This address sets out my personal experience as a bible student and scholar in the last four decades. I begin with an extended case study of biblical passages about and around Jezebel, revisiting her story in biblical text and interpretation, with the aim of achieving some generalized understanding of the process of Hebrew bible scholarship as practiced today by the diverse and diversified members of our guild, those strange “animals” of my title. After giving a chronological overview of selected Jezebel interpretations, I move to my own assessment, then from reading criticism into metacriticism. I attempt to glean from this journey insights into the development of bible criticism mainly through feminist scholarship, and leading into scholarship and the role of SBL in the contemporary world of media and the ramifications of the “Big Tent” approach.

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