8 Biblical Differences Between Wives and Slaves

Webster’s dictionary defines a slave as “a person held in servitude as the chattel of another”.   The word ‘chattle’ refers to a human being that is owned by another human being.  By our modern definition of slavery, we cannot comprehend the concept of a person being owned by another person without that owned person not being a slave.

On one side of this debate about the Biblical treatment of wives we have Christians who claim that there is absolutely no similarity at all between the husband/wife relationship and that of a slave owner to his slave while on the other side we have atheists and other humanists who claim that the Bible makes women into slaves.  What do both of these sides have in common? Jesus said it best in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

Matthew 22:29 (KJV)

The truth is that the Scriptures teach us that is possible for one person to own another person without that owned person being considered a slave.  In other words, from a Biblical perspective while all slaves are owned by other people, not all people who are owned by other people are to be considered slaves.

Wives and Children Designated by God as Property and Slaves Allowed as Property

The Bible shows us that God designed two social classes of human beings that were to be considered the property of men.  He allowed a third social class of human being that could also be taken as property as well under certain circumstances.

In the 10th commandment God mentions a man’s wife, along with his male and female slaves amongst those things which are his property:

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

In the following passage we see that God gives children to their fathers as property:

“3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)

The English word “heritage” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Nachala” which literally means “inherited property”.

God authorized Israelite fathers to sell their daughters as indentured servants for a period of no longer than six years.  This is shown in the following passages:

“7And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.”

Exodus 21:7-8 (KJV)

“And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.”

Deuteronomy 15:12 (KJV)

The passages above show that neither male nor female Hebrew indentured servants could be kept indefinitely unless the male Hebrew willingly wanted to stay and serve (see Exodus 21:5-6) or the woman was taken as a wife by the man who purchased her either for himself or one of his sons.   Otherwise after 6 years male Hebrew indentured servants had to be freed and female Hebrew indentured servants had to be allowed to be purchased back by their male relatives or by another man wishing to take them as a wife.

And for those who think these daughters sold as maidservants could be used for sex outside a covenant of marriage, I would refer the reader to the following prohibition against fathers selling their daughters for this purpose:

“Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.”

Leviticus 19:29 (KJV)

So, it is clear that God did not allow Hebrews to sell or buy their fellow Hebrews as slaves.  They could only could only purchases the services of fellow Hebrews as indentured servants for a limited window of time.  However, it is equally clear that God did in fact allow the Hebrews to purchase the children of foreigners within their land as slaves or they could purchase slaves from the nations around them.

“44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.”

Leviticus 25:44-46 (KJV)

And in the New Testament Paul gives the following command to slaves:

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

Colossians 3:22 (KJV)

The word “servants” in the KJV passage above is a translation of the Greek word “Doulos” which actually means “slaves” and this is how most of the modern translations translate this verse.

This brings us back to wives.  We have already shown from the 10th commandment that it includes wives with male and female slaves as the property of men.  But the ownership of a husband over his wife is seen even clearer in the original Hebrew language of the Scriptures. The noun form of the Hebrew word ‘baal’ which means ‘owner/master’ is used eleven times in the Old Testament to speak of a husband’s relationship to his wife.    The word ‘baal’ is used an additional 11 times in verb form to refer to a woman coming to be ‘owned’, or married, to a husband.

The passage below from the book of Deuteronomy uses both the noun and verb form of the Hebrew word baal to illustrate a husband’s ownership over his wife:

“If a man be found lying with a woman married to an [verb ‘baal’ ‘owned by’]  husband [noun ‘baal’ ‘owner’], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)

In the New Testament the Apostle Peter refers back to this concept of a woman being owned by her husband when he admonishes wives to follow the example of the women of past generations like Sarah who “obeyed” her husband calling him “lord”:

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

Now having proven from the Bible that wives are actually considered by God to be property just as slaves are, we will go on to show that the responsibilities of owners toward these two types of human properties are very different.

8 Biblical Differences Between Wives and Slaves

As we have previously shown from Exodus 20:17 and Leviticus 25:44-46,  wives and slaves are both considered by God to be the property of men.  And both wives and slaves are commanded by God to obey their masters in everything as Colossians 3:22, Ephesians 5:24, 1 Peter 3:5-6 tells them to do.

But this is where the similarity between wives and slaves ends and the differences begin. Below are eight Biblical distinctions between wives and slaves.

1.  Slave owners don’t have to sacrifice themselves for their property – husbands do.

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it

Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

2.  Slave owners don’t have to teach God’s Word to their property  – husbands do.

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

3. Slave owners don’t have to act as human instruments of God’s sanctification in the lives of their property –  husbands do.

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)

4. Slave owners don’t have to love and care for their property as they do their own bodies – husbands do.

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

5. Slave owners don’t have to give their bodies to meet the sexual needs of their property (nor should they) – husbands do.

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

6. Slave owners don’t have to honor their property – husbands do.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

7. Slave owners don’t have to give their property the fruit of their labors – husbands do.

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:31 (KJV)

8. God did not design men to be the property of other men.  God did design women to be the property of their husbands.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

1 Corinthians 11:7-10 (KJV)

Conclusion

We have shown conclusively from the Bible that contrary to modern humanist notions of equality, God has actually designated wives and children as the property of their husbands and fathers. And again, contrary to modern egalitarian views of what marriage should be, God commands wives to regard their husbands as their masters and like slaves to be obedient to their masters in everything. The obvious exception for both wives and slaves in their obedience is if their masters command them to sin against God.  It is only in this case that they can and must disobey their masters as Acts 5:29 tells us.

The truth from the Scriptures is that there are indeed some similarities between wives and slaves but there are also significant differences between wives and slaves.

God created the relationship between a husband and wife to mirror the loving relationship between himself and his people.  A wife is to be regarded as her husband’s most precious possession, one that he cares for and would protect with his very life.

Another significant difference between wives and slaves is husbands as their wife’s owner and master are required by God to give their wife the fruit of her labors as Proverbs 31:31 states.   A slave is not entitled to enjoy any fruits from his labors.

Now this principle must be taken into account with the entire witness of the Scriptures.  In Ephesians 5:24 wives are commanded to submit to their husbands in “everything”. And yes, that would most certainly include finances.  Every dollar that comes into their home comes under the spiritual authority of the husband whether that is income from his work, his wife’s work or inheritances that either of them may acquire.  Even if the wife does not work outside the home but instead is a keeper in the home her work there has great value.

What this means is that whether a wife works outside the home or is a keeper of the home the husband should allow his wife to have fruits from her labor.  Practically speaking that means allowing her some discretionary use of money to buy things for the house or herself personally that she would like to buy.

Finally, on the topic of slavery. It is only because of the effects of sin in the world that God allowed for the practice of slavery but he commanded it to be done under humane conditions.  For a more in-depth look at the reasons and conditions under which God allowed for the practice of slavery see my article “Why Christians Should Not Be Ashamed of Slavery in The Bible”.

Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics And Slavery – Oh My!

This is the second part of my YouTube series entitled “A Defense of Living Biblically”.  In this next part I take on an statement by Rachel Oates that is a very common attack by atheists and sadly even some Christians asserting that we cannot really follow the Bible.  These attacks have even been used in some television shows over the years including the new television series “Living Biblically”.  This video is also available as an mp3 audio download in my audio section here.

After watching this video I suggest reading these articles that I have previously written on methods for properly interpreting the Bible:

How to Correctly Interpret the Bible

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Also on the controversial topic of slavery that I covered in this video please see the article below that I previously wrote on that subject:

Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Ashamed Of Slavery In The Bible 

Biblical Gender Roles vs Quranic Gender Roles

Both the Bible and the Quran teach the inequality of women to men, the subjection of women to men, the allowance for polygamy and the allowance for slavery. This is probably a shock to many American Christians because so few Christians in these modern times know the very Scriptures which form the basis for their faith.

