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Mary Magdalene's life changed irrevocably. Nothing could be done to change what had happened. After finding the tomb empty in John 20, the other disciples returned to their homes. Mary could not leave.

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Jesus was sitting near the temple treasury one day, observing all who passed by. He witnessed many wealthy people give large sums of money to the treasury. He also saw a woman—a poor widow—give two small copper coins, worth just one penny. But Jesus declared, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44).

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Academic

Is there a way forward beyond the dominant complementarian discourse at this nexus where a predominantly white North American evangelical Christianity has met racial and ethnic others, especially East Asians in the contemporary milieu?

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I believe we have seriously misread the New Testament passages addressed in this essay. These misreadings are undoubtedly due to a combination of assumptions, traditions, and all kinds of post-biblical and sub-biblical attitudes that have crept in to Christianity. We need to change our understanding of what the Bible says about how men and women are to relate to one another within the church.

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Christians are used to hearing about Joseph and Mary, usually around Christmas. Then, they’re the supporting cast, and Jesus is the focus. They certainly don’t often come up in conversations about Christian marriage. Perhaps they should. If we pay attention, Joseph and Mary point us toward what makes a good marriage.

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Tucked away in the story of the growth of the church, a few verses in Acts 16 detail how a top Christian leader endangered both himself and his ministry for the sake of a person with all the counts against her.

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Possibly half the shepherds in Jesus’ day were women, and probably half the shepherds of the world today, too, are women. I am one of them.

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Much has been written about “sonship” and being “adopted as sons” as descriptions of being brought into and belonging to God’s family. Focus is often on the privileges of adoption in Paul’s letters, noting the love, honour, and freedom that follow. In light of this masculine language, we should ask whether women and girls experience daughterhood as bringing privileges and rights in the way men and boys experience sonship? More broadly, do we have a theology of daughterhood?

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Kudos to the people at The Jesus Film Project for their latest release, Magdalena: Released from Shame. I have not yet seen the film, but according to a Christianity Today reviewer, Magdalena “combines footage from the original Jesus film with new material emphasizing Christ’s compassion for women.” 

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Witherington combines biblical scholarship and winsome storytelling to give readers a vivid picture of an important New Testament woman.

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