Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's "Women in the Bible" - Part 4.

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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's "Women in the Bible"

By
Abdullah Smith

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI] [Part VII] [Part VIII]

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

The following passages even mention specific prophetesses, female evangelists etc.:

"Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing." Exodus 15:20

Miriam was also one of Israel’s leaders:

"For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam." Micah 6:4

 

RESPONSE:

 

The Bible has negative things to say about Miriam “the prophetess”, and Shamoun evaded these verses for obvious reasons. According to the Bible, Miriam is racist; she is cursed by God and banished for seven days!

 

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. (Numbers 12:1-15)

 

HE WROTE:

Israel also had a prophetess who judged and counseled people. She even led the army of Israel to victory!

"Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, ‘Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, "Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand"?’ Barak said to her, ‘If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.’ And she said, ‘I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.’ Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him…When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. And Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the LORD go out before you?’ So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left." Judges 4:4-10, 12-16

Deborah is specifically said to be a spiritual mother to Israel:

"The villagers ceased in Israel; they ceased to be until I arose; I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel." Judges 5:7

 

RESPONSE:

The Bible contains passages where God Himself commands the killing of women:

And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.  (Ezekiel 9:5-6)

The Bible says Prophet Moses murdered women:

"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. (Numbers 31:16-18)

Let us consider Deborah, she is the ONLY leader who played this type of role, while thousands of Muslim women played a similar role.

One year after the battle of Badr, the new army of the idolaters of Makkah was ready to take the field against the Muslims. In March 625 Abu Sufyan left Makkah at the head of three thousand seasoned warriors. Most of them were foot soldiers but they were supported by a strong contingent of cavalry. Also accompanying the army, was a band of warlike women. Their duty was to wage "psychological warfare" against the Muslims by reading poetry and by singing amatory songs to spur the courage and the will-to-fight of the soldiers. They knew that nothing held such terror for the Arabs as the jibes of women for cowardice, and they also knew that nothing was so efficacious to turn them into utterly reckless fighters. These amazons included the wives of Abu Sufyan and Amr bin Aas, and the sister of Khalid bin Walid. 

Abu Sufyan appears to have done his best, and, as a substitute for military music, caused or permitted the army to be followed by a company of ladies, who, by threatening and promising, were to keep the courage of the troops to its proper level; for nothing did the refugee from the battle-field dread more than the reproaches of his women-folk…

 (D.S. Margoliouth, Mohammaed and the Rise of Islam, 1931)  

Shamoun has evaded the matter of Jael Heber's wife, she was a women leader but also a murderer:

Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. (Judges 4:20-22)

 

HE WROTE:

Deborah is not the only one. The Bible mentions several other prophetesses as well:

"Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophetess Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District." 2 Kings 22:14

"And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz;’" Isaiah 8:3

"Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and also Noadiah the prophetess and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me." Nehemiah 6:14

"The prophet Anna was also there in the temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. In her youth she had been married for seven years, but her husband died. And now she was eighty-four years old. Night and day she served God in the temple by praying and often going without eating. At that time Anna came in and praised God. She spoke about the child Jesus to everyone who hoped for Jerusalem to be set free." Luke 2:36-38

"On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied." Acts 21:8-9

 

RESPONSE:

There are plenty of great women leaders in Islamic history, but since we are discussing the Bible, these stories are based oral traditions that circulated before they were subsequently written down. For example, the Torah was written centuries after Moses’ death, yet based on oral traditions.

In contrast to the Bible, the Hadith are impeccably preserved, based on eye-witness records. The Hadith contains stories of women leaders, especially Aisha and Khadijah, the wives of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)

Muslim women became teachers of men, but the Bible abolishes the freedom for women to teach:

      1 Timothy 2:11-12 proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created (1 Timothy 2:13) and the way in which sin entered the world (2 Timothy 2:14). God, through the Apostle Paul’s writing, restricts women from serving in roles of spiritual teaching authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority over men.

