Tag Archives: Deborah

Mothers as Leaders in Early Jewish Texts

by Hanna Tervanotko

The status of women in early Judaism continues to be debated. Interestingly, Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (L.A.B.) employs the term ‘mother’ several times in chapter 33, which outlines Deborah’s farewell speech and her death. This article analyzes the significance of the title ‘mother’. This term has been interpreted in different ways in the past. For instance, several scholars understand the title ‘mother’ as a ‘feminist counterpart’ to the term ‘father’. I think such interpretation is problematic since it retrojects a modern perspective upon the ancient author. Moreover, I claim that most research done on the figure of Deborah in L.A.B. regarding the title ‘mother’ appear to be based on the scholars’ assumptions about women in the ancient world rather than on critical research of the actual text.  Continue reading Mothers as Leaders in Early Jewish Texts