“There is neither male nor female”

Theological reflection on Galatians 3:28 as a faith-based response to gender-specific persecution


  • Samuel Oluwatosin Okanlawon


Gender-specific persecution, Pauline theology, women, church, Galatians 3:28


This paper considers the paradigmatic Pauline assertion in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither male nor female,” as a faith-based approach to counter gender-specific persecution of women and girls. Drawing on Vander Watt’s hermeneutic theory of contextual relevance, I propose that Paul elevates the female gender to the level of equality with males, on the basis of having been saved by Christ. Therefore, gender distinctions between males and females in their essence and nature, which cause females to be restricted in the expression of personhood within the Christian community, are removed. Females should not be disempowered within or outside the church community in any form on the basis of their sex.