Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Overtures to Biblical Theology)

by Phyllis Trible

Paperback, 1984



Call number




Fortress Press (1984), Edition: 1st, 128 pages


Professor Trible focuses on four variations upon the theme of terror in the Bible. By combining the discipline of literary criticism with the hermeneutics of feminism, she reinterprets the tragic stories of four women in ancient Israel: Hagar, Tamar, an unnamed concubine, and the daughter of Jephthah. In highlighting the silence, absence, and oppostition of God, as well as human cruelty, Trible shows how these neglected stories—interpreted in memoriam—challenge both the misogyny of Scripture and its use in church, synagogue, and academy.

User reviews

LibraryThing member InfoQuest
I read this during Holy Week, which was unintentionally fitting. This is a gut-wrenching piece of narrative exegesis and a deserved classic of feminist theology or, really, of theology without any diminutive. Trible is clearly well versed in both the texts and their backgrounds, as well as
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rightfully passionate about their subjects. I'd read all of these stories several times over the years, seen the brutality involved, but never really saw how overlooked or misrepresented these women have been. Unfortunately, the book could have been twice or thrice as long, given the many other victims of misogyny in the Bible...
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LibraryThing member aevaughn
You'll never read biblical passages involving women the same way again after wrestling with the texts discussed here. I particularly found the concluding poem poignant about Judge Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter. Here is an excerpt:
The daughter, O Israel is slain upon the high places!
How the
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powerless fallen!
Tell it in Ammon, publish it in the streets of Rabah;
for the daughters of the Ammonites will not rejoice;
the daughters of the enemies will not exult.
Tell it also in Gilead, publish it in the streets of Mizpah;
for the sons of Israel will forget,
the sons of the covenant remember not at all.


The daughter of Jephthah lies slain upon thy high places.
I weep for you, my little sister.
Very poignant is your story to me;
your courage to me is wonderful,
surpassing the courage of men.

How are the powerless fallen,
a terrible sacrifice to a faithless vow!
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Physical description

128 p.; 8.5 inches


0800615379 / 9780800615376
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