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Products>Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, 2nd ed.

Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, 2nd ed.

, 2005
ISBN: 9780830866144
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Discovering Biblical Equality presents a Scripturally-founded case for the complementarity of the sexes outside hierarchal gender roles. These 29 essays represent both a positive explanation and thoughtful defense of Biblical gender equality, fostering dialogue within the greater evangelical movement on a topic that touches the lives of all believers.

Discussions surrounding the roles of men and women – whether in the church, the home or society at large – never seem to end, often generating more heat than light. Such debate is still important, though, because this issue directly affects every member of Christ's body. What we believe the Bible teaches on these matters shapes nearly all we do in the church. In addition, these questions deserve further thought and reflection because neither side has won the day.

In an effort to further discussion, Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (general editors), with the aid of Gordon D. Fee (contributing editor), have assembled a distinguished array of twenty-six evangelical scholars firmly committed to the authority of Scripture to explore the whole range of issues – historical, biblical, theological, hermeneutical and practical. While dispelling many of the myths surrounding biblical equality, they offer a sound, reasoned case that affirms the complementarity of the sexes without requiring a hierarchy of roles.

Here is a fresh, positive defense of biblical equality that is at once scholarly and practical, irenic and yet spirited, up-to-date and cognizant of opposing positions.

Resource Experts
  • Setting the Stage (The Historical Backdrop)
  • Looking to Scripture (The Biblical Texts)
  • Thinking it Through (Logical and Theological Perspectives)
  • Addressing the Issues (Hermeneutical and Cultural Perspectives)
  • Living it Out (Practical Applications)

Top Highlights

“There is nothing in this first chapter to suggest anything other than an equality of male and female created together in the image of God.” (Page 82)

“Is the equality, or oneness, of the three pairs—Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female—to be limited to the justifying work of Christ alone, or does it include other aspects of life in the believing community as well?” (Page 172)

“Rather, it is to observe that marriage achieves a reunion of what God had divided in the creation of the woman. That is, by using the flesh of the man to create the woman, God created a division that is restored when the two become one flesh again. Thus the woman was taken from the man’s body when God created her and the man reunites the two when he joins with her in marriage.” (Page 88)

“Why were the Ephesian women doing this? One explanation is that they were influenced by the cult of Artemis, in which the female was exalted and considered superior to the male.” (Page 219)

“While there is a spectrum of views on this topic, the most fundamental divide is over one basic question: Are there any aspects of leadership denied to women and reserved for men strictly on the basis of what one cannot change, one’s gender? Many of those who answer yes prefer to be called ‘complementarians’ because they believe that the differences between men and women—differences which, in their view, empower men and restrict women in certain ways—are complementary. Yet this term must be challenged because egalitarians also believe in gender complementarity—but complementarity without hierarchy. How, then, should we speak of the differing views?” (Page 15)

  • Ruth A. Tucker
  • Janette Hassey
  • Richard S. Hess
  • Linda L. Belleville
  • Aída Besançon Spencer
  • Craig S. Keener
  • I. Howard Marshall
  • Peter H. Davids
  • Walter L. Liefeld
  • Stanley J. Grenz
  • Kevin Giles
  • Roger Nicole
  • William J. Webb
  • Sulia Mason
  • Karen Mason
  • Joan Burgess Winfrey
  • Judith K. Balswick
  • Jack O. Balswick
  • Cynthia Neal Kimball
  • Mimi Haddad
  • Alvera Micklesen
  • R. K. McGregor Wright
  • Alice P. Mathews
While [Discovering Biblical Equality’s] essays seek to promote the egalitarian point of view and to critique the hierarchical point of view, they do so with charity and respect, and work to promote dialogue, all the while encouraging all to celebrate God-given gender complementarity.

—Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Ronald W. Pierce (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical studies and theology in the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University (La Mirada, California), and author of Old Testament Interactive, a computer learning program for Old Testament survey classes.

Rebecca Merrill Groothuis is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Women Caught in the Conflict: The Culture War Between Traditionalism and Feminism and Good News for Women: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality.

Gordon D. Fee (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor emeritus of New Testament studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has written several books and commentaries, including Listening to the Spirit in the Text, God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors and commentaries on 1 Corinthians and Philippians (NICNT) and the Pastoral Epistles (NIBC).


11 ratings

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  1. Thomas Kuschan
  2. Gary Shogren

    Gary Shogren


    Note that this is the original edition, not the 2021 second edition.
  3. JJ Kerr

    JJ Kerr


    Does not provide what it promises The hope was for a synthesis of the two views with solid objective biblical contextual foundation. The reality is a one sided work that never gets beyond 'complimentarianism in anything other than physical reproduction is unbiblical.' The 'evidence' comes from prooftexting, dynamic theology, and cultural relativism. I would have happy with the book if they were honest in the marketing and just flat out said it was feminist, used postmodern contextual techniques and dynamic theological evolution, but of course fewer book sales.
  4. David Kim

    David Kim


  5. Aaron Hayworth
  6. Aaron



  7. Simeon



  8. John Rogers

    John Rogers


    The reason for the negative is the misleading use of "complimentary" in the Logos description and the work's self description of "complementarity." I find this language potentially confusing- it sounds like its billed as aligned with the "complementarian" viewpoint, but this work promotes the opposing "egalitarian" point of view. When I read the description to my wife, she said, "Wait...at first, I thought this would be egalitarian, but which is it?" Buyers should be made aware of this- aside from the "Praise for this product" quote by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, you would only have hints that this is a work espousing the egalitarian viewpoint. That said, although I did not ultimately agree with the few chapters that I did read in seminary (Fuller), I did appreciate seeing how those who disagree with me think through these issues, and did help me to learn how to have better dialogues over gender roles in the church and in the home. I think we need more works like these from both sides where we can disagree honestly, disagree well, point out the "slippery slopes" we see in another's position- and be aware of the slippery slopes leveled against our own, and strive to bring "light and not heat" to a very important discussion. Finally, I think even an egalitarian should read this book with the following in mind: based on the footnotes, the main work it seems to critique is "Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood." This work was initially published in 1991. This response ("Recovering Biblical Equality") was first published in 2005. That's 14 years difference. Why did it take so long? Is this waiting so long a fair critique? For example, in the last 14 years, what currents have ceased or begun in OT & NT scholarship that affect these issues? Are you critiquing what these men & women said in 1991, or what they would have said in 2005? This makes wish there was a way to have the scholars of both the CBE & CBMW publish a joint work where each side offered their own articles/essays, and then each side got to write their own critiques of the other's position- a "written roundtable." I think that would be more beneficial.
  9. Jay R

    Jay R


  10. Tjaart Kruger

    Tjaart Kruger



Digital list price: $39.99
Save $25.00 (62%)