Book cover: Wisdom from Women in the Bible by Edith Deen

Wisdom from Women in the Bible

by Edith Deen 

(With a New Introduction by Jill Briscoe) 

“In Wisdom from Women in the Bible, Edith Deen shows us that wisdom should certainly come with age, but more important than age is the distinction between God's wisdom and man's wisdom. Man's wisdom is an accumulation of facts and a searching for what on earth to do with them once accumulated. True wisdom resides in the minds and hearts of those who claim to know the God who promises to impart His heart to His people,” writes Jill Briscoe in the Introduction. She suggests that we look in the Bible for examples of women who model “learning and growth,” but who can not model perfection. 

Edith Deen has written this collection of essays about several women whose stories are recorded in the Bible. These are her opinions, as commentaries always are. The Scriptures are “God-breathed” as the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy (II Timothy 3:16) However, those of us who comment on the Bible accounts, are subject to human error. As Christians and students of the Bible, we are all growing and learning. God expects us to teach one another, but he also expects us to consider carefully whether or not the instruction agrees with the complete teachings of the Bible.

Edith Deen gives us a glimpse into her thinking in the Preface to the First Edition: “I know better now that wisdom is a quality finer than jewels and with a yield greater than gold. I perceive more clearly that a daily walk with God produces wisdom, a walk away from God produces folly.” Well said!

She begins with Eve and her sorrows and hopes. She infers that Eve “grew in wisdom and love for God her creator.” Edith Deen writes of Sarah, “She never ran away from difficult situations or allowed her feet to stumble along the way. With fortitude and courage, she faced whatever came, and so she lives on as the esteemed wife of the first patriarch of the ancient Hebrews, who honor her to this day.”

The author also tackles those women whose example is less than stellar, such as Lot's wife who “was so bound up in the worldly pleasures of Sodom and Gomorrah that she could not forsake them.” “Lot's wife typifies an ancient woman who had neither wisdom nor understanding.”

Throughout the book, the author sprinkles scriptures that teach us about wisdom and its importance. “The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;…(Proverbs 2:6-7, 10-12)

In Chapter 40, Spiritual Preparation: The Wise Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13), Edith Deen wrote, “In this parable of the wise and foolish virgins, Jesus taught the contrast between diligent preparation and carelessness. He wanted all believers to know that they should watch and be prepared for the coming of the Lord.”

This small book is not erudite or spiritually deep. The author's insights may not always agree with yours. But the book gently promotes God, his Word, his Spirit, and Jesus as the source of wisdom. The author relates the Bible women's experiences to those of women today: “Committed Christians like Priscilla render a great service to the Church when they devote themselves to teaching the Word of God. They set an example of how to walk in his transcendent power. Learning and teaching the Bible is the direct result of study, sacrifice, suffering, and dedication. Light then comes into the Word, and one teacher passes it on to another, who like Apollos may search but not always understand without skilled and inspiring instruction.”
Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: Wisdom from Women in the Bible
Author: Edith Deen (With a New Introduction by Jill Briscoe) copyright 1978, 2003
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 0-06-054025-7