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Women of the Bible

Have you ever dismissed or overestimated someone on first meeting? Has that happened to you? Once when I was speaking at a church, I saw in the bulletin that I was to be introduced as "The Reverend Doctor John R. Kohlenberger III." When I tried to explain that I was neither ordained nor had an earned doctorate, but was just "John," I was simply answered with "we like to be formal here." Formal I can understand, but not incorrect. On the other end of the spectrum, because I was first published at age twenty-eight, I used to hear "I enjoy your father's books." But now I look enough like a big boy to have written on my own. Bible translators have to fight presumption and bias, as do preachers and teachers, to be sure they communicate what the Bib... Read more
This post originally appeared on Scot's blog Jesus Creed on August 5, 2014: patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2014/08/05/beliefs-known-by-praxis/. What we believe and how we behave are not quite perfectly matched, at least not this side of the kingdom, but it is not unfair to say that what one believes is seen in how one lives. If you say you believe in God but never pray, or if you say you believe in forgiveness and hold grudges, or if you say you believe God loves all but your circle of friends is restricted to folks like yourself — well, your acts reveal what you really believe or you have acted outside the bounds of your beliefs. Sometimes, however, it works another way: sometimes what we believe needs praxis to reveal what the beliefs entail. Sometimes the beliefs are... Read more
Happy Friday! Another great week of posts speaking out against patriarchy and lifting up the biblical ideal of mutuality in marriage and leadership. Be encouraged, dear friends. Apostles, Deacons, and the Women of Romans 16, by Nicholas Quient One can only imagine the honor of hearing the stories of one of the most outstanding women God has given to the world, and what a debt we owe to her. Christian history, it seems, is built off the deeds of such women. 10 Ways Male Privilege Shows Up in the Church, by Gail Wallace (The Junia Project) I think many Christians are becoming more aware of racial and class privilege, but I don’t see the same level of awareness about male privilege in Christian circles. A Legacy for Women, by  Michelle Mosier Would... Read more
What an amazing week. Because of a week-long synchroblog called Faith Feminisms, the Christian blogosphere has exploded with posts about biblical gender equality. Can faith and feminism coexist? The resounding answer: YES! Not only coexist, but feminism comes out of our faith in a Lord who breaks down the walls that divide us and limit us along gender lines. There is no hierarchy in the kingdom of God. I'll highlight some posts here, but if you want to immerse yourself in the bounty of these writings, please go to FaithFeminisms.com to check out the entire list. Here are a few of our favorites: RECORDING: Faith Without Feminism, by Emily Rice (Thirty Seconds or Less) I need feminism in my faith to challenge those lies and to remind me that all are made in the... Read more
I'm reading N.T. Wright's latest popular installment entitled Surprised by Scripture and chapter 4, "The Biblical Case for Ordaining Women", caught my attention. Having previously read his stance, I expected not to be "surprised." Though I wasn't "shocked, amazed, stupefied, or bewildered" (all synonyms of "surprise"), I did get another picture, of sorts, about Galatians 3:28 (from which my blog's theme takes it's name, by the way). This text likely means so much more than a prima facia reading suggests. For starters, "this verse is often mistranslated" (p 66). Here's Wright's take on it: "Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female.... Read more
There are so many great posts around the web proclaiming biblical equality. Here are some we noticed: 5 Ways Married Men Can Act Like Adults Around Women (Single or Not), by Luke Harms (Living the Tension) It is possible to maintain eye contact without being skeezy. If you lack the self-control to do so, it’s because you sir, are a creeper. But what’s more, you have so devalued women in your own mind that they don’t exist outside of the parts of their body that you find attractive. The Many Female Followers of Jesus, by Marg Mowczko (The Junia Project) Many women were dedicated followers of Jesus during his ministry on earth.  Many of these women seem to have been independent of fathers and husbands, and some were independently wealthy.... Read more
Don’t be afraid to be big, women. That’s what I learned at a conference this weekend. Women are taught to be small. Tomorrow, pay attention to how women walk, sit and stand compared to men. You’ll notice women take smaller steps with their hands closer to their sides, cross their legs, fold their hands in their laps. Men are more likely to swing their arms when they walk, stretch out their legs, drape their arm over the seat next to them. And of course, mainstream American media portrays thin women as the ideal. We women aren’t supposed to take up space with our bodies. We’re not supposed to draw attention to ourselves in other ways, either. American girls’ achievement, particularly in math and science, starts dropping off in middle school. They... Read more
Do you recognize these girls? One hint: they are in biblical order. I approached an Egyptian princess with a bold idea. We five sisters asked Moses to allow us to inherit land. I bravely carried secret plans outside the walls of Jerusalem to help David. My enemy captor heard my suggestion to entrust his health to Israel's God. My sisters and I helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under enemy opposition. I felt death and then I felt the hand of Jesus. Now I have two birthdays. We were mere maids, but we questioned anyway. My "friends" called me "silly" but they soon found out the truth. I was possessed by the python until Paul made my voice my own. My three sisters and I discovered our gift of prophecy in Caesarea. Finally, well into the... Read more
At Passover we celebrate how God used Moses to deliver Israel from slavery how his staff kept them from drowning in the Red Sea We forget how when Pharaoh ordered a gendercide the midwives delivered this Hebrew baby how his mother’s reeds kept him from drowning in the Nile Who knew underwater basket-weaving was worthwhile?   “Moses” means “draw out” Prince of Egypt, he drew Israel out defying Pharaoh’s army raised the 10 commandments and led the people 40 years in the wilderness. His name came from the princess of Egypt who drew him out of the water defying Pharaoh daddy raised him up in the royal household ‘til he fled to the desert for 40 years.   Moses saw God in the bush but God was wat... Read more
I’ve grown up in the church all my life and have always heard Rebekah talked about in a negative light. Teachers and leaders have called her manipulative, deceptive, and lacking in submission to God and to her husband. Tradition has not been kind to Rebekah and I believe she is one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood women of the Bible. I hereby dedicate this post to my hero and to my mentor, Rebekah. This is my tribute to how I believe the biblical story intended her to be seen, not as a symbol of perfection but as a woman who, like King David, panted after the heart of God. She was a woman who longed to live before an Audience of One and who actually served one of the most significant roles in protecting the nation of Israel (Jacob) in its very formative stages. Here... Read more