A Bible verse that is strangely plastered on the back of a Virginia pick-up truck has inspired quite a bit of frustration, anger and concern in recent days among those who have seen it.
The scripture reference to 1 Corinthians 14:34, which is scrawled in large, white letters on the back of the truck, reads, “Women shall be silent and submissive.” Other accompanying messages proclaim, “Read your Bible” and “God said it. Believe it.”
Three crosses and a Jesus fish also round out the controversial design.
Truck owner Tom Hicks — who said he first posted the verse on his truck five years ago — told WTVR-TV that the messaging has sparked quite a bit of anger among locals, with images of the truck making their way onto social media and into the news.
But rather than a man intent on holding up or touting the contents of that particular verse, Hicks said he’s essentially an atheist who wants people to see just how “offensive” the Bible is.
“The reason I put this particular message on, I want people to read the Bible, I want them to see this message and say is that true,” he told WTVR-TV. “Right now I don’t believe there’s a God so I guess you would say I’m an atheist. It’s a hateful, hateful piece of work which Christians try to turn around and they talk about love.”
A pastor named Joey Anthony of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, though, pushed back against the scripture reference, and said that Hicks had failed to put it into the context. Anthony noted that women in the Bible were elevated under Jesus to a level unforeseen in the world at that time, and also offered up some other points worth considering.
“The very person who wrote that passage of scripture in Corinthians also wrote in Ephesians that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loved the church,” Anthony told the outlet. “Which is an unconditional love, and it’s a sacrificial love.”
GotQuestions.org tackles this issue in-depth, noting that 1 Corinthians 14:34 had a specific context to the church in Corinth, pointing to a verse just a few chapters earlier in 1 Corinthians 11:5 that make it clear that women did pray and prophesy.
Clearly, the case isn’t as simple as Hicks presented it, as the verse has been a point of debate for centuries. As with most topics and verses in the Bible: context is key. You can read more about the scripture debate here.
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