Gender roles in Christianity
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Gender roles in Christianity can vary considerably today, as they have during the last two millennia. This is especially true with regards to marriage and ministry.
Certain Christian traditions ascribe different roles to men and women in certain aspects of church life—as for example in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, where men may serve as priests and women may serve as nuns or sisters, and where women may hold senior positions such as abbess, but not bishop, patriarch or pope. While various conservative Protestant denominations also hold that only men can be ordained as clergy, ordination of women is becoming increasingly common in some Protestant churches. Women have led denominations such as the Salvation Army.
Both men and women are remembered as saints within the various Christian traditions: among the women considered saints, there have been contemporaries of Jesus, subsequent theologians, abbesses, mystics, doctors of the church, founders of religious orders, military leaders, monarchs and martyrs, evidencing the variety of roles played by women within the life of Christianity.
According to the Gospels, Jesus instructed his followers to address God as "Father". Within Catholicism and Orthodoxy, a particular place of veneration is reserved for Mary, the Mother of Jesus, which has kept a model of maternal virtue central to their vision of Christianity. Marian devotion is however, generally not a feature of Protestantism.
Christianity emerged from patriarchal societies that placed men in positions of authority in marriage, society and government, but, in various respects, Christ and early Christianity were more inclusive of women. According to the New Testament, Christ appointed only male apostles, but women were active from the beginning as followers of Christ. As devotion to Mary rose in popularity in Catholic Europe through the Middle Ages, so did the warrior code of chivalry which encompassed notions of courtly love and ideals of behaviour between warrior males and courtly females. From early centuries, women were not ordained to the priesthood but Christianity developed a monastic tradition which included the institution of the convent, through which women, as religious sisters and nuns, played an important role in church life and have continued through history to be active - particularly in the establishment of schools, hospitals, nursing homes and monastic settlements.
Today, gender roles in Christianity are a matter of debate among theologians and secular thinkers alike.
Women in the Hebrew texts of the Bible 
Christianity developed as a sect of Judaism in the First Century AD. It therefore inherited the depictions of women already existing within the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as The Old Testament) and through history, the women of these Jewish texts have been important in the development of Christian theology, art and attitudes to women.
In the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were said to be the first man and the first woman. Adam was created first, and Eve from Adam's rib. Some commentators have suggested that Eve being God's second Creation indicated female inferiority, but in calling Eve "flesh of my flesh" others say a relationship of equality is implied. It should also be noted that man was named by the God. Eve was named by the man... In a later episode, Eve persuades Adam to join her in eating from forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil - angering God, who casts them out of the Garden of Eden. These accounts were drawn upon by Christian theologians in the development of the doctrine of Original Sin.
Elsewhere, earthy depictions are given of the bearers of the children of Abraham, the Father of Judaism. His Egyptian slave girl Hagar bore Ishmael, while his wife Sarah bore Isaac. Hagar and Ishmael were banished, but with God's promise that Ishmael's descendants would found a great nation (the Arabs). Isaac's descendants meanwhile were to become the Israelites.
Others appearing in the texts include Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, who tricked Issac into blessing her second son as heir; Delilah, who brought down the mighty warrior Samson; the Queen of Sheba who was overwhelmed by the splendour of King Soloman's court; and the cursed Jezebel, who conspired with her husband to have an innocent man killed and was in turn killed for her crime.
Some women were praised in the books of Ruth and Esther. The book of Ruth is about a young Moabite woman's loyalty to her Jewish mother-in-law and her willingness to move to Israel and become a part of their culture. The story ends with her praise and blessing as she is married to an Israelite and subsequently King David comes from her lineage. In the Book of Esther, a young woman named Esther of Jewish lineage is praised for her bravery as the queen of Persia who saved many from being killed by her pleas to the king.
Women in the New Testament Church 
Beyond generally accepted social standards which are continually shifting, Christianity sets a moral standard, regarding attitudes toward and treatment of women, as was personally exemplified by Jesus.
Jesus and women 
Jesus always showed the greatest esteem and the greatest respect for woman, for every woman, and in particular He was sensitive to female suffering. Going beyond the social and religious barriers of the time, Jesus reestablished woman in her full dignity as a human person before God and before men ... Christ’s way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women.
— John Paul II, "Thoughts on Women─Address to Italian Maids," April 1979
The New Testament of the Bible refers to a number of women in Jesus' inner circle—notably his Mother Mary (for whom the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy hold a special place of veneration) and Mary Magdalene who discovered the empty tomb of Christ and known as the "apostle to the apostles" since she was the one commissioned by the risen Jesus to go and tell the 11 disciples that he is risen indeed. But many churches claim that Christ appointed only male Apostles (from the Greek apostello "to send forth").
Among the most famous accounts of Jesus directly dealing with an issue of morality and women is provided by the account of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery, from the Gospel of John . The passage describes a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees over whether a woman, caught in an act of adultery, ought to be stoned. Jesus shames the crowd into dispersing, and averts the execution with the famous words: "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her". According to the passage, "They which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last", leaving Jesus to turn to the woman and say, "Go, and sin no more". This passage has been immensely influential in Christian philosophy.
Another revealing story contained in the Gospels as to Jesus' own attitude to women is found in the story of Jesus at the house of Martha and Mary. In this story the woman Mary sits at Jesus' feet as he preaches, while her sister toils in the kitchen preparing a meal. When Martha complains to Mary that she should instead be helping in the kitchen, Jesus says that in fact, "Mary has chosen what is better".
