The Samaritan Woman's Story

Reconsidering John 4 After #ChurchToo

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Pub Date 15 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 17 Mar 2022

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Description

Most Christians have heard a familiar description of the Samaritan woman in John 4: she was a sinner, an adulteress, even a prostitute. Throughout church history, the woman at the well has been seen narrowly in terms of her gender and marital history. What are we missing in the story? And what difference does our interpretation of this passage make for women and men in the church? Caryn A. Reeder calls us to see the Samaritan woman in a different light. Beginning with the reception history of John 4, she pulls back layers of interpretation entangled with readers' assumptions on women and sexuality. She then explores the story's original context, describing life for women and expectations regarding marriage and divorce in the first century. With this clarified lens, Reeder's exegesis of the passage yields refreshing insights on what the Gospel says—and does not say—about the woman at the well. Throughout the book, Reeder draws connections between interpretations of this text and the life of the church. The sexual objectification of the Samaritan woman and minimization of her positive contribution has ongoing consequences for how women are seen and treated—including in the failure of many Christian communities to respond well to accusations of abuse. In the age of #MeToo and #ChurchToo, The Samaritan Woman's Story offers a bold challenge to teach the Bible in a way that truly honors the value and voices of women.

Most Christians have heard a familiar description of the Samaritan woman in John 4: she was a sinner, an adulteress, even a prostitute. Throughout church history, the woman at the well has been seen...


Advance Praise

"If ever a story needs retelling, it is that of the falsely maligned Samaritan woman (John 4). Reeder sets the record straight—the Samaritan woman is not the sexual sinner alleged by previous commentators. Reeder brings to life the woman's historical circumstances and expertly locates this story within the overarching narrative and theology of John's Gospel. Reeder reclaims the Samaritan woman's voice for the church today. Beautifully written, pastors and lay leaders alike will be inspired and encouraged to raise up women theologians, teachers, and evangelists."

-Lynn H. Cohick, provost and dean of academic affairs, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

"If ever a story needs retelling, it is that of the falsely maligned Samaritan woman (John 4). Reeder sets the record straight—the Samaritan woman is not the sexual sinner alleged by previous...


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ISBN 9781514000601
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