Christianity offered submissive roles to women in most terms but significant roles in marriage and other ministry options in the dominant patriarchal world. Although in ancient times, many roles were prohibited for women in churches, in recent times, a majority of roles have been introduced to hold alignment for both men and women equally. For example, in the Roman and Catholic churches, while the men serve as priests and hold senior positions, women can serve as abbesses and consecrated virgins. In addition, despite the strict rules mentioned in Christianity, many newfound Charismatic and Pentecostal churches allow women to preach in churches.
Among many names, the names of Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene have become some of the most prominent names in Christianity. According to Harvard Professor Karn L King, the authority of women and the history they have created in Christianity have been completely revised in the last 20 years. Along with the mentioned names, many other women have also been added to the list who has contributed enough to Christian society. The new biblical text highlights these concepts, which were highly neglected in the previous centuries and ages.
Many people in the 4th century believed that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus, an adulterous, and also a repentant prostitute. This historical error became a general view for the Christians. The pope also mistakenly identified her as the anonymous sinner and confused her with Mary of Bethany. The New Testament and other insights about Christianity have proved that the disreputable portrait of Mary Magdalene was inaccurate. She was a disciple and a significant leader in the early Christian movement; she was also the very first apostle of Jesus who promoted contemporary leadership of women in Christianity.
Authority and inerrancy
In general, there were many gender debates based on the authority of the Bible, mainly formed due to the difference in interpretation of specific Biblical passages. However, some authorities and complementarians have also accused people of opting for positions that denied women a charge in the Bible.
Role of gender and the image of God
Most complementarians believe that Christian ministers ought to be men due to the need to represent Jesus Christ as the ‘son’ of God and preach his teachings to the entire world. God created a relatable position for women, and the woman shares her divine image through a man because she was made out of hum.
Many Christian egalitarians have responded to this point and argued for ages that God has no gender discrimination. Therefore, women and women should hold equal rights and positions without any differences. They also say Christ was a male, not because it was a theological necessity, but because the dominant patriarchal society did not welcome a female Messiah.