A Review Of Rachel Held Evans, “A Year Of Biblical Womanhood: How A Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting On Her Roof, Covering Her Head, And Calling Her Husband “Master.”” -- By: Aimee Byrd

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 18:2 (Fall 2013)
Article: A Review Of Rachel Held Evans, “A Year Of Biblical Womanhood: How A Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting On Her Roof, Covering Her Head, And Calling Her Husband “Master.””
Author: Aimee Byrd


A Review Of Rachel Held Evans, “A Year Of Biblical Womanhood: How A Liberated Woman
Found Herself Sitting On Her Roof, Covering Her Head, And Calling Her Husband “Master.””

Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012. 352 pp. $15.99.

Aimee Byrd

Author of Housewife Theologian

It seems that Rachel Held Evans and I have a lot in common. The cover of her book boasts a picture of Evans sitting on the roof of a house. Back in my college days, my roommate Michelle and I spent our free time sitting on our porch roof, listening to the Beatles, drinking coffee, and making up stories about the neighbors. Even after I graduated and married I still couldn’t resist climbing out of the upstairs bathroom window onto my new, perfect roof spot for a different perspective.

But as I read her book, I discovered Evans and I ‘roof-sat’ for different purposes. For Evans, it was a time of penance based on her interpretation of Proverbs 21:9, “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”

Impressive Style, Slanted Interpretation

Rachel Held Evans is an engaging writer. The more I read, the more I understood her popularity among women. She tells a great story, and I really appreciate her witty observations and inability to small talk.

The chapters in Evans’ book are topics that every woman struggles with in her Christian walk. Topics relating to our roles, virtues, behavior, and lifestyle are important for each one of us to examine against Scripture. And this is what Evans claims she will be doing for one year.

I vowed to spend one year of my life in pursuit of true biblical womanhood. This quest of mine has required that I study every passage of Scripture that relates to women and learn how women around the world interpret and apply these passages to their lives. In addition, I would attempt to follow as many of the Bible’s teachings regarding women as possible in my day-to-day life, sometimes taking them to their literal extreme. (xxi)

And there is the kicker. With all the research that Evans does, she seemingly doesn’t understand the basic principles of biblical hermeneutics. Literal interpretation, i.e., reading the Bible literarily, always discerns the different genres that are involved. More specifically, faithful interpretation pays attention to both the grammar and redemptive historical setting of the passage in question. That is, we read Scripture in its historical and linguistic context, with the final revelation of Christ’s fulfillment in all its words.

This is painfully missing in Evans’ book. Instead, she p...

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