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Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle's Vision for Men and Women in Christ

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Christianity Today Book Award Winner Respected New Testament scholar Cynthia Long Westfall offers a coherent Pauline theology of gender, which includes fresh perspectives on the most controverted texts. Westfall interprets passages on women and men together and places those passages in the context of the Pauline corpus as a whole. She offers viable alternatives for some Christianity Today Book Award Winner Respected New Testament scholar Cynthia Long Westfall offers a coherent Pauline theology of gender, which includes fresh perspectives on the most controverted texts. Westfall interprets passages on women and men together and places those passages in the context of the Pauline corpus as a whole. She offers viable alternatives for some notorious interpretive problems in certain Pauline passages, reframing gender issues in a way that stimulates thinking, promotes discussion, and moves the conversation forward. As Westfall explores the significance of Paul's teaching on both genders, she seeks to support and equip males and females to serve in their area of gifting.


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Christianity Today Book Award Winner Respected New Testament scholar Cynthia Long Westfall offers a coherent Pauline theology of gender, which includes fresh perspectives on the most controverted texts. Westfall interprets passages on women and men together and places those passages in the context of the Pauline corpus as a whole. She offers viable alternatives for some Christianity Today Book Award Winner Respected New Testament scholar Cynthia Long Westfall offers a coherent Pauline theology of gender, which includes fresh perspectives on the most controverted texts. Westfall interprets passages on women and men together and places those passages in the context of the Pauline corpus as a whole. She offers viable alternatives for some notorious interpretive problems in certain Pauline passages, reframing gender issues in a way that stimulates thinking, promotes discussion, and moves the conversation forward. As Westfall explores the significance of Paul's teaching on both genders, she seeks to support and equip males and females to serve in their area of gifting.

30 review for Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle's Vision for Men and Women in Christ

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Cindy Westfall was the supervisor for my M.A., and she was working on this at the time. I was privileged to hear some of these ideas in-person, so much of this book I had heard before. Truth be told, however, I was not in a place to comprehend her fully at the time. I believe I have a greater grasp on her argument now (I read better than I hear). I give this a 4-star rating because it was a bit repetitive at points. This is likely a product of Westfall's organizational scheme, which is by theolog Cindy Westfall was the supervisor for my M.A., and she was working on this at the time. I was privileged to hear some of these ideas in-person, so much of this book I had heard before. Truth be told, however, I was not in a place to comprehend her fully at the time. I believe I have a greater grasp on her argument now (I read better than I hear). I give this a 4-star rating because it was a bit repetitive at points. This is likely a product of Westfall's organizational scheme, which is by theological topic, rather than the usual text-by-text approach (e.g. Rom 12, 1 Cor 10, 1 Cor 14, etc. each receiving their own chapter). There were a couple of times that I wished Westfall had been more clear. In particular, her discussion of "headship" in gender relations could have been more clear--not to mention her somewhat confusing appeal Trinitarian theology as an example (I think). But, these things did not detract from the overall argument that unexamined hermeneutical biases have been the impetus behind the subjugation of women in Church and Western society--and this is against Paul's vision for the Kingdom of God. For my money, Westfall's best arguments were found in chapters 5 (Eschatology), 7 (Calling), and 8 (Authority). Each of these chapters deconstructed readings of Paul based on exegetical assumptions for which the text does not allow. The end results are Westfall's well reasoned arguments that women are ontologically equal within the Church and the Church can no longer go on perpetuating a second-class status for them. Another good chapter is 9, when she deconstructs the exegetical process and offers a better, more contextually coherent reading of 1 Tim 2. As I said in a review of another book that dealt with gender in the Bible, this book is not good for any male that is not ready to have his patriarchy challenged. I was ready and several points still hit me in the gut, which I believe Cindy would love to hear. What's difficult is the fact Westfall is aware she will not convince everyone (see the Conclusion). But, those who want to see if Paul's thought on gender can be read in a different--indeed, better--way than one that perpetuates male superiority will find one such way in this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Sherwin

