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Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desireby Jennifer Wright Knust
Synopses & Reviews
Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today's discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an era where the phrases, "the Bible says," and "God says," are so often exploited, it is time to consider what the Bible actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.
Unprotected Texts directly and pointedly takes on widely shared misconceptions about sex, arguing that the Bible cannot—and should not—serve as a rulebook for sexual morality, despite popular claims to the contrary. From the Song of Songs' lyrical eroticism to the rigid sexual rules of Leviticus—and everything in between—Knust parses the Bible's contradictory, often surprising messages.
Skillfully revealing the latest insights from critical scholarship, Knust provides a compassionate and liberating model for navigating these deeply personal issues that affect us all.
“An explosive, fascinating book that reveals how the Bible cannot be used as a rulebook when it comes to sex. A terrific read by a top scholar.” —Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus
Boston Universitys cutting-edge religion scholar Jennifer Wright Knust reveals the Bibles contradictory messages about sex in this thoughtful, riveting, and timely reexploration of the letter of the gospels. In the tradition of Bart Erhmans Jesus Interrupted and John Shelby Spongs Sins of Scripture, Knusts Unprotected Texts liberates us from the pervasive moralizing—the fickle dos and donts—so often dictated by religious demagogues. Knusts powerful reading offers a return to the scripture, away from the mere slogans to which it is so often reduced.
Think You Know What the Bible Really Says About Sex? Think Again.
Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? With fresh scholarship and unflagging compassion, Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the questions that dominate todays debates over sex and the Bible. At a time when the words “the Bible says” are too often wielded for social and political gain, its time to consider what scripture actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.
About the Author
Jennifer Wright Knust is assistant professor of religion at Boston University, specializing in New Testament, biblical studies, and early Christian history. An ordained American Baptist pastor, she has served churches in Philadelphia and Maine. She holds a doctorate in religion from Columbia University and a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She is the author of Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity.
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