May 15

BOOK REVIEW: Twelve Extraordinary Women

12 Extra Women


Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped
Women of the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You
Author: John MacArthur

I write studies about women in Scripture for how our character and circumstances might be like theirs. So when I picked up this book, I knew I would like it.

Part of what I liked was that it was written by John MacArthur—a respected pastor and author. I really liked that he picked several of the women I had already written books about (Eve, Ruth, Mary) and some women I am in the process of writing about (Rahab, Hannah, Mary and Martha). I really, really liked that MacArthur focused on some of the same lessons from those women I had also focused on.

For people who might be looking for an overview, MacArthur’s book is a great way to introduce several women at once. Specifically, he looked at Eve, Sarah, Rahab, Ruth, Hannah, Mary, Anna, the Samaritan Woman at the well, Mary and Martha, Mary Magdalene and Lydia and took each woman in order as we meet them in Scripture.

Other authors have focused on women in the Bible, labeling some of them “bad girls” or elevating others above the rest of womankind. MacArthur did a lovely job of looking at them dispassionately as human women, giving the reader enough historical, cultural and scriptural background to help us make sense of their character and actions from our modern perspective.

For me, reading the book was an exciting continuation of my study of individual women in Scripture. But since the book is concise and easy to read, it could be the delightful beginning of such a study for a more casual reader. A bonus is that a workbook is available for an additional cost, making the book a possible topic for an organized women’s Bible study.

Twelve Extraordinary Women nicely complements MacArthur’s previous book, Twelve Ordinary Men, a study of Jesus’ 12 disciples.

People’s lives have been recorded in Scripture—sometimes as examples for how to live; sometimes as examples of how not to live (or what we can learn from their mistakes). Twelve Extraordinary Women could be an inspiration for modern women seeking to live their faith today.


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