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Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible? Many people, both inside and outside the church, are concerned that an orthodox understanding of the Bible is threatening and even harmful to women. After all, the Bible has a number of passages regarding women that are deeply troubling and hard to read.

In this fascinating look at God's work of redemption from Creation to today, Wendy Alsup explores questions such as:

  • How does God view justice and equal rights for women?
  • What does it mean to be made in the image of God?
  • How have the centuries distorted our interpretation of how God views women?
  • How did Jesus approach the Old Testament and how does that help us read difficult passages today?
  • What is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models?
  • How does the Bible explain the Bible to us?

Using a Jesus-centered understanding to look at both God's grand storyline and specific biblical passages, Alsup gives practical and accessible tools for understanding the noble ways God speaks to and about women in its pages and the dignity He places on His daughters.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1601429002
ISBN-13: 9781601429001

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Author Bio

Wendy Alsup is the author of Practical Theology for Women, The Gospel-Centered Woman, and By His Wounds You Are Healed. She began her public ministry as deacon of women’s theology and teaching at her church in Seattle, but she now lives on an old family farm in South Carolina, where she teaches math at a local community college and is a mother to her two boys. She writes at theologyforwomen.org and gospelcenteredwoman.com.

Endorsements

"Is the Bible good for women? Some hear the question and scoff: 'Of course not! It's antiquated, dangerous, misogynistic.' Some hear the question and grieve: 'Of course it is! It's GodÂ’s Word, and it frees women to be who God means for them to be.' What Wendy Alsup understands and articulates is that even something as good as the Bible can be put to poor use in the hands of sinful people. Thus she approaches the question with care and insight to provide an answer that is thoroughly biblical and so very satisfying." - TIM CHALLIES, blogger and author of Visual Theology

"The Bible is good for women. Yet many misunderstandings and misapplications of the Bible's teachings harm women and, in harming women, harm the world. Providing helpful textual and contextual insights and backed by careful research and clear writing, this book shows how the Bible has always advanced the flourishing of women and can continue to do so today, if only we will read, understand, and apply it." - KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR, author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and Fierce Convictions-The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer Abolitionist

"Wendy Alsup offers a Jesus-centered way of interpreting some difficult passages of the Bible related to women. These are passages the Bible's critics love to offer as proof that God's Word hurts women. Rather than a line-for-line rebuttal, Alsup attempts to shift the debate by providing counsel in how to read the Bible as a whole story focused on our glorious Savior. Even if you don't agree with her at every point, you'll be helped to understand the Bible better and why it's not only good but the best book for women." - THABITI ANYABWILE, pastor of Anacostia River Church and author of Reviving the Black Church

"Is the Bible good for women? Many people (both women and men) would emphatically say no. To them, the Bible promotes a patriarchy that has historically crushed women and given men license to suppress and abuse them. After all, how could a book that talks about forcing a raped woman to marry her rapist or tells wives to 'submit' to their husbands be good for women? Without flinching at the difficulty of certain parts of the Bible, and while at the same time upholding divine inspiration of the Scripture, Wendy Alsup weaves together answers that are not only consistently Christ-centered but are also true to the heart of the Lord who loves women. As a woman who highly values both women and God's Word, Alsup gives us answers to some of the most difficult questions about gender in the Bible. Because her answers are deeply compassionate and true to Scripture, this book will be good for you. I highly recommend it!" - ELYSE M. FITZPATRICK, author of Home: How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy Our Deepest Longings

"Unlike other volumes with the words women and Bible in the title, Is the Bible Good for Women? offers readers more than lessons on femininity via the sacred text. Instead, Wendy Alsup aims to give us a better understanding of the Scripture itself, reminding men and women alike that our ultimate good is found in knowing and reflecting Christ. Whether you are on a personal journey or teaching through a difficult passage, this book provides the necessary context and story arc to understand that, yes, even in its more difficult points, the Bible truly is good news for all of us." - HANNAH ANDERSON, speaker and author of Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God's Image and Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul

"Wendy has done a magnificent job here in answering the question of the book title. If we desire women to flourish in God's good design, then we must understand from the whole of Scripture what that design is. Although I don't agree with all her conclusions, this is an excellent book that is serious about the Bible and serious about women thriving." - MATT CHANDLER, lead pastor of the Village Church and president of Acts 29 church-planting network

"I know the Scripture is inerrant, yet the first few times I read through the whole Bible, there were directions about women that made me cringe, and I wrote in my margin, 'Help me understand, O Lord!' If you have felt like this, you will be so enlightened by Is the Bible Good for Women? A biblical scholar, Wendy Alsup puts these passages in the context of all of Scripture and brings light that will affirm that yes, indeed, not only is Jesus for women, but the Bible is for women! We need this not just in speaking to our secular friends but to our own souls." - DEE BRESTIN, author of The Friendships of Women and Idol Lies

"Wendy asks penetrating questions about the Bible that have lingered in the minds of many people: Can women trust the Bible? What do we do with women like Tamar, Dinah, or the daughter of Jephthah? What about the imperatives for women to submit to husbands and church officers? Is the Bible merely a patriarchal document that supports the oppression of women, or is it God's good Word to all people? Wendy tackles these questions head on, revealing that these are not arbitrary stories and commands but rather meaningful texts that point to a reason and a hope to keep the memories of even these women alive. God does value and care for women, and we see that when we read Scripture interpreted through Christ our Lord." - AIMEE BYRD, author of Housewife Theologian, Theological Fitness, and No Little Women

"Some pastors and laypeople treat difficult texts of Scripture like the scariest parts of a movie-taking furtive glances through barely parted fingers, fast-forwarding to the parts of the story that seem easier and happier. Others use these texts as proof points to shore up a particular framework or ideological agenda, or to tear one (or all of them) down. This book does neither. Instead, Wendy Alsup shows how reading the Bible as the cohesive story of Jesus and His work on our behalf is the answer to questions some of the most challenging texts in the Bible raise for women to read and receive as good. Whether you're a pastor or a layperson, a complementarian or an egalitarian, or whether you're someone for whom such terms create more questions than they answer, you will find insights that challenge and encourage you and be driven to deeper study and trust in the sufficiency of Scripture to answer even the hardest questions." - RACHAEL STARKE, writer at GospelCenteredWoman.com and TheThinkingsofThings.com

Editorial Reviews

"Is the Bible good for women? Some hear the question and scoff: ’Of course not! It’s antiquated, dangerous, misogynistic.’ Some hear the question and grieve: ’Of course it is! It’s God’s Word, and it frees women to be who God means for them to be.’ What Wendy Alsup understands and articulates is that even something as good as the Bible can be put to poor use in the hands of sinful people. Thus she approaches the question with care and insight to provide an answer that is thoroughly biblical and so very satisfying."
—Tim Challies, blogger and author of Visual Theology

"The Bible is good for women. Yet many misunderstandings and misapplications of the Bible’s teachings harm women and, in harming women, harm the world. Providing helpful textual and contextual insights and backed by careful research and clear writing, this book shows how the Bible has always advanced the flourishing of women and can continue to do so today, if only we will read, understand, and apply it."
—Karen Swallow Prior, author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and Fierce Convictions—The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer Abolitionist

"Wendy Alsup offers a Jesus-centered way of interpreting some difficult passages of the Bible related to women. These are passages the Bible’s critics love to offer as proof that God’s Word hurts women. Rather than a line-for-line rebuttal, Alsup attempts to shift the debate by providing counsel in how to read the Bible as a whole story focused on our glorious Savior. Even if you don’t agree with her at every point, you’ll be helped to understand the Bible better and why it’s not only good but the best book for women."
—Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church and author of Reviving the Black Church

