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The Woman's Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,112 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
The publication of The Woman's Bible in 1895 and 1898 represented the last crusade of pioneer feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to strike at the roots of the ideology behind her gender's subordinate role in society. In the tradition of radical individualism that guided her philosophy, Stanton's attack on religious orthodoxy is more a forceful political treatise than a schola ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 23rd 2003 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1972)
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Hillary Hunt
Mar 04, 2012 Hillary Hunt rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism
This book is free on Amazon! Really fascinating to read such a bold piece of feminist work from the 1800's. ECS had some major moxie to take such a taboo position in those times. Being raised in patriarchal religious tradition myself, I was struck by how relevant these concerns still are today.

The introductory portion is short, but my favorite. I'm not interested in the heavy Bible Study aspect of this book. But since the Bible was used as a source of authority by which to oppress women, I appr
Nov 05, 2013 Lizzie rated it it was amazing
When I first came upon this book, I gasped. The title, "The Woman's Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective".....

Then the name of the author Elizabeth Cady Stanton....HELL YES!

Before even reading it, I dare say I automatically confirmed it's awesomeness without even reading it. I was right. In the foreword of the book, you will find the history of the making of this book. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and bunch of other women part of the committee joined together to comment about the bible. A lot of wome
Oooh, ECS has some dodgy views going on.

Book looks like fun, though. Anything that gets you ostracised from the feminist movement for being too progressive... She and Anne Bronte should form a club.


The most interesting thing about this book is the appendix, which contains letters of response from ladies in the US and UK, almost all of which are fascinating.

Review to follow.
May 14, 2009 Helynne rated it it was amazing
This is such an interesting and eye-opening look at the Bible! Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), an American social activist, abolitionist, wife, mother, and feminist, wrote in 1895 this disturbingly accurate view of the ongoing misogyny in the Bible. Stanton begins with the obvious: "The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race . . . Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, ...more
Jan 09, 2014 Savannah rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
In a search for a bible for my kindle I was curious to find "The Woman's Bible" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. So, I figured I would give it a glance over, which I did this morning.

Between the preface and the first few pages, I was aghast from claims that you can take apart the bible and believe which parts you choose. Claims that not only did the "trinity" of the Godhead contain a Heavenly Father, but also a heavenly mother... And that the bible was construed from the very beginning to oppress wom
This is interesting in documenting how far Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s questioning ways took her from conventional thought, and how her path created rifts in the women’s movement. It is also interesting in documenting how the Higher Criticism was perceived and used by laypeople.

Stanton takes no prisoners. She wields a broadly sarcastic sword when she attacks the subjegation of women in old and new testaments, and the roles that women fill in biblical stories. She has plenty of very funny acid comm
Oct 27, 2009 Sam rated it really liked it
Picked this up as it free as an e-book thinking that while it will be interesting it won't be that relevent any more, oh how very wrong I was. While religion may not play as big as a role in daily life compared to what it used, it's influences are still very much alive and well and many of the attitudes towards women at least partially stem from the bible and its interpretation. And this is exactly what Stanton and her colleagues set out to illustrate, assess and try to change. They did the firs ...more
This is a fascinating look into what progressive women were thinking at the time. Despite the commentary being from the late 1800s many of the viewpoints and insights still hold up today. Should be required reading. Loved it.
Jan 13, 2012 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. The disheartening thing is how women and feminists seem to still be essentially fighting the same battles outlined here.
Jul 30, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I believe her father once told her, " I wish you had been a boy"
Marbeth Skwarczynski
Jan 20, 2017 Marbeth Skwarczynski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This book of comentary SHOULD have been a great opportunity to correct injustices practiced by the churches of Stanton's time. But instead of using the Bible to prove the false teachings of prominent ministers who claimed that their own prejudices against women were biblically based (when in fact were a result of their own grasp for power), Elizabeth Cady Stanton falls directly into their trap. Her commentary's goal is to PROVE that the Bible and Christianity is anti-woman. In her remarkably sex ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
Stanton's classic work, The Woman's Bible, is one of the bravest and boldest acts I've encountered. When religion is your oppressor, debunk the religion. She does so by contextualizing verses, exposing contradictions, and blatantly rejecting readings of the text that are unethical at best, violently so, at worst. This book needed to be written. Holding blindly to a dogmatism that seeks to stifle the individual mind is dangerous and threatens us all. That said, she gets pretty dogmatic in here :) ...more
Oct 22, 2016 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in the late nineteenth century, THE WOMEN'S BIBLE was an unbelievably progressive book for its time, and is still progressive for modern times. Abrahamic religious denominations often purport patriarchal values, and base those principles on their religious texts. In this work, Elizabeth Cady Stanton presents a critical, radical feminist critique of the books of the Christian Bible. She was knowledgeable in Greek, and in history, and was able to offer viewpoints and rationale that were ...more
If this had been the first greek and hebrew scripture commentary I'd read, I probably would have gotten more out of it. As it is, the book is conversational and easy to get through. Susan B. Anthony may have been the better politician, Stanton remains my favorite feminist.

