Talk:Book of Ruth

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old talk[edit]

I also moved around a few lines and moved the section on Jewish and Christian views to the end of the article. This will hopefully make the article less focussed on a christian perspective.

RGW 01:30, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Monday, May 1, 2006

I believe that any concerns stated in regard to the article have been addressed.

Saturday, April 29, 2006,

Thank you for your comments regarding the significance of the book to Jews. I have added your note to my article. As the Hebrew Bible is most significant to Jews and Christians I have added the note to clarify that although important to both, each has their own perspective. The last paragraph makes it clear that the comment is directed towards a Christian perspective -- who also hold the book dear.

I agree about the last paragraph specifically, and much of the article is also biased towards Christian interpretation. In many ways, most of what Christians and Jews would draw from the text would be the same, but drawing lessons for the meaning of Jesus's life to Christians is irrelevant to Jews, so it must be made clear that the book of Ruth has a unique significance to Jews. In particular, Ruth is celebrated as a convert to Judaism who understood Jewish principles and took them to heart. This book is dear to the hearts of Jews who are Jews-by-choice. -- slb 4/27/06

The very last paragraph on this page has a distinct Christian bias. Dreadpiratetif 17:04, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The article was updated. The research with bibliography and article were completed for a course at Acadia Divinity College and includes material from previous article.

I removed:

The author of this book was thought to be Samuel according to Jewish tradition. However, modern Biblical scholars believe that this book was written to protest the ethnic cleansing policies prevalent during the restoration of the Kingdom of Judah under the domination of the Persian Empire. During that time, there was a strong movement to expel all peoples who were deemed not to have a sufficiently Jewish ancestry to prevent a reemergence of the perceived pollution of foreign faiths that brought God's wrath on the nation.

The book opposed that attitude by trying to illustrate that foreigners can be just as faithful as any Jew to the point where they must surely have God's favour if their descendants can include such chosen ones as David.

Because RK removed the same exact (or exceedingly similar) section from Ruth, and Danny agreed that the section should be rewritten (I think). In any case, whatever is the result at Talk:Ruth should apply here too, and these two articles should maybe be integrated? Tuf-Kat

I agree. These two articles should be merged. RK 14:43, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)

Ruth's sister's name[edit]

Isn't Ruth's sister's name spelled "Orpah" in English? (I believe most English Christian Bibles since KJV use that spelling.) Or is that a Christian mistake? -- Mpolo 16:00, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)

Orpah was NOT Ruth's sister, as I can see from having checked Chapter 1, but sister-in-law. It refers to the women as daughters-in-law of Naomi and wives of their respective husbands.Cloptonson (talk) 20:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Why the {} sign/s?[edit]

Why were one or more of these sign/s: {{NPOV}}{{expansion}}{{Cleanup}} signs placed on this page without any discussion, explanation or reasoning? (And why create a redundant category Category:Bible stories that is now up for a vote for deletion at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion#Category:Bible stories?) IZAK 07:05, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

WP Saints?[edit]

Per the discussion at Talk:Book of Joshua, I will remove the "Saints" project template here, as The Book of Ruth is not really a saint topic. Instead, I'll add a WP Bible template. Information about Ruth the person should be its own article. Alekjds talk 20:47, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps it should be it's own article, but at this point it isn't. As such, the only biographical information available on this historical personage and saint is to be found here. When the article on Ruth is created, though, the banner would clearly be more appropriate there. John Carter 23:47, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup required[edit]

The article jumps into discussions of controversy about authorship and themes before it tells what the text /story actually IS. There is only 1 inline citation making verifiability nearly impossible - as it stands, the article appears mostly Original Research. 16:05, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


Isn't it the general standard for articles on books and other texts to have a synopsis of the text? I have been familiar with the book since young childhood, so I know what happens, but I'd be lost if I weren't familiar with it. For example: who are Elimelech and the son born to Naomi? If I didn't know the text, I'd have no clue that it was her late husband and her grandson whom she effectively adopted. Nyttend (talk) 21:15, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I've just added a synopsis. It should have links in it (e.g. for levirate marriage) but I've no idea how to do that. I hope the synopsis is clear to someone who doesn't know the story - feel free to make it better!

