what's new   ::  search our site


About us
Who We Are
Our Mission
Contact Us

Articles by Topic
Scripture Study
Word Study
Women in History
Bible Women

Healing Ministry
Healing Words
Dealing with Abuse

Online Books
Recommended Books
Recommended Links
Site Search
Site Map
GWTW Podcasts

Current News

Purchase Books
About GWTW
Available Books


Karen K. Davidenko is an artist, writer, minister, wife, and mom.  She and husband Glenn met at UTDallas, have been married since 1982 and have 2 boys.  Her relationship with the Lord was fully realized during the illness and death of her mother in 1997.  At that time, Karen sought Him as her refuge and fully came to accept Jesus into her life. 

Karen is an ordained elder and has worked with youth and music ministries and coordinates an email prayer circle.  She is a muralist and writer in the DFW area, enjoys working with people from many walks of life, and serves in many capacities with Boy Scouts, schools, and charitable organizations. 

God has led Karen to others who seek the truth of the Biblical equality of men and women, and she is certified to teach Dr. Sue Hyatt’s course, In the Spirit We’re Equal.  Her passion is to encourage others in their lives and spiritual gifts and to utilize her studies and creative skills to serve others for Him.

Karen submitted this article on Genesis to a blog.  When we saw it we thought it would be a fine word for the newsletter and a great addition to the website.  Enjoy!

In the Beginning . . .

By Karen K. Davidenko


In the beginning, there was peace and equality.

The book of Genesis is the main reason I walked away from God many years ago.  It then became the reason I came back to Him later as I started to read and learn about what His plan was for the human He created in His image.  When I saw it in a new light, God became the magnificent, loving, and amazing Father I somehow always knew was out there.  I came to realize He loved women as much as men and expected the same good things from His daughters as His sons.

But, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing the first time I read Genesis.  Was God cursing woman? Why would He do that? Was I really a subordinate creature compared to males? If humans were created in His image, then woman was part of the big picture.  Why would He cause all women to suffer and tell us that we have to be ruled by man? It was just unbelievable.

Then, at the old age of 40, I really started reading Genesis and found some different takes on the translations.  I’m no scholar, but there are many scholars out there.  Some other non-scholars might say, “Karen . . . these translators have been doing their job for centuries.  Are you really trying to say that they made a mistake? It’s all there in the Kings James, for goodness’ sake!”

Well, that’s one of the problems.  Most of our translations come from one translation or some that are similar.  And, just as if you would take a document, copy it on a machine, then copy the copy, and so on, things get a little .  .  . corrupted.  I don’t think all the translational “mishaps” were intentional.  I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that culture affected translations of some key words.  We have many Greek and Hebrew scholars who are now pointing out some unfortunate errors.  Katharine Bushnell, an author, medical doctor and scholar of Hebrew and Greek in the late 1800’s writes:

“. . . always remembering that we bow to no authority as final but the Word of God, as illuminated by the Spirit.  We will endeavor to interpret the Bible by what the Bible says, not by what men say that it says.”

The Lord created a human in His own image.  He never calls this creature “Adam” as if it were a proper name.  The word adam is Hebrew for human, mankind.  God made adam in His image.  He made them male and female and blessed His creation five times over to be fruitful, to multiply, to subdue and replenish the earth, and have dominion over all (Genesis 1:28).This male-female creature, made in the image of God, was the ruler over the earth and proclaimed “good” by the Lord.  Then, for reasons unknown, this creation became “not good” when only one human walked in the Garden.  God decided it was not good for one person to be alone.

So, in the beginning, there was a created human--male and female.  The first named person in history was Eve, the Mother of all living.  The human named her, even though he isn’t designated as male until Genesis 2:24 after the woman is taken from his side.  After that event, the remaining creature is called isha which means male.  The woman is ishshah.  The human was created first, and then a woman was taken from his side; the male was formed first, then the female.  The word tsela is always referred to as “rib” in this verse.  For some reason, though, it is only translated as “rib” in Genesis.  It would seem from the translation that the woman was made from one small piece of the adam, but we know women are much more complicated than that! No, the word tsela is translated everywhere else in the Bible as “side,” or “plank.” She was pulled out and formed from the side of the adam.

