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?

Does God want a wife’s beauty hidden from world?

Standing girl in checked dress. Isolated with clipping path

Does God want women to hide their beauty in order to “save it” for their husband? Does God want women to hide their beauty so that other men may not lust after them?

While there are some subtle differences, this is actually one of a few things that Muslims, Jews and Christians have in common. The only difference is in how far each side goes with their teaching. The two reasons taught in Islam, Judaism and Christianity for a woman covering her beauty are these:

  1. A woman’s beauty belongs to her husband, or if she is unmarried, her future husband and it is his alone to enjoy in private.
  2. A woman should cover her beauty as to not cause other men to lust and thus sin against God even if only in their sexual thoughts.

Does the Bible say a woman’s beauty belongs to her husband?

Some might point to I Corinthians 7:4 to say that a wife’s body(and therefore her beauty) belongs to her husband.  I would have too in times past.  But if we look closely and examine this passage it is talking about the equal right of a husband and wife to have sexual access to each others body for the purposes of sex.

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 7:4(KJV)

But this is not talking about exhaustive ownership of each other’s bodies in all ways because one who is to be in subjection(I Peter 3:1-2,Ephesians 5:22-24) – the wife, cannot own the one who is her master – the husband.

God made wives the property of their husbands

There are some relationships in Scripture where the submission of one to another does not involve the ownership of one by the other. Examples of this would be the Biblical admonition to citizens to submit to civil governments and for church members to submit to their church leaders.  God does not give governments ownership rights over their citizens and he does not give church leaders ownership rights over their members. These two spheres of authority are limited in their powers and jurisdictions.

But God established some spheres of human authority where ownership of human property is either allowed(such as slavery under certain circumstances) or ownership is simply implied such as the relationship between a father and his children or a husband and his wife.

The ownership of the wife by the husband is confirmed in the 10th commandment where a man’s wife is included in a list of his possessions:

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)

Again in the book of  Deuteronomy a man’s wife is included in his possessions:

And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.”

Deuteronomy 20:5-7 (KJV)

These possessions all belonged to the man and he had the right to make use of them.  In fact he was encouraged to make use of these possessions.

There are many that falsely attack the Bible based on these and other passages saying that the Bible makes a woman a possession that is no more valuable than cattle(Exodus 20:17) and a peace of land(Deuteronomy 20:5-7).

Another way of saying their argument is “If a woman is owned by her husband then she has no value as a person”.

But this could not be farther from the truth.  While it conflicts with our modern values a person can be owned by another and yet have great value. The Bible says Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10). I don’t know about you – but I think rubies are far more valuable than a house, cattle or a vineyard!

Also the Bible calls on husbands to give honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel(I Peter 3:7).  So just because women are the property of their husbands does not mean husbands can treat them the same as their cattle.  This a false argument proposed by those who do understand the Biblical concept of human property verses the world’s concept of human property.

I find it utterly fascinating that people have no problem if you made this statement “Christ owns his Church” yet they go utterly bonkers if you say “A husband owns his wife”.  Yet the Scriptures clearly show that the husband/wife relationship was designed as a  picture of the relationship of Christ and his Church:

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)

How does the Church relate to Christ? As an equal partner? No my friends.  The church relates to Christ as her owner and master. She conforms herself to his will.

The husband/wife relationship was not only the first human authority relationship that God designed, but it was in fact the most powerful human authority relationship that God ever designed. 

It surpasses the jurisdictions and powers of civil government, church government and even parents toward their children. In no other human relationship are we told that the one under authority is to submit to the other as “unto the Lord” or literally as unto God himself.

Our culture utterly rejects the concept of a husband owning his wife because we worship the false god of equality rather than the one true God of the Bible.

Fifty years ago what I am teaching here was heard in pulpits across America but now because of the rise feminism Pastor’s fear teaching these truths for fear of being called male chauvinists or misogynists. Many Pastor’s and Christian teachers have actually convinced themselves that these teachings of the Scriptures are for times past and do not apply to our modern era.  They live in a constant state of self-denial when it comes to the truth of the Scriptures in these matters.

As a result this capitulation to feminism, in the last half century the Church has made an unholy alliance with our culture and has allowed the husband/wife authority sphere to be made into the weakest of  all authority spheres. But God’s Word has not changed even if our culture has.

I say all that to say this. 

The Bible clearly teaches that wives are not only to submit to their husbands in everything but that they are in fact the property of their husbands. A wife’s body and her beauty does in fact belong to her husband.

So does a husband have the right to organize his wife’s appearance as he would the appearance his vineyard? Of course he does.

The Bible even shows that Christ molds his church to his own liking:

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.

Ephesians 5:25-27(KJV)

Again this passage is one that has been so twisted and warped because of feminist influences on our churches today.  We hear Pastors quote verse 25 of Ephesians chapter five telling husbands that they need to sacrifice themselves for their wives as Christ did the Church. But then they do not tell you what the point of his sacrifice was!

Was it to appease his Church and give her whatever she wants? Was it to let her do her own thing? Was it just to make her happy? No my friends it was not.  It was to make her holy and pleasing to him.  It was so he could present her to himself the way he wanted her to be.

I know it took us a while to get to this point but it was necessary for us to build this foundation first. The Bible is utterly clear that a wife is not only to submit to her husband but that she is his property. The Bible further confirms this ownership relationship by telling us that marriage was designed by God to be a picture of Christ and his Church and Christ conforms his church to his will and molds her as he would to present her to himself in all her glory.

So, not only in the area of sexuality, but in all areas of life a woman is to submit to her husband.  That means in the area of how a wife dresses and how she keeps her body and appearance her husband does have the ultimate authority. Her appearance should be made to please her husband – including what she wears.

Since a husband has authority over how his wife dresses, does this mean he is required to keep her beauty from the outside world and only for himself in private?

The Bible never commands a husband to hide his wife’s beauty from the world.

Except for if a husband asks his wife to do something sinful, he has absolute authority over his wife. So technically speaking, if a husband asks his wife to completely cover herself in a burqa Biblically speaking, she ought to obey her husband.

But the real question is – should he force his wife to completely cover her body from head to toe when she is outside their home or in the presence of non-family men?

My answer would to Christian husbands be NO. While a husband’s authority over his wife is almost absolute (besides him asking his wife to engage in sinful activity) – God commands a husband to exercise his authority toward his wife in love, in honor, and in knowledge of how she is made as a woman.

A husband is commanded to honor his wife and live with her in a knowledgeable way

“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)

Yes husbands have authority over their wives – but God gives a solemn warning to husbands. If a husband does not live with his wife in a knowledgeable way, and give honor to her, God will not hear his prayers.

One of the ways a husband is knowledgeable of his wife is by accepting her natural desire to be beautiful and to display her beauty. He honors her by displaying her beauty for all to see.

WomansBeautyGermanDirndl

Women have a natural desire to display their beauty

A common theme you see throughout this site is – God designed man and woman in distinctive ways to represent very important symbols. Yes beauty fades, as does our short lives here on earth, but God’s symbolism in man and woman existed long before we did, and it will continue long after we are gone.

God purposefully designed a woman to want to be beautiful, because he desires the beauty of his Church.

Psalm 45 which is a messianic prophecy of Christ and the Church says this:

So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him…The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.  She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework…”

Psalm 45:13-14(KJV)

In this prophecy it shows that the King (symbolic of God) desires the beauty of his wife, the daughter (symbolic of the Church) is made “glorious” with clothing that is “gold” and “raiment of needlework”.

As we mentioned previously regarding Christ and the Church, Christ wants to  “present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing“(Ephesians 5:27)

Just as God wants his Church to be glorious, without spot or wrinkle, and without blemish, so too a woman naturally desires to keep up her appearance. Why do wrinkles and the aging process bother women more than men? Why do women want to cover up facial blemishes with makeup and most men could care less?

The reason is because a woman is wired to make herself beautiful, her desire to be physically beautiful is symbolic of the Church’s desire to be beautiful for God.

Does the Bible call on men to hide their wife’s beauty so other men will not lust?

Absolutely not!

Not one place in all of Scripture, does the Bible say a man has to hide his wife’s beauty from other men so they will not lust. There is nothing wrong with other men appreciating the beauty of another man’s wife. There is nothing wrong with other men even being sexually aroused by the beauty of another man’s wife. Lust occurs when a man thinks about how he may get another man’s wife to sleep with him, Biblically speaking, lust is covetousness.

See my post What does the Bible say about Lust for more the subject of Lust from a Biblical perspective.

But shouldn’t a woman take every step to not cause other men to stumble?

Since appreciation of a wife’s beauty can lead to sexual arousal, and sexual arousal might eventually lead to sexual covetousness (lust), shouldn’t we avoid even the possibility of that by keeping our women covered from head to toe?

