Friday, March 28, 2008

Why Check Original Sources for Context?

As editor of a professional journal, I received an article regarding women in leadership. One expert quoted Josephus who stated, “Women are inferior to men.” To check the accuracy and context of this quote, I found four reliable sources that supported the expert’s opinion. Since the original source was Josephus, I accessed the online source containing the full text for all of Josephus’ books.

In the find box under edit, I entered the key words “women,” “inferior” and “man.” No luck. Then I typed “woman” and “inferior” in the find box. Again, I searched every book written by Josephus. In Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II, Josephus wrote, “says the Scripture, ‘A woman is inferior to her husband in all things.’”

The context of this verse specifically related to marriage—not leadership. To prove their points, the expert and four other sources edited Josephus’ quote to say what they wanted it to say. Neither the context nor the quote was correct. And Josephus was also wrong. Scripture does not say, "A woman is inferior to her husband in all things."

1 comment:

Tiffany Stuart said...

Good point about checking the source.