It would be obvious to anyone who lives in America that American gender roles are in fact very different from those practiced by Quran believing Muslims.  But there is not so large a divide between the gender roles practiced by Bible believing Christians in America and Quran believing Muslims.

Since I started this site more than two years ago I have been regularly accused of being a Muslim pretending to be a Christian because I have highlighted the Biblical teachings that men and women are not equal in God’s creation and the fact that the Bible says women were made for men.

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man…

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 & 9(KJV)

In both Christianity and Islam – there are liberal theologians and conservative theologians. Conservative Christians believe every word of the Bible is the Word of God, and conservative Muslims believe every word of the Quran is the Word of God.  Liberal theologians in both faiths believe that their holy texts may contain the Word of God – but it also contains a lot of cultural opinions that can and should be dismissed in the modern world.

So it should be no surprise that only conservative Christians and Muslims who believe the entirety of the texts which form the foundation for their faiths would still embrace the gender roles taught in these texts.

The origins of the false religion of Islam

Before I continue I want to make it abundantly clear that I believe Muhammad was a false prophet. Many years ago after the 9/11 attacks I studied the history of Islam and the Quran. However I do not claim to be an expert on Islam and there are many Christian sites that could do a far better job explaining in detail why Muhammad was a false prophet and I will link to some of those in this article.

With that being said,  this is my attempt for my readers to understand why I believe Islam is both a false and dangerous religion when practiced in accordance with the entirety of the Quran. I also want to show that while the Bible and the Quran may have some similar commands regarding gender roles – the basis and reasons for these commands are very different.

Roughly six centuries after Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and the birth of the Christian faith a man named Muhammad (570 AD to 632 AD) came on the seen in Arabia claiming to be the next prophet of God following in the same faith as Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

Muhammad claimed to receive miraculous revelation from the one true god over a 23 year period which he orally gave to his companions who acted as scribes and wrote down these sayings in what we now know as the Quran.

In the beginning of his ministry Muhammad tried to peacefully convince his fellow Arabs to convert from their paganism (worshiping over 200 different gods) to monotheism (the belief that there is one god).  He even tried to convince Jews and Christians that he was a true prophet of the same one true god that they worshipped.  But since his teachings were in complete contradiction to the teachings of the Old and New Testaments both Jews and Christians rejected him as a false prophet.

He would then later explain the contradictions of his teachings with the Bible as God correcting the mistakes of the Bible through him. The fact is both Jews and Christians correctly recognized Muhammad’s teachings as nothing more than a horribly bad knockoff of the Bible.

The rejection of Christ by the Jews was not the same as the rejection of Muhammad

Some Muslims will try and point to the fact that the Jews rejected Jesus as a prophet as well as the writings of his Apostles in the same way Jews and Christians rejected Muhammad. But there is a huge difference between the rejection of Christ by his fellow Jews and the rejection of Muhammad by Jews and Christians.

Jesus said this:

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

Jesus and his followers never claimed that there was even ONE mistake in the Old Testament Scriptures that the Jewish people still hold to today. Instead he and his followers claimed that Jesus was the one foretold of by Moses and Isaiah centuries before Christ came:

“The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;”

Deuteronomy 18:15 (KJV)

“3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Isaiah 53:3-5 & 10-12(KJV)

Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be rejected by his own people but that God had determined this in accordance with his plan to save all mankind through the sacrifice of Christ of on the cross. By his death the righteous servant of God (Jesus Christ) would make intercession for the sins of all mankind.

So unlike Muhammad and the Quran – there is absolutely no conflict between the teachings of Christ or the New Testament with the Old Testament.  This is why Muhammad was correctly dismissed as a false prophet by both Jews and Christians alike.

It is also worthwhile to note that one of the greatest sins listed in the Quran is to ascribe person-hood to God.  The fact that Christians believe God became a man in the form of Jesus Christ is heinous to any Muslim who knows the Quran. So how in the world could true Bible believing Christians have ever accepted Muhammad as anything other than a heretic?

Muhammad turns to violence after being rejected by Arabs, Jews and Christians

After this repudiation by his fellow Arabs as well as Jews and Christians Muhammad became violent both with his fellow Arabs as well as with Jews and Christians.  Later he would lead a military conquest which forced people to either convert to Islam, die or pay a tax ( “jizya”).

Those today who try and teach that Islam is a peaceful religion are ignorant of the history of Muhammad and also the true order of the teachings of the Quran.

Is Islam really “a religion of peace”?

Often Muslims and even non-Muslim defenders of Islam present the religion of Muhammad as “a religion of peace” and they will point to passages in the Quran that show Muhammad admonishing Muslims to peacefully live alongside Jews and Christians:

“Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.”

Quran 3:113-114

“And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those (earlier prophets), confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah; and We sent him the Gospel, wherein there was guidance and light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God-conscious.”

Quran 5:46

See more of these kinds of passages and arguments at these websites:

http://www.islamicity.org/4659/can-muslims-be-friends-with-jews-and-christians/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ro-waseem/6-convincing-reasons-debu_1_b_5604068.html

But the truth is that Muhammad was only peaceful toward Jews and Christians at the beginning of his ministry.  Later after their complete rejection of him he became hostile and violent toward all who opposed him including Jews and Christians.  Muslim historians try and say Muhammad was just defending himself against Jewish and Christian aggressors but there is no historical evidence to back that up. Muhammad decided that if the world would not accept him as the prophet of God in peace then he would bring war on those who rejected his teachings.  And war he brought.

See this article from TheReligionofPeace.com that debunks the idea that Muhammad only fought in self-defense – https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/self-defense.aspx

The fact is there are few passages in the Quran that talk about living in peace with Jews and Christians while the vast majority of references to non-Muslims in the Quran advocate for their violent conversion and subjugation to Islam.

“The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter…

Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’)

Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews. According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status. Verse 9:33 tells Muslims that Allah has charted them to make Islam “superior over all religions.” This chapter was one of the final “revelations” from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad’s companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30) – “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!””

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx

Quranic Islam is violent while Biblical Christianity is peaceful

President Obama and many other apologists for the false notion of Islam as “a religion of peace” have tried to point to the crusades as proof that Christianity can be just a violent as Islam.  What they miss is that God never called on Christians to militarily or politically force the world to become Christian.  Those in Christian history who tried to forcefully convert people to Christianity (or even a particular brand of Christianity) did so in direct contradiction to the teachings of Christ and his Apostles.

Unlike Muhammad, Jesus never tried to establish any kind of political domination in this world:

“Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

John 18:36 (NIV)

And the Apostle Paul wrote:

“3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

II Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

These texts and many others from the New Testament prove that Christianity when practiced according to the Bible is NOT a violent religion.  The same cannot be said of Islam and the Quran with 109 verses advocating for violence as well as the example of Muhammad’s military exploits.

Now that we have established why Islam is both a false and dangerous religion and why Christianity does not conflict with the Old Testament but is the fulfillment of it we will discuss and compare Quranic gender roles with Biblical gender roles.

Similarities between the Bible and Quran on Gender Roles

It should come as no surprise that because the Quran is cheap knock off of the Bible that it would actually contain some Bible truths.

Here are some passages on gender roles from the Quran as well as Hadith (other sayings attributed to Muhammad and Sira (biographies of Muhammad) from TheReligionOfPeace.com which demonstrate how the Quran views women and marriage.

“Quran (4:34) – “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them.”

Quran (2:228) – “and the men are a degree above them”

Quran (33:59) – “Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…” Men determine how women dress.

Quran (33:33) – “And abide quietly in your homes…” Women are confined to their homes except when they have permission to go out.

