The Making Of Biblical Womanhood

Pastor’s Bookshelf - Welcome to my bookshelf! Each month I will discuss a recent book that I’ve finished. *disclaimer; I don’t always have time to sit and read physical books, but I do quite a bit of my reading through audiobooks these days.*

This month I’d like to talk about The Making Of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

In the same vein as “Jesus and John Wayne” (which I reviewed a few months back) – The Making Of Biblical Womanhood is a fantastic work of historical analysis put together by scholar Beth Allison Barr. Her works stands well on its own – but it’s also important to know that she does not speak in a vacuum. In her home denomination of the South Baptist Convention, there is a LOT of argument going back and forth about women in leadership. She sets out to examine the way men and women are viewed in our culture and compare that to the way men and women’s roles have been viewed historically. The term “biblical womanhood” is often thrown around to describe women who are “submissive wives, virtuous mothers and joyful homemakers.” Without attacking those roles for some women, Barr demonstrates that historically those descriptions do not match all that women can be – all that God created them to be. She walks through centuries of history and some of the key bible verses in question – pairing them effortlessly in her explanation of how TRUE “biblical womanhood” is more about Jesus Christ and his redemption, than anything to do with your kitchen. She weaves together her personal story as a history professor and Baptist pastor’s wife, while also shedding light on the #ChurchToo movement, which exposes abuse in the church. We in the Methodist movement might think such arguments are behind us, seeing as we have ordained women for decades. However, I think it is vital for us to understand all positions and I’m grateful for this wonderful, academically rigorous, historical defense of women. If you like history or women (or both), this is a well researched and powerful work.