Christians for Biblical Equality


The Biblical ideal is the spiritual and social equality of the sexes.


Scripture has at various times and places been read as promoting the spiritual and social equality of the sexes.  ‘Evangelical’ women of the 1800s found in scripture a foundation for their call for the suffrage of woman and greater security for women in terms of property and child custody rights.  The rise of scholarly feminist exegesis since the 1980s, however, has begun seriously to question whether the Bible has anything positive to contribute on the matter of equality of the sexes.  Instead of ‘allies’, Biblical writers like Luke and Paul have been seen as complicit in the subjugation of women.

Principles of narrative criticism may offer a canonically respectful way to revisit the idea that the Bible encourages spiritual and social equality of the sexes. As illustration of how such re-examination might proceed, this paper describes and applies some of these general principles to Luke-Acts and provides a detailed exegetical example from Acts 21:1-14, a passage which includes the ‘silence’ of Philip’s four prophetic daughters.