God's Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey

By Andreas J. Köstenberger, Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger

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God's Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey

By Andreas J. Köstenberger, Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger

... Show All

Equipping a New Generation to Live Out God’s Design

This thorough study of the Bible’s teaching on men and women aims to help a new generation of Christians live for Christ in today’s world. Moving beyond other treatments that primarily focus on select passages, this winsome volume traces Scripture’s overarching pattern related to male-female relationships in both the Old and New Testaments. Those interested in careful discussion rather than caustic debate will discover that God’s design is not confining or discriminatory but beautiful, wise, liberating, and good.


Andreas J. Köstenberger

Andreas J. Köstenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is the theologian in residence at Fellowship Raleigh, a cofounder of Biblical Foundations, and the author, editor, or translator of over sixty books. He and his wife, Marny, have four grown children and live in North Carolina. 

Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger

Marny Köstenberger (ThD, University of South Africa) is a teacher and women’s consultant, the author of Jesus and the Feminists, and the coauthor of God’s Design for Man and Woman and Parenting Essentials. She previously served as director of women’s programs and mentoring, and professor of theology and women’s ministry at various churches and seminaries. Marny and her husband, Andreas, live in North Carolina.

Product Details

Category: Theology
Biblical Studies
Marriage & Family
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 384
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 18.8 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3699-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3699-1
ISBN-UPC: 9781433536991
Case Quantity: 32
Published: August 31, 2014

Table of Contents

  1. God’s Original Design and Its Corruption (Genesis 1–3)
  2. Patriarchs, Kings, Priests, and Prophets (Old Testament)
  3. What Did Jesus Do? (Gospels)
  4. What Did the Early Church Do? (Acts)
  5. Paul’s Message to the Churches (First Ten Letters)
  6. Paul’s Legacy (Letters to Timothy and Titus)
  7. The Rest of the Story (Other New Testament Teaching)
  8. God’s Design Lived Out Today

Appendix 1: The Three Waves: Women’s History Survey
Appendix 2: The Rules of the Game: Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology
Appendix 3: Proceed with Caution: Special Issues in Interpreting Gender Passages


“The eclipse of the family in human society is one of the most disastrous developments of our age. Sadly, the eclipse of the biblical model of marriage and family has also happened within far too many evangelical churches. Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger come to the rescue with biblical and theological insight and practical wisdom.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Models the best of Christian discernment about matters of gender, theology, justice, roles, and gifts. It is faithful in its representation both of God’s character and our own propensity to sin, pastoral in its application of faithful biblical hermeneutics, insightful in its explanation of original word usages and their application, concise in its framing of hot-button issues and the hermeneutical fallacies that often fuel them, and charitable in its handling of the motives of those who disagree.”
Rosaria Butterfield, former Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Syracuse University; author, The Gospel Comes with a House Key and Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age

“A refreshingly clear, well-informed, balanced, thorough, biblically faithful overview of the teachings of the entire Bible about manhood and womanhood as designed by God and intended for the joy and well-being of both women and men. A significant achievement!”
Wayne Grudem, Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies Emeritus, Phoenix Seminary

“Scriptural, thorough, scholarly, irenic, and practical, this vital resource will help any serious student of the Bible understand God’s good, wise, and wonderful design.”
Mary A. Kassianauthor, Growing Grateful

“The brilliant and respected Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger are wise experts, guiding us through the Bible for a substantive, gospel-rich, and pastorally applied theology of masculinity, femininity, and the goodness of our differences by God’s design.”
Russell Moore, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

“Whenever we consider our God-given design, we must do so with humble hearts. What a gift to be able to appreciate how the triune, eternal God made us! This study on God’s design will be useful in every field of Christian work all over the world.”
Gloria Furman, author, Labor with Hope and Missional Motherhood

“Some books are unhelpful, others are helpful, and a select few are spectacularly helpful. God’s Design for Man and Woman belongs with that select few. With thoroughness, nuance, and textual insight, it simultaneously unfolds biblical complementarianism as a coherent, life-giving worldview and answers common questions related to it.”
Owen Strachan, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; coauthor, The Grand Design; coeditor, Designed for Joy

“As the consequences of gender distortions permeate more relationships, families, and churches, the need is urgent for biblical clarity about God’s design and the work of the Spirit in restoring us to our original purpose. Here is a faithful guide to living as God created us, for our good and his glory.”
Candice Watters, Cofounder, Boundless.org; author, Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help It Happen

“Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger have teamed up to write one of the most helpful, comprehensive, and practical books to date on what Scripture teaches about God’s design for men and women and its implications for marriage, families, relationships in the church, and in our society.”
Stephen J. Wellum, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

God’s Design for Man and Woman is rigorously biblical, and the exegetical work is what we have come to expect of the Köstenbergers. Those who believe in the inspiration of the Bible will find this presentation compelling and hard to dismiss. Even those who do not accept biblical authority will, if honest, respect the arguments that are made. This book will serve the church of the Lord Jesus well.”
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Returning to a topic on which they both have already shown mastery, the Köstenbergers here round off their achievements with a full, lucid, and compelling demonstration that all Scripture treats male leadership as the creational pattern. Complementarians in particular will find here an invaluable resource, as indeed will any other open-minded Bible students.”
J. I. Packer, Late Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College

