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Photo courtesy of Abingdon Press

The editors of The CEB Women's Bible are (from left) the Rev. Christine A. Chakoian, the Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, the Rev. Jaime Clark-Soles, the Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli and the Rev. Rachel Baughman.

Abingdon releases CEB Women’s Bible


By Sam Hodges
March-April 2017


The recently released CEB Women's Bible can be an excellent resource anytime – and especially in March for Women's History Month.

While the Bible is far more than a history book, it does include the stories of ancient people – including women – and their practices. The new volume from Abingdon Press is the latest specialty edition of the Common English Bible, a collaborative effort by mainline Protestants to provide a contemporary translation strong on accuracy and readability.

This Bible, like most of the other special editions, offers Holy Land maps, introductions to the books of the Old and New testaments and footnotes. Unique is its emphasis on the women in the Bible.

An index lists all of the women, named and unnamed, in both testaments. There are biographical sketches of many — familiar figures, such as Mary and Naomi, but also Merab, Junia and even Mephibosheth's nurse.

Brief articles draw on scripture to address such issues as fertility, birth control, miscarriage, menopause, abortion, same-gender love, head-covering, "God as Mother," body image, glass ceiling and harassment.

All five editors are women. The Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli and the Rev. Rachel Baughman are United Methodist. The Rev. Jaime Clark-Soles teaches at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. All 80 of the commentary contributors are women. The team includes mainly seminary professors and pastors, but also Christian novelists and a rabbi.

"I think the vast, inclusive number of women's voices that we have represented in the writings is beautiful and wonderful," said Gaines-Cirelli, senior pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington.

Adapted from a story by Sam Hodges originally published by United Methodist News Service.