Women's Bible Commentary in Logos - It's the New 2012 20th Anniversary Third Edition

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Eric Weiss | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, May 4 2013 11:58 AM


Though the product page says 501 pages (528 pp. per Amazon - probably 21 prefatory/introductory pages) 1998 expanded edition and shows the picture of the cover of that edition (with the Apocrypha), what I received in Logos last week or so (a pre-pub that finally shipped - hooray!) was the new 2012 20th Anniversary Third Edition - 640 pp. plus xxxi pages of preface/introductory pages (Amazon says 704 pp.). Per the introduction:

The current edition of the Women’s Bible Commentary is the third, and it is interesting to see the changes that have been made in each supplementary edition. The first edition oriented itself to the Protestant canon, though it gestured to a broader religious literature. The project was, after all, sponsored by a Presbyterian press. The enthusiastic response to the first edition—not only among Protestants, but also among Catholic, Jewish, and “non-aligned” readers—caused us to rethink the structure of the second, expanded edition. After all, some of the books of most interest to feminist readers are in what Protestants call the Apocrypha and Catholics call the deuterocanonical writings. It was clear those should be included. But the original articles were, for the most part, not replaced or revised.

As we decided to do a third edition of the Women’s Bible Commentary, we realized that a wholesale revision was needed, for several reasons. First, the field of feminist biblical criticism has developed in profound ways in the last twenty years. Issues that were just beginning to be explored in 1989—the hermeneutical significance of sexual identity, analysis of masculinity, and postcolonial positioning—were, by 2009, very much a part of feminist criticism. Second, the number and variety of feminist biblical critics have increased exponentially. Whereas we were anxious in 1989 about finding a sufficient number of authors to invite, in 2009 we anguished over how many people we would like to invite that we simply could not. We also became aware that in the present day not all of the prominent feminist interpreters are in fact female. A small but significant number of men now identify themselves as doing feminist biblical interpretation. We decided, however, that this volume would continue to feature women authors, even as we celebrate the diffusion of feminist methods into the practice of biblical studies at large.

One of the most difficult decisions we had to make was which articles to replace and which to revise and retain. Our principle was to identify some of the most interesting younger women working in the field and to invite them to write for the new edition. Even if that meant replacing some of our cherished previous articles, we decided that it was appropriate for the senior women to make way for the new generation. We have been deeply gratified at the graciousness with which the authors of articles that have been replaced have not only accepted but cheered our initiative to include the work of younger scholars.

Finally, in envisioning the new edition of the Women’s Bible Commentary, we realized how much the entire field of biblical studies has changed in the past twenty years. One of the most profound changes has been in the new appreciation of the importance of reception history, that is, how Christian, Jewish, and modern secular culture has interpreted the Bible. The meaning of the Bible is not just “what it meant” when it was composed, if ever we could fully reconstruct that. Nor is it simply “what it means” now, as our contemporary societies engage the Bible. What the Bible means and the effects it has had include the entire history of its reception and engagement. Significantly, women characters in the Bible have been the site of extraordinary interpretation and contested interpretation, as many issues, both involving the status of women and involving many other things, have been debated.

In order to acknowledge this emerging aspect of biblical studies, we have commissioned thirteen articles that sketch the interpretation of significant female figures from the Bible. Since interpretation takes place not only in words but also in images, we are including a selection of artistic images that are part of this history of interpretation. While much of the interpretation of female figures from the Bible was articulated by men, readers of this commentary have a particular interest in what women interpreters have said. So we have also included an essay on women as interpreters of the Bible in the pre-twentieth-century period.

Optimistically Egalitarian (Galatians 3:28)

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 4 2013 12:26 PM

Peace, Eric!             *smile*                 Thanks for your post, Eric!           I have read it twice  ....    *smile*           Appreciated!  I do own the book and will be enjoying it soonest  ......

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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Adam Rao | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 4 2013 7:46 PM

This is great news! Thanks for the info!

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 5 2013 5:07 AM

Thanks for bringing this to our attention as I was not really familiar with this resource. It would be interesting to read a commentary like this from a female perspective within a sea of commentaries from men.

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 5 2013 6:59 AM

Bruce Dunning:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention as I was not really familiar with this resource. It would be interesting to read a commentary like this from a female perspective within a sea of commentaries from men.

This is one of my favorite commentary.  I simply wish it was one volume for each book of the Bible instead of being a one volume commentary.   

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