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Especially given the burgeoning interest in the social world of the New Testament, it is remarkable that far too often scholars and students of the New Testament continue to view women homogeneously, as if all women in antiquity existed at the same social, political, and economic level. Rather, women in antiquity, just as women of today, can be found anywhere along the spectrum of society, from voiceless slave to wealthy landowner. Failing to look at women's lives in light of their place in ancient class structures results in tunnelvision, and women are mistakenly depicted as being uniformly cut from the same social, economic, and political cloth. Such misperception results in misunderstanding. First it perpetuates the notion that all women in antiquity were oppressed. Second it tends to neglect the under-classes. Anyone interested in women's studies will find this work indispensable for understanding the variegated nature of women in the ancient world and the gospel's impact upon them.
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