Women Scholars and the Gospels and Acts

This bibliography highlights the scholarship of women biblical interpreters. The focus is on textbooks, commentaries, introductions, and reference works on the Gospels and Acts.

This is intended as a kind of wiki-page: place your recommendation in the comments and I will transfer them into the main text if they are relevant to this topic. Preference is given to confessional/orthodox works (though you will notice several important exceptions), since this list is especially meant to aid seminary students.

General Resources/Background/Introductions

IVP Women’s Bible Commentary (ed. C.C. Kroeger and M.J. Evans; IVP, 2002)

Women’s Bible Commentary (ed. C.A. Newsom, S.H. Ringe, C.E. Lapsley; Westminster John Knox, 2012)

Helen Bond, Caiaphas: Friend of Rome and Judge of Jesus? (Westminster John Knox, 2004).

Lynn Cohick, Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life (Baker, 2009).

Lynn Cohick, ed. The New Testament in Antiquity (with G. Burge and G. Green; Zondervan, 2009).

Morna Hooker, Beginnings: Keys That Open the Gospels (Wipf & Stock, 2010).

Morna Hooker, Endings: Invitations to Discipleship (Baker, 2003).

Louise Lawrence, Sense and Stigma in the Gospels: Depictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters (Oxford, 2013).

Pheme Perkins, Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels (Eerdmans, 2009).

Barbara Reid, Parables for Preachers (multiple volumes; Liturgical Press, 1999-2001)

Barbara Reid, Taking Up the Cross: New Testament Interpretation through Latina and Feminist Eyes (Fortress, 2007).

Beth Sheppard, The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament (Society of Biblical Literature, 2012).

Marianne Meye Thompson, Introducing the New Testament (with J.B. Green and Paul Achteiemer)


A.J. Levine, A Feminist Companion to Matthew (T & T Clark, 2001).

Lidija Novakovic, Messiah, the Healer of the Sick: A Study of Jesus as the Son of David in the Gospel of Matthew (Mohr Siebeck, 2003).

Barbara Reid, The Gospel According to Matthew (New Collegeville Bible Commentary, 2005).

Mitzi Smith, ed. Teaching All the Nations: Interrogating the Matthean Great Commission (co-editor with J. Lalitha; Fortress, 2014)


Mary Ann Beavis, Mark (Baker, 2011).

Adela Yarbro Collins, Mark (Fortress, 2007).

Sharyn Dowd, Reading Mark (Helwys, 2000).

Mary Healy, The Gospel of Mark (Baker, 2008).

Morna Hooker, The Gospel According to Saint Mark (Baker, 2009).

A.J. Levine, A Feminist Companion to Mark (T & T Clark, 2004).

Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, Hearing Mark: A Listener’s Guide (T & T Clark, 2002)

–, Mark’s Jesus: Characterization as Narrative Christology (Baylor Univ. Press, 2009)

Mitzi Minor, The Spirituality of Mark (Westminster John Knox, 1996).

Pheme Perkins, Mark (New Interpreters Bible; Abingdon, 1995)

Bonnie Thurston, The Spiritual Landscape of Mark (Liturgical Press, 2008).

–, Maverick Mark: The Untamed Gospel (Liturgical Press, 2013).

–, Preaching Mark (Fortress, 2001).


Beverly Gaventa, Acts (Abingdon, 2003)

A.J. Levine, A Feminist Companion to Luke (T & T Clark, 2002); Acts (2005)

Judith Lieu, The Gospel of Luke (Epworth Commentary, 2012)

Sharon Ringe, Luke (Westminster John Knox, 1995).


Jo-ann Brant, John (Baker, 2011).

Ruth B. Edward, Discovering John (SPCK, 2014).

A.J. Levine, A Feminist Companion to John (T & T Clark, 2003).

Gail R. O’Day, John (New Interpreters Bible; Abingdon, 1996)

Sandra Schneiders, Written That You May Believe: Encountering Jesus in the Fourth Gospel (Crossroad, 2003).

–, Jesus Risen in Our Midst: Essays on the Resurrection of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel (Michael Glazier, 2013)

Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John (Eerdmans, 2001)

Women in the Gospels and Acts

Frances Taylor Gench, Back to the Well: Women’s Encounters with Jesus in the Gospels (Westminster John Knox, 2004).

Barbara Reid, Choosing the Better Part?: Women in the Gospel of Luke (Michael Glazier, 1996).

Forthcoming (as of fall, 2014)

Loveday Alexander on Acts (Blacks)

Jeannine Brown on Matthew (Teach the Text); on Luke (New Covenant)

Christine Joynes on Mark (Blackwell)

AJ Levine on Luke (with Ben Witherington (New Cambridge)

Karoline Lewis, John (Fortress Preaching) ~ coming Dec 2014

Kindalee Pfremmer Delong on Luke (Story of God)

Mary Schertz on Luke (Believers)

Marianne Meye Thompson on John (New Testament Library)


17 thoughts on “Women Scholars and the Gospels and Acts

  1. [This may be more than you want, Nijay, especially if you’re not wanting monographs and articles—please feel free to edit!]
    Loveday Alexander’s commentary is purely on Acts. And note this by her, gathering lots of her articles together:
    Alexander, Loveday C. A., Acts in its Ancient Literary Context: A Classicist Looks at the Acts of the Apostles, LNTS 298, London: T. & T. Clark International, 2005.
    On Luke-Acts and women, note:
    Seim, Turid Karlsen, The Double Message: Patterns of Gender in Luke-Acts, SNTW, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1994.
    Smith, Mitzi J., The Literary Construction of the Other in the Acts of the Apostles: Charismatics, the Jews, and Women, Cambridge: James Clarke, 2011.
    Finger, Reta Halteman, Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007.
    Also note:
    Wilson, Brittany, ‘The Blinding of Paul and the Power of God: Masculinity, Sight, and Self-Control in Acts 9,’ JBL 133 (2014) 367-387.
    Wendel, Susan J., Scriptural Interpretation and Community Self-definition in Luke-Acts and the Writings of Justin Martyr, NovTSup 139, Leiden: Brill, 2011.
    Eisen, Ute E., ‘Fiction and Imagination in Early Christian Literature: The Acts of the Apostles as a Test Case,’ in Hanna Liss and Manfred Oeming, eds, Literary Construction of Identity in the Ancient World: Proceedings of the Conference Literary Fiction and the Construction of Identity in Ancient Literatures: Options and Limits of Modern Literary Approaches in the Exegesis of Ancient Texts, Heidelberg, July 10-13, 2006, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbraun, 2006, 215-33.
    Chen, Diane G., God as Father in Luke-Acts, Studies in Biblical Literature 92, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Peter Lang, 2006.
    Levinskaya, Irina, The Book of Acts in its Diaspora Setting, A1CS 5, Grand Rapids/Carlisle: Eerdmans/Paternoster, 1996.
    Bonz, Marianne Palamer, The Past as Legacy: Luke-Acts and Ancient Epic, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000.
    Cheng, Ling, The Characterisation of God in Acts: The Indirect Portrayal of an Invisible Character, PBM, Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2011.
    Kahl, Brigitte, ‘Acts of the Apostles: Pro(to)-Imperial Script and Hidden Transcript,’ in Richard A. Horsley, ed., In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008, 137-56.
    Maloney, Linda, All That God Had Done with Them: The Narration of the Works of God in the Early Christian Community as Described in the Acts of the Apostles, American University Studies, series VII, Theology and Religion; vol. 91, New York: Peter Lang, 1991.
    Maxwell, Kathy Reiko, Hearing between the Lines: The Audience as Fellow-worker in Luke-Acts and its Literary Milieu, LNTS 425, London: T. & T. Clark, 2010.
    Read-Heimerdinger, Jenny, The Bezan Text of Acts: A Contribution of Discourse Analysis to Textual Criticism, JSNTSup 236, London: Sheffield Academic, 2002.
    Rosenblatt, Marie-Eloise, RSM, Paul the Accused: His Portrait in the Acts of the Apostles, Zaccheus Studies: NT, Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press, 1995.
    Slee, Michelle, The Church in Antioch in the First Century CE: Communion and Conflict, JSNTSup 244, London: Sheffield Academic, 2003.

    On Matthew:
    Davies, Margaret, Matthew, Readings: A New Biblical Commentary, Sheffield: JSOT, 1993.
    Lawrence, Louise J., An Ethnography of the Gospel of Matthew: A Critical Assessment of the Use of the Honour and Shame Model in New Testament Studies, WUNT 2/165, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

  2. Hi, Nijay! A couple additions for Matthew:

    Celia Deutsch
    —Hidden Wisdom and the Easy Yoke: Wisdom, Torah and Discipleship in Matthew 11: 25-30.
    —Lady Wisdom, Jesus, and the Sages: Metaphor and Social Context in Matthew’s Gospel

  3. 5 more names on John come to mind, each of whom has a couple of monographs – Adele Reinhartz, Catrin Williams, Wendy (Sproston) North, Dorothy Lee, and Mary Coloe.

  4. Shelly Matthews’ The Acs of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire is a helpful, short introduction. Makes some controversial claims about Acts, but I think it will stretch the reader. Adele Reinhartz’s Caiaphas the High Priest would pair well with Bond’s book on Caiaphas.

  5. So, it’s a little older but I think it’s worth mentioning Hildegard of Bingen’s Homilies on the Gospels.

  6. This is helpful, Nijay. It seems like the recommendations in the comments are moving far beyond “textbooks, commentaries, introductions, and reference works”; although this might make the wiki-style list even more helpful (and more unwieldy!). To add to the list of forthcoming commentaries, Diane Chen is scheduled to write the volume on Luke in the New Covenant Commentary Series. It’s a couple of years off though. And to add to the expanded list of books, Pickwick Publications has two monographs on Matthew: Wilson, Carol B. For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: Pragmatics of Food Access in the Gospel of Matthew; Clements, E. Anne. Mothers on the Margin?: The Significance of the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy.

    1. Thanks, Chris. I might add a “Special Studies” Section and add some of these, but probably not all of them. I knew W & S did a good job supporting female scholars. Well done!

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