Well, better get back to work! KMcA (talk) 20:55, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Having done some research on levirate marriage, it isn't fair to call this unambiguously an example of levirate marriage. Many of the ceremonial aspects are completely wrong and on top of that the obligation only extended to immidiate brothers according to that law. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I've expanded the synopsis a little to note the use of the word "redeemer" (the Themes section rightly notes that redemption is a major theme of the book), and to note also the genealogy of David with which the book ends. Please feel free to change tis if you think it's not quite right. PiCo (talk) 14:11, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
It seems a touch misleading to claim that Boaz was "therefore obliged" to marry Ruth - the principle of levirate marriage applies to brother-in-laws of the widow; Boaz is a "close relative" - but even then he is not the closest; the closer relative is keen to redeem the land until he realises that to do so he would have to marry Ruth - he is not treated as a breaker of the levirate marriage principle (for example not spat on); instead he transacts as many other middle-eastern transactions took place - with the exchange of a sandal. Epideme (talk) 02:37, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
The Analysis describes Naomi as receiving the payment for the redemption of the land; whilst the text does not explicitly say who was paid for the redemption of the land, it would be fair to assume that it was not Naomi - having been absent for over 10 years, the land was probably sold (or more accurately the harvests were sold) until the Jubilee year. Thus someone else "owned" the harvests - it was to them that the payment would be made to "redeem" the land and bring it back within the family - which then had to include Ruth. Epideme (talk) 02:46, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Chilion vs. Kilion[edit]

"Chilion" is the spelling used in the 18th-century edited version of the King James Version, which is pretty much the traditional standard for spelling names of Biblical figures in the English language, so that spelling should be used here, unless there's a very specific reason for using a different spelling. AnonMoos (talk) 06:58, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Date of the book of Ruth[edit]

I removed a final clause from the "Date" subsection which said that most scholars place the book before the Babylonian period. In fact most scholars put it in the Persian period (post-Exilic). PiCo (talk) 03:58, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

R.K. Phillips[edit]

There was a line in the authorship section putting forward the possibility that Ruth was an Israelite. This is quite a contention, since the text explicitly says she's a Moabite. The authority given was an R.K. Phillips - the only person by that name I can find on the WWW is the pastor of some small church somewhere in America - in other words, not a notable source. So I'm deleting this line. PiCo (talk) 03:20, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Wajdi's Vandalism[edit]

Someone (presumably named Wajdi) at the IP changed the text in four places, changing one instance each of the names Naomi, Ruth, Obed, and Jesse to Wajdi. It has been fixed, but it was recent so it might recur. Smw543 (talk) 22:01, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Her Page[edit]

How come she doesnt have a page of her own, Boaz has his and many languages have made a page for her except the english, I know majority of the info about her is kept here but she still deserves to have a small wikipedia page for herslef just like other minor charectors have and also her article could talk about presepectives and her importance in Judaism and Christianity88.201.1.30 (talk) 21:35, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Somebody apparently created Ruth (biblical figure)... AnonMoos (talk) 06:45, 23 October 2010 (UTC


As a professional biblical scholar, I find it incredible that this article about a Jewish, Old Testament, book can be so lopsidedly Evangelical Christian, especially in its notes and suggested reading. I've heard that Jewish scholarship knows a little bit about this book, too. Drlithoi (talk) 02:26, 2 May 2012 (UTC)SER, May 1, 2012

Re the phrase, "the Bible's main theme of redemptive history" and other similar expressions--this is biased interpretation, not description. That the collection of books comprising the Bible even has a "main theme" is a position with which many scholars would take issue. Fintushel (talk) 07:10, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Authorship and Date[edit]

