What was it like to be a woman in the biblical period? It depended, in part, on who you were: a queen, a judge, a primary wife, a secondary wife, a widow, a slave, or some other kind of "ordinary woman." In Women in the Bible, Jaime Clark-Soles investigates how women are presented in Scripture, taking into account cultural views of both ancient societies as well as our own. While women today are exercising leadership in churches across a number of denominations and our scholarly knowledge related to women in the Bible has grown immensely, challenges remain. Most of Christendom still excludes women from religious leadership, and many Christians invoke the Bible to circumscribe women's leadership in the public square and in the home as well. It is more urgent than ever, therefore, to investigate closely, honestly, and intrepidly what the Bible does and doesn't say about women.
In a multipronged approach, Clark-Soles treats well-known biblical women from fresh perspectives, highlights women who have been ignored, and recovers those who have been erased from historical memory by particular moves made in the transmission and translations of the text. She explores symbolic feminized figures like Woman Wisdom and the Whore of Babylon and reclaims the uses of feminine imagery in the Bible that often go unnoticed. Chapters focus on themes of God's relationship to gender, women and violence, women as creators, and women in the ministry of both Jesus and Paul. Clark-Soles aims to equip clergy and other leaders invested in the study of Scripture to consider women in the Bible from multiple angles and, as a result, help people of all genders to live God's vision of better, more just lives as we navigate the challenges of our complex, globally connected world.
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