Let Her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on the Women of Genesis

By Marion Ann Taylor; Heather E. Weir | Go to book overview

§33 Elizabeth Baxter
(1837–1926)

Elizabeth Baxter,55 an evangelical Anglican active in many para-church ministries, was a preacher, teacher, evangelist, and prolific writer of some forty books and numerous booklets, tracts, and weekly Sunday School lessons. Her husband, Michael Baxter, a famous end-times lecturer and author, owned The Christian Herald paper and publishing house.

Like Stowe, Baxter wrestled with the difference between Sarah as presented in the New Testament and Sarah as presented in Genesis. Baxter used Hebrews 11 as a lens through which to read Genesis. She began and ended the first part of her treatment of Sarah's story with Sarah's faithfulness as recorded in Hebrews 11. Baxter encouraged her readers using the example of Sarah, who acted without faith but was in the end accounted faithful. Baxter assumed spiritual growth in Sarah that is not recorded in the Genesis account.

Unlike Colby, who wanted women to be free from any notion of subordinate roles, Baxter had a high view of help-meets. She thought Sarah failed as a help-meet in many ways. Unlike most interpreters, Baxter emphasized Sarah's culpability in the wife-sister stories. She saw these stories as the reverse of Eden; in these stories, it was the husband, Abraham, who tempted his wife

55 For a more complete biography of Elizabeth Baxter, see part 1, "Eve—The Mother of
Us All."

-175-

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