Women in the Earliest Churches.
Cambridge University Press, 1991. 316p. Paperback. Series: Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, 59. This book examines the roles and functions that women assumed in the early Christian communities from AD 33 to the Council of Nicaea. It surveys, too, the views about women held by various New Testament authors including Paul and the Evangelists. In a careful and judicious study, Ben Witherington shows that early Christianity was neither unreservedly patriarchal nor adamantly feminist in its view of women and their roles, but rather charted a middle course which combined a reforming of the predominantly patriarchal framework of society with an affirmation of new religious roles for women. Now available in paperback, this is the first book to survey such a large amount of material exegetically, and make use, at the same time, of original languages and texts. (Publisher's information).