Women's Writings Add to Bible Study Literature (out of the Garden; Wrestling with Angels; Reading Ruth)

Article excerpt

RECENTLY THERE HAVE been a number of new books about the Bible written by women. Some are collections of writings by a variety of authors, some are by a single author. I want to comment on three of these, all books about the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament).

Out of the Garden is a collection of essays by 28 women. Some are biblical scholars, some poets or novelists, some professors of English, law, or philosophy. They are Christians and Jews. Each addresses the question: "What does it mean to read the Bible as a woman today?" Some essays focus on the women of the Bible; some look at biblical men from a feminist perspective. Here we find Kathleen Norris writing on the psalms, Fay Weldon on Sampson and his women, Phyllis Trible on Elijah and Jezebel.

The essays are thought-provoking, each different in its approach to Scripture. The book ends with a story by science fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin in which Eve "un-names" the animals.

Wrestling With Angels, written by Naomi Rosenblatt, a Jewish psychotherapist who has led weekly Bible classes at the U.S. Senate for 20 years. In this book, she brings to Scripture insights from her work as a therapist, looking at the men and women of Genesis in terms of family dynamics.

In Genesis we find the whole range of human relationships -- men and women, parents and children, sibling rivalry. The book helps us to explore issues like leaving home (Adam and Eve), anger and guilt (Cain and Abel). …