The Bible and Human Sexuality (including Homosexuality)

As individuals and denominations think through the subject of homosexuality, people often send me emails asking for material on “homosexuality and the Bible” (as if all other areas of human sexuality as they relate to the Bible have been resolved). Honestly, the question and the conversation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense apart from the larger subject of Human Sexuality and the Bible. But I understand why people are wanting resources, so here are some good resources for you to consider.

First, if you are programming for your church, consider the curriculum: Our Whole Lives (OWL). Curriculum for ages kindergarten through old adulthood.

Second, if you are part of a church (conflicted or otherwise) that is discussing this topic of “The Bible and Homosexuality,” here are a few helpful resources:

  1. Jack Rogers, Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church (2009).
  2. Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Resource for Congregations in Dialogue on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. This is a publication by the Alliance of Baptists.
  3. For a brief discussion starter on “Biblical Marriage,” see Dr. Warren Carter’s piece in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram from Summer, 2015.
  4.  What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality – a handout composed by my colleague Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison, Johnnie Eargle Cadieux Professor of Hebrew Bible at Phillips Seminary. She created it to be shared. As always, you will want to credit her if you use it.

Academic in Nature

For those who want to get into scholarship by New Testament scholars, you might check out the following:

  1. Dr. William Loader, Making Sense of Sex: Attitudes towards Sexuality in Early Jewish and Christian Literature (2013). William Loader is the expert among New Testament scholars when it comes to the Bible and sexuality. He has recently published a one-volume work that summarizes his five-volume work on the subject. John Collins (OT prof at Yale) writes: “This book establishes Loader as the Kinsey of biblical sexuality. Like Kinsey, he has taken a topic that has often been taboo and demystified it. His patient cataloguing of the diverse biblical attitudes to sexuality complicates the issue for anyone who would appeal to biblical authority in a simplistic way. This is a major contribution both to biblical scholarship and to practical theology.”
  2. Jennifer Knust’s Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire shows how problematic it is to use the Bible the way many do. It’s a bestseller from a couple of years ago. You can also download a 16 minute interview here: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/10/133245874/unprotected-texts-the-bible-on-sex-and-marriage. Some may find it uncomfortable.
  3. If people want historical background on sexuality in the ancient world, Dr. Sarah Ruden, Paul among the People, has a couple of awesome chapters. I really like this whole book. Dr. Ruden earned her PhD in Classics.
  4. Dale Martin’s Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation has been helpful to people who want to consider how we approach the subject of scriptural authority. He is a New Testament professor at Yale University.

Online lectures by scholars

Lecture by Mary Ann Tolbert (New Testament prof/Dean of PSR)

Series of video talks by my colleague John Holbert, Old Testament professor

On a lighter note

The Uncensored Bible: The Bawdy and Naughty Bits of the Good Book. By John Kaltner, Steven McKenzie, Joel Kilpatrick.

 
Share