The Women’s Bible vs. Your Devotional Bible

Jun 19, 2020 | Article | 0 comments

In Aimee Byrd’s newest book, Recovering From Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, the opening chapter is titled, “Why Men and Women Don’t Read Separate Bibles”. I assumed what would follow would be a discussion about The Women’s Bible, the only gender-specific Bible I’m aware of. The Women’s Bible was written by the contemporaries and colleagues of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of The Yellow Wallpaper, a central theme of RFBMW—but alas, I was wrong. 

Instead, Byrd discusses “separate” Bibles for men and women. Not actually different bibles, not differing translations, not a separate canon translated in a different way—just Bibles, containing the Old and New Testaments, that are marketed differently. She asks, “How do separate Bibles for men and women shape the way we read Scripture?” This is a strange question, given that the conversation that follows has nothing to do with disparate Bibles, but with marketing styles that aren’t to her taste.

Noting that the Bibles marketed toward women have devotionals geared toward women, and the Bibles marketed toward men have devotionals geared toward men (insert shock and awe here), she asserts that 

“Producing devotional Bibles specifically geared toward men and women separately shapes the way we do our devotions and the very way we read, interpret, and apply Scripture. It puts a lens of interpretation on God’s Word—the lens of biblical manhood and womanhood. The underlying message is that there is a men’s version and a woman’s version to read. There is a male and a female way to meditate on the Bible’s teaching.”

Byrd, Aimee. Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (p. 41). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 

While I am not sold that women reading about common women’s issues and men reading about common men’s issues is sending the message that there is such a thing as different “versions” of the Bible, I am insistent that when I meditate on Scripture I am doing so as a woman, and never, ever as a man. Hopefully you are still able to be sitting upright. 

While celebrities are being canceled for insisting that women are the kind of humans that menstruate (the insanity!), while the most radical movement the country has ever seen is insisting that there is a genocide going on against the “trans” community, while men dressed as women are allowed in girls locker rooms, while more and more of our youth are opting out of marriage altogether, the most religious among us can be found assuring us that we are clearly too focused on Biblical manhood and womanhood. How blessed are we that, while more and more Christians become cordial with so-called “gay marriage”, we have yet to run out of Christian authors speaking against the church’s over-emphasis on Biblical gender categories. Selah.

Nevertheless, I do wish to tell you that there IS, in fact, a Bible for women, written by women. Aimee does not discuss this in her chapter on separate Bibles for men and women, so I am going to. Don’t say I never did you a favor. 

We must understand the incredible reach and impact of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the brains of the first wave of feminism. Susan B. Anthony was her mouthpiece. Stanton was the Oz behind the curtain, doing the writing, strategizing, and behind the scenes organizing. While the causes of feminism were won through the effort of many women, Stanton should be remembered as the spearhead. We do feminism a disservice by failing to give her due mention. What you didn’t learn about her in school (if you learned about her at all) was that she was deeply interested in Theosophy—which is really just a nice way of saying that she was fascinated by the occult. Ah! Aren’t we so glad the feminists helped pull us out of the Victorian Era? 

Her reverence for Theosophy is readily apparent in how much she borrowed from their work. She wrote in her autobiography of her admiration for Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. Blavatsky’s influence is strong in the production of The Women’s Bible, which was written mostly by Stanton and with the help of a team of contributors. Several of these contributors were renowned Theosophists, such as Frances Lord. Their relationship went beyond the production of the Women’s Bible. Lord and Stanton went on to practice “occult studies” with Stanton’s daughter. 

If there’s a creeping feeling in your stomach, that’s because the Women’s Bible is satanic. And what I mean by that is that it’s an inversion of Scripture that rewrites the Genesis account, in favor of Eve and the Serpent. It is written to expressly upend the Christian faith, and, of course, the patriarchy.

“The first step in the elevation of woman to her true position, as an equal factor in human progress, is the cultivation of the religious sentiment in regard to her dignity and equality, the recognition by the rising generation of an ideal Heavenly Mother, to whom their prayers should be addressed, as well as to a Father.” 

And later in a commentary on Genesis: 

“The assertion of the supremacy of the woman in the marriage relation is contained in v. 24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife.” Nothing is said of the headship of man, but he is commanded to make her the head of the household, the home, a rule followed for centuries under the Matriarchate.”

