Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler

book cover
Wicked Women of the Bible
by Ann Spangler

ISBN-13: 9780310341680
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: September 22, 2015

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Booklook Bloggers.

Book Description from Goodreads:
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 book s appeal to both individuals and groups.

My Review:
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.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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