Having not read the first book in the series, Bad Girls of the Bible, I wasn’t sure what exactly I was picking up when I decided to read Really Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. It sounded like it could be a “based upon a true story” book, but it also sounded like it could be a Bible study book. Based on the title alone, it was one of those books that sounded intriguing to read, but then again I was kind of hesitant to grab it because I wondered what my parents or grandparents would think of me, as a good Christian girl, reading a book about the really bad girls of the Bible. From the very first page though, this novel/Bible study book (of which it seems to be a little of both) was super fascinating and I could hardly put it down.
Liz is a self-proclaimed “ex bad girl”. From her bits of testimony she throws into the book, she’s pretty much been there, done that, and got the t-shirt as a souvenir. Being how her life has been radically changed to that of a born-again Christian, she is a great person to be writing this study and just really bringing out a little bit more in-depth view of the situations these women found themselves in and lessons we can learn from their situations and how God’s grace played a part in the story and even today how we can still receive that grace, even through our deepest, darkest times.
Each chapter in this study focuses on one of the Biblical “bad girls”. What was especially interesting to me is how Liz begins each chapter with a fictional, modern take on these girls (which was kind of fun because after I realized that was what she was doing, it became a little guessing game for me); this take really brings it closer to home. A lot of times when you read through the Bible, some of the issues these women are facing, based on the time frame and geographical location, seem so far from home you really wonder how they can apply to today’s day and age, but with the modern take Liz brings at the beginning of each chapter, it puts these ladies’ lives into a new perspective and you realize a lot of what they were dealing with them is still alive and well today.
After the fictional take on the ladies, Liz then brings about the actual Biblical references to these women. And it’s not just your typical study where you are given a large chunk of the passage to read and then get discussion on that after the passage is read; she pieces out the verse and points out the details that one can so easily miss when reading a large passage. The great thing is that she puts it in modern, easy to understand terms and “talks” to the reader just like she was having an actual conversation with them and not just writing to them. I felt like she was in my living room having a discussion with me. I laughed at some of the quirkiness she put in there and I teared up when she hit close to home. This is one of those books that just leaves you feeling like you are close friends with the author.
Above all, it is an incredible study. It was so neat to find out more about these ladies and do a study on them when sometimes just a few short verses are devoted to them so you really don’t get to understand much about their lives. Liz does her research on this book though. It even felt as though she could have been alive during the era that most of these ladies were because she takes time to examine and delve into and explain some of the customs more. The other great part about this book is that there are some great study questions at the back of the book that really make you take a personal look inside yourself. After going through the questions and doing some self-examination, even though I would consider myself a “good girl”, I can still relate to some of the reflection questions just based on my own human nature. She writes the questions so that you can apply them as a group study or individual study.
While this book is very Biblically based and nothing is inappropriate, due to how intense the study is into these ladies lives, I would recommend this for more mature readers. This is a book I think many will enjoy and learn quite a bit from and I highly recommend it (I even recommended it to my own grandma!) I will be looking for more of Liz’s studies in the future and I am planning on picking up her first book in the set at my next opportunity!
To check out a preview of this book or order a copy, you can click here.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.