What was the social position of women in antiquity? Were they less educated than men and did they enjoy less opportunity for public speech than men? Keener first notes the relevance of these questions for one line of egalitarian interpretation of Paul. He then examines some exceptions to this general rule, the presence of some women in advanced education, women in Jewish education, and women speaking in public.
The first section of the Introduction deals with the genre (literary type) of the Gospel of John and the historical value of the Gospel. It considers whether John’s Gospel is folk literature, a memoir, a novel, drama, or biography. John’s distinctive style and adaptation of the gospel form are also considered.