Again – this is man adding his own logic to God’s ways. Paul even warns against adding human rules with this type of thinking:

“If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

Colossians 2:20-23(NASB)

We are not to take away from God’s law, and we are not to add to God’s law. Many have done this (adding to God’s law), even with good intentions. We are to follow God’s Law as it is written, we are not to stray to the left, or to the right.

Where the Scriptures are silent, and thus allow freedom, we should be silent and let each man decide in his conscious before God. Where the Scriptures speak clearly, we ought to speak clearly.

Does this mean husbands should let their wives run around naked?

Earlier I mentioned that a husband honors his wife by displaying her beauty for the world to see. That does not mean I think husbands should encourage their wives to walk everywhere naked for the world to see.

There are lines and even we as Christians may sometimes disagree as to where those lines are. Here are some opinions I have seen from those who believe in the strict covering of women, whether they be strict Christian men, or even strict Muslim men:

  1. If you’re going to let your wife show her hair and face in public, she might as well go around naked.
  2. If you’re going to let your wife show her bare arms or legs in public, she might as well go around naked.
  3. If you’re going to let your wife show cleavage on her shirt or blouse, she might as well go around naked.
  4. If you’re going to let your wife dress in tight clothes, or a tang top and shorts then you might as well let her go around naked.

I could list a lot more opinions on the subject, but I think these four make my point. Most Christians would not have a problem with a woman showing her face and hair publically, but many Muslims do, and they would use the exact logic I have above to be opposed to it.

I have attended Christian churches, and attend a Baptist church now, where many men in including our Pastor, would embrace the opinion in point number four above. I personally disagree with all 4 points above.

WomansBeautyInShorts

I believe there is a time and place for different types of dress, but if it is a hot day and we are playing volley ball and my wife were to wear a tang top and shorts, I would have no problem with this whatsoever. There is no Scripture which forbids her from doing so, unless I as her husband and authority told her not to.

But what about women who don’t desire to be beautiful, or to publically display their beauty?

Let’s come back to the symbolism in God’s design of man and woman. God designed man with a natural instinct to want to lead, provide and protect. But some men, because of either how they were brainwashed growing up, or because of sin they were born with, have no desire to lead, provide and protect. God still calls on these men to lead, provide and protect, whether they have a desire to or not.

It is the same way with women. Even if a woman does not have a natural desire to make herself beautiful, she should cultivate that desire because her beauty is much more than physical, it represents an eternal spiritual symbolism and that is what God wants her to do.

See my post 6 Reasons Why women hide their beauty for more on this subject.

Conclusion

The Bible does say a woman’s body belongs to her husband, but it never says that because her beauty belongs to him that it must be hidden from the world and only revealed to him in private. The Bible also tells men to lead their wives in love, in honor and in knowledge of their nature as a woman. A husband should not hide his wife’s beauty, but should proudly display it to the world as Christ seeks to display the glory of his Church to this world.

He should shower his wife with compliments of how beautiful she is. Even if his wife is shy, he should gently and lovely help to cultivate a sense of beauty in her that her beauty matters not only to him, but also to God.

Never in any passage, does the Bible tell women they need to cover themselves so as not to cause other men to lust after them. If a man lusts after a woman (sexually covets her) that is between him and God.

6 Reasons a woman may not want to display her beauty

Whywomenhidebeauty

Why would a woman not want to display her beauty? Why would she want to wear clothing that hides her skin, her form or even her face and hair? As part of a broader series on women’s dress and beauty I wanted to tackle these questions here in a separate post.

These are 6 reasons women typically hide their beauty:

Reason #1 – Some women believe God only wants their beauty displayed to their husbands privately

Many devout religious women, both Christian and non-Christian (such as the Muslim and Amish Christian women above), hide their beauty for religious reasons. They truly believe that God wants them to hide their beauty, and he only wants them to display it privately for their husbands.

Reason #2 – Some women believe they will lead men to sinful thoughts if they display their beauty

The same devout religious women who hide their beauty only for their husbands in private, often hide their beauty for a second reason. They believe if they display their beauty they may cause other men to have sexual thoughts towards them and thus fall into sin.

Reason #3 – Some women don’t want to be sexual objects for men’s viewing pleasure

Here we come to the first non-religious reason why some women hide their beauty. They hide it because they don’t want to be “objectified by men”. They don’t want men receiving pleasure from seeing their beauty.

