"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hebrew Bible and Women

First library book finished...just a few notes for now. I need to watch NCIS.

In the back of the book there is a ten question conversation with the author, Naomi Harris Rosenblatt. I especially enjoyed the author's answer to question 8 about the most important thing she wanted people to know about these women in After the Apple and what biggest misconception she wanted to dispel.

First, I would like to challenge the widespread notion that the women of the Hebrew Bible were timid and crushed under a harsh patriarchal boot. After the Apple demonstrates that, on the contrary, these women used their power as women; they seduced, they challenged, they subverted authority, to work everyday miracles in a male dominated culture.

Second, to refute once and for all the widespread notion of Eve as an underhanded seductress.  (pg. 268)

"In piecing together a book that is both a history of a people and its moral code, the Hebrew Bible esteems women who refuse to surrender to misfortune but marshal whatever resources they have available to defy what others view as inescapable fate. ... [She then mentions Ruth and Tamar's ways of making themselves part of the family after being widowed.] These women are alert to the rare appearance of opportunities for them to achieve justice, and they have the courage to act on their convictions."  (pg. 233)

"What I find particularly intriguing about the women is that most of them circumvent male authority in a patriarchal society, and some even subvert it.  Even more remarkable is the fact that the women, other than Jezebel, are never punished for their unconventional conduct.  On the contrary, the biblical scribes treat the women with deep sympathy, and are sensitive to their plight." Most are even "rewarded for their boldness." (pg. 255)


Amber said...

It's sort of a theme, actually. I've noticed, if you look at the patriarchs, the men that God really seems to talk to in the OT, they were all sort of...argumentative. I remember reading somewhere that we've forgotten that God enjoys a well thought out and stated argument.

But what I was saying - the OT tells us the stories of the unusual people, the ones who stand out. The way we interpret their stories will, often, say more about us than it does the story itself.

Susanne said...

Oooh, I like your thoughts, Amber! :)