Side By Side -- By: Woodrow E. Walton
PP 26:4 (Autumn 2012) p. 10
Side By Side
Woodrow E. Walton, DMin, is an ordained minister with the Oklahoma District Council of the Assemblies of God. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, American Association of Christian Counselors, American Society of Church History, and International Society of Frontier Missiology. He has served on the mission field three times in Africa and twice in Mexico. He and his wife reside in Shattuck, Oklahoma.
“Side by Side” is a recognized American colloquialism. It is even the title of a song first written and composed by Harry Woods in 1927 and then rereleased in 1953 by singer Kay Starr on Capitol records. “Side by side” is also the intended relationship of man and woman by virtue of creation and is expressed as such in Genesis 2:18-24.
The Hebrew word, ‘ēzer, translated usually into English as “helper,” refers to a side-by-side partnership of help. “It is not good that man should be alone” (Gen 2:18). Both aloneness and loneliness are only assuaged by an equal partner. That relationship is a sweet one (assuage originating from the Latin suavis and the Old French assouagier, both translated as “sweet.”)
The idea that a woman is to be submitted toward her husband in all things does not originate from the account of creation, but from the account of the fall in Genesis 3. It is strange that the argument for a subordinate role for woman, much less a wife, is based upon the condition of the fall of man. The account of creation found in Genesis 1:27-28 is very explicit in the statement, “Male and female He created them . . . and God blessed them. . . .”
Barnabe Assohoto and Samuel Ngewa, the commentators on Genesis in the Africa Bible Commentary, observed, “God formed her from the man’s rib, close to his heart, to establish the intimate link between them in their very creation. The woman will consider the man as part of her very being, and the man will see the woman as the help he needs, without whom he is incomplete.”1
Within Eastern Orthodox Christianity, man is considered to be incomplete without woman. Eastern Orthodoxy relies heavily on the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. In the Septuagint’s rendition of Genesis 2:18, the term boethos means both “helper” (substantially in the New Testament) and also “helpful” in some instances. The intent is to convey the meaning of b...
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