Engaging feminist hermeneutics and philosophy in addition to more traditional methods of biblical study, Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows demonstrates and celebrates the remarkable capability and ingenuity of several women in the Gospel of Luke. While recent studies have exposed womens limited opportunities for ministry in Luke, Scott Spencer pulls the pendulum back from a negative feminist-critical pole toward a more constructive center.
Granting that Luke sends somewhat "mixed messages" about womens work and status as Jesus disciples, Spencer analyzes such women as Mary, Elizabeth, Joanna, Martha and Mary, and the infamous yet intriguing wife of Lot -- whom Jesus exhorts his followers to "remember" -- as well as the unrelentingly persistent women characters in Jesus parables.
Fr. Scott Spencer is professor of New Testament and preaching at Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia. His other books include Dancing Girls, Loose Ladies, and Women of the Cloth and The Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles.
Scott Spencer is one of the most engaging, uncannily perceptive biblical interpreters I know! In this insightful volume he enters the fray of feminist debate over Lukes decidedly mixed messages regarding women, masterfully negotiating the tension between liberating and limiting elements of Lukes presentation. . . . He shows Lukes women to be remarkably capable — even if not as liberated as we might hope! Without whitewashing the difficulties, Spencer thereby reclaims Lukes narrative for liberating, life-enhancing ends.
- Frances Taylor Gench, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Is Lukes Gospel the most dangerous book in the Bible for women and men? Is it a mixed bag? Is it to be read against the grain in order to find good news? In this thoughtful, insightful, and engaging study, Scott Spencer investigates the women who inhabit Lukes narrative. Recognizing mixed messages and avoiding anachronism, Spencer offers a nuanced presentation of capable women of purpose and persistence.
- Warren Carter, Brite Divinity School
Spencers study of women in the Gospel of Luke is spirited enough to engage students and savvy enough to cause scholars to rethink, once again, the representation of gender in the Third Gospel.
- Jennifer Glancy, Le Moyne College
Insightfully challenges and complements feminist scholarship on a Gospel that is notoriously equivocal for women. . . . A welcome contribution to feminist discourse on the Gospel of Luke.
- Mary Ann Beavis, University of Saskatchewan
For more than two decades, Scott Spencer has engaged with feminist interpretation of the New Testament. With this provocative, stimulating, and lively treatment of women in the Lukan writings, Spencer offers mature but — in the best sense — entirely unpredictable readings resulting in fresh, at times stunning, analyses of these old, old stories. . . . A must-read for anyone — male or female — interested in gender issues, then and now.
- Mikeal C. Parsons, Baylor University