 

      There are many "objections" to this view of women in ministry / women pastors. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11-14 nowhere mentions educational status. If education was a qualification for ministry, the majority of Jesus' disciples likely would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the Ephesian women from teaching (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus). The city of Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, a false Greek / Roman goddess. Women were the authority in the worship of Artemis. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention Artemis worship as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

 

      A third common objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 could refer to husbands and wives. However, the basic meaning of the words are men and women. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 8-10. Are only husbands to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (verse 8)? Are only wives to dress modestly, have good deeds, and worship God (verses 9-10)? Of course not. Verses 8-10 clearly refer to men and women in general, not only husbands and wives. There is nothing in the context that would indicate a switch to husbands and wives in verses 11-14.

 

      Yet another frequent objection to this interpretation of women pastors / preachers is in relation to Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Priscilla, Phoebe, etc. - women who held positions of leadership in the Bible. This objection fails to note some significant factors. In relation to Deborah, she was the only female judge amongst 13 male judges. In relation to Huldah, she was the only female prophet amongst dozens of male prophets mentioned in the Bible. Miriam's only connection to leadership was due to her being the sister of Moses and Aaron. The two most prominent women in the times of the Kings were Athaliah and Jezebel - hardly examples of godly female leadership. (Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/women-pastors.html)

 

Now read the Islamic perception of woman:

Islam produced the most honorable examples of women that can be leaders of women liberation even for the fair sex of contemporary times. In many cases women were, in fact, teachers of religion for thousands of men. How then can opponents of Islam claim that women suffered ignorance under Islam? (Dr. Arafat El-Ashi, Islam & Some Vital Issues, p. 11)

These facts are clear that Woman in Islam is treated better than Christianity.

Read the harsh penalties for women, which do not appear in Islam:

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:19)

"Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. (Leviticus 12:2, 5)

When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. (Leviticus 15:19)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11)

 

HE WROTE:

The blessed Paul mentions the proper decorum that believers need to observe in worship:

"Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is the same as if her head were shaven… Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?" 1 Corinthians 11:4-5, 13

Paul’s instructions presuppose that the practice of women praying and prophesying within the Church was commonplace. After all, it would be meaningless for Paul to require women to cover their heads when they prayed or prophesied if they weren’t allowed to perform these functions in the Church.

 

RESPONSE:

He has omitted certain verses for obvious reasons; let us quote the entire passage in context:

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.  For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.  For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? (1 Corinthians 11:1-13)

The bolded words convey that men are superior to woman, because they are the image of God and therefore should not cover their head, woman is NOT the image of God, but the glory of man, so she must cover her head, or else it has to be shaven, or likens the humiliation of a “shaven head”.

"Woman was merely man's helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God."

(St. Augustine, 354-430)

And do you not know that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert-that is, death-even the Son of God had to die.

(Tertullian 160- 260)

 

HE WROTE:

The Holy Bible also warns against false prophets AND false prophetesses:

"And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own minds. Prophesy against them and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 13:17-23

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.’" Revelation 2:18-23

Much like the reference to false prophets presupposes the existence of true prophets so does mentioning false prophetesses assume that there were true prophetesses that God had raised up for his people.

 

RESPONSE:

Despite the passage from Ezekiel which implies false prophetesses, the earliest warning against false prophets does NOT mention prophetess!

The Bible primarily uses the word “Prophet” and reference to prophetess is totally absent from the text, indicating that God chose male Prophets before He chose female Prophets to deliver his Message, and there are very few female Prophets in the Bible, none of them have any relevance or significance except Deborah. The early warnings never mention “prophetess”

If a PROPHET, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,  and if the sign or wonder of which HE has spoken takes place, and HE says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that PROPHET or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

But a PROPHET who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a PROPHET who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." (Deuteronomy 18:20)

Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward,  he said, "Listen to my words: "When a PROPHET of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to HIM in visions, I speak to him in dreams.  (Numbers 12:5-7)

They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship.  Let the PROPHET who has a dream tell HIS dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?" declares the LORD. "Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:27-30)

By reading these verses, the impression is clear that it’s male-centered, female Prophets are excluded and rejected by implication The passage in Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years before Ezekiel was written. Ezekiel merely says that false prophetesses existed during his time.

A Jewish scribe applied the word “prophetess” to Miriam just because her two brothers were Prophets, according to modern scholars, Miriam was not really a prophetess, she was called “prophetess” to honour the Levite tribe, and to equate her with Aaron and Moses. The Jewish scribes who modified the Torah decided to make Miriam a prophetess because her tribe was selected to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. She was cursed by God and banished for seven days (Numbers 12:1-3). Why would God curse Miriam if she were a Prophetess? 

Let us continue:

Indeed, I am against THOSE who prophesy false dreams," declares the LORD. "They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)

The word “those” may refer to female, yet the following verses signify that God was referring to MALE prophets only:

"When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the oracle of the LORD ?' say to them, 'What oracle? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.' If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' I will punish that MAN and his household. (Verses 33-34)

The Bible says a “prophet” who conveys prophecies that come to pass is true, but not prophetesses because false prophetesses will make false prophecies:

The PROPHET which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the PROPHET be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him. (Jeremiah 28:9)

Despite the warning against false prophetesses in Ezekiel, there wasn’t any female Prophet raised in the 600 years between Isaiah and Jesus, and no female Prophet was raised between the 600 years between Jesus and Muhammad! (peace be upon them).

This proves that Ezekiel’s passage is irrelevant.

 

HE WROTE

What the foregoing shows is that the true God of the Holy Bible had no qualms in commissioning female prophets to speak as his representatives. Allah, on the other hand, has issues with female prophets, as we have already seen.

 

RESPONSE:

According to passages: Jeremiah 23:27-30, 33-34, Numbers 12:5-7, Deuteronomy 13:5-6, 18:19-20, God had problems with female prophets, and that explains why “prophetess” is excluded from the contexts. The “women leaders” of the Bible are very few, they are not given attention by the New Testament writers, Jesus refers to the Prophets, but he never mentions the female prophets! In fact, the word “prophetess” does not appear in the four Gospels.

According to the Gospels, Jesus had problems with women. He twice ignored a Gentile woman pleading for help (Mark 7:25-28, Matthew 15:20-25)

The God of Christianity is a pagan trinity, Allah is the True God revealed in the Holy Quran and the Bible. The Quran identifies Allah as the God of Abraham (2:124, 3:84, 95, 4:125, 6:161) this misconception about Allah is spreading by missionaries based on ignorance.

 

HE WROTE:

The OT mentions that there were women who ministered in the Temple:

"He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting." Exodus 38:8

Moreover, a woman is also listed among the apostles!

"Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me." Romans 16:7

Both the textual and historical data conclusively demonstrates that Junia was a woman who functioned as an apostle{1}. As an example, note what one of the great Church fathers John Chrysostom (AD 347-407) stated about her:

… Then another praise besides. "Who are of note among the Apostles." And indeed to be apostles at all is a great thing. But to be even amongst these of note, just consider what a great encomium this is! But they were of note owing to their works, to their achievements. Oh! how great is the devotion (filosofia) of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle! But even here he does not stop, but adds another encomium besides, and says, "Who were also in Christ before me." (Chrysostom, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans, XXXI. 7, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Volume XI; online source)

 

RESPONSE:

Basically, we do not know whether Junia is a female:

In addition to the general textual problem mentioned in connection with Romans 16, v. 7 has a particular problem. Is the second person named male or female? The witnesses of the major English translations are as follows: KJV, Junia; RSV, Junias; NAS, Junias; NEB, Junias; NAB, Junia; NIV, Junias; NRSV, Junia…The main argument against this person being female is the description “of note among the apostles”. Translators reasoned that since a woman couldn’t be an apostle, the person here called an apostle couldn’t be a woman.  (Bonnie Thurston, Women in the New Testament, p. 57)

 

As is the pattern in the authentic Pauline letters, Romans closes with personal greetings, although it is a puzzle how Paul might have known so many people in a church he had yet to visit. Chapter 16 lists a larger number of names, and scholars disagree on exactly how many and which are male and which females.  (ibid, p. 52)

The verse Romans 16:7 is an interpolation, as suggested by Bonnie:

“…Romans 16 is sometimes thought not to have been a part of the original Pauline collection at all but to be a later addition to the letter intended to bind Paul more closely to the Roman church”. (ibid, p. 52)

Bonnie says:

“She is defined not by her gender but by her ecclesial functions” (ibid, p. 54)

There is nothing special about Phoebe, because she is not recognized by her sex; the emphasis to her sex is absent!

Furthermore, the name Phoebe is wrong, what is her real name?

