A group of feminist Christian theologians have published “A Women’s Bible,” to show that their values “are not incompatible” with the Bible, France24 reports.
“Feminist values and reading the Bible are not incompatible,” Lauriane Savoy, a professor at the University of Geneva’s Theology Faculty, told France24. Savoy said that she and her colleague Elisabeth Parmentier came up with the idea for “Une Bible des Femmes” after noticing that few people seemed to know much about the Bible or biblical texts.
“A lot of people thought they were completely outdated with no relevance to today’s values of equality,” Savoy said.
The two, along with 18 other female theologians from a variety of countries and denominations, set out to upset traditional views of biblical texts in which women appear weak or subordinate to men.
Parmentier recalls a part of the Gospel of Luke, and Jesus’ visit with the sisters Martha and Mary.
“It says that Martha ensures the ‘service,’ which has been interpreted to mean that she served the food, but the Greek word ‘diakonia’ can also have other meanings, for instance it could mean she was a deacon,” she said.
A “Women’s Bible” was made in 1898 by American suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and 26 other women, which Savoy and Parmentier inspired them. They admitted that they had at first planned on just translating that book into French, but they found that much of the work had become outdated after 120 years.
“Each chapter addresses existential questions for women, questions they are still asking themselves today,” said Parmentier. “While some say that you have to throw out the Bible to be a feminist, we believe the opposite.”