The movement to establish the equality of the sexes by securing greater justice for women. Many involved women blame the Judaeo‐Christian tradition for the devaluation of women and are alienated from it. The Bible is portrayed as the word of men who have projected their own selfish interests upon it. They grieve over OT accounts of the oppression and violation of women (e.g. at the extreme, the death of Jephthah's daughter, Judg. 11, and the concubine in Judg. 19, and the rape of Tamar, 2 Sam. 13). Rejection, rape, dismemberment, and sacrifice stain the modern era no less. In the NT a view of masculine superiority is reflected in the irony of Gal. 4: 24, for example, and in the ‘household codes’, 1 Pet. 3 etc. However, there is an authentic Christian feminism maintained by women and men who remain within the Churches and claim support for feminist insights within the Bible. There is a link here with modern liberation theology in so far as feminist theologians have discerned their struggle even in early Christians' freedom from the patriarchy society of the Graeco‐Roman world. It is not denied that traditional Christianity is too overtly masculine, but, it is suggested, it can be presented in a way that does justice to the proper needs of women, who equally with men, have been made in the image of God (Gen. 1: 27). Indeed, there are motherhood metaphors for God in the OT (Isa. 42: 14) and already enhanced roles for women are ascribed to such as Ruth and Esther.

Christian feminists point also to the teaching and attitude of Jesus, who overcame the limitations of his local environment by his welcome to Gentiles as well as Jews, and to women as well as men. Typical of his attitude is the dialogue with the Syro‐Phoenician woman (Mark 7: 24–30) and the healing of the woman with menorrhagia (Mark 5: 24–34), and he accepted the love of the woman who anointed him (Luke 7: 38). Women were the first of the disciples to be told of his resurrection (Mark 16: 6). In the gospel of John the mother of Jesus, the two sisters Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene are prominent. In the Church, leadership is exercised by such women as Priscilla (Rom. 16: 3), Chloe (1 Cor. 1: 11), and the deacon Phoebe (Rom. 16: 1), and Junia (not Junias as RV) was ‘prominent among the apostles’ (Rom. 16: 7). The feminine vision is of a discovery of equals. The gospel of Luke is often regarded as particularly sympathetic to women—but, it must be admitted, they do seem to be presented once in roles of service and subordination to men (Luke 8: 2–3).