What I’ve Learned from What Jesus Learned from Women

What I’ve Learned from What Jesus Learned from Women March 23, 2020

On International Women’s Day, my wife encouraged me to share at least one excerpt from the book that I am working on, What Jesus Learned From Women. I tried making several memes, with several different quotes from the drafts of chapters. One of them I shared on social media. All of them are included here, as a glimpse of some of the things I’ll say. Clearly I’m not paying enough attention to making sure that I say things that are brief, quotable, and easy to turn into memes…

As I’ve worked on this book, I’ve come across so many fascinating and neglected works about New Testament women, often by women. To share one particularly striking instance, Harriet Beecher Stowe, best known as the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, also wrote a collection of poems, essays, and other texts with the title Woman in Sacred History: A Series of Sketches Drawn from Scriptural, Historical, and Legendary Sources. You can read the whole thing online courtesy of Google Books:

 

Also relevant to this are Bob Cornwall’s review of the book Consider the Women and John Squires’ recent posts about St. Photini, aka the Samaritan woman at the well:

The Pharisee of Jerusalem and the woman of Samaria (John 3 and 4)

From the woman at the well to a Byazantine saint: John 4, St Photini, and the path to enlightenment

There is also a new Bible Odyssey article on the Syrophoenician woman by Claudia Setzer. If you’ve read the new article that’s out on the Syrophoenician woman and Jesus that Mike Bird blogged about, what are your thoughts on it? I haven’t done so yet.

There’s also a lot that is of interest related to New Testament women that falls beyond the scope of my book. Once again I’m struck by how much historical fiction there is not only related to the New Testament, but by New Testament scholars. For instance, Here are reviews of the recent novels by Paula Gooder and Ben Witherington.

Book Review: Paula Gooder, Phoebe

Book Review: Ben Witherington, Priscilla: The Life of an Early Christian

Review by Carmen Joy Imes

Priscilla – A Novel

A Recent Review of Priscilla: An Early Christian Life by Kelly Matthews

Of related interest:

Faithful Disciples

Come On Over

Re-thinking the “Silence” of Women in 1 Cor 14

On the subject of novel-writing, my Butler University colleague Bryan Furuness wrote:

Here’s a weird disconnect. If you tell people that it takes ten years of devoted work to reach mastery of a skill—not greatness, but mere mastery—they will nod and say, Right, that makes sense. But if you tell them that means it could very well take them ten years or more to write a novel, no matter how good their idea is . . . well, you can see the despair on their face.

But the thing is, you’re allowed to enjoy those ten years (or however long it takes). Actually, you better enjoy it. If you find that you don’t actually like writing all that much—if you’d rather be a person with a book than a person who writes—hit the eject button early and save yourself a ton of suffering.


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  • John MacDonald

    In your book will you be commenting on Mark 12 where Jesus says

    “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

    It’s interesting that here that Jesus implies women are not most essentially defined in terms of their place in in a man-led family, and may echo Paul when Paul says “28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28).”

    • Yes, I will! I’ll keep in mind your mention of this for a future teaser and give some additional details…