    Long Westfall’s book is a stunning work of scholarship, taking a thorough look at the cultural and literary contexts behind the texts of Paul that have been wrongly used to limit the roles of Women within Church leadership. Not only does *Paul and Gender* examine the context behind these few verses, it also provides a robust framework and analysis of Paul’s own views and practice, drawn from the wider corpus of his writings. As Long Westfall points out, “Claims of authority and power based on ge Long Westfall’s book is a stunning work of scholarship, taking a thorough look at the cultural and literary contexts behind the texts of Paul that have been wrongly used to limit the roles of Women within Church leadership. Not only does *Paul and Gender* examine the context behind these few verses, it also provides a robust framework and analysis of Paul’s own views and practice, drawn from the wider corpus of his writings. As Long Westfall points out, “Claims of authority and power based on gender run counter to both Paul’s teaching and his model for leadership” (p.314). The personal highlights for me would be (1) Paul’s use of feminine and maternal metaphors in describing his own ministry and the roles of the Christian community, (2) Long Westfall’s treatment of the culture and false theology in Ephesus which provided the context behind Paul’s words in 1 Timothy, (3) the reminder that the Early Church (before Constantine) was house-church based, a realm that came directly under the authority of women in the Greco-Roman culture, and (4) the emphasis on Paul’s (and Jesus’) view of servant leadership: that yes, women were called to not have authority over men, but men were also called not to dominate women and other men. As he modelled in his own life, and described through his terminology of Deacon (Servant/Slave), Pastor (Shepherd), and Apostle (Messenger)—all of which are terms that were used to describe the lowest functionaries in Greco-Roman society—Paul rejected the Greco-Roman social pyramid and the superiority of the wise, noble, and powerful. Instead Paul was convinced that the foolishness of the cross and God’s choice of the weak, despised and foolish was the underpinning factor to Christian leadership. He encouraged all believers, both male and female, to follow and model the example of Christ, who didn’t seek to dominate, but who became nothing and sought to serve others (Phil 2:3-11). Therefore, God’s choice of using those that were weak and despised in the eyes of the Greco-Roman system, didn’t disqualify women, but rather better qualified them to lead. It was the men who generally struggled to emulate these counter-cultural traits and lay down rank, and who Paul also had to consistently challenge on their argumentative pursuit of authority and dominance. And as this book poignantly points out, using the Epistles, Gospels and Acts, many women did hold prominent positions of ministry within the Early Church. . Of course, there’s so much more to this book than what I have mentioned above. Overall, it’s a superb examination of the texts and, in my opinion, an essential read for those who wish to grapple with those few verses that have been misused to restrict the position of women in the Church. —Tristan Sherwin, author of *Love: Expressed* (As an aside; I’d also highly recommend Lucy Peppiatt’s *Women and Worship in Corinth*—brilliant!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Parker (Hubbard)

    Do you like consistently applied hermeneutics? Do you like a good chance to appreciate Paul's genius with contextualization? How about a chance to rethink and reinterpret traditional understandings of Paul's teachings on gender? Look no further than Cythina Long Westfall's Paul and Gender! .....at some point we all find a place on our Goodreads journey where we decide we can put our opinions on books written by much smarter people out there. Thanks for coming to my TED(S) talk. Do you like consistently applied hermeneutics? Do you like a good chance to appreciate Paul's genius with contextualization? How about a chance to rethink and reinterpret traditional understandings of Paul's teachings on gender? Look no further than Cythina Long Westfall's Paul and Gender! .....at some point we all find a place on our Goodreads journey where we decide we can put our opinions on books written by much smarter people out there. Thanks for coming to my TED(S) talk.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kacie

