When looking for a church to attend while traveling, one of the first things I do is read the church’s statement of faith, sometimes called, “what we believe.” Usually, the first section is about the Bible. If the church doesn’t believe in the inerrancy of Scriptures, I read no further. All that to say, if a church uses the new #MeToo-inspired women’s Bible, my family and I will not be visiting.
One of the sad ironies of this story is that the idea for this perversion of Holy Scriptures came from a professor at the University of Geneva’s Faculty of Theology, which was founded by the great Reformer John Calvin.
Lauriane Savoy and her colleague Elisabeth Parmentier are the brain trusts behind Une Bible des Femmes — A Women’s Bible. Savoy told France 24 that she was driven by the belief that, “Feminist values and reading the Bible are not incompatible.” After realizing that many people around them knew little about the Bible and considered the book outdated, Savoy and Parmentier recruited eighteen scholars to help them with the project. Together, “the scholars have created a collection of texts challenging traditional interpretations of Bible scriptures that cast women characters as weak and subordinate to the men around them.”
Providing an example, Parmentier discusses the story of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10: “It says that Martha ensures the ‘service’, which has been interpreted to mean that she served the food, but the Greek word diakonia can also have other meanings, for instance it could mean she was a deacon.”
It should be pointed out that Savoy, Parmentier, and their colleagues “are fighting against a literal reading” of the Bible. They do not believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, and is inerrant. This is why Parmentier can ignore the fact that the Bible very clearly teaches that deacons weren’t instituted until after Pentecost. Martha couldn’t have been a deacon because there was no such thing at the time. The word for deacon was taken from the word that means to serve or service. That being said, why would Parmentier take umbrage at the traditional Christian understanding of the story of Mary and Martha?
In the story, Jesus gently chides Martha, the one serving, and praises Mary, the one who was shirking her duty according to Martha. The story isn’t in the Bible to teach that women belong in the kitchen serving men. In fact, Jesus is teaching the readers (and those with him at the time) that fellowshipping with him in a relationship is more important than fulfilling earthly roles. That’s not patriarchal nor demeaning to women.
Since the A Women’s Bible is only being published in French at this time, I can’t read it to comment on its contents outside of what’s revealed in the France 24 article. But what’s revealed is enough to let me know that Savory, Parmentier, and their fellow authors are not interested in worshiping and serving God as He’s revealed Himself in the Bible. They’re only interested in making a god in their own image. The Women’s Bible is a modern day example of idolatry.
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