THE CHRIST SCANDAL
Objects of sexual joy
The ‘kingdom of priests’1 carefully incorporated into the Bible the doctrine that man is divinely ordained to rule over women whose ‘duty’ it is to meekly submit to the will and desire of her ‘lord’.2 In both the Old and New Testaments women are portrayed as either unnecessary or irrelevant and are, in most cases, relegated to the role of slaves. The Old Testament is very precise in defining a woman’s part in God’s grand scheme of things. Her purpose on earth is described as being completely different to that of a man’s, having been purposely designed as a helper and companion to a man3 and an object of sexual joy to him in bed.4 If the man ‘had no delight in her’ after sleeping with her for four weeks, he could ‘let her go where she will’. However, he ‘could not sell her’, since ‘he had humiliated her’.
There are references in the Old Testament to the custom of lending one’s wife to a guest and that the matter should be expressed in this way indicates the inferior position of the female sex. Since women were originally purchased, the idea of lending them to another man as an act of hospitality did not seem strange. Abraham charged money for the loan of his wife and enjoyed financial benefit by prostituting Sarah to Pharaoh.5 Sarah is the only woman in the Bible to whom God is made to speak directly.
1Ex. 19:6 21 Tim. 2:11-12 3Gen. 2:18 4Deut. 21:10-14 5Gen. 12:16
Many people may not realise how obscure and confusing ancient written Hebrew and Greek languages were, for word and sentence division was unknown. Up until the Eighth Century, scribes copying manuscripts left no spaces between letters, words or sentences. The individual consonant