My responses in red.
John, I have read the Bible. I also have a strong faith in God, but I don't have faith in a male-written and male-dominated book, the Bible. Jesus isn't my issue. It's the books of the bible that talk about women being the root of evil, that women will tempt men into sinning (that a man is so weak and incapable of making his own choice), that a man can get a divorce and not be penalized and kept from heaven if he's does so, but a woman is unclean if her husband divorces her. The bible still gave all the power to the men and expected women to follow men. Jesus said men are to respect and adore women just as they respect and adore the church, but he was the only one to espouse that view.
You may have read the Bible, but I think probably it was a long time ago, because your opinion is so full of errors, I don’t know where to start.
I don't know any place in the Bible that says women are the root of evil. Honestly, that sounds more like something a comedian would say, lol. And no, the Bible says a person is tempted when he is enticed by his own lust, not by women. I suppose a woman could help that along if she wanted, but she is not the source of the problem according to the Bible. It is a man granting quarter to his own lust that signals a downfall.
According to the Bible, I know of no sin any man or woman can commit that will keep them from heaven if they have committed their lives to Christ as their Lord and Savior, whether it's divorce, prostitution, or murder. I really don't know where you get these ideas. Certainly not the Bible.
The Bible did not give all power to men. God explained from the start that this was a consequence of Eve's sin. She did not obey God as her master, so now she must live under a new master. It was not unlike when Israel said they wanted a king like other nations instead of being lead by God. God explained very clearly the harsh realities of a human king, but they chose it anyway, just as Eve chose it in Eden. God merely explained the meaning and reality of her choice, and women have been living that reality ever since.
Jesus did not say men are to respect and adore women just as they respect and adore the church. PAUL wrote that men ought to LOVE their WIVES as CHRIST loved the church. In other words, as Christ lived and died in service to the church, men ought to live and be willing to die in service to their wives, not women in general.
By the way, divorce was not God’s idea, but entirely man’s. God’s ideal is marriage for life, but Jesus said that God permitted divorce as a concession to man’s hardness of heart. So any pain and discomfort from divorce is due entirely to man, not God. In Micah, God says, "I hate divorce."
It sounds to me like you harvested all these opinions from conversations with friends instead of reading the Bible.
The part that convinced me the bible was mainly a male-oriented way to put themselves above women was the portion of the text that talked about rape. If a woman cried out for help while she was being raped, then she was not at fault. But if she didn't cry out, then she was not raped and the man was not at fault. So, if a woman was prevented from crying out for help while being raped, then she really wasn't raped. That convinced me then and there that the bible was perverted by men from being a holy text to one that gave them the right to do whatever they wanted, as long as the bible says so. I'll go back and look up the exact book it's in.
Alrighty, let's read Deuteronomy 22:
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death--the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you. 25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor, 27 for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.
Sounds to me like the rapist is always at fault and gets stoned in either case, so you're wrong. The difference is location. If a man rapes somebody's wife in the city, where there are many people nearby who could hear her scream if she chose to scream, but she doesn't scream, then it's adultery and death for both of them. If it's in the country where nobody's around, then you give the girl the benefit of the doubt, but execute the man. Also, the implication is that if the girl screams in the city, she is faultless, and the rapist dies.
I think the next verses are even more interesting:
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
I know...how is forcing the rapist to marry the victim a good thing? Different time, different culture. The girl had a life of poverty and destitution ahead of her if she didn't marry the rapist because typically, no other man would take her as wife with her being used in this way. So the rapist would be obligated to care for her financially for the rest of his life. Of course, there was a provision to prevent the marriage in Exodus 22:
16 "If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.
So the girl's father would collect about $400 in today's money whether the rapist married his daughter or not, and he would care for his daughter if he refused the marriage.
Also, the bible has been translated from several different languages, and it's been proven that it has been very poorly translated. And sometimes, the translation has been so wrong, that what we read isn't what was originally written at all. And when the differences between what was really written and what is written in the modern Bible are brought to light, the modern Bible does not incorporate the original text, it's continues on with the incorrect translation.
Really. Well, that's certainly news to me. You see, for many millennia, the Bible has been the most closely examined book on the planet. It's been scrutinized by the greatest minds in history, both friendly and unfriendly to its message. One thing all these great minds DON'T say is that the Bible is poorly translated. Oh, I've read debates about the meaning of specific words or phrases, but I've never seen a solid argument that what we have today is not what was originally written.
There are more manuscripts of the Bible written more closely to the time of the original texts than any other ancient book in existence. It is hands down, A-1, numero uno as far as documentary evidence. No other ancient book comes even remotely close. So you're going to have to come up with some pretty hefty evidence for your claims, because according to all I've read, you are, quite frankly, full of it, lol.
And Paul had some real issues, especially with women. In one missive he writes that it is better to die a virgin than to know the pleasure of woman, even if that woman is your wife. But if man cannot avoid temptation, then it's better to marry and know the sin of pleasure. But he made it very clear that he considered men who loved women to be weak and less holy, and less capable of carrying out God's word. Yet God created woman so man would not be alone. Huh! The Bible is so contradictory, that it can only be concluded that it was written by men of differing opinions, rather than transcribed directly from God to paper. Anytime it is left up to men, or women, to write God's words, it's guaranteed it won't be God's words that end up on paper. It will be God's words as viewed by humans.
The verses to which you refer are in I Cor. 7, and again, you're quite a ways off. Let me begin by saying that the Bible is totally consistent on the issue of sex. There are one of two ways a person may live a life acceptable to God sexually: 1. as a sexually abstinent single person, 2. as a married person who is sexually active with a spouse until death. Throughout the Bible, God has harsh words for people who deviate from those prescriptions.
At no time did Paul write what you said he wrote. Here’s what Paul DID write. He wrote that he wished all people could be like him and live single, because it allows a person to be utterly at the disposal of Christ. Paul had no wife and children to consider when the mission for Christ was dangerous. He spent no money on clothing and education for his children. He spent no time in preserving and cultivating a spousal relationship. He was completely free to do whatever Jesus wanted at any time, and he loved that freedom. These are the advantages of singleness.
But if a person cannot live in this way, Paul wrote it is BETTER (not weak, not less holy) for that person to marry than to burn with sexual passion. Paul realized that most people were NOT like him and yearned for intimacy with a person of the opposite sex and that sexual passion usually accompanied that yearning. He did NOT say that people who marry are weak or less holy, but he did say they were less free to commit their time and attention completely to God because they must love and care for a spouse and a family, which God commands them to do.
So…both marriage and singleness are for Christ and are callings from God. One is just as holy as the other, each is approved of God, but marriage commits you to things of this world much more than singleness. Paul did not write about the “sin of pleasure”, though in other places, he wrote of people who sin by seeking pleasure more than they seek God. Don’t forget Lea, the Bible says that at the right hand of God there are “pleasures forevermore”. Pleasure is a sin only when it transgresses God’s law or becomes more important than God.