Real Women and Their Stories

Dynamic Women of the Bible by Ruth A. Tucker:  A Book Review

O.K., I’ll confess:   I started reading Dynamic Women of the Bible beginning with the last chapter.  I happened to notice that it was about Priscilla, and since I have had a long-standing desire to prove that Priscilla wrote the book of Hebrews, it was imperative that I verify whether or not  Ruth A. Tucker was going to support me in this.  Even though I’ve since changed my position, I was enthusiastic in suppressing the big question that arrived in the mail with this package from Baker Books:  How many books about the women of the Bible do we really need?  Seriously.  After John MacArthur and Alice Matthews have weighed in, the scholarly approach is pretty well covered.  Liz Curtis Higgs has categorized most of them by conduct (Bad, Really Bad, Slightly Bad).  Lisa TerKeurst even has a DVD with her book.  What’s left?

Plenty.

I would argue that this well-researched (303 pages) and documented (7 additional pages of notes) study is an intriguing scavenger hunt in which the author examines her own story alongside that of the sixty-one women she profiles. With Lot’s wife, we learn that Ruth Tucker also fled and looked back — not from the fire of God’s wrath, but from a world falling apart because of her husband’s sin.  With Dinah and Tamar, we examine the horror of rape through the grid of Tucker’s abusive marriage.  Because of the sword through Mary’s heart, we learn that the author bared her own pierced heart in prayer, kneeling in the snow to plead for her wayward son.

As a long-time seminary professor, Ruth A. Tucker is well-qualified to produce the informative side bars and thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter.  She is a scholar and could show off if she wanted to.  Instead, she reveals a sense of humor that humanizes these Biblical women.  Who would have thought of Rachel  in the role of 1960’s country music star?  (Why not?  The Genesis account raves about her beauty and identifies her as a sheep herder.)  Because of the author’s creative chapter groupings, I am inspired to picture a ladies Bible study attended by Gomer, the Proverbs 31 woman, Job’s wife, and the Song of Songs lover.  Most of all, I am motivated to “dig deeper”  — as we are urged to do in the Epilogue.  The grace to serve God “acceptably with reverence and godly fear” promised at the end of the book of Hebrews (whoever wrote it!) is revealed in its many facets through the lives of the women profiled in the pages of Scripture as well as in the life of the author of this fine book.

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