Woman Lives Biblically: Feminist Calls Husband “Master”

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A woman who decided to live “biblically” for one year and wrote a book about her findings is garnering heaps of praise and criticism for her decision.

Rachel Held Evans, who describes herself as a feminist Christian, says her end goal had everything to do with being a woman, despite what her critics are saying.

Evans says she wanted “To call into question that there is a single blueprint of how to be a woman. There’s no single model in the Bible – as soon as you think you have found it a woman comes along and breaks it. Everyone picks and chooses. There are verses that say ‘submit to your husband’, but also those that say ‘submit to one another’. The more women know about the bible the more they can respond when people try to silence them.”

During what she calls “The Womanhood Project“, Evans made her own clothes, grew her hair out, lived outside her home in a tent when she was having her period, called her husband “Master”, and sat alone on the roof of her home as penance after deciding she had been gossiping or nagging, which comes from the Bible verse “it is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman”. In doing so, she hoped to gain a greater understanding of the Bible and a woman’s role according to it, which is sometimes presented as contradictory passages.

Unfortunately, because her book, “A Year Of Biblical Womanhood”, contains the word “vagina” it will not be carried by Christian bookstore chain Lifeway. When asked about it, Evans said, “I don’t know if they were more offended by my vagina or my brain. The only thing I know is that my editor said, ‘If you leave this word in, there’s a good chance LifeWay won’t carry it.’”





Woman Lives Biblically: Feminist Calls Husband “Master”
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  • Jesus

    She should’ve stayed in school.

  • Sandra Rinaldi

    What did her husband think before, during and after this project?

  • A. Stuart

    Living in a tent is not Biblical. They stayed in a separate room and did not interact with the family. They also did not prepare meals during their cycle – wonder if she followed that one.

  • Scott

    What does she mean by Biblically? Merely going by the words written in the Bible doesn’t mean living a Godly life.

    • Serena

      read the article, not just the headline. The details are therein.

  • Hiding Startup

    “They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.” – Hebrews 9:10

    It sounds like she missed this key New Testament concept and its implications.

  • Lenny Bruce Jacobs

    She is living like she is in the 12th century….so what?…the Muslim world does it every day….

  • Hiding Startup

    Or here “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” – Hebrews 8:13

    and regarding Biblically “unclean”
    “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” – Hebrews 10:14


    Has been done before here as well: http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/yolb.asp

  • Serena

    The most ridiculous item in this article is the fact that because she uses the word ‘vagina’ the Christian book store won’t carry it. I think she did what writers do. She found a topic she wanted to write about, did her research, and wrote the book. I’d like to read it, even if I wouldn’t follow the example to the letter, I think it’s an interesting perspective on how women are portrayed in the bible vs. how secular people perceive women to be portrayed in the bible. I’m interested to see how right or wrong the perception is.

  • H. Campbell

    I really like the idea of a woman—of ANYONE—taking the Holy Bible seriously. So, congrats to Mrs. Evans for doing this experiment for a whole year and then writing & publishing her findings. Good going, girl! And the philosophy that there is more than one blueprint for living also helps. As to the “Lifeway” bookstore chain & their refusal to sell Mrs. Evans’ book just because she retained the word “vagina” in the text of said book, I have this to say. Yes, a bookstore—ANY bookstore—has the right to choose what to sell & what to refuse. Okay. However, nobody has the right to spread ignorance, and nobody has the right to insist on focusing on the wrong thing. The “Lifeway” people need to see the larger picture that this book presents, namely, how to interpret Scripture in a way that is really useful & helpful in one’s life, and how to live the Biblical life based on that very helpful interpretation. Besides, “vagina” is the Latin term for “tunnel”, “sheath”, “canal” or “tube”. I say this last sentence for the benefit of the “Lifeway” bookstore owners.

    • Angela

      I wonder if they would have published it if she had called it a whoowhoo, or Vajayjay of some other stupid term. It’s a body part not porn.

  • Africaman

    My wife can’t live biblically for five minutes!

    • Pat Hardy

      Are you living according to the Bible? And before you answer yes, have you read every word?

  • Joseph

    The most ridiculous thing about this is that a dude already wrote a book about doing this. I love how creative she was with her idea.


    His book is great, her book is a complete ripoff.

    • Cheryl

      While we, as Christians,need to know the Old Testament to fully understand the New Testament, Jesus became the new and everlasting covenant. By doing so the laws of the old testament were abolished. The man should leave hid parents and cling to his wife, and women leaves her fathers house and becomes 1/2 of a covenant. The man is to be the “head” while the woman is to be the “heart”. Together they respect each other and represent a covenant unto each other. No master no sir no one higher or lower than the other. Equal parts. This woman really needs to go back and read the bible and maybe discuss it with some friends. Oh yah…and prayer for discernment.

    • Cheryl

      Wow! Someone other than myself knows The Book of Solomon or Solomons Song. There you find the answers of how men and women should treat each other. Kudos!

  • Bill

    Many passages in the Bible are poems and prose which are presented metaphorically. To take EVERY word literally is NOT living Biblically. Aside from that, I applaud her attempt and find her story intriguing. I would love to read her husband’s book, if he has written or will write one! Imagine guys being married to a true Proverbs 31 wife, one who fully embraces the beauty of Solomon’s Song. WOW!! You would be experiencing heaven on earth! :>)

  • William

    Several thoughts on this article. First, what she did hurt not one so whatever she wants to do is fine with me. Second, I would not raise my daughters to be this way. I am a Christian and I know what the Bible says about this matter BUT it takes two to tango. Any man that wants to be called MASTER in a marriage is a megalomaniac. In my marriage, I view my wife as more than equal. She is MENSA, she is intuitive, she is more talented than I. We approach life as a team and make our own rules as to how we conduct our relationship. To date, we are very successful. I look at the Middle East and the way women are treated there even up to the point of berka and head covering. If you take the New Testament book, I Corinthians, literally, then Christian women would follow this practice. Been there, got the T-shirt, moved on.

  • Betty

    Jesus left two very important messages, love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself. Because she chose to live as she did does not say her life was Godly.

  • giselle


  • http://iosdeveloperforums.com Scott

    When are we going to get pst the dark ages. Do people not realize that dark ages were a direct result of religious wars and dogmas.

  • Brad 34695

    Chasidic women live this way all the time. I’m not sure why this is newsworthy?

    • Frost

      It is newsworthy because most people aren’t Chasidic.

  • http://yahoo patsy olive

    I believe that she did this for praise and attention,and so she could
    write a book about it,beside when Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross the old testment was nailed with him and we are no longer to live by the old law, but the new one which is the new testment that we
    are to live by now.

    • dorothy

      That is not true. You have to take the bible as a whole. He came to fulfill the law now change it. We are suppose to go by the old laws along with new

      • Momma Rose


  • Jenni Murphy

    Why would you live according to the old testament?? If she wants to live bibically she should live according to how the New testament says to live. I think this is more a publicity stunt rather than really wanting to live like a biblical wife

  • kerry

    Well…why does she look crazy ? That smiles not normal

  • Amron

    Stupid is as stupid does. What woman in todays’ society wants to be subservient to men! That makes them no better than a dog. We are equal. In my opinion women might even be superior to men. I bow down to none! Religion is just a MAN made idea to keep the masses i check. Who needs it.

    • jose

      wow ,its o.k to feel that way,I hear they need people in hell.

  • Nick Ames

    Chill, people! Books like this can be Interesting, whatever style the person is doing. “Christians” who would exclude a book because it has vagina in it?! they should read Song of Solomon in the Old Testament….Shocking !!!

  • ShaVonne

    She did not live “biblically” she lived in way that sarcastically depicted scripture.

  • http://yahoo teri

    I feel the author was a little extreme, her bliblical living, could not have been very true to the period, due to our modern conveniences. For the person who commented women are equal to men, well, we’re not.
    We are not equal to men, men are equal to other men, and women are equal to other women. Men are anatomically different then men, that’s the most obvious difference. Our differences don’t indicate they’re better then us, it just means we are not the same. Women can carry babies, men cannot, another obvious differentiation. We are both resourceful in different ways and I am very proud to say, I have never compared myself to a man. There’s no comparison.

    • Martha

      Well said Teri!

  • Ann

    Such an extraordinary degree of missing the point as to what it means to “live biblically” can, obviously, only be deliberate. For example, how outlandish can you get balancing on top of a slanted roof as self-imposed “penance” for various “misbehaviors.” Her interpretation of the proverb is beyond bizarre. The proverb creates the image of a husband confining himself to the (flat) roof (an area of the house still commonly used today for as a kind of porch area on houses in the East) to get away from a contentious, unpleasant wife. This would be comparable today to a husband shutting himself up in a tiny home office or something to get away from his constantly critical wife. There’s no connection whatsoever between Ms. Evans’ facetiously self-punishing act and the message of the proverb!

