Essay Question 3: Was Paul a male chauvinist? Cite particular passages in his letters to support your view.
In many of the letters that Paul transcribed during his travels, he espoused views that feminists of our time might construe as being chauvinistic. In trying to determine whether his views on marriage and the place of women in society are biased, we must understand the time period of his writings. The theological impact on his pronouncements, and the society in which he lived influenced him to reach these conclusions. During his era, Paul was not considered a male chauvinist, but simply transmitted the general belief of the time. In our time period where women have taken a greater role within the church and society, his letters and works have come under scrutiny and raised cause for debate over the intent and meaning of certain passages with the New Testament.
The time period of his letters and writings were around the turn of the first century.
Most of the civilized world was expanding and society was being influenced by different cultures intermingling during the travels. Paul's teaching about the church and religion were alarming enough to the great majority of society that seemed to have certain preconceptions about their theological past. Paul's pronouncements about marriage and women followed the traditional role of women held during this era. It was, in fact, the church of the early New Testament, that encouraged women to take a greater role in society and contribute to the spreading of the Gospel. These societies were patriarchal in orientation, relegating women to subordinate roles in religion, government, and domestic concerns. The movement of the church was toward a model of marriage in which neither partner seeks personal growth at the expense of the other. (MDOB, "Women in the...