Sweet Lady J


Sit down and read the book of Genesis in the Bible and you’ll find a soupy mess.  It is a compilation of at least three voices, three authors.

Listen carefully as you read Genesis and you’ll discover a voice that is distinctive, quite funny, bawdy, raw, and wise.  It’s a voice that stands out among the others around it.

Scripture scholars have called this voice ‘J’ or the ‘Yahwist writer,’ the first author of what would centuries later be collected together and called Genesis.  Many think this first storyteller of the Bible was a woman — just one reason translator Brian J Shircliff calls her ‘Sweet Lady J.’  Three thousand years ago, having a woman be the beginning of three major religious traditions, nonviolence, and neuroplasticity would have been very, very surprising.

Read her work without the competing voices of and you’ll discover just how clever she is . . . how she toys with and exposes the ridiculousness of the hierarchical and patriarchal habits and traditions of her time.  And ours.

And how she might help us find a way through our 21st century troubles as well . . . political, relational, medical, economic, familial, all.

With wonderful artwork by Katherine Colborn, Julie Lucas, and Parrish Monk.



In gratitude to our PATRONS who seek with us all a new way forward & who have helped bring forward this improved second edition of Sweet Lady J (2019) by contributing $25 or more to make this publication possible – we thank you!

two very large anonymous gifts

Cynthia Allen & Larry Wells, Deirdre & George Beluan, Mary Ann Blome,

Bob Donovan, Judith Johnson, Maggie King, Ian Korchak, Mary Laymon,

Michele Mascari, Sarah Mayher, Melissa McNeill, Alice Michels,

Carol Ann Montgomery, Julie Murray, Yong Jim Pan, Stephen Peterson,

Jane Redd, Bob Reineke, Dave Rose, Mary & Robert Schneider,

Lucille Schultz, Jodi & Wayne Shircliff, Cooper Simmons, Stacy Sims,

Tonia Smith, Kristen Swank, Maureen Sullivan-Mahoney,

Howard Thoresen, John Williams, Carol T. Yeazell

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