Reason #4 – Some women don’t believe they are beautiful

Some women simply do not believe they are beautiful. They look around at other women they do not feel that they measure up, so they give up and hide their beauty.

Reason #5 – Some women are just plain lazy

Some women have no religious, political, or emotional reason for hiding their beauty. They are just simply lazy and do not want to take the time to properly display their beauty.

Reason #6 – Some women are forbidden by their culture or their husbands from displaying their beauty

Some women would love to display their beauty in public, but either their husband or their culture forbid them from doing so.

A plea to Christian women who hide their beauty on religious grounds

First and foremost, if you are not a Christian, I invite you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, because he and his Word will change your life and outlook forever if you let him.

There is a simple undeniable truth in God’s creation – man was built for function, woman was built for beauty. A woman’s beauty is symbolic of the beauty of Christ’s Church.

God did not make you the beautiful creature that you are, only for you to hide your beauty. He meant for your beauty to be displayed to the world. As believers we may believe in different standards of how and where we display that beauty, but we should be able to agree that God meant a woman’s beauty to be on display for all to see.

God gave you the unique form you have, your beautiful hair, face, eyes, lips, breasts, hips and legs as works of art. He did not intend for you to wear clothing that is so baggy or bulky that someone could not discern your form as a woman.

Yes God call’s women to modesty (I Timothy 2:9), but modesty means “appropriateness”. It means you should wear clothing that is appropriate to the occasion that you are in. You certainly should not wear shorts and tang top to worship in Church. But this same clothing would appropriate for a summer picnic with friends or playing volleyball at the beach.

God does not want women dressing like prostitutes, but there is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a sexier form fitting dress for a night on the town with her husband.

Nothing in the Bible says anything about you dressing to not lead other men into lust (sexual covetousness) – check it out for yourself, this is never a motivator for a Christian woman dresses. You dress for God, and for your husband. Please read my post on What does the Bible say about Lust to learn what it actually says, verses what many churches teach on this subject.

Please see my post – 7 Principles for how a Christian woman should dress For Biblical guidelines to follow on how to dress as a Christian woman.

A plea to women who don’t want to be objects for men’s viewing pleasure

If you are this type of woman, I am most likely talking to a feminist. You don’t like how society sees women as sexual objects for men’s pleasure. Your dress style is a protest against the culture. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to call on Christ today to save you and let him change your life. If you are a Christian then I invite you to reexamine your world view in light of God’s Word. The Bible is clear that God made woman for man, and for many reasons. One of those reasons is for him to experience her beauty.

In the same way that God experiences pleasure from the beauty of his church, men are meant to experience pleasure from the beauty of women around them. God meant for women to want to be beautiful, and he wired men to appreciate that beauty.

Your war against God’s creation, and his design, will never make you happy. Only when you surrender to God’s will and his design, will you finally find peace.

A plea to women who don’t think they are beautiful

Perhaps you are a woman that never had a father to tell you that you were beautiful. Maybe you did have a dad, but he always made you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you have an idea based on what you see on TV or in the stores that you don’t measure up to what is considered “beautiful” in our culture.

If you did not have a father that made you feel beautiful, I am very sorry about that. But the good news is, you have a heavenly father who does believe you are beautiful. He created you, he thinks you are wonderful. He wants you to accentuate your beauty in the best way that you can.

Are some women more beautiful than others? Yes. To say otherwise, would be a blatant falsehood. But that does not mean that each woman cannot be beautiful in her own way.

I wrote an entire post on this subject of finding your beauty in – What if I don’t have an hour glass figure?

A plea to lazy women

So you simply don’t care how you look? Maybe you are married, maybe you are not. Even if you are not married, God calls you to do your best at whatever you do:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”

Colossians 3:23(NIV)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31(NIV)

So whether you are married or single, God expects your best in all areas of your life. You need to make yourself as beautiful as you can, in honor of God. When you are married, then you have even more reason to keep yourself beautiful in honor and respect of your husband.

A plea to husbands who force their wives to hide their beauty

Husbands – God has given you a beautiful work of art in your wife. He did not intend for you take the gift he gave you and hide it away from the world. God made your wife to want to be beautiful, and for her to want to display her beauty to the world. God wants you to honor your wife by letting her display her beauty in tasteful ways that do not bring shame to him or you. Please see my post Does God want a wife’s beauty hidden from world? for more on this subject from a husband’s point of view.