Quran (2:223) – “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will.” Wives are to be sexually available to their husbands in all ways at all times. They serve their husbands at his command. This verse is believed to refer to anal sex (see Bukhari 60:51), and was “revealed” when women complained to Muhammad about the practice. The phrase “when and how you will” means that they lost their case.

Bukhari (88:219) – “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.”

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/men-in-charge-of-women.aspx

Islam allows polygamy

“Quran (4:3) – “Marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess.” This verse plainly allows a man to have up to four wives (Allah conveniently granted Muhammad an exception… on the authority of Muhammad, of course). According to the Hadith, the “justice” spoken of merely refers to the dowry provided the bride, not the treatment accorded following the wedding.”

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/polygamy.aspx

So as we can see from the passages above (and there are more teachings like this in Islam) we see these principles:

God has made man and woman Unequal

God has placed men over women and women are to submit to their husbands (including in areas of how they dress and sexual submission)

Men are to be providers for women.

A woman’s place is in the home.

A man is allowed to have up to four wives and unlimited sexual partners through sex slaves

So the question then becomes does the Bible teach these same principles?

The answer is YES according to these Bible passages:

The Bible teaches that the male and female vessels are not equal

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

The Bible teaches the complete submission of wives to their husbands (which would include how they dress and sexual submission as well)

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

The Bible teaches the headship of men over women in the Church

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

I Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

The Bible teaches men are the head of women in all areas of life (which includes society, the church and the family)

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

The Bible teaches that men are to provide for their wives

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

The Bible teaches that a woman’s place is in the home

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

The Bible teaches it is a shame for women to rule over men

 “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

The Bible allows polygamy

“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.  11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”

Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

“And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.”

II Samuel 5:13 (KJV)

The Bible while not placing an exact limit on how many wives a man could take – did condemn the hording of wives(which is what King Solomon did by taking 700 wives and 300 concubines).  Also we will discuss in more detail below that the Bible did NOT allow men to have sex slaves.

“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”

Deuteronomy 17:17 (KJV)

Some differences between Islam and Christianity on the treatment of women and marriage

Islam requires women to completely cover themselves when in public

“Quran (24:31) – “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.” The woman is not only supposed to cover herself, except with relatives, but to look down, so as to avoid making eye-contact with men.”

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/veils.aspx

As we can see from the Quran above Islam requires women to hide their beauty from all but their close relatives in private.

In stark contrast to the Quran, the Bible only requires women to cover their heads and be fully clothed when worshiping in the assembled church:

“4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.”

1 Corinthians 11:4-5 (KJV)

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array

I Timothy 2:9 (KJV)

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

I Timothy 3:15 (KJV)

The original Greek word that we translate as “modest” in the Bible literally means “appropriate” and the word we translate as apparel means “fully clothed”.  So what the Apostle Paul was literally saying in his letter to Timothy was that when women came to worship in the assembly they should be “fully clothed which is appropriate attire for worship”.

This in no way forbade women from being less than fully clothed when not in the assembly for worship. It also did not require women to wear head coverings outside of formal worship in the assembly.  In fact the work clothing for women during the week would have been less covering than the formal covering that the Apostle Paul mentions here.

For more on Biblical modesty see my article “What is Biblical Modesty?

Islam not only allows but encourages the rape of non-Muslim women captured during war

“It is against Islam to rape Muslim women, but Muhammad actually encouraged the rape of others captured in battle. This hadith provides the context for the Qur’anic verse (4:24):

“The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain.  They met their enemy and fought with them.  They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers.  So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Abu Dawud 2150, also Muslim 3433)

There are several other episodes in which Muhammad is offered the clear opportunity to disavow raping women – yet he instead offers advice on how to proceed.  In one case, his men were reluctant to devalue their new slaves for later resale by getting them pregnant.  Muhammad was asked about coitus interruptus in particular:

“O Allah’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?”  The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari 34:432)”

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/rape.aspx

“Muslims are encouraged to live in the way of Muhammad, who was a slave owner and trader. He captured slaves in battle; he had sex with his slaves; and he instructed his men to do the same. The Quran actually devotes more verses to making sure that Muslim men know they can keep women as sex slaves (4) than it does to telling them to pray five times a day (zero).”

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/slavery.aspx

So as we can clearly see – Muhammad not only allowed men to capture non-Muslim women as slaves during war but he also allowed the men to rape them and then trade them later.  He was only concerned that they did not withdraw (coitus interruptus).

It may surprise some Christian readers to know that Moses allowed Israelite men to take women as captives of war too:

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; 12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

The major difference though between Moses’s commands and Muhammad’s is that Israelite men were NEVER allowed to rape women. If they captured a woman during war they had to give her a month to mourn for her father and mother (or other relatives) killed in the war.  Then the man had to take her as his WIFE – he couldn’t just rape her and then trade her to someone else.  In fact if an Israelite man found problems with a woman he captured and took as a WIFE (not a sex slave) he had to free her and could not trade her to anyone.

This is a MAJOR difference with Islam and the Bible. The Bible never ever allows men to rape women and it certainly does not allow men to rape women and then trade them to other people. This evil Muslim practice has recently been resurrected by ISIS.

Islam teaches that marriage and sex still exist in paradise

Men will still have their wives in paradise

“Verily, the dwellers of the Paradise, that Day, will be busy in joyful things. They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones. They will have therein fruits (of all kinds) and all that they ask for. (It will be said to them): Salamun (peace be on you), a Word from the Lord (Allah), Most Merciful. Quran 36: 55-58”

http://www.muslimtents.com/aminahsworld/Verses_on_paradise.html

Men may also be rewarded with “houri” – beautiful virgins who will be totally dedicated to their pleasure

“In Islam, the concept of 72 virgins (houri) refers to an aspect of Jannah (Paradise). This concept is grounded in Qur’anic text which describe a sensual Paradise where believing men are rewarded by being wed[1] to virgins with “full grown”, “swelling” or “pears-shaped” breasts.[2][3] Conversly, women will be provided with only one man, and they “will be satisfied with him”.[4]

Contemporary mainstream Islamic scholars, for example; Gibril Haddad, have commented on the erotic nature of the Qur’anic Paradise, by saying some men may need ghusl (ablution required after sexual discharge) just for hearing certain verses.[5]

Orthodox Muslim theologians such as al-Ghazali (died 1111 CE) and al-Ash’ari (died 935 CE) have all discussed the sensual pleasures found in Paradise, relating hadith that describe Paradise as a slave market where there will be “no buy and sale, but… If any man will wish to have sexual intercourse with a woman, he will do at once.”[6][7]

It is quoted by Ibn Kathir, in his Qur’anic Commentary, the Tafsir ibn Kathir,[8] and they are graphically described by Qur’anic commentator and polymath, al-Suyuti (died 1505), who, echoing a hasan hadith[9] from Ibn Majah,[10] wrote that the perpetual virgins will all “have appetizing vaginas”, and that the “penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal”.[11]

The sensual pleasures between believers and houri in Paradise are also confirmed by the two Sahih collections of hadith, namely Sahih Bukhari[12] and Sahih Muslim, where we read that they will be virgins who are so beautiful, pure and transparent that “the marrow of the bones of their legs will be seen through the bones and the flesh”,[13] and that “the believers will visit and enjoy them”.[14]

https://wikiislam.net/wiki/72_Virgins

So as we can see in Islam marriage and sexuality do not end in Paradise (or what Christians would call Heaven) but they continue on for eternity. Christianity instead sees marriage as only for this world and it does not continue in the next world:

“34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”

Luke 20:34-36 (KJV)

The Reason for Biblical Gender Roles is Different than Quranic Gender Roles

The reason that Islam sees gender roles, marriage and sex continuing in the afterlife is because Islam does not recognize that God created gender roles, marriage and sex in this world to be symbols of the spiritual relationship between God and his people.

