Lost Women of the Bible : Finding Strength and Significance through Their Stories
The women of the Bible have a strong, relevant message for women today that has been lost underneath layers of traditional interpretations and the expectation that God does his most important work through men. Crucial dimensions of their lives have been muted, forgotten, or passed over. Their strong voices are silent at a time when women are searching for answers that will hold up under the pressures and challenges confronting them today. This book brings the women of the Bible into the twenty-first century by recovering their powerful message for contemporary women.
James (When Life and Beliefs Collide) was compelled to this search of "lost" biblical women because she has felt lost at times-when marriage and family were delayed for her, or when trying to minister within a church culture which often constrains women's ministry. She begins by studying the "helpmeet" role that Eve was assigned and discovers that the Hebrew word ezer has stronger connotations than usually allowed, meaning strong helper and even warrior. James unearths the stories of eight additional women, including Sarah and her abused handmaid Hagar, the deceitful-or righteous?-Tamar, infertile Hannah, beautiful Esther, Jesus' mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. Each story reveals the critical, powerful roles these women played in the biblical narrative, confirming every woman's calling to be an ezer. James concludes with a chapter on Paul and his close relationship with the women leaders in the church at Philippi, but avoids Paul's harsher statements about women. And while she details the equality of women as image-bearers of God and laborers for the gospel, James stops short of addressing what these truths mean for women in today's church. However, many Christian women struggling to discover their place will find this a compelling and refreshing read. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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January 31, 2008
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