The section on the authorship and date of Ruth is pathetically small. It only mentions in passing that it's traditionally ascribed to the prophet Samuel, but "it is now regarded by revisionist scholars as being a novella of probable hellenistic-era dating.". Is there any evidence to support the latter? Where does the traditional view come from? Are revisionist scholars trustworthy in these matters? Point is, it needs expansion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Not too much is known for certain, and there's a wide range of speculation. It's not necessarily Hellenistic, but it's not very early, either. Many have speculated that it's a response to post-Exilic tendencies to endogamy, which could place it in the Persian period (possibly based on some earlier tradition or genealogical listing)... AnonMoos (talk) 16:56, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Is there anything to back up the traditional view of authorship (written by the prophet Samuel)? Or do any findings utterly disprove the traditional view?-- (talk) 14:23, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, there's the fact that the Book of Ruth seems to refer to David as a revered historical figure, but according to II Samuel 25, Samuel died before David became king. I don't think that serious scholars have taken the idea of Samuel's authorship of Ruth very seriously for more than century... AnonMoos (talk) 13:03, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

The Overtly Sexual Plan[edit]

The cited source is much more indecisive about the sexual nature of the plan than the article. The source states: "In Hebrew, "feet" is sometimes used as a euphemism for the sexual organs. Is Ruth making a sexual advance? This is possible, but unlike Ruth 4:12, the text is not explicit, so although we may want to know whether there was or was not a sexual encounter, the ambiguity suggests this is not an integral part of the story." I have updated the text of the article to reflect this ambiguity. The other two reasons this plan was considered overtly sexual was not mentioned in the source at all, although I found some blogs and whatnot that could be used as sources instead. If I find one that seems reputable and not just a random Internet opinion I will replace the citation neededs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

You're misrepresenting what the source (West, in Eerdmans) says. It says Naomi's plan for Ruth and Boaz "is overtly sexual" (that's reflected in our article); and it says that Boaz's uncovered feet "is a euphemism for genitals." What you're quoting here is quite a different work, the IVP Woemn's Bible Commentary, which is not included in our bibliography - what led you to think it was our source? In any case, the IVP commentary isn't disagreeing with West - feet are quite often just feet, but in this particular passage from Ruth, they're not, and most scholars take a very different view of the integral nature of the sexual encounter between Ruth and Naomi (it led to the birth of the ancestor of David, and was therefore supremely important). PiCo (talk) 03:21, 17 March 2015 (UTC)


This section of the article seems to keep coming and going. If it disappears again, I am going to request some level of protection on the page. It is merely one interpretation among several listed in the article, and should be treated as such. Sevey13 (talk) 00:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Respectfully disagree. These "contempory interpretations" would be more accurately described as "fringe interpretations" - and it seems to have been originally added by editors pushing a LGBT agenda. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 21:23, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Seems weird to delete it here when it's mentioned on The Bible and homosexuality and Homosexuality in the Hebrew Bible. However, it's not mentioned in the articles for Ruth (biblical figure) or Naomi (biblical figure), so maybe it's not essential here. Aristophanes68 (talk) 03:50, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The topic of homosexuality in the bible is an interesting one, and certainly homosexual activity seemed to have been prevalent in parts of the ancient world without the negative influence of social mores seen in the modern world. But it's vulnerable to POV-pushing LGBT WP:ACTIVIST editors gratuitously inserting fringe material in order to "rub Christian readers' noses in homosexuality". I did however have a quick look at those two articles, and there is more salient information and, I believe, a better rationale for a homosexual interpretation. Perhaps those articles would be a better place to discuss the issue, rather than taking up several paragraphs on this article and risk giving undue weight to the entire notion.
The material I objected to and removed specifically was based on a weasel term ("some contemporary interpretations") - with a single solitary example provided by Rebecca Alpert, who is, frankly, on the looney tunes end of scholarly opinion. I am unhappy with the inclusion of ideologically-motivated fringe interpretations without further analysis. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 17:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Did a quick search via Google Books "Book of Ruth lesbian'' and quite a bit of results pertaining to the Book of Ruth and Homosexuality showed up. I think WP:ACTIVIST isn't the appropiate policy to denounce such information. I best believe that the info. should stay. Any attempt to try and remove I would consider an act of censorship per WP:NOTCENSORED unless proven otherwise. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 23:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I didn't object to the information on the grounds of WP:ACTIVIST, I objected on the grounds of WP:FRINGE. But I did a bit of research and it seems there are indeed a few scholars who note the lesbian possibility. In fact there seems to be enough material to provide a more comprehensive analysis than "oh, by the way, some scholars e.g. Rebecca Alpert think Ruth and Naomi were lesbians" which is the effect of the current text.
I shall however restore the removed section for the time being, with a view to improving it in the fullness of time. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 12:36, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Notability of a fringe theory