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”

Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

The Bible shows that women are not made to submit to men to suppress women or to be unfair to women. The reason women are called to be in subjection to men is because our male and female vessels represent spiritual symbols. God created woman to serve man in the same way he created all mankind to serve himself.

No person is worth more or less to God because they are born in a male or female body.  The Bible shows that we simply have a different role to play and a different race to run depending on the vessel we are born in.  The Quran does not offer any of these spiritual reasons for roles of men and women and in fact keeps the roles of men and women in their after life.

Conclusion

Christianity is based on the revelations from God to over 40 different men over a 1500 year time span and all of these revelations are progressively built upon the revelation that came before them.  While Islam is based on the supposed revelations of one man over a 23 year period which while claiming to be based on the Bible consistently contradicts and undermines the teaching of the Bible.

While Islam and Christianity do share some similar views such as the submission of wives to their husbands and the inequality of men and women they do so for different reasons.

There is ample historical evidence some of which is cited here but much of which is cited elsewhere that Muhammad was a false prophet who invented a new religion to profit himself and eventually unite the Arab peoples.  His teachings were a cheap knockoff of the Jewish and Christian faiths which proceeded his new religion.

Islam is not just a religion – but if it is interpreted literally according the Quran as well as Hadith (other sayings attributed to Muhammad and Sira (biographies of Muhammad) it is also a political movement which seeks to convert the world by force to Islam.

ISIS and other Islamist groups like Al-Qaida have not “hijacked a peaceful religion” but the real truth is that they have restored Islam to its roots and its founder’s intentions.

True Quranic Islam also does not see the clear distinction between things that belong to this world and what happens in the next. Islam in many ways has a very fleshly and worldly paradise with marriage and sex still existing in the afterlife.

This is not say that there are not peaceful Muslims that reject the ideology of groups like ISIS and Al-Qaida but to do so they must abandon many things in the texts that form the foundation for their faith.

It is interesting today that we hear many moderate Muslims on various new programs saying that Islam needs its own version of the Protestant Reformation. But what they do not realize is that in the Protestant Reformation the Reformers sought to return to the Bible to rediscover historic Christianity.

On the other hand with Islam, the only “reformation” that would bring peace and stability would be for them to do the very opposite of the Christian reformers – they would have to abandon large chunks of their own holy texts and renounce a great deal of their roots.

See these other articles for more on the subjects of gender roles, polygamy and slavery in the Bible:

Why Polygamy is not unbiblical

Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of slavery in the Bible

Did the Bible allow men to have sex slaves?

The American Idol of Equality

The Bible does not support the modern American concept of equality. In fact in some ways American ideas about equality are completely at odds with the Bible. But the unfortunate truth is that over the past century most American Christians have willing laid down their Biblical faith on the altar of their new god – the god of equality.

It is a sad fact that in 2016 more Americans believe in gender equality than believe in God. According to a 2015 Pew survey, 86 percent of Americans believe in God while another Pew survey reveals that 91 percent of Americans believe in advancing the social equality of women.

“Pew Research Center surveys are not the only ones that have found a long-term decline in the overall share of Americans who say they believe in God. For example, 86% of Americans said in a 2014 Gallup poll they believed in God or a universal spirit, down from 96% in 1994 and the lowest figure since Gallup first asked the question in 1976.”

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/04/americans-faith-in-god-may-be-eroding/

“…the highest levels of support for gender equality are found in Canada, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Roughly nine-in-ten or more in these countries say gender equality is very important.”

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/08/strong-global-support-for-gender-equality-especially-among-women/

And it is not just gender equality.  Whether it be income equality, education equality, racial equality, sexual orientation equality, healthcare equality and host of other “equalities” it is undeniable that the American culture as well as the rest of western countries have bowed their knees to the god of equality.

How should Bible believing Christians react to our culture’s emphasis on these various equality ideologies?

When it comes to this issue of equality we have two choices as Christians.

We can let our beliefs about equality dictate our beliefs about the Bible

Sadly many professing Christians in America and around the western world have chosen this first approach to the subject of equality. While their beliefs in equality are absolute – their beliefs in the Bible as God’s perfect and inspired word are not. Any part of the Bible that contradicts with what their god of equality stands for are dismissed as “cultural” or “temporary” for Biblical times only. Others teach a false Gospel that Christ came not just to die on the cross but to bring about social equality.

We can let our beliefs about the Bible dictate our beliefs about equality

Fewer Christians today than at any point in the history of Christendom believe that the Bible stands as the inerrant Word of God. Yes as Bible believing Christians we understand that we are not under the civil laws, sacrificial laws, cleanliness laws, dietary laws and priestly laws that God gave to Israel as theocracy.  But God’s lasting moral law was enforced and strengthened under the new law of Christ in the form of the New Testament.

We believe what the Apostle Paul wrote when he said this about his writings as well as those of the other Apostles:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

I Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

We know that the New Testament stands as the final revelation of God built upon the moral law of the Old Testament.  When accept this fact, then we will accept that the New Testament not only left certain inequalities intact (like slavery) but it also enshrined and reinforced other inequalities such as the social inequality of men and women.  Any honest reading of the New Testament reveals this to be true.

Now that we have established that Bible believing Christians must view the subject of equality through the lenses of the Scriptures we will now look at some hot button areas of equality in American culture today.

What does the Bible say about racial and gender equality?

The Bible teaches that all human beings, men and women and people of all races are equally human.

“24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”

Acts 17:24-26 (KJV)

All human beings regardless of their gender or race are equally as human as the first man Adam was and we ought never to regard a person as being less than human because they are a certain gender or race.

The Bible teaches not only the equality of our common humanity but also our spiritual equality as believers in Christ regardless of race, creed or gender:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

Does the Bible support the concept of equal justice before the law?

Yes it does. The Bible teaches that all people are to be treated fairly in the eyes of the law:

“You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.”

Deuteronomy 16:19(NASB)

So if a rich man commits a crime and poor man commits a crime they both should face the same justice. If a man commits a crime or a woman commits a crime they should face they justice.  If a black man commits a crime or white man commits a crime they should face the same justice.

What does the Bible say about income equality?

The Bible talks about workers being paid the wages they agreed to be paid but it does not say workers or people in general must be paid equally.  An employer and an employee agree to a wage.  But that employer does not have pay more than the agreed wage because he pays other employees more.

In one of Christ’s parables he talks about a land owner who needs his fields harvested quickly in Matthew 20:1-15. The land owner goes out into the town looking for workers to agree to work in his field that day.  He starts off early in the morning finding some workers and they agree to work for a denarius which was the typical wage for a 10 hour work for field workers.

But he needed more workers for his fields so throughout the day and even towards the end of the day the land owner kept going out and getting workers.

At the end of the day he paid all his workers the same wage for that day even though some had only worked the last few hours of the day while others had worked all day long.  This was the response of the first workers he hired who agree to their wage of a denarius:

“10 When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’”

Matthew 20:10-15(NASB)

Some have tried to misinterpret this story as teaching that workers must all be paid the same when clearly that is not the case. This story from Christ is actually a powerful example of the natural private property rights that God has given to mankind. Notice what the landowner says to the workers – “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?”

The landowner by paying the men who worked only an hour the same as those who worked 10 hours was paying his workers unequally.  The men who worked at the end of the day got an entire day’s wages while those who worked all day got the same wage.

As Bible believing Christians we should NOT support “equal pay for equal work” laws as these laws violate the natural private property rights that God has given to man.

A business owner has the right to do what they will with their own property including determining the hourly wages of their employees. If a manager chooses to pay blonde people more money per hour than brown haired people or men more than women that is his right as Christ said “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?” We may not agree as workers with how our employers decide our wages but at the end of the day if we agreed to that wage we are not to be envious of another person making more money.