From the beginning of the early Christian church, starting with Jesus, women were important members of the movement. The examples of the manner of Jesus reveal his attitudes toward women and show repeatedly how he liberated and affirmed women. Both complementarians and egalitarians see Jesus as treating women with compassion, grace and dignity. The gospels of the New Testament, especially Luke, often mention Jesus speaking to or helping women publicly and openly, contrary to the social norms of the time. He reached out to the marginalized in his society and thus, his appeal was great. Martha's sister Mary sat at Jesus' feet being taught, a privilege reserved for men in Judaism. Jesus had female followers who were his sponsors,
The historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that women were more influential during the period of Jesus' brief ministry than they were in the next thousand years of Christianity. Blainey, points to Gospel accounts of Jesus imparting important teachings to women, as with the Samaritan woman at the well, and Mary of Bethany, who rubbed his hair in precious ointment; of Jesus curing sick women and publicly expressing admiration for a poor widow who donated some copper coins to the Temple in Jerusalem, his stepping to the aid of the woman accused of adultery, and to the presence of Mary Magdalene at Jesus' side as he was crucified. Blainey concludes: "As the standing of women was not high in Palestine, Jesus' kindnesses towards them were not always approved by those who strictly upheld tradition. According to Blainey, women were probably the majority of Christians in the first century after Christ. In his Letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul emphasized that Christianity is a faith open to everyone : "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ".
Apostle Paul 
The letters of St. Paul—dated to the middle of the 1st century AD—and his casual greetings to acquaintances offer information about Jewish and Gentile women who were prominent in early Christianity. His letters provide clues about the kind of activities in which women engaged more generally.
- He commends with great affection to the Roman community Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae, for she had been the patron of many, including himself.
- Paul writes that Priscilla and her husband "risked their necks" to save his life.
- He praises Junia (or Junias) as "prominent among the apostles" (NRSV) or "well known to the apostles" (ESV), who had been imprisoned for their labor. Some theologians understand the name to be that of a woman, suggesting that Paul recognised female apostles in the Church.
- Tryphena of Rome, Mary and Persis are commended for their hard work.
- Euodia and Syntyche are called his fellow-workers in the gospel.
Some theologians believe that these biblical reports provide evidence of women leaders active in the earliest work of spreading the Christian message, while others reject that understanding. The evidence also indicates that these women "ministered" in supporting roles of the church much as the women who followed Christ supported his ministry.
However, there are also Bible verses from Paul's letters which support the idea that women are to have a different or submissive role to men:
- "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."
- "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,"
- "Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God."
Women in church history 
Apostolic Age 
From the very beginning of the early Christian church, women were important members of the movement, although some complain that much of the information in the New Testament on the work of women has been overlooked. Some also argue that many assumed that it had been a "man's church" because sources of information stemming from the New Testament church were written and interpreted by men. Recently, scholars have begun looking in mosaics, frescoes, and inscriptions of that period for information about women's roles in the early church.
The historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that the early Christian texts refer to various women activists in the early church. One such woman was St. Priscilla, a Jewish missionary from Rome, who may have helped found the Christian community at Corinth. She traveled as a missionary with her husband and St Paul, and tutored the Jewish intellectual Apollos. Others include the four daughters of Philip the Evangelist, from Caesarea, Palestine, who were said to be prophets and to have hosted St Paul in their home.
Patristic age 
From the early patristic age, the offices of teacher and sacramental minister were reserved for men throughout most of the church in the East and West. Tertullian, the 2nd century Latin father, wrote that "It is not permitted to a woman to speak in church. Neither may she teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal office" ("On the Veiling of Virgins").
Origen (AD 185-254) stated that,
Even if it is granted to a woman to show the sign of prophecy, she is nevertheless not permitted to speak in an assembly. When Miriam the prophetess spoke, she was leading a choir of women ... For [as Paul declares] "I do not permit a woman to teach," and even less "to tell a man what to do."
Christian historian Philip Schaff records early church fathers of the 3rd and 4th centuries as teaching regarding :
From the early patristic age, the offices of teacher and sacramental minister were reserved for men throughout most of the church in the East and West. Tertullian, second century Latin prelate, wrote that "It is not permitted to a woman to speak in church. Neither may she teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal office. ç"On the Veiling of Virgins").
Women commemorated as saints from the early centuries of Christianity include several martyrs who suffered under the Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, such as Agnes of Rome, Saint Cecilia, Agatha of Sicily and Blandina. In late Antiquity, Saint Helena was a Christian and consort of Emperor Constantius, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I. As such her role in history is of great significance as her son Constantine legalised Christianity across the Roman Empire, and became a convert himself - ending centuries of mistreatment of Christians and altering the course of world history. Similarly, Saint Monica was a pious Christian and mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo, who after a wayward youth, converted to Christianity and became one of the most influential Christian Theologians of all history.
In the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church, the priesthood and the ministries dependent upon it such as Bishop, Patriarch and Pope, were restricted to men. The first Council of Orange (441) forbade the ordination of women to the diaconate.
Middle ages 
As Western Europe transitioned from the Classical to Medieval Age, the male hierarchy with the Pope at its summit became a central player in European politics, however many women leaders also emerged at various levels within the Church. Mysticism flourished and monastic convents and communities of Catholic women became powerful institutions within Europe. Marian devotion blossomed, setting a model of maternal virtue at the heart of Western civilization.
With the establishment of Christian monasticism, other influential roles became available to women. From the 5th century onward, Christian convents provided opportunities for some women to escape the path of marriage and child-rearing, acquire literacy and learning, and play a more active religious role. In the later Middle Ages women such as Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Avila, played significant roles in the development of theological ideas and discussion within the church, and were later declared Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church. The Belgian nun, St Juliana of Liège (1193-1252), proposed the Feast of Corpus Christi, celebrating the body of Christ in the Eucharist, which became a major feast throughout the Church. In the important Franciscan movement of the thirteenth century, a significant part was played by religious women like St. Clare of Assisi. Arguably the most famous female Catholic Saint of the period is St. Joan of Arc who took up a sword and achieved military victories for France, before being captured and tried as a "witch and heretic", after which she was burned at the stake. A papal inquiry later declared the trial illegal. A hero to the French, sympathy grew for Joan even in England. Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV
The historian Geoffrey Blainey, writes that women were more prominent in the life of the Church during the Middle Ages than at any previous time in its history, with a number of church reforms initiated by women. In the 13th Century, authors began to write of a mythical female pope - Pope Joan - who managed to disguise her gender until giving birth during a procession in Rome. Blainey cites the ever growing veneration of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene as evidence of a high standing for female Christians at that time. The Virgin Mary, was conferred such titles as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven and, in 863, her feast day, the "Feast of Our Lady", was declared equal in importance to those of Easter and Christmas. Mary Magdalene's Feast Day was celebrated in earnest from the 8th century on and composite portraits of her were built up from Gospel references to other women Jesus met.
