Feminist Theologians Produce Draft of ‘A Women’s Bible’ to Counter Traditional Male Interpretations of Female Characters in the Bible

Geneva theology professors Elisabeth Parmentier (L) and Lauriane Savoy pose under the reformation wall in Geneva with a edition of “A Women’s Bible”. Photo: AFP

A group of feminist theologians have come together to produce a draft of A Women’s Bible, meant to counter traditional male interpretations of women characters in the Bible.

AFP reported that the theologians, both from Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations across several countries, have put forth texts that challenge presentations of female Bible characters as weak and subordinate to the men around them.

“Feminist values and reading the Bible are not incompatible,” said Lauriane Savoy, one of the Geneva theology professors behind A Women’s Bible, which was published in French.

Along with colleague Elisabeth Parmentier, Savoy says that many people lack an understanding of biblical texts.

“A lot of people thought they were completely outdated with no relevance to today’s values of equality,” the theologian said.

Parmentier offered an account in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus visits two sisters, Martha and Mary, as one example of interpretations that A Women’s Bible challenges.

“It says that Martha ensures the ‘service,’ which has been interpreted to mean that she served the food, but the Greek word diakonia can also have other meanings, for instance it could mean she was a deacon,” Parmentier argued.

Savoy also pointed to Mary Magdalene, who they analyzed was the female character who appears the most in the Gospels, but is often portrayed as a prostitute.

“She (Magdalene), stood by Jesus, including as he was dying on the cross, when all of the male disciples were afraid. She was the first one to go to his tomb and to discover his resurrection,” Savoy said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov