Recent Reads: Lost Women of the Bible by Carolyn Custis James

What the book's about: As it's name suggests, this is a book about "the women we thought we knew". This book provides thoughtful, well-researched character sketches of 9 women in the Bible, with an additional chapter on Paul and the women of Philippi.

Why I read this book: This spring, I taught on women in Scripture. To prepare for this series, I looked for a commentary or book containing in-depth sketches of several Biblical women. Having read and loved Carolyn's The Gospel of Ruth several years ago in preparation for a retreat I led on the book of Ruth, when I saw she had written such a resource, I grabbed it. It did not disappoint.

My favorite quotes from the book:

- "Sarah's story highlights the threatening issues inherent in the discussion of God's calling for women and gives a woman's life meaning and purpose."

- "Sometimes the honesty of the Bible is terribly disconcerting."

- "If the truth were known, that's where I spend most of my time - stuck somewhere in the middle, longing to see God's hand, trying to find my place in his purposes, struggling to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving."

- "Hagar introduced God's people to the doctrine of God's omniscience - not simply that God knows everything, but that he knows me." 

- "The apostle Paul established one of the leading New Testament churches with a group of women. This groundbreaking development for the gospel was decidedly female. A woman was the first convert to Christianity in Europe and the first church plant in Europe was predominantly female."

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs up

Who I'd recommend this book for: Anyone who wants to learn more about the women whose stories are found in the pages of Scripture. Such individuals will find Lost Women of the Bible to be an in-depth yet accessible, rich examination of women whose stories deserve to be told.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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