Who wears the pants? - 05/15/2005

In "Interracial Marriage and Pants," you mentioned that the Bible doesn't prohibit women from wearing pants. However, Deuteronomy 22:5 clearly states: Women are not to wear men's clothing, and men are not to wear women's clothing; the LORD your God hates people who do such things. [TEV]. Yes, this is from a Catholic bible, but I'm sure any other bible would say the same thing. Anyway, is this passage reffering to only ancient clothing? Thanks for your time.





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi Kevin.  Well, there are a few things we can say about this.  First, when this verse was written, there were no pants -- they hadn't been invented yet.  Second, most women I know that wear pants purchase them from the women's clothing section.  Therefore, they are women's clothing, and not men's clothing.  It is true that during some points in history, pants were strictly men's clothing.  However, women's clothing now includes pants as well.  It is a dangerous practice to insert one's pre-conceived and baseless notion that pants are men's clothing into this verse.  That's called "eisegesis" - reading into a verse what you want it to say.
 
Third, let's suppose you see a woman that buys some pants from the men's section of the store.  That would be "men's clothing."  Do you want to condemn that woman based on this verse?  If so, are you in compliance with the other requirements in this section?  For instance, does your house have a parapet wall around the roof as required in verse 8?  Are you certain your clothing does not contain a mix of wool and linen as forbidden in verse 11?  Do you have tassels on the corners of your coat as required in verse 12?  Do you advocate putting adulterers to death as required in verse 22?  If you want to open up this can of worms, logic and consistency dictates that you accept all the requirements, rather than capriciously enforcing one or two.  These requirements in Deuteronomy are part of the Levitical law.  In the New Testament, Paul taught extensively that Jesus' sacrifice did away with these requirements of the law.  We are no longer bound by trying to earn our salvation through rigid adherence to the Levitical laws.  Jesus sacrificed himself so we could have salvation by grace, as opposed to works of the law.  The book of Romans is a good read on this issue. 
 
In Christ,
 
Ben Rast
Contender Ministries
 
p.s.  There are some differences between Catholic Bibles such as the TEV and other Bible translations, so never be "sure" that a verse reads the same in other translations.  In this case it does.