Beyond Sex Roles by Gilbert Bilezikian:
I have many ideas about feminism and the Bible, but I have been an idiot. And when I say “idiot,” I mean an idiot in the deepest sense of the word, reaching back to its Greek roots meaning “ignorant” and “one’s own.” I have been so focused on developing my own ideas that I have not sufficiently listened to other people’s ideas. I am hoping to rectify that problem.
So, baby steps. The first book I am going to review is Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Women’s Place in Church and Family by Gilbert Bilezikian. This review will be a series, and it will contain many spoilers. It will be more like intensive notes summarizing the contents of the book than a true book review. So far I agree with him, but I’ll try to evaluate his arguments and make comments.
The book was first published in 1985, and the version I am reading is the third edition from 2005. The book is in a study-guide format, meaning that chapters are set-up to go through relevant scripture thematically. The verse is cited, and then under that verse he lists a “Lesson.” Some verses have multiple lessons while other verses only have one. He uses the “Notes” section to address counter-arguments from James B. Hurley’s book, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective. For the sake of simplicity, he chose to dialogue only with Hurley. Bilezikian says in the Preface that he wanted this book to be readable for the “nonspecialized reader (11).” The book is quite readable. But this also means that most of the material I want to read is in the “Notes” at the back of the book. It is awkward reading with my finger in the notes, but so far, that is my only complaint.