WomenfromtheBook Blog: An Introduction
Welcome to my new blog, one dedicated to researching women from the Bible. This topic has been a decades-long interest for me. I hope it might become one for you, too, as I share my journey of discovery.
A new beginning
Several years ago I began breaking in a new Bible. I have adopted the habit of marking my Bible with color-coding for various topics: red for commandments; blue for fulfilled prophecy, purple for promises, and so on. This time I added a new color—pink—for women. I didn’t just highlight specific women, like Eve, Rachel, Leah, or Tabitha; I also marked terms for categories of women, like prophetess or widow.
My ongoing goal has been to read the Bible through in one year. So the new Bible gave me the perfect opportunity to begin a year of reading and to mark a clean copy of the Bible at the same time. It’s amazing now when I flip through its pages to note all the pink, and still I find some that I have overlooked.
One caveat to reading through the Bible by schedule is that meeting the daily reading requirement can easily become an end in itself. I have found myself simply reading over many details and personages in order to get to the end of the day’s assignment. Now I’m trying to train myself to keep a careful eye out for women as I read. I have a Bible reading notebook, and frequently note a name or question to remind me to look for further details.
Avoid a dead end
I’ve learned several lessons along the way and I’ll share an obvious one: the farther one goes back in history, the fewer the resources that are available; and the fewer the resources, the more speculation fills in the blanks. I plan to avoid speculating unless I clearly identify it as such.
Here is a case in point. I participated in a women’s conference some time ago, my general topic being women from the Bible. As an ice-breaker I gave all the attendees a handout and asked them to write down the names of several Bible women they found interesting, with the promise that we would come back to it later in the session. Ultimately I asked them to refer to their list, choose one name, and find out all they could about their person, answering questions of who, what, where, when, and why. I have no way of knowing if any followed through, but I’m hopeful.
Most of those attending picked predictable women like Martha, Mary, Ruth, and Esther. One, however, chose Eve. I mention this because some Bible personalities lead to a dead-end when it comes to historical or cultural research. There is plenty of material about Eve with regard to doctrine or as an object lesson, but it is impossible to research her further than what the Bible itself reveals.
In the next blog I’ll explain my approach for future posts and include some research basics as well.
Memory Tester: Wikipedia states there are 188 named women in the Bible. List as many as you can from memory.
Until next time, thank you for visiting WomenfromtheBook Blog.
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Good morning Peggy. Thanks for your comment. Interestingly enough I was just thinking about Bad Girls of the Bible! I read an article in the BAR which had to do with Machaerus, Herod’s palace where Salome probably danced and John was beheaded. Maybe a future blog on bad girls–the Bible has a few, doesn’t it?
Hello Mrs Meeker…thank you for this blog…several years ago I bought a series of fiction (well it is part fictiction part fact) books called “Bad Girls of the Bible” Although it was half fiction I did find it interesting and found ways to apply the writers points to my life. And it stirred up even more an already firey interest in learning more about the woman of the Bible. I do believe this will be a valuable tool for the ladies in their Bible Study! So again, thank you! and Happy Sabbath 🙂 ~Peggy
Hello Diana. I agree that it is very easy to read over the accounts of these women. Discovering their historical and cultural backdrop adds such a dimension to my study. Thanks for coming with me on this journey.
I am really looking forward to following your blog. The little I have learned about the history of biblical times and the daily challenges they faced has helped strengthen my own faith with the challenges in today’s society. The Bible truley is a living book that we can use to guide us today but it can be so easy to read over the stories without understanding what they were facing and then we miss out on why these women were used as examples. Thanks for sharing what you are learning 🙂