    I have been reading up and comparing complementarian and egalitarian theology. This book was exactly what I wanted. It is a comprehensive approach to the scripture on women/gender from a moderate egalitarian perspective. It is scholarly, it takes scripture seriously, and it also provides some systematics on gender too. I have been reading it side by side with Andreas and Margaret Kostenberger’s book, “God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical Theological Survey” for a moderate complementarian p I have been reading up and comparing complementarian and egalitarian theology. This book was exactly what I wanted. It is a comprehensive approach to the scripture on women/gender from a moderate egalitarian perspective. It is scholarly, it takes scripture seriously, and it also provides some systematics on gender too. I have been reading it side by side with Andreas and Margaret Kostenberger’s book, “God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical Theological Survey” for a moderate complementarian perspective.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    This is an excellent piece of scholarship on the Apostle Paul's teaching on gender. Exegetical gems are littered throughout the book. The strengths of the book are Westfall's reconstruction of the context of various texts and her critiques of "thick-complementarianism", and ontological inferiority. Her primary interlocutors are were Thomas Schreiner, John Piper, and Wayne Grudem. She is primarily engaging with low-church evangelicals of the Baptistic stripe. My favorite chapters were the chapter This is an excellent piece of scholarship on the Apostle Paul's teaching on gender. Exegetical gems are littered throughout the book. The strengths of the book are Westfall's reconstruction of the context of various texts and her critiques of "thick-complementarianism", and ontological inferiority. Her primary interlocutors are were Thomas Schreiner, John Piper, and Wayne Grudem. She is primarily engaging with low-church evangelicals of the Baptistic stripe. My favorite chapters were the chapters on head coverings and stereotypes. I'm not convinced by many of her arguments because she asserts without demonstrating her thesis. Merely because there is a plausible reading doesn't mean that the plausible reading is the most likely. The last thing I'd say about her work is that it would have been sharpened if she had engaged with more confessional or Roman Catholic theologians. Needless to say, I think this is an important contribution to the current discussion around gender roles. Especially if you are in a low-church baptistic setting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    SK Smith

    This was quite a helpful book. By the end, I found myself quite convinced of her arguments. I have definitely learned a lot, but the conversation is definitely not over yet! Paul can be a bit confusing sometimes. Often answers to questions lead to more questions, and that is a beautiful thing. This book is a bit inaccessible to those outside of religious scholarship, so I would probably not recommend for a simple read. I would highly recommend to someone who is really invested in learning more a This was quite a helpful book. By the end, I found myself quite convinced of her arguments. I have definitely learned a lot, but the conversation is definitely not over yet! Paul can be a bit confusing sometimes. Often answers to questions lead to more questions, and that is a beautiful thing. This book is a bit inaccessible to those outside of religious scholarship, so I would probably not recommend for a simple read. I would highly recommend to someone who is really invested in learning more about Paul and what his trying to say about women!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    There were some excellent chapters in this book. Eschatology and authority stand out to me. Exegesis is heavy in first four chapters, but after that she is more into Paul’s theology. Westfall deals with the difficult passages on women and handles them with biblical and hermeneutical soundness.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melody Schwarting

