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Is the Bible Good for Women?: Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture
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Is the Bible Good for Women?: Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible?
Many people, both inside and outside the church, are concerned that an orthodox understanding of the Bible is threatening and even harmful to women. After all, the Bible has a number of passages regarding women that are deeply troubling and hard to read.

But is that assessment acc
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Multnomah Books (first published March 2017)
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Olivia Ard
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I consider myself both a feminist and a devout believer in the Christian faith. However, my lack of understanding of certain theological concepts and the cultural/linguistic context of many parts of the Bible, including concerning passages about women, have often left me feeling, for lack of a better term, "squicky." Throwing in the centuries of men's misuse of Scripture to oppress and abuse makes things even more complicated.

This book was a godsend for me. Alsup writes in a clear and concise w
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, lent-read
I agreed with some of what she said, disagreed with other parts, but it all made me think. I already believe that the Bible is good for everyone, so I didn't read this book to become convinced. Which is a good thing, because I don't think it would have if I was skeptical about it. It's not bad, but I didn't follow some of her thought patterns and ideas. Not a negative to her, we are different people, so are bound to see things slightly differently. Our spiritual journeys are also different, so w ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wendy Alsup’s “Is the Bible Good For Women?” is a unique and necessary anchor for those steering through the current of theological discussions about women and the Bible. This book is distinct from more progressive teaching because of an unabashed devotion to the truth and sufficiency of Holy Scripture, but it is set apart from the majority of conservative teaching because of how graciously and honestly she confronts the dilemmas therein. “The Bible does not give us problems,” Alsup writes, “tha ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for Alsup's book. As a woman I had been told I should not be teaching adult Sunday School classes because there were men present. I saw families leave my church when I was elected as a deacon. So I had high hopes.

My high hopes continued as Alsup pursued the theme of Jesus restoring all that was lost in the Fall. I liked her exploration of God's original perfect purpose for women, working side by side with men in harmony, image bearers of God. I was excited by her assuring me tha
Erin Henry
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really appreciated this book. First off because I got an advanced reading copy which was so fun!
For background the author comes from the reformed Protestant faith. She grew up in more fundamentalist circles and saw Scripture used to limit and oppress women. She firmly believes that Scripture interprets Scripture and decided to search the Bible herself to determine if God and the Bible are good for women. She addresses a lot of hard passages in the OT that most scholars ignore. And she goes t
3.5. Personally, I agree with Alsup's theology and interpretation of sculpture and appreciated her sound exposition of some challenging passages. Serving in women's ministry and leading and teaching the Bible, I was optimistic that this book could be a great book study to do with a group of women. And I loved Alsup's teaching on our restored image and think that's powerful for women to hear. But for some reason this book just never really flowed for me. Found myself skimming and trying to get so ...more
Wanjiru Thoithi
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book a little difficult to read. Perhaps I was looking for quick answers. I think it needs to be read at least more than once.

Wendy excels at teaching one how to figure out for onself whether the Bible is good for women. She substantiates her claim ( the truth) that the Bible is good for women by slowly weaving through the Bible and its story of redemption; herein lies the problem.

The pace can sometimes feel a bit off. What she sets out to discuss, she does so through repetition of
This was a great book. Challenging and thought provoking

What do you do with the women in the Bible such as Tamar, Dinah & the daughter of Jephthah? What about head coverings & women being silent in church? The author does a great job working through each of these stories and answer some why questions. Rather than telling you her answer, she says "the Bible is the best commentary on itself!" and does a nice job guiding you through the Bible.
This book would make a great book for a women small gro
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
If we believe the Bible is the unquestionable word of God, we probably have to also believe it’s good for everyone. If we believe the Bible’s just an interesting old book, we’ll apply its rules to the present day with much more caution and doubt. But readers who find themselves in between these stances, particular women, might be drawn to read this book in search of hope and recognition.

Wendy Alsup offers lots of intriguing answers to those questions or Bible stories so often presented to hold w
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam Shields
Short Review: I am wholeheartedly egalitarian. I believe women should be pastors and elders and leaders of para-church ministries. I think that not only are women fully created in the image of God, that men can't really be fully representative of the image of God as intended without women.

