Book Endorsements

written by Phil

Book Endorsements

I have received the following endorsements for my book Man and Woman, One in Christ 

  • Man and Woman, One in Christ subjects every Pauline text that deals with women to careful scrutiny, and this means this book is a must-read for anyone doing serious study or preaching about these texts. Simply put, this is the most technically proficient study ever published on women in the Pauline texts.”
    • Professor Scot McKnight, North Park University, Jesus Creed


  • “The most comprehensive and well-reasoned contribution by an individual evangelical scholar in the modern history of the debate.”
    • Professor Ron Pierce, Biola University


  • “Philip Payne brings decades of meticulous research to its proper culmination in a compelling and thoroughly biblical demonstration that Paul the apostle to the Gentiles was a wholehearted supporter of women serving in any and all sorts of ministerial roles they are called and gifted to undertake. This book deserves the highest commendation.”
    • Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • “Philip Payne’s treatment of New Testament manuscripts and textual criticism, especially in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, is meticulously formulated, cogently argued, and of lasting significance.”
    • Eldon J. Epp, Harvard Divinity School


  • “Amazing exegetical study by the most informed and able egalitarian scholar in the world.”
    • Kevin Giles, Sydney, Australia


  • “The strength and integrity of someone’s argument is often best judged not by the force with which it is presented but by the clarity and accuracy with which they present their opponents’ argument. Any fool can construct and then knock down a straw man, but only a true scholar can present their opponents’ case as formidably as possible before proceeding to take it apart bit by painstaking bit. Philip Payne is quite clearly a true scholar of the highest order. In the arena of complementarianism versus egalitarianism I have tried to read as many arguments as possible on both sides of the debate. Without doubt, enough straw men have been created by both camps to populate a medium size country, but in Philip Payne’s “Man and Woman, One in Christ” no such straw men exist and I have found what is in my view the most scholarly work to emerge from either camp bar none. Payne argues his case graciously and with superb clarity. He is a scholar who is very obviously on top of his brief. Whichever camp you are in or lean towards, you would be well advised not to attempt to engage with the debate until you have read this book.”
    • District Judge D. Williams, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • “The research of Philip Payne is exceedingly important for all who are concerned about justice for women. His painstakingly meticulous magnum opus on the relevant biblical passages has rapidly become the classic manifesto for those committed both to the authority of Scripture and the validity of women’s ministry. With excruciating care, he examines each passage that has been used to restrict the equality and ministry of women. This remarkable book delves into all sorts of minute but crucial details in each of the Apostle Paul’s passages on this topic.”
    • Catherine Clark Kroeger, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. See the full review in Priscilla Papers 25, 3 (2011) 27.


  • Man and Woman, One in Christ is superb and inspired scholarship, evidenced in its biblical/linguistic resources and especially in its amazing exegetical, linguistic, historical and theological content. What a gift to scholars and the Church!”
    • Professor Manfred T. Brauch, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary


  • “Part I includes a thorough and definitive study of kephalÄ“, as well as meticulous and thorough scholarly criticism of the theory of subordinationism in the Trinity. Payne shows extensive awareness of primary and secondary literature, including early church and ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish references. His writing style is pithy, clear, and easy to understand. He shows how Rabban Gamaliel II, Paul’s teacher, affirmed women. He provides a helpful summary of how Genesis 1:3 depicts equality between men and women and demonstrates how God repeatedly overrode primogeniture in Israel. He highlights the uniqueness of the Christian message for its times. He particularly contributes original scholarship on the relationship of 1 Tim 2:8-15 to its context, on why the prohibition of 1 Tim 2:12 is not universal and is a single prohibition, in his study of the article (‘the Childbirth’) used substantively in the Pastorals as individualizing, and his study of the ‘seed,’ as well as his noting how the words used of an overseer were also used of women. Man and Woman, One in Christ is a mammoth achievement, a book of exhaustive scholarship. No exegetical area is left without extensive study of its grammatical and historical component elements and its relationship to the whole structure. It is also theological because we are left with an understanding of Paul’s theology of freedom for women and men. The book will serve an authoritative reference for many years to come.”
    • A­ída Besançon Spencer, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. See the full review in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 54, 1 (2011).
  • “This highly commendable, excellent work covers some thirty years of research and painstaking analysis of the texts and an impressive array of contemporary evidence. Scholars will find fresh insights, especially in the rich references to ancient authors. Throughout the work, Payne takes pains to show that many previous readings missed the point of the passages analyzed, especially 1 Cor 11:2-16, due either to lack of attention to the original contexts, presuppositions from the readers’ contexts, and/or the limitations of the English language imposed on the texts (e.g., the use of gendered pronouns in translations where none exist in the Greek. His twenty-three page analysis [117–39] argues that kephale in 1 Cor 11:3 means ‘source,’ not ‘head/leader, authority’). From his rich and multidimensional analyses (Old Testament, Septuagint, and Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, and patristic authors), Payne concludes that, contrary to his contemporary practices, ‘Paul consistently champions the equality of man and woman in Christ.’ Payne’s very readable book is the testimony of a personal faith journey. I have made this book required reading for my course on Sex and Gender in the Bible.”
    • Teresa Okure, SHCJ, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Nigeria. See the full review in the Society of Biblical Literature’s Review of Biblical Literature 02/2011.
  • “Payne’s fresh arguments from manuscripts are impressive. His fresh lexicographical and grammatical arguments regarding 1 Tim 2:12 are probative and definitive. The thoroughness, depth, clarity, precision, and charity of Payne’s scholarship is impressive. If I were to recommend just one book to pastors and Bible teachers regarding Paul’s theology and practice of male-female relationships, this book would undoubtedly be it.”
    • George P. Wood, five star review


  • “I thoroughly enjoyed reading Man and Woman, One in Christ. Dr. Payne’s book is meticulously detailed and lucid. It will remain the definitive work on the subject of the role of women in the church for years to come.”
    • Dr. Randy Colver, Fairburn GA


  • “A masterpiece. Payne’s research is comprehensive and fair-handed, biblically faithful, historical responsible, and culturally insightful. It contains some of the most important findings to date. He graciously engages other viewpoints. Payne beautifully captures the spirit of Paul to the Galatians when he says: ‘It is not the absence of diversity but the presence of harmony in the midst of diversity that distinguishes the body.’ Chapter 7 ‘1 Corinthians 11:2-3: Head/Source Relationships’ is worth the price of the book many times over. Quite simply, this is the best treatment today.”
    • Paul D. Adams blog, (in Christ Jesus) five star Amazon review February 9, 2010
  • Man and Woman, One in Christ is a superb achievement, and very entertaining.  I’m even coming round to his opinion about interpolation in 1 Cor., about which I knew nothing much before.  It’s by far the most important contribution to the debate about women’s ‘roles’ in the 21st century so far.”
    • Dr. Robert K. McGregor Wright, Director Aquila and Priscilla House Study Center


  • “Philip Payne’s new book is an extraordinarily well-done study of Paul’s teachings on women’s roles in the church. Payne’s knowledge of the 1st century AD background, of New Testament Greek, of textual criticism, and of the theological issues is extensive. His tone is irenic, although he shows how careful exegesis refutes the views of those who believe that women must remain in non-leadership roles in the church. His discussion of I Corinthians 14:34-35 is outstanding, demonstrating that these two verses are almost certainly an interpolation. I highly recommend this marvelous book. Definitely five stars.”
    • Shirley L. Barron, Richmond, Kentucky five star Amazon review January 1, 2010
  • Man and Woman, One in Christ is truly a remarkable work – and thorough in its argumentation.  Its analysis of the conjunction οὐδέ in 1 Tim 2:12 is a tremendous help. Thank you for taking the time to examine the examples provided by Knight and Köstenberger as they are so frequently cited as definitive proof by even very good scholars. Thank you for what you have done for Christian faith and theology.  I believe it will be a source of lasting change in the church. Thanks again for your dedication to Scripture, and its fine results!”
    • David T. Goh, Ph.D. in New Testament, Senior Pastor, The Garden Community Church, Bakersfield, CA