    I genuinely thought I would like this book a lot more than I did, but it made me tear out my hair as a historian a little too much. And that kills me, because I think Westfall has a lot of great things to say, and that her arguments hold water, but certain sources she cites along the way call her arguments into question, when qualified sources are literally! right! there! for her to use. Among other sources, Westfall cites contemporary research on the Middle East and north Africa to make points a I genuinely thought I would like this book a lot more than I did, but it made me tear out my hair as a historian a little too much. And that kills me, because I think Westfall has a lot of great things to say, and that her arguments hold water, but certain sources she cites along the way call her arguments into question, when qualified sources are literally! right! there! for her to use. Among other sources, Westfall cites contemporary research on the Middle East and north Africa to make points about ancient cultures in those reasons. Yup. Just as if the societies in those regions experienced no change over the past two thousand years. (She cites examples from Islam way too much, given that Muhammad lived in the 600s, ~literal centuries~ after Paul.) Westfall should have conversed with an early church scholar to learn about the wealth of resources we have on women's lives and gender studies in early Christianity. She only cites a few, and had she mined their works cited lists, Paul and Gender would have been much better. (And no, Westfall, your daughter's anecdotes do not count as a real source to guide how you interpret a passage. Sorry. This is the big leagues.) When trying to make a point about human bonding during sexual intercourse, Westfall reaches not for a psychological or sociological or biological resource, but a Tom Cruise movie.* Like...I've heard youth group purity talks with more scientific authority than Vanilla Sky. Ma'am, please! She also cites decades-old books on MBTI to make a point about gender and religious leadership. Now, I'm as much into MBTI as anyone cares to be (INFJ here), but I don't think it's a valid resource for helping us interpret Scripture. MBTI is not scientifically supported. Granted, not everyone has the extreme privilege I have of being married to a scientist who can find scientific papers to help me with my humanities research, but librarians exist. And so do other scientists. In my experience, these folks will fall all over themselves to help people find credible resources. Let them help you! What makes me mourn this so much is that Westfall is writing about scholars whose work about Paul and gender I do not trust. She effectively demonstrates how their readings do no justice to Scripture, and how their teachings limit the Holy Spirit's work in the church. Her message is important. When Westfall is discussing the texts themselves, and citing real academic resources and not Vanilla Sky, Paul and Gender is excellent, even though I don't agree with everything Westfall says. However, the issues listed above poke holes in her argument that scholars will use to discredit her, no matter how excellent her research is elsewhere in the book. I'd be interested to read more by Westfall, but if her research is not up to the task, I am happy to stick with other scholars in her vein who are serious about all the sources they cite. *If she'd used the quotation as an example in the text, and also backed it up with scientific research, it would have been fine. Instead, she makes no reference to the Hollywood film in the text and cites it as if it were a credible source regarding human bonding during sexual intercourse. Vanilla Sky is a credible source for those talking about Cameron Diaz's film career, romantic films, comedy in a post-9/11 world, or any other number of topics, but a credible source on human sexuality it is not.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Olsen

    This book is great for someone (like me) who has a lot of questions about Paul and women. Westfall is pretty accessible and provides a semi-comprehensive view of Paul’s worldview in context of the Greco-Roman world in which he wrote. Interestingly, she often includes Pauline thought on men as a comparative point for her main discourse on women. I feel this adds a helpful layer to the rather turbulent ongoing discussion in the church. This book holds some answers, but not THE answer to Paul’s vie This book is great for someone (like me) who has a lot of questions about Paul and women. Westfall is pretty accessible and provides a semi-comprehensive view of Paul’s worldview in context of the Greco-Roman world in which he wrote. Interestingly, she often includes Pauline thought on men as a comparative point for her main discourse on women. I feel this adds a helpful layer to the rather turbulent ongoing discussion in the church. This book holds some answers, but not THE answer to Paul’s view of women, though such an expectation was rather naive on my part.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jens Hieber

    4.5 stars. This is very good and accessible for those that have previously read biblical scholarship at this level. All the Greek words are readily defined, and the copious footnotes explain and give references. This is clearly many decades worth of work and she makes a very compelling argument. Structurally, I think because she wrote the chapters to be sort of self-contained, there were some parts that felt repetitive; at times, she'd just point back to an earlier chapter, but other times I got 4.5 stars. This is very good and accessible for those that have previously read biblical scholarship at this level. All the Greek words are readily defined, and the copious footnotes explain and give references. This is clearly many decades worth of work and she makes a very compelling argument. Structurally, I think because she wrote the chapters to be sort of self-contained, there were some parts that felt repetitive; at times, she'd just point back to an earlier chapter, but other times I got a sense of deja vu. Overall, well worth reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Wishnew III

    Changed my view. Magisterial.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    This is an important book about an important topic. It was well researched and well presented. Westfall provides fresh interpretations for passages usually used to limit women's expression and leadership within the church, but does so in a way that honors the text and the layers of contexts more faithfully than most traditional interpretations. I'd recommend it no matter where you stand in the egalitarian-complementarian continuum. Certainly those holding to complementarian ideas should consider This is an important book about an important topic. It was well researched and well presented. Westfall provides fresh interpretations for passages usually used to limit women's expression and leadership within the church, but does so in a way that honors the text and the layers of contexts more faithfully than most traditional interpretations. I'd recommend it no matter where you stand in the egalitarian-complementarian continuum. Certainly those holding to complementarian ideas should consider and engage Westfall's points.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew K

    brilliance (reread for school)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vaughn Ohlman