    This isn’t “living Biblically,” it’s blatant mockery.

    • Melanie

      I agree completely. It’s exactly what I was thinking as I looked also at the mocking faces she gave in the pictures. The Bible teaches us to live humbly, not look as tho we’re on The Price Is Right while we’re making our clothes or hanging out in the “menstruation tent”. I hope no one seriously follows in her ridiculous footsteps.

    • mary

      so…if women lived separately and didnt cook meals for the family during their monthly cycle and all women in a household cycle together..stands to reason God says men can cook once in awhile, lol! :) I agree..the bible is full of contridictions, we are ment as humand to interpept things differently just as all people are individuals…example: bible says to stone people to death for their crimes, but also says let he without sin cast the first stone…temper judgement with mercy always..only God may fully judge.

      • jose

        you need to pick up the bible;it contridicts lol;shows how much youve read.they were going to stone a harlot woman,thenJESUS said let the first one without sin cast a stone abolishing that old testament law.whats fully judge mean,we are all sinnersjudged by god who sent his son to cleanse us.you are righteous through christ but i guess you have yet to read your bible…

        • Abe

          It is possible to correct someones ideas of the bible without criticizing them. Sounds like you are throwing a few stones in your response to mary just as you are explaining not to unless you are without sin. Better words next time might help her to read her bible more and understand what the true message is. God’s Peace!

  • Stefanie

    Who was she trying to prove something to? Well, it sounds interesting. I would like to read her book.

  • Brian

    I have mixed feelings about this. I agree with all about the publicity stunt attempted here, but commend the woman for wanting to understand biblical life. If the woman meant well and really was serious about this, she should have done this a different way. To enslave yourself to your husband and degrade yourself for a natual body function is pointless and unGodly. There is no human who is more superior than the other. Only God who is the most superior of all. I agree with william about going through life as a team. That is the whole purpose of a male and female. The two need to build companionship and love to bring each other closer to themselves and God. Both men and women have opposite abilities and personalies that allow life to be dealt with only when brought together. I want to believe this woman meant well, but the way she misunderstood alot of the reasoning of the past practices in the bible, and smiles in her pictures as if an audience were watching, I’d say this was all for publicity!

  • Esthella

    I wish I could do you. Maybe I would be blessed (I don’t know). God bless the husband you have because He understood. In this era, that marriage would not exist or he would really treat you like shit because he is that priviledged. LOL!!

  • Thomasina

    I agree with Ann and Melanie. I think this woman is NUTS. Thos pictures do look like she is on ‘The Price Is Right’ not like she is living humbly and biblically. What a publicity stunt!

  • Karen More

    A woman who lives Biblically is a Christ-centered, Christ-loving, Christ-obeying woman who (by the way) strives in everything she does to be pleasing to Him by her gentle and quiet spirit. Biblical living at its core is denying yourself, taking up your cross and following Christ. Until you have done that, you can sit on the corner of a rooftop or in a hole in the ground and you will NOT be living as a Biblical woman. Get to know Jesus Christ and then and only then will you experience REAL Biblical living!

  • http://Yahoo Nancy

    I think that the Bible is clear and states that a woman is her husband’s most prized gift.God created man and then made him a helper and partner called woman.. An honorable woman is a man’s greatest gift. So woman should be honorable at all times.. No matter what season she is in.

    • Virtuous LAdy


      I don’t need a book to tell me how to be submissive. The Bible speaks for its self.

  • Sandra.

    I applaud you Rachel H. Evans. You thought about it and put action behind it and made it happen. Many folks cannot say that. You stepped out seeking to prove something and I do hope that you received what you were looking for and that God was 1st above all else. Keeping Him in your every day walk you will be okay! Once again kudos to you and may God bless you and yours!

  • http://bornagainsaintsplace.com bornagainsaint

    this person has taken the scriptures so completely out of context,it makes me sad that a self professed christian can do these rediculous things and say it is Gods will! she recieves no rewards as she has now gotten her reward by writing this rediculous book.

    • tryagain

      and with your pronouncement of “she receives no reward as she has now gotten her reward by writing this ridiculous book” you have judged her, her motives and her reward. probably can’t find a verse in scripture to cover her writing this book, but one sure can be found about your post.

      oh…and by the way…”ridiculous” and “receives”. might want to take a little less time fitting the great pyramid into your theology and work on a bit of spelling.

