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New York Times Bestseller

What is “biblical womanhood” . . . really? 

Strong-willed and independent, Rachel Held Evans couldn’t sew a button on a blouse before she embarked on a radical life experiment—a year of biblical womanhood. Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year.  

Pursuing a different virtue each month, Evans learns the hard way that her quest for biblical womanhood requires more than a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). It means growing out her hair, making her own clothes, covering her head, obeying her husband, rising before dawn, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church, and even camping out in the front yard during her period. 

See what happens when a thoroughly modern woman starts referring to her husband as “master” and “praises him at the city gate” with a homemade sign. Learn the insights she receives from an ongoing correspondence with an Orthodox Jewish woman, and find out what she discovers from her exchanges with a polygamist wife.  Join her as she wrestles with difficult passages of scripture that portray misogyny and violence against women. 

With just the right mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation. What does God truly expect of women, and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? Come along with Evans as she looks for answers in the rich heritage of biblical heroines, models of grace, and all-around women of valor. 

Topics: Spirituality and The Bible

Published: Thomas Nelson on Oct 30, 2012
ISBN: 9781595553683
List price: $8.99
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Rachel Held Evans has grown up receiving lots of mixed messages about the appropriate role of women in the home, the church and society - often with the claim that it was "God's perfect will" that all women everywhere do this or that. Though it turns out different people have different understanding of what the this or that are. "Biblical Womanhood" was big on the agenda.And so begins Rachel's exploration of what "a woman's place" is. Is there a single formula for how to be a woman put forward in the bible? So what does "biblical womanhood" look like, literally?Rachel sets out her Ten Commandments for the year, and then adds actions that she explores further each month. Interwoven with the chapters are the stories of biblical women - maybe not stories we are used to hearing.Rachel takes time and effort to find out context of oft quoted passages about what women should and shouldn't do, and explores other passages, not so often quoted that add illumination. But she does also follow through on the supposed "golden rules" to see how living them out goes.This is an honest, intelligent, reflective and amusing book. It speaks much sense as it broadens what was actually being said in the bible, and explores how women in different communities are living as "Women of valour" (The Proverbs 31 woman), in their place and community.For me the project and the good common sense of it are summed up in two paragraphs on p294:"The Bible isn't an answer book. It isn't a self-help manual. It isn't a flat, perspicuous list of rules and regulations that we can interpret objectively and apply unilaterally to our lives.The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, poetry and proverbs, philosophy and prophecies, written and assembled over thousands of years in cultures and contexts very different to our own, that tells the complex, ever-unfolding story of God's interaction with humanity."In the bible, as in life, there are many different women, with many different gifts, that God uses. The "woman of faith" is not one-size-fits-all.A delightful book that should be read by all women wanting to live their lives God's way - and their menfolk.read more
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Rachel Held Evans has grown up receiving lots of mixed messages about the appropriate role of women in the home, the church and society - often with the claim that it was "God's perfect will" that all women everywhere do this or that. Though it turns out different people have different understanding of what the this or that are. "Biblical Womanhood" was big on the agenda.And so begins Rachel's exploration of what "a woman's place" is. Is there a single formula for how to be a woman put forward in the bible? So what does "biblical womanhood" look like, literally?Rachel sets out her Ten Commandments for the year, and then adds actions that she explores further each month. Interwoven with the chapters are the stories of biblical women - maybe not stories we are used to hearing.Rachel takes time and effort to find out context of oft quoted passages about what women should and shouldn't do, and explores other passages, not so often quoted that add illumination. But she does also follow through on the supposed "golden rules" to see how living them out goes.This is an honest, intelligent, reflective and amusing book. It speaks much sense as it broadens what was actually being said in the bible, and explores how women in different communities are living as "Women of valour" (The Proverbs 31 woman), in their place and community.For me the project and the good common sense of it are summed up in two paragraphs on p294:"The Bible isn't an answer book. It isn't a self-help manual. It isn't a flat, perspicuous list of rules and regulations that we can interpret objectively and apply unilaterally to our lives.The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, poetry and proverbs, philosophy and prophecies, written and assembled over thousands of years in cultures and contexts very different to our own, that tells the complex, ever-unfolding story of God's interaction with humanity."In the bible, as in life, there are many different women, with many different gifts, that God uses. The "woman of faith" is not one-size-fits-all.A delightful book that should be read by all women wanting to live their lives God's way - and their menfolk.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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