Note to Reader: I am not reviewing this book based on biblical or historical accuracy as I am not schooled in theology nor do I have Bible Study experience to consider myself an expert. If there is anything obviously in error, I will point it out, but otherwise I leave that discernment to you. Jori Sams is the author of Revelation in Seven Weeks and There Will Come No More Tears. A copy of the book was given to me by the author to review as part of her blog tour. Her website is located here.
What Every Woman Should Know by Jori Sams uniquely explores gender equality in which she sets out to prove that every woman needs to know their place in God’s heart. This book is a historical and biblical expository with numerous technical errors.
First, What Every Woman Should Know is well-researched. Research demands many hours and the gift of organizing that surplus of information into readable chapters, and this deserves recognition. I felt this book explored well how women ranked in biblical history and scripture. The book begins with the patriarchal society and delves into Mosaic Law, moving us through history to present time. What gives me doubt on its accuracy has more to do with how badly edited and poorly cited this manuscript was in comparison with similar genres.
All this beautiful work deserves the time it takes for re-writes and a professional editor who can cut unnecessary words. This phrase on location 36-37 says,“Then, in a blink of an eye, she was gone as life as I know it passed from her.” Blink of an eye is a cliche. I would have said, “In the time it takes to exhale, she was gone. Life as I knew it changed.”
An editor would have caught this mistake here, ¹“The result = less people speaking about it,” and fixed it to read, “The result equals less people speaking about it.” An editor would have pointed out the necessary places to add a footnote or an end note with proper citing techniques as demonstrated above. The bibliography needed better organizing, perhaps putting the many references by chapter with the numbers referring to the exact place and context where the information was used to make it easier for a reader to delve deeper into a point. The spelling, punctuation, grammar, missing words, extraordinarily long paragraphs, and sentence structure problems were too numerous to refer to in one book review.
²At one place, I winced as the book became crude in its terminology when it read, “As the women were doing the bulk of the work, men were merely hunting or planting their seed in women.” I thought that was unnecessary (unless it was a typo). The author also had a foreword and an introduction. Either include one or the other, but not both. Chapter One didn’t begin in the first two paragraphs, but where the book read, “In reality, so much…” Of course, I would have changed it to read, “So much over the course of history has…”
The first two paragraphs in Chapter One had too many “I’s” in it, and peppered throughout the book were too many references to her frequent worldwide travels and years of experience. What bothered me towards the end of the book were the frequent put-downs of church.
We get enough of that online and through other social media where Christians put down houses of worship whether, as Frank Viola in Pagan Christianity said, the church building is unbiblical, or from the hurt I hear in people’s words. Either way, the rhetoric is getting old. While I agree with her on several points, I think repeating the same arguments causes more harm to the Christian belief. House churches and places of worship can work in tandem.
Otherwise, What Women Should Know comes off as strong and confident. This book has a great teaching style so the reader can retain more information. The author shares some insight into her testimony and shows a lot of knowledge. The Bible Study at the end of the book is a nice touch. Other technical issues existed in the book, but I chose to highlight what was important. Overall, I gave this book three stars. The editing errors disrupted what would have otherwise been a pleasant reading experience for me.