I am not Wendy Alsup's primary target audience. But I have read her blog for years with great benefit. I am in a private facebook group with her and very much appreciate her voice. Theologically, especially aro
Jennifer Trovato
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well written cohesive argument answer the question in the title.
Her early chapters set the groundwork of why the Bible is good for anyone and then she moves into the more controversial questions.
I love how she talked about the scarlet thread of Christ throughout the difficult stories of the Old Testament.
She does a great job showing how the difficult stories of the OT are still in line with the narrative of the Bible .

I do wish she had gone into more detail about why she thinks the Pastoral
Is the Bible Good for Women? is divided into two parts - the first five chapters are a general overview of who we are, what the Bible is, and what we as Christians should see as 'good;' the second four chapters are more specific about how to read certain parts of the Bible (the law, the rules that are given for Christians to live by, the writings in the New Testament about women, and the writings in the New Testament about men) and whether these parts show God's goodness toward women. Overall, I ...more
Cole Brown
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very useful resource on a very important topic. Much that has been written on this topic from a historical Christian perspective has been written on an academic level. Alsup, thankfully, does not make a complex conversation more complex. Instead, she skillfully makes the discussion accessible to educated and uneducated, insiders and outsiders. My only complaint about the book is also one of its biggest strengths. It takes the author more than half of the book to get to the point where she begi ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall, I find this book to be a positive source of influence as a Christian woman. I struggle with some of the arguments in Chapter 8 and Chapter 6 is tough to read. I think this book works as a companion to the Bible, but does not work as source to directly glean knowledge and understanding alone. Without a thorough background in Biblical stories, this book is difficult to understand and gain all it has to offer. I think it would be better longer, delving into more tricky passages of the Bibl ...more
Michelle Gourley
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wendy's book, especially the second half, changed the way I relate to the scriptures. I used to see the Bible as a tight rope, needing to handle interpretation very carefully so as not to fall off on either side into error.
Wendy encourages readers, when looking at a complex or loaded passage, to mine the whole counsel of scripture, deep and wide, for every last word it speaks on a matter. I have heard "let the Bible interpret the Bible." But Wendy is saying "require the whole of the Bible to in
Amanda Dwyer
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Asking “Is the Bible good for women?” may appear to be a rhetorical question, but it is a question that Christian women have asked throughout history and one that begs an answer. In her new book, Wendy Alsup succeeds at provide a thorough and theologically rich answer to this pertinent question. Alsup does a tremendous job of providing a Christ-centered framework for examining precisely how the Bible truly is good news for women. Alsup emphasizes that in order to discern the goodness of God’s Wo ...more
Mary Foxe
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

I am inherently suspicious of any books about women and the Bible. There is tendency for such books to fall into one of two camps.

1. Women are to be silent and completely subservient to all men. KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!

2. Women are to be subject to no men. Women are inherently better than men. KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!

To which I respond,

1. Have you ever heard of cultural context? Or just flat out heard of context at all? You do realize you can't
Shea Patrick
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read "Is the Bible Good for Women?" with the assumption that I am not the intended audience and could use the book as a resource for other women in my life. After careful reading, I was surprised as a woman raised in the church who would have answered the title question "Absolutely!" to find a ton of helpful tools to help me be a better student of God's word. Alsup's focus on following the story of Jesus in all of Scripture; viewing the law through the correct lens (descriptive vs. prescriptiv ...more
2 - 2.5 stars
VT Reading Challenge 2017

Overall some helpful things in the book while I disagree with her on others. I did appreciate the section on head coverings.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most important part of the book also translates into the longest part of the book and ended up feeling like a slog.
I read this for a summer book group with church, and had a deadline for chapters, etc, which likely also contributed to feeling at times like the reading was a chore, not something I could do at my leisure, stopping to consider what I was reading as I needed to. Be that as it may, this is a book worthy of taking time to sit with what she says and consider it.

