This article is also available in Spanish here.

Googling "Bible Women"

 

When I google “Bible Women” into Google Australia a drop down field gives me three suggestions to narrow the search, as can be seen in the screenshot above.

(1) Bible women should not speak
(2) Bible women names
(3) Bible women inferior

The second suggestion is fine, but one and three are just terrible.

Google’s suggestions are based on what real people search. Why would thousands of people regularly search the internet using phrases such as “Bible women should not speak” and Bible women are inferior”?[1] Do people believe that these phrases might actually be true?

I hope that people are searching with these terms in the hope that they will be reassured that Bible women did speak and were not inferior. Many Bible women spoke and their words have even been recorded and preserved in Scripture.[2] I hope the searchers will discover that the Bible never says that women are inferior to men and that it says a lot of good things about women.  But why would people need this reassurance?

I’m disturbed by Google’s suggestions. It shows to me that the Church is failing to get the message across that women and men are equal, completely equal. This is such a fundamentally and vitally important message, yet we are lousy at proclaiming it widely and convincingly.  The Church—and that’s us—needs to actively and authentically teach and demonstrate and broadcast that the body of Christ should be without any castes (Gal. 3:27-28), and that all humanity is fundamentally and intrinsically valuable and made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-28).

Equality, and certainly not female inferiority, is a principle of the New Creation which Jesus inaugurated and which Paul taught about. Men and women, together, are made in the image of God. This is what the Bible teaches.

We still have so much prayer and work ahead of us.


Endnotes

[1] I suspect that the first and third search terms show that people are searching for what the Bible says about women not speaking and supposedly being inferior, rather than Bible women themselves. There is only one passage in the entire Bible, consisting of two verses, that says women shouldn’t speak.  I have written about these two verses here.

[2] The inspired songs, prayers, praises, teachings and declarations of Miriam (Ex 15:20-21), Deborah (Judges 5:1ff), Hannah (1 Sam 2:1ff), Abigail (1 Sam 25:28-31), King Lemuel’s Mother (Prov 31:1-9), Mary (Luke 1:46ff) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:41ff) are considered prophetic and are recorded in the Bible.  These  women spoke, and they continue to speak through the Bible to men and women today.

For the sake of comparison I also googled “Bible men” in Google Australia.  While the first option looks promising, too many of the articles about “men and women being equal” (on the first few pages of Google) still advocate for male leadership.


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