Doctrines of the Church that Lead to Bondage and Abuse
By Cynthia McClaskey
I am giving this free chapter of my book because I want everyone to see how man has corrupted “translation” to put women into a place of inferiority and blame. Placing blame on women has been the number one reason for the inequality and abuses that women have suffered for centuries. Because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, Eve and subsequent generations of women have been “forced” into a “curse” that God never made regarding women; but MAN did. Today, many women in other countries have no rights, no autonomy, no protection from abuses. These lies of the “religious system” need to be exposed so changes in law can be made to protect women from abuse. It is time for women to be given back what was taken from them — their honor, dignity and autonomy.
I want to make sure that everyone understands that these passages do not in any way promote male power and control over women. It is when they are taken out of context and twisted that they become the tool of an abusive spirit and lead to the abuses that are pervasive in today’s churches. Many other verses have also been corrupted by men to suit their agendas of keeping women in manipulative roles. This corruption of scripture is covered at length on my blog, as it pertains to women, through the many articles . My goal here is to shed light on how women became the brunt of religious abuse and corruption and how they became “labeled” as inferior to men. In order to be thorough in presenting the truths that are about to follow, it means going back to the beginning of creation and starting in the Garden of Eden. This information will require a different mindset on the part of the reader. My prayer is that those who embark on this chapter will do so with a mind that is void of all bias and prejudice. As mentioned in Chapter One of my book, “perceptions” of “truth” can hinder a person from understanding the real truth. One must be able to lay aside all religious views. Religious views will usually stand in the way of the acceptance of the truth. This unbiased approach to what you are about to read is an absolute necessity as we embark on the following subject and weigh out the evidence regarding this topic.
— Cynthia McClaskey
Male and Female Created He Them
Genesis 1:26 – 28 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 5:2 – Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called THEIR name Adam, in the day when they were created.
When I first came across these passages, and the realization sank in for the first time that both Adam and Eve were called “Adam,” I was totally shocked. As many times as I have read the book of Genesis, these passages never jumped out at me until about four years ago. From these passages we see that God called both male and female “Adam.” God said, “Let us make man [or “Adam”—same word] in our likeness. . . in the image of God made HE HIM, male and female made HE THEM.” Notice that man is spoken of as both singular and plural. Has anyone ever wondered why this is so?
To answer this question, it would be appropriate to refer back to history. One cannot interpret scripture without researching the history behind it to find out culture, customs, laws and problems of the day that were being dealt with. Historical research can usually bring to light obscure passages that many struggle with as to their interpretation and meaning.
As far back as the days of Jesus, there was a theory that had been held among the Jews regarding Adam. These views that were held are recorded in the writings of Philo of Alexandria and tell us that the Jews believed that man was, in the beginning, both male and female in one person. This belief was also found among other writings among other peoples. The term for a person who is born both male and female is Hermaphrodite. Webster defines Hermaphrodite as “the union of the two sexes in the same individual.” According to The Evolution of Sex by Patrick Geddes and John Arthur Thomson, there are three stages of development of the reproductive organs of an individual: 1) Germiparity, 2) Hermaphroditism, 3) Differentiated Unisexuality. In this book we are told, “One view of the matter is that hermaphroditism was the primitive state among multi-cellular animals” (Thomson, 1889, 1908 p. 84). There are people today still born this way. They are born with both female and male reproductive organs. In such a case, the parents decide which sex they would like their child to be and an operation is done to make the transition to one particular sex. This said, it was believed that after Eve was separated from Adam, human beings were born in pairs, male and female twins. If this held true, then there would have been a male and female Cain, a male and female Abel, etc. This would account for how Cain secured his wife.
If this belief or theory is true, then this would explain the Lord’s words in Matthew 19:4, where he speaks about the sanctity of marriage. “Have ye not read, that He Who made [no “them” in the original] from the beginning made them male-female [no “and” in the original]” (Bushnell, 1923). The rabbis of early history had always read this passage as male-female, not male and female! One must realize too, that Jesus was speaking to men who were probably familiar with this theory. Dr. Heeshon, in his book Talmudic Miscellany, says, “There is a notion among the rabbis that Adam was possessed originally of a bi-sexual organism, and this conclusion they draw from Genesis 1:27, where it is said, ‘God created man in His own image; male-female created He them’” (Heeshon, 1880). This view is not unreasonable, as we know that Hermaphrodites are still being born today. Assuming this theory or early belief is true, let’s follow it through and see where it leads us. Before we do that, let’s finish with Genesis 1:28, where God pronounces his blessings on Adam and Eve. This verse literally translated would be as follows: “Be ye fruitful and multiply ye, and fill ye the earth, and subdue ye her; and have ye dominion” (Harper, 1886). Notice that the plural is clearly expressed in each form. When God said this to Adam and Eve, he was saying it to both the male and the female. He shows us that we are to observe perfect equality of the sexes in obeying this command.
