Written by Women.???

David Stabnow dstabno at lifeway.com
Wed Feb 21 18:03:00 EST 2001

Just some observations:

Many of the arguments on this topic are centering on the idea that the only
purpose of literacy was as writers or copyists of Scripture. Yet much of
the written material we have from the NE are ostraca from business
transactions or taxes, and graffiti in mines. The use of writing for
business and taxation considered together with the "excellent woman" of
Prov 31 is at least a suggestion that some women would have benefitted from
literacy. And how is it that some miners were able to write? A scribe may
have been exiled to the mines, or there may have been some trickle-down
literacy to the working class.

Still, it is possible that there was a "glass wall" disallowing any woman
of any class from benefitting from this dissemenation of knowledge, but
also possibly not. It's hard to look back clearly without being blinded by
my 21st C American binoculars.

Even so, those who could write out records on ostraca and those who could
scratch their name on a mine shaft were far removed from those who wrote
the prose and poetry of the Bible. So even if the "excellent woman" was
functionally literate, she's got a long way to go, baby.

Dave Stabnow

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