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Exploring the stories of the women of the Old Testament

Lynn Japinga publishes a new Bible study with Westminster John Knox Press

by Westminster John Knox Press | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — For too long the women of the Bible have been depicted in one-dimensional terms. On one side are saints, such as Mary, while on the other are “bad girls,” such as Eve and Jezebel. Just as often, the female characters of the Bible are simply ignored.

However, the women of the Bible are complex, multidimensional individuals whose lives are inspiring, funny, and tragic in ways too many of us never hear. Lynn Japinga offers a new reading of their stories in her Bible study, “From Widows to Warriors: Women’s Stories in the Old Testament.

From flawed heroes like Ruth and Rahab to fierce fighters like Deborah and Jael to tragic characters like Jephthah’s daughter and the unnamed concubine of the book of Judges, readers will encounter a wealth of foremothers in the faith in all their messy, yet redeemable, humanity.

“The women of the Old Testament gain new life in Japinga’s imagination and give us new life in how we view and interpret the Bible as the Word of the Lord,” says Karoline M. Lewis of Luther Seminary.

Perfect for individuals or groups, this Bible study introduces and retells every female character who contributes to one or more Old Testament stories, diving deeply into what each woman’s story means for us today with questions for reflection and discussion. “From Widows to Warriors is the first of two volumes, exploring women’s stories in the Bible. The second volume, “From Daughters to Disciples,” will dive into women’s stories of the New Testament and will be available in spring 2021.

“From Widows to Warriors: Women’s Stories from the Old Testament” is now available from Westminster John Knox Press.

Lynn Japinga is Professor of Religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. An ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America (RCA), she has served as a pastor and interim pastor of a number of RCA congregations. Japinga is the author of several books and articles, including “Feminism and Christianity: An Essential Guide.”

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