    It is hard to recover from a bad beginning, and this book goes wrong from the start. The very start. The title. The problem with the title is the word 'Gender'. The title invites us to ask how God, via Paul, dealt with 'Gender'. The answer, which should make for a short book, is 'he didn't'. To clarify, neither the word 'gender' nor any equivalent, appears in the NT. Not in the works of Paul nor in any other book. The danger here is that people will say, “Ah, but Paul mentions men and women. That m It is hard to recover from a bad beginning, and this book goes wrong from the start. The very start. The title. The problem with the title is the word 'Gender'. The title invites us to ask how God, via Paul, dealt with 'Gender'. The answer, which should make for a short book, is 'he didn't'. To clarify, neither the word 'gender' nor any equivalent, appears in the NT. Not in the works of Paul nor in any other book. The danger here is that people will say, “Ah, but Paul mentions men and women. That means he was speaking about Gender.” This is a dangerous falsehood. When Paul spoke about men and women he was speaking about them in a way that is direction opposite to the modern meaning. When Paul speaks to ‘men’ he speaks to people who, knowing their sex, being aware of what genitalia they posses, sought to know how people like them should act as Christians. The modern world, in a statement almost unrivalled since the world began, speaks of ‘Gender assigned at birth’. Consider the miracle that this implies. That one hundred percent of all those that observed with baby without a diaper mange, each on their own without any consultation, from the two year old to the one hundred year old, to ‘assign’ the same gender to the baby. This concept of ‘gender’ is completely absent from anything Paul writes. Paul accepts and teaches the idea that God has created some male, and that those he created male were required by him to actin certain ways. God created some female, and that those he created female were required by Him to act in certain other ways. Gender, to the language learner, is an attribute of certain words to work together. The boy who fell down, *he* got up and dusted *his* pants off. Masculine nouns in French take masculine adjectives. But gender, to the insane moderns, means some mysterious, vague, inner feeling that determines if you wish to have a penis or a vagina. No book written in the English of today can fail to engender confusion when it seeks to detail the doctrines that God taught through Paul if it has the word ‘gender’ in the title.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Greg Reimer

    Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ by Cynthia Long Westfall is an academic study that examines the topic of gender within the works of the apostle Paul. In it, Westfall aims to challenge traditionally-held interpretations of Paul, particularly interpretations on his view of women. On the one hand, this is a book that serves to contribute to the debate surrounding the biblical precedent for women in ministry, with Westfall favoring the egalitarian side of Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ by Cynthia Long Westfall is an academic study that examines the topic of gender within the works of the apostle Paul. In it, Westfall aims to challenge traditionally-held interpretations of Paul, particularly interpretations on his view of women. On the one hand, this is a book that serves to contribute to the debate surrounding the biblical precedent for women in ministry, with Westfall favoring the egalitarian side of the debate. On the other hand, Westfall aims to take a balanced approach by also examining Paul’s views on men in each chapter, as this can sometimes be an overlooked part of the discussion on Paul and gender. With this approach, Westfall reveals her intended audience to be both men and women. In addition, the chapters are not divided by biblical passages, rather Westfall has each chapter examine a gender-focused topic relating to either Paul’s theology or his Greco-Roman context. This pattern is only broken in the last chapter where the focus shifts exclusively to examining 1 Timothy 2:11-15. With Paul and Gender, Westfall has made a significant contribution to the church and scholarship at large. This book is intended not just for scholars, but lay people as well, as the book’s topical organization allows it to be approachable to a wider audience and keeps each chapter focused and easy to follow. This is helpful for a single read-through, however it makes it more challenging to use as a reference guide for those who are wanting to read her perspective on a particular passage without utilizing the index to flip to different chapters. The choice to include study on both genders rather than merely looking at Paul’s view on women, makes the book even more relevant. This choice is arguably one of the strongest and most unique features of the book. Through writing this book in a field still dominated by males, Westfall embodies the very woman described in her book, one who displays a spirit-driven leadership that is both courageous and nurturing. This book will spark questions and stir up discussion, while also being a source of encouragement and strength. It is as academic as it is pastoral, and for that, the world of biblical study and the church are blessed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lady Brainsample