Keeping in mind that “Adam” is used to refer not only to Eve’s husband but to “mankind,” let’s follow through on the above theory mentioned. The following excerpt is from the book God’s Word to Women by Katharine C. Bushnell. This excerpt goes to the end of this chapter. I have entered it word for word as stated in her book due to the profound importance of the information that she shares with us regarding this theory we are discussing. Here it is:
The second chapter (of Genesis) describes the elaboration of the first Adam into two sexes. The second chapter nowhere uses the word “create” of Adam, but a totally different word — “formed.” Please look up this same word, “formed,” in Isaiah 44:2, 24 and 49:5, and convince yourself that it is used there exclusively of all idea of creation. Then turn to Isaiah 43:1,7; 45:18, and see how it is used of a process additional to creation. This is what St. Paul refers to, where he says, “Adam was first formed then Eve,” – I Tim. 2:13. He is speaking of development, not of original creation. Adam and Eve (so far as their primal state is concerned) were created simultaneously; but Adam was “formed,” elaborated, first.
After Adam was created, Gen. 1:31 tells us, “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Therefore Adam was very good; but this condition did not last. 2:18 tells us that presently God says: “It is not good that the man [or “Adam”], should be alone.” The “very good” state of humanity becomes “not good.” What had wrought signs of this change? We are not told, but the following points should be weighed: (1) Adam was offered “freely” the tree of life (2:16), but did not eat of it (3:22); (2) was made keeper, as well as dresser of the Garden, (2:15), but Satan later enters it. (3) Had God simply meant by the words “not good” that one person alone was not a desirable thing, the Hebrew expression for “one alone” in Josh. 22:20, Isaiah. 51:2, etc., would seem more appropriate. This expression means, “in-his-separation,” – and from whom was Adam “in separation” but from God?
Attention to some of these matters has been called by more than one theologian, only to be ignored by the generality of Bible expositors. For instance, William Law, a learned theologian and one of the most accomplished writers of his day, declares: “Adam had lost much of his first perfection before his Eve was taken out of him; which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall, and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total, as it afterwards was, upon eating of the earthly tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ saith the Scripture. This shows that Adam had altered his first state, had brought some beginning of evil into it, and had made that not to be good, which God saw to be good, when He created him.”
The late Dr. Alexander Whyte, of Edinburgh, in his book Bible Characters, set forth some of the views of William Law, and also of an earlier writer, Jacob Behman, the great German philosopher (whose writings Wesley, in his days, required all his preachers to study), Whyte quotes Behman as teaching –
“There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden. . .Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”
As to Adam’s need, God said, “I will make a help meet for him.” This word for “help” does not imply and inferior, but a superior help, in O.T. usage. It occurs 21 times in the O.T. here it is used twice of Eve. In Isa. 30:5, Eze. 12:14 and Dan. 11:34 of human help; but in every other use made of the word it refers to Divine help, as, for instance, Psa. 121:2, “My help cometh from the Lord.” Please notice, further, that the expression is not “helpmeet,” or helpmate, as is often quoted. The word “meet” is a preposition, and Gesenius, the greatest authority as to the meaning of Hebrew words, defines this preposition as often implying, “As things which are before us, and in the sight of which we delight, are objects of our care and affections, hence Isa. 49:16, ‘Thy walls are before me,’ they have a place in my care and affections.” With this preposition “before,” or “over against,” is coupled the adverb “as,” – the whole meaning “as before him.”
By the elaboration of Eve, and her separation from Adam, God intended the development of the social virtues, as an aid for Adam. Again William Law says, “Could anything be more punctually [pointedly] related in Scriptures than the gradual fall of Adam? Do you not see that he was first created with both natures [male and female] in him? Is it not expressly told you, that Eve was not taken out of him, till such a time as it was not good for him to be as he then was?”
We do not know certainly how the decline in Adam began, but we should not overlook one fact: The man (the woman side of humanity being as yet undeveloped), was placed in the garden “to dress and keep it” (2:15). Two duties, not one, were laid upon Adam. This second word is the same as used in 3:24, where the “Cherubim, and a flaming sword” are placed, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” Lange’s Commentary says, “Adam must watch and protect it [the Garden]. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil.”
