Women in the Bible
Studying the women in the Bible can point us to the heart of the biblical narrative and effectively counter the oppression of women in culture and the Church. Without ignoring its difficult androcentric passages, our contributors show us the liberating implications, for both men and women, of Scripture.
Junia Pokrifka commends "a grand narrative approach" to interpreting the stories of women in the Bible. The scriptural narrative, being centrally concerned with redemption and restorative justice, "places injustice against women in a light" [in which] patriarchy and androcentrism are no longer seen as normative, but as regrettable conditions that God and God's human agents are working to overcome." Mona LaFosse surveys the cultural context of early Christian women to interpret the difficult passages in the Letters to Timothy and Titus. Joy Schroeder traces how the ancient prophetess and poet Deborah became "a potent symbol of female authority and speech" in the nineteenth century, and Mary Ann Beavis restores the biblical and historical Mary Magdalene as a model of discipleship in our day.
In Jocelyn Mathewes's marvelous images of women holding icons of their patron saints we glimpse how the icons, and the women whose lives are being shaped by holding them close, point "to the power of the larger story of Scripture." New songs and a liturgy by Jeanie Miley proclaim "the perfect balance of masculine and feminine strengths" in Christ, "strengths that call us to become more fully human, more completely creative and productive, and more loving as we learn how to balance all the qualities God inscribed within each person, made in his image."
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to explore the stories of women in Scripture. The study guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Women in the Bible issue and the set of five Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
Hymns and Worship Service
- "Feminist Scholarship on Women in the Bible," by Sheila Klopfer
- Carol Meyers, ed., Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament
- Carolyn Osiek and Margaret Y. Macdonald with Janet H. Tulloch, A Woman's Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity
- Andrew Sloane, ed., Tamar's Tears: Evangelical Engagements with Feminist Old Testament Hermeneutics
- Women and the Church issue
- Articles on biblical women in art:
- "Interrupted," on the early Christian mosaic Jesus Healing the Woman with an Issue of Blood, by Heidi J. Hornik (Health)
- "Host and Guest," on Alessandro Allori's Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, by Heidi J. Hornik Hospitality)
- "The Penitence of Mary Magdalen," on Donatello's The Penitent Magdalen, by Heidi J. Hornik (Lent)
- "Isolation," on Ezekiel's Eve Hearing the Voice, by Heidi J. Hornik (The Moral Landscape of Creation)
- "Susanna's Strength," on Artemisia Gentileschi's Susanna and the Elders, by Heidi J. Hornik and F. Matthew Schobert, Jr. (The Pornographic Culture)
- "Love that Crosses Ethnic Boundaries," on Marten van Heemskerck's Ruth and Naomi, by Heidi J. Hornik (Racism)