A Muslim Reading of the Haustafeln of Ephesians 5:21-33 in Dialogue with Quran 4:34

Does the Text Support a Hierarchical Relation between Husbands and Wives?





Haustefeln, Ephesians 5:21-33, gender relations, Q. 4:34, contextual approach


The essay questions whether Ephesians 5:21-33 supports a hierarchical relation between husbands and wives as an ideal and universal principle. To answer the question, as a Muslim, I share my reading of this passage in dialogue with a similar Qur’anic passage, Q. 4:34. I learn that the two texts have undergone similar history since its emergence until today. Through a contextual reading, I view that even though Ephesians 5:21-33, as well as Q. 4:34, adopted the household concept accepted in the area, which was patriarchal, the author instilled a new higher equal relationship between husbands and wives. In short, this text proposes “an intended transformation” or an “imaginative vision.” Offering a new reading of gender-related texts is a shared struggle in both traditions. It is an important endeavor to make the scriptures speak for today’s world as a powerful basis for social transformation.


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Author Biography

Lien Iffah Naf’atu Fina, Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga

Lien Iffah Naf’atu Fina is a lecturer at the Department of Qur’anic Studies, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She teaches modern-contemporary exegeses of the Qur’an, Qur’anic studies in the Western scholarship, and the living Qur’an. She obtained her Bachelor’s and first Master’s degrees from Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, majoring in Qur’anic Studies. In 2016, she completed a thesis on al-Bāqillānī’s manuscript on miracles and magic for her second Master’s degree, in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, from Hartford Seminary, USA. Her research interests include contemporary Qur’anic hermeneutics, emerging trends in Qur’anic studies, receptions of the Qur’an in everyday Muslim life, the Qur’an and magic, and intertextual study among scriptures. Her work has been published in academic journals, an edited volume, and conference presentations. She has also translated into Indonesian several English books on the Qur’an and


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How to Cite

Fina, L. I. N. . (2017). A Muslim Reading of the Haustafeln of Ephesians 5:21-33 in Dialogue with Quran 4:34: Does the Text Support a Hierarchical Relation between Husbands and Wives?. Indonesian Journal of Theology, 5(2), 194-210. https://doi.org/10.46567/ijt.v5i2.26