Other than the institution of the convent, monarchy was the major European institution allowing women an alternative to marriage and child rearing. Through history there have been many notable Christian female monarchs, including queens and noblewomen honoured as saints or model Christians and who commanded nations.
Women in authority honoured in this way include: Olga of Kiev, who around AD 950, became the first Russian ruler to convert to Christianity; Italian noblewoman Matilda of Tuscany (1046-1115), remembered for her military accomplishments and for being the principal Italian supporter of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy; Saint Hedwig of Silesia (1174-1243), who supported the poor and the church in Eastern Europe; and Jadwiga of Poland, who reigned as monarch of Poland and, within the Catholic Church, is honoured as the patron saint of queens and of a "united Europe". Saint Elisabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) was a symbol of Christian charity who used her wealth to establish hospitals and care for the poor. Each of these women were singled out as model Christians by Pope John Paul II in his Mulieris Dignitatem letter on the dignity and vocation of women.
Post Reformation 
The Reformation ended centuries of unity among Western Christendom and brought Protestantism into both political and religious opposition to Catholicism. The religion of an heir to the throne became an intensely important political issue. The refusal of Pope Clement VI to grant an annulment in the marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon saw Henry establish himself as supreme governor of the church in England. His female Protestant successors have served as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Rivalry between Catholic and Protestant heirs ensued. Protestantism was consolidated in England by Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I. The religion of an heir or monarch's spouse complicated intermarriage between royal houses through coming centuries.
Consorts of the Holy Roman Emperors were given the title of Holy Roman Empress. The throne was reserved for males, thus there was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria, controlled the power of rule and served as de facto Empresses regnant. A liberal-minded autocrat, she was a patron of sciences and education and sought to alleviate the suffering of the serfs. She kept Catholic observance at court and frowned on Judaism and Protestantism. She reigned for 40 years, and mothered 16 children including Marie-Antoinette, the ill-fated Queen of France. With her husband she founded the Catholic Habsburg-Lorraine Dynasty who remained central players in European politics into the 20th century.
One effect of the Protestant Reformation in several of the countries in which it took root was to bring an end to the long tradition of female convents which had existed within Roman Catholicism, and which the Reformers saw as bondage. By shutting down female convents within the movement, Protestantism effectively closed off the option of a full-time religious role for Protestant women, as well as one which had provided some women a life in academic study. Among the many nuns who abandoned the monastic life was the wife of Martin Luther, Katherine von Bora.
The majority of Protestant churches upheld the traditional position, and restricted ruling and preaching roles within the Church to men until the 20th century, although there were early exceptions among some groups such as the Quakers and within some Pentecostal holiness movements.
John Knox (1510–1572) also denied women the right to rule in the civic sphere, as he asserted in his famous First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regimen of Women.
() "thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee". By this the apostle would signify, that the reason why women are not to speak in the church, or to preach and teach publicly, or be concerned in the ministerial function, is, because this is an act of power, and authority; of rule and government, and so contrary to that subjection which God in his law requires of women unto men. The extraordinary instances of Deborah, Huldah, and Anna, must not be drawn into a rule or example in such cases.
Methodist founder John Wesley (1703–1791) and Methodist theologian Adam Clarke (1762–1832) both upheld male headship, but allowed that spiritual Christian women could publicly speak in church meetings if they "are under an extraordinary impulse of the Spirit" (Wesley), and that such were to obey that influence, and that "the apostle lays down directions in chap. 11 for regulating her personal appearance when thus employed.” (Clarke) Puritan theologian Matthew Poole (1624–1679) concurred with Wesley, adding,
But setting aside that extraordinary case of a special afflatus, [strong Divine influence] it was, doubtless, unlawful for a woman to speak in the church.
Within the Church of England, King Henry VIII's dissolution of the religious houses swept away the convents which had been a feature of Christianity in England for centuries. Anglican religious orders and Sisterhoods were later re-established within the Anglican tradition however.
In Europe, Portugal and Spain remained Catholic and were on the cusp of building global empires. As sponsor of Christopher Columbus' 1492 mission to cross the Atlantic, the Spanish Queen Isabella I (Isabella the Catholic) of Castille was an important figure in the growth of Catholicism as a global religion, for Spain and Portugal followed Columbus' route to establish vast Empires in the Americas. Her marriage to Ferdinand II of Aragon had ensured the unity of the Spanish Kingdom and the royal couple agreed to hold equal authority. Spanish Pope Alexander VI conferred on them the title "Catholic". The Catholic encyclopedia, credits Isabella as an extremely able ruler and one who "fostered learning not only in the universities and among the nobles, but also among women". Of Isabella and Ferdinand, it says: "The good government of the Catholic sovereigns brought the prosperity of Spain to its apogee, and inaugurated that country's Golden Age".
Modern times 
Amidst the backdrop of Industrial Revolution and expanding European Empires during the 17th-19th centuries, Christian women played a central role in developing and running of many the modern world's education and health care systems.
Catholic religious orders like the Sisters of Mercy the Little Sisters of the Poor Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart were founded around the world and established extensive networks of hospitals and schools. The Anglican Florence Nightingale was influential in the development of modern nursing.
For much of the early Twentieth century, Catholic women continued to join religious orders in large numbers, where their influence and control was particularly strong in the running of primary education for children, high schooling for girls, and in nursing, hospitals, orphanages and aged care facilities. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960s liberalised the strictures of Catholic religious life, particularly for women in holy orders. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, vocations for women in the West entered a steep decline. In spite of that, the Catholic Church conducted a large number of beatifications and canonisations of Catholic women from all over the world: St. Josephine Bakhita was a Sudanese slave girl who became a Canossian nun; St. Katharine Drexel (1858-1955) worked for Native and African Americans; Polish mystic St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) wrote her influential spiritual diary; and German nun Edith Stein was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Three Catholic women were declared Doctors of the Church, indicating a re-appraisal of the role of women within the life of that Church: the 16th Century Spanish mystic, St. Teresa of Ávila; the 14th Century Italian mystic St. Catherine of Siena and the 19th century French nun St. Thérèse de Lisieux (called Doctor Amoris or Doctor of Love).
