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Lost Women of the Bible: Finding Strength & Significance Through Their Stories

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You know the women of the Bible, but you don't know them like this It's easy for Christian women-young and old-to get lost between the opportunities and demands of the present and the biblical teachings of the past. They live in a confusing world, caught in the crossfire between church and culture. Although home and family still remain central, more women than ever, by cho You know the women of the Bible, but you don't know them like this It's easy for Christian women-young and old-to get lost between the opportunities and demands of the present and the biblical teachings of the past. They live in a confusing world, caught in the crossfire between church and culture. Although home and family still remain central, more women than ever, by choice or by necessity, are blending home, career, and ministry. They need strong biblical role models to help them meet these challenges. Building on solid scholarship and a determination to wrestle honestly with perplexing questions, author Carolyn Custis James sheds new light on ancient stories that brings the women of the Bible into the twenty-first century. This fresh look at the women in the Bible unearths surprising new insights and a powerful message that will leave readers feeling challenged, encouraged, and deeply valued. Rediscover and be inspired by: Eve Tamar Sarah Naomi Hagar Hannah Esther Mary


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You know the women of the Bible, but you don't know them like this It's easy for Christian women-young and old-to get lost between the opportunities and demands of the present and the biblical teachings of the past. They live in a confusing world, caught in the crossfire between church and culture. Although home and family still remain central, more women than ever, by cho You know the women of the Bible, but you don't know them like this It's easy for Christian women-young and old-to get lost between the opportunities and demands of the present and the biblical teachings of the past. They live in a confusing world, caught in the crossfire between church and culture. Although home and family still remain central, more women than ever, by choice or by necessity, are blending home, career, and ministry. They need strong biblical role models to help them meet these challenges. Building on solid scholarship and a determination to wrestle honestly with perplexing questions, author Carolyn Custis James sheds new light on ancient stories that brings the women of the Bible into the twenty-first century. This fresh look at the women in the Bible unearths surprising new insights and a powerful message that will leave readers feeling challenged, encouraged, and deeply valued. Rediscover and be inspired by: Eve Tamar Sarah Naomi Hagar Hannah Esther Mary

30 review for Lost Women of the Bible: Finding Strength & Significance Through Their Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khari

    I enjoyed this book, but because I had to put it on pause for a couple of months, I noticed something quite interesting about the author. Carolyn Custis James has a gift. The gift of persuasion. When you are reading what she writes you are absolutely convinced to her way of thinking. She is a talented writer and she tugs on the emotions of her readers in a deft and skilled way. I think everyone should read her books, especially if you are an emotional person who sometimes deals with depression, b I enjoyed this book, but because I had to put it on pause for a couple of months, I noticed something quite interesting about the author. Carolyn Custis James has a gift. The gift of persuasion. When you are reading what she writes you are absolutely convinced to her way of thinking. She is a talented writer and she tugs on the emotions of her readers in a deft and skilled way. I think everyone should read her books, especially if you are an emotional person who sometimes deals with depression, because she is so encouraging and enlivening. You will feel understood and brave after reading her work. When I was reading this book at the end of last year, I was lapping up every single word that she said. When I came back to it after two months, I was like, ...wait... that doesn't necessarily make any sense. Sometimes I think she overstates her case, but she is such a passionate and persuasive writer that you just kind of gloss over it in your own head. Taking a little bit of distance for a bit helped me to view the book in a slightly more objective way. Even the discussion questions at the end of each chapter are designed to reinforce a particular viewpoint. One of my favorites was "How was Paul changed by his interaction with the women of Philippi?" Well, I know that he was changed in between his first and second missionary journeys, but I think it's a bit much to lay that change entirely at the feet of the women of Philippi. Probably there were a bunch of factors. But the other factors weren't presented. And that's okay, that wasn't her focus. It just means that her readers need to engage their critical thinking skills while reading. This is not to say that she is wrong or bad. I think she is bringing a new perspective to a bunch of stories in the Bible that is very valuable and probably correct in some ways. I just think that I should probably read other authors as well and get their opinions as well. I think if I only read her I would have a very narrow view of these stories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I really liked her perspective on the stories of women in the Bible. She looked past the events in women's lives into the nuances of Scripture that apply to all of us, no matter where we are in life. I really don't like when women writers spend a lot of time focusing on gender instead of getting to the meat behind what they are saying. (Most of them don't have meat, which is why they focus on gender issues so predominantly.)Not only is that annoying, it also serves no purpose Focusing on perceiv I really liked her perspective on the stories of women in the Bible. She looked past the events in women's lives into the nuances of Scripture that apply to all of us, no matter where we are in life. I really don't like when women writers spend a lot of time focusing on gender instead of getting to the meat behind what they are saying. (Most of them don't have meat, which is why they focus on gender issues so predominantly.)Not only is that annoying, it also serves no purpose Focusing on perceived inequalities within the church instead of doing what can be done well is a mistake. I appreciate that she doesn't complain about the hardships of "being a woman in a man's world" too much. She's almost borderline in places, but she keeps it in check, and it's not distracting. I loved the chapter on Paul and the Phillipian Church, Tamar, and Sarah best.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I found this to be a very eye opening book. I enjoyed the window into ancient cultures. I had just read her other book about Ruth and loved it so I moved on to this one. I actually liked this better. I think all women should read it. It made me feel much better to be a woman.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Atwater

