One central point about the Bible that must be understood is that God does not change. When one sees something in Scripture that looks like God has changed, look for the change somewhere else because by His own testimony, God does not change.
The post about Status had a good example of an issue that drives feminists crazy.
A virgin has no agency. She is married to any eligible man who takes her virginity, whether she consents to marriage or not (Genesis 2:24). She may be forced into a marriage she does not desire and does not consent to by her father, as a free woman, or she may be denied marriage by her father (1st Corinthians 7:36-38). She may be sold into permanent slavery by her father to be the concubine of a free man (a slave-wife) or the wife of another slave (Exodus 21:7-11). She may be raped into marriage, against her will and over her objections (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). She may voluntarily enter into a marriage without her father’s knowledge and in the day he hears of it, he may allow it, or he may annul the marriage if he so desires (Exodus 22:16-17).
Feminist churchians can’t tolerate what God’s Word actually says (or doesn’t say) so they constantly work to redefine words and change the meaning of things to fit their agenda. Notice that 1st Corinthians 7:36-38 was cited in the paragraph about virgins. Let’s look at it from the NASB:
36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let [a]her marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, [b]being under no constraint, but has authority [c]over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. 38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
a: Lit. them
b: Lit. having no necessity
c: Lit. pertaining to
The NASB translates it in the way it has traditionally been translated, as instruction to the father of the virgin who is under his authority. One of the reasons I like the original NASB is the translators additions to the text are in italics. As you can see, the word “daughter” doesn’t appear in the original text. And, as is apparent, the word translated in the NASB as “let her marry” (gameitōsan) literally means “let them marry”. That was all it took for the feminists to swing into action and completely change the translation to attack the authority of the father and the status of the virgin.
The issue here is one of authority and that is exactly the reason feminists hate this passage. The text refers to “the virgin” and the man making the decisions about “the virgin” and her marriage must have the authority to make such a decision. Who has authority over “the virgin”? Only the father (before a betrothal) or the betrothed husband after the vows are made. There can be no-one else with authority over her.
It should also be noted (again) that the virgin has no agency, her consent to the marriage is not required and her father has the authority to give her to the man he chooses. Contrary to modern ideas about betrothal and marriage, the virgin did not have the authority to “break off the engagement” after her father and her husband agreed to the betrothal any more than she had the authority to divorce her husband after he married her.
With that in mind, observe the way 1st Corinthians 7:36-38 translated in the Berean Study Bible (BSB):
36However, if someone thinks he is acting inappropriately toward his betrothed, and if she is beyond her youth and they ought to marry, let him do as he wishes; he is not sinning; they should get married. 37But the man who is firmly established in his heart and under no constraint, with control over his will and resolve in his heart not to marry the virgin, he will do well. 38So then, he who marries the virgin does well, but he who does not marry her does even better.
The BSB has this text translated as instruction to the man who is betrothed to the virgin. To betroth a woman is to take a vow to marry her after the betrothal period and any other requirements are complete. From the time of betrothal, even though he will not marry (penetrate) her until the betrothal requirements are complete, the woman is his wife (c.f. Deuteronomy 22:23-24) and she is no longer an eligible virgin. She is a betrothed virgin and no other man may marry her.
Observe what Numbers 30:2 has to say about a man making a vow.
“If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
Likewise observe what Deuteronomy 23:21 says about a vow to the Lord:
“When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you.”
Then consider that according to the translation of the BSB, Paul is speaking to the man who is a betrothed to a virgin who is now “past her youth”. While she was betrothed to this man she could not even contemplate any other man and she waited. Now she is past her youth. Some might call the idea of abandoning her at this point “adding insult to injury”.
While it would be easy to argue textual analysis, I won’t because that’s just the kind of argument feminist churchians love. An argument that avoids the real issue.
The claim Paul was instructing men that they could violate their vow and abandon their wife and is preposterous. In fact, translating the instruction that way has Paul directly contradicting himself, because in verses 26-27 of their own translation he said:
“26Because of the present crisis, I think it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27Are you committed to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you free of commitment? Do not look for a wife.” (Emphasis added)
We cannot possibly have Paul stating that if a man is committed to a wife he is not to seek to be released and then ten verses later have him saying that if the man feels like it he can violate his vows and abandon the wife he committed to with his betrothal vows. Look at the summation of that instruction as translated by the BSB:
So then, he who marries the virgin does well, but he who does not marry her does even better.
The BSB has Paul saying that the man who keeps his vows and marries his wife does well, but the man who violates his vows and abandons his wife does even better. Preposterous.
Let’s contrast that twaddle with the NASB:
So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
The NASB translation is completely in line with the thrust of Paul’s message that it’s better not to get married in order to focus on the things of the Lord rather than the things of the world, as well as his statement that it’s better to remain as you are. There are no vows being violated in this translation and Paul’s instruction reflects the father’s God-given authority over his daughter.
Given that God does not change and God’s Law requires that when a man makes a vow he must keep his word and honor his vow, Paul could not possibly have been giving men permission to violate their vows and abandon their wives. Yet, that leaves us with what the text is actually talking about, which is a New Testament reinforcement of the authority of the fathers over their daughters and points to the fact that the virgin has no agency. That, to feminists, is anathema.
Feminism is cancer.