The name Phoebe is mythological and suggests that she was a freed woman. In the text, she is defined not by her gender but by her ecclesial functions. (ibid, p. 54)

Despite the women who “ministered” at the tent meeting, the book of Exodus contains some very harsh laws, which are not imposed upon men.

 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. (Exodus 21:7)

If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.  If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year.  But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.  If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  (Exodus 21:2-6)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11)

Shamoun does not realize the Bible’ excessive cruelty and the harsh treatment of woman, he is probably ignorant about the existence of such passages, the death penalties in the Bible are equally harsh for both men and women, such penalties are not found in the Islamic scriptures.

Despite what John Chrysostom said about Junia, he also said the following words regarding the woman:

“Woman is an inevitable evil, an eternal mischief, an attractive calamity, a domestic risk, a charming and decorated misfortune”

(Abdul Ala Mawdudi, Purdah and the Status of Woman in Islam, p. 9) 

Many Church Fathers had similar opinions; they shared hatred for woman based on the Genesis story:

"Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil's doorway. You led astray one whom the devil would not dare attack directly. It was your fault that the Son of God had to die; you should always go in mourning and rags." Tertullian (160?-220?)


"Adam was deceived by Eve, not Eve by Adam... it is right that he whom that woman induced to sin should assume the role of guide lest he fall again through feminine instability." Ambrose (339-97):

"Woman was merely man's helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God." Augustine (354-430):

(Source: http://atheism.about.com/b/a/152227.htm)

A question arises here, why is Junia the only “woman apostle” in the New Testament? The wives of the Prophet narrated over 2,000 Hadiths. Yet Junia does not narrative any traditions about Jesus, her name only appears once in the New Testament!

We know very little about Junia, her biography does not exist and the historians fail to mention her. The 12 apostles selected MEN to be apostles, they did not choose women:

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven MEN from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:1-6)

Junia was a Pauline Christian; she followed the teachings of Paul and was not a disciple of Jesus. The Gospels do not mention any female disciples! (see Matthew 10:1-5)

Let us quote the verse to see whether Junia is really an apostle:

Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. (Romans 16:7, NIV)

Apparently, the verse does not say Junia was an apostle, Andronicus and Junia were Paul’s prisoners who are “outstanding” AMONG the apostles, the text fails to mention Junia as one of the apostles, she is therefore a prisoner, and Paul’s companion!

The Church father John Chrysostom misunderstood the reading of Romans 16:7, because his writings clearly show hatred for woman.

 

HE WROTE:

Speaking of apostles, the Holy Bible doesn’t even have a problem depicting angels as women!

"Then the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, ‘Lift your eyes and see what this is that is going out.’ And I said, ‘What is it?’ He said, ‘This is the basket that is going out.’ And he said, ‘This is their iniquity in all the land.’ And behold, the leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket! And he said, ‘This is Wickedness.’ And he thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening. Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, two women coming forward! The wind was in their wings. They had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘Where are they taking the basket?’ He said to me, ‘To the land of Shinar, to build a house for it. And when this is prepared, they will set the basket down there on its base.’" Zechariah 5:5-11

 

RESPONSE:

Let us quote the passage again before responding:

"Then the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, ‘Lift your eyes and see what this is that is going out.’ And I said, ‘What is it?’ He said, ‘This is the basket that is going out.’ And he said, ‘This is their iniquity in all the land.’ And behold, the leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket! And he said, ‘This is Wickedness.’ And he thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening. (Zechariah 5:5-9)

Shamoun does not realize the angel in Zechariah calls the woman “wicked”, yet the same passage goes to say that angels are “woman”, a sheer falsehood and blasphemy.

The vision of Zechariah is similar to the visions of John in Revelations, the idea of “woman angels” is pure blasphemy, and should be discarded because it implies God cares for sexuality, lust, and femininity. Needless to say, angels are not female, they are spiritual beings made of Light (Psalms 89:6)

Also, the book of Zechariah was not written by Zechariah, it was composed decades after his death, and the description of “women angels”, the New Testament records a similarity:

And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. (Revelations 15:6)

The description of “women angels” is purely figurative language used by the authors; Hebrew idioms are used frequently in the Bible. Just because it says angels are “women” does not mean they are literally woman!

