In this volume, respected New Testament scholar Cynthia Long Westfall offers a coherent Pauline theology of gender. S interprets passages on women and men together and places those passages in the context of the Pauline corpus as a whole. Her inclusion of the entire Pauline canon enables her to address the issues effectively, and she reads the texts in light of their own claims of authorship, recipient, and circumstances. She also gleans new insights by making sense of the passages in the context of the Greco-Roman culture.
Paul and Gender includes fresh perspectives on the most controverted texts, offering viable alternatives for some notorious interpretive problems in certain Pauline passages. The author reframes gender issues in a way that stimulates thinking, promotes discussion, and moves the conversation forward. As Westfall explores the significance of Paul's teaching on both genders, she seeks to support and equip males and females to serve in their area of gifting, regardless of social status, race, or gender.
This book is a call for all who study Paul and gender to learn to distinguish between their assumptions and the presuppositions they use to make sense of the texts. It will be of use to New Testament scholars, professors and students in courses on Paul, and pastors and church leaders.
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Westfall provides much-needed clarity for those of us who are often perplexed and even alarmed at the apostle Paul's remarks about men, women, authority, and gender roles. She introduces readers to ancient views of marriage and family, provides solid exegesis of key Pauline passages, and instructs us on what Paul is and is not saying in these controversial texts. This book is guaranteed to inform and challenge readers to think of gender and sexuality in light of a genuinely biblical worldview.
—Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
After the deluge of literature on gender roles in the Bible, can anyone add anything distinctive and persuasive to the discussion? Cynthia Long Westfall has demonstrated that the answer is a resounding yes. This is one of the most important books on the topic to appear in quite some time, and all Westfall's proposals merit serious consideration. The approach does not replicate standard contemporary complementarian or egalitarian perspectives but charts a fresh course in light of first-century cultural history and informed linguistic and discourse analysis. A must-read for anyone serious about understanding Paul on this crucial topic.
—Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
This is not another book about the 'women's issue.' In Paul and Gender, Westfall breaks new ground in Pauline studies by attending to gender concerns in light of sociohistorical context, formal and semantic features of the text, and literary constructs. She tackles the tough passages head-on, providing clear and at times provocative arguments as she builds her case that Paul upends his culture's gendered stereotypes in light of the gospel mission.
—Lynn H. Cohick, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College
Cynthia Long Westfall (PhD, University of Surrey) is assistant professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the author of A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews: The Relationship between Form and Meaning and has coedited several volumes, including The Bible and Social Justice. Westfall is currently on several steering committees: the SBL Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics section, the ETS Evangelicals and Gender section, and the ETS Hebrews section. She is also a member of the editorial board for the Common English Bible.