  • Man and Woman, One in Christ is a valuable masterpiece.  In all my life I have never read a book of this quality. I have read the book from cover to cover with pen and ruler in hand.  Almost all paragraphs have some statements underlined. It is a goldmine of information and insights. It is a model of meticulous research, and it sparkles with exemplary exegesis. If necessary, I would have starved and saved enough money to pay [$30/ plus postage] for your treatment of kephale alone.”
    • G. J. A. Sitther, Ph.D. Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Man and Woman, One in Christ represents a massive amount of research and careful thinking! What an important contribution to the church! It should shape the discussion for some time to come. The book is very carefully researched and argued. Congratulations on a really significant piece of work.”
    • Harold Netland, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • “We heartily commend this wonderful book on women in ministry, a monumental gift to the church. It’s definitely a landmark “clockstopping” work (We had to create a new word; the book is that good). We like it so much because it’s readable and engaging. It draws one in by making complex, technical issues understandable and practical. We like it because it is kind in tone, written in the right spirit. We especially like it because it has life and spirit, not just academic letter. It takes us somewhere – to more life with Him. It greatly educates and informs with its beautiful, rigorous, and voluminous research. Yet it goes past that to life and heart. It’s a supremely academic work that is also supremely spiritual. A rare blend combining excellence and grace.”
    • Steve and Carol Ost, Bremerton, WA
  • “I can’t thank you (and the Lord) enough for Man and Woman, One in Christ, or adequately express how much your book has meant to so many within my family, dear friends, and others in leadership at various seminaries, etc. here in the Portland area. Your willingness to put so much work into this vital topic over the past quarter century is nothing sort of remarkable. You are a first-class scholar who has gone the third and fourth mile to research and write on each point in detail. Your book is rock-solid. This monumental body of work is enhanced by the spirit in which all of it was written.”
    • David Sanford, Credo Communications
  • Man and Woman, One in Christ was just what I needed to prepare a paper that I recently presented to our staff affirming our position on women in leadership. I was struck by your humility and excellent research as you dealt with the texts and topics. Thank you for your scholarship. I learned a lot from you as I devoured this book.”
    • Scott Lisea, Young Life Gold Coast & Central California Region
  • “Thank you so much for your book, Man and Woman, One in Christ. I have found it a most challenging and edifying read. A long time adherent to CBMW’s Danver’s Statement, I had assumed the exegetical and theological issues to be well and truly settled by Wayne Grudem’s research and responses on kephalé, along with Schreiner, Köstenberger et al’s latest tome on 1 Timothy 2. However, your meticulous study of the relevant passages in the Pauline corpus has given me much food for thought and stirred afresh certain reservations I still held regarding CBMW’s position. From the purely exegetical perspective I think your book is the best I have read to date. I thought your argument for interpolation (1 Cor 14:34-35) was very well argued and … persuasive … and your refutation of Moo’s stance convincing. Your analysis of kephale was for the most part clear and persuasive. You have won me over with regards to ministry roles. I have set myself the task to re-read your book. I have certainly by God’s grace come a long way from the days when I loudly opposed and even debated against any position which had a whiff of egalitarianism on this subject. Please accept this extended email as a sign of the fruitful and stimulating paradigm-changing challenge your book has proven to be for me.”
    • David R. Booth, Balcatta, Western Australia


  • “This is a monumental gift which represents enormous dedication. We are thoroughly enjoying it. May God overwhelm you with His goodness and continue to reward you for this diligent work and valuable contribution needed for our times.”
    • Roy and Ethel Anderson, Edmonds, Washington


  • “This is a strong scriptural look at the unity of women and men in Christ according to Paul’s writings. Payne has finally persuaded me in the end that these verses [1 Cor 14:34-35] could very well have been interpolated. This is an important book and is probably going to be considered the benchmark for the egalitarian position regarding man and woman in Christ.”
    • Marc Axelrod, Potter, Wisconsin
  • “Excellent and insightful.Payne’s new book is an incredible work. He gives very good insights into the “gender” verses in the Bible. If you think you know what the Bible says on gender but have not read this book, I strongly encourage you to read it.”
    • Donald B. Johnson, Manassas, Virginia. five star Amazon review August 27, 2010


