The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality
Himbaza, Innocent, Adrien Schenker and Jean-Baptiste Edart
Guevin, Benedict M., translator
Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2011 pp. xviii + 147. $19.95
Description: The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality addresses the hotly debated topic of whether the Bible condemns homosexuality by a close reading of the biblical texts without taboo or prejudice, without personal or church interpretation. The authors--three Christian exegetes, two Catholic and one Protestant--are interested in discovering what the Bible says about homosexuality. They take seriously the world from which the biblical text emerges, and discuss the hermeneutical challenges raised by scripture. They deal with the full range of issues raised by homosexuality in the Bible including Jesus' own sexual orientation and his relationship with the Beloved Disciple. Their conclusions are modest though their comprehensive overview is significant.
Innocent Himbaza begins the work by looking at the entire range of Old Testament texts and examining the often-cited discussions of homosexuality: Sodom and Gomorrah, the outrage at Gibeah (Judges 19), the relationship between Jonathan and David, and the relationship between Saul and David.
Next Adrien Schenker addresses the question: Why did the Law of Moses forbid homosexual relations (Leviticus 18 and 20)? Schenker also examines such issues as the death penalty for those caught in homosexual relationships within the proper historical context and the significance of these Levitical passages within the perspective of biblical theology.
The third and final section of the book looks at homosexuality within the New Testament. Jean-Baptiste Edart first examines the Pauline texts (1 Corinthians 6 and 1Timothy 1; Romans 1). He then examines Jesus and the healing of the centurion's slave in Luke 7, Jesus' relationship with the Beloved Disciple, Jesus' attitude toward homosexual acts, and finally the commandment of love.
Though many books are available on the topic of homosexuality and the Bible, most advance a particular ideology. This book, while not a moral treatise on homosexuality, intends only to clarify, without a predetermined interpretation, what the Bible actually says on the subject.
Subjects: Methods, Ideological Critique, Gay/Lesbian Approaches
Review by Stuart Macwilliam
Citation: Stuart Macwilliam, review of Innocent Himbaza, Adrien Schenker, and Jean-Baptiste Edart, The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).
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