Here are some of the most helpful resources that I have found for thinking through the relationship between men and women in the Bible and how women can serve alongside men.
Below you will find videos, podcasts, blog posts / articles as well as book recommendations.
The video above will give a good, fairly brief overview by a well known evangelical New Testament scholar.
After Class Podcast Series
One of my favorite resources is an podcast series on 'The After Class Podcast.' These three college professors journey through the Bible to explore this topic. If you want a good, deep dive, listen through the whole series. If you want just the summary first, you can find it here: Women and the Bible Summary.
The full, multipart series begins with this post on men and women in creation. It is very important that we think deeply about God's intent in creation and what happens in the fall in order for us to track through the whole biblical story well. Although I highly recommend listening through this whole series, if you only listen to a couple of these, don't miss this one on power dynamics.
My Blog Post Series
I have a series of blog posts that explore what the New Testament vision of ministry shows us.
I start with an invitation to the subject with some important framing questions HERE and then move on to basis for ministry in the New Testament HERE. In the 3rd post, I look at Paul's ministry team and who it was comprised of. Then I spend some time on the letter of 1 Timothy and how what Paul writes here fits into our understanding. This is an important place to dig in and understand well. Check out these posts HERE and HERE. Based on what Paul says about Eve in 1 Timothy 3, I jump back to Genesis HERE (very important).
The next post explores what Jesus teaches about authority and how we should think of the world translated authority in 1 Timothy 2. See also the After Class Podcast episode on this linked above.
Two posts follow on Elders HERE and HERE. In this post I explore whether women can be elders. Make sure you read the other two first!
THIS POST discusses deacons in the New Testament.
There are many good books on this subject - some are stronger in one area or another. These are accessible for just about anyone and helpful in thinking through men and women in ministry biblically.
I would encourage you to pick up one (or all) of these books
- Gender Roles and the People of God by Alice Matthews
- Holding Up Half the Sky by Graham Joseph Hill
- Women Serving God by John Mark Hicks
-Why Can't Women Do That? by Phillip Payne
If you want a deeper dive or exploration in more depth in one particular area of study, I've found the following books to be helpful.
(List in Progress)
Paul and Gender by Cynthia Long Westfall
I want to share a great resource for your ongoing Bible study and deeper understanding.
Choosing a Bible Translation
There are many different translations of the Bible out there. What's the difference and how should we choose which is best for us? I will share a very short video, a longer and very helpful video about translation philosophy and a book recommendation with a couple notes about it if you really want to dive in. (The second video is one of the authors sharing some of the content from the book).
The book is fairly short and readable (doesn't require academic knowledge). It's called How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth.
To summarize briefly, there are a different philosophies of translation and many of our English translations are on a spectrum between the two major philosophies.
The first approach is called 'formal equivalence.' This is also known as 'literal' or word for word translation and seeks to retain the form of the original text (word order and grammar) while producing a basically understandable translation into English. Translations toward this end of the spectrum include the King James Version, the New American Standard Bible, The English Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version.
Our tendency is to think that this type of translation is 'better'. The reality is that both approaches have strengths and shortcomings. (See the second video for much more information about this.)
The other major translation philosophy is often called 'functional equivalence.' This method seeks to produce the meaning of the original text in good (natural) english. According to Strauss and Fee, the book's authors, advocates of functional equivalence stress that the translation should sound as natural to the contemporary reader as the original text sounded to the original readers. Translations on this end of the spectrum are the New Living Translation, The Contemporary English Version and The Message.
Many of the translations that we see are somewhere between these two philosophies. These can be called 'mediating translations'. Translations that are sort of 'in the middle' are the New International Version, the New English Translation and the Christian Standard Bible (formerly HCSB).
The authors describe the difference between the three types of translations as follows: Formal equivalent versions seek to modify the Hebrew and Greek forms until the text is comprehensible. Mediating versions modify forms until the text is clear. Functional equivalent translations modify the form until the text is natural.
Which type of translation is best? It depends on your purpose. Along with the Bible Project video above, I recommend owning a few Bibles ideally.
I personally prefer the NIV for most uses - a 'mediating' translation. I also like to regularly consult a 'formal' translation like the NASB for work study etc. If you want a Bible that's the easiest to read in English, the NLT is a good choice. This type of translation can be a good choice for reading through large portions of scripture, like reading through the Bible in a year.
One of the reasons I can 'read' so many books is because I listen to quite a few books, along with the ones I read in print and a few kindle books.
I'm a fellow traveller in the way of Jesus -sharing helpful resources, books and tools that i've found helpful.