Wed, Nov 28, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Theologians publish women’s Bible

AFP, GENEVA, Switzerland

Savoy said that Mary Magdalene, “the female character who appears the most in the Gospels,” had been given a raw deal in many common interpretations of the texts.

“She stood by Jesus, including as he was dying on the cross, when all of the male disciples were afraid. She was the first one to go to his tomb and to discover his resurrection,” she said.

“This is a fundamental character, but she is described as a prostitute ... and even as Jesus’ lover in recent fiction,” she said.

The academics also go to great lengths to place the texts in their historical context.

“We are fighting against a literal reading of the texts,” Parmentier said, pointing for instance to letters sent by Paul to nascent Christian communities.

Reading passages from those letters, which could easily be construed as radically anti-feminist, as instructions for how women should be treated today is insane, she said.

“It’s like taking a letter someone sends to give advice as being valid for all eternity,” she said.

The theologians’ texts also approach the Bible through different themes, like the body, seduction, motherhood and subordination.

The authors say they consider their work a useful tool in the age of #MeToo.

“Each chapter addresses existential questions for women, questions they are still asking themselves today,” Parmentier said.

“While some say that you have to throw out the Bible to be a feminist, we believe the opposite,” she said.

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