Some might think women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. That's just not that case though, and in her new book, Fox News anchor Shannon Bream shows how they often play a central role.
In an interview with CBN News, Bream explained how her new book, The Women of the Bible Speak, came to be.
"Fox actually came to me with the idea as they started their book label," said Bream. "And I just didn't hesitate."
From Esther and Deborah in the Old Testament to Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the New Testament, Bream dives deep into the lives of 16 women.
"I knew a lot of these stories, at least the basics about them," explained Bream. "And I relied on some great experts who helped me to understand the customs of the time, the language, how the words really were interpreted, what they mean, and that helped give me great context."
They're stories of brave, noble, and sometimes even vulnerable or broken women. Bream includes the story of the woman who suffered for 12 years with a bleeding issue.
"She went to every doctor, spent every dime that she had. She had nothing left and no answers," Bream said. "And just learning in the context of the time, she would have been considered unclean. She couldn't go into the temple to worship or in the market with other crowds. It wouldn't have been acceptable for her."
Yet, when she heard about Jesus, she believed He could heal her.
"So, to think about the faith that she had. She said, 'I heard about this Jesus, I just want to go and touch the hem of His garment. I believe that will be enough to heal me.' So she went into this crowd where she wasn't supposed to be and instead of condemning her – she was completely healed after touching his garment – Jesus turned around and we're told in the Gospels she fell down trembling before Him."
It's a story Bream says she relates to personally. For years she lived in debilitating pain due to an incurable eye disease. Like the woman who touched Jesus' robe, Bream too received healing through the help of a great doctor.
"My husband and I prayed for this doctor," she explained. "I've been to so many who haven't been able to help me. He's been an enormous, enormous help in my life and I embarrass him sometimes because I say to him in the office, I see him so much, 'Don't forget, you're an answer to my prayers.' And he sort of kind of laughs. But it's true. I feel that way about him."
Today she says her eyes are in good shape 95 percent of the time and that's good because there's no slowing down in the news business. Host of "Fox News @ Night," Bream breaks down the day's headlines and interviews many of the big names behind them.
"What I always pray for our show every day is that our team will be excellent," she said. "And the verse, I think it's in Colossians – work as unto the Lord and not unto man – that we want to be above reproach and we want to be the best at what we do in serving our viewers. That's what we're here to do. So that's the attitude I take toward it each day and it helps keep me in line and I think have some perspective on balancing the tough news we have to deliver."
Bream points to Deborah's life as an inspiration. Like Deborah, Bream has a legal background.
"She was a judge in the Old Testament. She was the leader of the entire nation of Israel so for people who think that women were sort of second-class citizens in the Bible, it's just not accurate."
Bream writes about how Deborah faced insurmountable odds when God told her to lead her nation into battle.
"She stepped up and said and said 'Okay let's go.' She didn't question Him and she found the courage to follow when He asked of her," said Bream. "I hope that I would grow in my faith to be unquestioning and ready to go when God says 'Here's an assignment I have for you.'"
In addition to the women she features, Bream concludes the book with a chapter about Jesus who was the greatest champion of women history has seen.
Who is Jesus? Is he really God’s Son? And what does Jesus have to do with Heaven? Your questions are answered here.