Feminist Criticism of the Bible and What We Need to Know

By Dianna Newman,

Hi, my name is Dianna Newman. I’m a graduate of Southern Evangelical Seminary, having earned by MA degrees in Apologetics and Philosophy. The title of my session at this year’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics is Feminist Criticism of the Bible and What We Need to Know. I’m very excited to present this topic at both the women’s only event on Thursday and on Friday as well.

In this session I’ll be discussing one of the ramifications for theology of the Feminist Movement, namely Feminist Criticism of the Bible. Coming to prominence in the 20th century, feminist criticism of the Bible is predicated on the idea that the biblical text is a tool of oppression both created by men and used by men to cement the second class citizenship of women. While some feminist critics champion the view that Christianity should be done away with altogether, there are many who believe a new interpretation of the Bible is warranted—one that implements women’s experience as the criterion by which to determine the usefulness and authenticity of the biblical text.

It may come as a surprise to some that the assumptions of feminist critics of the Bible aren’t just assumptions found in the culture or academy. They’re in the church too. These ideas aren’t just circulating in religious studies classes or gender studies classes; they’re also being contemplated by women who take their faith seriously—but aren’t quite confident in how to go about explaining that God isn’t a misogynist or the Scriptures weren’t invented by the patriarchy. Are there informed and rational answers to these ideas? Absolutely, there are, and at the 2016 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, my goal is to provide you with some very important ones.

As you can imagine, time won’t allow for a full discussion of all the issues pertinent to this topic.  For fuller commentary check out the chapter I wrote in Basics of Biblical Criticism: Helpful or Harmful? that was published by Christian Publishing House earlier this year.

Blessings to you, and see you in October!

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