    This is undoubtedly the best book on this subject I have read so far. I've read a couple books that got the message right that also managed to have a good intro to the pervading culture of the time, but this book takes it to a whole new level. The author doesn't just introduce the culture and context of the issues, but also shows how they fit into Paul's overall theology and how all the different passages interact. The book is crawling with footnotes, and you can tell that the author has a very h This is undoubtedly the best book on this subject I have read so far. I've read a couple books that got the message right that also managed to have a good intro to the pervading culture of the time, but this book takes it to a whole new level. The author doesn't just introduce the culture and context of the issues, but also shows how they fit into Paul's overall theology and how all the different passages interact. The book is crawling with footnotes, and you can tell that the author has a very high view of scripture. Side note, the head covering passage makes SO MUCH SENSE NOW. Side note 2, I can only imagine how much grave rolling Paul does as people use his words to justify doing LITERALLY THE OPPOSITE of what he did/wanted. The only gripe I have with the book is that with one little throw-away line on homosexuality, the author fails to show the same consideration of the context and attitudes of the time that she shows for gender issues in the rest of the book, but since this is not a book on queer theology (I've got plenty other of those!), I won't deduct a star.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joel Trousdale

    Excellent book. Westfall dives deep into key controversial texts surrounding Paul and his views on men and women. There is certainly a focus on the matter of women in ministry, as that is where the battleground really lies, but she also addresses other topics along the way. If you want to hear from an egalitarian evangelical scholar who takes the text seriously, look no further. When you hear complementarians talk about egalitarians, one gets the impression that all egalitarians simply think tha Excellent book. Westfall dives deep into key controversial texts surrounding Paul and his views on men and women. There is certainly a focus on the matter of women in ministry, as that is where the battleground really lies, but she also addresses other topics along the way. If you want to hear from an egalitarian evangelical scholar who takes the text seriously, look no further. When you hear complementarians talk about egalitarians, one gets the impression that all egalitarians simply think that the times have changed and we must adapt to the times and that they don't really care what Scripture says. That may be true of some, but it certainly is not true of Cynthia Westfall. If you want to seriously engage the best arguments on both sides of this issue, then this is a must-read representing the egalitarian position.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

    Should we accept the interpretations of scripture our theological traditions provide us with? Westfall argues that, on the question of Paul and Gender, we should not. Westfall compellingly takes apart the Pauline passages that discuss the role of women in culture and the church and methodologically analyzes the passages and their common interpretations in light of both the rest of the Pauline Corpus and contemporary Greek language. Her analysis provides useful insights that highlight the difficu Should we accept the interpretations of scripture our theological traditions provide us with? Westfall argues that, on the question of Paul and Gender, we should not. Westfall compellingly takes apart the Pauline passages that discuss the role of women in culture and the church and methodologically analyzes the passages and their common interpretations in light of both the rest of the Pauline Corpus and contemporary Greek language. Her analysis provides useful insights that highlight the difficulty of interpreting religious texts written in a different era to a different culture and also provides a path to more faithful interpretation of Paul's discussions of women--a path that illuminates how scripture transforms how women are seen rather than simply perpetuating a patriarchal culture.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    A fantastic book with clear writing and compelling angles on controversial texts. The book's balanced approach in addressing Paul's instruction to both men and women is refreshing and mutually illuminating. The 1st century cultural analysis never feels purely academic, Westfall does a great job showing how it connects to present day issues. Due to the book's topical structure, it does have a bit of repetition on key themes - but I don't see how that could have been avoided without sacrificing cl A fantastic book with clear writing and compelling angles on controversial texts. The book's balanced approach in addressing Paul's instruction to both men and women is refreshing and mutually illuminating. The 1st century cultural analysis never feels purely academic, Westfall does a great job showing how it connects to present day issues. Due to the book's topical structure, it does have a bit of repetition on key themes - but I don't see how that could have been avoided without sacrificing clarity inside each chapter. The plus side of that is that any chapter can be read as a standalone essay, although they definitely build on each other as well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rob Steinbach

