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Can the Mosaic Law Be Reconciled With Gender Equality?

Often times examples from the Bible, especially the Law of Moses, are adduced to support the view that the Bible depicts God as a misogynist, and therefore it cannot be trusted. In other words, the apparent inequitable laws relating to women in the Mosaic Law are used to discredit the Bible as a whole. But […]

The Other Noah

The recently released film Noah has highlighted the fact that many people are at least somewhat familiar with the biblical character of Noah and his story, whether or not they’ve ever stepped into a church. This may simply mean some vague knowledge of an ark, some animals, a rainbow…. or maybe a unicorn that missed […]

“Then Esther Spoke”

I vividly remember an energetic retelling of the story of Esther at a youth conference when I was a teenager. This performance of Esther highlighted the well-known 4:14b, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (NIV). At the time, I was unaware that “for […]

Book Review: The New Perspective on Mary and Martha

The New Perspective on Mary and Martha by Mary Stromer Hanson Reviewed by Judith A. Diehl Recently, as I was listening to a Christian radio station, the female announcer shared that she was feeling guilty about her busy life. She made reference to the biblical “story of Mary and Martha,” typically feeling at fault because […]

Book Review: Bold Girls Speak

Bold Girls Speak by Mary Stromer Hanson Reviewed by Ruth Burton This book is a wonderful collection of stories written for a young audience about girls in the Bible who dared to either speak up or work in difficult situations. The author has added beautiful fictional details to the stories so that the reader can […]

Book Review: Junia, A Woman, An Apostle

“Was there a woman apostle? Yes. Her name was Junia. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so” (154).* Junia, A Woman, An Apostle by David Williams is a thorough examination of Romans 16:7. The book is intended to introduce general readership to the technical arguments for the conclusion that the person spoken […]

Poem: Holy Week Women

Cross from Colors

At Passover we celebrate how God used Moses to deliver Israel from slavery how his staff kept them from drowning in the Red Sea We forget how when Pharaoh ordered a gendercide the midwives delivered this Hebrew baby how his mother’s reeds kept him from drowning in the Nile Who knew underwater basket-weaving was worthwhile? […]

Rebekah: The Guardian and Protector of Israel

I’ve grown up in the church all my life and have always heard Rebekah talked about in a negative light. Teachers and leaders have called her manipulative, deceptive, and lacking in submission to God and to her husband. Tradition has not been kind to Rebekah and I believe she is one of the most misrepresented […]

The Unconventional Heroine

Couched between the Jacob and Joseph narratives the story of Judah and Tamar, found in Genesis 38, is presented amidst the sordid fray of poor and destructive decision making where an unexpected heroine here arises. Somehow she manages to persevere against great odds in spite of the abusive masculine roles employed against her. Tamar is purchased […]

The Historical Fallacy of an Inconsistent Ethical Evaluation

One states, “It has not been the practice of the church that women can be bishops.” The other responds, “Well, what about Bishop Theodora?” Perhaps you are familiar with such a conversation. One presents a practice in church history, and the other responds by giving a counter-example. Both are responding according to the logic that […]

Galatians 3:28: Our Identity in Christ and in the Church

Blessings of Identity For two thousand years, every morning, many devout Jewish men have said the following prayer, or a similar form of it: “Blessed are you God of the universe who has not made me a Gentile, who has not made me a slave, who has not made me a woman.” This prayer is […]

He Didn’t Have To. He Chose To.

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I recently had the privilege of spending several days in Rome. Among many important sites, the most interesting to me was the ruins of Rome’s ancient harbor city, Ostia (you can take a virtual visit here: http://www.ostia-antica.org/). One standard feature of Greco-Roman cities which is plainly visible at Ostia is the domus, the home of […]

What is Paul’s “Mystery”?

Why is Paul in chains? And what is this mystery that God has now revealed? I believe the answer to both of these questions is the same. And it might not be what we typically think it is. If we miss it, we will miss the importance of Paul’s prison epistles. When Paul returns to […]

In Memory of Her

In Mark 14 and Matthew 26 we read of Jesus being anointed by a woman while visiting the home of a man called Simon the Leper. The story ends with Jesus’ words, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of […]

Mordecai, Esther and Mutual Submission

Synopsis of the situation: Mordecai, a Jew, is an important man, known to the leadership of the Medes and Persians. His cousin, Esther, whom he raised, is now queen of the Medes and Persians. Haman is a very high official who hates Mordecai and has set up a law so that Mordecai and his entire […]

A Christmas Meditation

Just thinking about the way God chose to come to earth to begin the huge task of reconciling the world to himself. No wonder the religious leaders of the day had trouble recognising the Messiah as they expected a huge fanfare at his arrival. Not only did God not choose to announce his coming to […]

The power of words

I have just been browsing a website which promotes roles for women and men as God’s ordained will for all time. It showed again the enormous power of words to create impressions and convince people of a point of view. History shows that many strong people convinced others that what they promoted was the ‘truth’ […]

God of Sarah, Rebekah, and Ruth

I grew up in patriarchal churches. I got used to hearing Scripture readings and having to internally translate “man” to “humanity” or “people;” to seeing women behind the piano but not the pulpit or conducting the children’s choir but not the adult musicians; to being allowed to ask public questions in my high school Sunday […]

The Importance of History

I’ve been reading the recent issue of Priscilla Papers (Summer 2006). I have been struck by both Catherine Clark Kroeger and Philip B. Bayne’s use of history in their respective articles on 1 Corinthians 11. In Kroeger’s article she is looking at what kephalē, “head,” means in 1 Corinthians 11:3: “But I want you to […]

FREEDOM! In Christ

When the messiah comes, says the Old Testament, he will “proclaim freedom for the captives.” (Is. 61:1 TNIV) Jesus the Messiah came, but he brought something better than the expected freedom from foreign domination: instead, he was interested in making people’s spirits free. Jesus himself said, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is […]