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Summary

Biblical womanhood - the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers - pervades North-American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn't biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It was born in a series of clearly definable historical moments. 

This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history - ancient, medieval, and modern - to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr's historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women's roles in the church and help move the conversation forward. 

Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor's wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping listeners understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ.

©2021 Beth Allison Barr (P)2021 eChristian

What listeners say about The Making of Biblical Womanhood

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Life changing

If you've grown up as a woman (or a man too I guess) in a complementarian church then this is MUST READ. Having an accurate historical context as well as a biblical one results in some 'mind blown' moments! Amazingly well written. Buy it, give copies to your girl friends.

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Challenging and thought provoking.

This book provides an excellent historical overview of a cultural belief that has affected everyone in the west.
It is suitably referenced throughout and there is a clear structure.

The audible version is clear and listenable. The style of speaking used underlines this as a work using thorough research to explain, evidence and challenge a problematic but current cultural situation in Western Society. You might need a dictionary as the author uses correct terms throughout to prevent misunderstanding. (In my opinion, this is a really good thing.)

I would recommend that everyone who reads or has read the Christian Bible also reads this book.

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  • busymom
  • 22-04-21

Fantastic thought provoking book

I’m so thankful to have read this book. So many passages written by Paul have troubled me, treatment of women in the church. This book helps me to see that I CAN fully accept the gospel and yet reject man made “biblical womanhood” which has been created by men and yet declared gospel truth.

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  • Tia Sylvain
  • 21-05-21

Ground breaking

Must read! She cut it up! I literally will never accept complementation theology again. Women are free in Christ

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  • Joshua Idachaba
  • 16-05-21

The Making of Biblical Womanhood-Review

In “The Making of Biblical Womanhood”, Beth Allison Barr, by weaving personal experience and historical evidence, defines the current state of Biblical Womanhood as being a product of extensive patriarchal cultural influence as much as, if not more than, interpretation of Scripture.

Overall, Barr provides depth and breadth to evidence provided to support this definition, from the descriptions of early Christian women in Pauline texts, such as Junia and Phoebe, to more current accounts, such as those of Kate Bowler and Kristin Kobes Du Mez. From these, I could clearly see that Biblical Womanhood has been shaped by a complex set of influences stemming from sources even predating the early Christian church.

Barr’s personal journey from childhood to present, with all the trials and revelations that she and her family experienced regarding the evangelical church, brought a more personal tone to the book while also affirming her credibility on the subject of Biblical Womanhood.

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  • Leigh-Ann Fenwick
  • 21-04-21

This book is AMAZING!

I was raised as a strict complementarian, but after studying Scripture for myself, I became an egalitarian. It was so amazing to hear the same thoughts that I have had, given my very limited historical knowledge of the church, and humanity in general, echoed by someone so highly educated in this field. This is the best book that I have read, in any category, to date!

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  • Jessica
  • 08-06-21

Good but Incomplete

The book was an interesting read. I thought she made several important points about the historical context of women serving God, but I found her support for egalitarianism thin in textual support from the Bible. I feel like she needed an additional chapter to address it more fully .

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-04-21

A fresh perspective

Incredibly insightful history that we normally do not see presented by Church historians in this day and age. Many of my Evangelical friends would benefit from reading this book and opening up their minds to the call and the giftedness of women that minister in the name of Jesus in the body of Christ.

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  • tammy
  • 23-04-21

Needed for our time

Excellent explanation of the change in the SBC, evangelical community of why and how the cult of domesticity infiltrated our church. Good presentation, engaging narration.

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  • StephB
  • 14-07-21

Empowering & refreshing

This book reinforced what I started seeing in the gospels a few years ago. “Jesus set women free. Isn’t it time the evangelical church did the same?” Thank you Beth Allison Barr for a well researched and presented topic. I have learned a lot.

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  • Kelsey W
  • 13-07-21

Highly recommend!

Timely, thoughtful, well researched and a must read for anyone who has wrestled with or desires to grow in their understanding of gender roles within the church. Historical & theological examination woven together with the authors own story and experience in the church and teaching higher education makes this incredibly important book an enjoyable and easy listen.

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  • Matthew S. Harbers
  • 12-07-21

A long time coming

Our biggest struggles with dehumanizing people have always been condoned by the church. To make the world better it starts with the Renaissance of the church. I hope this is first of many steps towards and long overdue reckoning.

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