This well-researched scholarly book makes the case for women in ministry, by explaining what the Bible says of women, their service to God, and their leadership. It covers creation and the fall, leading ladies in both the Old and New Testament, the cultures of Bible times as a backdrop for the message, women in the ministry of Jesus, and passages often used to silence women. Although I have been an egalitarian blogger and researcher since 2010, this book taught even me a few things.
For example, I did not know Isaiah’s wife was called a prophetess (Isa 8:3, although some translations translate it differently), or an extra-biblical reason to believe there were women among the seventy(-two) disciples sent out in Luk 10:1-17. Nor did I know some scholars talk of a growing sexual liberty among a certain class of Roman women at about the time the New Testament letters were written, which may have affected the commands in 1 Timothy.
As a non-theologian, there was a time or two when I had to look up something (for example, making sure what the Mishnah was – he uses it as an example of what the surrounding cultures thought of women). But all in all, I found the book very accessable, and making a good, logical case for women in all areas of ministry.
I first thought that Garrett should perhaps get another cover picture. The Lindsay Lohan look-alike, her lips closed on the front of a book named “Unsilenced”, did not, IMO, add to the message of the book. I thought perhaps a woman preaching (arms outstretched, mouth speaking, enthusiasm on her face…), or a woman pulling tape off her mouth, would have been more effective. But since then I found out something that would have fitted well on a page all alone, right before the book’s start:
The woman on the cover is my daughter. I chose her to make a statement. I want a world where she is free to use all of her gifts in the church. – Alan Garrett
I pray that God would use this book greatly, and that women everywhere will be able and welcome to use their gifts fully in the church.