Inspired by comments on Rachel Held Evans’ blog.
An argument I saw twice for the man over woman hierarchy (complimentarianism) was that Adam was created first and Eve second. We’ll leave it here, because quite frankly to address the whole debate will be doing more of the same, over and over again.
Other comments pointed out that in Genesis 1 the animals were created before Adam, thus following the “order” logic, the animals must have dominion over Adam.
And still another comment points out that in the so-called 2nd creation account of Genesis 2, the animals were created after Adam. Therefore, even the Bible isn’t consistent on the order, so how could the order have anything to say about relative hierarchies in creation.
While claiming that there is a second creation account in Genesis may be controversial in some Christian circles, the rest of the logic is pretty simple. And I don’t believe that those who originally made the argument for complimentarianism from the order of creation are simpletons.
But something happens when readers with faith commitments open the Bible. They stop reading, in fact. The words and the logic of the concepts vanish before their eyes. Whatever theology they bring to the text points to this and that concept and phrase, and reinforces its own logic. Even reading Genesis 1 from an egalitarian perspective falls into the same trap. Nothing in the text forces the reader to produce an understanding of all women’s relationship to all men for all time. That’s a choice based on faith not on the text.
Neither interpretation considers why such a text was produced in the first place. Why tell the same story in two different ways, or why tell two different stories? This is precisely what I’ve been pushing. Existence precedes theology (please comment if you think this is not true). So why is theology always first when many Christians open their Bibles?