The sources provided for the fringe theory are not notable. A fringe theory, if it is to be included into an existing Wikipedia article, must be notable, and to be notable, the topic must receive significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. Otherwise it is not notable enough for a dedicated article in Wikipedia. Furthermore, the notability of a fringe theory must be judged by statements from verifiable and reliable sources, not the proclamations of its adherents.

Wikipedia's Content Guideline for fringe theories stipulates that "a fringe theory is considered notable enough for a dedicated article if it has been referenced extensively, and in a serious and reliable manner, by major publications that are independent of their promulgators and popularizers".

It is intersting to observe that for several months the only source available for this fringe theory was 1 (one!) source which merely had one sentence on the fringe theory: "Among feminist authors, perceptions of the book's message and value have varied widely, with some seeeing the story as a model for lesbian relationships (Alpert) and others a a celebration of the relationship between two strong and resourceful women (Brenner 1983)". Those Wikipedia Editors who regularly restored the deleted fringe theory are in violation of Wikpedia's core policy of Verifiability for exceptional claims. Exceptional claims, which significantly depart from the prevailing views, require multiple high quality sources. A high quality source for a fringe theory, according to WP:FRIND must be independent of the subject. An independent reliable source is a source "that has no vested interest in a written topic and therefore it is commonly expected to describe the topic from a disinterested perspective".

Editor JudeccaXIII in particular is guilty of violating against WP:V, WP:RS, WP:FRINGE and point No 2d of WP:IUC in this article. On two occasions, JudeccaXIII added easy-to-spot unreliable sources and easy-to-spot irrelevant sources into the article while restoring the deleted fringe theory. With this edit, JudeccaXIII added an unreliable self-published source from the website of a religious organization to support his addition of the fringe theory. Some editors might wonder about this edit from JudeccaXIII, because it can be assumed that with this edit the editor is probably consciously trying to mislead other Wikipedia editors. This "source" which editor JudeccaXIII has provided in response to my kindly formulated request, has nothing to do with the fringe theory, and yet this editor even added a page number from that book, probably with the motive of hoping that he'll get away with it undetected. The source writes about this book, which is unrelated to the fringe theory.

Understand this, that I do not care if this fringe theory is added into this article or not. I simply don't care. What I do care about is that WP:V is adhered to at all times. So, if you want to re-add the fringe theory, please kindly take the requirements found in WP:FRINGE into consideration . Thank you. (talk) 12:38, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

You're absolutely right about Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. I didn't realize I added that one, sorry. However, The other sources are reliable via from scholarly thoughts. The only source that mentions Rebecca Albert again is Pui-lan Kwok's Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology. Yes, there is only one sentence using Rebecca Albert's interpretation. The whole thing needs to be rewritten, but sources I can say are abundant. You can look for yourself via Google Books: Book of Ruth lesbian Either way, this was discussed as keep with work to be done. The thought of lesbianism in the Book of Ruth isn't a minor view. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 18:19, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
So far as I can see, the idea isn't fringe (it's mentioned in multiple mainstream works by well-respected scholars such as Axum). The references given are totally appropriate, too - these are important scholars with established reputations in the field. My only problem is that I doubt it's worth a whole section - maybe a para under a new section of reception history? PiCo (talk) 02:22, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

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