Thumbnail Image

Mother or womb? The portrayal of women as mothers in ancient near eastern texts

Dean, Chandler

Many assumptions are made about the portrayal of women in the Bible, but what does the text actually portray them as, and how does this portrayal compare to the portrayal of women in other contemporary texts? This project shows that women in Ancient Near Eastern texts do not have personage until they bear a child, and even when they have borne a child, they don’t have any characteristics besides “wife” or “mother” and have no agency. In contrast, women in the Bible are portrayed as fully developed characters even before they have a child, and they have emotions, goals, and agency.