According to Wayne Grudem, male headship has been part of God’s plan from creation.
In ‘Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood’, he claims that there are 10 reasons to believe in male headship before the fall. But are those reasons really there? Or, does he read them into the text because he wants to see it? Is leadership in the Bible blue, or is he wearing blue glasses which make it look that way? Over the next three blog entries, I will discuss his 10 reasons for believing in male leadership before the fall.
I will use blue and a quotation paragraph for Grudem’s words, and pink and a quotation paragraph for words which I wrote to show a different way of (mis)using the same Bible facts. The reason for quotation marks around the pink words is to show they are not my opinion – I use them to show that the same things Grudem uses to allege male lead, or similar things, could be used in a completely opposite manner too. Hierarchy is in the eye of the beholder, not the true meaning of the text.
1. The order:
Ten Reasons Showing Male Headship in Marriage Before the Fall
1. The order: Adam was created first, then Eve (…Gen. 2:7 and Gen. 2:18-23)… Paul … bases his argument for different roles in the assembled New Testament church on the fact that Adam was created prior to Eve. (1 Tim. 2:12-13). According to Scripture itself, then, the fact that Adam was created first and then Eve has implications not just for Adam and Eve themselves, but for the relationships between men and women generally throughout time, including the church age.
Reading the same text with pink glasses
First God made non-living things like the sun and moon, then things that at least resemble God in the fact of being alive, like plants. Then fish and birds, which start to have some degree of consciousness, then higher animals, then man, then women, the crown of creation. Scripture itself shows that God often prefer younger siblings over older ones – Abel over Cain, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Judah, David over his brothers.
Jesus Himself- the last Adam – is bigger than the first Adam. Scripture even testifies that the last shall be first. (Mat. 20:16) The fact that Eve was created after Adam has implications not just for Adam and Eve themselves, but for the relationships between men and women generally throughout time, including the church age.
Stripping away the biases
Adam was made first, but that does not necessarily make him the leader. Plenty of Bible material turns first-last hierarchies on its head, These include many Old Testament stories in which the oldest brother is almost habitually not the one God chose, and the repeated message of Jesus that many of the last shall be first (Mat. 19:30; 20:16; Mark 9:35; 10:31; Luke. 13:30).
1 Tim 2:12-13’s message, in the context of the letter to Timothy, is:
“Do not worry about endless genealogies (1:4 – To permanently ban a certain group from teaching because the first member of the group was born after the first member of the other group is endlessly worrying about genealogies)… I, Paul, could be a preacher now (1:12) because I sinned while misled (1:13), and am not misled any more… I, Paul, do not currently allow a (particular?) woman to teach, or to dominate/ do violence against a (particular) man, because Adam was made first, and Eve was misled.” (more…)