Re: More on the Image of God

Janet Rice (
Wed, 18 Mar 1998 14:45:58 -0600

Peter Vibert writes in response to John Neal:
>1 Cor 11:3 reads (NIV)
>"...the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and
>the head of Christ is God".
>If the metaphorical use of "head" here means "source", esp. "source of
>life", then Paul says Christ was/is the source of the (prob. _new_) life of
>man, (as) man was the source of woman (Gen 2:21-23), and God was the source
>of (the Incarnate) Christ...
>The source of woman's (new) life is not discussed; conclusions from silence
>must be tentative and tested elsewhere.

All of this seems to imply that women cannot have a relationship with God
except through our husbands or other men in authority over us. And yet I've
been taught since Sunday school that I should pray both in supplication and
praise and not simply leave that to my father or husband. The Virtuous
Woman of Pvb 31 is shown as an active and independent woman, who fears the
Lord. I see Jesus teaching Mary along with the men. I should be curious
about how other scriptures support or do not support the apparent concept
that women cannot have a direct relationship with God.

Going back to my readings in mid-19th century thought, the concept seemed
to be that a woman's duty was to service, but so was a man's - a woman
served her family by taking care of them and by teaching. But a man also
served his family - leaving his parents and forming a new family with his
wife per the model in Genesis. The idea was that a Christian home was
marked by service to others, by all taking care of the weaker members, be
that children or aged parents. Even in what I know of writings by serious
Christian writers and in a time when women's inferiority (at least in some
arenas) was taken for granted, I have not seen it postulated that women
could only relate to God through men. Indeed, women seemed to be
considered morally superior to men - something about our purer more gentle
natures - and that we provided a civilizing influence on men's baser

Janet Rice