This is the complete opposite of how Americans are taught to view their employers.  We have people suing all the time for unequal pay and this is a violation of the private property rights of the owners of these companies.

On the larger issue of income equality Christ said this:

“7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.”

Mark 14:7 (NASB)

Both in the Old and New Testaments we are encouraged to help the poor.  But the fact is that there will ALWAYS be poor people and there will always be rich people and sometimes there will be those in between. But we will never eliminate poverty in this world.

The giving to the poor in the Old and New Testament was always a temporary thing. And in some cases the poor would have to work for their food.   A man’s giving to the poor was commanded by God and enforced by God – not the government of the nation of Israel.  They did not have tax collectors going around assessing people’s land and taking from them and redistributing to the poor. It was PRIVATE charitable giving, not government taxation and redistribution of wealth as we have in America and other western countries.

Also the giving to the poor was never meant to encourage laziness – in fact the Apostle Paul warns against church giving food to people who are able bodied and could work:

“10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

II Thessalonians 3:19 (KJV)

In the New Testament the specific formulas for charity given to Israel as a theocracy are done away with and giving was to be completely based on one’s free will:

“7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)

There are many passages throughout the Scriptures that talk about the protection of private property.  In fact in many places in the Old Testament we see laws proscribing remedies for the violation of private property rights. Theft of private property was seen as a much more serious thing than we see it today.

“15 Thou shalt not steal…

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Exodus 20:15-17

Civil government is never granted the right to tax for income redistribution purposes.  To do so is tantamount to legalized theft. The poor are to be supported by private free will charity, not government confiscation of private property for the purposes of trying to bring about income equality.

Socialism and Communism are in direct contradiction with the natural private property rights God has given to man.

So here is the point about income inequality from a Biblical perspective.  The Bible clearly respects private property rights as well as the right of workers to be paid the wage they agreed upon. An owner of a company may pay his workers different wages that they have agreed to and they are not to be envious of what he pays their fellow employees.  The government does have the right to tax but this right should never cancel out a man’s private property rights.

Does the Bible support sexual orientation equality?

The Bible does NOT support the right of gays, lesbians and transgender people to engage in these lifestyles nor does it say that Christians cannot discriminate against these people in offering services to them(like florists, photographers, etc.).

The Bible clearly condemns these types of lifestyles as sinful:

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

Does the Bible support healthcare equality?

I would refer you back up to the income inequality section. No the Bible does not require that we offer free healthcare to anyone any more than it requires us to guarantee free food and shelter to all.  Now should people, especially the wealthy donate to hospitals and help take care of the poor? Yes.

“17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good [a]works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”

I Timothy 6:17-19 (NASB)

But again this should be of their own free will.  It should not be based on government confiscation of property and redistribution of wealth.

Does the Bible support education equality?

Again I would refer you back to the section on income inequality.  We do not have a God given right to other’s people’s money to pay for our education. As believers and followers of the Bible we value education.

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

Proverbs 1:5 (KJV)

But let’s be honest that just like equality – education has become an idol in American society.

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

Ecclesiastes 12:12 (KJV)

We have thousands of young people believing they are entitled to a free college education when they are NOT.  In fact it can be shown that education standards have dropped while education costs have skyrocketed because of this philosophy that everyone must go to college.  Universities and colleges are flooded with people who should not be there. I have two words for you – it is called “skilled trades”.

Does the Bible support equal rights for all human beings?

No it does not.  Now you might say “Wait a minute! You just said in an earlier section that we are to regard all people regardless of race or gender as equally human – doesn’t that mean that if all people are equally human they should have equal rights?” The answer my friends is no.

Now we can grant equal rights in certain areas like we did with race and religion here.  The Bible does not forbid us from granting these types of equality.

But there was nothing unbiblical about the racial and ethnic quotas that the US Government had from 1790 to 1965 when racial and ethnic quotas were outlawed as considerations for allowing immigrants into the United States. A nation has the right to preserve its cultural, racial and ethnic makeup through controlling what persons may immigrate to its country.

But if Americans decided to place restrictions or stop immigration from certain countries as we are considering today because of the war with Islamic radicals this is not an immoral action by Biblical standards.

Now unlike the issue of equal rights based on race or ethnic origin or religious liberty rights in the area of gender rights Gods has placed firm restrictions on this regardless of what civil governments decide.

While American law may grant women equal rights with men – Biblical law does not.  And unlike the issue of equal rights based on race or ethnic origin or religious liberty rights God has not left the issue of gender rights open.

Woman are to submit to their fathers and then their husbands when they marry:

“3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.

9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.”

Numbers 30:3-9 (KJV)

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Woman is to submit to Man in the Church

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

I Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

Woman is to submit to Man in society

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

So yes our American society has granted women equal rights with their husbands – but God has not. Another way of putting this is – the American government over the last century as legalized women rebelling against their husbands.

Christian women in America are faced with the same choice that Eve, the first woman, faced in the Garden of Eden:

“1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which theLord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:1-4 (KJV)

Will you as a woman take the forbidden fruit? Will you try and be equal with your husband as Eve tried to be equal with God?

Will you take advantage of the sin your government condones and rebel against your husband’s authority or will you resist that temptation and follow God’s law?

Conclusion

While the Bible supports such concepts that all people are equally human and equal justice under the law it does not support the modern American philosophy of equality.

The philosophies of socialism, feminism and humanism which are all children of the philosophy of equality are also in direct contradiction with the Word of God.

We all have a choice to make – will we worship the god of equality or the God of the Bible?

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Matthew 4:10 (KJV)

See the articles below that are related to this subject of equality:

Biblical Human Rights vs American Human Rights

Does the Bible teach the concept of “Human Property”?

Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible

Did the Bible allow men to have sex slaves?

Did the Bible allow men to acquire women whose sole purpose was for sex? The real question that we are asking is did the Bible allow men to have sex with a woman without making her his wife?  Many people, even Christians, wrongly believe the answer to this uncomfortable question is “Yes”.  The reason they believe that is because of the existence of concubines in the Bible.

Concubines are wrongly thought by some to have been the Biblical equivalent of sex slaves. But a closer of examination of the Scriptures reveals that this is not the case. The term “concubine” in the Bible refers to a slave wife. There were two classes of wives in the Scriptures – free wives and slave wives.

A free wife was a woman born to a free man. She was acquired as a wife when a man approached her father and offered him the bride price.  If her father consented he would give her as a wife to that man usually accompanied by some kind of wedding feast.  While both free wives and slave wives were considered to be the property of their husbands a free wife held a greater place of social honor and her children had inheritance rights that were required to be honored. The concubine’s children had no inheritance rights unless they were granted under special circumstances.

How were slave wives acquired?

Slave wives were acquired in much the same way slaves were acquired in general. Sometimes slave women were captured as prisoners of war and later converted to concubines (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Sometimes poor women whose fathers, brothers or husbands had died sold themselves as concubines so they could be taken care of.  A man could sell his daughter as a slave to another man (Exodus 21:7-11).  That man could either continue to use her only as a servant or he could convert her to his concubine or give her as a concubine to one of his sons. Once a woman was converted to the status of a concubine she had the right to have sex with her husband.  Being a concubine in many ways was a step up for a slave woman.

Also it was common for fathers to give their daughters slave girls (hand maids) as gifts as was the case with Rachel and Leah. In many households the free wives ruled over the slaves wives while ultimately the husband was the master of the entire home. Sometimes free wives would give their husband their hand maids to produce more sons as we see in the case of Rachel giving her servant Bilhah to Jacob and Leah giving her servant Zilpah to Jacob(Genesis 30:4-9).  It interesting to note that Leah stated God had rewarded her by reopening her womb and giving her another son “because I have given my maiden to my husband”.