    I really loved what the author had to say about Eve being created as an “ezer” (strong warrior). It was beautiful and impactful to hear the way she told her story. Certain aspects of every chapter had interesting things to say that were all based off of this first woman character. However, I gave this book only 3 stars because although the author is trying to encourage women by showing how these biblical characters served and were strong, it feels as though there is still an underlying current o I really loved what the author had to say about Eve being created as an “ezer” (strong warrior). It was beautiful and impactful to hear the way she told her story. Certain aspects of every chapter had interesting things to say that were all based off of this first woman character. However, I gave this book only 3 stars because although the author is trying to encourage women by showing how these biblical characters served and were strong, it feels as though there is still an underlying current of women doing all of this service only in the background, where their purpose in this “blessed alliance” is only to help men in their ministries. It gets exhausting to hear this message again and again. It’s almost like saying: you women must take a strong role in servanthood, but only in the background and only in order to help men. She describes these women as “lost” because they for various reasons weren’t able to fulfill traditional roles of women (being wives and mothers) and yet they served God in strong ways anyway. She’s on her way to describing this well, but just doesn’t quite hit the mark. I struggle with this especially because I don’t believe women are “lost” when they don’t do those things. Women who follow and serve the Lord are fully valuable, loved, and strong no matter what role they play, and they are by no means lesser if they aren’t filling a role as a wife and mother. Again, the author is sooo close, but still doesn’t quite hit the target in a way that is useful. Finally, in order to describe these women in the Bible well, she had to add a lot of extra backstory to each one that just isn’t in the text. She does this to make their story more impactful, but I just don’t think that it’s wise to add things into biblical accounts that really are not there. For example, the author goes on about Esther being too caught up in her appearance and pleasing men with what she looks like. She spends too much money on products and too much time. In reality, the text does say that Esther is very beautiful, but this other input is certainly a whole lot of speculation that puts extra meaning in the text that I just don’t see there.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    While the author made a couple good points I hadn’t thought about before, this book was very long-winded. I could’ve learned just as much from a short article on the woman as an ezer/warrior with a paragraph or two on each woman. Also, I did not relate to the author’s feelings of unworthiness as a woman, especially in being left out of the covenant of circumcision. This made absolutely no sense to me and is a good example of the sorts of “problems” she created to fit her narrative of a woman bei While the author made a couple good points I hadn’t thought about before, this book was very long-winded. I could’ve learned just as much from a short article on the woman as an ezer/warrior with a paragraph or two on each woman. Also, I did not relate to the author’s feelings of unworthiness as a woman, especially in being left out of the covenant of circumcision. This made absolutely no sense to me and is a good example of the sorts of “problems” she created to fit her narrative of a woman being lost in a man’s world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Iona Kroussoratsky

    Finally, a book written by a female theologian, who writes with in depth expository research, wonderful use of Narratival Theology, and discerning spiritual insight. Thank you Carolyn most of all for the poignant questions you ask of the reader time and time again. I found myself reflecting on the Bible in such a way that engaged with history, experience and reason in a very personal way, growing my love for the Lord and deepening my understanding of His Word. Will be recommending this book to t Finally, a book written by a female theologian, who writes with in depth expository research, wonderful use of Narratival Theology, and discerning spiritual insight. Thank you Carolyn most of all for the poignant questions you ask of the reader time and time again. I found myself reflecting on the Bible in such a way that engaged with history, experience and reason in a very personal way, growing my love for the Lord and deepening my understanding of His Word. Will be recommending this book to the women in my Bible Study group!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Larson

    Martin Luther had been wrestling a deep depression when his wife, Katie Von Bora, greeted him one night wearing the head-to-toe black garb of someone in mourning. Her words to him seemed to knock the breath from his chest. “God is dead!” Katie wasn’t a prequel to Nietzche. In fact, she stood more in the line of the Old Testament prophets. She used a graphic visual representation to bring home the logical conclusions of her husband’s depressed state of mind. Her dignified sarcasm was a wake-up ca Martin Luther had been wrestling a deep depression when his wife, Katie Von Bora, greeted him one night wearing the head-to-toe black garb of someone in mourning. Her words to him seemed to knock the breath from his chest. “God is dead!” Katie wasn’t a prequel to Nietzche. In fact, she stood more in the line of the Old Testament prophets. She used a graphic visual representation to bring home the logical conclusions of her husband’s depressed state of mind. Her dignified sarcasm was a wake-up call. Katie stood before Luther as a theologian and as a strong helper, using her wit, cunning, and creativity to bring him back to the path of godliness. Katie’s story was actually my first introduction to Carolyn James and to the lost stories of godly women whose lives have been rich in the depth of their knowledge of God. Carolyn’s husband, Dr. Frank James, my History of Christianity professor, discussed Katie and then spoke of how God calls women to be theologians. His wife, Carolyn, was one of the best theologians he knew, he said. The dignity Dr. James afforded to his wife as he spoke of her made me know that this was a woman I wanted to get to know. I now feel privileged to perhaps introduce some of you to Carolyn James and to the strength of godly women that she uncovers in Lost Women of the Bible. The first thing you will notice about Carolyn’s work is that she is someone who does her homework; or more precisely, she is a scholar. In chapter one, she lays the groundwork for the book by introducing the Hebrew term ezer, or strong helper. She elucidates the term by explaining that of the 21 times it is used in the Old Testament, 18 of those times refer to God as Israel’s helper. There is a military significance to ezer that closely aligns with the sense of a warrior, or as Dan Allendar has termed it, an Intimate Ally. Carolyn makes clear that the term ezer does not apply only to married women but to all women. It is an inherent part of how we as women bear the image of God. Another aspect, of Mrs. James’ work that I appreciate is how she brings to light the struggles, frailties, and strengths of women of the Bible like Eve, Noah’s wife, Hagar, Sarah, Hannah, Esther, Mary, Mary Magdalene and the women of Philippi. There is no sugar-coating in her treatment. If anything, characters like Esther became much more human, even falling a bit from false pedestals, through the context she provides. The strength of Carolyn’s work, in my opinion, lies in both the vulnerability she risks in sharing her own experience of being “lost”—feeling as if she’d missed God’s plan A for her life, and in the insight she brings to the biblical characters she includes. Lest you fear, this is not a book that bashes men. If anything, the recognition of the vital roles that both men and women play in this unfolding drama of redemption elevates and ennobles both men and women as they live out their callings in this “Blessed Alliance.” I would strongly encourage both women and men to read this book. As women, we need to be challenged with how vitally important it is to know God deeply as these biblical characters did. For those of us who also experience this feeling of being lost you will be deeply comforted to know that you are not alone. As men, you can be encouraged by the depth of strength God gave to Adam and his posterity by creating woman to be ezer. For all, I hope you will soon discover for yourself the rich treasure of Lost Women of the Bible.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    I like the idea behind this book, but unfortunately it lacked biblical truth and included too much speculation. We read this in my women’s bible study at church and I would much rather we had spent our time and energy reading something else. The over analyzing of details to try and make something out of nothing just wasn’t worth it to me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ken Peters

