Phyllis Trible

Phyllis Trible, an internationally known biblical scholar and rhetorical critic, is a professor of biblical studies at Wake Forest University Divinity School. A past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, she began her collegiate teaching career at Wake Forest University in 1963. After leaving in 1971, she taught at Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts until she went to Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1979 as a professor of Old Testament. From 1981 until her appointment to the Wake Forest Divinity School in 1998, she was the Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature at Union Theological Seminary.

Considered a leader in the text-based exploration of women and gender in scripture, Trible has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad. She is the author of God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality, Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narrative and Rhetorical Criticism: Context, Method, and the Book of Jonah. Most recently she has edited Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children. She has also written articles and book reviews for magazines and scholarly journals and provided expert commentary for Bill Moyers’s public television series, “Genesis: A Living Conversation.”

Articles by this author

Ruth: Bible

Ruth’s story centers around her relationship with her mother-in-law Naomi and her marriage to Boaz. She struggles as a Moabite immigrant in Judea and is often forced to defer to both Boaz and Naomi. Although modern analyses both criticize and celebrate her actions, she is exalted in the Bible for her devotion and as the great-grandmother of David.

Naomi: Bible

Naomi is featured prominently in the Hebrew Bible and is portrayed as a woman who both challenges and conforms to patriarchal expectations. Analyses of Naomi from a modern feminist lens include varied interpretations of her actions, but she nevertheless dominates the stories in the Book of Ruth and effectively controls the situations of which she is a part.

Miriam: Bible

Miriam is best known for helping to deliver Moses at the Nile River and leading the Hebrew women in singing, dancing, and playing drums after crossing the Red Sea. Centuries later, prophecy remembers her as the equal of Moses and Aaron in representing God before the people and as the inaugurator of a performance and composition tradition of song, drums, and dances in Israel.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Phyllis Trible." (Viewed on April 25, 2024) <>.