While Catholicism and Orthodoxy adhered to traditional gender restrictions on ordination to the priesthood, Ordination of women in Protestant churches has in recent decades become increasingly common. The Salvation Army elected Evangeline Booth as its first female General (worldwide leader) in 1934. New Zealander Penny Jamieson became the first woman in the world to be ordained a bishop of the Anglican Church in 1990. (although the queens of England have for centuries inherited the position of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England upon their ascensions to the throne).
In the developing world, people continued to convert to Christianity in large numbers and among the most famous and influential women missionaries of the period was the Catholic nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work in "bringing help to suffering humanity". Much admired by Pope John Paul II, she was beatified in 2003, just six years after her death. Many Christian women and religious have been prominent advocates in social policy debates—as with American nun Helen Prejean, a Sister of Saint Joseph of Medaille, who is a prominent campaigner against the Death Penalty and was the inspiration for the Hollywood film Dead Man Walking.
Modern views 
Some 19th-century Christian authors began codifying challenges to traditional views toward women both in the church and in society. Only since the 1970s have more diverse views become formalized.
Christian feminism 
Christian Feminists take an actively feminist position from a Christian perspective. Recent generations have experienced the rise of what has been labeled by some as "Christian feminism" —a movement that has had a profound impact on all of life, challenging some traditional basic Christian interpretations of Scripture with respect to roles for women.
However, Christian feminism represents the views of the more theologically liberal end of the spectrum within Christianity. In contrast to the more socially conservative Christian egalitarians, Christian feminists tend to support homosexual rights and a pro-choice stance on abortion. The Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus, a major international Christian feminist organization, values "inclusive images and language for God."
Egalitarian view 
Christian Egalitarians' interpretation of Scripture brings them to the conclusion that the manner and teachings of Jesus, affirmed by the Apostle Paul, abolished gender-specific roles in both the church and in marriage.
- Official Statement
Men, Women and Biblical Equality was prepared in 1989 by several evangelical leaders to become the official statement of Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). The statement lays out their biblical rationale for equality as well as its application in the community of believers and in the family. They advocate ability-based, rather than gender-based, ministry of Christians of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic classes. Egalitarians support the ordination of women and equal roles in marriage, and are more conservative both theologically and morally than Christian feminists.
- Some key Christian Egalitarian beliefs
- Both women and men were created equal by God
- Neither man nor woman was cursed by God at The Fall of Man
- Jesus' radical "new Covenant" view was correctly articulated by the Apostle Paul when he wrote that "...there is no male nor female, for you are all one in Christ."
A scripture passage they consider key to the advocacy of full equality of responsibility and authority for both women and men is contained in a Pauline polemic containing these three antitheses:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
— Galatians 3:28
Christian Egalitarians interpret this passage as expressing that the overarching teaching of the New Testament is that all are "one in Christ." The three distinctions, important in Jewish life, are declared by Paul to be invalid in Christ. Therefore, among those "in Christ" there must be no discrimination based on race or national origin, social level, or gender. They respect the natural biological uniqueness of each gender, not seeing it as requiring any dominant/submissive applications of gender to either marriage or church leadership.
David Scholer, New Testament scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary, affirms this view. He believes that  Galatians 3:28 represents "the summation of Paul's theological vision," according to Pamela Eisenbaum, professor at Iliff School of Theology, who is one of four Jewish New Testament scholars teaching in Christian theological schools.is “the fundamental Pauline theological basis for the inclusion of women and men as equal and mutual partners in all of the ministries of the church.”
Christian Egalitarianism holds that the submission of the woman in marriage and womanly restrictions in Christian ministry are inconsistent with the true picture of biblical equality. The equal-yet-different doctrine taught by Complementarians is considered by them to be a contradiction in terms.
In their book Woman in the World of Jesus, Evelyn Stagg (classicist) and Frank Stagg (theologian) point out that in the Bible the only God-ordained restrictions on the genders is that "only the male can beget, and only the female can bear".
Gilbert Bilezikian, in his book Beyond Sex Roles—What the Bible Says About a Woman's Place in Church and Family, argues that the New Testament contains evidence of women apostles, prophets, teachers, deacons, and administrators.
Baptist theologian Roger Nicole, considered an expert in Calvinism, is a Christian Egalitarian and a Biblical Inerrantist. He recognizes that biblical egalitarianism is still viewed by many as inconsistent with biblical inerrancy, although he disagrees. He writes that "the matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God’s will for women."
I believe that most, if not all, of the restrictions on women in society have no basis in Scripture, and that those maintained in the Church are based on an inadequate interpretation of a few restrictive passages, which put them in contradiction with the manifest special concern and love of God for women articulated from Genesis to Revelation.
— Roger Nicole, 2006
A limited notion of gender complementarity is held and is known as "complementarity without hierarchy."
Complementarian view 
Complementarians believe that God made men and women to be equal in personhood and value but different in roles. They understand the Bible as teaching that God created men and women to serve different roles in the church and the home. In the 1991 book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, leading Complementarian theologians outlined what they consider to be biblically sanctioned definitions of masculinity and femininity:
- "At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships.
- "At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman's differing relationships."
- Official Statement
The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was prepared by several evangelical leaders at a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts, in December 1987. The statement lays out their biblical rationale for male priority and female submission in the community of believers and in the family. Additionally it cites a set of concerns shared by complementarians over other contemporary philosophies about gender:
- Cultural uncertainty and confusion over complementary differences between masculinity and femininity
- Unraveling marriages
- Increasing attention given what they termed to be feminist egalitarianism
- Ambivalence about motherhood and homemaking
- Claims of legitimacy for illicit sexual relationships and pornography
- Upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family
- Emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership seen as nonconforming to Biblical teaching
- Nontraditional reinterpretation of apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts
- A growing threat to Biblical authority.
