The issue of gender roles within marriage is one that has become increasingly controversial during the feminist revolution of the last 30 years. It is interesting to read a book like New Testament Nuptial Imagery1 from 1971, where the ‘traditional’ concepts like the submission of the wife and the headship of the husband are simply stated without revision or alternative suggestions.
Only 14 years later, a work like Bilezekian’s Beyond Sex Roles2 is typical of much recent scholarship that has proposed different interpretations of passages like Ephesians 5:21-33. In opposition to the traditional understanding, many commentators like Bilezekian portray their position as ‘egalitarian’ (defined as “asserting the equality of all people”3). Equality of all people, they assert, is a biblical principle demanded by passages like Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.