Almar H. Shatford Professor of New Testament Susan E. Hylen has released a new book with Eerdmans Publishing Company. In Finding Phoebe: What New Testament Women Were Really Like, Hylen seeks to influence readers’ understanding of New Testament women by presenting first-century primary sources to shine light on their lives. She utilizes historical context, scriptural evidence, discussion questions, and insightful scholarship to challenge popular conceptions of women of the time—such as the idea that they were submissive and reserved.
Instead, Hylen emphasizes that women led in their communities as landowners and professionals in a variety of jobs outside the home. She also provides more context around the concepts of “modesty” and “silence” in the Greco-Roman world, showing their significance for both men and women in practicing self-control for the good of society.
Ultimately, Hylen’s work urges readers—whether pastors or laypeople—to abandon what they think they know about women of the New Testament and reflect on them in their own context.