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Women in the Gospels of Luke and Letter of Paul

Essay by review  •  November 14, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,094 Words (5 Pages)  •  883 Views

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The concept of woman always seems to be a delicate topic in all types of literature. Many people believe some passages in the Bible to even portray women as inferior to men. In Paul's letters to the Corinthians, women seem to be beneath men, instead of equal. However, in many other Bible passages, like the gospel of Luke and even Paul's letters to the Romans, women are glorified as holy and the givers of life. The gospel of Luke describes Mary, the mother of Jesus, who arguably is the most important women in the entire Bible. He also speaks of Mary Magdalene, a woman who becomes one of his closet disciples. In the letters to the Romans, Paul thanks a woman for saving his life. He also mentions Mary and says that she has "worked hard for you" (R 16:6). However, Paul's letters to the Corinthians lacks the kindness and compassion he wrote with in Romans, and therefore the accusation of Paul being harsh towards women and almost misogynistic are certainly true.

Paul's description of woman and his tone when he compares them to man creates the feeling that Paul is a prejudice disciple against the opposite sex. He creates a barrier between men and women with this style and use of vocabulary in his writings to the Corinthians. Paul speaks at how a woman cannot get a divorce, and if she does she must remain single or "become reconciled to her husband" (C 7:11). However, his only words about men is that they should avoid divorcing their wives. Paul also seems to believe that man are chosen in the eyes of God over women. Since God created man primarily and then used man to create women, she must be inferior to the race of men. Men, according to Paul, need no veil, as they are closer and not shameful in the eyes of the Lord. However, a woman must pray with a headdress, or it will be considered shameful. Paul writes that men are the "image and glory of God," while women are only the "glory of man" (C 11:7). Men are glorified as the image of a God, while the woman are only as good as their husband. These lines, showing as to why men need no veils and why women must cover themselves shows the division between men and women in Paul's letters, and why Paul deserves the title of misogynistic.

However, not all texts in the bible are as controversial as Paul's letters to the Corinthians. Luke's gospel provides an image of women in which they are equal to men. Luke's special concern for women is truly remarkable. Mary, a virgin woman, gave birth to the Son of God. Luke praises the courage of Mary, who rejoices over her fate to conceive the Son of God. Luke writes of Mary: "Hail favored one, the Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28). Also in the first story of Luke's gospel, the priest, Zechariah, doesn't believe the angel, while his wife praises the Lord for enabling her to conceive. For Zechariah's disbelief he loses the ability of speech, while his wife gains favor in the Lord and will bear the greatest prophet, John. Unlike Corinthians, women in Luke are displayed as faithful to the Lord and gain his favor, while men are just pawns in God's plan for Jesus. From Luke, we also learn a bit more about Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene one of Jesus' closest disciples, is the first to see that Jesus' body is missing. Luke tells us that Mary Magdalene was just one of many woman who travels with Jesus and his male disciples in an age when the mixing of sexes was virtually nonexistent. The display of women as disciples, again unlike Corinthians, shows equality in the importance of both sexes to Jesus and God. Luke also tells us that these women "provided for them out of their resources" (Luke 8:3). Women in the Gospel of Luke are, perhaps, largely

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