The Bible Becomes Literature: An Encounter with Ruth

John C. Holbert

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1993

Issue: Literature (Vol. 13, No 2, Spring, 1993)

The book of Ruth had always been literature. Its true genre had seldom been taken with real seriousness. When I add the rich feminist reading of Phyllis Trible to that of D.F. Rauber, Ruth has become to me one of the Bible’s greatest achievements, a story rich in suggestiveness and possibilities, as Rauber insists, and one to which we, men and women of twentieth-century faith, may respond as fully as possible. Ruth is far more than a soap opera, climaxed by an obscure legal sandal swap, a shaggy-dog illustration of David’s Moabite ancestry. It is a story of courage, of hope against hope, of a woman triumphant in a man’s world, of a love beyond all loves which can never be defeated. And much, much more.

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