    I was encouraged to read this book that my wife had bought and read, and I am so glad I did. It is delightfully well-written, and is packed with well-researched insights that make the messages of ten biblical women’s lives incredibly relevant today. I found this book not only encouraged me in my own walk with God, but it was also something I could easily see abundant application for in my own marriage and in pastoral ministry. This is not just a book about women for women, but is also a great bo I was encouraged to read this book that my wife had bought and read, and I am so glad I did. It is delightfully well-written, and is packed with well-researched insights that make the messages of ten biblical women’s lives incredibly relevant today. I found this book not only encouraged me in my own walk with God, but it was also something I could easily see abundant application for in my own marriage and in pastoral ministry. This is not just a book about women for women, but is also a great book for men who want to grow in their understanding of God and in their appreciation of women!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bonne Lynn

    DNF. A lot of assumptions and jargon. I had to put it down after "Blessed Alliance" mentions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    I must admit that I greatly liked this book, enough that if I can find a reasonably priced volume it would be well worth having in my collection even though I have already read it, as a resource for my writing and messages. As a person with two many books and not enough space, that is not something I say lightly. Certainly, this is the sort of book that could raise a lot of questions among those who read it, and is likely to be read mainly by women. This is a bit of a shame, as this is precisely I must admit that I greatly liked this book, enough that if I can find a reasonably priced volume it would be well worth having in my collection even though I have already read it, as a resource for my writing and messages. As a person with two many books and not enough space, that is not something I say lightly. Certainly, this is the sort of book that could raise a lot of questions among those who read it, and is likely to be read mainly by women. This is a bit of a shame, as this is precisely the sort of book that a fair-minded man who appreciates talking to and reading about women can appreciate without any sort of hostility. This is not the sort of book written by someone with axes to grind or the desire to put down others. Rather, this book is the sort of book written by a woman who has a great deal of sensitivity and interest in the lives other women have lived, and that is the sort of book to be appreciated by someone who reads a lot about women [1]. In terms of its contents, the author takes just over 200 pages to cover some of the most notable women of the Bible: Eve, Noah's wife, Sarah, Hagar, Tamar, Hannah, Esther, Mary of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene, and the women of Philippi. At the heart of the author's argument is that men and women are supposed to have a blessed alliance where they work together and complement each other and encourage each other towards God's kingdom and in working God's plans on this earth. Over and over again, the author points the reader to the ways in which godly women sought to follow God in the face of great difficulties. Particularly poignant is the way that the author talks about those women who have suffered lasting harm to their own reputation as a result of having sought to obey God in difficult circumstances--both Tamar and Mary of Nazareth are examples of women who have long been criticized and insulted for the ways in which divine grace showed itself through the behavior of both women in terms of the circumstances of the birth of their children. Likewise, the author's discussion of Esther and her ability to blend in with heathen society is rather poignant, and ought to be a matter of reflection for many women, and not a few men: "When Esther said, "If I perish, I perish," she was talking about having a conversation with her husband. That's how dysfunctional their relationship was. Her husband didn't want her spiritual partnership. He wasn't interested in her faith or in her advice (156)." Let us hope this is not true for this book's readers. It is little surprise that this book deals with lost women, because the Bible is full of both men and women who are lost as a result of having their stories unread or misunderstood. If you like reading about women from a sympathetic biblical scholar who combines a great deal of insight about the lives of biblical women and the sort of empathy that comes from her own long period dealing with singlehood and barrenness, this book is precisely the sort of book that is easy to appreciate and immensely worthwhile. Knowing as I do a lot of women who struggle with harmony with others in their lives, this book provides a good picture of the perspective that women can bring without being strident or ungracious in their approach. Those men who are brave enough to read this book will find a great deal to appreciate as well, and perhaps some encouragement to act with love and understanding and a great deal of interest to what the women in their lives can provide as well. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily Fromke

