Gender studies and biblical interpretation: (How) Does theory matter?

  • Jeremy Punt University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: Gender theory, Greek and Roman world, Classical culture, Feminism, Masculinity, Patriarchy, 1 Timothy 2:8-15


Investigations of gender in biblical texts have increased over the last decade or two, also on the African continent. However, the deployment of theoretical and methodological approaches among biblical scholars often still betray conventional alignments, invoking identity-political stances and popularised notions of gender. Biblical studies can benefit much from cross-disciplinary theoretical work on gender, especially from the ancient Hellenistic and Roman contexts, as well as gender critical appropriation informed by modern sociological and anthropological work. Accountable gender theory and related responsible methodologies engender responsible engagements with the complexities involved in gender-critical biblical studies. The argument that gender theory matter in biblical interpretation is briefly demonstrated with reference to 1 Timothy 2:8-15.