Priscilla Papers 28.4 Preview | CBE International

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Priscilla Papers 28.4 Preview

Old Testament Women
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On October 13, 2014

The next issue of Priscilla Papers, themed "Old Testament Women" is coming out in early November! Here are just some of the features you'll find in this upcoming edition:


From “The Genesis of Equality, Part 1,” by Kevin Giles

In addition to the command to subdue and rule the earth, man and woman are together commanded to “be fruitful and multiply.” No mention is made of any separation of roles in being “fruitful.” Ruling and procreating are roles or functions given to men and women alike in God’s good creation.

Thus what we have in this primary and definitive scriptural comment on the sexes is the strongest imaginable affirmation of the equal status of man and woman (“in the image of God he created them”), of male-female differentiation (“male and female he created them”) and of their conjoint authority over creation (“let them have dominion”). Their equality cannot be taken simply to be a spiritual equality, an “equality before God.” The man and the woman are depicted as standing side by side, head erect in the world God has created, and it is over this world they are conjointly to rule. Indeed, Genesis 1:27-28 speaks of the equality of man and woman in being and in function.

From “Tamar’s Voice of Wisdom and Outrage in 2 Samuel 13,” by Deirdre Brouer

Tamar was a beautiful princess from the tribe of Judah. Her father was a former shepherd from Bethlehem; her mother was the daughter of a Canaanite king. Tamar grew up in the palace of Jerusalem and lived during Israel’s golden years under the reigns of her father, David (1010-970 BC), and her half-brother Solomon (970-930 BC). Tamar was the daughter of the messianic forerunner, the chosen and anointed one, the man after God’s heart. She was the only daughter of David named alongside nineteen of David’s sons….

Tamar was raped, silenced, and left desolate by Amnon, David’s firstborn son and heir to the Davidic throne, within the palace of the king. But her story does not end here. Tamar has a voice, and her community has made sure that her voice is not silenced. This community, represented by the biblical writers, stands with Tamar, validates her voice, and acknowledges her suffering. Through the biblical writers we hear Tamar’s voice of wisdom and outrage.

Tamar’s voice of wisdom and outrage testifies to her courage, godliness, and pain. She speaks powerfully and relevantly today to those who live in desolation. Hearing Tamar requires close attention to her words and actions, for the narrator has added volume to her voice.

From “Remembering Jephthah’s Daughter,” by Rollin Ramsaran

Does this story of Jephthah and his daughter speak to Christians leaders like ourselves? Those of us who are recipients of the comings and goings of the Spirit for ministry? Certainly there is more here than avoiding rash and ill-worded vows. Certainly there is more here than trying to rescue Jephthah, or God, or God’s Spirit from wrongdoing. If we are to learn from Jephthah, we must learn not to follow him in the way of unfaithfulness. Disciples of Jesus respect the Spirit of God, and they do not neglect the knowledge of their traditions. Nor do they forget to cultivate their ability for proper reasoning and application of the things of God. Leaders do not protect their pride and place of status by entering into evil acts rather than humbly asking pardon before God. In interpreting the purposes of God, we should be found standing on the side of what is right—taking our place beside God as those who stand for the oppressed and the excluded. Jephthah’s daughter could only have wished for what you have right now—a new reality in Christ Jesus that welcomes all into full participation without distinction.

From “The Book of Ruth as an Exemplar for Faith Communities,” by Sam Long

The book of Ruth continues to challenge the faith community by holding her up as a model to be emulated. Ruth’s life, faith, and faithfulness are the standard to which believers should compare themselves. Ruth has become more than a mere figure in Israelite history. She displays characteristics that epitomize a strong, faithful, God-fearing woman. Moreover, while living in a patriarchal society, Ruth vividly embodies someone who wants to contribute to the community despite obstacles and social mores. The book confronts nationalism, racism, bigotry, prejudices, and misogyny. As such, it still has much to teach our faith communities. To such ends, this article will focus on the book of Ruth as an example of faithfulness and acceptance.


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