    Despite the interesting cover art, this book is a masterpiece. Something all women and probably a lot of men should read. A lot of the time people take just a cursory glance at the Bible and miss the ways in which God, from the beginning, has affirmed the value, worth, and vocation of women in the world as warriors—strong helpers created to build up the kingdom of God alongside their sisters and brothers. Although the women of the Bible lived in patriarchal cultures and many of their stories are Despite the interesting cover art, this book is a masterpiece. Something all women and probably a lot of men should read. A lot of the time people take just a cursory glance at the Bible and miss the ways in which God, from the beginning, has affirmed the value, worth, and vocation of women in the world as warriors—strong helpers created to build up the kingdom of God alongside their sisters and brothers. Although the women of the Bible lived in patriarchal cultures and many of their stories are “lost” to us because of their cultural context, Carolyn Custis James takes a second look at the stories we do have. And she finds that these women, like us today, oftentimes felt lost—just as we do—in their own communities when their lives didn’t follow the expectations of their culture. But, they were never truly lost. They encountered El Roi, the God who sees. And they didn’t shrink back from the callings that God have them. God used women like Hannah, Tamar, Mary, and Lydia to build his kingdom. When they felt lost or forgotten he sought them out and reminded them of their vocation and the fact that they wouldn’t be blessed by meeting cultural standards for women such as marriage or motherhood, but that God’s promise for women is the same as it is for men: Blessed is she who hears the word of the Lord and obeys. This book has given me a lot to think about and is just one example of how the Bible is still so applicable today even though it was written so long ago. Highly recommend. Will be buying copies for family and friends.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Just OK. To be fair, I don't think I am the target audience for this book--I was already convinced that God intends women to bring all their giftedness and strength to work alongside men in his kingdom, and that Jesus and even Paul elevated the status of women significantly, given their patriarchal culture. Since I was already there, the author's attempts to convince me felt repetitive. But I do appreciate that she's addressing the obviously multi-faceted contributions of women in the Bible from Just OK. To be fair, I don't think I am the target audience for this book--I was already convinced that God intends women to bring all their giftedness and strength to work alongside men in his kingdom, and that Jesus and even Paul elevated the status of women significantly, given their patriarchal culture. Since I was already there, the author's attempts to convince me felt repetitive. But I do appreciate that she's addressing the obviously multi-faceted contributions of women in the Bible from within an evangelical culture that often turns a blind eye to inconvenient accounts that challenge beloved hierarchal categories. Also, one of her primary techniques seems to be imaginative historical speculation, i.e. "it is possible she had no family or friends--no one on their knees pleading for God to deliver her," re Mary Magdalene. Yes, and it's possible she did have family or friends! This kind of speculation doesn't do much for me. My favorite chapter was the one on Tamar. I enjoyed reading about Tamar's initiative and resourcefulness and the positive change she helped bring about in Judah, not to mention the redemption of her family line. The cultural context provided was helpful.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maja K.

    I really wanted to like this book. I liked its premise as I think it's important to talk about women's role in church. However, what I found was a book based largely on assumptions and asking questions many of which have never been answered. There were many good parts in the book that were based on what the Bible really says about women - like the chapter about Eve. I also felt though, there were many speculations, such as that God didn't talk to Sarah for 13 years and Sarah felt, therefore, lef I really wanted to like this book. I liked its premise as I think it's important to talk about women's role in church. However, what I found was a book based largely on assumptions and asking questions many of which have never been answered. There were many good parts in the book that were based on what the Bible really says about women - like the chapter about Eve. I also felt though, there were many speculations, such as that God didn't talk to Sarah for 13 years and Sarah felt, therefore, left behind. Just because something is not mentioned in the Bible, it doesn't have to mean it didn't happen. Another problem I had with the book was its effort to "legalize" strong women and to justify our position in church. I don't think we are perceived only as care givers and Sunday school teachers and the book has actually made me doubt my experience with churches both in Europe and the US. Maybe there are churches that claim women are responsible for all the evil there is, luckily it does not happen where I live.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    Wonderful Bible studies on the usual (and some unusual) women of the Bible. Focusing on the word “ezer”, the book shows the strength of these women. I particularly liked her emphasis on the fact that women were always designed as fellow workers to men, not their subordinates. Tamar’s chapter was enlightening, Esther’s was an excellent study, Mary Magdalene’s was encouraging and the rest all had great information. The book primarily used the Bible for reference. This means often overlooked passage Wonderful Bible studies on the usual (and some unusual) women of the Bible. Focusing on the word “ezer”, the book shows the strength of these women. I particularly liked her emphasis on the fact that women were always designed as fellow workers to men, not their subordinates. Tamar’s chapter was enlightening, Esther’s was an excellent study, Mary Magdalene’s was encouraging and the rest all had great information. The book primarily used the Bible for reference. This means often overlooked passages were well researched, but there was little cultural or historical context. It’s something of a light read with a few of the lesson’s based on assumptions.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Wow, I really did not know what to expect. I loved learning about stories that get skipped during traditional church/Sunday school, such as Tamar and Hagar. I also loved the more in depth look into Esther, who has always been a favorite. While I don’t see eye to eye with the author’s religious views, I found the academic breaking down of each story to be very interesting. Made me want more clinical research on these women and if they actually existed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura Wood

