Apologetics Index

Women in Christian Perspective – a Bibliography

Annotated list of books reflecting differing perspectives on the role of women in ministry in the Christian church
by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.

The purpose of this bibliography is to direct interested readers to works reflecting differing perspectives. Works marked with an asterisk (*) are considered especially worthy representatives of their respective positions..

Definition of Positions

  • Traditional or Complementarian View.
    Men and women are equal in dignity and worth, though women are subordinate to their husbands and barred from holding offices in the church of leadership over men. The majority view of conservative evangelicals and Roman Catholics.
  • Egalitarian View.
    Men and women should be regarded as equals in authority in the home and given equal access to all positions of leadership in the church. Held by some evangelicals.
  • Developing Egalitarianism View.
    The Bible is heavily patriarchal in the Old Testament and contains traces of patriarchalism in the New Testament, but overall the Bible points to and moves toward an egalitarian view. Held by some neo-evangelical and neo-orthodox theologians.

General Works


  • Allen, Ronald and Beverly. Liberated Traditionalism: Men and Women in Balance, A Critical Concern Book. Multnomah, 1985.
  • Bloesch, Donald G. Is the Bible Sexist? Beyond Feminism and Patriarchalism. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982. Complementarian position defended by a leading neoevangelical systematic theologian.
  • Boa, Kenneth D., and Robert M. Bowman, Jr. “All About Eve: Feminism and the Meaning of Equality.” Chapter 14 in An Unchanging Faith in a Changing World: Understanding and Responding to Critical Issues That Christians Face Today. Nashville: Oliver/Nelson Books, 1998. Evangelical complementarian perspective that finds significant common ground with egalitarians.
  • Clark, Stephen B. Man and Woman in Christ: An Examination of the Roles of Men and Women in Light of Scripture and the Social Sciences. Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1980. Excellent, scholarly conservative Roman Catholic treatment.
  • *Foh, Susan T. Women and the Word of God: A Response to Biblical Feminism. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1979.
  • Hurley, James B. Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981.
  • Kassian, Mary. Women, Creation, and the Fall. Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1990.
  • ________. The Feminist Gospel. Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1992.
  • Knight, George W., III. The Role Relation of Men and Women. Chicago: Moody Press, 1985. Rev. ed. of The New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977.
  • Neuer, Werner. Man and Woman in Christian Perspective. Trans. Gordon Wenham. Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1991.
  • *Piper, John, and Wayne Grudem, eds. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1991. Charter publication of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

2. Egalitarian/feminist

  • *Bilezekian, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985.
  • DeJong, Peter, and Donald R. Wilson. Husband and Wife: The Sexes in Scripture and Society. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979.
  • Evans, Mary J. Woman in the Bible: An Overview of All the Crucial Passages on Women’s Roles. Foreword by Donald Guthrie. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983.
  • Groothuis, Rebecca. Good News for Women: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997. Recent work responding to complementarian arguments.
  • *________. Women Caught in the Conflict: The Culture War between Traditionalism and Feminism. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994; reprint, Wipf and Stock, 1997. Historical and cultural analysis of the debate over women’s roles in the home and church.
  • Gundry, Patricia. Woman, Be Free! Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977.
  • Hagen, J. S., ed. Gender Matters: Women’s Studies for the Christian Community. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.
  • Jewett, Paul King. Man as Male and Female. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975. Neoevangelical scholar’s early treatment, advocating a form of developing egalitarianism.
  • Kroeger, Catherine Clark, and James R. Beck, eds. Women, Abuse, and the Bible: How Scripture Can Be Used to Hurt or Heal. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996.
  • Mollenkott, Virginia Ramey. Women, Men, and the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 1977. Neoevangelical, developing egalitarian treatment.
  • Scanzoni, Letha D., and Nancy A. Hardesty. All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today. 3d rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992. The classic neoevangelical feminist defense of developing egalitarianism.
  • Tucker, Ruth. Women in the Maze: Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992.
  • Van Leeuwen, Mary Stewart. Gender and Grace. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990.
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Women in Ministry

1. Traditional/complementarian

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  • *House, H. Wayne. The Role of Women in Ministry Today. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990; rev. ed., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.
  • Hunt, Susan, and Peggy B. Hutcheson. Leadership for Women in the Church. Foreword by D. James Kennedy. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991.
  • Ryrie, Charles C. The Role of Women in the Church. Chicago: Moody Press, 1978. Formerly published as The Place of Women in the Church. New York: Macmillan, 1958.

2. Egalitarian/feminist

  • Boomsma, Clarence. Male and Female, One in Christ: New Testament Teaching on Women in Office. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. Egalitarian.
  • *Clouse, Bonnidell, and Robert G. Clouse, eds. Women in Ministry: Four Views. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. Tends toward egalitarianism.
  • *Grenz, Stanley, with Denise Muir Kjesbo. Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996. By far the best work defending an evangelical egalitarian view of women in ministry.
  • Howe, Margaret E. Women and Church Leadership. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982.
  • Hull, Gretchen Gaebelein. Equal to Serve: Women and Men in the Church and Home. A Crucial Questions Book. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1987.
  • Mickelsen, Alvera, ed. Women, Authority, and the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. Egalitarian views dominate this “multiple-views” book.
  • Spencer, Aida Besancon. Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985.
  • Tucker, Ruth A., and Walter L. Liefeld. Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present. Grand Rapids: Zondervan – Academie, 1987.

Paul and Women

    1. General Studies

    • Boldrey, Richard, and Joyce Boldrey. Chauvinist or Feminist? Paul’s View of Women. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976. Egalitarian.
    • Keener, Craig. Paul, Women, and Wives. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992. Egalitarian.
    • Williams, Don. The Apostle Paul and Women in the Church. Glendale, CA: G/L Publications – Regal Books, 1978. Traditional.

    2. 1 Corinthians (especially chs. 11 and 14)

    • Carson, D. A. Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987. Supports a traditional view.
    • Fee, Gordon D. The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987. Magisterial commentary by the premier Pentecostal New Testament scholar; supports an egalitarian view.
    • Kistemaker, Simon. Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. Recent, indepth commentary by noted evangelical scholar.

    3. 1 Timothy (especially ch. 2)

    • Fee, Gordon D. 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988. Supports an egalitarian view.
    • Guthrie, Donald. The Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary, rev. ed. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.
    • Knight, George W., III. The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992. Supports a traditional view.
    • Kroeger, Richard, and Catherine Clark Kroeger. I Suffer Not a Woman. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992. Egalitarian reinterpretation of 1 Timothy 2.
    • Towner, Philip H. 1-2 Timothy & Titus, IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994.


    Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
    Box 317, Wheaton, IL 60189
    (888) 560-8210

    – Complementarian/traditionalist perspective
    – Harold O. J. Brown, D. A. Carson, Carl F. H. Henry, D. James Kennedy, John F. MacArthur, Jr., J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul, et. al.

    Christians for Biblical Equality
    122 W. Franklin Ave., Suite 218, Minneapolis, MN 55404-5421
    (612) 872-6898

    – Egalitarian/evangelical feminist perspective
    – Stan Gundry, Catherine Clark Kroeger, W. Ward Gasque, Virginia Patterson, Millard Erickson, Vernon Grounds, Roger Nicole, Rebecca Groothuis, et. al.

    Women in Christian Ministry points to resources on questions surrounding the issue of women in ministry: e.g. Are women allowed to teach in the church? Can women be pastors? What is the role of women in the Christian church?

    Article details

    Category: Women
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    First published (or major update) on Thursday, January 2, 2014.
    Last updated on June 02, 2015.

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