The New Testament text that most extensively examines the dynamics of marriage relationship between husbands and wives is Ephesians 5:21-33. The popular interpretation of the text falls under two schools of thought namely the conservative and feminist. While the feminist understands the text as advocating for mutual submission of couples in marriage, the conservative interprets the text as calling for the subordination and subjugation of women in the family and society. Consequently, the text is one among many texts in the New Testament scriptures used as barriers by some persons and institutions to put women into the silent background in the socio-political, economic and religious circle in the contemporary time even in Christian circles. The focus of this work is to interpret Ephesians 5:21-33 and the implications for marital stability of Christian marriages in the Nigerian context. Does the author of the text suggest subordination and domination of women or mutual submission of couples in marriage? Should the text be used as a liberative or oppressive text for women in marriage? Moreover, Should the patriarchal culture and ideas in which the bible was written be considered authoritative for all times and in all places? The paper employs the feminist hermeneutical approach. This therefore argues that the motives of Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:21-33 does not suggest subordination, marginalization or oppression of women in marriage as interpreted by the conservative commentators rather the text calls for mutual submission of couples in marriage. The problem of the former interpretation lies in the extraction of some isolated parts of the scriptures from the context of the letter as a whole, a practice that results in faulty interpretation.
Christian Marriages, Feminist Hermeneutical Approach, Marginalization, Patriarchy, Women
Amadi-Nche, Church-Hill , Solomon E. Esomu "An Exegetical Interpretation of Ephesians 5:21-33 In the Context of Christian Marriage in Nigeria" Iconic Research And Engineering Journals Volume 5 Issue 1 2021 Page 283-290
Amadi-Nche, Church-Hill , Solomon E. Esomu "An Exegetical Interpretation of Ephesians 5:21-33 In the Context of Christian Marriage in Nigeria" Iconic Research And Engineering Journals, 5(1)