“From Genesis to Revelation, Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger masterfully present God’s plan for manhood and womanhood in the home, church, and society. This thought-provoking, insightful, and theologically grounded resource could not be timelier. This is a must-read that I highly recommend!”
Monica Rose Brennan, Associate Professor and Director of Women’s Ministries, Liberty University

“The authors break no new ground; they do not intend to. What they have done is put together biblical material in convenient and broadly comprehensive textbook format—material that brings together historical surveys, along with some exegesis, biblical theology, and pastoral application. One need not agree with every detail of the argument to see that this book meets a need to inform students and others who are new to the debate of some of its most inescapable parameters.”
D. A. Carson, Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition

“This unique and accessible book presents a positive, constructive, and winsome case for the whole gamut of biblical teaching about the divine design for men and women, as well as much practical application for how to live it out in both the home and the church. All who read this book will profit greatly by both their biblical theology and their godly example.”
Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Secretary, Evangelical Theological Society; author, God, Gift, and Guide: Knowing the Holy Spirit

“While academic in nature, the text clearly interprets Scripture and makes practical life application. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for all Christians and encourage teachers in Christian colleges and universities to use it as a textbook.”
Rhonda Harrington Kelley, Professor of Women’s Ministry, president’s wife, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

“Moving beyond debates that discuss men’s and women’s roles in isolation from one another, Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger take a biblical-theological approach that seeks to understand God’s design for men and women from the progressively unfolding narrative of Scripture. Responding to the profound influence of feminism, the authors call on men to exercise leadership in ways that exhibit genuine care and responsibility for those they are charged to nurture and protect.”
Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College

“The Köstenbergers have masterfully traced the Creator’s plan for man and woman by methodically stepping through Scripture. This approach makes it easy for the reader to understand the comprehensive design God intended from the beginning. It is certainly a book I will enjoy sharing with my students.”
Denise O’Donoghue, Director of Women’s Life and Assistant Professor of Ministry to Women, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“This meaty (but not technical) volume will equip readers to grasp the beauty, utility, and missional importance of being created in God’s image, male and female. It deserves a wide readership in church and college or seminary classroom.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“Using the primary picture of the household and pointing to a call for men to carry out their calling, this book is a careful and sober study of biblical texts. It calls on us to reflect on what Scripture teaches, making many important points along the way.”
Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, The Hendricks Center, Dallas Theological Seminary

“We live in a day when God’s order has been turned on its head, resulting in confusion and heartache—even in the church. Margaret and Andreas Köstenberger team up to present a comprehensive and thoroughly biblical exposition of manhood and womanhood.”
Theresa Wigington Bowen, Host, Life Impact Ministries; Founder, A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network

“The Köstenbergers have thoroughly researched Scripture concerning God’s design for men and women, and their efforts have produced a book that will challenge much of what the church does today. Anyone wanting to devote serious study to the topic of men’s and women’s roles in the church needs to read this book.”
William Jones, President, Columbia International University

“For years now, Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger have labored to help the church recover a biblical vision of manhood and womanhood in the midst of a culture that is moving increasingly away from God’s design. We are so pleased to see the fruits of their labors gathered together into this wonderful new volume. Thoroughly biblical, deeply theological, and also practical and accessible, the Köstenbergers have given the church a great gift in an hour of great need.”
Michael J. Kruger, President and Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte

“The issue of biblical manhood and womanhood is long overdue for a resource that takes the entire storyline of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, into account. This book will be tremendously helpful to pastors, teachers, married couples, parents, singles, and especially college students.”
Matt Schoolfield, Lead Pastor, Fellowship Raleigh, Raleigh, North Carolina

“Sexual ethics and complementary gender roles have far more to do with the effectiveness of the church than we tend to admit. Dr. and Mrs. Köstenberger have given a comprehensive biblical theology calling the church to biblical gender roles and a God-glorying sexual ethic that will once again display the glorious covenant love of Christ and his church to a world in need of redemption.”
David Miller, Church Planter and Lead Pastor, Sentral Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“Christian women today are hungry to know what a biblical woman really looks like. If you really want an accurate picture, I encourage you to read—no, study—this book. Not only will you get the biblical portrait of woman, but you will also discover what the Bible says about man and how they relate to each other.”
Chris Adams, Senior Lead Women’s Ministry Specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources

“In a day and age where men’s and women’s roles are under attack, this book gives a thorough and essential exposition of such a foundational topic. It’s comprehensive. It’s practical. It is sure to be a helpful resource for the church as well as personal discipleship!”
Dana Cordell, Pastor’s wife, Treasuring Christ Church, Raleigh, North Carolina

“The whole of the Bible helps women understand their purpose as followers of Christ. The Köstenbergers have served both men and women by unpacking the distinction of gender roles and sexual identity in the entirety of the Scriptures. This is a personal, well-researched, comprehensive, and very useful book.”
Kay Milioni, Pastor’s wife, Open Door Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina; mother  

“The result of more than two decades of research by two competent scholars, this clear, compelling, and accessible book fills a gap in literature on this subject.”
Pete and Vicki Schemm, Senior Pastor, Cave Spring Baptist Church, Roanoke, Virginia; Vicki is a mother and pastor’s wife