Original Research

The pendulum is never static: Jesus Sira to Jesus Christ on women in the light of Judith, Susanna and LXX Esther

Pierre Jordaan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 65, No 1 | a167 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v65i1.167 | © 2009 Pierre Jordaan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 April 2009 | Published: 03 August 2009

About the author(s)

Pierre Jordaan, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa

Full Text:

PDF (794KB)


When the New Testament is interpreted, directly preceding literature is largely neglected. The dialectical terms, discourse and contra-discourse do not often surface in research on this period. This is especially the case with reference to women. Jesus Ben Sira (ca. 196 BCE) as well as other wisdom writers had quite a negative view of women. Although it has previously been argued that this negative discourse on women was challenged by Judith, this article goes further: the Additions to Esther and Susanna are added as possible challenging discourses. It is argued that these texts convincingly confront Ben Sira’s negative views and add substantial value to the worth and status of women. During the CE, both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul had a mainly positive view of women. Positive ideas and allusions from texts are pointed out that might have their roots in the Apocrypha. Lastly, this article argues that the disputed Pauline letters contain a swing back towards Jesus Ben Sira’s negative view of women.


New Testament; Jesus Sira; Judith; Susanna; LXX Esther


Total abstract views: 4577
Total article views: 4192


Crossref Citations

1. The Subjective Experience of Using Ignatian Meditation by Male and Female South African University Students: An Exploratory Study
Helen Efthimiadis-Keith, Graham Lindegger
Journal of Religion and Health  vol: 53  issue: 5  first page: 1456  year: 2014  
doi: 10.1007/s10943-013-9764-4