    Dude... This book is incredible!! Wow! Anyone who has done some work on the Bible and gender or has waded into the complementarian/egalitarian discussion... must read Westfall's work. Not only does she provide fresh readings and insights that are new to this well worn discussion, but her scholarly work is exceptional. In her conclusion she notes that this is the result of 45 years of work and it shows! My sense is that this will be a scholarly foundational work for change in the gender discussion Dude... This book is incredible!! Wow! Anyone who has done some work on the Bible and gender or has waded into the complementarian/egalitarian discussion... must read Westfall's work. Not only does she provide fresh readings and insights that are new to this well worn discussion, but her scholarly work is exceptional. In her conclusion she notes that this is the result of 45 years of work and it shows! My sense is that this will be a scholarly foundational work for change in the gender discussion among evangelicals. At least that is my hope. My only "critique" is that it is dense and will require perseverance from those not familiar with reading academic works of theology.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jon Robinson

    This was a fantastic book. While I will be processing this for some time, I am glad for the fact that there is now much to process. One of the reasons this topic has generated the tension that it has is because, within traditional Church settings at least, the topic never or hardly ever moves beyond the same old discussion. It relies too heavily on the old assumptions. Cynthia Long Westfall carefully turns our attention to the original contexts that shaped these complicated texts and, in doing s This was a fantastic book. While I will be processing this for some time, I am glad for the fact that there is now much to process. One of the reasons this topic has generated the tension that it has is because, within traditional Church settings at least, the topic never or hardly ever moves beyond the same old discussion. It relies too heavily on the old assumptions. Cynthia Long Westfall carefully turns our attention to the original contexts that shaped these complicated texts and, in doing so, provides a refreshing vision of Christian communities ministering on equal footing; a vision I believe is necessarily adaptable for our own Christian communities today.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kallee Anderson

    Cynthia Westfall does a brilliant job laying out clear and full explanations chapter by chapter. She covers expected topics (like creation and the fall and 1 Timothy 12) well providing new perspective and new information as well as less discussed topics (like how Paul's descriptions of both women men broke the stereotypes of the time). This book is worth working through slowly with a notebook and pen close by. Cynthia Westfall does a brilliant job laying out clear and full explanations chapter by chapter. She covers expected topics (like creation and the fall and 1 Timothy 12) well providing new perspective and new information as well as less discussed topics (like how Paul's descriptions of both women men broke the stereotypes of the time). This book is worth working through slowly with a notebook and pen close by.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Brennan

    I don’t remember what made me pick up this book. It’s great, especially if you find yourself studying the theology of the body. It’s dense and very well researched.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steve Long

    Thoughtful, magnanimous, enlightening, and well-written.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Gentry

    best (newer) book on Paul's theology about women in ministry - some updated exegesis on 1 Tim 2 best (newer) book on Paul's theology about women in ministry - some updated exegesis on 1 Tim 2

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Simply phenomenal. Re-aligned my reading of Paul completely

  27. 4 out of 5

    Grace Lynch

    I loved this book a lot! Great points and argument were given, and it answered all my questions!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    There are many outstanding books on this topic, and this is one of the best. I am immensely grateful for this book and for Westfall's clarity, careful research and consideration. There are many outstanding books on this topic, and this is one of the best. I am immensely grateful for this book and for Westfall's clarity, careful research and consideration.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book was academic and a little repetitive, but I learned a bunch of historical context that helped me better understand Paul's writing on gender. This book was academic and a little repetitive, but I learned a bunch of historical context that helped me better understand Paul's writing on gender.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mollie

    This is the most helpful theological work addressing gender that I have ever encountered!

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