The “Bible Women”: Caring for the Sick!

The Bible—inspiring women to care for the hungry, the oppressed, and the sick. In the Victorian era, some women sought to reach the poverty-stricken mothers and children of English cities. They looked to passages about mothers caring for the needy in Proverbs 29 and 31 and the teachings of Jesus on caring for children as the foundation of their work.

In 1857, Ellen Ranyard founded the Bible and Domestic Female Mission, an organization mobilizing “Bible women” to care for the sick and poor in different districts. These women, from middle and working classes, provided basic medical assistance and food, and organized meetings for women to read and teach from the Bible. Many were given Bibles to sell, so they could earn an income while also making the Bibles available.

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