Women in Biblical Tradition
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
January 8, 2003
"Introductino to Women in Biblical Tradition"

I.   Problem of objectivity and history
A.   Different people - different perceptions
1.   People naturally draw the text towards their perspective
2.   Typically this has been done towards elite, male
3.   Insights from other cultural groups brings depth and enrichment (especially groups that have typically been oppressed)
4.   This is not a fight for dominance - we all need to hear from each other
B.   Limited historical information convinces us things are self-evident
1.   Most writers were male, therefore it stresses mail interests
a.   Wars
b.   Monarchs
c.   Power
2.   Therefore it may be inaccurate to asses "daily life of people" from such accounts
II.   Definitions regarding the study of women in the Bible
A.   Feminist
1.   One who believes that social opportunities (all ministry opportunities) should be equal
2.   Most feminists move this issue beyond the gender issue into social class, race, etc
3.   Poor stereotypes
a.   Man-hating
b.   Only want power for women (ignoring equality)
B.   Womanist
1.   Reference including only African American Women
2.   The womanist are much more concerned about their men - there is no demonizing of men
3.   They have a hermeneutical/interpretive perspective of looking for people who are on the margins (this is shared with feminists)
C.   Biblical Feminist
1.   They approach the Bible interested in questions of power and hierarchy
2.   Accept that all readings are subjective to some extent
a.   Our job is to work towards pure objectivity (although it is not possible)
b.   Method for doing so - PORT
i.   Pay attention - look for details
ii.   Observe
iii.   Reason (use it) - Christian tradition has always appealed to reason
iv.   Think responsibly
III.   Can you be a feminist and accept the Bible as authentic
A.   Some say that it is so thoroughly patriarchal that it cannot be accepted as truth if one holds to a feministic agenda
B.   There are methods in which it is possible to read the Bible with the feminist agenda and see it as truth (Bellis)