There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

Is it easier to be adopted or to change your sex? This isn’t a trick question. You can be adopted, and you can’t change your sex.

When Paul uses the language in Galatians 3:28 that there is “neither … male nor female”, then, he clearly isn’t speaking literally. If he were, then male and female would cease to exist as real categories. “True enough”, an egalitarian might say, “but he’s not talking about your biology; just your role”.

Paul also calls his fellow believers “brothers and sisters in Christ”. Now surely, this must also be talking about role, because he also uses the language of adoption, and being adopted is not a change in your nature but a change in your relationship; a change in the role you play related to the family into which you are adopted.

But if we are to take Paul’s use of “neither male nor female” to mean that roles between the sexes are abolished, then surely we are to take Paul’s use of “brothers and sisters in Christ” to mean that we are really, truly, brothers and sisters in Christ.

This poses a bit of a problem when it comes to the prohibitions against incest in Scripture combined with calls to be equally yoked; to marry fellow believers.

However, if you discard this literal understanding of “brothers and sisters”, it seems to me you must necessarily discard the far more tenuous notion that Paul, in Galatians 3:28 and contrary to what he writes everywhere else, is really abolishing the sexes once and for all.