Written by Women.???

Bruce Gardner b.gardner at abdn.ac.uk
Wed Feb 21 08:42:48 EST 2001

Dear Folks,
                 If we are going to coment on the likelihood of women 
writers and scholars (and I am still reeling from a post that says, because 
Huldah defended the Law in a prophecy in 2Kings 22, doesn't mean she had 
read it!) I hope we will look at the situation beyond (recorded) Israel. As 
for the Hebrew Bible as evidence, one must remember it was redacted by male 
priests and so it could be less likely to show a high literary profile for 
women - hence the need for open survey.

Also, for interest, JohnVan Seters has a comparison between the Pentateuch 
and the Greek Catalog of Women, in "The Primeval Histories of Greece and 
Israel Compared", ZAW   100, 1-22. It is a literary study but it may shed 
some light on the issues, either positively or negatively.

In the light of goddess worship, we must beware of applying late 
Judaeo-Christian misogyny universally. I keep returning to poor Hypatia (d. 
415CE) who was its victim with a vengeance, although she had Alexandria at 
her feet, with Christian and non-Christian students enthusistic about her 
lectures on astronomy and mathematics. For this, she was hated by the Church.

The Christian view of history, aftert all, was that it consisted of Gen 
1-11! The Renaissance had to come to prove that there was time when 
civilized people knew that the earth was not flat!

Beware of a simplex view of History as a single curve. Look at the Amazons! 
;) And Proverbs 31f where the lady is a businesswoman who operates, 
apparently, independantly of her husband!

Early Judaism may not have said, with later rabbis, "The more women, the 
more witchcraft." In the light of Devorah, Rahab, Huldah, Proverbs 30, 31, 
Esther etc. we may not assume that, nor may we assume that women had no 
education nor power. There are signs of greater equality in the daughters 
of Zelophehad (Joshua 17) who received an inheritance. The issue needs 
study. I do not say we can prove literacy easily, but we may find evidence 
of social position implying it.



At 07:21 21/02/01, you wrote:
>From: "Christine Bass" <christinebass at home.com>
> > A clarification is in order.
> >
> > My post was a satirical response---to the statement that Biblical
> > scholarship begins with the belief that the scriptures were written by
> > This comes under the heading, in my mind anyway, of "biblical
> > mythology"----the idea that men conceived and wrote scripture.
> >
> > As I interpret the scriptures to say, they are inspired by God----and were
> > written down by men.
> > Which is a bit of a different take on the subject. No?
>Can I believe my own eyes?!! "Written down by MEN"?? - and from you!
>Incidentally, as a further clarification, would you say the same for ALL
>scriptures, oracles etc. - or only the Judaeo-Christian ones? Your reference
>to 2 Peter is in some ways a little unfortunate. Almost all scholars outside
>of the totally fundamentalist camp agree that 2 Peter is not by the disciple
>Peter, both because of its clear literary dependence on the Letter of Jude,
>and the completely Hellenistic outlook of the author. That it claims to be
>by Peter while at the same time talking about prophetic inspiration does not
>inspire confidence  in the standpoint. "Inspiration" anyway is a very
>elastic word. Even secular poets are often described as "inspired", but from
>the way you express yourself, I take it you mean it as a synonym for
> >From the very uninspired
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Bruce Gardner
b.gardner at abdn.ac.uk
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