The goal of this page is to create a database of women scholars that lists bibliographic material. Often women’s scholarship is overlooked because people don’t know where or how to find it. This page makes it easy to locate and use the work of women scholars. Primary sources are priority, along with secondary sources as relevant. The list is indexed alphabetically within specific time periods. Where a woman’s lifetime straddles two time periods, she will be categorized based on date of birth. To jump to a particular time period click the link below, otherwise scroll down to see all entries. Also be sure to check out the excellent resource: Marion Ann Taylor ed. Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters: A Historical and Biographical Guide. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012. This handbook provides more entries and biographical information than listed here, including women whose writing is not extant.
We need help developing this index, if you are interested in being on a team to build this database please e-mail: email@example.com. Any little thing helps. Perhaps you have done a relevant study or you have bibliography on a particular woman scholar?
- ANCIENT ISRAEL (c. 1200 B.C.E. – 538 B.C.E)
- SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD (c. 538 B.C.E. – 70 C.E.)
- EARLY JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN (c. 70 C.E. – 600 C.E.)
- MIDDLE AGES (c. 600 C.E. – 1350 C.E.)
- RENAISSANCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT (c. 1350 – 1800 C.E.)
- MODERN (c. 1800 C.E. – recently deceased)
- TODAY’S SCHOLARS (present)
ANCIENT ISRAEL (c. 1200 B.C.E. – 538 B.C.E)
There were some female scribes in the ancient Near East. Thus, it’s not impossible that an Israelite woman could have been a scholar, though we don’t have any extant evidence. However, despite all the questions of dating, historical facts, oral culture, and scribal activity, biblical references are cited below. These are words narrated as occurring during prophesying or otherwise seem interpretive. If extra-biblical Israelite material ever surfaces that will be included as well. If you have any additional information, including secondary bibliography that specifically studies these women’s words as possible interpretations of tradition please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD (c. 538 B.C.E. – 70 C.E.)
See note in section on Ancient Israel. If you have any information on female Jewish prophets, teachers, writers in the Second Temple period, including words recorded in pseudepigrapha, apocrypha, or Dead Sea Scrolls, please e-mail: email@example.com. We are also interested in secondary bibliography that specifically studies these women’s interpretation of tradition.
Mary, mother of Jesus
EARLY JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN (c. 70 C.E. – 600 C.E.)
Proba (c. 320-370)
- Cento Virgilianus. Latin and English translations available on pages 12-94 in: Clark, Elizabeth A., and Diane E. Hatch. The Golden Bough, the Oaken Cross: The Virgilian Cento of Faltonia Betitia Proba. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981.
MIDDLE AGES (c. 600 C.E. – 1350 C.E.)
Catherine of Siena (1347-80)
- The Dialogue of Catherine of Siena. Available online in English (trans. by Algar Thorold) and in Italian. Available in hardcopy translated into English by Suzanne Noffke. New York: Paulist Press, 1980.
- The Letters of Catherine of Siena. Available online in English (trans. by Vida Dutton Scudder). Available in hardcopy translated into English by Suzanne Noffke. 4 vols. Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 2000-2001, 2007-8.
- The Prayers of Catherine of Siena. Translated by Suzanne Noffke. New York: Paulist Press, 1983. 2nd ed., San Jose: iUniverse.com, 2001.
- Drawn by Love (website with several resources)
RENAISSANCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT (c. 1350 – 1800 C.E.)
Adams, Hannah (1755-1831)
- The Truth and Excellence of the Christian Religion. Boston: John West, 1804.
- The History of the Jews from the Destruction of the Temple to the Nineteenth Century. 2 vols. Boston: John Eliot, 1812.
- Letters on the Gospels. Cambridge, MA: Hillard & Metcalf, 1824.
- A Memoir of Miss Hannah Adams, Written by Herself with Additional Notices by a Friend. Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1832.
Barbauld, Anna (1743-1825)
See full bibliography with electronic sources at A Celebration of Women Writers (scroll to down to “Barbauld”)
- Devotional Pieces Compiled from the Psalms and the Book of Job: To Which Are Prefixed Thoughts on the Devotional Taste, on Sects, and on Establishment. London: Joseph Johnson, 1775.
- Hymns in Prose for Children. London: Joseph Johnson 1781.
- Sins of the Government, Sins of the Nation: Or a Discourse for the Fast, Appointed on April 19, 1793. London: Joseph Johnson, 1793.
- Anna Barbauld on the Psalms (blog post)
MODERN (c. 1800 C.E. – recently deceased)
Achtemeier, Elizabeth Rice (1926-2002)
- (with Paul J. Achtemeier). The Old Testament Roots of Our Faith. Nashville: Abingdon, 1962.
- The Old Testament and the Proclamation of the Gospel. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1973.
- Jeremiah. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1987.
- Nahum-Malachi. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1988.
- Preaching from the Old Testament. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1989.
- Minor Prophets I. NIBC. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.
- Preaching from the Minor Prophets. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1998.
- Preaching Hard Texts of the Old Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1998.
- Not Til I Have Done: A Personal Testimony. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999.
- Profile: Elizabeth Rice Achtemeier (blog post)
Carus-Wilson (Petrie), Mary Louisa Georgina (1861-1935)
- Clews to Holy Writ; or, The Chronological Scripture Cycle: A Scheme for Studying the Whole Bible in Its Historical Order during Three Years. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1892.
- “Extension and Energy: Missionary Bible Study on Two of Christ’s Parables.” The Church Missionary Gleaner, Aug. 1898, 123.
- Unseal the Book: Practical Words for Plain Readers of Holy Scriptures. London: Religious Tract Society, 1899.
- Redemptor Mundi: A Scheme for the Missionary Study of the Four Gospels. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1907.
- The Expansion of Christendom: A Study in Religious History. London: Hodder and Soughton, 1910.
Winchester, Olive May (1879-1947)
- “Sin in the Light of To-Day,” Bibliotheca Sacra 76 (1919): 152-164.
- “Qualifications of an Interpreter”. Nazarene Messenger (November 1921): 5, 11.
- “Our Inheritance In Heaven”. The Preacher’s Magazine 4 (1929) 11.
- “Precepts For Christian Living”. The Preacher’s Magazine 4 (1929) 10.
- “Homiletical – Steps in a Soul’s Departure from God.” The Preacher’s Magazine 4 (1929) 9.
- “Expositional – Studies in Sermon on the Mount.” The Preacher’s Magazine 4 (1929) 7.
- Christ’s Life and Ministry. Kansas City: Nazarene Publishing House, 1932.
- A Brief Survey Of The Old Testament: Moses and the Prophets. Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Publishing House, 1941. (Revised in 1960 with W.T. Purkiser under the name The Story of the Old Testament [Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press]).
- “Women in the Teaching Ministry.” Herald of Holiness (2 July 1945): 5.
- Crisis Experiences in the Greek New Testament: An Investigation of the Evidence for the Definite, Miraculous of Regeneration and Sanctification as Found in the Greek New Testament, Especially in the Figures Emphasized, and in the Use of the Aorist Tense. Edited by Ross E. Price. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1953.
TODAY’S SCHOLARS (present)
Today’s scholars will be added to this index as they are interviewed or profiled for this site. A biblical scholar includes not only those specializing in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, but also those in fields that advance the knowledge of the scriptures. That could include scholars who are exploring reception history, archaeology, hermeneutics, homiletics, or the ancient cultural contexts of the biblical texts.
Note: This list is not comprehensive. For additional lists of women scholars see Logia’s list and Women Also Know History. The list below is meant to spotlight scholars with in-depth interviews. If you know someone who should be profiled, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baynes, Leslie (New Testament; Second Temple Judaism)
Brown, Jeannine K. (New Testament)
Cohick, Lynn (New Testament and Christian Origins)
Coleman, Rachel (New Testament)
Firth, Jill (Old Testament)
Gafney, Wil (Hebrew Bible)
Garroway, Kristine (Hebrew Bible; archaeology)
Guerrero, Corinna (Biblical Studies)
Hunt, Laura J. (New Testament)
Imes, Carmen (Old Testament)
Jobes, Karen H. (New Testament Greek and Exegesis)
Junior, Nyasha (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament)
Keen, Karen R. (Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity; Old Testament emphasis)
Koenig, Sara M. (Biblical Studies)
Kovalishyn, Mariam J. Kamell (New Testament)
Lee, Lydia (Ancient Near Eastern Studies)
Lemos, Tracy M. (Hebrew Bible/Ancient Israelite/Jewish history)
Leung Lai, Barbara M. (Old Testament)
McCray, Donyelle (Homiletics, Christian Spirituality, Multicultural Studies)
Nasrallah, Laura S. (New Testament and Early Christianity)
Palmer, Carmen (Hebrew Bible; Dead Sea Scrolls)
Parker, Cyndi (Geography of Biblical Israel/Biblical Studies)
Reeder, Caryn A. (New Testament)
Reese, Ruth Anne (New Testament)
Shafer-Elliott, Cynthia (Hebrew Bible; archaeology)
Shively, Elizabeth E. (New Testament)
Smith, Mitzi J. (New Testament and Early Christian Studies)
Stovell, Beth M. (Old Testament)
Warren, Meredith J. C. (Biblical and Religious Studies)
Wendel, Susan (New Testament)
Wilson, Brittany E. (New Testament)
Wolff, Celia (Christian Scripture and Ethics)
Wray Beal, Lissa M. (Old Testament)
Young, Abigail Ann (History of Biblical Exegesis; Medieval period)