  • Leah

    This is so ridiculous that this woman would do this. Why not just live your life and be happy and have your husband respect, honor and cherish you like he said he would when he said his wedding vows. It is disturbing that people who don’t know what husband and wife means and say weddding vows to each other try to redefine what it all means….shouldn’t that all be worked out and discussed before getting married?

    • Rebecca

      If you knew the relationship that RHE has with her husband, Dan,you wouldn’t have this question. RHE and Dan are an amazing couple. Dan has over and again proven his love and support for her and received her support for him … they have a precious relationship.

  • Nicole

    Thou shalt not judge! Hello? Ring a bell anyone? I applaud her, and anyone else who wishes to take on a journey that they believe will give them better understand in this existance we call life. What is good for one, is not always good for another. God made us to have free will, and with that comes opinions. So, take your own path, draw your own conclusions from life, and if you feel the urge to read someone elses journey to maybe better understand things you may wonder; so be it. No one asked you to. If it bothers you, just don’t bother to read it.

    • TA

      Stop judging us!

  • Bradley

    The Old Testament does not apply to Christians. She did not need to sleep in a tent when she was menstrating. As to calling her husband master, and the other things; either the translation of the bible she was using was wrong, or, once again, too much Old Testament.

  • Darryl

    wow, she wrote a book about this experience. don’t buy it.

    • http://yahoo! Andrea chisum

      There is certaintly not anything wrong with living bibilicaly. however she is living under mosaic law. it is not required for a woman to live in a tent while menustrating. you can still be in the house with your husband and sleep in the same bed. w/ out having sex. god wants us to live biblically but don’t misunderstand she put herself in danger sleeping outside god is not a god of confusion yes we should submit to our own husband. considering he is not stepping out of the will of god, or is going against your morals.

      • Salad Spinner

        maybe her tent has a mosaic floor. easy to wipe clean with a little clorox.

  • Tatyana

    Not all things available to read are worth reading.

  • Stacy

    Whether you agree or disagree, who cares? It’s her life, her decision. Let her live her life the way she wants it. It’s really none of anybody’s business. Go on about your own lives. I’m sure there are shortcomings you need to work on.

  • Salad Spinner

    Yay for Rachel. I myself have decided to live in the woods after reading The Wizard of Oz so as to better understand gullibility. Rachel, don’t forget to keep sending in those Sunday school offerings!

  • Ms. Thang

    She has gone too far.

  • tif

    awesome and amen! way to go! i wish i had the guts to do something like that. i often wonder what my role is as a christian woman/wife in todays world. i will so try to read it. i hope you were able to draw closer to the creator and lover of our souls by doing this experiment. and you know what? shame on you christians who are putting her down, we are supposed to encourage and uplift each other, the world is gonna hate any thing we do to try to get a better understanding of God, and satan will do his best to tear us down. but our brothers and sisters are supposed to be there for each us!!!!! so back off and shut up! back to the author of the boook, to God be the glory! great things he has done! im sorry the christian stores will not sell it, but walmart should have it. i will definitely look for it!!!!! <3<3<3

  • TA

    Funny this made news, Muslim women have been criticized for living Islamically for a long time now. That’s so weird that people would live their lives according to what their religion dictates. ?! ~ Proud Atheist

    Religion makes hypocrites of us all. ~ Queen Elizabeth I

    I hope one day all religion disappears and people become compassionate and logical.

    • Lynn

      What is you basis for compassion if you do not have a belief in God? Any reason you give can be directly linked back to God.

      • rubin triska

        Anything can be directly linked to your god when u you use that type of circular reasoning. Everyone is born without any knowledge of your god or the many other gods that have been created by ignorant humans. Humans created them to explain some things to which no one will ever have an answer. There are biblical tales and scientific theories but without first hand knowledge of how or why we exist the truth will never be found.

    • http://yahoo! Andrea chisum

      It’s not about religion a true christian is not religious we live by the word of God. christianity is a way of life you live 7 days a week. some people are religious but they are not christians. they may believe in Jesus but are they carrying their cross daily. that means submitting yourself to god’s will not our own selfish wills. you all better seek Jesus because he is coming back whether you belive or not Heaven is real but guess what so is Hell! where will your souls live!!!

