Start reading Reading the Women of the Bible on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories [Kindle Edition]

Tikva Frymer-Kensky
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.95
Kindle Price: $14.95
You Save: $4.00 (21%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $14.95  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $15.99  
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs
It’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. Learn more | See related books

Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"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 has applied her expertise in the culture and traditions of the ancient Near East to the Hebrew Bible, with remarkable results: Reading the Women of the Bible contains new insights and brilliant analyses, and a whole set of creative syntheses. 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, Professor of Hebrew Biblical Studies, University of California, San Diego, and editor-in-chief, The Anchor Bible

"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

"A major voice in feminist reading of the Hebrew Bible, 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. Reading the Women of the Bible lets us move back and forth between ancient text and contemporary gender issues in a generative way--a most welcome and important read!&quo...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1530 KB
  • Print Length: 482 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805211829
  • Publisher: Schocken; Reprint edition (December 18, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001ON78PW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,766 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revived My Spirituality February 17, 2003
If you're like me, here's your problem: you're a self-respecting woman, but you're struggling with your faith, whether Jewish or Christian. Why? The Biblical stories at first appear incredibly chauvinistic, and you just don't know if you can handle serving a God who apparently thinks you as a woman should be subservient. You tried going to the local Christian bookstore, but the stuff you found was weak and insulted your intelligence, either making no reference to your equality or advising you to indulge in your own subordination. Worse, some even labeled feminists misguided or even down right witches.
Here's your solution: Rivka and her book. Excuse me while I gush, there aren't enough adjectives to describe the woman's brilliance. Firstly, you need not worry that you're reading a book by some housewife who attends church but never picked up a Bible herself and would like to expound on the joys of degradation. This is a professor, a woman who makes her living on biblical studies, having a deep understanding of the original language, the cultural surroundings of the time and what should be labled "context".
Secondly, you will neither be left behind nor will your hand be held. Even if you've never read the Bible, Rivka will help to describe the stories she's making reference to, and helpfully provide the actual text, and she never makes an assumption that you know more than you actually do. At the same time, she will not emotionally pamper you with feel-good mush, she'll only throw facts at you, hard and fast, and even old-school students will walk away with many new pieces of information. She will not get up on a soap box with moralistic, abstract declarations, she'll hand you the information and make a few suggestions, leaving you to make your own decisions.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I have read a few dozen such books and I was very impressed by this one. Tikva Frymer-Kensky is very scholarly she often defers to the original Hebrew. Her work is well documented, yet very readable. I was particularly impressed by her treatment of Hagar. Most Jewish authors either portray her negatively or ignore her altogether.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtfully engaging interpretation of their stories February 10, 2005
In Tikva Frymer-Kensky's Reading The Women Of The Bible: A New Interpretation Of Their Stories, gender issues in the Bible are tackled from the perspective of proposing a new taxonomy of four discourses involving women, reflecting the author's background as a professor of Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Informed and informative, Professor Tikva Frymer-Kensky's new and thoughtfully engaging interpretation of their stories includes liberal quotes from the Bible and insights into early Biblical influences and is very highly recommended reading.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent October 27, 2009
What role a woman should play in Biblical studies?
Did Jewish women contribute anything to the Torah and Talmud?
If so, then, why their views are not always welcome?
Is there a principle difference between a man rabbi and a woman rabbi?
These questions were addressed in this book.
Worth every penny.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, But a Little Boring July 23, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author provides a very scholarly analysis of women in the Old Testament. If more intellectual reading is not your thing, then this may not be the book for you. However, if you are into writing that is a little more dense, then you might like it. She provides a lot of interesting points. If you want to read about some of the symbolism and meaning of women in the bible, this book could pose very helpful.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Scholarly Text February 3, 2012
By TheNome
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Frymer-Kensky has a wonderful, readable text studying not only the interaction between the genders in the books of Hebrew Bible, but also the applicability of Biblical scholarship today. This work manages to be at once information-dense and highly accessible; I was assigned two readings from it for a Religious Studies course, and will definitely be keeping the book just for personal reading afterwards.

The review section here is largely filled with people talking about using this text for their personal faith; that's wonderful, and the text is really quite useable in that manner. It also, however, manages to pull of being a great scholarly work on the subject of Biblical femininity.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource! April 29, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the textbooks in a class I'm taking called Women in the Bible, and it's been really interesting in getting a feminist perspective on the portrayal of women in the Bible. Whether you're interested in the Bible, in feminism, or just in interesting perspectives in the context of society and history, I highly recommend it. It's well written and Tikva Frymer-Kensky offers great thoughtful translations along with her in-depth commentary.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource May 1, 2003
By lauren
An excellent read and an excellent resource for students and interested parties. Well-written, clear, with humor and insight too.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the perspectives given by the authors of this book
I loved the perspectives given by the authors of this book, even though I didn't agree with all of them. Easy to read with many references. Read more
Published 2 months ago by pepe
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book since the Bible itself !!
Wonderfully researched and beautifully presented.
Have given copies to others and re-read it many times.
Essential for any Jewish or Christian feminist's book shelf
Published 3 months ago by Margaret Ingram Melamed
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately,I agree
I am reading it for a class-namely-Women of the Bible-class.It is not one I would have selected for pleasure. Read more
Published 14 months ago by claire lobel
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights
This book provides interesting insights into the meta-story behind the biblical accounts of women in the Old Testament. I recommend it to any serious student of the Old Testament. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Myra Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
This has been a resource to me in pieces before. I am so thrilled to have this available in a bound book.
Published on March 4, 2013 by Sandra Squires
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
The book is in perfect condition and arrived on time. It is just that the content is not what I expected. Not the sellers fault. Read more
Published on February 7, 2013 by BP
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful look at the women of the Old Testament
Ms. Tikva Frymer-Kensky has written a helpful analysis of the Bible's women. She discusses them as Victors (Deborah, Rivka, Rahab, Wise Women) Victims (Sarah, The Levite's... Read more
Published on January 5, 2009 by Carol Grizzard
4.0 out of 5 stars Bible women lives and life
Real different perspective of women and their roles in biblical studies. I shared with my Bible study folks and the ladies were most interested and shared the book. Read more
Published on April 6, 2007 by Lester D. Kinkade
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category