Thursday, June 11, 2015

Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur Review

Title: Twelve Extraordinary Women
Author: John MacArthur
Pages: 206 pages
Published: November 1st 2005 by Nelson Books
Source: Library, purchased ebook
Links: goodreads,

Celebrated for their courage, vision, hospitality, and spiritual giftedness, it's no wonder women were so important to God's plan revealed in the Old and New Testaments. It wasn't their natural qualities that made these women extraordinary but the power of the one true God whom they worshipped and served. In "Twelve Extraordinary Women," you'll learn more than fascinating information about these women, you'll discover-perhaps for the first time-the unmistakable chronology of God's redemptive work in history through their lives. These women were not ancillary to His plan, they were at the very heart of it. Some of the women you'll come to know include: Ruth (Ruth 1-4) Anna (Luke 2:36-38) Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42) Mary Magdalene (Matthew 27:56-61) Sarah (Genesis 11-25) Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2) The Samaritan woman (John 4 Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1-2) You will be challenged and motivated by this poignant and personal look into the lives of some of the Bible's most faithful women. Their struggles and temptations are the same trials faced by all believers in all ages. And the God to whom they were so committed is the same God who continues to mold and use ordinary people today.
Ok, let's be honest. I am not much into reading religious books unless it's the Bible. Then last year I was having a difficult time so I decided to join a Bible study with my in-laws.  We do the Bible study over Facetime, my father in law usually leads it.  I was quite excited to be studying the women of the Bible.  I am fascinated with some of them.  The Bible study is a Protestant community, and I am the only Catholic in the group.

Each week we studied a different woman. I enjoyed reading about women I didn't really know too much about and finding inspiration from them.   Though one thing I felt about this book was that a lot of it was his opinion instead of stating facts. I found reading it that he kept saying that motherhood was the most important thing a woman could do.  This I don't agree with since I don't want kids.  Does that mean my life is worthless??   The book was nice and was good for a Bible Study.

The problem I personally had with this book was the chapter on Mary the Mother of Jesus.  As a Catholic we believe strongly in Mary .. very different from other religions.  I won't go into detail here because well... it's complicated.  Basically Catholic's take their beliefs about Mary from sources other then the Bible. That is hard for religious people who are of a faith that only take from the bible.  I talked in depth with my father-in-law about this but he wasn't going to change my mind about Mary and I was going to (or trying to) change his. I almost skipped the night of Bible study when we studied Mary but I thought.. well why not.  The study that night was just fine.. though still awkward.  

For those of you looking for a nice read about the Women in the Bible then this is a good book.  I liked having a book to study along with Bible study rather then just reading passages of the Bible and trying to find meaning in it. Bible study for us takes a break over the summer and starts back up in the fall.  I am hoping they pick another book to study.  When the book got to the chapter with Mary I realized I wanted to connect a little more with other Catholics... but otherwise the rest of the book didn't make me feel so different from other religions.

Have you read any great books about religion that really helped you study it???


  1. Lisa @ Captivated ReaderJune 11, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    I haven't read any books about religion that I can strongly recommend.... However, with that said, I've heard really good things about Women of the Bible: 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E. Syswerda. I want to read this book for myself.

  2. Thank you for that recommendation. I will look into it. I just like learning new things... this really was my first religious book so I don't even know what to compare it to.

  3. I know what you mean about how it turned more towards opinions than facts. When I took my religions course we had two textbooks and one was so opinionated it made me cringe. I prefer writing that tells you facts and then you can make of it what you will. Anyways, I like that you decided to try something different for a change. I do have a rec though, I am also Catholic so some opinions in this book were against what I believed but I thought it was so interesting and really thought-provoking while not feeling textbook like.

  4. YES YES... I prefer writing that isn't telling me what to believe. I get that when I am at church. I wanted to simply learn about the women of the Bible. Who they were and why they should inspire me. Is that link to a book called Strange Histories??? It didn't look religious at all!!! But I am always willing to try new things and learn about different point of views.

  5. Yeah it is! Lol, I realized that after I sent it to you but it was part of my religions class and does focus a bit on religion, a bit more on heresy. Like one of the chapters talked about how they used to put animals on trial for crimes because they thought they might have been secretly demons. They even gave them lawyers and everything. It's pretty random now that I think about it, ah well xD