Jesus Christ: The True Source of Women Liberation
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of History
The Holy Bible is the basic evidence to know about the liberation, status and role of women in Christian faith. The Bible is patriarchal and the writings are male dominated and it has recorded the existence of the social evils as polygamy, slavery of women and prostitution which suppressed women. The Old Testament projects women in different light compared to the New Testament wherein the views about women are different due to Jesus’s attitude towards women. From the very first chapter of the Bible, we are taught that women, like men, bear the stamp of God's own image men and women were created equal. Being made in the image of God means that women have value to contribute to the world. Therefore, women have value to contribute as leaders, Women play prominent roles in many key biblical narratives. Wives are seen as venerated partners and cherished companions to their husbands, not merely slaves or pieces of household furniture. At Sinai, God commanded children to honor both father and mother. Of course, the Bible teaches divinely ordained role distinctions between men and women many of which are perfectly evident from the circumstances of creation alone. For example, women have a unique and vital role in childbearing and the nurture of little ones. Women themselves also have a particular need for support and protection, because physically, they are "weaker vessels" Scripture establishes the proper order in the family and in the church accordingly, assigning the duties of headship and protection in the home to husbands and appointing men in the church to the teaching and leadership roles.
Women leaders and their importance in Old Testament
Few women leaders of the old testament of the Bible achieved greater things. Sister of Moses Miriam, she led the Israelites in the desert. Deborah, she was the only one women judge. As a prophetess who was judging Israel (yet she was also a wife according to Judges 4:4. People regularly came to Deborah for judgement. Deborah was the only female judge, but her capacity to act in that role is unquestioned, and her leadership of Israel is described in exactly the same terms as that of the male judges. Her expertise in settling disputes (judges 4:5), and the Israelites seem to have had no problem in taking such advice from a woman. Under God’s direction she led Barak and Jael to defeat Sisera, the Canaanite King (Judges 4:14-24). When the victory became public Deborah sang a victory song about Israel and its defeat of Sisera. Finally, the account in Judges tells that under Deborah’s direction there was peace in the land of Israel for forty years (Judges 5:31).
Queen Esther saved the Jews from the cruel destruction. Esther possessed a strong position of influence as the Queen to King Xerxes of Persia (Esther 2:17-20). This position of influence provided her with the ability to exert strong influence as a Jewish woman serving in a limited leadership capacity over the nation of Persia. Even though she was not the main leader in charge she exerted strong influence through her actions and deeds. Esther displayed a great example of a leader wrestling with what to do, how to stay safe, how to receive counsel about what to do, and having to summon personal courage in order to do the right thing.
Liberation of Women in New Testament
The liberation of women really started from the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ. The position of women changed greatly due to the respect Jesus gave to women’s rights. His teachings, healings and miracles did not show any discrimination. Jesus treated women equally with men in all aspects of life. Examples of this even-handed treatment of women by Jesus are found in the four Gospels. The following examples show how Jesus had shown the great concern for women’s rights.
· Jesus had a conversation with the Samaritan women and engaged in a theological discussion. Jews did not accept Samaritans as they were abominable to Jews. The disciples were amazed to see Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar. Jesus broke the chain of social stigma and the Samaritans enjoyed the deliverance of sin, humanity.
· The Jews accused a prostitute and brought her to Jesus and repeatedly asked him to punish that woman. But Jesus challenged them that one who was not a sinner could throw stone at her. Jesus with sympathetic attitude forgave her sins and she was saved. This incident proves that Jesus is a true feminist who pronounced the same punishment to men for adultery. 
First, Jesus regularly addressed women directly while in public. This was unusual for a man to do. He also spoke freely with the woman taken in adultery who gives ample attention to women in his Gospel, notes that Jesus spoke publicly with the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12–13), the woman with the bleeding disorder (Luke 8:48; cf. Matt. 9:22; Mark 5:34), and a woman who called to him from a crowd (Luke 11:27–28). Similarly, Jesus addressed a woman bent over for eighteen years (Luke 13:12) and a group of women on the route to the cross (Luke 23:27-31).
