Doesn’t most of the Bible sound like the text is written by someone insecure who is intimidated by women’s abilities and intending to control them?
I know it is common to see it that way, but I immediately thought, not Deborah and Jael in Judges 4, not Esther, not Isaiah 1, not Amos 5, not Ezekiel 16, not Matthew 5–7, not Matthew 25, not John 4 or 8, not any of the three resurrection stories, not Acts, nor Romans, not 1 Corinthians 13 or Galatians 3… Those are the first references that popped into my head.
If women in Jesus’ day were oppressed, and they were, then they would be the poor in spirit, and the kingdom of heaven belongs to them per Jesus. If any community, but especially a community claiming Christ as their leader isn’t aligning itself to lift up the poor in spirit, if it isn’t feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting them in prison, (standing up for the oppressed) then when the kingdom of heaven is established (*on earth* as it is in heaven) and the oppressed take power, this community and the individuals in it will be forgotten and cast in to the trash dump of history just like all the rest who profited off of people of other races, classes and genders whether their community excluded others based on race, exploited workers or disregarded people of other sexualities.
For the leaders of those communities Jesus said it would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and be thrown into the sea, than for them to lead one of these little ones astray.
As Jesus said to those oppressing others “Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, acknowledgment of God, not burnt offering.” Jesus broke the law in favor of the oppressed. The biblical library is the stories of God — justice, history, being on the side of the oppressed of all races, classes and genders. It is not a set of rules to further oppress individuals and communities who are already oppressed by the hegemonies of their day, that would be the opposite of good news.
If you have destroyed the capitalist, imperialist, white supremacist patriarchy’s idol they try to call god, good. Jesus isn’t policing whether or not you use the right words (matt 25), he says that eternal life is found in the way that he lived: aligning yourself with justice. God is love and justice is what love looks like in public.
Of course there are a few sentences which condemn some practices at some times, but it is a library of books, and the overarching theme is that God — (“it is what it is” — exodus 3) history, justice, liberates oppressed people.
This is the Christianity of Cornel West, MLK, Simone Weil, James Cone, Gustavo Gutierrez, Rosemary Ruether, Serene Jones and many, many others… it doesn’t have a monopoly on truth, beauty or love, but seeks those things wherever it finds them, Jewish, Greek, Secular, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever the case may be.