Catherine Brekus notes the central place of women’s stories in the biblical narrative.
The Bible includes many stories about women. And so on one hand, the Bible has been used to restrict women’s authority. The story about Adam and Eve has been used to blame women for sin coming into the world – there are two creation narratives, one in which Eve is created out of Adam’s rib, but another one that says, “God created man, male and female he created them”. So there’s a kind of simultaneous creation narrative.
So there are some biblical passages that really restrict women’s authority – there’s a Pauline text, “Let your women keep silence in the churches”. But the Bible is also full of extraordinary women who I think have inspired Christian women throughout history to do great things. We have women who were prophetesses. We have Deborah the judge and the prophet. We have Huldah, and Miriam, and Esther, who saved her people from destruction, and Phoebe, who’s described as a deaconess in the early church, and of course, Mary of Magdala, who in one of the Gospels is the first person to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus. And all of those stories have inspired women over time. And I think those stories help to explain why women have been so attracted to Christianity as a religion, because women play a central role in the biblical narrative.