I used to think the Bible as we know of it today was set in stone - like the 10 Commandments.
But the more I read into it - the more I find out that it was just articles, poems, letters written by men, copied by men, selected by men, and ultimately chosen by a committee.
That's the awful truth.
Of course you can say that they were all divinely inspired. But let's not sugar coat this aspect of our Christian history. The real question to ask is - how much of that was divinely inspired and how big an influence or bias did the fallible side of the human writers interject into the Holy Scripture?
God didn't sit down somewhere and write the Bible out. Some dude did that, hundreds of them if you include the number of people who must have copied, rewrote, remembered and inscribed it down on paper.
The Bible as we know it wasn't formed as such until the 3rd or 4th century. Groups of Christians would have copies of texts that were passed and copied down. Certain letters were favored by bigger groups and those were ultimately chosen to be "our Bible". Other groups who held onto different texts were persecuted by the larger groups - violence against them was considered an option.
Sometime ago, copies of "The Gospel according to Mary" and "The Gospel according to Thomas" surfaced. But they were regarded by the committees and the dudes in charge of the church at that time to be considered unreliable, esp. Mary's Gospel - because of the uncomfortable role that she played in the church. Back then women were considered by men such as Paul to be inferior to men because "it was Eve who sinned first".
Have you ever wondered what exactly was Mary's role and relationship with Jesus Christ? She was there at some of the most crucial and important moments of his life. She was the only person who saw him at the Tomb on the 3rd day. She was the first person whom He met and talked to after His resurrection. I think that is significant.
Then after that - silence. She is not even mentioned in Acts as if she has been air brushed out of church history. The rest of the OT are mainly the words of Paul - a Jewish cleric who had a brief vision of Jesus on the Road to Damascus. Strange yeah? The bulk of Christian doctrine including the role of women - you're equal but sit down and shut up - come from his letters.
I found this article and I thought it was intriguing. If you are interested in reading more about Mary and the role of women in the church I suggest you read it. Its not as clear cut as the conservative church leadership would have us believe.