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Marie Dentière, Letter to Queen Marguerite of Navarre, 1539.

My very honored lady, since the true lovers of truth desire to know and understand how they ought to live in these very dangerous times, so too we women ought to know how to flee and to avoid all errors, heresies, and false doctrines, such as those of false Christians, Turks, infidels or others suspect in doctrine...

I have... wished, my lady... to give courage to other women held in captivity, so that they will not fear exile from their countries, relatives, and friends, like I was, for the word of God... Because as you well know, the female sex is more shameful than the other, and not without reason. For until now, the scriptures have been hidden from them and no one dared say a word (about it), and it seemed that women should neither read nor hear anything of holy letters, which is the principal reason, my lady, that removed me to write to you, hoping in God that in the future women will no longer be so scorned as in the past...

...some of the faithful say that women are too bold to write to one another about holy scripture... Although there has been some imperfection in all women, nevertheless men have not been exempt from it. Why is it so necessary to criticize women, seeing that a woman never sold or betrayed Jesus, but a man named Judas. Who are the ones, I ask you, who have invented and fabricated so many ceremonies, heresies, and false doctrines on earth, if not men? And the poor women have been seduced by them. Never was a woman found to be a false prophet, although they have been fooled by them...

Therefore, if God has given grace to some good women, revealing something good and holy to them through his holy scriptures, will they dare not write, tell, or declare it to one another for the sake of the slanderers of the truth?...

Dentière, Marie. "Defense of Women." Letter to Queen Marguerite of Navarre. 1539. Women Writers of the Renaisance and Reformation. Katharina M. Wilson ed. Athens: Univ of Georgia Pr., 1987. N. 102-105. Print.

Which of the following BEST summarizes the argument of this excerpt?


Religious-minded women should just enter a convent if they wanted to study theology.


Women were not capable of understanding the Bible and should defer to male theologians when it came to religious dogma.


Female preachers were accepted in several provinces within the Kingdom of Navarre.


Women who had been given God's grace to preach, teach, and write about Christian theology should be allowed to do so.

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