When the Lord decided to take (or separate) the woman from the human, He wanted to make a “helper suitable” for the man (Genesis 2:18).  Not a “help meet” or a servant, He wanted the man to have a “help” or ezer, the same word David uses to refer to God in the Psalms (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 70:5, and nine more psalms).  In that realization, would we then assume the Lord is man’s servant or is in any way subordinate to us? Hardly.  The word “suitable” is negdo, or kenegdo, which means, “parallel to,” “before,” or “in front of.”

Dr. Susan Hyatt says in her book, In the Spirit We're Equal, regarding ezer kenegdo: “In Genesis 2:18, the word ‘helpmeet’ does not occur.  The Hebrew expression ezer kenegdo appears, meaning ‘one who is the same as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids, helps, supports.’ There is no indication of inferiority or of a secondary position in an hierarchical separation of the male and female ‘spheres’ of responsibility, authority, or social position.”

You all know the story.  “Adam” knew he wasn’t supposed to eat from the Tree because God told him so.  Yet, according to Genesis 3:6, there they were—Eve with “Adam” right beside her.  They both ate.  They see they’re naked, and God questions them.  God then tells this hapless couple how it’s going to be because of their faux pas, but He never curses them.  What does He curse? He curses the serpent, and He curses the ground upon which the man must work.  He tells the woman that her teshuqa, mistranslated as “desire,” will be for her husband, and he will rule over her.  The man will work the soil for his sustenance.

Now, when women are told they are subservient to men, this verse is thrown at them as proof and nearly every time by a man who has never toiled in any soil for his livelihood--or even thought he should.  I believed for a time this was God’s plan for men and women—mostly women as second-class citizens—since I’ve existed in a post-agrarian society.  It’s funny how society has never expected men to live up to their “part” of the bargain.

The meaning of the word teshuqa, now translated as “desire,” has been changed over the centuries.  In the beginning it meant “turning” in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) around 285 B.C.  It was then altered to mean “alliance” and “direction” until around 500 A.D.  After that time, the word was changed to mean “impulse,” “power,” and “appetite,” until it became “lust” or “desire” in 800 A.D. under Rabbinical teaching.  Why?

Katharine Bushnell translated this verse in her book, God’s Word to Women, to mean, “You are turning away to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” In other words, the woman turned away from God and chose her husband over Him.  Because of this choice, Eve’s husband becomes her superior.  God sent “Adam” out of the Garden, but He never sent Eve.  She chose to go with the man.

God told the man and woman how it was going to be because of their blunder, not that it should be this way.  Because they blew a good thing when they had it, they were now post-Fall creatures.  They wanted Free Will . . . they got it.  God’s original intent was for their eyes and actions to be turned toward HIM.

Then, we have the troublesome verse about increasing the woman’s pain in childbirth.  This is an interesting verse which I will defer to Katharine Bushnell’s discussion.  She is much better at discussing the changes and misinterpretations of certain words in that scripture.  See GWTW Online book, Lesson 15 Satan's Lying in Wait.   

In scripture, God stresses the enmity between the woman and the serpent.  Woman will produce the One that will crush the serpent’s head.  What better way for Satan to battle woman than to orchestrate the perception of her as insignificant in the Army of the Lord?

The Christian world now, for the most part, chooses to live in a post-Fall manner.  At any time, the Body of Christ could choose to live pre-Fall.  Jesus came to restore us to pre-Fall conditions (Romans 5:15), yet many would continue in the comfort and hierarchy of the Fall.  It’s hard for us to allow one another to walk in the Lord or to let others do what He says.  Humans have a hierarchical leaning now; someone needs be in charge.  The original man and woman never gave us the chance to see what it might be like to walk together, shoulder to shoulder.  Men are geared to be the boss now, but it takes a big man to listen to others; to give when he needs to give or stand firm when needed.  Women are just as culpable in the role of the subordinate woman.  It’s easier to relinquish control to someone else because it completely absolves one of responsibility and accountability.  God made humans in His image.  Side by side, we are to care for the earth and all of its creatures in an equal and loving relationship, with our eyes and hearts turned toward Him.

Sources used: The Bible; The Interlinear Bible, Hebrew Greek English, Jay P. Green, Sr.; God's Word to Women by Katharine C. Bushnell; In the Spirit We're Equal by Dr. Susan Hyatt; www.godswordtowomen.org; www.crosswalk.com  and  www.scripture4all.org

(Original Artwork by Karen K. Davidenko)

top of page  I  home  I  about us   I   book  
 studies  I  healing  I  newsletter  I  current events  I  resources   I  contact