  • “I am a current Masters of Theology student at Dallas Theological Seminary reading and learning so much from your book. I was finding my fingers itching to underline and write in the margins, but thought the DTS library might not like me all that much! I loved your book so much, I ordered it on ebay. Thank you for your comprehensive and fair approach to this topic. Your research is invaluable! With each page I turn, I find myself finding freedom and affirmation in your conclusions. Thank you for paving the way for unity to reenter the church as we embrace the heart of Paul’s gospel. As a current Greek student, your approach to the text was vital to my understanding of how it all fits together. For the first time in my study of this topic, I was able finally to track with the author’s interpretation. I’m looking forward to reading your take on slavery!”[under publications, supplemental studies on this site]
    • M. L., Dallas Theological Seminary


  • ”Wow, I’m thoroughly enjoying the book. It’s amazing! You’ve done a wonderful service to the body of Christ. It makes the most sense to translate kephalé throughout 1 Cor 11:3 ‘source.’ I love your approach to everything – start and stay with orthodoxy.”
    • Kevin Meserschmidt, East Hampton, CT


  • “I love your book!  And I love your critique of Tom Schreiner’s review at  Keep up the wonderful work!”
    • Professor Deborah M. Gill, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary


  • “One of the most insightful books I have ever read dealing with the role of women in the Christian community. I thank God for such dedication and scholarship. God is using this book in a  mighty way to help people read the Word of God more clearly.”
    • Dr. Dallas Burdette, Montgomery, AL


  • “The best! An exacting scholar has now given us all what may well be the definitive scrutiny of all of the relevant passages in the New Testament Pauline letters. Philip Payne has applied exacting scholarship in ways that should finally tone down the arguments against women in church leadership.”
    • L. Palmer, five star review January 11, 2011


  • “Great book.”
    • Dr. Henry Klopp, President, International Graduate School of Ministry


  • “I was very impressed with the depth of its scholarship. What a tour-de-force!”
    • Richard L. Boldrey, Gurnee, Illinois


  • “Excellent book!!!!”
    • Wiley Clarkson, Walnut Springs, Texas 


  • About a month ago, our pastor preached on Colossians 3:18. He talked about the fact that women feel uncomfortable about that verse because of their sinful nature and because they don’t like the idea of subjecting themselves to their husbands. But they need to overcome that sinful rebellion – after all, even Christ subjected Himself to an authority – to God the Father. Well, I went home and cried. I cried for days, sinful rebel that I am! Then I ordered Man and Woman, One in Christ. Finally, a week and a half ago, your book arrived. Well, I have almost finished reading it and I wanted to thank you for writing and publishing it. I read your book as though it were a suspense novel – I couldn’t put it down. I neglected other things that I should have been doing, and when my exhausted husband would get home (after working lots of overtime), I kept him up for hours, explaining the meanings of some of the passages and reading him excerpts from the book. And I cried. Your book makes so much sense to me, yet I know that it is going to be very hard for many of my friends to even consider the idea of egalitarianism because the opposite is so ingrained in them. They will experience cognitive dissonance. I know I need to re-read your book several more times to be able to give a defense to others of why I have had this paradigm shift. I found out (three days ago) that you would be speaking at the CBE conference in Houston. I discussed it with my husband, and he said, “Go!” So, while he goes to presbytery in Seattle, I will be flying down to Houston! I look forward to meeting you in person and hearing you speak. Thank you, again, for your work in researching, writing and publishing your book. It is God’s gift to the church and particularly to Christian women. Your book has given me confidence to begin to break away from the accepted mold that I have always resented and struggled to fill, and has given me a sense of freedom to more fully trust in Christ and His path for my life. I feel closer to my husband than ever before, because I no longer resent him. So, thank you!!”
    • Diane Pfaff, Pasco, Washington State


  • “I cannot set your insightful book down. It is so affirming to discover your extensive and exhaustive research and conclusions which validate my visceral lifetime opinions on this issue. May God continue to bless your service in him which transforms hearts and minds within the universal church.”
    • Jim Jennings, San Antonio, Texas


  • “This book is excellent! Very well documented and easy to read. This is a good reference book for women in authority in all spheres: political, economic, religious, and social. Scripture sets us free and releases us from the curse.”
    • JHS, five star Amazon review May 23, 2012


