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Priscilla Papers

Book Review: I Suffer Not a Woman

Until now, this reviewer had to acknowledge he simply did not understand Paul's statement: "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man" (1Tim 2:12).

No explanation rang scripturally true: e.g. "rabbinical male bias" or "a local cultural problem." Exceptions for women teaching or preaching ("only occasionally" or "under male authority" or "if there aren't male missionaries") sounded like semantics.

Book Review: Beyond the Curse

Subtitled "Women Called to Ministry," Dr. Spencer's book presents a new look at Scripture's description of women's roles. She writes, "Whole dimensions of God, ministry, education and theology are being obscured and ignored if women are not properly trained, then invited, even more so welcomed, to participate as significant and affirmed once they do lead." Dr. Spencer reminds the reader that "God has often surprised the church by the workers He sent out."

Book Review: How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership

Alan Johnson, emeritus professor of New Testament and Christian ethics at Wheaton College (Illinois), has put together autobiographical accounts of twenty-seven evangelical leaders, both men and women, from many denominations. These stories recount journeys from belief in a restrictive role for women to a realization of freedom for women to use all their gifts and callings for God’s kingdom. In many of these accounts, the implications for Christian marriage are brought out: a side-by-side partnership of mutual love and submission, where no one is “boss” and no one needs to dominate.

Book Review: Christian Standard Bible

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The CSB was published in March 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
 

Book Review: Does God Make the Man? Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity

Does God Make the Man? is a fascinating look at how evangelical and ecumenical men process the messages they hear about masculinity from religion and media. The authors organized focus groups and recorded hundreds of hours of conversations to see if religion is vital to developing masculine identity. They conclude that, although evangelical men may claim to learn gender roles from the Bible, the actual sources of this knowledge are media and culture.

Book Review: Women's Socioeconomic Status and Religious Leadership in Asia Minor in the First Two Centuries C.E.

This book is a PhD dissertation, published in Fortress Press’s selective “Emerging Scholars” series. Indeed, it reads like a dissertation, and only specialists will resist the urge to skim through the survey of scholarship and explanation of method in the introduction and first chapter. (That is not to say these sections are of no value.)

Book Review: Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle's Vison for Men and Women in Christ

In the often-heated evangelical debate concerning the ordination of women, one struggles to find a coherent and exhaustive work that covers more than the relevant Pauline texts. For example, the respected works by Philip Payne and Craig Keener provide concentrated exegesis on the significant Pauline texts.1 Cynthia Long Westfall’s recent book offers a larger interpretive framework for the evangelical gender debate, a framework that is lucid, compelling, and profoundly refreshing, and one which does not miss the theological forest for the exegetical trees.

Book Review: What's Right With Feminism

Many people are aware that women's wider opportunities to use their leadership gifts in both society and the church are due primarily to the efforts of women's movement—a feminist movement that began in this country in the mid-eighteen hundreds and was closely allied with the abolitionist movement. Yet as Christian women confront the complex (and often negative) baggage carried by the word "feminist" today, these women can often feel ill-equipped to sort out the many social and theological issues regarding women's roles in the nineteen nineties.

Book Review: Call Me Blessed: The Emerging Christian Woman

Faith Martin begins her book by stating: ''In the eyes of the church, a woman's humanity is overshadowed by her being perceived as a sex. Woman is the spiritual equal of man, but the church teaches that a woman's sex prevents a practical working out of that equality...All of this contrasts with the Holy Scriptures. When reading the Bible I am not conscious of my sex but conscious of my humanity. And so felt the women who flocked to Jesus. No man before or since has treated women as so completely human."

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Volume 11

Dear Brothers in Christ: As someone who has long been committed to a thoroughly evangelical viewpoint, I write to share my concern with: the process surrounding the decision to withdraw the inclusive-language version of the NIV (NIVI), the May 27 guidelines, and their implications for the future of evangelicalism. Read more
How many times have you heard from the lips of conservatives, “I’m not politically correct, and proud of it!”? The badge of political incorrectness began as an oft-appropriate response to ideas and values imposed on us culturally by political liberals—a backlash against left-wing “thought police” whose anti-traditional values ironically included opposition to censorship, absolutes, and “legislated morality.” Read more
When a bomb goes off those behind the incident will usually take credit and publish a tract or manifesto to propagate their views. So it was in the latest chapter of the evangelical culture wars. On May 27, 1997, the International Bible Society (IBS) made a decision that exploded in controversy, and the real culprits behind the matter went to press proclaiming their point of view. Read more
A year ago in this journal I wrote: “We should be thankful for the NIV Inclusive Language Edition.… This translation is… a blessing for and a gift to the Church and its ministry…. We should also pray and lend our support for the appearance and ready availability of this edition of the NIV in the U.S. as soon as possible.” Read more
One of my seminary students was leading a group of eight-year-olds at Vacation Bible School. The Scripture portion was John 15:5, a text in which the Greek used an indefinite pronoun, “anyone,” although it had been rendered as “man” in the New International Version of the Bible. Thus the children read: I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Read more
Shortly after the controversy over the New International Version Inclusive Language Edition (NIVI) erupted, an older woman in one of my Bible classes asked me, “Are you in favor of changing our Bible?” Read more
Perhaps you’ve heard people say: “If the King James was good enough for St. Paul, then it’s good enough for us.” Perhaps they didn’t know that the King James Version, published in 1611, was not available to St. Paul, who ministered roughly in the time period 35-65 AD! Read more
As a translator of the Old Testament and member of several NIV teams, I’ve had many opportunities to protest against the use of sexist language wherever ‘adam or ben- ‘adam is generic and clearly refers to both men and women. For example, in the Creation account, “He created man (‘adam) in his own image… male and female, he created them” (1:26-27), ‘adam should read either “the human race” or “people.” The same is probably true for Genesis 2:5, 3:21, 5:1 and 6:3. Certainly the ‘adam in Psalm 8:4 deserves to be rendered “human beings” or “men and women.” Read more
“This is not a gender matter, it’s a language matter.” Professor Jimmy Duke speaks for many in his comments on translations (Saint Paul Pioneer, June, 1997:4D). I beg to disagree. As a professor of New Testament who has served on several translation committees, and as a woman, I propose that the May 27 “Guidelines for Translation” released from Focus on the Family’s headquarters in Colorado Springs are solely “a gender matter.” Read more
Evangelical interpreters, egalitarians and complementarians alike, have slain many trees over Paul’s precise point in citing Eve in 1 Timothy 2:13-15. Is Eve a transcultural example, or merely an example applicable to the easily-deceived Ephesian women and those like them? Read more

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