Pg. 64 As the Bible is placed in the hands of children and uneducated men and women to point them the way of salvation, the letter should have no doubtful meaning. What should we think of guide posts on our highways, if we need
Jul 22, 2008 Jennie rated it it was ok
This has been on my shelf for so long I am not even sure when I got it or what list/recommendation I found it on! :) Having been written in the 1890's, much of what was written was outdated. Yet, it provided a very interesting view on society, specifically woman's rights, during that time. I must admit, I skimmed much of the last 30 pages or so, because I was a little overwhelmed by all the names and storylines mentioned!

This is actually a compilation of writings from many authors, or the revisi
Mar 08, 2013 Irene rated it liked it
ECS was an incredibly brave woman for her time. She and her cohort of commentators make insightful comments into the inherent sexism of the Bible and Christianity. I think it's funny and sad that when you first learn about ECS and her counterparts in American history classes in high school, you never hear of this side of her; all you learn about is her suffragist political work.

Unfortunately things get a bit repetitive (even allowing for the fact that the Bible itself is repetitive and it's unde
Amy Sawyer
Feb 14, 2016 Amy Sawyer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. One of the worst books I have ever read. The following are sorely missing in this publication: logic, research, knowledge of ancient texts, knowledge of ancient history, basic knowledge of Christianity, reasoning, etc. The list goes on.
Perhaps because it is so focused on Protestantism that it seems so theologically flawed to me, a Catholic, but some things are so basic it makes it extremely challenging to believe the author attended a seminary.
There are, at times, hints of anti-Semitism
Alexandra Michaelides
The Woman's Bible has been on my mental to-read list since I first heard about it. I am fascinated by the premise and the courage of the contributors to publish this document when they did. I did enjoy certain sections, mostly from a history of feminist thought perspective, but I found the organization less than desirable. The book is broken up biblical chapter by biblical chapter, rather than thematically. This leads to repetition, and most aggrievedly, a lack of overall analysis on the represe ...more
Harriet Brown
Dec 12, 2016 Harriet Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The women's bible

The Women's Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton is an interesting take on the Bible. It is worth reading. I highly recommend this book.
Angela Joyce
I found a lot of value in this, even though it was written so long ago-- you'd think more would have improved for women since then, alas! I was relieved that Jesus, at least, was not judged anti-woman (that would indeed be hard to prove!). Elizabeth Cady Stanton was obviously an amazing person... I must learn more about her.
Nicole G.
Oct 06, 2012 Nicole G. rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her colleagues in feminism take apart the Bible book by book, illuminating passages that, as they say, retard the progress of women. Some of these passages are still in question today. A very bold work for its time.
Tracy Black
Aug 04, 2010 Tracy Black rated it really liked it
This is a collection of essays by many different authors. Stanton takes the cake though. She's brilliant! Her take on the Bible stories is very interesting, especially in the context of the 1890s when it was written.
Anne Weber
Jul 21, 2014 Anne Weber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God's Word is alive and the source for all my daily needs. I will never finish this book until I meet my beloved Savior in Glory! It tells me greatest truth known to man - That God so loved the world (You and Me)that He gave His Only Begotten Son that we should not perish but have eternal life.
It is really hard to sum up my feelings for this awesome book in a short review. The translation is powerful, important, and critical for our spiritual well being. This should be read as a devotional text, as well as critically. It offers great wisdom for all, regardless of gender.
Jul 16, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Mrs. Stanton isn't a Biblical scholar, and her disdain for Judaism occasionally verges on the anti-Semitic, but she sure has a lot of great one-liners. Her associates' commentaries are a bit more insightful, if not as humorous.
Mar 09, 2014 N. rated it did not like it
My honest opinion? BS. Even as a woman, this is nonsense. Yes, women have been oppressed throughout the ages, biblical eras included, but what I remember reading of this is just unsound. Eisegesis with an agenda. Boo. Bye.
Jul 03, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
I actually have the earlier publication in hard cover. Interesting and informative read.
F Rachel
Dec 28, 2016 F Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is considered the first woman's commentary in the academic style. For its period, an amazing book.
Feb 13, 2013 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
As heard on Point of Inquiry.
May 04, 2007 serina rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was way ahead of her time on this one. I used this for my senior thesis.
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American social activist and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States.

Before Stanton narrowed her political focus almost ex
More about Elizabeth Cady Stanton...

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“Men think that self-sacrifice is the most charming of all the cardinal virtues for women, and in order to keep it in healthy working order, they make opportunities for its illustration as often as possible.” 18 likes
“It was just so in the American Revolution, in 1776, the first delicacy the men threw overboard in Boston harbor was the tea, woman's favorite beverage. The tobacco and whiskey, though heavily taxed, they clung to with the tenacity of the devil-fish.” 13 likes
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