    Excellent book! Well-written and engaging, it also places the women of the Bible in context and explains their lives in such a clear way that I understand the importance of women in the body of Christ in a way I hadn’t before. What a refreshing read! I may buy a copy for all of the men on my church staff!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Grafilo

    The author Carolyn Curtis James makes some incredible points. It definitely changed the way I look at the women in the Bible. The minus one star is for the fact that there were some points that seemed like a stretch, but overall good read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    This book was a game changer for me in a spiritual battle I am facing. Appreciate of the insight of the author and the humble, loving way she presents her thoughts. I also adored the beautiful sketches of each Biblical ezer. A great read for women of God who don’t want to feel lost.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carla Conley

    I highly recommend this book. It is very insightful and points out verses to verify the thoughts in the book. I never thought of some of these women in such a manner until I read this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    I want to give this plus a A++++! The Bible basis for equality of women in the church is written in the Bible so clearly! This book digs in to give the hidden history that we don’t talk about!♥️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lianna Scott

    Excellent book for the weary soul. I love how it outlines why "Help meet" is an inadequate translation of the true role we women hold as Christian wives.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan B

    Good book. Really good book. Stories of women told with a cultural perspective that changes the narrative and develops the women as strong, competent, gifted women made in the image of God.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Read this with friends 💗

