The place of women in religion, and Christianity in particular, has long been a subject of debate. Some traditions, like the contemporary evangelical movement, believe that God made women subservient. But where did that idea originate?
Medieval historian Beth Allison Barr says that the idea of “Biblical womanhood” is relatively new. Research shows that evangelicals are deeply reluctant to embrace women’s working outside the home. In sharp contrast, medieval Christians recognized and praised women leaders. Brave women abound in our records of medieval churches, teachings, and religious writings.
Barr argues that this shift in thinking was caused, in part, by translators of the Bible. The original text doesn’t say that women are inferior to men. Yet the idea, which was inserted by early translators of the Bible, still persists.
As a scholar and the wife of a Baptist pastor, Barr offers a unique perspective on The Making of Biblical Womanhood. Take a look at this new release (or listen on audio!) in the Instaread library.