"Is the Bible good for women? Many people (both women and men) would emphatically say no. To them, the Bible promotes a patriarchy that has historically crushed women and given men license to suppress and abuse them. After all, how could a book that talks about forcing a raped woman to marry her rapist or tells wives to ’submit’ to their husbands be good for women? Without flinching at the difficulty of certain parts of the Bible, and while at the same time upholding divine inspiration of the Scripture, Wendy Alsup weaves together answers that are not only consistently Christ-centered but are also true to the heart of the Lord who loves women. As a woman who highly values both women and God’s Word, Alsup gives us answers to some of the most difficult questions about gender in the Bible. Because her answers are deeply compassionate and true to Scripture, this book will be good for you. I highly recommend it!"
—Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, author of Home: How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy Our Deepest Longings

"Unlike other volumes with the words women and Bible in the title, Is the Bible Good for Women? offers readers more than lessons on femininity via the sacred text. Instead, Wendy Alsup aims to give us a better understanding of the Scripture itself, reminding men and women alike that our ultimate good is found in knowing and reflecting Christ. Whether you are on a personal journey or teaching through a difficult passage, this book provides the necessary context and story arc to understand that, yes, even in its more difficult points, the Bible truly is good news for all of us."
—Hannah Anderson, speaker and author of Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image and Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul

"Wendy has done a magnificent job here in answering the question of the book title. If we desire women to flourish in God’s good design, then we must understand from the whole of Scripture what that design is. Although I don’t agree with all her conclusions, this is an excellent book that is serious about the Bible and serious about women thriving."
—Matt Chandler, lead pastor of the Village Church and president of Acts 29 church-planting network

"I know the Scripture is inerrant, yet the first few times I read through the whole Bible, there were directions about women that made me cringe, and I wrote in my margin, ’Help me understand, O Lord!’ If you have felt like this, you will be so enlightened by Is the Bible Good for Women? A biblical scholar, Wendy Alsup puts these passages in the context of all of Scripture and brings light that will affirm that yes, indeed, not only is Jesus for women, but the Bible is for women! We need this not just in speaking to our secular friends but to our own souls."
—Dee Brestin, author of The Friendships of Women and Idol Lies

"Wendy asks penetrating questions about the Bible that have lingered in the minds of many people: Can women trust the Bible? What do we do with women like Tamar, Dinah, or the daughter of Jephthah? What about the imperatives for women to submit to husbands and church officers? Is the Bible merely a patriarchal document that supports the oppression of women, or is it God’s good Word to all people? Wendy tackles these questions head on, revealing that these are not arbitrary stories and commands but rather meaningful texts that point to a reason and a hope to keep the memories of even these women alive. God does value and care for women, and we see that when we read Scripture interpreted through Christ our Lord."
—Aimee Byrd, author of Housewife Theologian, Theological Fitness, and No Little Women

"Some pastors and laypeople treat difficult texts of Scripture like the scariest parts of a movie—taking furtive glances through barely parted fingers, fast-forwarding to the parts of the story that seem easier and happier. Others use these texts as proof points to shore up a particular framework or ideological agenda, or to tear one (or all of them) down. This book does neither. Instead, Wendy Alsup shows how reading the Bible as the cohesive story of Jesus and His work on our behalf is the answer to questions some of the most challenging texts in the Bible raise for women to read and receive as good. Whether you’re a pastor or a layperson, a complementarian or an egalitarian, or whether you’re someone for whom such terms create more questions than they answer, you will find insights that challenge and encourage you and be driven to deeper study and trust in the sufficiency of Scripture to answer even the hardest questions."
—Rachael Starke, writer at GospelCenteredWoman.com and TheThinkingsofThings.com

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Displaying items 1-5 of 10
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  1. Kara
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Women and the Bible
    April 20, 2017
    Kara
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture, by Wendy Alsup, is an interesting book. It seeks to answer the question, Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible?

    This book seeks to explore the understanding of the role of women according to the Bible. It addresses issues that many in society consider threatening and harmful to women today. Alsup explores many issues, such as: How does God view justice and equal rights for women? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? How have the centuries distorted our interpretation of how God views women? How did Jesus approach the Old Testament and how does that help us read difficult passages today? And what is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models? The author presents specific tools for understanding the manner in which God speaks to and about women.

    This is a thought-provoking book. It addresses many issues concerning women in society today verses the role of women in the Bible. I appreciate the authors view that men and women are created differently and with differing roles in the church and society.

