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Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives
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Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Overtures to Biblical Theology #13)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  242 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Professor Trible focuses on four variations upon the theme of terror in the Bible. By combining the discipline of literary criticism with the hermeneutics of feminism, she reinterprets the tragic stories of four women in ancient Israel: Hagar, Tamar, an unnamed concubine, and the daughter of Jephthah. In highlighting the silence, absence, and opposition of God, as well as ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 1st 1984 by Fortress Press
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While Trible's literary/rhetorical criticism asks a lot of an ancient, multi-sourced text, the endeavor is still humbling in scope and purpose. Published over 25 years ago now, Texts of Terror is still a shining example of feminist Biblical criticism, as well a work of deep faith, hope and compassion. Trible takes four of the most disturbing Biblical examples of sexual violence against women, and exegetes them with a Christological lens. Buried under the violence, subjugation and silencing, Trib ...more
Powerful and disturbing. I do not share Trible's perspective though I think my own has been altered by the encounter. This is a very close, challenging reading of four passages of scripture encompassing Hagar, Absalom's sister Tamar, the concubine of Judges, and Jephthah's daughter.
A book that reads the bible selectively, ignoring many standard commentaries as well. Trible paints a picture of women as perpetual victims in the Bible. Ignores every strong woman from Sarah to Rebecca to Shifra and Puah to Miriam to Deborah...and I could go on. This is a case of a woman with a cause who wants to read what she wants into material. Despite the academic presentation of the book, I found it intellectually dishonest and manipulative. I would not have finished the book had it not be ...more
Melody Cantwell
I really wanted to like this book. A book that pays attention to the women in the shadows of the Old Testament? Yes, please!

I was greatly disappointed.

I suppose I should have expected even less from "literary-feminist readings" than I did.

However, Trible gives little or no social, historical, cultural, and religious backgrounds for her readings. Her viewpoint is distinctly anti-male, which is a pity, because it causes her to neglect much of the text. I paid most attention to her reading of Tamar
Close readings of the stories of some women from the Old Testament. Harrowing stuff, but very well done. I love the idea of elevating this derided women simply by paying attention. Trible's ability to dig deep into the translations is a huge asset. She provides strong explanations about how they often fall short or fail to engage the ambiguity of the text.

I'm happy to see she's authored more books. I'll be moving along to them too.
Love her ethos, prose, and guiding virtues (letting the text speak for itself, a hermeneutic of remembrance), but found solid but not revelatory. Probably more important as one step on the trajectory of feminist hermeneutics than as a stand-alone book.
A difficult book to read but it gave a new insight into four of the most horrific Bible stories and crimes against women. I struggled with the author to find anything redemptive in them, yet she did find some threads of redemption for the most part. This gave me new insights into abuse. I had never thought of Hagar as being abused by Abraham and Sarah, but when you read the text with your eyes open you can see it clearly.

I did sense however the author had a very negative view of God - although I
Amy Hughes
It's painful to read, but Texts of Terror is a necessary one. It's short, each chapter highlights one example of a "text of terror": Hagar, Tamar, the Levite's concubine, and the daughter of Jephthah. Trible allows the discomfort and rage and disappointment and whatever other emotions may arise as a result of really reading these stories to linger and to call us to remembrance and action. Each of the chapters is an encounter with an open wound and Trible does not shrink back from calling us to r ...more
Deb Amend
This is a profound little read, which is actually a series of lectures on four of the hardest stories in the Old Testament. Trible does an astounding job of interacting with the text on an academic level and points out the where, within the silence of God, man steps in, and speaks and acts for God in a violent way, to justify his own end. In studying these stories, she makes the reader see the need to "think about it, seek counsel and speak."
This book explores four Bible stories and focuses on the women in them who are often overlooked. I love Trible's literary method of reading, and the way she examines the text opens the Bible up for a whole lot more examination. This is a good book for anyone who is tired of the Bible, or who thinks it doesn't have anything to say to them.
Awesome book. It changed the way I read the Bible, specifically Judges. While it has its limitations, this book holds up the feminist perspective in such a way that it can intervene in abusive ways of reading the bible, while also being palatable to the evangelical church.
Feminist theological interpretation of parts of scripture in which women are terrorized. Excellent. Twice as excellent because it's short and specific for those of us who have a short attention space for biblical interpretation.
Trible addresses the women in the Old Testament narratives. Although an academic, Trible has made this book accessible when discussing the humiliations, struggles and lack of voice women have in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Brilliant. Let's you understand why the bible is an eternal classic. Opens your eyes to timeless truths. Reconciles your heart and mind. Scientifical book, takes some effort to read, but incredibly rewarding.
I read this for a class I took at the U of Iowa my junior year of high school: Images of Women in the Bible.
Creepy passages from the old testament explicated.
Pretty disturbing on many levels
A Must Read!
Reed Jaboro
A must read.
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Other Books in the Series

Overtures to Biblical Theology (1 - 10 of 37 books)
  • The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith (Overtures to Biblical Theology)
  • God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality
  • Israel in Exile: A Theological Interpretation (Overtures to Biblical Theology)
  • The Ten Commandments & Human Rights
  • Sharing Possessions (Overtures to Biblical Theology)
  • The Diversity of Scripture: A Theological Interpretation (Overtures to Biblical Theology)
  • Whirlpool of Torment: Israelite Traditions of God as an Oppressive Presence
  • The Suffering of God
  • Love of Enemies
  • Faithfulness in Action: Loyalty in Biblical Perspective (Overtures to Biblical Theology)
God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality Hagar, Sarah & Their Children: Jewish, Christian & Muslim Perspectives Rhetorical Criticism Feminist Approaches to the Bible Fatih and Feminisim

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