    • http://yahoo! Andrea chisum

      Muslim woman have no say at all in their religion which is totally different from christianity so don’t you dear compare christians. muslim religions hurt and kill woman kisten the news about them not wanting woman to have an education and about the young lady they shot the muslim religion is false i only believe in The son of god, Jesus christ and him crucified. there is no comparison. God wants husband to honor there wives. it said woman submit to your husbands, and husbands love your wives, as how christ love the church that he gave his life for it. honey god is love 1john 4: 7-8 and john 13:35 love one another!

      • Ron

        And there is no comparison to real believers in Christ and evangelicals. Christ left the respsonsibility of caring for the poor and being kind to others you encounter. Evangelicals are so hate filled even with the poor, saying “They should go get jobs”. The republican rich have sent the jobs across the Pacific. Iraq was 911 in a different country commited by the U.S. But that was not condemned but glorified and whitewashed. It was alright to kill people who are different and believe different.

  • http://Bungholio.com SolydWun

    I love this…..I’m sure hollywierd libbys don’t but hey, they think Lady GaGa is normal. I have news for you Lady GaGa is the better side insanity and we have made her extremely wealthy for it. How contrite.

  • obiwanspicoli

    This would be great if it was an original idea. Too bad someone already beat her to this.


  • john fogarty

    Im all for her calling me Master and her living in a tent during her period but the rest is ridiculous its 2012 for gods sake!!!!!

  • Paul DiBenedetto

    If she was living biblically, where are the children? Isn’t she told to go forth and multiply? Her womb bore no fruit?

    She’s just a phoney attention seeking feminist. Don’t fund her.

    • Salad Spinner

      How charming and judgmental you are. Perhaps she is unable to bear fruit or her husband shoots blanks. As for me, I will stick to Fantasy novels, there are just as worthwhile as your fantasy!

  • not everyone gets it right

    I applaud her for wanting to learn and live as a woman the way the Bible teaches. However, by using the Old Testament she is trying to live as they did back then under the OLD covenant. At those times, people had to try to live by the law & had to have atonements and animal sacrifices to cover their sins. Back then people were also stoned to death for certain sins. When Jesus came into the world, He created a new Covenant for us. We now live under grace. The Old Testament has revelancy for teaching us, but there are things that have changed with the New Convenant and the Grace that we are all living in. Priests no longer have to make atonements for all the people, animal sacrficies are no longer needed, to name a few. Upon Christ’s death & resurrection, He gives those who believe His Holy Spirit, who will guide us and lead us in all truth. If she tunes into the Holy Spirit, He will guide her in areas that she’d need to change and guide her into proper scripture for daily living.

  • Arthur

    Well she must have had a very giving husband, to allow this…Giving up your equality is the dummest thing I’ve ever heard..If you want to know how people livied bibically, don’t read the Bible…Read old Aramaic texts, and read the Book of Mary Magdelene, Christ’s #1 desciple, and then tell why our “very prejudiced Nicene Council” left it out of the “Holy Book”…Neither men nor women, ever did this in Christ’s group, the Essenes of Kumran or Mt. Carmel..This is the last thing we need more intellectual speculation, without the slightest intuitive hint that you’ve put your head up where it should not be…Lady you got away with it, because you have a very good husband, many men as the poligamists, simply take adavantage and you are in a “sujective” relationship, not the “objective” one our hearts desire…Yes, our heart/ spirit, why did we write our constitution, dear lady…God is absolute Eqality btween the sexes, the Alpha and the Omega, honor your Father and Mother means just that…,not your physical parents…In the Aramaic texts, God is referred to as the Father/Mother God…., and we will get this back…No more lies, and Dark Ages…Please do some real thinking, and investigating,what the powers that be have put over on us is not Gospel…So your experience was not “Bibical”……..

    • cpr

      Arturo: You are reading too much Catholic crap and stuff that has been put out there to contradict the words of the true God. The books of Magdalene, Noah, Judas, etc. are all false!!! They have sort of appeared and don’t make much sense. Of course it is my opinion and you have yours. There is no equality between the sexes, and it is obvious in the beginning, and its the book of “Genesis”. Oh, I know, you are really an original woman turned…..

  • http://URL Maryjane Surico

    Looking at the pictures that Racheal posted,does not look like Bibical times a sewing machine ??? come on, she should have made the clothes with her hands and not a machine and a pop-up cozy tent, yea right, and it looks like she just came from a beautican, if your going to prove something do it the right way.

    • Salad Spinner

      just because she is not sewing with a fish bone does not mean she is not biblical. get a clue Maryjane….and take a few less hits of your maryjane! And furthermore Maryjane, being beautiful is not a sin. So shove it!

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