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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.

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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.

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La ocasión para escribir este artículo es esta: en una reciente convención de verano [probablemente en 1893], se le había pedido a una joven mujer misionera que hablara sobre su trabajo en una de las sesiones públicas. Algunos de los delegados tenían tantas quejas sobre una mujer hablando a una asamblea de hombres y mujeres que sacaron a la dama del programa y después de esto solamente dejaron que los miembros varones participaran en la conferencia pública.

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If we want to see women free, we have to challenge the message that passivity is godly. We have to encourage women to boldly exercise their God-given authority. We must image Bible women who took direct action to further God’s vision for the world.

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Still Side by Side: A Concise Explanation of Biblical Gender Equality is a resource for anyone seeking answers to questions about men, women, leadership, and the church.

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Still Side by Side: A Concise Explanation of Biblical Gender Equality is a resource for anyone seeking answers to questions about men, women, leadership, and the church. Translated into simplified Chinese.

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Still Side by Side: A Concise Explanation of Biblical Gender Equality is a resource for anyone seeking answers to questions about men, women, leadership, and the church.

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Still Side by Side: A Concise Explanation of Biblical Gender Equality is a resource for anyone seeking answers to questions about men, women, leadership, and the church.

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Still Side by Side: A Concise Explanation of Biblical Gender Equality is a resource for anyone seeking answers to questions about men, women, leadership, and the church.

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Still Side by Side: A Concise Explanation of Biblical Gender Equality is a resource for anyone seeking answers to questions about men, women, leadership, and the church.

KEEP READING