The Message of Women is a very thorough and complete book about women in the Bible. It starts with detailed commentary of women under the old covenant, works through all the women Jesus encountered, and finishes with women in the early church communities.
Just one part of a chapter could be used as a teaching tool for men and women to expand their views of certain women in the Bible. I was blessed by the Tidballs’ thoughts on the woman that Jesus healed from bleeding (162-5). The historical backdrop of the story was beautifully woven into this scripture reading. I also enjoyed the commentary about more “obscure” women in the Old Testament that I had never studied before, like Tekoa, who challenged King David’s treatment of his son.
However, a few points are also questionable. On page 240 under “Comprehensive Submission,” the authors are unclear about a husband’s leadership, yet they certainly seem to conclude that they promote mutual submission in marriage. The other questionable point is their definition of “Head” (242) as not being source, but “leadership and provision.” This section will certainly give readers a lot to discuss!
At times, I thought the book was laborious to read, but I took it slow and chewed on it as I went along. There is so much to learn in this book. I think The Message of Women will be a great tool to use in Bible study discussion groups as a reference or even just as a resource to learn more about what the Bible says about women. There is also an excellent study guide in the back that would be a helpful tool to use with any group.
Although I was tempted to skip to the back of the book and read the authors’ views of women in current leadership, I found the Tidballs do a thorough job of preparing the reader for that content by building a good case of how women were valued in the whole of scripture. Overall, it was a nice, rare treat to read the authors’ views of women in leadership as well as their work to explain complementary views.