Concubines sometimes served as surrogate mothers

The story of Jacob and his sons shows another interesting scenario when it came to slave wives. Some free wives would use their slave wives to act as surrogate mothers and after the children were weaned raised the children as their own.  This is why even though some of the twelve sons of Jacob were born of slave women they were all equally considered his rightful heirs.

Did slave wives have any rights?

Today when we think of slavery in any form we think of a person who has absolutely no rights.  In fact because of the abuses of slaves throughout history we think all slaves were treated as nothing more than animals.  But while God allowed slavery he also required slave owners to respect the rights of their slaves.

A female slave whether she was a concubine or not could not be physically abused by her master

“20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished…

26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.

27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.” – Exodus 21:20 & 26-27 (KJV)

Both free wives and slave wives(concubines) had to be provide with food, clothing and sex from her husband

“7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.

10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:7-11 (KJV)

Whether a woman was born to a free man or taken as a slave if she were taken as a man’s intimate sexual companion she was to be treated as a daughter by her husband’s father and treated by him as his wife. She would have the right to have sex with her husband (“duty of marriage”).  The pledge of “food, clothing and bed” which was often used in Jewish wedding ceremonies was based on this passage from Exodus 21.

For more confirmation of the fact that concubines were not just slaves but were also considered wives see how Keturah is referred to as the “wife” Abraham took after Sarah died in Genesis 25:1-4 but then she is referred to as his concubine in I Chronicles 1:32-33.  Even within the context of Genesis 25 we can see she is considered one of Abrahams “concubines”(Genesis 25:5-6) all of which he sent away after giving their children gifts because he was giving his estate to Isaac.

The reason Abraham sent away his concubines and their children as he knew his death was imminent was to make it clear that Isaac was the only rightful heir to his estate being the son of his first wife who was the only “free” wife he had.

Were concubinage, slavery and polygamy sins that God overlooked?

In this post we have discussed some topics that are all very offensive to our modern cultural values. This is the part of the article where 99% of Christian writers will tell you that the practices of concubinage, slavery and polygamy were all sins God overlooked for a time but then God rid of in the New Testament.

The truth is that God never condemned the practices of concubinage, slavery or polygamy. He gave strict rules as to how these things could be practiced but he never condemned the practices themselves.

I invite you to look at these two articles that explore all the passages on slavery and polygamy in the Bible and you may be surprised as at what you find.

Was polygamy a sin God overlooked in the Old Testament?

Why Christians should not be afraid of slavery in the Bible

Conclusion

While it is true that many pagan nations may have had “sex slaves” the people of God in the Bible were forbidden from such practices. If a man were to buy a slave woman (or acquire her in war) with the intent of having sex with her had to make the commitment of a husband to her.  He could not simply have sex with her and have no intent of making her his wife.

While it is true that a concubine was indeed a slave the truth is she was a wife as well.  Another way of stating this is truth is that in Biblical times all concubines were wives, but not all wives were concubines.

We have proven here from the Scriptures that God did not allow men to have sex slaves. They could have free wives or slave wives (concubines) but they had to grant the basic rights of a wife to any woman whom they desired to have sex with.

Does the Bible teach the concept of “Human Property”?

 

Now that we have discussed Biblical laws allowing and regulating slavery, I want to discuss the Biblical concept of “Human property”.  I realize that just the idea of thinking that a human being could be property is absolutely appalling to our modern western values. When we think of human beings as property, we imagine people being abused and hurt by their “owner”.  But what does the Bible say about the concept of human beings as property?

In the Bible a man’s wife and children were considered his property

Happy family hugging isolated on white

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17 (NASB)

This is idea of a man’s wife and child being considered his “human property” is confirmed by these other teachings of the Bible:

A man paid a bride price to a woman’s father for her hand in marriage – the father did not have to consider his daughter’s wishes in the man he chose for her.

A man paid the bride price to a woman’s father if he had pre-marital sex with her, and the father still had the choice of whether he would give his daughter to this man in marriage. Pre-marital sex was considered a property crime against the father of virgin that had been defiled.

When a man committed adultery with another man’s wife he and she could be executed. This was considered a property crime against the woman’s husband. If a married man had sex with a prostitute this was not considered adultery, but rather the sin of Whoremongering as no property crime was committed.

The fact that a man was allowed under Biblical law to sell his son or daughter as a slave confirms that children were considered the property of their father (assuming he was a free man, and not a slave who had been given a wife by his master).

The only exception to this idea of a man’s wife and children being his property was if the man was a slave and his master gave him another slave as a wife. If the male slave were to freed, the master did not have to release his wife and children with him.

Different types of Human property

While all slaves Biblically speaking would be considered human property (unless they were a fellow Hebrew male and then only seed as a temporary hired worker), not all of those who are considered human property were slaves.

A wife while she her husband’s property, is not his slave. A child while is the human property of his father – is not his slave.

Even though Wives and children were also considered human property they had the same human rights as slaves and then even more rights.

The Bible gives an example of this difference of rights between those who were considered human property when it shows in Exodus 21:9-11 when a man gives his female slave to his son as a wife. The Bible states she must be given the full rights of a daughter and a wife – even though she remained human property.

The Treatment of Human Property

Most people in our modern society have the idea that if a person is regarded as human property, that the owner of that person can treat them any way they wish. This could not be further from the truth. I highly suggest that you read my post “Biblical Human Rights vs American Human Rights” and see the section entitled “8 Biblical Human Rights”. These are rights that every human being has, whether they are considered the human property of another person or not.

Children as Human property

Most Americans, while they might not like the use of the word “property” when referring to their children basically regard their children as their property. I would argue that they have a Biblical right to do so. That is why parents get angry when doctors or school officials do things without parental consent. “That is my child, and you did not have my permission to do this or that with them against my wishes” – this is a phrase that is heard quite often from parents, and our legal system for the most part supports this concept of parental consent.

As parents God meant for us to have complete control over things like our children’s education and medical treatment. God meant for us a parents to mold our children through discipline and training to respect and obey not only our authority as parents, but other authorities that God places in their life whether they are teachers in school, church authorities or civil authorities.

Because God places the greatest responsibility on a father and then secondarily to a mother, he gives parents the most power over a child’s life. This is why schools, churches and the government need to be careful to stay within the realm of authority God has given them when they are working with children as God has given the ultimate human authority in a child’s life to their father and mother.

Wives as Human property

Seeing a wife as the human property of her husband sounds degrading and insulting to most Americans and westerners. But there are still some devout men and women of the Christian faith that have no problem with this concept.

As believers we are told that we are not our own, that we belong to God. Christian Men, women and children – it makes no difference we all belong to God.

“…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NASB)

Most Christians have no problem with the concept that we all belong to God. It is only when God delegates his ownership over us to a fallible human being that we begin to have a problem.

For Christians who reject the concept of male headship as taught in the Scriptures – it is impossible for them to even conceive of a wife being the property of her husband as they see marriage as an equal partnership.

But even for some Christians who embrace the concept of male headship as taught in God’s Word – they still struggle with this concept of a wife being the property of her husband. The reason is because they fear the abuse of such power and with good reason as many men have abused this power God has given them over their wives.

But the abuse of power by those in authority, whether in government, the church or the home does not negate the truth that God teaches about authority and ownership in the family. God has delegated his ownership of the family – the wife and the children to the husband and father.

God teaches that when women and children willingly submit to the authority of the husband and father in the home – he blesses them and it is a testimony to the world of God’s power. When a husband uses the power God has given him, not for his own sinful and selfish desires but for the glory of God he blesses his entire family through his leadership, provision and protection(I Peter 3:1-6).

Some Christian women who embrace the concept of male headship may ask for more direct evidence than the passages I supplied so far for God seeing a husband as the owner of his wife.

