In a book discussion about my book What Jesus Learned from Women Elizabeth Raine pointed out that, in a story about Jesus performing a miracle, it says that Jesus made a sound, and the Greek word literally means “snorted like a horse.” She also pointed out that the making of groaning or other theatrical noises of this sort is characteristic of the magical papyri and thus of ancient healers and exorcists more generally. This was perhaps the least expected topic to come up in the whole discussion, but I love it because it presents Jesus doing something that most modern readers might not expect but which ancient readers might in fact have expected.
(In most translations of the New Testament the word is rendered as an expression of Jesus’ emotion. That is a possible interpretation, but alternatives at the very least deserve consideration. On this see also Susanna Asikainen’s chapter on “Jesus and Emotions” in the open access book Jesus and Other Men: Ideal Masculinities in the Synoptic Gospels. There is also an entire chapter on “Jesus and Women.”)
There is a new review of my book on Amazon posted by Ted Warner: McGrath reimagines Jesus’ ministry through the role of women in his life.
James F. McGrath boldly considers the influence of great women on the life and ministry of Jesus. What Jesus Learned from Women compels the Bible reader to imagine the beatitudes as an echo of Mary’s Magnificat and much more. McGrath offers plenty of engaging material for the serious Bible scholar while also offering an accessible read for the casual reader. McGrath adds to the conversation about the gifts women have to offer the church and all of society. If one dares to reimagine the life and ministry of Jesus through the lenses of the women he knew, this book is for you. It is a must read for the contemporary church.
If you missed it, here’s my appearance on the Apocalypse Here podcast talking about the book.
Of related interest, there is a new open access article in In die Skriflig 55/1 (2021): Christin E. Bøsterud, “Women in the Bible: What can they teach us about gender equality?” Mike Bird continues a series on “women as icons of Christ” from which I’ve shared some of the previous posts, and shared some recommendations for things to read about women as church leaders in Romans 16. And there are a couple of older pieces by Judy Redman and Joe Marchal on the Bible and the Bechdel Test that are worth mentioning again in case anyone has missed them.
An ancient papyrus illustrates the role women women played in business:
And on Katie Luther at Current:
I have more conversations and podcast appearances on the subject of What Jesus Learned from Women that are in the process of being planned, so more will follow. In the meantime, thank you to all of you who have bought the book, posted reviews, mentioned the book to others in person and/or on social media, recommended the book for purchase to your local public library, organized a book club or other discussion group, included it in the assigned readings for your class, or in other ways continued to the incredible amount of attention the book has been receiving. That includes a thank you in advance to those who had not done so yet but will do so now that you’ve been reminded to. It really does make an incredible difference, and I really am truly grateful.