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Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible Paperback – December 8, 2017
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Finally a book that recognizes misunderstood biblical women as Kingdom builders rather than home-wreckers. What a joy to know teachers have a resource to exhort their congregations to be like Peter and Paul, and also like Tamar and Rahab. As each chapter vindicates another woman, God’s love for the marginalized and oppressed jumps off the pages reminding us that he welcomes men and women to pick up the hammer and get to work in the Missio Dei. (Nika Spaulding, Resident Theologian at St Jude Oak Cliff 2017-08-01)
Vindicating the Vixens is a monumentally important work in that it confronts the prevalent misinterpretations of some of the most critical women in Scripture. The faithful and meticulous research of Dr. Glahn and the contributing authors advances the powerful message of the book―of God’s passion for the marginalized, the misunderstood, and the outsider. This book will challenge the way you look at women, both those in the Bible and those you meet every day. (Paul Lanum, Vice President of Publishing RightNow Media 2017-08-01)
One of the most important tasks of the believer is to practice faithful exegesis of Scripture, to allow the text to speak for itself without inserting personal or cultural bias. Through the centuries, many women of the Bible have unfairly labeled, and thus, inaccurately taught. Drawing from faithful study, insight, and experience, the authors expose the errors passed down through the generations and bring to light this beautiful truth: The God of the Bible highly esteems and works through women. Let the Vixens be vindicated and the Word of God celebrated! I am so grateful for this book. (Rebecca Carrell, Conference Speaker, Bible Teacher, and KCBI Morning Show Co-Host 2017-08-01)
The biblical narrative provides an accurate description of gender. All human beings bear the imago Dei and enjoy the same God-given value and dignity. The fall distorted the relationship of humanity with God and among all people regardless of their gender. The salvation and restoration that Christ brings to humanity makes no distinction between male or female and, in fact, destroys all human-made gender marginalization. For this reason, it becomes imperative to handle faithfully the biblical text in order to have an appropriate understanding of gender, sexuality, and marginalization. Sandra Glahn selected an important group of contributors who together portray a faithful description of key women in the Bible. This exceptional and relevant text fills and unfortunate gap created by distorted perspectives created by tradition and not from the Scriptures. (Octavio Javier Esqueda, Professor of Christian Higher Education Talbot School of Theology at Biola University 2017-08-01)
I always love the stories of God's daughters in His storybook of His relentless love and pursuit of us. I especially love when the fuller stories open our eyes to surprising realities. In Vindicating the Vixens, Sandra Glahn has pulled together a treasure trove of those stories, written with careful theology, cultural comprehension and captivating narrative. I can name a few of my favorites―Eve, Ruth, Deborah, Mary Magdalene―but truly, I loved getting to know every one of these too-often maligned sisters better. And so will you, I'm sure. (Judy Douglass, Director, Women’s Resources Cru 2017-08-01)
Vindicating the Vixens is a course correction for the Church―and an invaluable one at that. Chapter after chapter it redeems the reputation of many of the biblical women we’ve often misunderstood. In the process, it removes misunderstandings, misplaced convictions, and unintentional bias and in their place leaves a better sense of God's love and justice. Reassessing my forgone conclusions has never felt so valuable. (Kelsey Hency, Editor in Chief Fathom 2017-08-01)
About the Author
Sandra Glahn, Th.M., PhD, is a professor in Media Arts/Worship and pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. Glahn is a journalist and the author or coauthor of twenty books.
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For example, the woman Jesus met at the well in Samaria had five husbands, true enough (see John 4). But why do most people assume that means she was faithless and immoral? Women in her time and place did not divorce husbands five times. The man with the most recorded divorces had only three. If a woman did initiate legal proceedings, she had to do so through a male. Women could not simply walk into a court of law and speak on their own behalf. So, it's unlikely that "the Samaritan woman" had divorced five husbands.
Additionally, when we read that this woman's current man was not her own, we assume she was living with some guy. Because that's what it would mean in the West. But in her world, it is far more likely that she had to share a husband in a polygamous relationship in order to eat.
Put these factors together, and you realize this person was probably not a beautiful young woman with loose morals. More likely, she was an older woman who had endured the death of a husband several times (war was the number one cause of death for men), been dumped a time or two, and consequently having to share a husband in order to survive. Additionally, the text says she was waiting for, looking with hope for, the Jewish Messiah (4.25).
So we have, probably wrongly, assumed this woman was guilty of sexual promiscuity, and that Jesus was confronting her about her sin. More likely, Jesus was bringing up her greatest point of pain before revealing to her that he is the very Messiah for whom she has been waiting. For everyone else in Jesus' world, the Lord seems to subtly veil who he is. But with this broken woman hanging on to hope, he comes right out with it.
This woman is one of many whom the contributors to Vindicating the Vixens reconsider in light of what we know about cultural backgrounds, not only from new data but also from having more varied "eyes on the text".
In Vindicating the Vixens, a host of biblical scholars and theologians reexamine the narratives of Eve, Hagar, Sarah, Tamar, Rahab, Deborah, Ruth, Huldah, Bathsheba, Vashti, Mary Magdalene, The Samaritan Woman, Junia, and even the Virgin Mary --whom Protestants sadly marginalize.
All that work makes Vindicating the Vixens a much-needed guide for reading the Bible with faithfulness. It is a must-have for those who care about what the Bible really says.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review here.
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