Book review: Man and Woman: One in Christ

Post a Comment » Written on June 22nd, 2013     
Filed under: Book & Commentary
Book cover

Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters by Philip B. Payne.

This in-depth book encompasses something of a lifetime’s work of earnestly reading and researching Scripture, seeking to investigate all of Paul’s teachings on women in ministry, and wrestling with the text in order to understand the meaning of Paul’s statements about women, and their relevance for the church today.

Meticulously taking each of the passages that are commonly used to argue against women in ministry and leadership in the church, the author leads the reader through Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 7, 11, 12 and 14, as well as Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Timothy 2-3 and Titus 1. Investigating both the wider use of individual words that Paul uses, and the original contexts to which the letters were written, Payne affirms that Paul consistently champions the equality of man and woman in Christ in his writings – and calls for the church to affirm Paul’s teaching and reject the view of ‘separate but equal’ leadership roles for men and women.

The book seeks to find a balance between being an accessible read, and faithfully representing 36 years of biblical scholarship on the issue – something which it achieves, as long as the reader is willing to persevere past the regular referral to Greek words! Payne, who has taught at Cambridge University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Gordon-Conwell, Bethel and Fuller Theological Seminaries, and comes from an Evangelical Free Church background, does a great job of focusing on the centrality of the text and its meaning throughout.

Highly recommended for those who really want to dig in and seek to understand Paul’s teachings on men and women.

Find this book through Indiebound or Amazon or in your local bookstore.

Book review by Alice Hague.


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