They attribute these ills to the "apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which…may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture."
- Interpretation of Scripture
Complementarians tend to be biblical inerrantists who take a more literal view of biblical interpretation. They disagree with Christian Egalitarians on theological positions related to gender, such as in holding that:
- Man was created with "headship" over the woman by being created first.
- Female exclusion from leadership over men is also justified due to her deception by the devil, which resulted in The Fall, for which Adam is also, or primarily, culpable.
- Both Old and New Testaments set a pattern of male leadership; for instance the priestly and kingly offices of the Old Testament were restricted to males; the Apostles of Jesus were all male; and Paul's instructions regarding church eldership in the epistles 1 Timothy and Titus appear to restrict this position to men.
Primary texts in the New Testament which they believe support male headship include , and :
- 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. (KJV)
- But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. (ASV)
- Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (TNIV)
In the Apostle Paul is establishing that all believers, no matter what their racial, social, or gender status, share the same spiritual status in their union with Christ. However, they do not believe that or any other scriptures put an end to positional and functional distinctions based on gender, which they see as being clearly stated and upheld in the New Testament, as a matter of Christian principle., complementarians believe that
Complementarians' understanding is that both Old and New Testaments do prescribe a male-priority based hierarchy and gender roles in the church and in marriage, where women have equal dignity with men but subordinate roles.
Biblical patriarchy view 
Biblical patriarchy as expressed by the Vision Forum is similar to Complementarianism in that it affirms the equality of men and women, but goes further in its expression of the different gender roles. Many of the differences between them are ones of degree and emphasis. While Complementarianism holds to exclusively male leadership in the church and in the home, biblical patriarchy extends that exclusion to the civic sphere as well, so that women should not be civil leaders and indeed should not have careers outside the home. Thus, William Einwechter refers to the traditional Complementarian view as "two point complementarianism" (male leadership in the family and church), and regards the biblical patriarchy view as "three-point" or "full" complementarianism, (male leadership in family, church and society). In contrast to this, John Piper and Wayne Grudem, representing the Complementarian position, say that they are "not as sure in this wider sphere which roles can be carried out by men or women". Grudem also acknowledges exceptions to the submission of wives to husbands where moral issues are involved.
Although much of the contemporary literature settles on the terms Complementarianism and Christian Egalitarianism, a number of other more pejorative terms are frequently encountered.
- In complementarian literature, the term "Christian feminism" is sometimes incorrectly used synonymously with "egalitarianism." For examples, see books by Wayne Grudem on the topic. Christian egalitarians generally object to being labeled "feminist" or "evangelical feminist." Their belief in biblical equality is said to be grounded in the biblical teaching that all believers have been given authority in Christ. Conversely, feminist ideology is derived from cultural factors and philosophies. Christian egalitarian author Rebecca Groothuis writes, "Like most cultural systems of thought, feminist ideology is partly true and partly false—almost entirely false at this point in history."
- In egalitarian literature, the terms "gender traditionalist," "patriarchalist" and "hierarchicalist" are sometimes used with reference to complementarians. The use of these terms in egalitarian literature is defended in Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and Ronald W. Pierce, Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, IVP 2004, p. 17. "…it is probably most fitting to refer to those who believe in restricting leadership to men as simply advocates of male leadership, or patriarchalists… traditionalists… or hierarchicalists."
William J. Webb describes himself as a "complementary egalitarian." He defines this as "full interdependence and 'mutual submission' within marriage, and the only differences in roles are 'based upon biological differences between men and women'." He uses "Complementarianism" to describe what he calls "a milder form of the historical hierarchical view."
Complementarian scholar Wayne A. Grudem objects to Webb's use of "complementary" and "egalitarian" together to describe a thoroughly egalitarian position. Calling the terminology "offensive and confusing," he reasons that doing so simply confuses the issues by using the term "complementary" for a position totally antithetical to what complementarians hold. Grudem finds Webb's use of the term "patriarchy" to be especially pejorative because of its connotations in modern society. He also rejects the term "hierarchicalist" because he says it overemphasizes structured authority while giving no suggestion of equality or the beauty of mutual interdependence.
Theological issues 
In general, all evangelicals involved in the gender debate claim to adhere to the authority of the Bible. Egalitarians typically argue that the dispute has arisen because of differences in interpretation of specific passages. Nevertheless, Wayne Grudem and other complementarians have accused egalitarians of adopting positions which deny the authority, sufficiency and inerrancy of scripture.
…I believe that ultimately the effective authority of Scripture to govern our lives is at stake in this controversy. The issue is not whether we say we believe the Bible is the Word of God or that we believe it is without error, but the issue is whether we actually obey it when its teachings are unpopular and conflict with the dominant viewpoints in our culture. If we do not obey it, then the effective authority of God to govern His people and His church through His Word has been eroded.
— Wayne Grudem (emphases original), Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth
Biblical hermeneutics 
The egalitarian and complementarian positions differ significantly in their approach to hermeneutics, and specifically in their interpretation of biblical history. Christian egalitarians believe that male and female were created equally
The Christian egalitarian hermeneutic has received a highly systematic treatment from William J. Webb, professor of New Testament at Heritage Theological Seminary, Ontario, Canada. Webb argues that a major challenge is determining which biblical commands are "transcultural" and therefore applicable today, versus those which are "cultural" and therefore only applicable to the original (1st century) recipients of the text. His "redemptive movement" hermeneutic is justified using the example of slavery, which Webb sees as analogous to the subordination of women. Christians today largely perceive that slavery was "cultural" in biblical times and not something that should be re-introduced or justified, although slavery was (a) found in the Bible and (b) not explicitly banned there. Webb recommends that biblical commands be examined in light of the cultural context in which they were originally written. According to the "redemptive approach", slavery and women's subordination are found in the Bible; however, the same Scriptures also contain ideas and principles which, if developed and taken to their logical conclusion, would bring about the abolition of these institutions. According to that ideal, biblical patriarchy should be replaced by the "all one in Christ Jesus" proclamation of which says "There is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Some other New Testament instructions that are almost universally considered "cultural" and therefore only applicable to the original (1st century) recipients of the text are for women to wear veils when praying or prophesying,
In contrast to egalitarian teaching, complementarians teach that male priority and headship (positional leadership) were instituted prior to the Fall
Complementarians criticize Webb's hermeneutic. Grudem argues that Webb expects Christians to pursue a "superior ethic" to that found in the New Testament, therefore undermining the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. He claims that Webb and some other evangelicals misconstrue the biblical teaching about both slavery and women, and inappropriately confuse the two. He writes that slavery is tolerated in Scripture but never commanded but in some cases is criticized, whereas wives are explicitly commanded to submit to their husbands and male leadership is never criticized. Additionally, Grudem believes that Webb's "redemptive-movement" hermeneutic (itself a variation of the "trajectory" hermeneutic commonly employed by egalitarians) ultimately relies on subjective judgments that are incapable of producing certainty about ethical views.
Gender and the Image of God 
Complementarians have traditionally held that Christian ministers ought to be men, because of the need to represent Jesus Christ, who was the "Son" of God, and incarnate as a male human being. A related position is that while both male and female were made in the image of God, the woman shares in the divine image through the man because she was created out of him, and is his "glory."
To us a priest is primarily a representative, a double representative, who represents us to God and God to us... We have no objection to a woman doing the first: the whole difficulty is with the second. But why? ... Suppose the reformer stops saying that a good woman may be like God and begins saying that God is like a good woman. Suppose he says that we might just as well pray to 'Our Mother which art in Heaven' as to 'Our Father'. Suppose he says that the Incarnation might just as well have taken a female as a male form, and the Second Person of the Trinity be as well called the Daughter as the Son. Suppose, finally, that the mystical marriage were reversed, that the Church were the Bridegroom and Christ the Bride. All this, as it seems to me, is involved in the claim that a woman can represent God as a priest does.
— C. S. Lewis, Priestesses in the Church? 1948
Christian egalitarians respond by arguing that God is not gendered, and that males and females image God equally and without any differences. In addition, terms such as "Father" and "Son", used in reference to God, should be understood as analogies or metaphors used by the biblical authors to communicate attributes about God in a culture where men had social privilege. Similarly, Christ became a male not because it was theologically necessary, but because 1st century Jewish culture would not have accepted a female Messiah. Wayne Grudem takes exception to these egalitarian arguments, insisting that Christ's maleness was theologically necessary; he also alleges that egalitarians are increasingly advocating that God should be thought of as "Mother" as well as "Father", a move which he sees as theologically liberal.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has become a major focus of the contemporary gender debate, specifically in relation to . In 1977, George W. Knight III argued in a book about gender roles that the subordination of women to men is theologically analogous to the subordination of the Son to the Father in the Trinity. Australian theologian Kevin Giles has more recently responded that complementarians have "reinvented" the doctrine of the Trinity to support their views of men and women, suggesting that some complementarians have adopted a heretical view of the Trinity similar to Arianism. A vigorous debate has ensued, with some egalitarians moving towards the idea that there is "mutual dependence" within the Trinity, including "subordination of the Father to the Son", which must be reflected in gender role relations. Wayne Grudem has countered this by asserting that mutual submission in the Trinity cannot be supported by scripture and church history.
Relationship between ontology and roles 
Modern complementarians argue that  Complementary roles in marriage and church leadership, including the primary authority of men and the submission of wives, are not thought to contradict this principle of ontological equality. The equation of role or functional subordination and ontological inferiority is considered to be a category confusion.and establish the full equality of males and females in terms of status, worth and dignity.
Egalitarian author Rebecca Merrill Groothuis has objected to this position. She argues that "woman’s spiritual and ontological equality with man rules out the sort of subordination prescribed by gender traditionalists…. It is not logically possible for woman to be essentially equal to man, yet universally subordinate to man on the basis of an essential attribute (i.e., femaleness)."
Current views by denomination 
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In general, the issues have been what the proper role of women is (a) in marriage; (b) in the church; (c) in society at large. Among the denominations, movements, and organizations that express or have previously expressed a view, there are four main views:
Full equality 
- African Methodist Episcopal Church
- American Baptist Churches USA
- Anglican Church in North America
- Assemblies of God
- Association of Vineyard Churches
- Baptist Union of Great Britain
- Christians for Biblical Equality
- Church of the Brethren
- Church of Denmark
- Church of Iceland
- Church of Norway
- Church of Scotland
- Church of Sweden
- Episcopal Church
- Evangelical Covenant Church
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
- Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland
- Free Methodist Church
- Mennonite Church USA
- Presbyterian Church of Canada
- Presbyterian Church USA
- Protestant Church in the Netherlands
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) — Quakers have always believed in the legitimacy of women's ministry, with only a few exceptions in the early years. In 1848 at a conference in Seneca Falls, New York, 100 men and women signed a declaration that "all men and women are created equally." Early leaders of the movement were women, including Lucretia Mott.
- United Church of Canada
- United Church of Christ
- United Methodist Church
- Uniting Church in Australia
Equality, except clerical offices 
- Anglican Catholic Church
- Anglican Province of America
- Eastern Orthodox Church
- Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
- Orthodox Presbyterian Church
- Presbyterian Church in America
- Presbyterian Church of Australia
- Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholicism, addresses the issue from the highest levels, including the Papal Office. For instance, Pope John Paul II has addressed this issue in his 1995, his 1996, and 1988 Apostolic Letter.
- Reformed Episcopal Church
- Seventh-day Adventists
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- United Episcopal Church of North America
- Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Restricted roles in both secular and ecclesiastical life 
- Southern Baptist Convention's official position is solely to prohibit females from becoming clergy, and to insist that a wife "graciously submit" to the leadership of her husband, and the husband, in turn, to love the wife, respect her, and refrain from abuse, "loving her as Christ loves the church". Members of an individual ("local") Southern Baptist church are allowed to vote on matters of business of the church that include the hiring of a pastor. However, many churches that have chosen female clergy as their pastor have been disenfranchised by either local or state Baptist associations. The vast majority of the congregations tend to hold full secular equality for women. Since Baptists enforce autonomy of each church, it can vary widely from church to church.
