries to develop an entire truth based on one verse or passage of scripture, without regard to what the whole book says, then the mark will be missed every time.

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