Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo

Bible themes & women


The status of women in the Bible
and in early Christianity

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule


bullet "As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power...." Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica,Q92, art. 1, Reply Obj. 1.

bullet"And a man will choose...any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman...Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" Ecclesiasticus, 25:18, 19 & 33. 1

bullet"And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her." Ecclesiastes 7:26, from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

The position of women within ancient Jewish and early Christian societies can logically be discussed in three eras:

bulletDuring Old Testament times, when the roles of women were severely restricted;
bulletPassages treating women as inferior to men

bulletPassages describing women in negative terms, as equal to men, and as leaders
bulletDuring Jesus' ministry, when he preached a revolutionary message about gender roles;
bulletAfter the execution of Jesus, (circa 30 CE), when the developing church gradually reduced the status of its women members.

To this, we have added a fourth essay, listing more recent views:

bulletFrom the 2nd to 16th century: statements by Christian leaders.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule


  1. Ecclesiasticus (a.k.a. the Book of Sirach) is part of the Apocrypha. It is considered part of the official canon of the Bible by the Roman Catholic Church.
  2. The Veritorium has a list of Bible verses pertaining to women at:
  3. Call to Action, a Roman Catholic group, has an essay titled "Women in the Bible and the Lectionary" at: 
  4. Susan C. Lau, "Bibliography on Women and Religion," at:
  5. "Women in ancient Christianity: The new discoveries," PBS program, at:
  6. "Men and Women of the Bible" at:
  7. "Sunshine for Women: Book Summaries," at:
  8. "Christians for Biblical Equality" promotes the concept that the Bible calls for gender equality. See:

horizontal rule

amazon.gif (6895 bytes)Books on the the status of women in ancient times:

You can order books dealing with the status of women in ancient times, from "," the world's largest virtual bookstore. Just click on any of the books listed below. The ordering process is simple. You can charge the purchase on your credit card using a safe, secure data transmission.

bulletElaine Fantham, et. al., "Women in the Classical World," Oxford University Press, New York NY (1994). "Written by leading experts in the fields of ancient history and art history, women's studies, and Greek and Roman literature, the book's chronological arrangement allows the changing roles of women to unfold over a thousand year period, beginning in the eighth century B.C.E." This book deals only with women in ancient Greece and Rome.

bulletTal Ilan, "Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine," Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., (1996)

bulletHeidi Parales, "Hidden Voices: Biblical Women and Our Christian Heritage," Smyth & Helwys, (1998) She has a web site at: which describes the book and has a fascinating questionnaire about the role of women in the Bible.

horizontal rule

See a news feed on women's issues.
It shows 20 current news items, and is updated every 15 minutes.

horizontal rule

Site navigation:
Home >Christianity > Bible themes > here
Home > Status of women > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1997 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2013-JUL-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or go to the "Oppression of women" menu, or the "Themes of the Bible" menu, or the "Women as clergy" menu, or choose:


Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Sponsored links: