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A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master" [Kindle Edition]

Rachel Held Evans
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $7.00 (41%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing


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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Held Evans, an award-winning writer, is a popular blogger and the author of Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions

Product Details

  • File Size: 1327 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00CNKWXXW
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078FA8TS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,432 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
239 of 271 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, adventurous, challenging,and prophetic! October 12, 2012
I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of Rachel Held Evans' A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master a couple of weeks ago. Quickly, I began reading it. I respect all that Rachel has done as a popular blogger and her willingness to be a voice for women and other people who are ignored and/or mistreated within broader Christianity. I had a hunch that this would be an enjoyable book to read and she did not fail me. It was excellent.

On Twitter I described it using these four words: fun, adventurous, challenging, and prophetic.

Aim of the Book:

If you are unaware of the aim of this book it is an effort to spend one calendar year trying to live according to various mandates in Scripture aimed at women. Some people find this blasphemous. I find it fits within the heart of the Christian tradition. Immediately as I began to read the book the words attributed to the apostle Peter in the Book of Acts 15.10 (NASB) came to mind: "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" Christianity has not disrespected Scripture by acknowledging that strict, literalistic approaches are overwhelming and impossible. Rather, Christianity has honored Scripture by acknowledging its perplexing, exhausting, weighty nature. Christianity has said that the mandates of Scripture direct us toward Christ, because we cannot bear the yoke of rules and regulations.

This book (like A.J. Jacob's A Year of Living Biblically) aims to make this very point with a smile.
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149 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vulnerable, Creative, and Engaging Book October 16, 2012
There are three things that stand out to me about this book:

1. There is nothing written in it that deviates from pre-existing evangelical Christian scholarship from an egalitarian perspective.

2. Rachel's project and book provide a creative and engaging point of entry into this difficult and controversial subject matter.

3. The writing is superb and vulnerable. My wife is quite critical of nonfiction books, and she loved it. I can't offer a better endorsement than hers!

In the days to come you're going to hear a lot of folks who are critical about Rachel's methods and conclusions, and I'd like to address both of them.

For starters, the method of the project struck me as a tool for both personally engaging with the relevant scriptures and for organizing the book as a whole. If you read the book, you'll find that she's simply trying to relate to all of the different ways that evangelicals have defined "biblical womanhood." She interviewed people from a variety of perspectives and dug deep into quite a bit of research that she tactfully weaves throughout the book. One moment you're laughing about the powdered sugar she burned on top of her apple pie and the next minute she's explaining the different historical interpretations of Proverbs 31 and the Hebrew behind it.

She uses the project's method as a way to help her both empathize with different perspectives and to deepen her reflections. In all fairness, the method of the project is also a clever way to market the book, but if that's all you see, then you're missing out.

As to Rachel's conclusions, I don't say this as a critique, but there's really nothing all that new in this book. You can dig up plenty of evangelical scholars who say that exact same thing as her.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes a banal point in a really fun way (2.5 stars) January 22, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In a book that has generated no small controversy, Rachel Held Evans pulls off something remarkable as she is able to be charming and punchy at the same time. Somehow she strikes a perfect balance between being acerbic, but approachable. Its no surprise that she has a massive following; her ability to evoke feelings of empathy is an admirable one.

But sometimes she displays an annoying habit (which is not unique to her alone) in that she seems to relish recalling her days as a benighted fundamentalist who was unwittingly bamboozled into a confounding belief system by a backwards upbringing. The point: we are meant to get the impression that she has come a long way down the road less traveled of theological sophistication. Allow me to rant on this a bit. While there is a healthy sense of wonder one can have upon reflecting on how much one has changed, there is something oddly self-serving about hastily re-imagining oneself as a paradigm example of closed-minded ignorance so as to set up a contrived contrast with the present, broad-minded self. I call this the `Frankie Schaeffer Syndrome', and it is a particularly obnoxious style of autobiography that seems to ail those who resent something about their Christian upbringing and write spiritual memoirs about it.

Why do I take time to point this out? Reading the autobiographical statements of Ronald L. Numbers in his seminal volume The Creationists, I noticed that while he now strongly disagrees with the teaching of his Seventh Day Adventist upbringing, he maintains a charitable and admirable respect for his past. This is no mere empty sentiment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
We could all learn a great deal from the experiences Rachel talks about in her book. It is also extremely readable!
Published 7 days ago by A. Vaughn
5.0 out of 5 stars thankyou
An inspiring read which encourages a more truthful acknowledgement of the bibles contradictions ... and that we find truth through facing those contradictions head on.
Published 8 days ago by Claire N. Lyddall
5.0 out of 5 stars an enlightening journey
This was a thoughtful, thought-provoking, funny, faithful, and scripturally sound trek into life as a woman reflecting on biblical womanhood through a 21st century perspectives of... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Madonna Flanders
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This book is life changing. As a woman who grew up with the "P31 woman" thrust in my face regularly as the standard for which I should strive, reading this was liberating. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Thad Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars A Year of Biblical Womanhood.
I had never read anything about this subject before, and thoroughly enjoyed her treatment of it. Interesting way she covered Biblical concepts on a monthly basis. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Jonathan R. Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading
I got this book on the recommendation of a Christian friend who thought it made interesting light reading. Read more
Published 10 days ago by anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Read for life changing thought!
Of fresh way of looking at the Scriptures, and womanhood. Definitely for anyone concerned with either. Read more
Published 12 days ago by JD Yoder
4.0 out of 5 stars this book
I haven't read it yet but it seems very interesting. My dad said that maybe I would like it. I hope I enjoy it.
Published 12 days ago by zoe
1.0 out of 5 stars No Humor Here
Was led to believe this would have moments of humor. NOT!!! Couldn't believe this woman wasted a whole year on this project???
Published 13 days ago by alice bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars A lived hermeneutic
While it would be easy to read this book and not see it, this book is actually about hermeneutics, which is the study of interpreting a text -- the Bible in this case. Read more
Published 14 days ago by another James
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More About the Author

Rachel is a New York Times best selling author from Dayton, Tennessee--home of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

Explore her books and website to find out why she's been featured on NPR, in Slate, The BBC, The Washington Post, The Guardian (UK), The Times London, The Huffington Post, and, among others.

Rachel is a skeptic, a creative, and a follower of Jesus. She is a lifelong Alabama Crimson Tide fan, and happily married to her husband Dan. Connect with Rachel at

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