My former student Rick Hale compared how different Bible translations rendered the word “anthropos” in passages that (a) could reasonably have both men and women in view and (b) are translated with gender inclusive language in the NET Bible. The table provides interpretation of ‘anthropos’ in the specified Bible translations for each passage listed. Click on the link to download the entire PDF. (Works best in Chrome.)
For more than two decades, I’ve taught a course on gender and its ramifications in the church and for women in public ministry. Since #MeToo and #ChurchToo combined with Christian leaders saying women have to endure abuse to be biblical and also that women shouldn’t teach in seminaries, I’ve seen a shift in attitudes. Add to that the one-two punches of Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez with Beth Allison Barr’s book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: People are revisiting what and why they believe on the topic.
Some have sat up and said, basically, “Evangelicals have barred the front door against radical feminism while leaving the back door wide open to misogyny.” Some have heard Beth Moore told to “Go Home!” and responded with, “Stop already. That misrepresents us.” I’m hearing pastors get up and say, “I was wrong” to slut-shame Bathsheba. I’ve been told …
One morning after I taught a women’s Bible study on the life of Abigail—wife of Nabal, a woman hustled over to me, elbows swinging. Seeing her body language, I braced myself.
Her argument about my teaching went something like this: “You’re wrong! Abigail was most definitely not righteous. By taking matters into her own hands, she shows what happens when a wife steps out from under her husband’s ‘umbrella of authority.’ If Abigail had submitted to Nabal rather than intervening, David would have felt guilty for killing Nabal, and that guilt would have kept him from killing later.”
I’d heard this interpretation already—from Bill Gothard, among others.
So how do we figure out how to interpret this story? Was Abigail good or evil? The text itself provides the needed clues.
We find the “Abigail and David” story in 1 Samuel 25:2–43. The narrator begins with his assessment: “[Abigail] was …