Analysis Of Susan Niditch

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Analysis Of Susan Niditch’s Commentary Of Genesis Essay, Research Paper Title: Analysis of Susan Niditch’s Commentary of Genesis in the WBCSubject: ReligionType: Type of Paper Analysis of Commentary Academic Level: CollegeContent: An analysis of Susan Niditch’s approach to the study of women in Genesis (from her commentary in THE WOMEN’S BIBLE COMMENTARY- cited in the paper). Description: Describe Niditch’s approach to the study of women in Genesis and what she says overall aout these stories/characters. Also, which story discussed by Niditch, or what comment made by Niditch about a story do you find most interesting? What modern relevance dies this story hold? In The Women+s Bible Commentary, Susan Niditch presents a commentary on the biblical passages of the book

of Genesis which involve women. In this commentary she examines the author+s, |Worldview and concerns, especially those pertaining to women+s issues (12).X In the process of examining the text, she discovers several themes and concepts revolving around women which Niditch recognizes in Genesis and develops in her commentary. These are things such as present and historical misconceptions about the woman+s role in certain passages of the Bible, and the reduction of woman to the status of a womb in ancient Egypt. In turn, this situation precipitates other situations in areas such as domestic life which are equally unfavorable. In her commentary on the book of Genesis, Niditch states that, |In reading the Hebrew Scriptures as a narrative whole, including both Gen. 1:27 and Leviticus

one may receive the message that the genders were meant to be equal at the beginningX(13). Later in the commentary, she states that Jewish and Christian traditions have, |Viewed woman+s creation in Genesis 2 as secondary and deriative-evidence of her lower status.(13)X. Niditch then says that Genesis 3 is interpreted by these culures to further indite woman as the one who, |let loose sin and death. (13)X Niditch seems to concentrate on the section of Genesis 2 and 3 as a pivitol place for women in the Bible. She believes that this text is very much misunderstood. Niditch points out that in Genesis 3 Adam is passive. In fact he is quite silent. Eve is the protagonist in the story and it is because of her that humans gain the ability to know the difference between good and evil

(13-14). Niditch even says that Eve is a |conscious actor choosing knowledge (14).X This forces the reader of the commentary to question and challenge the tradiotional Jewish and Christian interpretatons of this Bible and ask the question, |What would life be like if Eve had not taken the fruit?X. After eating the fruit, it is at this time that Adam and Eve become human as we know it. They aquire their |Marks of social life and culture: knowledge of good versus evil, clothing that defines and conceals, and gender roles. The woman is to be the bearer of children, the Mother of all life (14).X In fact, Niditch shows that in sections of Genesis such as 16:4, Matriarchs have closed wombs and are humiliated and taunted by co-wives (17). Here, she shows how women in the Bible are very

often reduced to being wombs. Niditch illustrates this idea very well in Genesis 16:4. After Hagar conceives Abraham+s child, she finds Sarah, |to be of less worth (17).X Furthermore, the concept of woman is further developed by Niditch in that since motherhood is the center of the woman+s life, there develops a competition between women concerning children. For instance, in Genesis 30:14-16 Leah |hiresX Jacob+s services for the night by buying them with her son+s mandrakes (17). This leads to the next concept about women in the Bible. Because the area of child bearing and rearing is dominated by women, when it comes to matters concerning these issues, the wife has control and very often the man is, |bumbling, passive, and ineffectualX (16). For istance, in Genesis 16:4 when