How well do you really follow the Bible?

I was listening to the radio last week (I think it was 5 live) and there was an article about a woman in the US who had decided to spend a year following all the rules in the Bible for women. She says on her blog about her year:

This meant, among other things, submitting to my husband (Colossians 3:18), growing out my hair (1 Corinthians 11:15), making my own clothes, (Proverbs 31:22),  learning how to cook (Titus 2:3-5), praising my husband at the city gate (Proverbs 31:23), covering my head when in prayer (1 Corinthians 11:5), calling Dan “master” (1 Peter 3:5-6), caring for the poor (Proverbs 31:25), nurturing a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), abstaining from gossip (Proverbs 20:19), and camping out in the front yard for the duration of my period (Leviticus 15:19-33).

I thought that it was fascinating that she would do all of this. It included her having to sleep in a tent after her period

This month, as part of my year of biblical womanhood, I’m submitting to taharat hamishpach, or “family purity,” as described in Leviticus 15-18. This means I am ceremonially unclean for a total of twelve days. For those twelve days I can have no physical contact with my husband (no sex, no hugging, no affectionate pats on the back), and no physical contact with men (no handshakes, no high-fives, no passing of items like salt and pepper shakers). I cannot attend official religious services, and anything I sit on is considered unclean, so I’ve taken to carrying around my Rhea County High School Golden Eagle stadium seat cushion everywhere I go.

What struck me from reading some of her blog was the high price that women have often paid in the past (and sometimes still do) for following an interpretation of the Bible that keeps women under the thumb. She did this to help people look at how we interpret the Bible and some of the consequences of doing so. On the positive side she said that

In striving to nurture a gentle and quiet spirit, I’ve learned a lot about contemplative prayer, which is something I would like to continue to practice after the project is over. I also had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the work World Vision is doing in Bolivia, which has inspired me to live more generously.

Fascinating and thought provoking.


3 comments on “How well do you really follow the Bible?

  1. Geoff C
    October 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    That seems a ridiculous thing to say you would do! – especially as some of the stuff is so old or out of date.
    Not to mention contradictions –
    (Ok – so I understand the motivation was good and it was decided upon as a high discipline idea)
    Sorry I will shut up now!

  2. Janet
    October 5, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    This is an interesting idea. I think I will share this with my friends at Bible Study tomorrow. We are studying the Gospel of Mark. This is at a Lutheran Church. New to me. More recently I have been Church of Irelnd.

  3. Will Cookson
    October 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    I must admit I’ve never been to a Lutheran church – not many in the UK – although I used to read some of Luther’s work many years ago – didn’t always agree with him but I loved his passion.


    I think she was making the point that we all have interpretations and how we view and use the bible is important. Very interesting idea.

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