Wicked Women of The Bible by Ann Spangler has a deceiving title. Those included in this book are both notoriously good and notoriously bad. As much as it is about the women Bible, it is also about men of the Bible. For example the story of Miriam is also about Moses and Aaron, Ruth and Naomi's story also includes Boaz. The book begins with Eve and concludes with Mary Magdalene.
Each section starts with a narrative about the woman which includes elements from the Bible as well as filer that one can only speculate. Such as in the story of the woman who washes Jesus' feet: "Simon passes by her without allowing himself the luxury of a sideways glance." The book is powerful enough without speculation on what the characters of the story could be thinking or feeling. After the narrative, is a brief section titled "The Times" which talks about the time and culture of the story that was just told. This section also gives some additional information on things like harems, and family lineage. Last in the chapter are the "Takeaways," this section has 4 -5 questions that ask things like :"What evidence is there in Ester's story that she waited for the Lord? What do you think would have happened had she not?" These questions make for great discussion and study either individually or in a group. After the end of the book there is a list of the scripture used, so readers can look back and study farther. There is also 6 - 7 pages about Eve and talks about different legacy's that she left behind.
As I stated earlier, the title is a little deceiving. Immediately one's mind jumps to the definition of wicked as evil, morally bad. But the author gives two definitions of the word, the one that states evil, morally bad. But then she also refers to the online slang definition as "very very good, excellent, extremely in a grand way; "cool"; "awesome" as is, that concert was wicked!" With that definition, the title is very fitting. Spangler weaves her stories together wonderfully to reflect the lives of women not only in Biblical times, but also in modern times. Each and every one of the sections has a lesson everyone can learn from, not just women but men as well.
This book is not only informative, but it is also entertaining. There were moments I found myself giggling, most in Sarah's story with the line "who wouldn't find that funny? Two old sticks kindling a fire." Ann's choice of words and deep understanding of the Biblical accounts makes this book a wonderful addition to a life study. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for something that gives a different perspective on the stories we all know so well. I also recommend this for anyone who thinks the Bible is filled with stories of strong powerful characters. This books shows even the most faithful had faults. I give this book a 5 out of 5.