- Jehovah's Witnesses appoint only males as elders and deacons ("ministerial servants"), and allow only baptized males to perform weddings, funerals, and baptisms. A baptized female is considered an ordained minister, but she may only lead congregational prayer and teaching in unusual circumstances, and must wear a head covering while doing so. A female Witness minister wears a head covering when teaching in the presence of a baptized male or in the presence of her husband (regardless of whether or not the husband is baptized). Female head covering is not required when teaching outside the Witnesses' congregation setting or when participating in congregation meetings being led by another. Females may vote on congregation matters, and may qualify for appointment as a full-time pioneer minister.
The above lists are examples and are obviously not exhaustive. It is not always clear into which category a church or movement falls.
The Wesleyan tradition and the Holiness and Pentecostal movements, as well as a growing number of contemporary Charismatic churches which draw from them, have increasingly accepted women as leaders on an equal footing with men.
See also 
- Regis Debray; The Old Testament Through 100 Masterpieces of Art; Merrell; London
- The Bible, Book of Ruth and Book of Esther
- Bilezikian, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles (2nd ed.) Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1989
- "Catholic Encyclopedia: Apostles". Newadvent.org. 1907-03-01. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- , , ,
- Margaret MacDonald, "Reading Real Women Through Undisputed Letters of Paul" in Women and Christian Origins, ed. by Ross Sheppard Kraemer and Mary Rose D'Angelo (Oxford: University Press, 1999), 204
- Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Penguin Viking; 2011; pp 19-20
- Geoffrey Blainey; A Very Short History of the World; Penguin Books, 2004
- letters of Paul
- Acts 18:18-19, Acts 18:26, Romans 16:3-4
- Achtenmeier, P.J. (1996). HarperCollins Bible Dictinary (revised ed.). HarperCollins. p. 882. ISBN 0-06-060037-3.
- Wallace, Daniel B. "Junia Among the Apostles: The Double Identification Problem in Romans 16:7"
- Eldon Jay Epp and Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2005
- King, Karen L. "Women in Ancient Christianity: The New Discoveries". Pbs.org.
- "Women's Roles in the Early Church". Christian-thinktank.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- Wayne Grudem, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, Multnomah, 2004
- MacHaffie, Barbara J. Her story: women in Christian tradition. Fortress Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8006-3826-9.
- Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Penguin Viking; 2011
- William Weinrich, "Women in the History of the Church", in John Piper and Wayne Grudem (eds.), Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Crossway 1991
- Origen, Fragmenta ex commentariis in epistulam i ad Corinthios
- "Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Joan Of Arc". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Penguin Viking; 2011; p 152.
- Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Penguin Viking; 2011; pp 155-159.
- "Talisman World Coins and Medals Messages". Talismancoins.com. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II, 15 August 1988 - Apostolic Letter". Vatican.va. 1988-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Maria Theresa". Newadvent.org. 1910-10-01. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- Case Study 9: The Impact of the Reformation on Women in Germany Henry J. Cohn, University of Warwick, 2000
- Allen, Charlotte (1999). "The Holy Feminine". Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life.
- Chrysostom, John. The homilies: Of S. John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, on the first epistle of St. Paul the apostle to the Corinthians (Library of Fathers of the holy Catholic church). Volume 2. Pub: F. and J. Rivington (1845) Web: 17 Jan 2010. Books.google.com
- Pierce and Groothuis (eds), Discovering Biblical Equality (2nd ed. 2005), Downer's Grove, IVP, pp. 36–52
- "Gill, 1 Corinthians 14:34". Biblestudytools.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- John Wesley's notes on the Bible, 1 Cor. 14:34,35
- Adam Clarke's commentary on the whole Bible, 1 Cor. 14:34,35
- Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible (1852)
- "1 Corinthians - Chapter 14 - Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on". Searchgodsword.org. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- "Catholic Encyclopedia: Isabella I". Newadvent.org. 1910-10-01. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Sisters of Mercy - Wikisource, the free online library". En.wikisource.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Little Sisters of the Poor". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- Actualités. "Vatican: cinq bienheureux, dont une Française et un Belge, canonisés ce dimanche - Actualités : Toute l'actualité et l'info en France et dans le Monde-MSN&M6". News.fr.msn.com. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Mary MacKillop to become Australia's first saint on October 17". news.com.au. 19 February 2010.
- "Florence Nightingale : Biography". Spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- McKamey, Joan. "Saints of the 20th Century - Walking With the Saints April©2007". Americancatholic.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Teresa Benedict of the Cross Edith Stein (1891-1942) - biography". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- [dead link]
- "Dr Penny Jamieson | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". Nzhistory.net.nz. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Press Release - The Nobel Peace Prize 1979". Nobelprize.org. 1979-10-27. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Beatification Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 19 October 2003". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "ENOUGH ROPE with Andrew Denton - episode 148: Sister Helen Prejean (17/09/2007)". Abc.net.au. 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- For example, Katharine Bushnell, L.A. Starr, Charles H. Pridgeon, Phoebe Palmer, A. J. Gordon, Frances Willard, and many others
- See About the [[Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus]] Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- John Piper and Wayne Grudem (eds.) (1991), Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, Crossway 1991, ISBN 0-89107-586-0
- Randall Herbert Balmer, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism, Baylor University Press 2004, p. 237
- Pamela Cochran (2005), Evangelical feminism: a history, NYU Press, ISBN 0-8147-1650-4
- "About EEWC". Eewc.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- Christians for Biblical Equality. "Men, Women and Biblical Equality." Ltd. CBE on the Web at "Biblical Equality." 1989
- Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE)
- Scholer, David M. “Galatians 3:28 and the Ministry of Women in the Church,” Theology, News and Notes. Pasadena: Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1998
- Eisenbaum, Pamela. "Is Paul the Father of Misogyny and Antisemitism?" Cross Currents, Association for Religious and Intellectual Life. Winter 2000-2001, 50:4
- Iliff School of Theology
- Strauch, Alexander. Men and Women, Equal Yet Different: A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender. Lewis & Roth Publishers, 1999. ISBN 0-936083-16-6
- Stagg, Evelyn and Frank Stagg. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978. ISBN 0-664-24195-6
- Bilezikian, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles. Baker Books, 1989. ISBN 0-8010-0885-9
- Nicole, Roger. "Biblical Egalitarianism and the Inerrancy of Scripture." Priscilla Papers, Vol. 20, No. 2. Spring 2006
- Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (eds.), Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, IVP 2004, p. 17
- Koessler, John. "Wounds of a Friend: Complementarian." Christianity Today June 2008, Vol. 52, No. 6.
