Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

TX 14/02/2010

Transmitted on Valentine's Day, Bettany Hughes takes a quick squizz through some of the women of the Bible, and spends her time suggesting new spins on familiar characters.

Well, I found some of them new anyway. I guess the (minor) problem that I had throughout this edition was that I generally held neither Hughes’ opinions of the individuals, nor the popular opinions which she was addressing.

In one paragraph: I’ve always read the first three chapters of Genesis, not as contradicting each other, but as context for each other. (they’re not presented as separate stories) I’ve also usually read Bathsheba as a victim. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘Jezebel’ to mean anything other than the Old Testament character. I’ve never thought of Mary as “all things to all men”. I’ve always pictured Herodias’ nameless daughter, who so pleased Herod with her dancing at his birthday party, as being about five years old.

This is precisely the reason why I am watching this series though. I want to hear others’ opinions on the Bible and its contents, so as to avoid becoming too comfy with just my own ones.

From that perspective, this was a good edition, particularly from Hughes’ summing-up at the end:

"So, the Bible is book-ended by women – Eve at the beginning and Jezebel mark two at the end – both of them sold to us as ‘bad girls’. But if you read this book carefully you realise that their stories are actually much more complex and ambiguous than that. Just like Bathsheba, they cannot be put into neat moral boxes. It’s a reminder that the Bible itself is not as rigidly anti-women as some people think.

But for me, the real value of this book is that by featuring the likes of Deborah and Jezebel, we get to meet the flesh and blood women of the distant past. This is a rare window onto an age of transition, when women were losing their standing, and while they were being written out of history, the Bible writes them back in.

I think the Bible is not just a spiritual guide inhabited by role models, but can be read as an epic of women, in all their glorious messy humanity."

Role models? In the Bible? Really?

Now that idea is new to me…

Click here for review of programme 1 - Creation.
Click here for review of programme 2 - Abraham.
Click here for review of programme 3 - Moses and the Law.
Click here for review of programme 5 - Jesus.
Click here for review of programme 6 - St. Paul.
Click here for review of programme 7 - Revelation - The Last Judgement.

Labels: ,

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **