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Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  7,627 ratings  ·  991 reviews
Written with poetic rhythm, a prophetic voice, and a deeply biblical foundation, this loving yet fearless book urges today’s church to move beyond man-made restrictions and fully welcome women’s diverse voices and experiences.

A freedom song for the church.

Sarah Bessey didn’t ask for Jesus to come in and mess up all her ideas about a woman’s place in the world and in the c
ebook, 256 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Howard Books
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Colleen Langlands Mary Magdalene, as seen in John 20, verse 18. After Mary M meets the risen Christ at the tomb, she runs to the disciples and shares the good news, not…moreMary Magdalene, as seen in John 20, verse 18. After Mary M meets the risen Christ at the tomb, she runs to the disciples and shares the good news, not only becoming the first woman, but the first evangelist period of the gospel.(less)

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Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is heavy on the Jesus, light on the feminist.

This is not really the book I thought it would be, and I don't think the back blurb does it justice. It does not delve nearly as deep as I thought it would into biblical reasons for feminism, and is very, VERY heavy on evangelical Christian phrases. It is absolutely written for a devout, evangelical Christian crowd. If those adjectives don't describe you, this book won't hit home.

Bessey's writing style is overwrought, to be frank. Certain parts
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Because it seems pertinent: I’m a feminist! Yay!

I would like to tell you that I am a feminist because of Jesus. It’s probably true in some ways, but I prefer to say that I became a feminist because of my mother and my aunts and my grandmothers and the way they were Jesus to me. I could also say I am a feminist for my son’s future. Because the church where I grew up taught the girls how to put on makeup while the boys were mentored by our pastors. Because my students still insult each other with
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

The title is HUGELY misleading. This isn't an in-depth scriptural analysis of Jesus and how he was a feminist. There are a few clobber verses trotted out and explained but that is only a couple of chapters.

By far, most of the book is frothy, overly-emotional mumbo-jumbo hoopla about how women pursue social causes (duh), how awesome that is (double duh), and the author's personal history. This is great and all, but this isn't about how Jesus was a feminist; in fact, I have NO CLUE w
Anne Bogel
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A solid first book, and an important one for its conversation-starting potential.
Sarah Hyatt
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
There is a lot to like about this book, which made some of my disappointments all the more frustrating.

The good: Sarah Bessey is delivering an important and affirming message. This is a great starting point and readable overview of the importance of women in the church, one which challenges the (often destructive) limiting roles women are usually given.

The disappointing: I've greatly enjoyed following Sarah Bessey's blog over the past year and maybe that's where most of my disappointment stems
Jan 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this book. I wanted to like it. Even though I knew up front that there would probably be areas of disagreement, I enjoy reading differing viewpoints, because they challenge me to think.

But Jesus Feminist was a disappointment on several levels.

First--The writing style was off-putting. It felt like a bunch of blog posts squished together, or maybe just one long blog post. Since the author is a blogger, this isn't surprising. But styles that work well for blogs don't always (
Luke Harms
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, nonfiction
Right out of the gate, let me say that I think what Sarah is doing here is really important. By putting the word "Jesus" in lights right next to "feminist," she's forcing a certain conversation that some folks would rather not have right now (or ever). Feminism has been recast in the past few decades as anathema to Christianity in many ways. Simply suggesting that one can hold to both concepts and implying that being a "Jesus Feminist" is possible in a way that will not, in fact, result in a sor ...more
April (The Steadfast Reader)
Full review here:

This book has taught in what order my own philosophies lie, I am a feminist over an atheist. I like to think of myself as a humanist first, so this really shouldn't surprise me.

I think that this is a fantastic book for Christian women. It's written, oddly, by an evangelical Christian, who I believe is also a literalist. I didn't find the book to be that outrageous or 'outside the box', but evidently it is. Bessey asserts that she is a fe
Rachel McAllister
Mar 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was a HUGE disappointment for me. If you've read anything at all about being a feminist as a Christian or women's issues in Christianity then you should definitely skip this book. I have no doubt you already know more than this book will offer you through a tiny bit of online research. I didn't realize that so much of the book would be about the author. That in itself is not an awful thing, but the purple prose this writer uses to discuss her relationship with Christianity is just terr ...more
Oct 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
It's hard to read this book, which quotes When Harry Met Sally and uses the Message version for almost all Scripture, as a viable argument for women in leadership. She says a lot of flowery, poetic, pretty things about community, but if you're looking for fundamental truths found in Scripture, you won't really find it here. She spends a lot of time talking about how women should be viewed with worth and as hard workers, but that's not even an argument that complementarians would disagree with. T ...more
Deb Martin
Nov 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
The book Jesus Feminist, by Sarah Bessey, is sure to grab one's attention. A Canadian mother of 3 with a heart for following Jesus, Sarah Bessey is eager and enthusiastic to tell others what it looks like to be a woman of God. The book begins with a welcoming foreword from blogger Rachel Held Evans followed by a poem entitled "Let Us Be Women Who Love." The content of each subsequent chapter is unified by a proclamation of evangelical egalitarian views followed by stirring romantic prose deliver ...more
Ed Cyzewski
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sarah Bessey boldly writes about the message of Jesus and its intersections with feminism while keeping her arms open and creating space for all.