In the next couple of sections I will show more direct evidence from the Scriptures that husbands do in fact own their wives.

Ownership of wives shown in the Old Testament

There are two Hebrew words that the Old Testament translates for us in English as “husband”. The first one ‘ish’ literally means “man”, but it is translated a “husband” whenever the context is talking about a husband and wife. The second word that the Hebrew Scriptures use for “husband” is “baal” which literally means “Owner/lord”. This same Hebrew word is used to refer owner of something.

First here are some examples of the use of the Hebrew word “baal” that are not in speaking of a husband and wife:

“If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner [baal – “owner”] of the pit shall make restitution; he shall give money to its owner [baal – “owner”], and the dead animal shall become his.” – Exodus 21:33-34 (NASB)

“Then the man, the owner [baal – “owner”] of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly.” – Judges 19:23 (NASB)

In Exodus 21:33-34 we see that “baal” refers both the owner of a piece of land and another owner of and ox or a donkey. In Judges 19:23 – “baal” refers the owner of a house.

Now let’s move on to examples of “baal” in reference to the relationship of a husband and a wife:

“Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married [baal – “she has an owner”].” – Genesis 20:1-3 (NASB)

“If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband [baal – “owner”] of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him.” – Exodus 21:3 (NASB)

“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband [baal – “owner”] may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide.” – Exodus 21:22 (NASB)

“An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.

 The heart of her husband [baal – “owner”] trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:10-12 (NASB)

There are more passages that use “baal” to refer to a husband being the lord and owner of his wife but I think the ones I have provided here are ample evidence to this Biblical teaching.

What about Hosea 2:16?

Some egalitarians actually will concede the inequality in the relationship between a husband and wife in the Old Testament. But they believe that Hosea 2:16, speaking of the coming Christ, shows that God makes the husband and wife relationship no longer a owner/owned relationship but rather and equal partnership.

“It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “That you will call Me Ishi[man]

And will no longer call Me Baali[lord/owner].” – Hosea 2:16 (NASB)

There is a problem with this egalitarian interpretation that God was going to change marriage from an owner/owned relationship to an equal partnership with coming of Christ. Apparently the Apostles Paul and Peter did not get the memo – because those Apostles wrote these passages under the inspiration of God:

“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:23-24(NASB)

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior… For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;  just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” – I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6 (NASB)

Peter was actually pointing back to the Old Testament’s use of “baal – lord/owner” in reference to a husband and he was reminding Christian women that the holy women of old treating their husband’s as their lords and owners was the example that God still wanted them to follow in marriage.

So what was God saying of his nation of Israel as his wife when he said they would no longer call him “Baali” but “Ishi” if he was not removing the ownership/lordship part aspect of what marriage is about?

The context of that statement is critical to properly interpreting it.  In the beginning of Hosea chapter 2 in verse 2 we see that God says of his wife Israel “For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband“.  This is in reference to the fact that God divorced Israel as his wife for her adultery(Isaiah 50:1 ,Jeremiah 3:8).

When we take the entire context of Hosea chapter 2  this is what we see.  A husband who has been badly hurt by his wife’s adultery with various lovers.  He tried to discipline her to bring her back to him but eventually he had to divorce her because she continued doing this.  But even after divorcing her he still loves his former wife and still provides for her even though she does not realize it.  In fact, she thinks her provision comes from her various lovers.

God decides to rip the carpet out from under his former wife and takes away everything she has and strips her even of the clothes off her back.  Leaving her naked, hungry and homeless.  In her nakedness and hunger she comes to the realization we see in verse 9 where she says “‘I will go back to my first husband,
For it was better for me then than now!’”  

God in love opens his arms to his former wife and takes her and speaks softly and kindly to her.  He allures her with his love and shows his grace and mercy.  His former wife falls madly in love with him again and this time even more than before.  She will no longer regard him simply as her Lord and owner(which all husbands are to their wives), but she will regard him as her “iysh” or in others words she will say “You are not just my Lord and owner, you are my man(ishi) whom I love“.

The Greatest evidence that God has made the husband the owner of his wife

I could have lead with this evidence as it is the strongest and most indisputable evidence that God has made husbands the owners of their wives. But I first wanted to show the pattern of husband’s being their wives owners throughout the Old Testament.

Many Christians will gladly accept the fact that God designed marriage as a picture of Christ and his Church as shown in Ephesians 5:22-33. In fact this is the favorite part of Ephesians 5 by those who take the equal partnership view of is this passage:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

But if we are going to accept the fact that marriage was designed by God to be a model of the relationship between Christ and his Church then we must accept ALL aspects of the relationship between God and his Church.

So what that means is if we fully embrace the fact that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved his Church then we must equally accept that the husband is the head of the wife and she must submit to her husband in “everything”(Ephesians 5:24).

Also in accepting the fact that marriage is a model of the relationship between Christ and his Church we must accept that the attributes of that relationship are not confined to Ephesians 5:22-33.  The attributes of that relationship are found throughout the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation.

Finally this brings us to a little known attribute of the relationship of Christ and his Church as found in the book of Acts:

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

 Acts 20:28 (KJV)
And there it is. Christ purchased his wife(the Church) just as men purchased their wives in the Old Testament. Can anyone deny that Christ owns his Church?
You cannot accept that marriage is a model of the relationship between Christ and his Church and only accept certain aspects of that relationship.  You must accept all the attributes of that relationship or none of them.

Conclusion

I doubt I have changed the minds of any egalitarians or Christian feminists reading this since most of them reject Biblical inerrancy. But for those Christians who accepted the Biblical teaching of male headship before you came to this post – you now may be asking “Why does it matter that a husband is not only the head of his wife, but that he actually owns her?”

To Husbands

Husband – this truth that God has given you ownership of your wife and children should not cause your pride to rise, but rather it should humble you. The ownership God has given you is to be exercised for his glory – not yours. You should always remember that your wife and children are gifts from God to you.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22(NASB)

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” – Psalm 127:3 (NASB)

As Christian men we are responsible for our children AND our wife’s spiritual and physical well-being. We are also responsible for the behavior of our children AND our wife. Unfortunately many Christian men are negligent in ownership responsibilities over their families. God wants us as men to take ownership for the women and children he has given graciously us.

He wants us to love them by knowing them, honoring them, leading them, teaching them, correcting and disciplining them, protecting them and providing for them.

Let me add one caveat to these responsibilities that we as Christian husbands have for our wife and children.  God holds each of us responsible for he has given us power over.  So if our wife or child descends into spiritual rebellion against after we as husbands and fathers have exercised the authority God has given us to try and help them – then we are no longer responsible for their behavior.  What I am talking about is husbands or fathers who watch their wives or children descend into sinful behavior and tell themselves there is nothing they can do and they bare no responsibility to intervene. According to God’s Word as the Spiritual heads of our homes we do have a responsibility to spiritually intervene in the lives of our wives and children.

To Wives

Wife – this truth that God has given your husband owner over you might at first be scary. It’s scary because we all know that human authority can be abused. But God calls you to have faith in him, and faith in his design. This does not mean your husband will never mistreat you, or sin against you because he is a sinner just like you. Also know that just because God has made you the property of your husband this does not mean as “human property” that you have no rights.  You have certain human rights and additional rights as a wife that your husband must respect – otherwise God will hold him accountable.

God did not give your husband ownership over you to crush or dehumanize you, but to provide for you what he knows you need. Once you understand how God view’s a husband’s ownership over his wife – it should give you comfort that if he owns you the way that God owns us all, you have nothing to fear.

This will then free you to embrace your husband’s ownership over you. It will humble you and help you put aside that sinful pride that can often rise up in your heart. You will be able realize you are not your own – you were bought with a price, and God gave you to your husband.

