Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories

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Overview

Reading the Women of the Bible takes up two of the most significant intellectual and religious issues of our day: the experiences of women in a patriarchal society and the relevance of the Bible to modern life.
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Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories

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Overview

Reading the Women of the Bible takes up two of the most significant intellectual and religious issues of our day: the experiences of women in a patriarchal society and the relevance of the Bible to modern life.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book has much to say about and to women of every era and age, but its spirit, scope, and breadth go beyond any generic limits. Men—perhaps even more than women—can and should learn much from it, both about the Bible and the women in it.”
—David Noel Freedman, editor in chief, The Anchor Bible
 
“Frymer-Kensky addresses both modern hypotheses and traditional beliefs, and acknowledges which arguments can be supported and which questions remain unanswered. [A] very approachable text that streamlines what could otherwise be a complicated discussion.”
Houston Chronicle
 
"You'll never see the women of the Bible in quite the same way after reading Tikva Frymer-Kensky's excellent new book. In her able hands, these women emerge from the ancient texts with new strength and vigor. Frymer-Kensky is a dazzling thinker who presents her ideas with unusual energy and clarity."
—Ari L. Goldman, author of Living a Year of Kaddish and The Search for God at Harvard
 
“A welcome book, engagingly written. It is a valuable contribution to the growing bibliography of feminist biblical interpretation.”
—Dr. Phyllis Trible, University Professor, Wake Forest University Divinity School
 
“Frymer-Kensky advances our understanding of the gender issues in the Bible by proposing a fresh and suggestive taxonomy of four discourses concerning women. Her persuasive power rests upon her immense capacity to read texts carefully and discerningly. A most welcome and important read!”
—Dr. Walter Brueggeman, Columbia Theological Seminary
 
"Frymer-Kensky presents the women of the Hebrew Bible freshly and brilliantly, bringing to her study a profound mastery of the literatures and cultures of the lands surrounding the Bible. Here is biblical interpretation that eliminates much of the distance between the text and the reader: These stories illuminate the themes and dangers, hopes and fears, that are characteristic of human life anywhere and at any time. And the entire work is presented in a style and with a grace that delight the eye, the ear, and the heart."
—Dr. Walter Harrelson, Vanderbilt University

Ari L. Goldman
You'll never see the women of the Bible in quite the same way after reading Tikva Frymer-Kensky's excellent new book. In her able hands, these women emerge from the ancient texts with new strength and vigor. Frymer-Kensky is a dazzling thinker who presents her ideas with unusual energy and clarity.
Library Journal
A professor of Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, Frymer-Kensky (In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth) investigates biblical stories about women to ascertain why "a clearly androcentric text from a patriarchal society" has "so many stories that revolve around women." Deliberately omitting a few prominent women (e.g., Eve and Miriam), Frymer-Kensky focuses on four groups of women: the victors, the victims, the virgins, and those with voice (prophecy, necromancy). She finds that "[c]ontrary to all assumptions...the Hebrew Bible, unlike other ancient literature, does not present any ideas about women as the `Other.' The role of woman is clearly subordinate, but the Hebrew Bible does not `explain' or justify this subordination by portraying women as different or inferior." The author argues that the Hebrew Bible's notion of women as subordinate but not inferior became a paradigm for Israel's understanding of its own subjugation by other nations. Although the book occasionally employs sophisticated terminology, its main arguments about the biblical presentation of women are accessible to educated lay people as well as to religious specialists. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805211825
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/6/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 295,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY is a professor of Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Victors
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle: The Rivka Stories 5
Saviors of the Exodus 24
The Guardian at the Door: Rahab 34
Warriors by Weapon and Word: Deborah and Yael 45
A Wise Woman of Power 58
The Shunammite 64
Villains: Potiphar's Wife, Delilah, and Athaliah 74
Pt. II Victims
The Disposable Wife 93
Daddy's Daughters 99
Father-right Awry: Jephthah and His Daughter 102
The Bad Old Days: Concubine and Chaos 118
Kings to the Rescue? 139
"Off with His Head": David, Uriah, and Bathsheba 143
Trauma and Tragedy: The Betrayals of Tamar 157
Power and Person: A Problem of Political Life 170
Pt. III Virgins
The Dinah Affair 179
To the Barricades: Views Against the Other 199
Queen Jezebel, or Deuteronomy's Worst Nightmare 209
Cozbi 215
Hagar, My Other, My Self 225
Royal Origins: Ruth on the Royal Way 238
Royal Origins: The Moabite 257
Royal Origins: Tamar 264
The Royal Way 278
Outsider Women: Exile and Ezra 283
Pt. IV Voice
Orades of the Conquest of Canaan: Rahab and Deborah 297
Oracles of Saul: Hannah and the Witch of Endor 301
The Necromancer at Endor 310
Abigail 315
Huldah 324
Woman as Voice 327
Pt. V Reading the Women of the Bible
Women of Metaphor, Metaphors of Women 333
The Later Adventures of Biblical Women 339
Mirrors and Voices: Reading These Stories Today 350
Notes 355
Index 437
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Customer Reviews

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