    I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to explore womens roles in the church, but suggest that one may want to look through it at a local bookstore before purchasing.

    Kara

    I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
  2. contemplativereflections
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: Is the Bible Good for Women?
    April 13, 2017
    contemplativereflections
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    In "Is the Bible Good for Women?" Wendy Alsup searches through the Bible and discusses how it reveals God's good divine design for women. Alsup argues that many feminists attack the Bible by extrapolating half-truths without considering the entire biblical canon, cultural implications, and literary complexities. Thus, she spends the first portion of the book laying out a framework for reading the Bible in a Christ-centered way. In doing so, the author asserts that this method avoids cherry-picking and misusing biblical texts to fit our own sinful preferences. Next, Alsup tackles specific parts of the Bible such as Old Testament Law and New Testament epistles to illustrate how these texts serve to reveal God's intent for women. For example, she brings up the example of Dinah who was raped and mistreated by the men around her. Alsup argues that the narrative is not prescriptive but descriptive of sinful human hearts that fail to live up to God's commands. Other texts that she focuses on include the wearing of headdresses and directions against allowing women to teach men publicly. Being a short book that aims to tackle such a massive issue, the greatest weakness of the book lies in not being able to dissect the issues presented in a balanced and comprehensive way. Thus, I find that readers are often left with a brisk stroll through texts without careful analysis and discussion which greatly reduces the strength of the author's arguments. With the vast amount of scholarly work written on biblical gender roles along with thousands of commentaries on the various books of the Bible, the book falls much short of convincing readers to agree with its premise concerning the Bible's positive view of women.

    I would recommend this book to those who want a general introduction on feminist claims against the Bible. Alsup is commendable for upholding the authority of the Bible as being the Word of God. Moreover, the author advocates for a Christ-centered approach to reading the Bible which is integral to interpreting and applying scripture to our lives. However, I urge readers to dig deeper into the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit and His servants who have laboured to seek greater understanding of the different nuances of each text. Regardless of our theological positions, let us remain committed to the Bible as the inspired Word and humbly pray for wisdom to embrace what He commands concerning His will for women and men.

    In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from The Crown Publishing Group in exchange for a book review.
  3. Pastor Jay
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    IS THE BIBLE GOOD FOR WOMEN?
    April 3, 2017
    Pastor Jay
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Wendy Alsup begins her book by acknowledging that when she was growing up she was not a victim of oppression by a patriarchal society. However, as she became an adult she began to gain a broader view of the experiences of women in the world. Female mutilation, legal oppression and culturally accepted rape where much bigger issues affecting more women worldwide than I had ever understood. And domestic abuse, the blaming of sexual abuse survivors, and discrimination in the workforce occurred closer to home. (pg. 1)

    Given this broader perspective, Alsup then began to grapple with the ways in which religious views shaped our cultures perspective on women. Alsup is a committed Christian who has written this book to answer the question, Is the Bible Good for Women? Alsup admits that she is not a trained theologian and that her quest is in many ways a personal spiritual journey.

    However, she has some sound theological techniques that undergird her work and strengthen the book. She argues that the Bible is best understood by itself. In other words, we must consider the original context for the writings rather than imposing our cultural prejudices. And, we must look at the entire message of scripture not a prooftext here or there. Secondly, she says there is a common thread running through the Bible which is that all scripture points to Jesus.

    Alsup argues convincingly for these as a foundation for her dealing with the question of a Biblical view of womanhood. She then applies these to the issue of biblical interpretation. She points out that some passages are prescriptive and others are simply descriptive. She argues that ultimately Christians are called to be like God in their relationships and to love God and others. As she delves into biblical interpretation she points out that some biblical passages are mishandled and she acknowledges that there are some difficult passages in the scriptures.

    I will not undercut the good work Wendy Alsup has done in this book by sharing her conclusions in this review. I will say that I found myself in agreement with her at some points while disagreeing at others. I found this book to be very readable. But it is not simple. Alsup deals with some significant theological issues in a way that is easily understood. In addition, at the back of the book Alsup has listed some handy questions for discussion. I would recommend this book. She deals with key issues in a capable way.
  4. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Not a definitive book
    March 24, 2017
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I had high hopes for Alsup's book. As a woman I had been told I should not be teaching adult Sunday School classes because there were men present. I saw families leave my church when I was elected as a deacon. So I had high hopes.

    My high hopes continued as Alsup pursued the theme of Jesus restoring all that was lost in the Fall. I liked her exploration of God's original perfect purpose for women, working side by side with men in harmony, image bearers of God. I was excited by her assuring me that I have hope in Christ for repossessing all that was lost in the Fall.

    Much of Alsup's book deals with the Old Testament. When I got to the New Testament part of her book, my high hopes began to deflate. She encouraged me to take the "long view" of not merely the present but heaven too. She reminded me that the good for women was really the "lose your life to find it" kind of good. I knew then that women repossessing all that was lost in the Fall would be postponed and was not something for this life.

    Alsup concludes from her investigation of difficult (for women) passages in the New Testament that women can serve, such as being a deacon, but not lead, such as being an elder. Galatians 3:28 indicates equality of men and women as joint heirs of the promises of God but does not apply to roles and responsibilities in the Christian community. Women are not to lead worship nor make spiritual decisions for the church (nor preach, I would think).

    I feel that Alsup gave me false hope by leading to believe that what was lost in the Fall has been redeemed and restored by Christ. Perhaps in heaven men and women will walk and work side by side but not now. We as Christians are encouraged to defend the right of a woman to vote or be the CEO of a corporation, we are not to allow her to have a decisive position on a church board.

    Alsup admits in the book that she would not answer all the questions regarding woman and the Bible and she has not. This is not a definitive work by any means. I think there are other books addressing the issues that are much better, on both the egalitarian and complimentarian sides.

    There are discussion questions included so this book could be used in a discussion group.

    I received a complimentary galley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
  5. Amanda
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Answering a vital question for both women and men
    March 24, 2017
    Amanda
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Asking Is the Bible good for women? may appear to be a rhetorical question, but it is a question that Christian women have asked throughout history and one that begs an answer. In her new book, Wendy Alsup succeeds at provide a thorough and theologically rich answer to this pertinent question. Alsup does a tremendous job of providing a Christ-centered framework for examining precisely how the Bible truly is good news for women. Alsup emphasizes that in order to discern the goodness of Gods Word for women, Christians must examine the Word within its own context. From creation to the Resurrection of Christ, Alsup adeptly uses the Scripture to display the goodness of Gods Word for women.

    Alsup carefully dissects difficult texts in both the Old and New Testaments in order to reveal the character of Christ and how these texts ultimately point toward the goodness of Gods Word for women. Instead of avoiding Old Testament texts detailing injustices and harm towards women, Alsup carefully navigates how these passages reveal the character of God and His plan for Christ to offer a sacrifice that would offer true redemption and justice for women. Later, Alsup examines the common New Testament passages that cause many women to doubt the goodness of Gods woman for the female gender. While examining passages such as 1 Timothy 2 and Ephesians 5, Alsup emphasizes the importance of studying these passages within the greater context of Scripture and the cultural norms of the age.

    Is The Bible Good For Women effectively communicates that God deeply cares for the goodness, justice, sanctification, and redemption of the women who uniquely bear His image. Alsup asserts that, it is nearly impossible to value women and put forth their needs and rights correctly without first valuing the God in whose image they were made. Alsup highlights that it is womens status as image bearers that make demand justice is obtained for women who have been oppressed, violated, and harmed in any way. Alsups book reveals that Gods sufficient and holy Word is in fact good for women. Is The Bible Good For Women is an essential read. It offers insight, healing, and understanding for all women (and men) whether they are skeptics of the Bibles goodness or have longed held firm to the Words goodness for women. By examining Scripture in context, Alsup provides a Christ-centered lens for seeing how Gods word ultimately seeks to allow women to thrive as Image bearers.
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