The Bible was written thousands of years ago in a culture with a patriarchal lens (not unlike modern societies today!). While it can be easy to dismiss the Bible as an outdated book with a harmful view, It’s important to understand that patriarchy is the backdrop of the Bible, but not its message. Writers like Sarah Bessey note patriarchy is not God’s dream for the world. So how can women uphold Scripture as sacred given this context?
It turns out there are many threads of gender equality that run through the Bible. The scriptures are a collection of texts with multiple viewpoints, and many biblical writers advocated for a vision of the beloved community where all people were welcomed in as children bearing the imago Dei (the image of God). Each person’s differences were celebrated, not glossed over.
The verses here focus on gender equality, which indicates a system where everyone is given the same starting point. Equity, on the other hand, begins with the idea that different people/groups have different starting points and therefore different needs to build a just society. The Bible shows that both are true: all people are equal in the eyes of God, and at the same time, those who are disadvantaged and marginalized in society should be “treated justly according to their circumstances.”
Below are seven verses that support gender equality and gender equity.
- “There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:23
- “because the Lord your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t take bribes. He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing.” – Deuteronomy 10:17-18
- “The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:31
- “The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord made them both.” – Proverbs 22:2
- “God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them.” – Genesis 1:27
- “In this image there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all things and in all people.” – Colossians 3:11
- “Isn’t there one father for all of us, one God who created us?” – Malachi 2:10
Are there any other verses or passages about gender equity that you would include? Share them below!