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Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament Paperback – August 28, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (August 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802849628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802849625
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Harvey Cox
"This is it—the one indispensable resource for anyone seriously interested in understanding the hundreds of women who appear in the Bible. Balanced, accurate, and fascinating to peruse and consult."

Roland E. Murphy
"By means of adroit organization and close textual reading, the invisible have become visible; the hidden influence of women, named and unnamed, in biblical times is now manifest from the hundreds of entries in this handy encyclopedia."

Susannah Heschel
"This is the most thorough and systematic survey ever undertaken of women in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. The editors have gathered articles by the finest scholars, who present the most up-to-date results of biblical scholarship on women. An indispensable companion for anyone studying the Bible."

The Christian Science Monitor
"Women in Scripture is a remarkable reference book here to stay."

Publishers Weekly
"Prophets, poets, prostitutes — and all other women named and unnamed in the Bible — are finally given their due in what is not your usual biblical dictionary."

Library Journal
"Splendid. . . A monumental reference work that resurrects women from anonymity."

About the Author

Carol Meyers holds the Mary Wilson Professorship in Religion at Duke University.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Houser VINE VOICE on December 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is not as specialized a reference work as you would suspect from the title. The six introductory articles are among the best I have read on the development of the canon, hermeneutics, and the status of biblical scholarship. These run a mere ten or sixteen columns each, yet feel comprehensive. They reveal the editors' infatutuation with statistical information (numbers of male named in the Bible vs. the number of females; the number of named women vs. the number of unnamed women; names that recur most frequently, etc.), and their interest in exploring what these statistics hint at. Clearly the editors and authors enjoyed creating this landmark publication. While the authors are not timid scholars, they seem to know when they have reached a dead end or hit an informational barrier. When the Bible is silent on an issue, they are comfortable acknowledging it.
Also worth praising is the organization of the book. Part I consists of all the women named in the Bible (including the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books) in alphabetical order; Part II lists all the unnamed women (or groups of women, such as, "Daughters of Lot" and "Women at Vashti's Banquet") in Bible book order (following the NRSV sequencing) by their earliest significant Scripture reference; Part III, perhaps the most fascinating section, is a compilation of female deities and personifications (such as, "Asherah/Asherim," "Female Images of God in the Hebrew Bible," "Woman Wisdom," and "No 'Male and Female' in Christ Jesus"). While great care has been made in providing cross-referencing, there is no general index to the volume.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mike Jones on December 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Women in Scripture is just the resource I have been waiting for; in one volume I can find brief, but thorough, well written articles on all the women of the Bible, which incorporate the insights of the best of contemporary critical biblical scholarship. And don't miss the introductory articles. They are worth the price of this book by themselves. This book is a must for all pastors, serious Bible students, and all laypersons interested in learning about the women of the Bible as they are presented in the Bible, not as they have been culturally presented. I highly recommend it!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Leading Biblical scholars provide the best, latest scholarship on biblical women and provides an important volume bringing together the works of over seventy scholars who provide entries on over two hundred named and six hundred unnamed women. All the women of the Bible, from deities to personifications of symbols, are represented in a fine dictionary reference.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joan K. Snipes on July 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I regularly conduct Bible workshops on the topic of Women Prophets and frequently recommend this dictionary to my audiences. This book is easy to use and is an update of the classic by Edith Deen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been using this book intermittently for reference purposes during the more than two years since I bought it.
Big plus: Exhaustive coverage of all women in the Bible, named or unnamed. I don't believe there is any female character or group of women in the Bible who have been overlooked. And navigation (finding any given female character/s in this book) is very well done. The book is easy to use.
Big minus: In many cases (but not all), I have been disappointed by the nature of the commentary offered. I know the title says it's a dictionary, not a commentary, but quite a lot of the content (in common with other Bible Dictionaries) is in fact in the nature of commentary. The problem I have with the commentary is that several (again, not all) of the contributors seem to be more driven to make points in support of their particular feminist or womanist hermeneutic than to explore the text and discover what else there might be to say about the woman, or women, being considered in the entry. Since I am male, I had better add that I sympathise somewhat with the feminist perspective and a great deal with a womanist perspective. My complaint is not that entries are written from these perspectives: in a volume like this the reader should surely anticipate that! What I feel is lacking is a deeper exploration. In some cases, (eg. Jephthah's daughter) I felt that more could have been said from those very perspectives, but that the writer failed to spend enough time in fresh analysis of the text.
On balance, I would say that if you need an exhaustive reference, there is not another available like this one. But be prepared, after paying for this book, to do some further exegesis and/or exposition yourself, on occasion.
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