FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – When expectant mothers look through the Bible for possible female baby names, they often gravitate toward ones like Hannah, Sarah, and Rachel. Names like Jochebed, Puah, Shiphrah and Zipporah—all women instrumental in the life of Moses—often go unnoticed, as do these women’s impact on Moses’ life.
In her new book Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses, however, Dorothy Patterson does not overlook these and other women in Moses’ life but instead offers them as shining examples of biblical womanhood. Patterson, whose husband Paige Patterson serves as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, explains in the book’s preface that the women of the Bible have always intrigued her.
“When my husband was asked to be a consultant for the movie Moses, Prince of Egypt, I was again drawn to the women who lived in the shadow of the great lawgiver, who was marked by human weakness and yet empowered by divine calling and guidance,” Patterson says.
“Through these resulting historical vignettes, my prayer is that women will be encouraged and edified, as well as challenged and motivated, to offer themselves as vessels to be used by the Lord, whether for a task as lowly as watching a basket float in the river or one as lofty as leading a host of women in praise of the one true God.”
Each chapter of the book examines a woman or group of women in Moses’ life, offering insight into their lives and how they influenced his life. At the conclusion of each chapter is a prayer followed by resources for further study, including facts, exegetical notes, teaching outlines, inductive questions, a “Dorothy’s Dictum” truth or principle, and a statement about how the woman fits in God’s overall plan of redemption in the Bible. The additional resources make this a perfect book for individual and small-group book studies.
Patterson, who serves as professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern, is author of numerous books, including A Handbook for Parents in Ministry, A Handbook for Minister’s Wives, and BeAttitudes for Women: Wisdom from Heaven for Life on Earth. She also served as editor for The Women’s Study Bible and co-authored the newly released, two-volume Women’s Evangelical Commentary: Old Testament and Women’s Evangelical Commentary: New Testament.