A second aspect of Jesus’s regard for the full intrinsic value of women is seen in how he spoke to the women he addressed. He spoke in a thoughtful, caring manner. Each synoptic writer records Jesus addressing the woman with the bleeding disorder tenderly as “daughter” (references above) and referring to the bent woman as a “daughter of Abraham” Bloesch infers that “Jesus called the Jewish women ‘daughters of Abraham’ thereby according them a spiritual status equal to that of men.”
Third, Jesus did not gloss over sin in the lives of the women he met. He held women personally responsible for their own sin as seen in his dealings with the woman at the well (John 4:16–18), the woman taken in adultery (John 8:10–11), and the sinful woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:44–50). Their sin was not condoned, but confronted. Each had the personal freedom and a measure of self-determination to deal with the issues of sin, repentance, and forgiveness.
St. Paul was the founder and the builder of New Testament churches after Christ. He allowed, accepted, appreciated and recorded in his writings about the ministry of his days. Following is the list of few such women.
· Ewodia and Syntyche shared Paul’s struggle for the cause of the gospel in Phillipi.They involved in the ministry of evangelism
· Pricilla and her husband Aquilla was Paul’s fellow worker. They led the house of Churches and were the counselors and instructors to other ministries.
· Phobe was a well to-do women probably a business women in whose housethe church could meet. She might have been a deaconess of the Church.
· Nympha was in charge of synagogue and was in charge of her home church.
· Lydia was a non Jewish business women who palyed vital role in supporting and extending paul’s ministry. She was the first convert and was the hostess of disciple. She led a group of women converts who contributed the early church.
Certainly, the New Testament Gospels, written toward the last quarter of the first century CE, acknowledge that women were among Jesus' earliest followers. From the beginning, Jewish women disciples, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, had accompanied Jesus during his ministry and supported him out of their private means. He spoke to women both in public and private, and indeed he learned from them. According to one story, an unnamed Gentile woman taught Jesus that the ministry of God is not limited to particular groups and persons, but belongs to all who have faith. A Jewish woman honored him with the extraordinary hospitality of washing his feet with perfume. Jesus was a frequent visitor at the home of Mary and Martha, and was in the habit of teaching and eating meals with women as well as men. When Jesus was arrested, women remained firm, even when his male disciples are said to have fled, and they accompanied him to the foot of the cross. It was women who were reported as the first witnesses to the resurrection, chief among them again Mary Magdalene. Although the details of these gospel stories may be questioned, in general they reflect the prominent historical roles women played in Jesus' ministry as disciples. For Christ, women have an intrinsic value equal to that of men. Jesus demonstrated only the highest regard for women, in both his life and teaching. He recognized the intrinsic equality of men and women, and continually showed the worth and dignity of women as persons. Jesus valued their fellowship, prayers, service, financial support, testimony and witness. He honored women, taught women, and ministered to women in thoughtful ways.
 The Bible, Genesis 1:27; 5:1-2
 The Bible, Genesis 2:20-24; Proverbs 19:14; Ecclesiastes 9:9.
 The Bible, Exodus 20:12
 The Bible, 1 Peter 3:7.
 The Bible, Ephesians 5:23
 The Bible, 1 Timothy 2:11-15.
 The Bible, Exodus 15: 20-21
 The Bible, Judges 4:4
 M.J. Evans, “Women,” Dictionary of the Old Testament: Intervarsity press, England, p.900.
 The Bible, John 4:7-26
 The Bible, John 8.
 The Bible, Luke 13:16.
 Donald G. Bloesch, Is the Bible Sexist?, wipf and stock publishers, USA, 2001,P.28
 Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective,wipf and stock publishers, USA, 2002, p.83
 The Bible, Philip 4:2-3.
 The Bible, Acts 18: 1-3, 26.
 The Bible,
 The Bible, Colossians 4:15
 The Bible, Acts 16: 12-40