Biblical Egalitarianism and the Inerrancy of Scripture -- By: Roger R. Nicole

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 20:2 (Spring 2006)
Article: Biblical Egalitarianism and the Inerrancy of Scripture
Author: Roger R. Nicole


Biblical Egalitarianism and the Inerrancy of Scripture

Roger Nicole

ROGER NICOLE taught theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1945-1986) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1989-2000). His publications include Standing Forth (2002) and Our Sovereign Saviour (2002). He is one of the founding members of Christians for Biblical Equality. A biography of Dr. Nicole currently is being prepared by Dr. David Bailey. It will appear under the title Speaking the Truth in Love: The Life and Legacy of Roger Nicole.

Since biblical egalitarianism is still viewed by many as inconsistent with biblical inerrancy, it is desirable to state in a very brief manner my position on this subject.

The matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God’s will
for women.

The starting point must be at the creation of humanity, as our Lord himself exemplified by quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 in response to a question by the Pharisees (Matt. 19:4-5, Mark 10:6-7). The climactic point must be at the consummation of the redemptive plan in the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9, 21-22), as St. Paul notes in discussing marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33. These two moments are the only ones in which sin has not damaged the institution. Thus, the line that connects creation and the eschaton of redemption represents the relationship of males and females in its unadulterated form. What comes in between may include factors due to human “hardness of heart” (Matt. 19:8).

Equality at Creation

The first two chapters of Genesis provide the fundamental statement of God’s purpose in the creation of humanity. Both man and woman were created in God’s image and likeness (1:26– 27, 5:1-2), called human (Gen. 1:26, 5:2), were blessed alike (1:28, 5:2), jointly were given rule over the animal realm (1:26, 28), and were entrusted with the propagation of the species (1:28

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