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Eve Isn't Evil

Feminist Readings of the Bible to Upend Our Assumptions

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Foreword INDIES 2023 Finalist for Religion

"Tackles scripture from a broad-thinking, feminist perspective. . . . Smart and impressive."--Publishers Weekly

One reason the Bible has endured for millennia is its ability to reach our common humanness and give uplifting insights about struggle, resilience, and hope. Intertwining academic knowledge and candid, personal, and sometimes humorous stories, Julie Faith Parker helps readers engage biblical texts with both mind and heart--to learn the Bible's stories, explore theological ideas, question common assumptions, develop interpretive skills, and grow in their own faith.

The title chapter demonstrates how feminism interprets the Bible with fresh eyes and offers empowering insights, an approach used in the rest of the book. In each chapter, Parker reads biblical texts through a feminist lens. The book discusses both neglected and well-known Old Testament passages with one chapter on the New Testament. Parker's reflections show how vital our readings of the Bible can be as a source of strength, guidance, and joyful defiance.

Additional features include questions for conversation or reflection and an overview of the entire Bible, summarizing each book in one line.

1. In the Beginning . . .
2. Eve Isn't Evil--Why I Love Her and You Should Too
3. Think Your Family's a Mess? Biblical Families R Us
4. Sex Workers, Slaughters, and Deities without Borders
5. Profit from Prophecy
6. The job of Job
7. Guns and Psalms
8. Song of Songs in Sing Sing
9. My Favorite Feminist Jew
10. Curious, Like Eve? Learn More
Appendix 1: Bible Basics
Appendix 2: Resources for Further Exploration


"An amazing book of power, insight, and challenge. Scholarship and communication embrace faith and feminism to yield refreshing alternatives to interpretations both traditional and contemporary. Julie Faith Parker inspires compelling conversations that illuminate Eve and all her descendants."

Phyllis Trible, Baldwin Professor Emerita of Sacred Literature, Union Theological Seminary

"Too often, books written by Bible scholars are like a piece of week-old cake--dry, dense, and difficult to digest. But Eve Isn't Evil shatters the category, managing to be poignant and personal and occasionally hilarious without sacrificing academic rigor. Who knew that theology could be so much fun? Julie Faith Parker takes readers on a journey of lesser-known feminist interpretations of the Bible, upending popular assumptions that the Scriptures are judgmental and anti-women. If you love the Bible enough to ask it hard questions, Eve Isn't Evil is not to be missed."

Jonathan Merritt, author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch; contributing writer for The Atlantic

"In Eve Isn't Evil, Julie Faith Parker puts forward the bold claim--contrary to many interpreters--that the Bible can affirm a feminist worldview, a thesis she explores through studies of Hebrew Bible texts about women, as well as texts from the New Testament and stories from her own life. For many members of biblically based communities of faith who support what Parker describes as 'liberty and justice for all, including people who identify as female,' Parker's interpretations will be welcome and even joyous news."

Susan Ackerman, Preston H. Kelsey Professor of Religion and professor of women's, gender, and sexuality studies, Dartmouth College

"Eve Isn't Evil is on a mission. It lays out a powerful and persuasive case by inviting the reader to discover the gifts of feminism--'self-respect, opportunity, and joy'--reading the Old Testament as a very human book. Julie Faith Parker's uniquely heart-aching, whimsical, and profound reflections and retellings of the biblical texts warmly and irrefutably show by example how Scripture is not antiquated, intimidating, or inaccessible. Her anecdotes from the classroom, pulpit, prison, and some very unexpected places bear witness to the deepest human feelings when the Scripture is read with a feminist mindset of liberty and justice for all."

Kyong-Jin Lee, associate professor of Old Testament studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

"I'm so grateful for the way Julie Faith Parker has made her brilliant academic work accessible and inspiring to nonscholars (like me!). I absolutely flew through these pages, and as I did, I learned so much, was challenged so deeply, and in moments, I found myself in tears. This book reshaped parts of my heart, my mind, and my faith--it's a must-read."

Shauna Niequist, New York Times bestselling author of I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet

"Eve Isn't Evil is a timely, much-needed book addressing an essential need to read the Bible so that it becomes the living, incarnate Word of God within the reader's lived realities. As someone whose research and writing are profoundly dedicated to the service of the academy and the church, Julie Faith Parker has a rare talent for making complex biblical texts accessible to readers inside and outside the biblical studies field. In Eve Isn't Evil, Parker takes an honest, accessible, personal, and pragmatic approach to biblical interpretation, providing her readers with helpful ways of reading biblical texts through a feminist lens. Parker does a beautiful job showing that readers from diverse backgrounds can use a feminist interpretive lens to arrive at differently contextualized meanings because of the particularities of their social locations. I strongly recommend Eve Isn't Evil!"

Alice Yafeh-Deigh, professor of biblical studies, Azusa Pacific University

"Often the task of unlearning is as important as learning, for it creates space for new knowledge to take root and to reconsider how we may have used former knowledge in ways that were not generative, freeing, compassionate, or true. This is precisely what Julie Faith Parker helps us to do in this remarkable work of scholarship and storytelling. A teacher at heart, she powerfully reintroduces us to stories and, more importantly, to the God we presumed to already know."

Javier A. Viera, president and professor of education and leadership, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

"In this wonderful book, Julie Faith Parker offers an empathetic encounter with Scripture that allows feminists to discover the empowering potential of biblical texts they might otherwise be prone to dismiss. The book reads like a casual conversation one might have over a cup of coffee or a glass of sparkling rosé. Readers will inevitably be convinced of two things: feminists can love the Bible, and Bible lovers can (and probably should) be feminists!"

Mark Allan Powell, professor of New Testament (retired), Trinity Lutheran Seminary

The Author

  1. Julie Faith Parker
    Jisselle Tavarez Fernandez

    Julie Faith Parker

    Julie Faith Parker (PhD, Yale University) lives in New York City where she is a visiting scholar at Union Theological Seminary and biblical scholar in residence at Marble Collegiate Church. She has taught biblical studies at General Theological Seminary,...

    Continue reading about Julie Faith Parker


Foreword INDIES 2023 Finalist for Religion

"[Parker] tackles scripture from a broad-thinking, feminist perspective in this impassioned outing. . . . Parker spends most time on the Hebrew Bible, though a chapter titled 'My Favorite Feminist Jew' argues that Jesus treated women as 'full people who deserve as much respect as men, which . . . is the heart of feminism.' Elsewhere, the author provides an especially welcome reassessment of sexual and gender diversity in scripture. Enriched by snippets of autobiography--including discussions of the sexism Parker has encountered in professional settings and as a pastor--these interpretations build a persuasive case that the Bible is a complex and flexible text that need not be antithetical to feminism. . . . [A] smart and impressive analysis."

Publishers Weekly