Women in the Old Testament (DPT)


This course leads the class in an examination of women characters, female imagery, and biblical legislation concerned with women in the Old Testament, with sustained attention to the significance of female characters in biblical salvific history. The history of interpretation of women characters will be surveyed, with a focus on the many divergent viewpoints and assessments of various biblical female characters through interpretive history. The class will focus on Old Testament women in terms of their characterization, their ancient historical context, and consider how they can contribute to the discussion of gender issues today. Modern ideological approaches (e.g., feminist, postcolonial) towards the text will be examined and employed in the reading of Old Testament narratives with women characters, prophetic passages with female imagery, and biblical laws concerning women. Both minor and major female characters will be studied, such as: Eve, Sarai/Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Dinah, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Jael, Ruth, Hannah, Naomi, Abigail, Bathsheba, Tamar, Athaliah, Huldah, Vashti, Esther, Hosea’s wife.


  • To know the women of the Old Testaments: their contexts, characters, and roles
  • To understand a variety of feminist approaches to biblical interpretation
  • To understand both the positive and negative contributions of women in the narrative of the Old Testament
  • To understand the contribution of women to OT theology
  • To understand the relevance of OT women to the NT and Christian theology


  • To appreciate the contribution that women have made to the history of faith
  • To appreciate the potential for women’s contribution to the academy and the church
  • To grow closer to God through his working through both men and women in the OT text


  • To evaluate and apply feminist approaches to biblical interpretation
  • To articulate, orally and in writing, the way in which women contribute to OT narrative and theology
  • To be able to dialogue with those in the church who hold different perspectives