3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Second Eve: Understanding Biblical Equality by Bette Boersma provides an in-depth look at the ever-changing interpretation of the status of women in the Church. I am rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. The book provides an engaging breakdown of specific bible verses that relate to the role of women. Boersma helps break down the original meaning and audience, then shows the contrast between the original meaning and the modern interpretation of the words. This book received a rating of 3 stars due to several formatting and grammatical issues which, at times, took away from the authority of the writing.
The thing I enjoyed most about this book is that the opinion of the author never came across as rash or judgmental. Also, the book never put down men in favor of building up women. There seems to be a healthy balance of acknowledging that certain verses are commonly misinterpreted with an accurate portrayal of how to correct the misinterpretation. Boersma focuses heavily on translations of certain words and how a small tweak in the translation can change the meaning of entire verses. She is extremely knowledgeable about her subject matter and proves herself to be more than capable of tackling the difficult issue of gender equality in the Church.
What I disliked most about the story is the constant bouncing back and forth between the writing style of scripture and the modern writing style of the author. At times it was difficult for me to read more than a few pages at once without feeling overwhelmed.
Boersma introduces thought-provoking questions that will make women of any age sit down and ponder their own experience. For example, she questions, “To what extent have I, and for that matter have a majority of women, chosen to be, or appear to be, childlike in order to satisfy a cultural demand to appear more feminine? How often do we take on a passive, dependent persona?” Not having been raised in the Church myself, I still found that I was nodding along with her implication of society as the culprit of the pressure to appear feminine.
The style of The Second Eve assumes a working knowledge of religious scripture. As such, it does not apply to those readers without a religious background or, at the least, an appreciation of religious texts. I do not consider myself a deeply religious individual, but I was able to view the text as informative and insightful. Overall, this is a great read for anyone looking to open themselves up to new ideas and interpretations of the Bible.
The Second Eve
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon