Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
- Ephesians 5:22
(The above verse is taken out of context. I am aware of that.)
Over lunch, my eleven year old brother asked me, “why did Jesus write that wives must submit?”
My sister outright disagrees with the statement (even in its full context) – on the grounds that it doesnt have enough weight to count as a ‘commandment’. How she ascertains what counts and what doesn’t, I have no idea.
My response was to not answer the question but rather correct a factual inaccuracy (Read: Red Herring), “Jesus didn’t write it. Some later apostle, most people think it’s Paul , if not one of Paul’s followers, who wrote it. In fact, Jesus didn’t write anything….oh yeah, why huh?” Which leads on to my thought of the day: why didn’t Jesus do any of his own writing? Like issue a gospel of Jesus.
The boy then asked, “If Jesus didn’t write it, then why must follow?”
Someone at the table responded something about god-inspired word. (I can’t remember who really. I’m a bad transcriber)
The boy goes on, “But then anyone can say that they’re god inspired and then write whatever right? How do people know whether someone is god inspired or not?”
To digress a bit, I’m quite interested in how the typical christian grapples with unpalatable biblical statements. A) They accept the unpalatable statement — which would be…unpalatable. B) They question the veracity of the particular statement — which is inadvertently casts doubt on the entire text. C) Interpret the hell out of it. Use all legal and literary tools of interpretation to make it palatable.
I could go into a lengthy discussion about how the statement could be interpreted to be more palatable in its context, but my brother’s question struck at something more fundamental.
I simply told him, “Boy, don’t ask this kind of heretical questions. Not on sunday at least.“
It was a bit tempting to do the recently fashionable way of not answering questions properly by replying with a “What do you think?”