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Good Girls, Bad Girls


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Table of Contents

Introduction Section One: Liars, Lawbreakers, and Lovers Chapter 1: A Woman with a Plan: Rebekah Chapter 2: The Hooker With a Heart of Gold: Rahab Chapter 3: Tricks and Tryst: Delilah Chapter 4: The Girl Next Door: Ruth Chapter 5: Not a Ghost of a Chance: The Witch of Endor Chapter 6: The Menace Beneath the Mascara: Jezebel Section Two: Victims, Volunteers, and Vindicators Chapter 7 Baby, You Owe Me: The Widow Tamar Chapter 8 Big Sister is Watching: Miriam Chapter 9 The Lamb With A Plan: Bathsheba Chapter 10 One Sick Brother: Tamar, Sister of Absalom Chapter 11 A Womb With a View: The Shunammite Chapter 12 Dirty Old Men: Susanna Conclusion Resources

About the Author

T. J. Wray is associate professor of religious studies at Salve Regina University. She is the author of several books, including The Birth of Satan and Surviving the Death of a Sibling, and lives in Rhode Island.


T. J. Wray combines biblical scholarship with practicality as she opens the door to shed light on 12 women of prominence in the Old Testament in her book Good Girls, Bad Girls. She mentions in the introduction the scarcity of information that has been available to laypeople and scholars alike concerning how women lived in the Old Testament era. Wray helps complete the canvas and what is revealed are real women who faced trials, temptations and triumphs and struggled just as we do with their relationship with God and what God's will is in their lives. * Catholic News Service *
T. J. Wray's book presents some of the most important women of the Hebrew Bible in a context that brings them to life. A must-read for every student of the Bible. -- Richard A. Freund, director, Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford
Good Girls, Bad Girls is a lively, informative, and thoughtful presentation of twelve of the most fascinating female figures in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Wray looks at these women with fresh eyes and describes them in clear and engaging language. She succeeds admirably not only in explaining the ancient context of the biblical narratives about these women but also in providing sensitive insights into the contemporary relevance of their stories. -- Carol Meyers, Duke University
Wray's lively and well-written presentation of the women of the Old Testament will make readers wonder how they could have overlooked these extraordinary women and their stories. And for once, the good girls are as complex and interesting as the bad ones. Wray shows how these stories will not permit any simple moralizing about these women. Their own struggles to survive and flourish in a world often stacked against them truly provide 'enduring lessons' for women attempting to make sense of their lives today. -- Carol A. Newsom, Emory University
Good Girls, Bad Girls, is a wonderful, lively book that is based on good bible scholarship but is far from pedantic. Wray shows how important women in the bible subverted their patriarchal culture, and were tacitly acclaimed for doing so by the biblical writers. Without whitewashing the violent elements in the stories, she makes these figures come to life as key actors in Israel's faith and history. -- Lisa Sowle Cahill, J. Donald Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College
Good Girls, Bad Girls reads like a series of well-tuned lectures from Wray's 'Women of the Bible' course. . . . Wray's conversational tone makes Good Girls, Bad Girls an easy read. . . . She writes with authority and skillfully incorporates her research of post-exile Israel and ancient Near Eastern archaeology into each story's re-telling. -- Karna Converse * The Internet Review Of Books *
This biblical scholar offers an in-depth and lively look at the fascinating lives these women lead. * The Houston Chronicle *
Wray's approach is grounded in good scholarship and her findings are insightful. Readers will delight in the conversational tone of her writing and the kindheartedness with which she treats women who may not have received the appreciation warranted by their roles in furthering God's plan. This book is highly recommended. * The Bible Today *
In clear and engaging language Good Girls, Bad Girls presents twelve of the most important and fascinating women of the Hebrew Bible. In the book's two major parts-Liars, Lawmakers, and Lovers; and Victims, Volunteers, and Vindicators-the reader will encounter Ruth and Jezebel, along with lesser known women such as the Shunammite Woman (1 Kings). The portraits of these ladies are refreshingly nuanced and multifaceted. Along with solid biblical scholarship, T. J. Wray provides sensitive insights into the contemporary relevance of these women's stories. This book will appeal to both students of the Bible and women and men interested in discovering what these biblical women can teach us today. * U.S. Catholic Book Club *

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