  • “A Great Contribution! This is a carefully researched, 30 year project in which the author left no stone unturned. Payne is a conservative Christian who deeply believes the Bible is the word of God. His research lead him to adopt an egalitarian position which holds that men and women are equal in standing before the Lord where there is no role difference based on gender. Some of his conclusions are thought provoking: the coverings mentioned in 1 Cor. 11 were not veils but hair that hung loose, the meaning of “head” is “source” instead of “authority,” and 1 Cor. 14:34-35 are an interpolation and thus were not written by the Apostle Paul. Whether one agrees with all of his conclusions or not, he is careful to show how he reached them and why he dismisses other possible interpretations. I predict this will become a classic scholarly work that will provoke a great deal of discussion.”
    • Byron Fike, Houston, TX USA. four star Amazon review June 12, 2012


  • “Simply the best work on Paul’s views on gender. Has much more to say about 1 Timothy 2:12 than you might imagine. Not simply a rehashing; competently demonstrates the poor argumentation demonstrated by the exegesis espoused in RBMW and after (Moo, Köstenberger, Schreiner). Finally, a work that gives 1 Corinthians 7:4 and 1 Corinthians 7 in general its proper place in the gender debate.”
    • Hans, five star Amazon review August 25, 2012


  • “This book is very Bible based and text based. It is extremely scholarly, but not hard to understand. This book helped change my mind on several things, and gave me a lot of verses that seem to rule out or cast doubt upon some Complementarian positions that I used to think were clear Biblical Truth. Furthermore, Dr. Payne painstakingly backs up most of his assertions with citations galore, and you can even visit his website for more articles and bibliography. He even gives out his email for more questions, and I’ve seen him thoroughly defend his research in the comments sections of other websites discussing his book or work, which I have rarely seen others do. You can tell this man is very learned, very passionate, and very thorough, and his arguments always seem to have something relevant that even the unconverted can adopt (he argues his case very convincingly, point by point usually). I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.”
    • LNE, Ohio, four star Amazon review Nov. 26, 2012


