In this book you will read that Eve was just wandering around the Garden like all the other creatures, with Adam having no idea who she was and why she was there until, as recorded in Genesis 2 (the author says), he fell asleep and had a dream in which God took his rib and made a woman. When he woke up, he suddenly understood that Eve was his equal and his companion and began to treat her that way.
You will read that Abraham was afraid to ask Sarah to go with him when God called because they would have to leave all their family and all their belongings and he didn't think she would do that. Finally, he did ask, and the two of them left Ur, alone and penniless, and their journey to Canaan was their honeymoon!
You will find out that Rebekah already had a proposal of marriage from a Hittite (which the author has living in Haran instead of Canaan) and she had to choose between a wealthy Hittite and a decidedly unambitious Isaac. Then you will read how she loved Isaac like a mother when they first met—despite the fact (the scriptures tell us) that he was old enough to be her father!
You will find out that Jacob was a hot-blooded young man when he first saw Rachel (though you can easily figure out that he was 77 at the time), and that Rachel was the blameless sister—despite stealing her father's idols, among other glaring faults.
You will learn that Deborah sullied her white robes by praising Jael for her actions against Sisera—this in her inspired song, by the way. And just what would he have had Jael do, completely alone in her encampment? Meet the enemy army captain in a "fair fight?"
You will also discover that Mary's job in raising Jesus was to keep him grounded in his humanity because otherwise, he might have starved to death. He couldn't be bothered to do such mundane things as eat and drink in his human body because of his important spiritual mission without her constant reminders.
The best essay in this book is the one about Mary Magdalene, which the author includes as an appendix. But it is only two and a half pages, so he didn't have time to speculate and embroider as he did in the others, which run roughly 20-25 pages each.
This author is best known for writing hymn lyrics, particularly those to "O Love that Will Not Let Me Go." I have to tell you this. After reading this book, I will go look at those lyrics carefully before I ever sing that hymn again. There is no telling what odd notions I might have missed.
This particular edition of Portraits of Bible Women was published by Kregel Publications.