That “power of evil” manifests itself a little later in the form of Satan. Did not Adam let him enter the garden? Verse 17 goes on to warn Adam as regards “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and it seems legitimate to infer that he was not only to refrain from eating of this tree, but also to protect this tree from being tampered with by others, as it was, later, when Satan induced Eve to partake of it, and then the youthful Eve gave of the fruit of it to Adam, who ate also.
Overlooking some interesting points for the present, we pass on to Gen. 2:21. The last clause of this verse is literally translated by Dr. Harper, in his Method and Manual, as follows: “He took one from his sides, and closed the flesh instead of it,” and the learned author of Genesis in Ellicott’s Commentaries, Canon Payne-Smith, speaks of the woman as coming from the flank of man, “so curiously from ancient times rendered ‘rib.’”
On the same point, Archdeacon Wilberforce has written interestingly to the following effect: “I do not profess to manipulate the Hebrew a single step in advance of the possibilities of any student who may possess the Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance, [the same can be said of Young Analytical Concordance], but the ‘rib’ seems to be a mistranslation. The Hebrew word translated ‘rib’ in both the Authorised and Revised versions, occurs forty-two times in the O.T., and in this instance alone it is translated ‘rib.’ In the majority of cases it is translated ‘side’ or ‘sides,’ in other places ‘corners’ or ‘chambers,’ but never ‘rib’ or ‘ribs,’ except in these two verses describing the separation of Eve from Adam. In the Septuagint version, which was the Scripture quoted by our Lord, the word is pleura, which in Homer, Hesiod and Herodotus is used for ‘side,’ not ‘rib,’ and in the Greek of the N.T. is invariably translated ‘side.’ There is a word in the O.T. the true translation of which is ‘rib’ and nothing else, and it occurs in Dan. 7:5, but this is a totally different word from the word translated ‘rib’ in the passage before us.” We could have said all this, in fewer words, not quoting Wilberforce, and others, but then, we might have been accused of straining a point, because of sex bias. Had God taken only a rib from Adam, the latter would not have exclaimed, “she is flesh of my flesh,” but merely, “she is bone of my bone.” Let us never forget, when we hear a rationalist ridiculing the “rib” story of “creation,” that he is not in reality ridiculing the Bible, though he may think he is. He is holding up to contempt a stupid mistranslation.
The separation of Eve from Adam was, then, an exceptional instance within the human race of what is well known to take place in lower orders of life. Professor Agassiz, the naturalist, in describing gemmiparous or fissiparous reproduction, says: “A cleft or fission, at some part of the body, takes place, very slight at first, but constantly increasing in depth, so as to become a deep furrow . . . At the same time the contained organs are divided and become double, and thus two individuals are formed of one, so similar to each other that it is impossible to say which is the parent and which is the offspring.” Each human body retains still abundant traces of a dual nature, in almost every organ and part.
The Bible is not a treatise on science, but wherever rightly translated it is found not to contradict science. Nothing could be more unscientific than the representation that Eve was made from a single bone taken from Adam’s body. We have already commented on the possible original bi-sexual nature of the human being — the androgynous, or hermaphrodite state, which persists, imperfectly, to the present time within the human family.
The idea that Eve was made out of one of Adam’s ribs has its origin in rabbinical lore. One story says that “Eve was made out of a tail which originally belonged to Adam.” Rav, the great head of the Babylonian rabbinical school, declared, “Eve was formed out of a second face, which originally belonged to Adam,” and another rabbi declares, “Instead of a rib taken from Adam, a slave was given to him to wait upon him.” But Rabbi Joshua, in his commentary, has given the fable which has most pleased Christian commentators on the Bible. It is quite general for them to quote it in part, or give some of its many variations.
Rabbi Joshua says: “God deliberated from what member he would create woman, and He reasoned with Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam’s head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high. If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into all things; if from the ear, she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth, she will talk much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the hand, she will desire to take all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout. Therefore I will create her from the member which is hid, that is, the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked.” And this is the inane fable which lies at the basis of the idea that Eve must have been made out of Adam’s rib, whereas the Bible says God took one of Adam’s sides (or one part of Adam’s being), out of which, He “builded” her.
(Bushnell, 1923 pp. 16-17)
With this theory in mind, let’s enter into the next chapter and talk more about Genesis and God’s Law of Marriage that He instituted and, how this law was supposed to work. . . . (For more, please see my book, Religion’s Cell: Doctrines of the Church that Leads to Bondage and Abuse.)