Daughters of God, Subordinates of Men

Women and the Roots of Patriarchy in the New Testament


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About the Book

Christianity faces a dilemma with regard to the status of women. Despite advances, female subordination remains a predominant social and religious paradigm in a number of modern cultures. Among Christians, the primary justification for patriarchy has been the story of Adam and Eve, along with seven key New Testament texts rooted in the notion that female subordination is the will of God.
This book provides a critical analysis of womanhood in the major cultures that formed the backdrop for the emergence of Christianity: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Judaism, Greece, Rome and the Mystery Cults. The author connects the subordination of women to slavery and other forms of social and political dominance that were taken for granted in the ancient world, and demonstrates their influence on various New Testament texts concerning the status of women in the home and church.

About the Author(s)

Lesly F. Massey is an adjunct professor of religion at Amberton University. He has been a missionary in South Africa and worked in Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and various countries in Africa. He also conducts workshops with churches on gender equality.

Bibliographic Details

Lesly F. Massey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9531-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2143-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 5

One. Mesopotamia 15

Two. Egypt 54

Three. Judaism 83

Four. Greece 109

Five. Rome 147

Six. Mystery Cults 177

Conclusions 197


1. Periods of Ancient Mesopotamian History 215

2. Periods of Ancient Egyptian History 217

3. Key Events in Ancient Judaism 219

4. Outline of Ancient Greek History 221

5. Outline of Ancient Roman History 223

Chapter Notes 225

Bibliography 243

Index 251

Book Reviews & Awards

“Those seeking an understanding of how and why the New Testament deals with the role of women will find this book insightful and liberating to women!”—Dr. Larry Ross, Area Minister for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), North Texas Area, Southwest Region; “Through a fascinating and in depth exploration of the role and status of women in Ancient Near Eastern cultures influencing the Biblical world, this book helps to distinguish cultural influences from the liberating gospel proclaimed by Jesus that still resounds today.”—Eilene Theilig, Director of Lay and Continuing Education, Brite Divinity School, and former Galileo Mission Project Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.