Friday, November 06, 2015

Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler ~ Book Tour and Review

From the Publisher:

What can Jezebel, the Bible’s wickedest queen, reveal about God’s holiness and power and even about his sense of humor? What about the Woman at the Well—the one with five husbands and a live-in lover? And what of the prostitute whose tears bathe the feet of Jesus in front of people who despise her?

There are also “wicked good” women like Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, and more. What do their lives tell us about God’s invincible love and his determined plan to save us?
In Wicked Women of the Bible Ann Spangler tells the stories of twenty wicked and “wicked good” women in greater detail. At the end of each story, Ann provides a brief section including additional historical and cultural background as well as a brief Bible study in order to enhance the book’s appeal to both individuals and groups.
The stories of these women of the Bible reveal a God who is not above it all but who stoops down to meet us where we are in order to extend his love and mercy.
About the Author
Ann Spangler is an award-winning writer and the author of many bestselling books, including Praying the Names of God, Praying the Names of Jesus, and The One Year Devotions for Women. She is also coauthor of Women of the Bible and Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus and the general editor of the Names of God Bible. Ann’s fascination with and love of Scripture have resulted in books that have opened the Bible to a wide range of readers. She and her two daughters live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

My Thoughts:
Ann Spangler has taken the stories of 20 women in the bible, both wicked in thought and deed and wickedly good, and given us an easy to read, enjoyable look into their lives and times with the intention of applying the lessons to be gleaned from them to our contemporary lives and pointing us to a God who redeems.  I really liked the format of the book.  Each story is a chapter and is divided into 4 components:  After the title is a scripture that sort of defines the lesson to be learnt, then the story unfolds in a storytelling format.  Next comes a section called "The Times" where the author tells the probable years the story took place and then gives the scriptures where the biblical account can be found.  She then describes the historical times that each woman lived in so that we have a better understanding of what each faced in their lives.  Lastly comes "The Takeaway" where she asks us to answer some very thought provoking questions that serve to take it from just a story and a lesson to a more deeper application to our own lives.  
The author uses her story telling skills in bringing to life these women's stories.  She relays through the story how these women might have been feeling, the setting of the times for their lives and what they were facing as women.  The author shows how we can learn from even those women who made history in infamy as well as those who in today's vernacular either were or did something "wicked good" which means great or excellent.  In their stories we find a God who redeems.  As with any type of historical, biblical storytelling it is best to know first hand what the bible itself actually says about each of these stories and the author provides the places in the bible for the reader to be able to go and look it up themselves.  There are many footnotes that provide the sources for pieces of information the author might have included in the story or in describing the time.   The questions are good both for personal devotionals and reflection and would be great as discussion prompts in a group study.  The chapters can be read in one sitting and a great for personal devotional time.
I was actually blessed to also do an online kind of bible study that had videos with the author so the book really did come alive for me.  I loved this study and am going to put it on my list of probable studies for my group next year.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing the book free of charge for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.


Barbara H. said...

I saw this on your sidebar and wondered about it. I have seen the author's name but have not read anything of hers yet. Sounds interesting!

Tori Leslie said...

Wow, that sounds so interesting. Thanks for the review.

Faith said...

i was just in our local Christian bookstore on Thursday afternoon and saw this book on the shelf...i was browsing through it and it looks great!! I too was thinking of a possible small group book for next year :) thanks for the review