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Lost Women of the Bible: Finding Strength & Significance through Their Stories [Hardcover]

By Carolyn Custis James (Author)
Our Price $ 14.44  
Retail Value $ 16.99  
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Item Number 19689  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.6" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.855 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 2005
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310263905  
EAN  9780310263906  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The women of the Bible have a strong, relevant message for women today that has been lost underneath layers of traditional interpretations and the expectation that God does his most important work through men. Crucial dimensions of their lives have been muted, forgotten, or passed over. Their strong voices are silent at a time when women are searching for answers that will hold up under the pressures and challenges confronting them today. This book brings the women of the Bible into the twenty-first century by recovering their powerful message for contemporary women.

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More About Carolyn Custis James

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Carolyn Custis James (MA, Biblical Studies) travels extensively as a popular speaker for women's conferences, churches, colleges, seminaries, and other Christian organizations. Her ministry organization, WhitbyForum, promotes thoughtful biblical discussion to help men and women serve God together. Carolyn founded and is president of the Synergy Women's Network. She is a consulting editor for Zondervan's Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament and author of When Life and Beliefs Collide and Lost Women of the Bible. Carolyn and her husband live in Sellersville, Pennsylvania. They have one grown daughter.

Carolyn Custis James was born in 1948.

Carolyn Custis James has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Women of Faith Study Guides

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Understand woman's vital role in the world  Jan 14, 2008
This book is Biblically sound and has great applications for daily life whether you are young or old, married or single. It's vital for women to understand how significant they are in God's eyes, and what better way to find that out than to see how He works in the lives of women from Eve to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and beyond to the Biblical account of Paul's interactions with the women of Philippi. Discover how a woman like Tamar could be called righteous! Men also need to understand this book's message. Christian husbands and all men, especially those in church leadership, will gain much by understanding God's multifaceted roles for women.
Lost Women of the Bible  Sep 26, 2007
I lead a women's bible study for 20 women. Lost Women of the Bible is a wonderful study filled with thought provoking ideas and questions for reflection. After every chapter we enjoy vibrant discussions of the study and the women in it. It has given us a new perspective on the role God has set forth for us.
Lost Women Of The Bible  May 29, 2007
This is an absolutely wonderful encouraging book for anyone. Women, to enhance their christian walk and men to see what the womens walk is & was!!!
A Thoughtful Look at Many Biblical Women  Jan 22, 2007
Having been a feminist Evangelical Christian for many years (yes, such creatures do exist!), I've read plenty of books on women and the Bible, women in the Bible, and what the Bible says about women. Having had a long break on this subject, I decided to jump back in with this book.

One of the greatest strengths of this book is the author's look at a variety of women and attempting to flesh out their lives. I appreciate her perspective as someone who truly longed to have her life fit the traditional wife and mother role, yet found herself disappointed and confused when that didn't happen. Although my personal path has been different -- I'm ambivalent on the idea of perhaps someday having a husband and kids (and having worked with kids for a few years I find myself even more convinced that they're great for awhile, but then I'm ready to send them home); this was in fact one of the reasons I became a feminist (I got so frustrated with people telling me that I must LONG to be married and have kids when I did not in fact have this desire, and felt God calling me in other directions, at least for the time being) -- I could appreciate the hard questions she asked herself. Furthermore, I appreciated some of her responses. Throughout history, countless women have ended up living their whole lives without ever becoming a wife or mother. Some longed to but never received that joy; others felt no particular interest or knew they were called in other directions. Many of those women were genuine Christians trying to follow God. Logically, if these two paths were God's only calling for women, why did some never get that chance? And why were many of the women who never did get the chance still considered holy followers of God?

