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The Beguines were a Christian ministry originating among the women of the laity outside of those who took monastic vows and entered convents. The “Beguines” gained their identity from a Belgic root-word—beg—meaning to mumble or to speak without clarity. This term was used disparagingly by highly privileged men who were jealous of women who were able to live independently economically and hold positions of privilege. The Beguines represented a broad spectrum of women of differing backgrounds who gave their lives and means to help the destitute, the ill, the downtrodden, and the homeless. Laura Swan’s history of the Beguines is the first good complete treatment of the Beguines that this reviewer has ever seen. Read more
Pat Kissell
This 120-page book is one of the most powerful books on empowering women for ministry I have ever read. I might even say it is the best I have ever read. Nicole Massie Martin, an ordained minister, speaks from the trenches. The content is honest, down to earth, truthful, convicting, and painful. Her observations are so accurate and timely, that throughout the book I found myself thinking, “She sure knows what she is talking about.”  Read more
Tim Krueger
Evangelical tradition places a high value on the biblical text, which is a good thing. But too often, we buy into a myth that our favorite translation is God’s true Word, pure and untainted by bias. Changes are seen as a threat to God’s truth, motivated by a social or political agenda. Read more
Important questions, including over women’s leadership in the church and home, often hinge on translation issues. We don’t all need to be translation experts, but a basic understanding of Bible translation concepts helps us judge whether the arguments we hear are valid. It’s my hope that these principles will help us all better appreciate the challenge of translation and approach gender (and other) debates with knowledge and humility. Read more
Bronwen Speedie
Who translated the version of the English Bible that you use? Google the answer, and there’s a strong likelihood you’ll find that all or most of the translators were men, even of very recent translations. Remarkably, two translations from the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were the solo efforts of women scholars. Read more
Becky Castle Miller
“The Bible doesn’t say that men are the priests of the homes or heads of their households,” I told them. “It does say that husbands are the heads of their wives, but what does that actually mean?” Read more
It is often suggested that using a gender-accurate translation is giving in to political correctness or feminism. Sometimes the resistance is based simply on personal preference, as in the case of the pastor who told me he was “too attached” to his Bible translation to make the change. Whatever the reason, we need to realize that our language choices have consequences. If you are still on the fence about giving up your ESV or NIV1984 for a gender-accurate translation, here are some reasons to make the switch. Read more
It still irks me that my devotional is in a study Bible whose translation minimizes women. And not just the women in the Bible. It diminishes the importance of my work, because even as readers learn from Hannah, they don’t get a full picture of the ways God has used women over time. And it reinforces cultural beliefs that men should lead while women follow—beliefs that the Bible itself challenges! Read more
The challenging complexity of the ministry of Bible translation should spark humility, among translators themselves and among those who critique them. I pledge to keep such humility in mind as I describe four types of shortcomings that can be found in Bible translations, using 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 as a test case. Read more
A poem Read more

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