I've followed Sarah's blog for years now. I knew that something like this book was in the works, and even I am still surprised at how she managed to take a strong and decisive line about the importance of equality and dignity for women in the message of Jesus without aiming shots at potential critics or opponents.

Sarah opens the book with a metaphor o
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I know, I know. The title is going to be off-putting to many people, but try to see past that and read this incredible book of freedom in Christ for both men and women.
I don't often read a book where I set it down and think, "I need to buy this book." when I have gotten it from the library. I also don't read a ton of books that bring me to tears multiple times. This one hit both of those. I wanted to buy it so I can quote from it. There were lines that were just so powerful in here. I loved whe
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I received an ARC from NetGalley for the purposes of this review.*

I am pretty much the target audience for this book in every category: I love Jesus, I am a feminist, and I read Sarah Bessey's blog religiously (ahem). Basically I was headed into the book prepared to love it and give it to all of my Jesus-loving girlfriends.

I think Bessey is a fantastic writer. I enjoy her style and her voice, and particularly appreciate her thoughtfulness and graciousness in approaching difficult subjects. That
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Going in, I was looking forward to what insights the author might be able to share as far as the Biblical view of feminism. However, it felt like the best ideas in the book came from outside sources. There wasn't much in the way of Biblical revelation---mostly biographical information. Yes, we all know awesome women who do awesome things for God. The women who are tight with God and listen to his calling don't actually need this book---they're already making a difference and are pushed out by Go ...more
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book. Not because she has anything radically new to add to the conversation (though it may be wonderfully new to the reader) but because of how she says it. With humility and love, she invites the reader to reconsider things we might have never seriously thought about.

Side note: I really wish this book had footnotes instead of endnotes, since they add much to her discussion. As annoying as it is to flip back and forth, it's worth it!
Ariel ✨
Mar 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I summed up my thoughts pretty well in the updates I made while reading this: ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
In Jesus Feminist, Sarah Bessey speaks with courage and conviction on a topic near and dear to my heart. Many Christians, and many conservatives, have a knee-jerk revulsion when they hear the dreaded "f-word" feminist, but early on in her book, Bessey declares, "Most of what has passed for a description of feminism is fearmongering misinformation" (something which can also be said, ironically, of Mormonism). She continues to clarify: "It's not necessary to subscribe to all the diverse--and contr ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-memoir
Every day I look at my two-year-old daughter and imagine what kind of person she will become. What career will she pursue? What sort of friends will she have? What books will she like? My prayer is that whatever such specifics are that she will live a life in service and discipleship to Jesus Christ.

Perhaps for this reason I have found myself drawn to reading more books and blogs by Christian women. I remember noticing the book Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner years ago and assuming, based on the
Oh, boy. This book has a lot of strengths and a lot of weaknesses. To be expected. First, it's a memoir. It's not academic. It's highly emotional. And it frustrated me a lot.

I wanted a story of an actual blending of Christianity and the foundations of feminism. But that's not really what this is. It has some important ideas, though, because culturally, it's a radical notion that women are people with gifts to be valued and not taken advantage of.

Sarah Bessey has a great voice and a unique expe
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marriage-gender
I thoroughly enjoyed this work by Bessey. There are sections that feel, to me, like a cliche Christian women's blog, which to many is a big plus but to me is a bit tiresome; to each their own! The bulk of the book, however, I found very well written and engaging.

I was especially struck by the author's grace and even tone while handling a topic that, as Bessey discusses, is usually filled with vitriol, regardless of the side of the issue one is on. She points readers primarily to the person of Ch
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
[I feel I need to edit my review after reading a very moving, gentle, yet convicting blog I just read on Facebook...and did a double take after reading it. The author was Sarah Bessey, whose book I'd just read.