- "The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. 1987". Cbmw.org. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- Chapter 1: A Biblical Vision of Manhood and Womanhood as Created by God The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 2010
- Should Christians Support a Woman for the Office of Civil Magistrate?.
- Called to the Home — Called to Rule.
- Einwechter, William (2009-04-13). "Men and Women and the Creation Order, Part 1". Vision Forum Ministries. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- Einwechter, William (2008-09-23). "The Palin Predicament Resolved". Vision Forum Ministries. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- John Piper and Wayne Grudem, "An Overview of Central Concerns," in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton: Crossway, 1991), 89.
- Wives Like Sarah, and the Husbands Who Honor Them 1 Peter 3:1-7.
- Groothuis, Rebecca Merrill (November 1, 2009). "The Basics of Biblical Equality: Belief and Practice.". Cbeinternational.org.
- Webb, William J. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. InterVarsity Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8308-1561-9. Webb understands biblical issues of slaves and women to be cultural principles, applicable to that culture, but the biblical principles about homosexuality to be transcultural.
- Grudem, Wayne A. "Should We Move Beyond the New Testament to a Better Ethic?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS), 47/2 (June 2004) 299–346
- Gender and Leadership
- Wayne Grudem, Evangelical feminism: a new path to liberalism?, Crossway, 2006
- Walther, Emily, and George H. Walther. "Celebrating Our Partnership." Priscilla Papers, Autumn 1991 Volume 5, Issue 4.
- Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible says about a Woman's Place in Church and Family, Baker Academic, 2006 (3rd edition)
- Aida Spencer, Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry, Hendrickson, 1989
- Doug Heidebrecht. "Distinction and Function in the Church: Reading Galatians 3:28 in Context." Direction. Direction Journal, Mennonite Brethren
- , , , , and
- C. S. Lewis, "Priestesses in the Church?", God in the Dock, Eerdmans, 1970
- J. I. Packer (February 1991), "Let's stop making women presbyters", Christianity Today
- G. L. Bray, "Image of God", New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, IVP, Leicester, 2000
- Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. Good News For Women: A Biblical picture of gender equality. Baker books, 1997.
- Stanley Grenz, Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry, IVP, 1995
- Paul K. Jewett, The ordination of women, Eerdmans, 1980
- George W. Knight III, The New Testament teaching on the role relationship of men and women, Baker Book House, 1977
- Kevin Giles, Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity, Zondervan, 2006
- Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, The Bible and Gender Equality, Christians for Biblical Equality 2005.
- "Letter to Women". Vatican.va. 1995-06-29. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- "Address on Promoting the Well-Being of Women". Vatican.va. 1996-12-07. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women". Vatican.va. 1988-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "The Baptist Faith & Message". Sbc.net. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- "Ephesians 5:21-24". Biblegateway.com. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Ephesians 5:25-28". Biblegateway.com. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Head Coverings—When and Why?", Keep Yourselves in God's Love, ©2008 Watch Tower, pages 43-44 and 209-212
- Bechtel, Lyn M. (1996), "A Symbolic Level of Meaning: John 2.1-11 (The Marriage in Cana)", in Athalya Brenner, A Feminist Companion to The Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (1st ed.), Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press
- Fiddes, Paul S. ' "Woman's head is man": a doctrinal reflection upon a Pauline text.' Baptist Quarterly 31.8, 1986. 370-83
- Fiddes, Paul S. (1990), "'The status of women in the thought of Karl Barth'", in Janet Martin Soskice, After Eve [alternative title After Eve: women, theology and the Christian tradition] (1st ed.), London: Marshall Pickering
- Fontaine, Carole R. (1996), "Disabilities and Illness in the Bible: A Feminist Perspective", in Athalya Brenner, A Feminist Companion to The Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (1st ed.), Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press
- Kripal, Jeffrey John. (2007), The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press
- Catholic references
- "Declaration Inter Insigniores on the question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood." Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 15, 1976.
- Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Ordination to the Priesthood)." Pope John Paul II, May 22, 1994.
- "Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity of Women)." Pope John Paul II, August 15, 1988.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church. Many Christians also see Mary as the prototypical Christian, as in the Bible she was the first to hear the Good News of Jesus' coming. She is one of the few of Jesus' followers reported to be present at his crucifixion. Thus she is a woman who is most imitated among Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saints.
- The voice of Catholic theologians who believe that neither Scripture nor Tradition excludes the ordination of women can be heard on www.womenpriests.org, an academic website founded by John Wijngaards.
- References on the history of women in the early Christian Church
- MacDonald, Margaret. "Reading Real Women through Undisputed Letters of Paul." In Women and Christian Origins edited by Ross Sheppard Kraemer and Mary Rose D'Angelo. Oxford: University Press, 1999.
- Torjesen, Karen Jo. When Women were Priests: Women's Leadership in the Early Church & The Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher, 1995.
- Wiley, Tatha. Paul and the Gentile Women: Reframing Galatians New York: Continuum, 2005.
- Witherington, Ben III. Women in the Earliest Churches. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
- Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, Pope John Paul II (1988), on the dignity and vocation of women (statement of Roman Catholic position)
- Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of John Paul II (1994) to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church on Reserving Priestly Ordination to men alone
- Christians for Biblical Equality, principal egalitarian organization
- Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, principal complementarian organization