Mother Roots: The Female Ancestors of Jesus

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9780835809573: Mother Roots: The Female Ancestors of Jesus

The culture of Bible times rarely included women in any geneaology, yet in the Gospel of Matthew four women are named in the ancestry of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Why were these four women included and no others?

To enter their extraordinary stories, according to Pearson, is to experience courageous women who had a vision of God's faithfulness and who brought about change. Jesus embraced his heritage and lived out his ministry in radical and unorthodox ways, influenced by his foremothers. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba reflected crossroads and turning points in the history of Israel. These four women took the initiative at crucial stages and made decisions that changed the future. Their lives were empowered by God. The book's final chapter is an homage to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mother Roots is written primarily for small groups and contains six chapters that offer a fresh perspective on biblical women who served as vehicles of God's message.

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About the Author:

Helen Bruch Pearson is a retreat, workshop and seminar leader, spiritual formation director, designer and leader of worship and liturgical events. Helen served on the faculty and administration of Candler School of Theology at Emory University from 1981-99 and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

Review:

''Helen Pearson has engaged stories of Jesus' female ancestors with great care, pondering biblical texts, biblical scholarship, and traditions of midrash. She shares her discoveries in the form of lively narratives. The result is a Bible study that is much needed and will be valued by people who yearn to discover the Bible's most hidden treasures.''
--Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore, Professor of Religion and Education, Director, Women in Theology and Ministry, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

''Insightful and provocative, these studies of Jesus' foremothers take the reader into the lives of five remarkable women. Pearson helps us see how these women who had little social power nevertheless made decisive contributions to the life of the Israelite people at critical junctures, even as they found ways to secure lives of dignity and justice for themselves. Mother Roots helps us understand why these unconventional and controversial women are lifted up for special notice in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus.''
--Carol A. Newsom, Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University --Wipf and Stock Publishers

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