  • “The strongest argument yet from an evangelical for an egalitarian reading of Paul. Your research has certainly been of great help.”
    • Professor William Varner, The Master’s College, CA
  • The foreword of the book is entitled ”My Odyssey”. Payne writes: “For over seven years I did not publish my research out of a desire not to cause division in the church”. That gracious hesitancy is evident on the careful and thorough treatment of his subject.
    The work done – grounded within a range of disciplines – with associated lines of evidence – is important as the book is essentially a scholarly work – but attuned to illuminating the contemporary debate about women in the church. The context however is not about what contemporary scholars may say, but rather framing and embedding what can be excavated from the text and the social milieu of Paul and his contemporaries in the first century AD. Although I am not in any sense a biblical scholar – more a student over the decades, anyone who has studied this domain or has taught about it and is serious about the Bible needs to re-baseline, or at least “submit their views” and their understanding to the “acid tests” of this book.
    Not to do so would suggest that one’s position is polemical or cultural rather than grounded in careful study on the scriptures and the accumulation of authoritative sources and evidences that for me unlocks a coherent and compelling review.
    It is not the sort of book where you feel you can say “I agree with Payne” or “I disagree with Payne”. I am at the point where I feel I can say I understand his approach and method in assembling this detailed – and startlingly clear – view of the world of Paul. In itself, this is a masterpiece assembled from many masterstrokes.
    I now have a greater appreciation for the toolkit of the modern, thorough New Testament scholar and how it should be used. Payne has taken a “completeness” approach to the word studies that underpin his conclusions, rightly, since the words and their context are the building blocks for understanding the “difficult passages”.
    He also examines and decodes the sociological and archaeological background, for example, to explain the issue of “head coverings”. This allows him to come to a rigorous treatment, with conclusions that are novel (at least to me), but after reflection they seem obvious. This is very helpful to those who want substance to drive understanding. After the hard work of following Payne through “the times and the text” I experienced a lightness and sense of liberation – rather than a more mundane sense of relief.
    He engages in scholarly critique of “authority figures” work without descent into ad hominem rhetoric. This is helpful: it allows the careful work that he has done stand, in many cases, in stark contrast to less rigorous assumptions that underpin some complementarian positions.
    Overall this is a book for people already engaged in this debate – and who have an appetite for some work. I have no Greek and therefore needed Google and other tools to help me get through some of the chapters. This in itself was enjoyable as I could start to see how secondary sources used in other books repeat old assumptions and very seldom get back to the text itself – key lesson!
    We have to let go of the caricature of the “misogynist Paul” – which will take some time I suspect. We also have to let go of the “plain meaning” of some of these texts as Payne has now given us the more fundamental plain meaning – which should allow a new consensus to form in relation to a normative approach to these texts.
    Of course, I can now see the “plain meaning” in the English translations is itself socially constructed, particularly, it seems in the NIV – this is a bit of an eye-opener. How long will it take to “mark-up” 1 Cor 14:34-35 as an interpolation (or at least as a possible interpolation)? Maybe a long time, but the evidence is now very clear that this cannot be relied on as part of the original text.
    The reader is a beneficiary of careful work, annotated and developed, based on the huge textual resources that we now have at our disposal.
    I enjoyed the book and was enriched by is balanced tone and evident deep reflection and study.. For me this was a “holiday read” as theology and exegesis at this level is not my day job.
    Payne sums it up: “…man and woman are not separate in status and privilege from each other in the Lord….” Demonstrated, but will we listen?”
    • Adi, five star Amazon review March 10, 2014
  • “This book is tremendously helpful. I’ve read at least 20 books on the subject, and this is by far the most thorough in giving all sides of exegesis of all crucial texts.”
    • D. Clair Davis, Westminster Theological Seminary, Redeemer Seminary (Dallas)
  • “Simply the best exegetical argument for egalitarianism. He doesn’t ‘explain away’ like other books, but through meticulous research and exegesis shows that complementarians are the ones with sloppy exegesis, having to explain away mountains of evidence that go against their false view of patriarchy in the church.”
    • Kevin M. Jones, five star Amazon review July 5, 2017
  • “I greatly enjoyed this book. It is an extremely thought-provoking and clear analysis of a very important question. While scholarly in its depth, it is highly readable by non-theologians.”
    • Suzanne M. Harris, Spokane, WA


  • “I loved your book.”
    • Denis Goodwin, United Kingdom
  • “Dr. Payne has amassed the most thoroughly and carefully researched study to date on scriptures traditionally used to limit women in the church and the world.  Dr. Payne’s academic qualifications, respect for scripture, systematic thought, and years of comprehensive research applied to this issue are a gift to the church. Payne’s book vindicates Paul against the charge of sexism and proves the reliability of scripture, carefully examined, to reveal new insights to us as we grow in the image of Christ. It demonstrates that Paul understood the Good News of the Gospel to include women, as well as men, in all its promises of forgiveness, redemption, wholeness, priesthood of believers, gifts of the Spirit, responsibility to God for the use of those gifts, and full and unabridged membership in the body of Christ, the church.  All believers have equal standing under God.  All are one in Christ.  My childhood church taught me, both overtly and by inference, that women were not full citizens in the church and not full recipients of the gifts of the Spirit.  I am grateful for the scholarship of Man and Woman, One in Christ.  It untangles prior misinterpretations of scripture, enabling girls and women to confidently accept the gifts God has given them, “matter how nontraditional they may seem” and use them in service to the church and the world. The more I learn, the more I know that the Creator of all things is truly a just and merciful God. I am grateful for the way this book has added to that knowledge.”
    • Eileen Vennum, Kilgore, Texas


  • We have always intuitively known that we must be missing something when it comes to understanding the text in relation to gender equality and slavery. I am all for holding the text with both hands … being comfortable with paradox … but my arms were not long enough and my reach not wide enough to hold all of Paul’s words at the same time. Not anymore. Your measured thoroughness brings such clarity. There are not enough words to thank you for the cohesiveness your work brings to Paul’s writings.”
    • Cynthia Prentice
  • “Your book has been instrumental in my paradigm shift to egalitarianism.”
    • Trent Whalin, Colorado