Sarah Laughed Paperback
Women's Voices in the Old Testament
by Trevor Dennis;
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‘ This book is about digging out the seams, as if for gold and silver from the rock. It is about returning to the text and finding yet another glint of meaning which had not been previously noticed.’
Sarah Laughed by Trevor Dennis was published by Spck in August 2010 and is our 29997th best seller. The ISBN for Sarah Laughed is 9780281063741.
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Sarah LaughedBarry Vendy, via The Good Book Stall
Originally published 1994
Trevor Dennis describes writing this book as ‘exhilarating and liberating’, and that is just how I found reading it, too. In it he reflects on five female characters from Old Testament narratives – Eve (the most misunderstood and maligned of all biblical characters, reckons Dennis); Sarah (‘In these ancestral narratives an abused woman, and in the end, after the brief moment of joy at Isaac’s birth, a wholly tragic character’); Hagar (Dennis startlingly calls her, Sarah’s Egyptian slave girl, ‘the Mary, the Madonna of the Old Testament, or at least one of them’); Hannah (whose triumphant song is left ‘ringing in our ears’); and Bathsheba (Dennis fascinatingly explores her career from ‘rape victim to queen mother’) - plus a group of women in the first four chapters of Exodus, including two midwives, whom Dennis calls ‘true heroines’. (He actually goes on to call Zipporah, Moses’ wife, ‘possibly one of the most significant women in the Bible’! ‘Yet another woman saves the day!’))
I think it’s significant that the book is written by a man, who recognises the bias that arises from the largely male authorship of the Bible (though the authorship of the midwives passage in Exodus 1 is probably female). He sees it as ‘imperative’ to ‘examine how their gender has affected what the biblical authors have written’. Nowhere is this more of an issue than in chapter 1, on Eve. Here, Dennis deals with the havoc wrought by so many mistranslations and misinterpretations of Genesis 1-3, and the ‘lies’ told about Eve. The Bible stories that he reflects on could either ‘increase our fears and harden our prejudices’ or ‘fire us to fight the injustices that women still suffer in our society and in the Church’.
Dennis is honest about having been ‘put in touch with his own sexism, with destructive stereotypes about women, and about men also.’ Reading this exciting book will help to bring the Old Testament alive but may also have startling effects on us, especially us men, exposing and working to heal our prejudices and stereotyped views, to the benefit of women. Go on, Read it!
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Details for Sarah Laughed
|Page last updated||1st May 2017|
|Author / Artist||Trevor Dennis|
|Publisher||Spck (August 2010)|
|Number of Pages||208|