Women Bible Essays
How can modern Christians understand God’s intention for a woman’s role in the church? Carroll Osburn’s two volumes exemplify recent research on women in the Bible and the early church. These volumes include essays on women from the Old and New Testament as well as women during the initial few centuries of Church history. Define the role these early women played in the Church, and explore how they lived lives devoted to God with essays that cover a variety of topics. Pastors will gain insight and wisdom as a pastor on how to affirm and enable women to worship and serve.
In the Logos editions, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
- Examines the roles of historical women during the initial stage of the Church
- Focuses on a feminine aspect of worship and belief
- Contains multiple perspectives from a large group of contributors
Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity, Volume 1
- Editor: Carroll D. Osburn
- Publisher: Wipf and Stock
- Publication Date: 2007
- Pages: 566
Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
This book focuses on an often neglected topic: women and their important role as deaconesses, examples of godliness, and co-laborers for the gospel. Essays on women in Earliest Christianity contains a variety of perspectives from many authors who have laid out the biblical and historical examples of feminine Christian worship.
- “Women in the Church in Recent Discussion” by Kathy J. Pulley
- “Women in the Old Testament” by John T. Willis
- “Women in Hellenistic and Roman Worlds (323 BCE–138 CE)” by Gregory E. Sterling
- “Jewish Women in the Greco-Roman Era” by Randall D. Chesnutt
- “‘Neither Male and Female’ (Gal. 3:28)” by Jan Faver Hailey
- “‘Phoebe’ and ‘Junia(s)’—Rom. 16:1–2,7” by James Walters
- “1 Cor. 11:2–16— A Re-investigation” by Mark C. Black
- “The Interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:34–35” by Carroll D. Osburn
- “‘Submission’ in Eph. 5:21–33” by Kenneth V. Neller
- “Women in the Earlier Philippian Church (Acts 16:13–15; Phil. 4:2–3) in Recent Scholarship” by J. Paul Pollard
- “Admonitions to Women in 1 Tim. 2:8–15” by Thomas C. Geer, Jr.
- “The Identity of the ‘Women’ in 1 Tim. 3:11” by Barry L. Blackburn
- “The ‘Widows’ in 1 Tim. 5:3–16” by Marcia D. Moore
- “Titus 2:5—Must Women Stay at Home?” by Stanley N. Helton
- “The Submission of Wives in 1 Peter” by James W. Thompson
- “Markan Characterization of Women” by Frederick D. Aquino and A. Brian McLemore
- “Women in Matthew’s Gospel: A Methodological Study” by Larry Chouinard
- “Women in the Gospel of Luke” by Allen Black
- “‘Anti-Feminist’ Tendency in the ‘Western’ Text of Acts?” by Jeffrey W. Childers and L. Curt Niccum
- “Women in the Post-Apostolic Church” by Everett Ferguson
This is the most balanced and enlightening collection of essays on women in early Christianity that I have seen. . . Hermeneutical questions are raised that will stimulate discussion and will provide insight to anyone dealing with the role of women in the Church.
—Klyne Snodgrass, professor, North Park Theological Seminary
These wide-ranging essays mark an important contribution to a most significant issue in the contemporary church. Not all will agree with every opinion offered, but all can profit from a careful reading of this . . . thoughtful and probing book.
—E. Earle Ellis, research professor of theology emeritus, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
The contributions to this volume are thorough, well written, carefully researched. . . Some of them may even be considered definitive. A volume of this magnitude will be received with gratitude by all who are engaged in the study of this agonizingly important issue.
—John McRay, professor emeritus of New Testament and archaeology, Wheaton College Graduate School
Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity, Volume 2
- Editor: Carroll D. Osburn
- Publisher: Wipf and Stock
- Publication Date: 2007
- Pages: 644
Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Volume two continues the discussion of women in early Christianity. Topics include Sarah, Deborah, women in the Gospel of John, gender roles, and more. The authors also examine the role of women in the church to help readers gain a deeper understanding of this important issue in modern Christianity.
- “In the Beginning: Male and Female (Gen 1–3)” by Rick R. Marrs
- “Sarah—Her Life and Legacy” by Jack W. Vancil
- “Deborah—Judge, Prophetess, Military Leader, and Mother in Israel” by Charme E. Robarts
- “‘Wise Women’ in the Bible: Identifying a Trajectory” by Michael S. Moore
- “Huldah and Other Biblical Prophetesses” by John T. Willis
- “Mate, Mother, and Metaphor: Gomer and Israel in Hosea 1–3” by Timothy M. Willis
- “The Capable Wife (Prov 31:10–31)” by Jack P. Lewis
- “A Note on Luke 18:29–30” by John McRay and Carroll D. Osburn
- “Women in the Gospel of John” by Frank Wheeler
- “—Subordination of Women in Rom 7:2” by James C. Walters
- “1 Cor 7:4—Authority Over the Body” by Robert F. Hull, Jr.