While it is true I did not care for/agree with some of the conclusions of this particular work of hers, she addressed in the blog one key issue that bothered me in the book, and it seems she's come into agreement with the Holy Spirit on it and articulated it in such a beautiful way that it
John Hosmer
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Absolutely beautiful book. My wife read it first and finished it in days - and as a male who considers himself a feminist I was excited to read it next.

Sarah herself says this is not meant to be scholarly or overly academic - clearly those books have their place - so it's not here to argue or debate about feminism or women in ministry. If you're reading a book called Jesus Feminist, it's assumed you're already open to those ideas.

This book is all about the doing. The every day, "small" things
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
What I Loved

Sarah Bessey can flat out write. I’ve read a few things here and there on her blog. She tells a story well and writes with gusto. If you enjoy bland writing and worn over imagery than by all means don’t read Jesus Feminist. She writes so well I found myself once or twice nodding in agreement with something I disagree with her about. Figure that out. I loved the humility through out most of the book. She says,

I’ll be honest: some of the words I have to say might rub you wrong. You mi
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"One needn't identify as a feminist to participate in the redemptive movement of God for women in the world... But as long as I know how important maternal health is to Haiti's future, and as long as I know that women are being abused and raped, as long as I know girls are being denied life itself through selective abortion, abandonment, and abuse, as long as brave little girls in Afghanistan are attacked with acid for the crime of going to school, and until being a Christian is synonymous with ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
As others have said, the title is a bit misleading, because although she does make reference to the passages about women serving in the church and the culture at the time Paul was writing his letters, there is little about what it means specifically to be a feminist in relation to the bible. However, she talks a great deal about what feminism (really, treating all human beings as, well, human) means to her. There is a lot of poetic writing (a little too much) and some very sound, very biblical i ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women Looking for Their Place in the Church
Recommended to Julianna by: Foothills Christian Church
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Jesus Feminist was the latest pick for my church book club. I hadn’t heard of it before, but the title intrigued me. I have to admit, though, that before I started reading it, based on the sub-title, An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, I guess I was expecting a scholarly book that would dig into the Biblical views of womanhood a bit more. The author does have a couple of chapters where she takes a closer look at some of the often used Bible verses for supp
Karissa Sorrell
I am a huge fan of Sarah Bessey's blog and I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee/wine/tea/whatever with her someday and chat. She seems like an authentic, loving person.

Which is why it's hard for me to only rate this 3 stars.

What I liked about Jesus Feminist:

She tackles some of the hard passages of Scripture about women. I particularly liked when she talked about how slavery was never treated as "bad" in the Bible - though she points out Scripture that encourages people to be merc
Phil Aud
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
These two words, “Jesus” and “feminist,” are not often found in the same sentence–at least not in the evangelical world. And yet, the more I study the Scriptures the more I feel the two belong side-by-side. Wasn’t it Jesus, after all, who let a women sit at his feet to be trained as a Rabbi? Didn’t the power of the resurrection, among other things, empower women? Wasn’t the first evangelist a women? I could go on, but suffice it to say that I find in Jesus, and in his Kingdom, the expression of ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jesus Feminist is part memoir, part theology, and part applied theology. At the very beginning Sarah gives notice that this book is not about deep and heavy theology; there are other works for that. Rather her hope is that through storytelling her readers will come to see Jesus and the way he related to women as the proper feminist pattern for today.

There are a few underlying motifs that recur throughout Sarah's writing. The foundational motif, as I see it, is her belief that patriarchy is not
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Sarah Bessey is the author of the popular and critically acclaimed books, "Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith" and "Jesus Feminist." Her latest book is "Miracles and Other Reasonable Things." She is a sought-after speaker at churches, conferences, and universities all around the world. Sarah is also the co-curator and co-host of the annual Evolving Faith Conference and she serves as ...more

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Summer reading season is in full swing, which means many of the year's biggest and best releases are coming out of the gates. And although your Ju...
13 likes · 13 comments
“I want to be outside with the misfits, with the rebels, the dreamers, second-chance givers, the radical grace lavishers, the ones with arms wide open, the courageously vulnerable, and among even—or maybe especially—the ones rejected by the Table as not worthy enough or right enough.” 58 likes
“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature. Dorothy Day, Catholic social activist and journalist” 34 likes
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