Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry

Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry

by Aída Besançon Spencer


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With issues such as the ordination of women and the call for "inclusive" language affecting the church today, Aída Spencer has provided a helpful and important study of how the Scriptures really speak to these and other issues related to the role of women in the church.

From the biblical account of creation and "the fall" to other relevant Old Testament passages, Beyond the Curse carefully examines the attitudes toward and teachings about women—especially those of Jesus and Paul.

Beyond the Curse sheds light on instances in the New Testament of feminine authority and on feminine metaphors used in Scripture to define God, the church, and society. Jesus is shown to have broken through the cultural barriers of first-century Palestine in his attitudes toward and dealings with women. Paul's later works are found to be consistent with Jesus' views, as Spencer notes the vital place of women in Paul's ministry.

Women in leadership roles and the many implications are viewed firsthand by Spencer—herself a minister. William David Spencer, the author's husband, gives an afterword, explaining his personal journey as the spouse of an ordained minister.

Timely and vital to an understanding of the growth of a woman's role in the church, Beyond the Curse is a compelling and important work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801047749
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/01/1989
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Aída Besançon Spencer, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and assistant professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, is also the author of Paul's Literary Style.

Table of Contents

Preface 7

Introduction 11

1 Equal is Eden: Foundation for Ministry and Marriage 17

Before the Curse: The Blessings 20

After the Curse 29

2 The Torn Curtain: Jesus' Teachings and Practices Concerning Women 43

First-Century Jewish Thought and Practice 46

Jesus' Thought and Practice in Light of First-Century Jewish Culture 57

3 The Altered Prayer: Paul's Teachings and Practices Concerning Women in Ministry 64

One Because We Wear Christ: The Theory (Galatians 3:27-28) 65

One Because We Obey Christ: The Practice (1 Timothy 2) 71

4 First Apostles, Second Prophets, Third Teachers: Examples of Women in Authority in the New Testament 96

First Apostles 100

Second Prophets 103

Third Teachers 106

Evangelists and Pastors 108

Church Overseers 109

Coworkers 117

Summary 119

5 The Full Vision: Feminine Images of God for Ministry 121

God as Mother (Human) 123

God as Educator of Small Children (or Eagle) 124

God as Guardian (or Lioness and Bear) 126

Ministry as Woman's Work 128

God as Household Manager 129

God as Sovereign 130

Conclusion 131

6 Conclusion 132

Summary 133

Some Consequences 136

Equaling Eden: A Practical Male Afterword 138

Shared History 138

Shared Marriage 149

Shared Parenting 154

Shared Ministry 168

Conclusion 177


Suggestions for Group Study 180


Works Cited

Primary References 196

Secondary References 198

Additional Bibliography

Historical Studies, First-Century Background 202

Biblical/Theological Studies (Ministry and Marriage 203

Theological/Historical Studies 207

Studies on Shared Marriage 210

General/Inspirational Studies 211

Bibliographies 215


Scripture Index 217

Subject Index 221

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