Is the Bible Good for Women? -Review
I was able to listen to this book on audio through Hoopla, and as with all my audio books, I wished I had a copy of it so I could highlight it up. Wendy takes on some of the seemingly most difficult passages for women from the Old and New Testaments. I grew up hearing some of these hard stories and laws, and I often just brushed them off as not really meaning what they meant and just choosing to believe God knew what he was doing. While this maybe wasn’t entirely wrong, I see how my lack of understanding and fear of hard questions actually hindered me from growing further.
One of my biggest takeaways is how Wendy again and again showed how to use the Bible to interpret itself. Instead of relying on outside commentary or others’ opinions, she used the narrative of Scripture to shed light on the harder passages. It seems like a simple enough concept, but it’s one that gives me confidence in the Word of God, as well as encourages me in my own study. Yes, outside learning is helpful, but if we don’t have access to seminary, or books full of teaching- that’s ok. God has made his Word available to us, and that is sufficient.
Another great tool Wendy offered was her beautiful breakdown of the entire story of redemption and the “scarlet thread” of Christ that weaves throughout the entire history of the Bible. My understanding was enriched through her teaching in this. She also gave helpful tools in approaching Old Testament passages in discussing four categories we can mostly classify OT passages into: 1) Verses about prophecy of the Messiah 2) Stories that show God’s work to preserve the lineage of Christ (Joseph, Esther, Ruth) 3) Pictures of the coming Christ (sacrificial systems, etc) and 4) Stories that reinforce our need for a Savior (such as the Levite’s concubine in Judges 19). These were helpful categories to decipher meaning and how these stories relate to the whole of the Bible.
Again and again, as Wendy went through difficult stories like the rape of Dinah, the rape/dismemberment of the Levite’s concubine, or the Old Testament laws that seemed so unfair to women, I gained new understanding of both the evil of sin and a greater beauty of the love and protection of God. (If you’d like a little taste of this, Wendy wrote a blog post covering a different OT law not covered in the book in Numbers 5 found here).
I’d be lying to say all my questions were answered, but I’m not sure any stand-alone book will or should even do that. The best books are ones who give us a desire to dig deeper in study of the Scriptures on our own- which this one did. Some of my audio was also a little hard to hear over the train whistles of my children, so this is definitely a book I’d like to go back over some day again- especially the New Testament portion . Overall, I would highly recommend it, if you too have struggled to completely articulate why the Bible is actually good for women. Tackling the hard questions is not something we have to shy away from, but it’s actually a way to strengthen our confidence and faith in God. Someday my daughter (and sons!) will be reading these stories, and rightly- have some questions. They will be told constantly that the Bible is not good for women. I hope I can point them to dig in and see the evil of sin but the greater beauty of the sacrifice of their Lord and his great love and protection for both men and women.