The Gospel of Ruth

This is the book I was born to write….Several years ago, Old Testament scholars began to think differently about the book of Ruth. A Bible story I thought I knew as well as my own name emerged from the fringes of biblical literature into the spotlight—contributing substantially to our understanding of God and giving a picture of how he means for his sons and daughters to build his kingdom together.

The book of Ruth opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. Never have I been more surprised, never more strongly impacted, never more redirected than I was by being reintroduced to Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. The message of the book was so revolutionary, so life-changing, so unlike what I had always been taught, I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself.”

The Gospel of Ruth


“This is not a woman’s book . . . It is a powerful book that I wish every man and woman that call themselves Christian would read. Carolyn Custis James peels back the familiar story of Ruth and shows us the undeniable story of courage, equality, and partnership that reflect the gospel and that the world is hungry to see.”

—Nancy Ortberg, author of Looking for God and Founding Partner, Teamworx2

“Carolyn James provides a compelling and riveting reading of the book of Ruth that reveals its grace-filled message and will change your assumptions of Ruth as well as Naomi and Boaz. Even more, this book will change your preconceptions of relationships between men and women. I strongly encourage women and men to read this book.

—Tremper Longman IIIPh.D.
Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies,Westmont College


Table of Contents

FOREWORD:  Robert L. Hubbard, Ph.D.,
Professor of Old Testament, Northwestern Seminary

INTRODUCTION:  What Women Want to Know

CHAPTER 1:   Looking at God from Ground Zero
CHAPTER 2:   Left Behind—A Woman on Her Own
CHAPTER 3:   Wisdom Gleaned from Empty Arms
CHAPTER 4:   Breaking the Rules in Bethlehem
CHAPTER 5:   The Power of Hesed
CHAPTER 6:   Finding God’s Fingerprints on Our Lives
CHAPTER 7:   A Holy Risk Taker
CHAPTER 8:   The Three Faces of Submission
CHAPTER 9:   When Women Initiate and Men Respond
CHAPTER 10: Good to Great

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS with each chapter

TO ORDER:        The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules