For too long, the women of the Bible have been depicted in one-dimensional terms. On one side are saints, such as Mary, while on the other are “bad girls,” such as Eve and Jezebel. Just as often, the female characters of the Bible are simply ignored. However, the women of the Bible are complex, multidimensional individuals whose lives are inspiring, funny, and tragic in ways too many of us never hear.
In this second of two volumes, Lynn Japinga acquaints readers with the women of the Bible. From faithful forerunners like Anna and Elizabeth to female disciples like the sisters Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene to first-generation followers like Lydia and Dorcas, readers will encounter a wealth of foremothers in the faith in all their messy, yet redeemable, humanity. This Bible study introduces and retells every female character who contributes to one or more New Testament stories, diving deeply into what each woman’s story means for us today with questions for reflection and discussion.
A thoughtful, provocative, and theologically astute exploration of the women characters in the New Testament. Japinga writes with the keen eye of an historian and the sensitive heart of a pastor, bringing women’s history and the experience of contemporary church people into conversation with the glimpses we get of ancient women whose stories are sketched in the New Testament. Designed for church or school groups, the book includes a helpful study guide for each chapter. —E. Elizabeth Johnson, J. Davison Philips Professor Emerita of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary