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‘Vindicating the Vixens’: A Review

By December 6, 201712 Comments

Is it healthy to reexamine biblical interpretations that have lasted for centuries? Will new or revised understandings threaten biblical scholarship or enrich it? Dr. Sandra Glahn and the group of evangelical scholars she gathered to write Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting sexualized, vilified, and marginalized women of the Bible assert that studying familiar passages from a new perspective can only help us gain a more accurate understanding of the text.

Not only a new perspective, but many angles by many eyes coming from a variety of backgrounds. The conservative biblical scholars, both male and female, who contributed to this new work from Kregel hail from various countries, ethnicities, and denominational backgrounds. They also possess differing views on the role of women. But each one holds a high view of Scripture and came to this project “to study [God’s Word] and make sure we are being faithful to it,” says Henry Rouse in the introduction.

Glahn and her team have produced a refreshing examination of fourteen biblical women who mistakenly, they argue, have been given a bad rap by theologians through history. They don’t defend every villainess, such as the obvious Jezebel, but rather those whose stories are told in a negative light without textual substantiation. For example, they ask whether Mary Magdalene truly was a reformed prostitute—where in the Bible do we see that description? Could that (mistaken) understanding of her have come out of confusing and mixed up patristic literature? Was the lone Old Testament female judge, Deborah, merely raised up for lack of qualified males, or can we consider her on par with Samson, Samuel, and the other judges?

For each of the 14 women, such questions are asked, the text examined, and scholarship researched. What does the biblical text say, where did the traditional interpretation arise, and where did it possibly go wrong? Most importantly, what insights into God can we gain by reexamining these stories?

Vindicating the Vixens will reinvigorate old, tired teaching and preaching, giving students and pastors a fresh perspective. Such reexamination, Rouse says, only “confirms that something is right and strengthens our understanding and faith, or it points out where we have been wrong and enables us to correct our course, leading us closer to conformity with Christ.”

Enter for your chance to win a free copy of Vindicating the Vixens by leaving a comment on this post or signing up through the December newsletter (sign up below). The drawing will be held on December 15.

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Emily Bradberry says:

    I had the opportunity to hear a preview of the book at Chapel at DTS. I am excited to read this book and reexamine the way in which I look at Scripture from the way in which I have always been taught.

  • Emily Furda says:

    I’ve been waiting for this book. So much of what we know is false, but it can be hard to find biblically sound information. Especially in today’s culture, this book is an absolute necessity.

  • Ruth says:

    I am excited to read this book! Thanks for the review!

  • Laura Martin says:

    Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  • Théa Showers says:

    Thank you for the review. I can’t wait to read this!

  • Jean Thompson says:

    Looks like a great book. I’ve recently been looking into the stories of female characters in the Elijah-Elisha narrative so would be interested to see what it says about Jezebel and the great woman of Shunem.

  • Guy Coe says:

    Sometimes if truly “takes a village” to get back the cultural mileu and situational circumstances of the Bible’s “unpredictably notable” women.
    So glad for an exploration like this, a sort of “Biblical women through Middle Eastern eyes” foray into truth.
    Thanks to the team for writing it!

  • RACHAEL Starke says:

    Such a timely topic for our cultural moment.

  • well the biblical interpretation is going through the process.. it’s better to be in process rather than come out of process
    this book is part off the process.. it’s a good thing

  • Laura Droege says:

    As I’ve said before, this sounds like a terrific book. I’m thankful that you and others are re-examining these women’s lives. It’s too easy for the women of the Bible to either be misunderstood, disparaged, or simply forgotten.

  • Kim Freeman says:

    I don’t think you could have timed this book any better. It’s the perfect opportunity in our culture to examine issues that relate to women in a biblical context and how that has shaped our view of women within the church today.

  • Virginia Bowman says:

    I am so looking forward to reading this book!

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