"Women are always pictured as being servile or passive or evil or stupid..."
[Note: This is a simple summary of the detailed data in the syllabus. Refer there for sources/discussion. Updated: 01/02/97]
On the contrary...
Women are portrayed realistically, but favorably, throughout the biblical documents, and are often used in literary settings as examples of true followers of YHWH (e.g. women in Matthew, Ruth).
- Women are NOT pictured as SERVILE--they consistently manifest the 'uppity' tone, even in the Patriarchal narratives. (They occasionally adopt a 'servile' tone in the presence of royalty, but so do the men.)
- Women are NOT pictured as PASSIVE--they show a surprising amount of independent action, often deceiving a male to 'save the day' (e.g. the trickery of Rebekah, the deceit of the midwives and of Rahab, the 'disloyalty' of Jael, the insubordination of Abigail). They are lauded for initiative in Proverbs 31, and are bold in their confrontations with men (e.g. Deborah and Huldah).
- Women are NOT pictured as EVIL--they are consistently portrayed as 'more righteous than men' (in the Law codes, in various situations--the rape of Dinah, the Judah versus Tamar incident, Abigal vs. Nabal vs. David, Rebekah vs. Isaac). They are not idolized or romanticized, however, for oppressive and arrogant women also appear in the narratives.
- Women are NOT pictured as STUPID--they consistently out-argue and out-think the males in the stories (e.g. Manoah's wife, Tamar vs. Judah, Abigal vs. David, the Sage-women), and even Wisdom in Proverbs is portrayed as female! Huldah was sought out for her biblical scholarship, and female scribes were also found.
The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.christian-thinktank.com]