Last week, we published the first part of our interview with Kelley Nikondeha, author of our summer book club pick. We continue the conversation today and hear more about mutuality, freedom, and how readers have responded. (Part 2)
Women's History Month is all about focusing on the ways women have been intregral players in history, whether we know about them or not. It's also a good time to stop and take note of our reading (or listening or watching) habits in terms of gender. Who are you reading regularly? Do you need to put some diversity in your to-read list?
For egalitarians, the book of Judges clearly demonstrates God’s approval of women leaders. Yet many who view women’s leadership as unbiblical dismiss the pattern of God-affirmed female authority in Judges.
Unwarranted criticisms by evangelical scholars of Deborah’s leadership in Judg 4–5 continue to devalue her work as “abnormal,” “wrong,” something done only in private or even in subservience to Barak. Some rabbinical scholars go so far as to brand her an arrogant woman who deserves God’s punishment. In contrast, this paper argues that a close reading of her story and song reveals an ’eshet hayil, a “woman of valor” (cf. Ruth 3:11, Prov 12:4, 31:10). This is evident not only in the direct references to her, but also in the narratives regarding her associates Barak and Jael.
It can feel like an especially difficult task to identify places where women shaped history. But it’s only difficult because we’re biased against women’s stories and accomplishments, preferring to study and celebrate the historical influence of men. In other words, it's not that women were absent from history; it's that we haven't learned how to see them.