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Published Date: October 31, 2004

Published Date: October 31, 2004

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Editor’s Reflections | Autumn 2004

After the outstanding work done by Victoria Peterson-Hilleque, Carol Thiessen, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, and all the other splendid women and men who have worked so skillfully to make Priscilla Papers what it is today, I am both humbled and honored to be invited to come on board as editor. I know many of you personally already, since I have been with CBE since shortly after its founding, and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from those of you I haven’t yet been blessed to meet.

The point of Priscilla Papers is to encourage men and women to work together as equal co-laborers in serving Jesus. My assigned task is to help Priscilla Papers be our accessible, academic journal, since Mutuality, our trendsetting popular magazine, is doing such excellent work.

What we are looking for in submissions are 5000 word (15 pages with endnotes, double-spaced, 12-point font, in Chicago Manual of Style format), original, groundbreaking biblical, theological, historical studies, accessible to the informed lay reader, that illuminate aspects of the central tenet that the Bible, correctly understood, affirms the full participation of women and men together in ministry. The recommended style for an article is not quite as popular as Christianity Today’s tone but not as technical as that of The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society’s: we are looking for scholarly, yet accessible submissions. Of course, we are expecting inclusive language for humanity and encouraging but not requiring non-sex specific language for God.

Our mission is primarily to the evangelical community and we ourselves maintain a high view of Scripture, accepting the Bible in its original autographs as all intended to be there by God. Please note CBE’s doctrinal statement, included in each issue of Priscilla Papers, which specifies, “The Bible is the inspired Word of God, is reliable, and is the final authority for faith and practice.” We also maintain a thoroughly orthodox historic Christian theology: we worship one God in three co-equal persons.

You will note that our goal is positive and we try not to attack individual scholars of opposing viewpoints in our pages, we simply challenge their misconceptions thoroughly as we shed new light on the issue of female/male joint ministry. Our ultimate goal is to please Jesus by activating the entire church and encouraging our readers to press on to fulfill their God-given giftings and callings. This issue’s three perceptive articles are exemplary of what we are hoping to publish. We will also try to publish in each issue an original poem and original art work, so we are seeking submissions in these areas as well. Please check our website for further writer’s guidelines. If you believe you make a worthwhile positive contribution to our understanding, please contact us.

I would never undertake such a daunting task alone, but always try to work in community, so I have asked several superb co-workers to share the work with me as a team. The Rev. Dr. Aída Besançon Spencer, professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has agreed to be our consultant in all matters, including books we review. The Rev. (soon to be Dr.) Leslie McKinney, pastor of community at Pilgrim Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, is our editorial associate overseeing correspondence and e-mail follow-up, and Michal Beth Dinkler, an adjunct professor of English at Salem State College and Master of Divinity student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, is our editorial associate overseeing electronic matters. Together, we invite any CBE member to submit an article idea to us—this is your journal. Please propose it by brief e-mail to Leslie: (or, as a backup, Michal Beth at If it sounds right for the journal, we’ll invite you to send a double-spaced, 12-point font, hard copy to me: Rev. Dr. William David Spencer, Box 229, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA 01982; or send an electronic copy to Michal Beth at her e-mail above. We encourage publishers or authors with forthcoming books on gender and biblical or theological issues to notify Leslie or mail a copy to Aída at the GCTS address. Queries from all are warmly welcomed.

The topic of our present debut issue is clarification of biblical data. Christiane Carlson-Thies gives us a helpful reminder that Genesis 1 and 2 appear in the order in which the Holy Spirit intends us to read them and, when read in order, affirm the joint calling of men and women to rule together. Mary Brondyke shows how the gospel texts in language and theme present the sinful woman, by her humble ministering to Jesus, as replacing in God’s sight the neglectful Pharisee as Jesus’ true welcoming host. Finally, Jerry Camery-Hoggatt researches the historical mishandling of another high profile woman and shows us that Mary Magdalene is actually a disciple of Jesus’ earliest recruitments who has been falsely maligned. Each article has been carefully researched and revised, and each furthers our understanding that the Bible, as we receive it, is not at odds with mutual ministry, but alive with it.

Our hope is that this issue blesses you as much as it did us as we put it together and arms you further with reasons and models that encourage you to use all your God-given gifts to do the good work of the gospel to which you’ve been called.


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