Change: Dr. Caryn Reeder Re-examines Misinterpretations, Unveiling the Samaritan Woman's Story

A World of Difference

Feb 15 2023 • 51 mins

In this podcast episode, Dr. Caryn A. Reeder examines the irony of the traditional interpretation of the Samaritan woman in John 4 and challenges long-held beliefs about women's roles in the church, illuminating the powerful role of women in the New Testament. Dr. Caryn A. Reeder is a professor of New Testament and the coordinator of the Gender Studies Program at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. She is the author of several books, including The Enemy in the Household, Family Violence in Deuteronomy and beyond, Gendering War and Peace and The Gospel of Luke, and her latest book, The Samaritan Woman's Story. In this podcast episode, Caryn Reeder examines the irony of the traditional interpretation of the Samaritan woman in John 4 and challenges long-held beliefs about women's roles in the church, illuminating the powerful role of women in the New Testament. "What if we recognize that and celebrated women's words in our own churches? Oh, I do. Definitely do. Yeah. Women are really important in the narrative. In John's gospel, Jesus public ministry starts because of a woman, because his mother tells him, take care of this problem with we've run out of wine at this wedding. Take care of it, Jesus. And he does it because his mother tells him to, and that is what it says in John." Dr. Caryn A. Reeder is a professor of New Testament and the coordinator of the Gender Studies Program at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. She is the author of several books, including The Enemy in the Household, Family Violence in Deuteronomy and beyond, Gendering War and Peace and The Gospel of Luke, and her latest book, The Samaritan Woman's Story. Caryn Reeder grew up on a farm in Illinois, where she was introduced to the Bible on an academic basis. After college, she went to Jerusalem and studied the Misinterpretation of the Samaritan Woman in the transcript. Caryn discovered that the traditional interpretation of the woman being an immoral outcast was damaging and silenced her story. Despite the traditional perspective of women being silenced, Caryn realized that in the New Testament, women were important participants and patrons in the early Christian communities. Caryn is now on a mission to change the perspective of women in the church and to celebrate their words. In this episode, you will learn the following: 1. How did the Bible's interpretation change over time and around the world? 2. What is the real story behind the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman? 3. What challenges does the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman pose to our views on gender, identity and who is worthy to understand and respond to Jesus? Resources: The Samaritan Woman's Story: Reconsidering John 4 After #Churchtoo Buy the book at the link above from IVP with code: AWORLD23 to get 30 percent off the ebook and physical book (plus free shipping) Other episodes you'll enjoy: Hannah Nation on Faithful Disobedience in China's House Churches Jenai Auman on Spiritual Abuse Survivors Winfield Bevins on Liturgical Mission Connect with me: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aworldof.difference/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A-World-of-Difference-613933132591673/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@aworldofdifference Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@awodpod LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aworldofdifference/ Website: https://www.aworldofdifferencepodcast.com Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here Chapter Summaries: [00:00:02] This episode is a special one for those of us who are interested in what the Bible actually says about certain women and from a woman's perspective. Dr. Karen A. Reeder is a professor of New Testament and coordination of the Gender Studies Program at Westmont College. She's here to talk about her latest book with IVP Press, the Samaritan Woman's Story. [00:01:39] Welcome to the world of Difference Podcast. I think there are many who have misunderstood the Samaritan woman for various reasons. I'm very excited about what we're going to discuss today. [00:02:11] Author's research has often been centered around issues of violence and family life and gender in the Bible. She says the women of the Bible preached about or researched or theologically understood through the lens of women has been lacking for a long time. For her, it's just a hobby. [00:05:07] What would you say we have gotten wrong about the Samaritan woman? Most sermons on her had all been preached by men. Once she started reading more like female theologians, she realized there was a different perspective. How do you walk through that? [00:14:46] The contrast in John's gospel between Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman challenges a lot of our stereotypes. It can be a lesson for us in the church to respect women in a way that Jesus does. [00:25:15] We have a couple of texts in the New Testament that do seem to silence women. But all the books are really contextual. They're written to particular people who are experiencing particular situations. What would you say to someone who says it's not okay for women to preach? [00:26:38] In the New Testament, we have a witness to women's significance, importance and contributions to the church. Maybe we shouldn't prioritize One Timothy chapter Two over this wide array of evidence. It's playing fast and loose with scripture when you don't take the time to look into something. [00:30:37] Some scholars have argued that what happened in the Church was connected to what was happening in Roman society more generally. Even though we have the primary voices of the time saying women should not have authority, women were still doing it. Reincorporating those women into our church history is also really important. [00:34:31] My New Testament intro classes are one of the classes that all students at Westmont College are expected to take. Using those as lenses to help read Scripture is really revolutionary for a lot of students. Getting the lenses to examine scripture and what it might have meant for its earliest audiences is a game changer. [00:36:15] Coming back to this issue of Women and the Bible. I gave the students a chapter from Kat Armis's Abuelita Theology. It sparked so much conversation among the students. I hope that it will open a whole new way of reading and understanding scripture. [00:38:43] Lori ADBR: In this Change series, we're embracing change. She says it can be very uncomfortable to change our minds. But when new information comes our way, we get to take it in, research it, try to understand it. She hopes this podcast has brought new information to you. Become a patron of this podcast, and enjoy free merch. Join other patrons of this podcast at Patreon. ********** The A World of Difference Podcast is brought to you in partnership with Missio Alliance. Join us to discuss this episode, previous episodes or for other thoughtful conversations at our Facebook group. We'd love to have you stop by and share your perspective. Stay In Touch: Connect on Facebook and Instagram with thoughts, questions, and feedback. Rate, review and share this podcast with anyone that would love to listen.   Find Us Online: @aworldof.difference on Instagram A World of Difference on Facebook, Linktree,on Twitter at @loriadbr or loriadamsbrown.comLoved this episode? Leave us a review and rating. Click here to review Become a patron of this podcast, and enjoy free merch. Join other patrons of this podcast at Patreon. Mentioned in this episode: Join us on Patreon If you haven't joined us yet on Patreon, this is your official invitation to join us as we go deeper in the conversation. patreon.com/aworldofdifference Do you want to go deeper? Join us in Difference Makers, a community where we watch and discuss exclusive content that truly makes a difference. Give us $5 a month (the price of a latte), and join in on the conversation with our host Lori and others who want to make a difference. We'd love to have you join us! Patreon Join Difference Makers Join us in our membership community for exclusive content for only $5/month at https://www.patreon.com/aworldofdifference. We go deeper with each guest, and it makes such a difference. Patreon This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacyPodtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp

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