Good Girls, Bad Girls: The Enduring Lessons of Twelve Women of the Old Testament

Good Girls, Bad Girls: The Enduring Lessons of Twelve Women of the Old Testament

by T. J. Wray
     
 

The few popular Bible stories about women are often presented in black and white—the women were good or bad, Ruth or Jezebel. But most of us fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Good Girls, Bad Girls invites readers to take a more nuanced look at 12 women in the Old Testament, to explore their lives more deeply in historical context, and to grasp what

Overview

The few popular Bible stories about women are often presented in black and white—the women were good or bad, Ruth or Jezebel. But most of us fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Good Girls, Bad Girls invites readers to take a more nuanced look at 12 women in the Old Testament, to explore their lives more deeply in historical context, and to grasp what these stories might mean to women today. T. J. Wray, a biblical scholar, asks readers to consider whether Jezebel was really as bad as generally believed, and includes women ranging from the infamous Delilah to the mysterious Witch of Endor. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Good Girls, Bad Girls will appeal to both individual readers and groups interested in learning what the Bible really has to say about these twelve important women.

Editorial Reviews

The Bible Today
Wray's approach is grounded in good scholarship and her findings are insightful. Readers will delight in the conversational tone of her writing and the kindheartedness with which she treats women who may not have received the appreciation warranted by their roles in furthering God's plan. This book is highly recommended.
U.S. Catholic Book Club
In clear and engaging language Good Girls, Bad Girls presents 12 of the most important and fascinating women of the Hebrew Bible. In the book's two major parts-Liars, Lawmakers, and Lovers; and Victims, Volunteers, and Vindicators-the reader will encounter Ruth and Jezebel, along with lesser known women such as the Shunammite Woman (1 Kings).

The portraits of these ladies are refreshingly nuanced and multifaceted. Along with solid biblical scholarship, T. J. Wray provides sensitive insights into the contemporary relevance of these women's stories. This book will appeal to both students of the Bible and women and men interested in discovering what these biblical women can teach us today. Father John Molyneux, C.M.F., Editor

Richard Freund
T. J. Wray's book presents some of the most important women of the Hebrew Bible in a context that brings them to life. A must-read for every student of the Bible.
The Internet Review of Books
Good Girls, Bad Girls reads like a series of well-tuned lectures from Wray's 'Women of the Bible' course. . . . Wray's conversational tone makes Good Girls, Bad Girls an easy read. . . . She writes with authority and skillfully incorporates her research of post-exile Israel and ancient Near Eastern archaeology into each story's re-telling.
— Karna Converse
Catholic News Service
T. J. Wray combines biblical scholarship with practicality as she opens the door to shed light on 12 women of prominence in the Old Testament in her book Good Girls, Bad Girls. She mentions in the introduction the scarcity of information that has been available to laypeople and scholars alike concerning how women lived in the Old Testament era. Wray helps complete the canvas and what is revealed are real women who faced trials, temptations and triumphs and struggled just as we do with their relationship with God and what God's will is in their lives.
The Houston Chronicle
This biblical scholar offers an in-depth and lively look at the fascinating lives these women lead.
Carol Meyers
Good Girls, Bad Girls is a lively, informative, and thoughtful presentation of twelve of the most fascinating female figures in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Wray looks at these women with fresh eyes and describes them in clear and engaging language. She succeeds admirably not only in explaining the ancient context of the biblical narratives about these women but also in providing sensitive insights into the contemporary relevance of their stories.
Carol A. Newsom
Wray's lively and well-written presentation of the women of the Old Testament will make readers wonder how they could have overlooked these extraordinary women and their stories. And for once, the good girls are as complex and interesting as the bad ones. Wray shows how these stories will not permit any simple moralizing about these women. Their own struggles to survive and flourish in a world often stacked against them truly provide 'enduring lessons' for women attempting to make sense of their lives today.
Lisa Sowle Cahill
Good Girls, Bad Girls, is a wonderful, lively book that is based on good bible scholarship but is far from pedantic. Wray shows how important women in the bible subverted their patriarchal culture, and were tacitly acclaimed for doing so by the biblical writers. Without whitewashing the violent elements in the stories, she makes these figures come to life as key actors in Israel's faith and history.
July/August 2009 The Bible Today
Wray's approach is grounded in good scholarship and her findings are insightful. Readers will delight in the conversational tone of her writing and the kindheartedness with which she treats women who may not have received the appreciation warranted by their roles in furthering God's plan. This book is highly recommended.
Raymond F. Collins
Good Girls, Bad Girls is one great book. T.J. Wray's gripping style makes the women about whom she writes comes alive. Making the narrative even more meaningful is the fact that it is based on solid biblical scholarship and is faithful to the biblical narrative. To all this, T.J. Wray adds a powerful contemporary reflection for those who read this book with the intention of learning about life from the stories of twelve fascinating women.
Richard A. Freund
T. J. Wray's book presents some of the most important women of the Hebrew Bible in a context that brings them to life. A must-read for every student of the Bible.
From the Publisher
In clear and engaging language Good Girls, Bad Girls presents twelve of the most important and fascinating women of the Hebrew Bible. In the book's two major parts-Liars, Lawmakers, and Lovers; and Victims, Volunteers, and Vindicators-the reader will encounter Ruth and Jezebel, along with lesser known women such as the Shunammite Woman (1 Kings). The portraits of these ladies are refreshingly nuanced and multifaceted. Along with solid biblical scholarship, T. J. Wray provides sensitive insights into the contemporary relevance of these women's stories. This book will appeal to both students of the Bible and women and men interested in discovering what these biblical women can teach us today.
The Internet Review Of Books, April 2009, Vol 2 No 7 - Karna Converse
Good Girls, Bad Girls reads like a series of well-tuned lectures from Wray's 'Women of the Bible' course. . . . Wray's conversational tone makes Good Girls, Bad Girls an easy read. . . . She writes with authority and skillfully incorporates her research of post-exile Israel and ancient Near Eastern archaeology into each story's re-telling.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742562523
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
04/12/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
214
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

Richard Freund
T. J. Wray's book presents some of the most important women of the Hebrew Bible in a context that brings them to life. A must-read for every student of the Bible.
Lisa Sowle Cahill
Good Girls, Bad Girls, is a wonderful, lively book that is based on good bible scholarship but is far from pedantic. Wray shows how important women in the bible subverted their patriarchal culture, and were tacitly acclaimed for doing so by the biblical writers. Without whitewashing the violent elements in the stories, she makes these figures come to life as key actors in Israel's faith and history.
Carol A. Newsom
Wray's lively and well-written presentation of the women of the Old Testament will make readers wonder how they could have overlooked these extraordinary women and their stories. And for once, the good girls are as complex and interesting as the bad ones. Wray shows how these stories will not permit any simple moralizing about these women. Their own struggles to survive and flourish in a world often stacked against them truly provide 'enduring lessons' for women attempting to make sense of their lives today.
Carol Meyers
Good Girls, Bad Girls is a lively, informative, and thoughtful presentation of twelve of the most fascinating female figures in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Wray looks at these women with fresh eyes and describes them in clear and engaging language. She succeeds admirably not only in explaining the ancient context of the biblical narratives about these women but also in providing sensitive insights into the contemporary relevance of their stories.

Meet the Author

T. J. Wray is associate professor of religious studies at Salve Regina University. She is the author of several books, including The Birth of Satan and Surviving the Death of a Sibling, and lives in Rhode Island.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >