Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Women, Leadership and Scripture: A Brief Bibliography

Apr 30, 2017

I just penned a piece on women and head coverings, and mentioned that this was part of a much larger debate over the role of women in leadership positions. I mentioned that I had not yet written any direct articles on this topic because it is such a big and complex debate.

One or two articles can hardly do the topic justice, since we are dealing with so many things here: biblical issues, theology, exegesis, hermeneutics, culture, history, sociology, and so on. Simply cherry-picking a few passages or tossing around a few proof texts will hardly suffice here.

women church 2Indeed, this is an area in which a very large volume of literature has arisen of late. This is because of the complexity and depth of the issue, but also in part because of the rise of the women’s movement over the past half century in the West. Something which was not discussed or debated very much a century ago is now all the rage, and heated and lengthy clashes over this now regularly occur.

Also there are two separate but related issues here: the role of women in the home, and role of women in the churches. Evangelical Christians can be found on various sides of the debate, ranging from the hierarchical to the egalitarian, with various shades of difference along the spectrum.

There are plenty of books out there on these contentious topics. Only some of the better theological, exegetical, pastoral and scholarly volumes representing the various positions are included here. And I have tried to break them down roughly into the two major camps. In the interests of fairness, I have 22 volumes in each!

Traditional (hierarchical, complementarian)
Clark, Stephen, Man and Woman in Christ. Servant, 1980.
Doriani, Dan, Women and Ministry: What the Bible Teaches. Crossway Books, 2003.
Foh, Susan, Women and the Word of God: A Response to Biblical Feminism. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979.
Grudem, Wayne, Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism. Multnomah, 2006.
Grudem, Wayne, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. Multnomah, 2004.
Grudem, Wayne, Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? Crossway, 2006.
Grudem, Wayne, ed., Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood. Crossway, 2002.
Grudem, Wayne and Dennis Rainey, eds., Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood. Crossway, 2002.
House, H. Wayne, The Role of Women in Ministry Today. Thomas Nelson, 1990.
Hove, Richard, Equality in Christ?: Galatians 3:28 and the Gender Dispute. Crossway Books, 1999.
Hurley, James, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective: A Study in Role Relationships and Authority. Zondervan, 1981.
Kassian, Mary, The Feminist Gospel. Crossway Books, 1992.
Keller, Kathy, Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles: A Case for Gender Roles in Ministry. Zondervan, 2014.
Knight, George, The Role Relationship of Men and Women. Moody, 1985.
Kostenberger, Andreas, Thomas Schreiner and H. Scott Baldwin, eds., Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Baker, 1995.
Kostenberger, Margaret, Jesus and the Feminists. Crossway, 2008.
Piper, John, What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible. Crossway, 2008.
Piper, John and Wayne Grudem, 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood. Crossway, 2016.
Piper, John and Wayne Grudem, eds., Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Crossway Books, 1991.
Reaoch, Benjamin, Women, Slaves and the Gender Debate. P&R, 2012.
Saucy, Robert and Judith Tenelshof, Women and Men in Ministry: A Complementary Perspective. Moody, 2001.
Strauch, Alexander, Men and Women, Equal Yet Different: A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender. Lewis & Roth, 1999.

Liberationist (feminist, egalitarian)
Barton, Ruth Haley, Equal to the Task. IVP, 1998.
Belleville, Linda, Women Leaders in the Church: Three Crucial Questions. Baker, 2000.
Bilezikian, Gilbert, Beyond Sex Roles. Baker, 1985.
Bird, Michael, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry. Zondervan, 2014.
Cunningham, Loren and David Hamilton. Why Not Women? YWAM, 2000.
Dickson, John, Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons. Zondervan, 2014.
Evans, Mary, Women in the Bible. IVP, 1983.
Grady, F. Lee, 25 Tough Questions About Women and the Church: Answers from God’s Word That Will Set Women Free. Charisma House, 2003.
Johnson, Alan, ed., How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals. Zondervan, 2010
Kroeger, Richard Clark and Catherine Clark Kroeger, I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11–15 in Light of Ancient Evidence. Baker, 1998.
Giles, Kevin, The Trinity & Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate. IVP, 2002.
Grenz, Stanley and Denise Kjesbo, Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry. IVP, 1995.
Groothuis, Rebecca Merrill, Good News for Women: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality. Baker, 1997.
Gundry, Patricia, Women be Free! Zondervan, 1988.
Jewett, Paul, Man as Male and Female. Eerdmans, 1975.
Keener, Craig, Paul, Women and Wives: Marriage and Women’s Ministry in the Letters of Paul. Hendrickson, 1992.
Mickelsen, Alvera, ed., Women, Authority and the Bible. IVP, 1986.
Pierce, Ronald and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, eds., Discovering Biblical Equality. IVP, 2004.
Spencer, Aida Besancon, Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry. Thomas Nelson, 1985.
Sumner, Sarah, Men and Women in the Church. IVP, 2003.
Tidball, Derek and Dianne Tidball, The Message of Women: Creation, Grace and Gender. IVP, 2013.
Tucker, Ruth, Women in the Maze. IVP, 1992.

Both views
Lee-Barnewall, Michelle, Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian: A Kingdom Corrective to the Evangelical Gender Debate. Baker, 2016

Both positions debated
Beck, James and Craig Blomberg, eds., Two Views on Women in Ministry. Zondervan, 2001.
Blankenhorn, David, et. al., eds., Does Christianity Teach Male Headship? Eerdmans, 2004.
Clouse, Bonnidell and Robert Clouse, eds., Women in Ministry: Four Views. IVP, 1989.
Lees, Shirley, ed., The Role of Women. IVP, 1984.

In addition, see the commentaries on the relevant passages (e.g., 1 Corinthians 11:3-16; 14:33-35; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; and 1 Timothy 2:9-15).

For those who want to know where I stand, I tend to be a bit more on the conservative side of things, so I would tend to lean to the complementarian position. But I do not wish here to enter into a full scale debate (or war) over all this. Those champing at the bits will just have to wait until I do write some lengthy articles on this, introducing the issues, weighing up the various pros and cons, etc.

Happy reading.

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