In 1895, The Woman’s Bible was published by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Revising Committee
“We took sweet counsel together…” –Ps Iv., 14.
The opening paragraph of the study guide for the Woman’s Bible states:
The Woman’s Bible is a commentary, i.e. a series of explanatory notes, annotations, remarks or observations. In this sense it is not unlike other commentaries which have been written for the purpose of broadening our understanding of the Bible itself. The difference is that it was written by women in an effort to challenge the biblically based teaching of the church which served to subordinate women. It discusses only those portions of the Bible which refer to women or blatantly omit any reference to them. Also unlike other commentaries, the Woman’s Bible was written by a group who shared a common concern to counter the negative and secondary image of women most often read from the biblical text.
Ms. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the Honorary President of the National-American Suffrage Association, a wife and mother of many children, and quite a scholar in her own right. She felt that if women were to achieve their greatest and best potential then she had to test the bonds which kept the Bible as a tool to hold women in a “divinely ordained sphere.”
I hope lots of American Woman will honor Ms. Stanton and her committee’s hard won rights and vote in the US Elections this week. I hope they keep in mind the strong efforts that woman fought to achieve educational parity for woman also. For my hat is raised high to all of the committee and their efforts on my behalf for taking on this endeavor and sharing their fine scholarship with those who followed them!
In 1974 another powerful group of woman gathered together to have the The Woman’s Bible republished, and the Coalition Task Force on Women and Religion achieved their goal in Seattle, Washington in May of that year.
The Coalition Task Force did not stop there, they gathered up a young woman Intern from Yale Divinity School and a fresh graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary who was struggling to be Ordained and put us on the committee to assist them in editing and researching the study guide to go along with the Woman’s Bible. It was a heady experience and it was the first time that I was in a group of woman who thought I had every right to be Ordained and participate in the life and ministry of a church.
It was this group of woman from so many denominations, who connected me to Campus Ministries and opened the door to my working experiences.
I wanted to say thank you out loud and share my gratitude with you for these remarkable women’s groups that truly changed our history and opened many doors.
It is the season of gratitude. Why don’t you share the name of a woman or group that opened a door for you?
I would like to know their names and stories.