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Good Girls, Bad Girls of the New Testament


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Table of Contents

Introduction Life for Women during New Testament Times Part I. Sisters, Sinners and Supporters 1.Sister Friends: Martha and Mary of Bethany: Sisters 2.Suspicious Sisters: Bernice and Drusilla, the Great-Granddaughters of Herod the Great: Sisters 3.Caught in the Act: The Adulterous Woman in John's Gospel: Sinner 4.Blood Guilt: The Woman with a Twelve-Year Hemorrhage: Sinner 5.A Woman of Substance: Mary Magdalene: Supporter 6.Widow's Rising: Tabitha, A Loving Benefactor: Supporter Part II. Mothers, Murderers, and Missionaries 7.Angelic Gift: Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist: Mother 8.Jesus' Mom: Mary of Nazareth: Mother 9.Off With His Head! Herodias and the Beheading of John the Baptist: Mother and Murderer 10.I Had a Dream: The Wife of Pontius Pilate: Murderer 11.Spreading the Good News: Prisca, a Missionary of Paul: Missionary 12.A Conversation with Jesus: The Woman at the Well: Missionary 13.Concluding Thoughts Resources Index

About the Author

T. J. Wray is the author of several books, including Surviving the Death of a Sibling, What the Bible Really Tells Us: The Essential Guide to Biblical Literacy, and Good Girls, Bad Girls: The Enduring Lessons of Twelve Women of the Old Testament. She is associate professor of religious studies at Salve Regina University. She has appeared on the History Channel and NPR.


In 12 chapters, Wray introduces well-known women (Mary, the mother of Jesus; Mary and Martha; the Samaritan woman at the well) and those less familiar (Tabitha, Bernice and Drusilla, Prisca), situating them in their historical and literary contexts and drawing from them lessons for the contemporary world. In general introductions to biblical materials, the author gently introduces source-critical questions and the difficulties of distinguishing fact from authorial invention. . . .Wray's contemporary applications are eloquent, which commends the volume for church-based adult education courses: she comments on the nature of grief, the need to balance service with self-care, and the toxic effect of rumor. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. * CHOICE *
T. J. Wray's Good Girls, Bad Girls of the New Testament offers a lively reflection on twelve stories that feature intriguing and powerful women whose lives and activity are preserved across the early Christian scriptures and beyond. The power of Wray's prose is in bringing these women of the first century to life across the ages and illustrating the relevance of their lessons for the twenty-first century and beyond. -- Sherri Brown, Creighton University
T. J. Wray presents twelve stories of New Testament `good girls and bad girls' in a style that readers will find both engaging and edifying. Wray's studies, although anchored in careful scholarship, are never pedantic and her challenging reflections are aimed at prompting lively discussions and deeper appreciation for these exceptional women of the Bible. -- Robin M. Jensen, Patrick O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Some of the women in Good Girls, Bad Girls of the New Testament are household names like Mary Magdalene, some have little-known names like Tabitha, and some have no name at all, like the forever-anonymous woman at the well. Whether they have a name or not makes no difference. T. J. Wray draws at least one lesson to remember from each of the stories of the women upon whom she gazes with a scholar's and mother's eye. -- Raymond F. Collins, Brown University
Informed by solid scholarship, this is an eminently readable introduction to the women of the New Testament for students and general readers alike. It is filled with colorful accounts that bring these women to life, drawing thought-provoking parallels to our own day. The picture is fascinating and complex-frequently challenging our assumptions about the lives of these ancient women. -- Margaret Y. MacDonald, Saint Mary's University

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