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Jesus & the Gospel Women

Author: Joanna Collicutt McGrath
Published By: SPCK (London)
Pages: 160
Price: £10.99
ISBN: 978 028 106 0221

Reviewed by Ursula Franklin.

This book is thoughtful and challenging - a protest against men who do not sufficiently value women's discipleship.  Dr McGrath maintains that people search for "prescriptive templates for gender specific roles in the church organisation." She exposes that trend and speaks against it.  She draws our attention to the significance of Mary, of necessity, taking part in the birth of Jesus.  It is a valid comment as is his growing up within the nurture of a family valued as a necessary experience for the Incarnate Son of God, but he also reached maturity by applying himself to the study of the Torah and talking with knowledgeable teachers in the temple.  It is a distortion to over-emphasise the role of women in his life as distinct from recognising it.

The book focuses our minds, and in that fulfils its aim to increase our understanding of the importance of women in the life of Jesus.  At times the arguments presented are a strained extrapolation from the text and are heavily insistent, but the role of women does need to be exposed.  The book has been an interesting read.

Ursula Franklin

Pastoral deacon: Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford

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You are reading Issue 50 of Ministry Today, published in November 2010.

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