Contra Rachel Miller, the suffragettes were not your sweet old great grandma that helped to uncover the ills of the preceding generation. They were radical activists, often occultists, who were absolutely given to their cause. Many of them were God-haters, sold out to that nasty old racist, Charles Darwin. The key players were enlightened, modern thinkers that despised marriage, sent their children away, and encouraged others to do the same. They were “diverse thinkers” that weren’t afraid of contradicting each other because, well, what is “truth”, anyway? 

Here is Stanton expressing her extremely low view of women who think that (gasp!) the Bible is actually the Word of God:

“Again there are some who write us that our work is a useless expenditure of force over a book that has lost its hold on the human mind. Most intelligent women, they say, regard it simply as the history of a rude people in a barbarous age, and have no more reverence for the Scriptures than any other work. So long as tens of thousands of Bibles are printed every year, and circulated over the whole habitable globe, and the masses in all English-speaking nations revere it as the word of God, it is vain to belittle its influence. The sentimental feelings we all have for those things we were educated to believe sacred, do not readily yield to pure reason. I distinctly remember the shudder that passed over me on seeing a mother take our family Bible to make a high seat for her child at table. It seemed such a desecration. I was tempted to protest against its use for such a purpose, and this, too, long after my reason had repudiated its divine authority.

To women still believing in the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, we say give us by all means your exegesis in the light of the higher criticism learned men are now making, and illumine the Woman’s Bible, with your inspiration.”

Since you are a close reader you can see that feminists have always desired to free us from the oppression of our Heavenly Father, the patriarchy that rules over all of the universe. They haven’t been quiet about it, we just haven’t done our homework. And that kind of rebellion—not flowers on the cover of a Bible or a devotional about leadership—is an offense to the Holy God. That is a different Bible. That is a different faith altogether. Stanton and her co-belligerents did not believe it reasonable to believe in the Scriptures. Perhaps we can stop whitewashing their wickedness because they wore hoop skirts. 

Ladies, Aimee Byrd doesn’t like your devotional Bible. Your flower cover makes her uncomfortable. Honestly I couldn’t care less what devotional you are reading today. Be in the Word, regardless of what the cover looks like. Be comfortable with the Word, and allow it to break you and transform you and make you new today. There’s only one separately gendered Bible you should be uncomfortable with, and it’s the satanic one that the ladies in the yellow wallpaper wrote. 

 

In Aimee Byrd’s newest book, Recovering From Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, the opening chapter is titled, “Why Men and Women Don’t Read Separate Bibles”. I assumed what would follow would be a discussion about The Women’s Bible, the only gender-specific Bible I’m aware of. The Women’s Bible was written by the contemporaries and colleagues of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of The Yellow Wallpaper, a central theme of RFBMW—but alas, I was wrong. 

Instead, Byrd discusses “separate” Bibles for men and women. Not actually different bibles, not differing translations, not a separate canon translated in a different way—just Bibles, containing the Old and New Testaments, that are marketed differently. She asks, “How do separate Bibles for men and women shape the way we read Scripture?” This is a strange question, given that the conversation that follows has nothing to do with disparate Bibles, but with marketing styles that aren’t to her taste.

Noting that the Bibles marketed toward women have devotionals geared toward women, and the Bibles marketed toward men have devotionals geared toward men (insert shock and awe here), she asserts that 

“Producing devotional Bibles specifically geared toward men and women separately shapes the way we do our devotions and the very way we read, interpret, and apply Scripture. It puts a lens of interpretation on God’s Word—the lens of biblical manhood and womanhood. The underlying message is that there is a men’s version and a woman’s version to read. There is a male and a female way to meditate on the Bible’s teaching.”

Byrd, Aimee. Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (p. 41). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 

While I am not sold that women reading about common women’s issues and men reading about common men’s issues is sending the message that there is such a thing as different “versions” of the Bible, I am insistent that when I meditate on Scripture I am doing so as a woman, and never, ever as a man. Hopefully you are still able to be sitting upright. 

While celebrities are being canceled for insisting that women are the kind of humans that menstruate (the insanity!), while the most radical movement the country has ever seen is insisting that there is a genocide going on against the “trans” community, while men dressed as women are allowed in girls locker rooms, while more and more of our youth are opting out of marriage altogether, the most religious among us can be found assuring us that we are clearly too focused on Biblical manhood and womanhood. How blessed are we that, while more and more Christians become cordial with so-called “gay marriage”, we have yet to run out of Christian authors speaking against the church’s over-emphasis on Biblical gender categories. Selah.

Nevertheless, I do wish to tell you that there IS, in fact, a Bible for women, written by women. Aimee does not discuss this in her chapter on separate Bibles for men and women, so I am going to. Don’t say I never did you a favor. 

