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Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them [Paperback]

Liz Curtis Higgs
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 17 1999
Women everywhere marvel at those “good girls” in Scripture–Sarah, Mary, Esther–but on most days, that’s not who they see when they look in the mirror. Most women (if they’re honest) see the selfishness of Sapphira or the deception of Delilah. They catch of glimpse of Jezebel’s take-charge pride or Eve’s disastrous disobedience. Like Bathsheba, Herodias, and the rest, today’s modern woman is surrounded by temptations, exhausted by the demands of daily living, and burdened by her own desires.

So what’s a good girl to do? Learn from their lives, says beloved humor writer Liz Curtis Higgs, and by God’s grace, choose a better path. In Bad Girls of the Bible, Higgs offers a unique and clear-sighted approach to understanding those “other women” in Scripture, combining a contemporary retelling of their stories with a solid, verse-by-verse study of their mistakes and what lessons women today can learn from them.

Whether they were “Bad to the Bone,” “Bad for a Season, but Not Forever” or only “Bad for a Moment,” these infamous sisters show women how not to handle the challenges of life. With her trademark humor and encouragement, Liz Curtis Higgs teaches us how to avoid their tragic mistakes and joyfully embrace grace.

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Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them + Really Bad Girls of the Bible: More Lessons from Less-Than-Perfect Women
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Product Description

From Amazon

Jezebel and Delilah have plenty to teach contemporary Christian women, according to Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them. In this self-help book, Liz Curtis Higgs tells fictionalized, contemporary stories based on the lives of biblical characters including Eve, Potiphar's Wife, and the Woman at the Well. In verse-by-verse commentary, Higgs summarizes each life's lessons and provides a list of questions for personal consideration or group discussion. The overall message of each chapter is the same: "Good Girls and Bad Girls both need a Savior. The goodness of your present life can't open the doors of heaven for you. The badness of your past life can't keep you out either." In its effort to turn readers' minds heavenward, Bad Girls draws a distinction between fun and joy. Associated with "fleshly pleasures," fun "is temporary at best; it's risky, even dangerous, at worst." Joy, on the other hand, is found in God's "gift of grace." Perhaps the book's greatest weakness is its inability to see that "fun," in many lives, is a holy and necessary means of attaining "joy." --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly

Humorist and popular storyteller Higgs (Help! I'm Laughing and I Can't Get Up) takes a look at the vamps and tramps of the Bible, searching for the lessons these wicked women have to teach. She acknowledges that as much as she admires Sarah's faithfulness and Mary's innocence, she finds that her own life contains many of the shortcomings of women such as Rahab, Delilah and Lot's wife. When Higgs begins her study of Jezebel, she notes, "I understood her pushy personality, I empathized with her need for control, I tuned into her angry outbursts...but boy did she teach me what not to do in my marriage." She places the ten women in her study into four categories. Eve, she says, was the "First Bad Girl," for badness has to begin somewhere. Potiphar's wife (who tried to seduce Joseph), Delilah and Jezebel, Higgs says, were "Bad to the Bone": these women "sinned with gusto from bad beginning to bitter end." Women who were "Bad for a Moment," and who have forever been characterized by their "life-changing" mistakes, include Saphhira, Michal and Lot's wife (who was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back on her homeland against God's commands). Higgs says that Rahab, the prostitute who helped the Israelites conquer Jericho, the Woman at the Well and the Sinful Woman were "Bad for a Season, but Not Forever": these women "had plenty of sin in their past, but they were also willing to change and be changed." Higgs opens each chapter with a fictional retelling of the biblical story and then proceeds to a verse-by-verse exegesis and commentary on the biblical text. Each chapter closes with four lessons to be learned from the life of the bad girl and eight "thoughts worth considering." Higgs retells these biblical stories with rollicking humor and deep insight as she teaches about the nature of sin and goodness. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
For those who love studying women in the bible, Liz Curtis Higgs, offers a twist with her own brand of humor. Ten "bad girls" are included in this book including the well-known stories of Eve, Delilah, Rahab and Jezebel. She also includes other women that are not studied as often like: Potiphar's Wife (Genesis 39:7), Sapphira (Acts 5:1) and Michal (1 Samuel 18:20).
Unlike other books that plunge into the study, Liz uses her storytelling talents to weave a contemporary setting for each woman. After reading the story, readers are treated to humorous, yet thought-provoking commentary. Each chapter ends appropriately with several "Good Girl Thoughts Worth Considering" questions.
These book definitely provided new insights and was "fun" reading. I would recommend this book for new female Christians and/or for women who just enjoy reading biblical studies with out the (yawn) overzealous commentary.
Higgs continues her "Bad Girl" series with "Really Bad Girls of the Bible" and "Mad Mary: A Bad Girl From Magdala, Transformed at His Appearing."
--- reviewed by Ty for Christian Bookshelf
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liz Brings Laughter to Learning Feb. 21 2001
Not only has Liz Curtis Higgs done her research, but she's a great storyteller, to boot. By first placing each featured woman's story in the appropriate historical setting, and then creating a similar story in current times, Curtis Higgs does as any good pastor would, giving the reader a sense of how lessons from the Bible can be helpful today.
Once you mix in Curtis Higgs' sense of humor, you have a great book of learning, laughter, and thought provoking moments. The humor allows the reader to lighten up on herself (or himself) about past transgressions, and to see that even those "Bad Girls of the Bible" were able to change and grow in positive ways -- most of them, anyway. "Bad Girls" brings a sense of hope, especially to those who may be struggling with issues of self-esteem and concern that they might not be "good enough" for God.
Curtis Higgs brings to light women that are often missed or have not received much attention compared with the men of the Bible --yet another great aspect of this book. I look forward to reading the next installment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Breath of Fresh Air! April 9 2001
This book changed my life. It may not be "scholarly" as one reviewer pointed out, but for me, the average Christian woman who is so glad to fall into bed in one piece at night, I don't want dry Biblical exposition! Give me stories! Give me laughter, give me tears. Give me thought-provoking messages to ponder. Give me grace. If you are in need of grace without having to wade through commentaries and "scholarly" books that must be accompanied by eight feet tall glasses of water, Liz is your lady! And if her lessons at the end are from her own heart, then be glad, for her heart is as compassionate, understanding and accepting as your down comforter. Highly, highly recommended. Lisa Samson, author of The Church Ladies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Some women I can relate to... Sept. 12 2000
By Kathy
When my husband saw me reading "Bad Girls of the Bible," he asked me why I wasn't reading about the good girls. The answer is simple; occasionally you learn more from the mistakes of some than from the perfection of others. Curtis-Higgs has written an excellent book. Combining fiction, research, and thought provoking questions, she's provided readers from all kinds of backgrounds, both christian and non-christian, points to ponder. I'm eagerly anticipating the second installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for personal and group study July 6 1999
By A Customer
I was able to read an advance copy of this book and found it excellent. Liz Curtis Higgs blends fiction, strong scripture teaching and questions to offer her readers a great book for personal or group study. Her modern stories show who these Biblical women might be in today's world and set the scene for her excellent Biblical teaching lessons. This book would make a wonderful year-long study for an individual or a group. I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired! April 22 1999
By A Customer
BAD GIRLS OF THE BIBLE is an inspired book that is sure to bless countless women for many years to come. Liz Curtis Higg's unique use of fiction combined with Scripture and modern application helped me see myself, my past and my future in a whole new light. Thank you, Liz, for pouring your heart and soul into this amazing book. -- Robin Lee Hatcher, author of THE FORGIVING HOUR and WHISPERS FROM YESTERDAY
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for Everywoman to take to heart! July 28 1999
Format:Audio Cassette
Bad Girls certainly can teach us much! This book is a wonderful vehicle for bible study groups and the depth of Liz's research is astounding! The contemporary stories are a magnetic pull, putting the reader right into the situation. How could a serious student of the Bible not be intrigued? Liz's excellent questions at the ends of the chapters really make you think, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best Christian book I've ever read! Aug. 13 2002
By Sara
Just by reading the title and looking at the great cover photograph of Liz Curtis Higgs peering out from behind a black veil, I knew immediately this wasn't your average "Christian book." And you know what, I was right. But in my opinion, this book is more "Christian" than most other Christian books out there today. Why? Because it teaches forgiveness and redemption, no matter WHAT your background or experiences in life. After all, wasn't that Jesus' core message?
Liz Curtis Higgs isn't your average Christian author--she freely admits her sordid past filled with promiscuity, drug use, and abusive relationships. She frequently uses her own stories to illustrate the points made in her book. She used to be a radio jockey whose show was so racy it made Howard Stern tell her to "clean up her act." But then Liz found the healing and redemptive powers of God's love, and it's this message which drives "Bad Girls of the Bible." Her non-judgmental and forgiving attitude will make any "bad girl" feel welcome. Most Christian authors today often come off as "holier-than-thou" with no clue about anything outside their own Christian sphere of influence. No matter what you've done, Liz has probably been there and done that, too.
Liz uses examples of "bad girls" from the Old and New Testaments to show how bad actions can affect our lives, and how we can be healed and forgiven by God. The stories are told with Liz's trademark wit and humor, which makes the book a rather entertaining read. She breaks down the stories verse-by-verse and makes amusing and insightful commentary on each. You don't have to be a Bible scholar to enjoy the book--Liz breaks everything down into bit-sized, easy-to-swallow pieces for your reading enjoyment!
I would recommend this book to any woman out there, whether you're a "lapsed Christian" or just need a change of pace from the usual conservative Christian fodder that's out there. Liz calls herself an "encourager", and she really is.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
It is a great tool for Bible study. Creates good discussion and we can draw parallel; in our lives. THanks
Published 10 months ago by Alfretta Vanderheyden
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent books
The books are excellent. Easy to read but very informative and challenging.
Would highly recommend them to any woman who needs to be challenged to draw
closer to God.
Published on Dec 13 2010 by Elaine Hersey
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
I thought this book was really great. I love how in depth she goes into each verse. It's really neat to learn how the verse is translated into different versions of the Bible. Read more
Published on April 7 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars great theory.... but...
I really was excited to order this book. I thought that it would be a good book about naughty girls or a naughty book about good girls. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2003 by K. Amundsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth with love... and humor
I have to admit I'm pretty cynical about Christian books anymore, so I picked up this book hesitantly, afraid to find another empty, feel-good message. NOT SO! Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Girls of the Bible
Our Sunday School used this book for a quarter, and I could hardly wait until we were done. Liz's humor got to me -- one woman in our class said it is hard to read some of the... Read more
Published on Dec 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book is great! It's an adventure just waiting to happen!
Published on Nov. 8 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars For former bad girls and those who want to understand them
If you've done time as a bad girl, are flirting with being a bad girl, or just want to understand a little more about what makes women *do things* like that, this books is for... Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2001 by C. S. Laird
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Morality Lessons:A Little Too Fundie For Me
I bought this book thinking that it would be similar to Jonathan Kirsch's "The Harlot By The Side of the Road", which I thought was a 5 star winner in every respect. Read more
Published on July 7 2001 by John Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for Bible Study Group
I have enjoyed this book, although I agree with what other reviewers have said - that she takes too many "liberties" with the stories. Read more
Published on May 18 2001 by Jennifer A Loeber
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