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I like God's nickname: El Roi - The God who sees me. Ezers means strength of a woman. We are all supporters and called to be deeply involved. I like Hannah's story best out of the 10 women presented here because Hannah completely trusted God even when she was sad. She never blamed him and let His will be done. I admire her. I saw myself in Queen Ester when she had to stop being passive and took a stand. I appreciated the cleared up misconceptions about the apostle Paul's opinions about women (in I like God's nickname: El Roi - The God who sees me. Ezers means strength of a woman. We are all supporters and called to be deeply involved. I like Hannah's story best out of the 10 women presented here because Hannah completely trusted God even when she was sad. She never blamed him and let His will be done. I admire her. I saw myself in Queen Ester when she had to stop being passive and took a stand. I appreciated the cleared up misconceptions about the apostle Paul's opinions about women (in Phillipi). Some interpretations are insightful, but some are too speculative.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I just started this book so i can't say much about it. But... I hate feeling pigeon-holed into being a certain way - - ie because you're a girl you have to be this and that or you have to learn how to cook and be motherly, etc. The woman in the bible, even in the old days were SUPER women - - working the land, maintaining their households, taking care of the children and most importantly being an "EZER" to the man. Even though women today supposedly have a lot more freedom, we are still pigeon hol I just started this book so i can't say much about it. But... I hate feeling pigeon-holed into being a certain way - - ie because you're a girl you have to be this and that or you have to learn how to cook and be motherly, etc. The woman in the bible, even in the old days were SUPER women - - working the land, maintaining their households, taking care of the children and most importantly being an "EZER" to the man. Even though women today supposedly have a lot more freedom, we are still pigeon holed into being a certain way. I am not an uber feminist, but I also am not a servile being either. I am an independent Christian woman and hence I am reading this book. My goal it to find out what the bible says a christian woman should be and how i can apply that to real world and to the current age. Having said that, "EZER" is a "super helper". GOd made Eve to be an EZER to Adam. A lot of people interpret that meaning that Eve was a servant of Adam. Thats not so. God is actually described as an EZER to the peopel of israel. He was not a lowely servant but a God who aided his people. Thus, as EZERS, we women should be led by men, but not in an inferior way but as partners and supporters. Thats what I read so far... I'll definitely update once i finish the book. ;)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    When my mother gave this book to me, she said, “It’s not what you’re thinking.” Indeed, it was not. It was much much better than anything I had anticipated. I had expected a re-hashing of familiar old stories and perhaps a new perspective on a few. Instead, Carolyn Custis James brings an entirely new concept to light – the woman as “ezer,” intended by God to be actively used by Him, the natural skills He has given her and influence on the men in her life completely validated by Him. While by no When my mother gave this book to me, she said, “It’s not what you’re thinking.” Indeed, it was not. It was much much better than anything I had anticipated. I had expected a re-hashing of familiar old stories and perhaps a new perspective on a few. Instead, Carolyn Custis James brings an entirely new concept to light – the woman as “ezer,” intended by God to be actively used by Him, the natural skills He has given her and influence on the men in her life completely validated by Him. While by no means a proponent of man-trashing or “women’s lib” womanhood, James uses the Bible to confront the non-biblical ways in which the church culture has misconstrued the Bible to largely relegate women to only certain ministries and judge their success only by the “husband and children” expectation. She tenderly addresses those women who have been marginalized by the church, having had their areas of giftedness disregarded because they don’t fit the mold. James points to passages that illuminate how God values women and their varied contributions to ministry and she encourages all of us to look to God alone for our identity and self-image. What a breath of fresh air!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    God's plan for women as "ezer", or warrior as well as image-bearer was the theme. Research presents a much different picture of several often over-looked biblical women which goes well beyond what one might hear in a typical sermon. Actually, I can't recall that I have ever heard a sermon on Tamar! The background on her was particularly intriguing but so was background on many of the other women such as Esther (and we thought we knew all about her....), Mary Magdalene, Hannah, and others. I defi God's plan for women as "ezer", or warrior as well as image-bearer was the theme. Research presents a much different picture of several often over-looked biblical women which goes well beyond what one might hear in a typical sermon. Actually, I can't recall that I have ever heard a sermon on Tamar! The background on her was particularly intriguing but so was background on many of the other women such as Esther (and we thought we knew all about her....), Mary Magdalene, Hannah, and others. I definitely learned some things and thought differently about other things. Of particular interest might be James' discussion of Paul with respect to the women in the church of Philippi. Paul often gets a bad rap with his attitudes toward women but this in-depth study certainly puts a different twist on it and shows the great respect, love, and dependence Paul had on the women of that church. So, I liked the book and found it encouraging. That being said, and despite the research, it still felt more like a pastoral study than scholarly study (which is fine). And the author seemed to "know" exactly how the women felt which at times felt jarring next to the research.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    A very interesting read. I found that I was encouraged by the perspective of women portrayed in this book. I much enjoyed the thread throughout the book of the power of a woman as the ezer. I also enjoyed the section on Paul and the women of Philippi. I would not say I agree 100% with all the interpretations that the author brings. Even so, due to my own desire to dive into the Scriptures to study these women myself now makes me say this is a good read for any woman. Anything that points you tow A very interesting read. I found that I was encouraged by the perspective of women portrayed in this book. I much enjoyed the thread throughout the book of the power of a woman as the ezer. I also enjoyed the section on Paul and the women of Philippi. I would not say I agree 100% with all the interpretations that the author brings. Even so, due to my own desire to dive into the Scriptures to study these women myself now makes me say this is a good read for any woman. Anything that points you toward the Scriptures to decide for yourself how you interpret something is well worth the time. As soon as I finished the book, I turned to Philippians in my Bible to study Paul's letter. Also, as a single woman I think it is imperative that we change how our Christian culture views the mission of women to encompass all women, regardless of marital status. The author does a great job of showing that all women have worth, purpose, and are sought out by God for His Kingdom.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I didn't actually find this very interesting. The book is worth reading for her treatment of Hagar but little else. Read this while I was in my binge from A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women. It came across to me as cautious and just not as well written as other studies on the women of the Bible. Read it if you're devouring other stuff on this topic but not if you have to pick one book on women and Christianity. In retrospect more o I didn't actually find this very interesting. The book is worth reading for her treatment of Hagar but little else. Read this while I was in my binge from A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women. It came across to me as cautious and just not as well written as other studies on the women of the Bible. Read it if you're devouring other stuff on this topic but not if you have to pick one book on women and Christianity. In retrospect more of this book stayed with me than my original review implies - the aftertaste is better than the actual read.

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