Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Ancient Honor and Bisexual Norms

Here are a couple of essays to jump start the new year:
"Reading Biblical Narrative with Its Ancient Audience", by Philip Esler.

"Paul opposed Roman (bisexual) norms, not gay marriage", by Richard Fellows.
Esler looks at some basic stuff, such as honorably appropriate responses to battle (failed by David in II Sam 10-12)), the bitter animosity between co-wives (causing Hannah to shame Penninah in I Sam 1-2), and other things which in typical Context-Group fashion "wash away modern, Northern Atlantic understandings of what the biblical texts mean and find something very different underneath".

Fellows puts to bed a particular modern western reading of Paul, namely his condemnation of homoeroticism. "When reading 1 Cor 6:9 and Rom 1:26-27, it is natural for us to assume that Paul has in mind the actions of a group equivalent to modern homosexuals -- a persecuted minority who represent about 2% of western society. Rather than having such people in view, Paul is attacking the sexual practices of the majority of Romans, and that these practices can better be described as bisexual and unfaithful." A lot of data in this well-crafted post.

Happy New Year to all.


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