We must understand the incredible reach and impact of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the brains of the first wave of feminism. Susan B. Anthony was her mouthpiece. Stanton was the Oz behind the curtain, doing the writing, strategizing, and behind the scenes organizing. While the causes of feminism were won through the effort of many women, Stanton should be remembered as the spearhead. We do feminism a disservice by failing to give her due mention. What you didn’t learn about her in school (if you learned about her at all) was that she was deeply interested in Theosophy—which is really just a nice way of saying that she was fascinated by the occult. Ah! Aren’t we so glad the feminists helped pull us out of the Victorian Era? 

Her reverence for Theosophy is readily apparent in how much she borrowed from their work. She wrote in her autobiography of her admiration for Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. Blavatsky’s influence is strong in the production of The Women’s Bible, which was written mostly by Stanton and with the help of a team of contributors. Several of these contributors were renowned Theosophists, such as Frances Lord. Their relationship went beyond the production of the Women’s Bible. Lord and Stanton went on to practice “occult studies” with Stanton’s daughter. 

If there’s a creeping feeling in your stomach, that’s because the Women’s Bible is satanic. And what I mean by that is that it’s an inversion of Scripture that rewrites the Genesis account, in favor of Eve and the Serpent. It is written to expressly upend the Christian faith, and, of course, the patriarchy.

“The first step in the elevation of woman to her true position, as an equal factor in human progress, is the cultivation of the religious sentiment in regard to her dignity and equality, the recognition by the rising generation of an ideal Heavenly Mother, to whom their prayers should be addressed, as well as to a Father.” 

And later in a commentary on Genesis: 

“The assertion of the supremacy of the woman in the marriage relation is contained in v. 24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife.” Nothing is said of the headship of man, but he is commanded to make her the head of the household, the home, a rule followed for centuries under the Matriarchate.”

Contra Rachel Miller, the suffragettes were not your sweet old great grandma that helped to uncover the ills of the preceding generation. They were radical activists, often occultists, who were absolutely given to their cause. Many of them were God-haters, sold out to that nasty old racist, Charles Darwin. The key players were enlightened, modern thinkers that despised marriage, sent their children away, and encouraged others to do the same. They were “diverse thinkers” that weren’t afraid of contradicting each other because, well, what is “truth”, anyway? 

Here is Stanton expressing her extremely low view of women who think that (gasp!) the Bible is actually the Word of God:

“Again there are some who write us that our work is a useless expenditure of force over a book that has lost its hold on the human mind. Most intelligent women, they say, regard it simply as the history of a rude people in a barbarous age, and have no more reverence for the Scriptures than any other work. So long as tens of thousands of Bibles are printed every year, and circulated over the whole habitable globe, and the masses in all English-speaking nations revere it as the word of God, it is vain to belittle its influence. The sentimental feelings we all have for those things we were educated to believe sacred, do not readily yield to pure reason. I distinctly remember the shudder that passed over me on seeing a mother take our family Bible to make a high seat for her child at table. It seemed such a desecration. I was tempted to protest against its use for such a purpose, and this, too, long after my reason had repudiated its divine authority.

To women still believing in the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, we say give us by all means your exegesis in the light of the higher criticism learned men are now making, and illumine the Woman’s Bible, with your inspiration.”

Since you are a close reader you can see that feminists have always desired to free us from the oppression of our Heavenly Father, the patriarchy that rules over all of the universe. They haven’t been quiet about it, we just haven’t done our homework. And that kind of rebellion—not flowers on the cover of a Bible or a devotional about leadership—is an offense to the Holy God. That is a different Bible. That is a different faith altogether. Stanton and her co-belligerents did not believe it reasonable to believe in the Scriptures. Perhaps we can stop whitewashing their wickedness because they wore hoop skirts. 

Ladies, Aimee Byrd doesn’t like your devotional Bible. Your flower cover makes her uncomfortable. Honestly I couldn’t care less what devotional you are reading today. Be in the Word, regardless of what the cover looks like. Be comfortable with the Word, and allow it to break you and transform you and make you new today. There’s only one separately gendered Bible you should be uncomfortable with, and it’s the satanic one that the ladies in the yellow wallpaper wrote. 

 

SUMMER JAEGER
Summer Jaeger is the wife to one excellent man and a homeschooling mother of four. When she is not blogging or podcasting, she is perfecting the art of the slow-cooked meal and wishing she was taking long-ish walks on the beach.
@SummrWrites Facebook sheologiansblog@gmail.com

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