Saturday, November 14, 2015

Giles Discusses the Ecclesiastical View of Women As Expressed Historically

There have been many writers in church history, who have published less than commendatory perspectives concerning women. Here are quotes from Kevin Giles' work Trinity and Subordinationism:

"Having become disobedient, she [Eve] was made the cause of death, both to herself and the whole human race" (Irenaeus qt. in Giles 153).

"And do you not know that each of you [women] is Eve? . . . You are the devil's gateway: you are the first deserter of the divine law" (Tertullian).

John Chrysostom claims that women are "captivated by appetite"--as if men aren't!--"weak and fickle" (collectively) and "ruined." See Giles 153-154.

Woman is responsible for the ruin of the whole human race (John Calvin). It is no wonder that woman was "the first deserter of the divine law" since she was outmatched in the wisdom department by man, says Luther (Giles 154). Even Matthew Henry wrote that the devil assaulted the "weaker" person in the Garden of Eden:

"We may suppose her [Eve] inferior to Adam in knowledge, and strength, and presence of mind" (ibid).

"The tradition is uniform. Once more, we have seen that the best of past theologians interpreted the Bible to be teaching that women are more prone than men to sin and error" (ibid).

Martin Luther made extremely offensive comments that I have not posted. You can find the remarks in his collected "Works."


Sean Killackey said...

And yet the Bible says "Through the one man death entered into the world." And that he was not deceived, which to be seems worse. She had less sense, but that is not indicative of women as a whole, but he had worse judgement. If we base the severity of what they did with James' words in mind, we see that he has a heavier judgment (I'm referencing "not many of you should be teachers . . ."). For he sinned in a willfulness that Eve lacked, for while she let herself to be decieved and so easily took to doubting God, Adam knew what God had spoken as true and still partook of it. If sexism was being implied here, would it not be against the man?

Edgar Foster said...

The Bible does largely place blame on the man, although the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals) and other Jewish writings implicate the first woman. But they were both created in God's image. So I'm glad that you have not generalized from Eve having bad judgment (less sense) to all women being that way. Thanks!

Philip Fletcher said...

Whew! We can see how quickly apostasy was setting in. By Irenaeus time it looks like they went off the deep end.

Sean Killackey said...

I love how men in the past (and to some degree, today) think the Bible loves them. It reports more of their sins than those of women. Of course neither gender are shown to particularly good. In Jeremiah he says, "Do you not remember the sins of your fathers and their wives, of your kings and their wives, of your sins and of your wives sins?"

Instead of keeping in mind that all are under sin and the law prevents boasting in the sight of God, the ancient Jews would pray, "I am glad I was not made a woman!"

Philip Fletcher said...

Common sense is usually is better in women, than we men. Since we usually like to muscle our way thru most things. But... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Adam should have said something like this when she brought him the fruit. " Woman what have you done, put that down now!" Keep in mind later he named her Eve. But he did not. Adam listened to the voice of his wife. This is the biggest mistake of all time. So big it took Jehovah to undo all the damage.