Some in the Bible Study were a little apprehensive about the title
November 4, 2015
Wicked Women of the Bible, is proving to be an excellent choice for our Study Group. We study the book in an adult Women's Bible Study on Sunday mornings. We read the scripture passages regarding the "lady" of the week, and then discuss the questions Ann has in the back of the chapter. These questions have provoked much conversation in the class. Many of the ladies are being open about their lives and problems they face that are similar to those in the book. I would highly recommend this book
Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler is a simple retelling, in Spanglers words, of twenty Bible stories involving women. In some of these stories, the women truly are wickedas in evil. In others the women are wicked in the contemporary, ironic sense. For example, Spangler defines Davids wife Abigail as being wicked smart.
Though the stories are factualthese women did exist, Spangler presents them as historical fiction, telling readers what they may have been thinking or what their motives may have been. She includes footnotes throughout, citing sources and clarifying whats fact and what is speculation on her part.
Following each story, Spangler includes a section called The Times. Here she presents cultural insights relevant to understanding what was going on and how the people of the day would have perceived events.
Spangler closes each chapter with a section called The Takeaway. Personally I think these sections hold the greatest value in this book. The Takeaway includes deep questions meant to help readers apply lessons from each Bible story to their own lives. This section makes the book useful for small group Bible studies, potentially prompting some lively discussions.
I thank Zondervan for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.
Ann Spangler in her new book, Wicked Women of the Bible published by Zondervan transports readers back to biblical times and brings stories to life.
From the back cover: What can Jezebel, the Bibles wickedest queen, reveal about Gods holiness and power and even about his sense of humor? What about the Woman at the Wellthe one with five husbands and a live-in lover? And what of the prostitute whose tears bathe the feet of Jesus in front of people who despise her?
There are also wicked good women like Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, and more. What do their lives tell us about Gods invincible love and his determined plan to save us?
In Wicked Women of the Bible Ann Spangler tells the stories of twenty wicked and wicked good women in greater detail. At the end of each story, Ann provides a brief section including additional historical and cultural background as well as a brief Bible study in order to enhance the books appeal to both individuals and groups.
The stories of these women of the Bible reveal a God who is not above it all but who stoops down to meet us where we are in order to extend his love and mercy.
There are those that feel that The Bible is strictly about the men. In this book Ms. Spangler shows that the women play an important part as well. Not all of these women are nice. In these twenty stories some of them are really wicked while others are good. Why did God allow these stories into His Bible? What truths can we learn about God? After each story there is a brief section called The Times which provides additional background information to delve more deeply into their stories. Then there is The Takeaway which includes questions designed for individual and group Bible study. Women are important. God thinks so and these stories show just how important. I recommend it highly!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Throughout the 20 stories included in this book, we see women and men who have been portrayed as strong people of the Bible who had faults. While the book is titled Wicked Women of The Bible, men are included in the stories as well, for example in the story of the woman who washed Jesus' feet talks greatly about Simon. So while it states women, men could get as much from this book as women would. There are lessons through each story that anyone reading the book would be able to learn from, and it might be different for each person.
When i got this book from BookLook Bloggers, I wasn't sure what to expect with it. I honestly expected stories on the wicked women, meaning women who were portrayed in a negative light, but this book included both good and bad women and showed how their faults/sins helped promote God's glory. I was pleasantly pleased with this book. I will be reading this book multiple times, as well as recommending it for my ladies study group.
Didn't dig very deep or provide much additional information
September 23, 2015
Debbie from ChristFocus
The title of this book is misleading. It's a selection of 20 Bible stories that are as much about the men as the women. So Miriam's story was also about Moses and Aaron, Abigail's story focused mostly on Nabal and David, and so on. The author took about 5 pages to retell each Bible story. She switched between tenses, so she'd start off in present tense ("run"), have a few "am running" mixed in, then switch to past tense ("ran"). It found this distracting, and it felt poorly edited to me.
The author added fictional elements to flesh out the stories, but it was usually physical descriptions or comments like: Pharaoh made a "brainless attempt" to overtake the Israelites as they left Egypt. She also portrayed people in ways I don't agree with, like in Rahab's story: "Their husbands give her looks that tell her they are wondering what it would be like to caress her honey-gold skin" and this pleases Rahab. So we're left to believe God saved this apparently unrepentant woman simply because she had decided He was more powerful than her gods. And some details didn't need to be added, like David watched as Bathsheba "rubs a sponge across her body--caressing her face, her neck, and then her breasts."
Each story was followed by one page (or less) of information on "The Times" which told where the story is found in the Bible and about the larger historical context of the story. We're also given information on topics like harems, eunuchs, kinsmen redeemers, and such. The New Testament stories also included some cultural background information. She also included 4 or 5 questions about each story, like "What three to five words would you use to describe Abigail's character?"
I've enjoyed this author's books in the past, but I was very disappointed with this one. Frankly, you'd get as much out of reading the stories in a good study Bible. The author even referenced information from the "Archaeological Study Bible," which I have and would recommend.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booklook Bloggers.