Most people tend t
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
If the goal of her book is to make the reader consider the worldly ideals that they've been holding God to in regard to gender and their roles, than this book has done that. I spent time getting riled up at her writing, but then reminding myself to quiet my anger until I figured out if my frustration was in regard to what she said contradicting a righteous view of womanhood or because the truth of what she said was rubbing my perspective, that has been influenced by worldly standards, the wrong ...more
Joel Cigan
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Dollahite
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Really 3.5 stars. Alsup's popular-level study is a worthy read if for no other reason than she stands firmly orthodox on the most crucial answer: "Yes!" to her title question. I also commend the principle she emphasizes — The Bible is the best interpretive guide/commentary on itself. In general, I don't think the detail she offers will satisfy the technical reader (thus, popular-level), and on some of the conclusions surrounding specific passages we diverge with serious implications for ecclesio ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Is the Bible Good for Women?" is a unique book that addresses the varied manner in which the Bible discusses matters relating to women (prescriptively and descriptively). Alsup navigates the discussion in a winsome way that will encourage the believer and the skeptic to listen. Alsup is up front regarding her commitment to God's Word as authoritative and inspired, and is also clear regarding her hermeneutic (method of interpretation) and reliance upon Scripture interpreting Scripture.

She addres
Gavin Breeden
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The short answer? Yes.

Here's an excellent book which tackles head on the notion that the Bible is anti-women. Wendy Alsup does a great job navigating through some tough waters as she deals with just about all of the difficult and confusing passages about women in the Bible. But Alsup isn't interested in simply exegeting a few passages of the Bible, instead she spends a big chunk of this book advocating and unpacking a Jesus-centric biblical hermeneutic which puts these difficult passages in the
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have never struggled with the question "Is the Bible good for women?" And that is EXACTLY why I need this book.

Because I've never personally struggled, I haven't taken the time to wrestle through those tricky passages of Scripture about women for myself. (I say this to my shame, as someone who is called to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that I have.) Wendy Alsup's book is a Christ-centered, life-giving resource that will equip women like me to talk to friends who do struggle w
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be faithfully grounded in Scripture, refreshing, and balanced in its approach. Alsup spends approximately the first half of the book expounding on the big picture of God's story of redemption and where we find ourselves in that story, and she spends the second half of the book tackling difficult questions and passages of Scripture. I listened to the audiobook on Hoopla from the library, but if I owned a physical copy, there are many passages I would underline and refer back ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have never read Wendy Alsup's writing before, but I may follow her on Facebook now. Her very deliberate style of writing was a bit frustrating for me, but I appreciate that she was patiently building to her point, and I agreed with how she handled Biblical study. The Bible must be understood as a whole, with Jesus as its focus.
Once she got into specific passages, I think it was a mixed bag. Her explanation of Genesis 3 was different than I had heard before, and made more sense. I wrote a blog
Danielle Routh
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
While I understand and can appreciate Alsup's choice to precede discussion of controversial passages in the Bible concerning women with Biblical context and explanation, I do think this choice ultimately detracted from the book. For the first half, I mainly felt like I was just reading to get to the "good stuff," the chapters that actually evaluated certain passages and their effect on women, which was what I thought would compose the majority of the book. I also felt like Alsup's writing and id ...more
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Wendy Horger Alsup (MEd, Clemson University) enjoys teaching theology to women and is the author of Practical Theology for Women, The Gospel-Centered Woman, and By His Wounds You are Healed. Alsup writes from her family farm and teaches math at the local community college.

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“In the task God planned for mankind of tending and keeping, serving and protecting God’s creation, one gender wasn’t adequate.” 0 likes
“A few years ago my former church scheduled a retreat for survivors of sexual sin. Organizers wanted to demonstrate to attendees a concept called reclothing a survivor of sexual abuse. A woman gave a raw testimony of her past sexual abuse. Afterward, a pastor stood by her and spoke of both her preciousness to God and his respect for her in our congregation. He acknowledged her vulnerability from both the pain of her sexual history and exposing it to those at the retreat. He spoke words to and over her, reminding her of her dignity as God’s daughter. What this pastor did was a beautiful example of reclothing with honor and value someone who had endured much evil.” 0 likes
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