I had to share this beautiful post from Kristen Rosser, who blogs at Wordgazer’s Words. Hers is one of my favorite blogs, with writing that is a combination of academia and art. I highly recommend scrolling through her topic index next time you want to do some reading. Be informed, be very informed. 🙂
Jesus in the Gardens: Undoing What Adam Did (Click the link to go to the article.) Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
The twelve were the main witnesses to the life, death and resurrection of Christ. In the Ancient Near East and Roman cultures, the testimony of women was considered invalid. It was not accepted in court; it was not legally binding in any way. The world was simply not going to listen to women, and Jesus knew it.
So here’s what He did. His very first act upon Resurrection was to appear to the women. In fact, John tells us that though Peter and John ran ahead of Mary Magdalene on the way to the tomb, they saw nothing. Then after they left, Mary Magdalene was the first to see the Resurrected Christ. John 20:3-14. Other women also saw Him shortly afterwards– but no male saw the Lord, revealed for who He was, until that evening, eight hours or more afterwards. . .
The significance of this would not have been lost on the male disciples in that patriarchal culture. They knew that they themselves had refused to believe the women’s testimony that morning. Then when Jesus appeared to them, they realized the women had been telling the truth.
Jesus was communicating this very clearly (the fact that we miss it today is a product of our culture): “The world will not accept the testimony of your sisters, but I have just forced you to listen to it. My kingdom is to be different from the world. You are to listen to your women and allow them to testify of Me.”
Image credit: Fra Angelico, “Jesus Apearing to the Magdalene” (1440-41), Convent of San Marco, Florence
This matter is too important to allow it to be dispensed with unless some question of Biblical authority is mentioned. Role specificity in home and church is not the same as gender-based devaluation. When God created Eve she was created from man for man but not without equal spiritual value. There is no Biblical basis for denigrating the female gender. There is also no Biblical basis for exalting the male gender. But role in home and church is specified and unless one casts aside the authority of the Bible as culturally limited, one must wrestle with such issues as the gender of Elders in the local church and the headship of the husband in the home.
Thank you for your comment, Jedidiah! There are lots of resources out there discussing authority/headship from an egalitarian perspective. I have started a draft today on a new post discussing this topic of male headship/authority, so please check back. Let me recommend a few articles from reputable theologians:
N.T. Wright “Women’s Service in the Church”: http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Women_Service_Church.htm
Walt Kaiser “Correcting Carricatures: Biblical Teaching on Women”: http://www.cbeinternational.org/files/u1/resources/14-kaiser-pdf.pdf
Bob Edwards “Response to a Complementarian View of Women”: http://juniaproject.com/response-complementarian-view-of-women/
Video: J.R. Daniel Kirk “Patriarchy and Worth”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpSLiQi4XBw
Wow, thanks for the link and the recommendation, Ruth! I do notice that the excerpt you quote is repeated twice above.
Thank you, Kristen, I will correct that! 🙂