‘Bible Women’

All Their Words and Why They Matter

1000 Bible Women

“Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter.” Lindsay Hardin Freeman. Cincinnati, Ohio: Forward Movement, 2014. 504 pp.

Lindsay Hardin Freeman’s “Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter” (Forward Movement, 2014) presents fascinating and unexpected insights into the 93 women whose words are recorded in scripture. Women of the Bible have been trapped in dry, dusty literary caskets for centuries – but no more.

Freeman, an Episcopal priest and award-winning author, identifies every woman who speaks in the Bible, providing their words, context, historical background and lessons for modern readers. Published by Forward Movement in partnership with Episcopal Church Women, the book also explores the pivotal roles of biblical women who changed the course of history, from Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Mary Magdalene, the first to see and proclaim the risen Lord.

Questions at the end of each chapter encourage individual or small-group reflection on what we might learn from each of these women and how God is speaking through them to us.

“Women in the Bible are much different from those traditionally presented in Sunday school or in lighthearted picture books,” said Freeman. “These women are tough, resilient and brave. They take risks and speak up when no one else will. They are prophets, healers, teachers and companions – and murderers, warriors and spies. Their words leap off the page as interventions from God into what was otherwise a male-dominated society. They have much to say – and much to share.”

Mary, Elizabeth and Sarah are well-known biblical women, but what about Achsah, Michal, the witch of Endor and the wise woman of Abel? Which woman speaks the most? (Hint: It’s not Mary.) Who is the only female to talk with an animal? And what about the women who behave badly – including a woman who eats her child and a ruler who murders her grandchildren?

“Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter” can be ordered here.

“In ‘Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter,’ Lindsay Hardin Freeman brings to light an entirely new and in-depth understanding of the often unrecognized contribution women made in the overall biblical narrative. Freeman’s very adept biblical scholarship provides what I believe to be groundbreaking work in providing greater awareness and appreciation of the importance Bible women play in our sacred story.” — The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

“Lindsay Hardin Freeman makes visible the women in the Bible who are in plain sight, and she lets us hear them speak. Their voices resound with courage, humor, lamentation and faith.” — The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, dean and president of the Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, Texas

“Reading ‘Bible Women’ is an opportunity to get reacquainted with not only the stories of biblical woman but also to reflect anew on their words and actions. Included here are some of the most familiar biblical women and, importantly, some of those not frequently the focus of study but introduced here with devotion and respect. An excellent resource for individual and group prayer and reflection.” — The Rev. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, dean of the faculty and professor of Practical Theology and Religious Education, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, Calif.

“Author and visionary Lindsay Hardin Freeman brings us another great leap forward in comprehension of the realities of the female presentations in the Bible. Her diligent analysis of every line uttered by women in scripture delivers startling insights never before analyzed, nor understood, as parts of a deeper message regarding the female half of the human species. This gender, as we all know, is in desperate need of a healthier level of interaction and with ‘Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter,’ Lindsay Hardin Freeman offers us hope for a fresh platform of progress.” — Barbara Forster, human rights activist

“Lindsay Hardin Freeman has provided a great gift to the women of our church, and to all people searching for relevance in even the smallest of words and action. As she writes in her introduction of the 93 women who speak in the scriptures,‘Their words are meant for us.’ Here is a fascinating offering for group study and personal reflection from this consummate storyteller and teacher.” — The Rev. Nancy R. Crawford, national president of Episcopal Church Women, Eugene, Ore.

“In ‘Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter,’ your sister ancestors step out of the Bible pages eager to talk to you and share their stories: some you know, some you don’t, some bold, some funny, some horrifying and tragic, some surprising, but all told from their loving hearts. They invite you to visit them often and stay in touch as our God-given lineage continues. Please RSVP!” — Lana J. Fitzgerald, president of Episcopal Church Women and chair of Women’s Ministry, Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida

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