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Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows
Capable Women of Purpose and Persistence in Luke's Gospel
F. Scott Spencer
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POD; Published: 12/19/2012
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6762-9
Price: $ 31.50
358 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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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 women's 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 women's 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.
Review & Expositor
"Spencer brings a depth of knowledge to the various cases he explores, and his scholarship helps to uncover interesting elements of stories that could easily go unnoticed without careful exegesis. . . . An engaging read."
Frances Taylor Gench
— Union Presbyterian Seminary
"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 Luke's decidedly 'mixed messages' regarding women, masterfully negotiating the tension between liberating and limiting elements of Luke's presentation. . . . He shows Luke's women to be remarkably capable — even if not as liberated as we might hope! Without whitewashing the difficulties, Spencer thereby reclaims Luke's narrative for liberating, life-enhancing ends."
Warren Carter
— Brite Divinity School
"Is Luke's 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 Luke's narrative. Recognizing mixed messages and avoiding anachronism, Spencer offers a nuanced presentation of capable women of purpose and persistence."
Jennifer Glancy
— Le Moyne College
"Spencer's 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."
Mary Ann Beavis
— University of Saskatchewan"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."
Mikeal C. Parsons
— Baylor University
"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."
Catholic Library World
"A thoughtful, insightful, and engaging study. Furthermore, it gives a balanced treatment of the role of women found in the New Testament."
Review of Biblical Literature
"Spencer has presented a thoughtful, well-written, very engaging, and insightful contribution to the discourse on feminist biblical interpretation of Luke's Gospel. Although his thorough analysis, in-depth reading of the Lukan texts, and engagement with critical theory may cater more to a scholarly audience, Spencer's rhetorical prowess, its argumentative persuasion, and its stimulating treatment of well-known biblical passages also make the volume accessible for all those interested in biblical interpretation informed by feminist criticism."
"A rich and valuable resource for anyone preaching or leading Bible study on Luke. It is a wide-ranging, thoughtful, readable book."
"An excellent book that makes a very important contribution to feminist scholarship on Luke. I highly recommend it not only for scholars, but also for preachers, teachers, pastors, and students of the Bible."
Religious Studies Review
"Strongly recommended; the readings are fresh and the scholarship is solid."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Spencer's skill as a clever wordsmith makes for a living writing style and an enjoyable read."
Choice (American Library Association)
"This detailed study by Spencer provides insights into the women Luke mentions. . . . A wealth of information is packed into each chapter of this book. . . . A judicious use of humor adds a certain spice to the overall serious nature of Spencer's analysis. . . . Recommended."
Worship Leader
"A thorough analysis of the women in Luke. . . . Offers an alternate, fresh view that paints these women as respectable, dignified, and empowered in their identity in Christ."
The Bible Today
"The refreshing good humor and verve of Spencer's prose does not offset the fact that this is a serious and constructive contribution to both Lukan studies and feminist methodology."
Trinity Journal
"Well-written and full of wit. . . . This book offers valuable interpretive insights that illuminate the female characters of Luke's narrative. Without a doubt these insights will have a significant impact on the wider issue of the marginalized in Luke."