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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Paul and Ancient Views of Sexual Desire: Paul's Sexual Ethics in 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 1
Ellis, J. Edward

New York: T&T Clark, 2007 pp. xiii + 191. $130.00

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 354


Description: Paul and Ancient Views of Sexual Desire refutes the argument put forward by some scholars that Paul, in his sexual ethics, is in partial agreement with a current of thought in the Greco-Roman world that condemns sexual desire and advocates the elimination of such desire from marital sex. Ellis argues against not only this line of thought but also the attendant notion that this way of thinking underlies Paulís comments on homosexual activity in Romans 1. Through close analysis of numerous ancient passages relating to sexual desire, Ellis demonstrates that ancient thinkers tend to condemn not sexual desire in itself but excessive sexual desire and lack of self-control. Furthermore, he contends that ancient auditors would have been unlikely to see condemnation of sexual desire in Paulís words in 1 Thessalonians 4 or 1 Corinthians 7.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Literature

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Review by James W. Aageson
Published 2/2/2009
Citation: James W. Aageson, review of J. Edward Ellis, Paul and Ancient Views of Sexual Desire: Paul's Sexual Ethics in 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 1, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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