- “Priscilla and Aquila—Co-Workers in Christ” by Wendell Willis
- “Women and Prophecy in the Corinthian Church” by Gary Selby
- “1 Cor 11:2–16—Public or Private?” by Carroll D. Osburn
- “Was Sarah a Believer? Reflections on Hebrews 11:11” by James Thompson
- “Tertullian—Against Women?” by Earl Lavender
- “Women Ministers in Constantinian Christianity” by Frederick W. Norris
- “Women in the European Middle Ages” by Dale Pauls
- “The Problem of Credulity of Women in the History of Christian Thought” by Gerald C. Tiffin
- “Gender Roles and Conservative Churches: 1870–1930” by Kathy J. Pulley
- “The Cult of True Womanhood and the Disciple Path to Female Preaching” by Fred A. Bailey
- “The Role of Women in the New Testament Doctrine of Ministry” by Allan J. McNicol
- “Women in the Church: The Hermeneutical Problem” by Thomas H. Olbricht
This second collection of essays is a worthy successor to the earlier volume. Again we have a well researched and balanced set of articles discussing the role of women in particular Bible passages and in Christian tradition from Tertullian to modern times. The book as a whole provides a helpful link between detailed scholarly interpretation of the scriptures and modern practice.
—J. Keith Elliott, reader in New Testament textual criticism, University of Leeds
About Carroll Osburn
Carroll Osburn is the retired Carmichael-Walling Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Abilene Christian University, where he taught at the College of Biblical Studies for 17 years.
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Women and The Bible
The Bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the
way of woman's emancipation.
A famous 19th century feminist named Elizabeth Cady Stanton voiced this
about her struggle for women's freedom. Women, considered a lower class than the
men, wanted this subjugation changed. Part of the reason for the subjugation of
women is that the Bible could be interpreted in many different ways to suit the
needs of the interpreter. These interpretations of the Bible are in part
responsible for the belief that women are of a lower class than men. The reason
this belief is present in our society is that approximately 85% of Americans are
Judeo-Christian. We see examples of these beliefs when we look at the church,
the daily lives of women, and the media. Looking at 1 Timothy 2:11-12, we see
why our religious society could interpret the Bible this way:
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission, and do not permit a woman to
teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
We must look at the historical context of the passage. Written
approximately 2000 years ago, many parts of the Bible seem outdated. The passage
portrays a time when women were property and were "trained" to be weak and
fragile. This stopped only about 30 years ago. Before this time, society taught
women from birth to be submissive to men. What does this mean to us today? It
means that although American Society is no longer training women to be
submissive, the problem is still present in our belief system. Many churches do
not believe that women should be part of the clergy. This is because they
interpret parts of the Bible, such as 1 Timothy 2:11-12, as saying that only men
should preach. In 1848, women made a retaliation to these sentiments. At the
Seneca Falls convention, women (including Elizabeth Cady Stanton) signed a
Declaration of Sentiments. In the declaration it states:
He allows her in church, as well as state, but a subordinate position,
claiming apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry,
and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the
affairs of the church (Declaration 1)
The people that these women fought against, including other women,
believe that it is the duty of a woman to be quiet and submissive. I have
experienced this anti-freedom dogma growing up in the Church of Christ community.
I experience this dogma when I talk with my grandmother, a woman who lives by
the Word. My grandmother states that I should "be a good girl and keep my mouth
shut and clean." She says that if I am quiet and do not tell my opinions, people
will like me better that way. My grandmother tries to teach the same submissive
qualities that were taught to her when she was young. We, as a society, also see
this in media. In the November 5, 1996 airing of the sitcom Cybil, the future
stepmother of Cybil's daughter was giving advice to the daughter. The advice was
that women should let men win arguments. Cybil, enraged, made told her daughter
that she did not have to submit.
Along with the belief that women must be submissive and silent, there is
also the belief that women are the cause of men's downfall and therefore are
evil. The last two verses we look at talk about the story of the fall of Adam
and Eve. In the story of Adam and Eve, God tells Adam and Eve that there is one
tree in the garden of which they must not eat. Deceived by the devil, Eve eats
fruit from the tree and then persuades Adam to eat it. This act historically
displays the deception of man by woman and has put women in a very bad light. I
Timothy 2:13-14 states:
For Adam was formed from Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman
being deceived, fell into transgression.
Meant for a different time, the basic belief that women are the cause of
men's downfall is obsolete. Some people say that this belief is not present in
our society. I have heard men say that the reason that they are "in the mess
they are in" is because of women's "folly." Many popular Hollywood movies today
reflect these misogynistic attitudes and use themes that portray women as evil
and deceiving. In these films, women want nothing else but to destroy men and
the order of society. One popular movie called Eve of Destruction, portrays a
woman named Eve as a mechanical tool of destruction that destroys anything that
gets in her path. The name Eve in this film indicates a link to the Eve of the
Bible, connotating treachery and deception and seen as a bane to man's existence.
Not all the Bible portrays women as submissive and evil. Many still
believe that women must obey their husbands and live a life of subservience. If
people look to this interpretation of the Bible for guidance, women will remain
treated as inferior. I am not saying that we need to get rid of the Bible, I am
saying that we need to get rid of interpretations of the Bible that are
derogatory towards women; like the belief that women are not equal.
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