...one of our most fundamental mistakes in the reading of scripture, particularly of the New Testament, is to assume that the structures and the systems it describes are as sacred and authoritative as the principles it affirms. Not only is this wrong, it is idolatrous, even blasphemous, to use the word of God to affirm and maintain human privilege. It was wrong in the interpretation that God approved and encouraged chattel slavery, it was wrong in the maintenance of a climate in which the persecution of the Jews could be regarded as biblical, and it is wrong, unequivocally wrong, in imposing first-century social standards on the participation of women in the life of the church simply to preserve the abstraction of the authority of scripture and the preservation of a status quo favorable to those already in power. 143
- Peter J. Gomes. 1996. The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.