The occasion for writing the following article is this: at a recent summer convention [probably 1893] a young lady missionary had been appointed to give an account of her work at one of the public sessions. The scruples of certain of the delegates against a woman’s addressing a mixed assembly were found to be so strong, however, that the lady was withdrawn from the programme, and further public participation in the conference confined to its male constituency.
This list is meant to provide a brief sampling of the rich literature of Bible commentaries written by evangelical scholars in the last few decades. All of the Bible commentaries listed here are friendly to an egalitarian perspective.
Many know the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. However, often our own culture and struggles can lead us to “discover” lessons that are not part of the text, or miss important details that are. Often in churches, Esther becomes obscured to the point where this brave woman who was mightily used by God becomes passively subject to the decisions of men. For example, a marriage book released recently by a popular pastor and his wife used the story of Esther to promote obedience to one’s husband, contrasting disobedient Queen Vashti with a “submissive” Esther. Is submission to one’s husband truly the lesson of this narrative?
Most people read a translated Bible, a domesticated Bible that by means of translators’ mediation has crossed time, space, language, and culture. Bible translators strive to provide people with access to this ancient text.
The workshop reflects on and discusses the complex role of Bible translation in the dissemination of the good news of our salvation and liberation, and in championing gender equality. We will examine gender equality as a human dignity issue in our cultures, home, families, and churches!
The truth is, women have always been leaders and exemplars of the faith, and Scripture praises them for it. Let’s do all we can to make sure that one day, every Bible translation celebrates that reality.
Two Bible translations from the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were the solo efforts of women scholars. Let me introduce you to Julia Evelina Smith (1792–1886) and Helen Barrett Montgomery (1861–1934).