We are using this in a college girls Bible Study/Connect group. They have loved it, and I have loved leading it with all of these wonderful examples of women of the Bible. Highly recommend for any woman to renew the importance of the Old Testament as it relates to our lives now!
This book is severely lacking in scholarship, and MacArthur continuously represents his opinions and even wild speculations as absolute fact. He makes many social and historical claims that he leaves completely unsubstantiated (for example, he claims that humanism corresponds with poor treatment of women without citing any source for this view, and from my study of history, the opposite is true). He also bases major claims off of *English* translations, when the original Hebrew reveals the polar opposite of his stance (for example, Abraham's and Sarah's laughter).
I also took strong issue with one theme MacArthur pushes throughout the book: His claim that motherhood is the highest calling (which I personally believe contradicts Scripture since those with the gift of singleness are to be held in high regard, therefore a single woman presumably has a higher calling than a mother) and that none of the godly women of the Bible were active in careers outside the home. (1) This ignores the fact that ancient culture largely prevented them from doing so. (2) It ignores Deborah and Isaiah's wife's calling as prophetesses - which MacArthur references but makes absolutely no case as to why he discounts them. (3) At one point, he actually establishes that Lydia made her own fortune through an international business - and contradicts himself mere pages later when he reiterates that none of these women distinguished themselves through careers. MacArthur clearly has an agenda, which would be accpetable IF he backed it up - but he never does.
Please do not assume I take such issue because I am a feminist - I am not. The reason my objections have to do with these issues is because that is the subject matter the book deals with.
I am normally not this critical of Bible teachers because I fully realize that no human can ever know everything about God's Word and that I myself also surely understand a lot less about the Bible than I think I do (studying and teaching Scripture is an very, very hard job!) - but I hold MacArthur to a higher standard than others specifically because he is such a well-regarded Bible "scholar" and even wrote a popular study Bible. Because he treats history flippantly, ignores Biblical languages, and contradicts himself, I find this fact extremely disturbing.
The only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is it does, admittedly, have a *few* redeeming qualities. The general applications to the reader's own life are edifying, and the chapters on Sarah, Hannah, Mary, and the Samaritan Woman did have some good insights.
I would ONLY recommend this book to solid Bible students who are skilled at separating interpretation from speculation, and will do their own study in Scripture to check MacArthur's claims.