“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NASB)

“For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” – I Corinthians 11:7(NASB)

Biblical Human Rights vs American Human Rights

What we think of today as “human rights” and how God defined human rights from the beginning of creation are two very different things. Human rights would be defined as those rights every human being has.

There are a lot of different definitions of human rights, some longer and some shorter so I will just offer a brief sample of common human rights that most people in American(and Western) culture believe in.

12 American Human Rights

Below is a list of 12 rights that modern Americans have.  The reason I use the key word “modern” is because some of these rights were not granted in America’s original Constitution and Bill of Rights but were added a century or more after America’s founding.

American Right #1

All persons should have full autonomy (full freedom), regardless of their gender, race, economic standing, national origin, ethnic background or religious beliefs.

American Right # 2

Every person has the right to believe as they will, and worship or not worship as we they will.

American Right #3

Every person has the right to do with their own body as they will (this includes any type of voluntary sexual activity inside or outside of marriage).

American Right #4

Every person has the right to work for and obtain property and do as they wish with their own private property.

American Right #5

No person can sell themselves or their children into slavery and no person may own any slaves (human property is forbidden).

American Right #6

Every person has the right not to be physically abused.

American Right #7

Every person has the right to defend themselves harm.

American Right #8

Every person has the right to choose whom they will marry (or divorce). Men and women have equal rights in marriage, and equal rights to their children and all property between them is to be divided equally about the dissolving of the marriage in divorce (absent a prenuptial agreement).

American Right #9

Every person has the right to a free education (at least up to a secondary level).

American Right #10

No person should be deprived of his property, his freedom or his life without due process of the law,

American Right #11

Every person should be treated equally before the law.

American Right #12

No person may be treated differently by the Government based on their religion, their race, their ethnic background or their gender.

There are many other rights that many Americans believe in (on both the right and the left), but once we get past these rights there begins to be much disagreement. For instance when it comes to rights regarding sexual orientation or rights to health care and other social welfare items, there is still much disagreement in the United States. Also there is a lot of disagreement as to the difference between the rights of children and adults with some advocating for more autonomy among children (taking away parental rights over children).

There has also been a debate over the last century in America as to how we get new rights.  Constitutional “Originalists” believe that new rights may only be granted by following the Amendment process of the Constitution and the Constitution must be interpreted in light of its original intent.  Other Americans, seeing the Constitution as “a living document”, believe that the Amendment process to the Constitution is not necessary for granting new rights.  They believe judges may simply take and find existing Amendments, then reinterpret those amendments to grant new rights.

But now let’s compare and contrast American human rights with the rights given to human beings by the God in the Bible.

8 Biblical Human Rights

While our American founders were certainly flawed men we as Bible believing Christians would agree with what they wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”We may disagree as to what those God given rights are, but we agree on the source of those rights.

Below is a list of God given human rights.  Human rights in the Bible are those rights that every class of society had, even slaves.

God Given Human Right #1

Every person has the right to love the one true God, the God of the Bible. Everyone has a right to worship him and obey him even when this conflicts with the wishes of their human authorities.

“You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” – Luke 4:8 (NASB)

We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29 (NASB)

God Given Human Right #2

Every person has the right to be treated fairly and justly

“Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” – Colossians 4:1(NASB)

God Given Human Right #3

Every person has the right not to be physically abused.

“If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.” – Exodus 21:26-28(NASB)

God Given Human Right #4

No person, male or female, may be deprived of their life without due process of the law. Every person should be treated impartially before the law.

“You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.” – Deuteronomy 16:19(NASB)

God Given Human Right #5

No person may be kidnapped, which is the illegal acquiring of human property. Only persons who are legally acquired as property may be bought or sold.

“If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.” – Deuteronomy 24:7(NASB)

“As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.” – Leviticus 25:44 (NASB)

“If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do.” – Exodus 21:7 (NASB)

God Given Human Right #6

Both men and women have an equal right to sex with their spouse within marriage.

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” – I Corinthians 7:4 (NASB)

God Given Human Right #7

Every person is entitled to a day of rest one day a week

“but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” – Exodus 20:10(NASB)

God Given Human Right #8

Every person has the right to defend themselves and their family

“If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.” – Exodus 22:2(NASB)

“fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses” – Nehemiah 4:14(NASB)

Some big differences between Biblical and American Human rights

First off all I want to remind the reader that we are discussing “human rights”, meaning rights that all human beings have in common.

There are many more rights that God gives to various groups such as males vs females, husbands vs wives, free vs slave and adults vs children.  

This discussion of “human rights” is really a discussion of “equal rights between all human beings”.

There are some big differences between what we believe as Americans are human rights and what the Bible presents as rights given by God. Listed below are key differences between Biblical human rights and American human rights.

Except for the 8 Biblical human rights listed above, men and women do not have equal rights under Biblical law.

Except for kidnapping (the illegal acquiring of human property), slavery is allowed under Biblical law. But even slaves as human property are entitled to the 8 Biblical Human rights listed above.

There is no right given to worship any other God, except the God of the Bible.

There is no right to sex outside of marriage between a man and woman.

Only free men have the complete right and power over their own property and decisions. A father could override his daughter’s property decisions, and a husband could override his wife’s property decisions under Biblical law.

No person had a right to education whether paid or free under Biblical Law.

Under Biblical law, discrimination between men and women, Israelite and non-Israelite was not only allowed, it was commanded by God. Even under new law of Christ in the New Testament, there are some differences between how believers and non-believers are treated.

But doesn’t God support more human rights (equal rights) in the New Testament?

Some Christians may concede that there were far fewer human rights given in the Old Testament than in the New. But these same Christians (feminists and egalitarians) would point to this passage from the New Testament which they believe supposedly grants more human rights:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28 (NASB)

The truth is that this passage does no eliminate all social classes or gender distinctions between men and women, slave or free, Jew or Greek. It simply affirms an old truth that from the very beginning, all people had a human right to come to the one true God, worship him and obey him regardless of their gender or social status.

If you look into the full context of this passage it is talking about how God would no longer deal with his people through the nation of Israel, but now his people would be represented in a new body, the Church which is the body of Christ. God’s promise of salvation was not restricted to the nation of Israel but rather God saves all people and brings them into his body, regardless of their social status, ethnic origin or gender.

So in the view of some egalitarians, God eliminated all distinction in rights between men and women and he also eliminated slavery or social castes with different rights by this one passage.

But as with any other subject, we cannot take one passage and cancel out all other passages in the Bible. These old allowances and principles were reinstated and in some cases even elaborated on further in the New Testament.

The Principle that that God created woman for man and that he is her head in society, in the Church and in the home is brought forward and reinforced in the New Testament:

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God… Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:3 & 9(KJV)

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:23-24(KJV)

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands… For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…” I Peter 3: 1 & 5-6 (KJV)

On the slavery issue – see my post “Why Christians should not be ashamed of Biblical Slavery”.

Conclusion

Our rights do not come from our government, they come from our maker and our God. He gives us some rights that our government does not, and he does not give us all the rights our government does.

Some extra rights that our government gives us are not sinful and therefore as Christians we may enjoy these additional rights that are granted to us in American society. But other rights, such as the right to private sexual acts outside of marriage, the right to engage in homosexual sex or prostitution and the new right to gay marriage are sinful and Christians may not exercise these rights.

Another sinful right that our American society grants is the right to no-fault divorce. God grants no such right. A husband or wife have no right to divorce their spouse expect for if their spouse violates the covenant of marriage by engaging in sexually immoral acts, physical abuse or physical abandonment of the marriage.

We as Christians must never forget that God is the one who created us, and he is the one who defines what it means to be human.  God is the one the grants our grants us our rights, and his commands supersede that our modern cultures and governments.