“Figurative language has its rise in the first ages of mankind: the scarcity of words occasioned them to be used for various purposes: and thus figurative terms, which constitute the beauty of language, arose from its poverty; and it is still the same in all uncivilized nations” (Thomas Horne, An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, 1841, p. 353)

“When a word has been appropriated by usage to one thing and is transferred to another, it is said to be used figuratively. When a word is used in its primitive or most usual sense, it is said to be literal. A figure, therefore, is a departure or deflection from the primitive or usual meaning of a word, or the usual manner of expressing ideas” (Clinton Lockhart, Principles of Interpretation,: Gospel Light Publishing, p.156).

 

Read the following examples:

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (Psalms 82:6)

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. (Exodus 7:1)

The Bible refers to the right hand of God (Psalms 118:16, Isaiah 62:8) but does not mean God has a right hand. Basically the text is describing the Power of God, the right hand is metaphoric.

Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. (Exodus 15:6)

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (Psalms 20:6)

The passage of Zechariah is describing the author’s sexual lust for women angels. Similarly, the author of Revelations is describing his lust for angels with “breasts” (Revelations 15:6)

Zechariah did not see “women angels” in the original vision, Zechariah was written after the fact, composed decades after the vision had taken place, it was obviously embellished to fulfill the author’s sexual desires, and fantasies.

 

HE WROTE:

The Quran, on the other hand, has a major problem with angels being females:

Has then your Lord (O Pagans!) preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself daughters among the angels? Truly ye utter a most dreadful saying! S. 17:40 Y. Ali

Now ask them (O Muhammad): Hath thy Lord daughters whereas they have sons? Or created We the angels females while they were present? S. 37:149-150 Pickthall

And they regard as females the angels who are the servants of the Gracious God. Did they witness their creation? Then their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned. S. 43:19 Sher Ali

Those who do not believe in the world to come name the angels with the names of females. They have not any knowledge thereof; they follow only surmise, and surmise avails naught against truth. S. 53:27-28

 

RESPONSE:

The Quran is addressing the pagan Arabs who believed the femininity of angels, whom they worshipped as “intercessors” between Allah.

They worshipped stones, trees, idols, stars, and spirits: in short, everything conceivable except God. They did not know anything about the teaching of the Prophets of old. They had an idea that Abraham and Ishmael were their forefathers, but they know next to nothing about their religious preaching and about the God Whom they worshipped. (Abul Ala Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam, p. 44,)

Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) has informed us that these imperceptible spiritual beings, whom people believe to be deities of gods or God’s children, are really His angels. They have no share in God’s divinity; they cannot deviate from His commands even by the slightest fraction of an inch. (ibid, p 73)

The Holy Quran rejects the idea of “female angels” because it made the temptation attractive to worship them, the Holy Quran rejects the reverence of angels, whether they are female or not:

Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons. What! would he bid you to unbelief after ye have bowed your will (To Allah in Islam)? Al-Quran 3:80)

 

God commands us to believe in angels, and not worship them:

The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His apostles. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His apostles." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys." (Al-Quran 2:285)

 

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messenger., and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray. (Al-Quran 4:136)

The Quran strongly rebukes the Arabs for assigning sexuality to angels, because angels are not female, and Islam rejects the photography of animate beings.

The painting of naked angels by Christian artists is from the Bible. God condemns the Biblical description of angels (Revelations 15:6) in the Holy Quran (17:40, 37:149-150, 43:19, 53:27-28) 

The pagan Arabs also ascribed “daughters” to Allah, regardless of substance or nature; these “daughters of Allah” are strongly condemned:

Yet they make the Jinns equals with Allah, though Allah did create the Jinns; and they falsely, having no knowledge, attribute to Him sons and daughters. Praise and glory be to Him! (for He is) above what they attribute to Him! (Al-Quran 6:100)

And they (even) assign, to things they do not know, a portion out of that which We have bestowed for their sustenance! By Allah, ye shall certainly be called to account for your false inventions. And they assign daughters for Allah. - Glory be to Him! - and for themselves (sons,- the issue) they desire! (Al-Quran 16:56-57)

 

 

 

 

Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.

Women in Islam and the Bible.

Contradictions and Errors in the Bible.

Articles by Abdullah Smith.


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