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Daughter of Courage: Reading Judges 11 with a Feminist Pentecostal Hermeneutic

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As a ‘text of terror’, Judges 11 is the topic of extensive feminist interpretation. Filtering the text through a typical feminist hermeneutic of suspicion or remembrance, the text is deconstructed and the story’s victim, Jephthah’s daughter, is rendered a submissive pawn of a patriarchal society. Using a feminist, Pentecostal hermeneutic, the biblical reader appreciates this disturbing Scripture, not as an object to deconstruct, but as Spirit-Word that deconstructs its reader and its reader’s world. As one sees Jephthah’s daughter with new eyes, one is able to see her as a courageous daughter who takes a radical stand against her father’s world that is determined by martial valor. As Judges 11 is read with the Spirit, the reader herself experiences transformation as she enters into the Spirit’s grief, brooding, and transformation of this nameless daughter and of all those who hear, with her, the unheard voice of God.

Affiliations: 1: Pentecostal Theological Seminary, 900 NE Walker Street, Cleveland, TN, USA,


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