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 name provides the title for the Book of Ruth, probably a piece of historical fiction set in the time of the judges. Ruth is a Moabite woman who marries a Judean immigrant named Mahlon (1:1–4; 4:10). Upon his death she becomes a childless widow who chooses to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Judah.

Naomi: Bible

The Book of Ruth is one of two in the Hebrew Bible that bears a woman’s name (the other is Esther). Ruth depicts the struggles of Naomi and Ruth for survival in a patriarchal environment.

Miriam: Bible

Negative as well as positive traditions about Miriam testify to her prominence, power, and prestige in early Israel. She participates with Moses and Aaron to lead the Israelite community during the exodus and the wanderings. Her role in saving her baby brother and in celebrating the crossing of the sea highlights her concern for her people.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Phyllis Trible." (Viewed on January 20, 2020) <>.


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