I also enjoyed the women she looked at. Some of the women -- Sarah, Esther, and the two Marys, among others -- are frequently written about or discussed. Others get more scant mention. I think my favorite chapter was about Hagar. I have long loved her, and loved the way that God turned His gaze towards a lowly slave considered just property by her owners. The chapter on Tamar was also good, although a part of me was a bit surprised. I hadn't heard many comments about her, and although at one point in time I had thought she hadn't acted well I eventually came to the conclusion that she was acting in the most righteous way she could see (note that she doesn't pretend to be a prostitute until years of waiting have shown her she has no other option, and she doesn't linger to find a few more customers just in case she didn't get pregnant from Judah; she very deliberately enticed one of two men -- the other being Judah's third son -- that was legally required to provide what she had to get by tricking him). It surprised me to hear that Tamar had such a bad reputation in many Christian circles. Be that as it may, I felt like the author did a good job of drawing out the specific circumstances in her life and pointing out that although her exact methods might no longer be appropriate, her desires and ultimate motives do provide a positive example.

I only had one major criticism of the book (well, two, but the second is merely a matter of personal taste). Much of her fleshing out of the biblical characters came from logical consideration of both the text and of the way that humans usually act. None of her conclusions and guesses were far-fetched. Sometimes, however, she forgot that they were guesses and called them facts. For example, she wrote that "Hannah always felt the enormity of her sacrifice, as any mother would." Or about Mary Magdalene that, "Mary wasn't seeking Jesus.... Mary was a demoniac... [who] wanted Jesus to go away." Or that, "No matter what happened afterward [i.e., after the Crucifixion], Mary never erased those horrifying images from her memory." Now, none of these surmises are false; in fact, I'm guessing they're true. Hannah undoubtedly felt Samuel's loss all her life. As the author points out, demoniacs in the Bible never sought Jesus out, and Mary probably didn't either. And I can't imagine being able to forget seeing one of your dearest friends tortured as Jesus was. None of these are bad assumptions. Assumptions, however, is the correct name for them. Had the author been more careful about this I would have been happier with the book (this is the reason for the 4 stars).

The other detail that I wished were changed was the women she dealt with. I had no problems with the ones she picked; I just wish she would have picked more! (this is probably a good sign about the quality of the book) As I read it, I kept making a list of other women I would like to have her include in "Lost Women of the Bible II". Some of them included: Rebeckah (sp?), Leah, Rachel, Dinah, the two Hebrew midwives, Miriam, Rahab, the murdered concumbine from Judges (along with Lot's daughters, actually; they could have their own chapter), Deborah (how could she have left out DEBORAH???), Abigail, Bathsheba, Priscilla, Tabitha/Dorcas, the woman at the well, and so on. I would even have liked a look at some of the REAL "bad girls" such as Delilah, Jezebel, or Israel's one reigning queen (Athaliah, I think); a look at their lives, their strengths, and how they used those strengths in sinful ways not intended by God (plus a look at the ways they've been used throughout the ages against women, and any positive lessons we can learn from them) would be interesting reading.

In general, I would highly recommend this book (I was spending most of my reading trying to figure out which friend I was going to loan it to first). It gives cause for thoughtful contemplation of women in the Bible, and what it means to be both a woman following her true God-given calling (which may include marriage and children, both good things given as gifts by God, but may not) and a man encouraging and being encouraged by women doing these things.
When a woman's place is not only in the home...  Jan 14, 2007
Carolyn Custis James' book offers hope to women who don't fit the traditional Christian woman mould (wife and mother and support to husband's ministry). She herself found that marriage and motherhood came very late and consequently she wrestled with her position and value within the church as a single woman; but these are not modern problems, she found many examples in the Bible of women who couldn't fit into those roles and yet had great value.

The author features women from both Old and New Testaments - Eve, Mrs Noah, Sarah, Hagar, Tamar, Hannah, Esther, Mary of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene and the women of Philippi - who have different stories of their contribution to God's plans. These stories also show the failures of the women as well as their successes and some, such as Tamar, are partially rehabilitated through a fresh look at the story. Many of these women struggled against cultural situations that are no longer relevant to our Western society and yet the underlying themes were all valid.

The book is well-written in a light and readable style with good scholarship underlying the historical settings. Each chapter has a study guide at the end so I imagine this book might work well for a women's group. The overall conclusion of so many of these stories is that women don't have to just be meek, mild, pure homemakers but can be strong warriors for God alongside their husbands, if they have them, or on their own. Definitely an encouraging read for any women who want to make a difference for God.

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