Homosexuality And The Bible

( 7 )

Overview

Few recent issues have sparked such debate in the churches as homosexuality, same-sex unions, and ordination of gays and lesbians. A key point of contention is the meaning and authority of the biblical witness.

In this brief book, two New Testament scholars discuss the relevant biblical texts on the subject of homosexual behavior and orientation. Discussing both Old Testament and New Testament texts, each author also raises important interpretive and moral questions and then ...

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Homosexuality And The Bible

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Overview

Few recent issues have sparked such debate in the churches as homosexuality, same-sex unions, and ordination of gays and lesbians. A key point of contention is the meaning and authority of the biblical witness.

In this brief book, two New Testament scholars discuss the relevant biblical texts on the subject of homosexual behavior and orientation. Discussing both Old Testament and New Testament texts, each author also raises important interpretive and moral questions and then offers a response to the other's main assertions. Chief questions examined by each include what the Bible has to say about homosexuality and homosexual behavior, the meaning of those texts in their cultural contexts, and the larger hermeneutical dilemma of what kind of authority the Bible's teaching, if recoverable, has for Christians today.

A thoughtful and irenic dialogue, this volume can facilitate reflection and discussion among church members on a vital and contentious issue in American church life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800636180
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,443,995
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
The Bible, the Church, and Homosexuality
Introduction 1
The Authority of the Bible 2
Hermeneutics: The Problem of Interpretation 2
Changing Attitudes 3
The Old Testament 4
Transition to the New Testament 9
The New Testament 11
Homosexual Orientation 15
Defense of the Traditional Position 18
Wandering in the Wilderness 28
A Way Forward 29
The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Key Issues
On Determining What Matters in Scripture 41
The Proper Use of Analogies 43
Love and Grace from the Perspective of Jesus and Paul 50
The Pervasive Stance against Homosexual Practice in the Old Testament 56
The Levitical Proscriptions and the Issue of Purity 62
The Witness of Jesus 68
The Witness of Paul 74
Concluding Thoughts 88
Response to Robert A. J. Gagnon 93
Response to Dan O. Via 99
Select Bibliography 106
Index of Scripture 112
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2007

    Not a Worthy Book From A Scholarly Perspective

    Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views, as it¿s title states is a book about what the Bible says about homosexuality written from two different perspectives. Dan O. Via, Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Duke University Divinity School states that while the Bible does, in fact, decry homosexual acts, he doesn¿t feel that this prohibition should extend to homosexuals in committed relationships. Robert A. J. Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, disagrees with this position, as he sees any homosexual act 'or ¿homosex¿' as a violation of God¿s commandments. In my view, from a scholarly perspective, I find the book to be absolutely useless and not worth reading. The main problem I have with the work is the reliance on an English interpretation of the Scriptures. Both men read the Levitical prohibition against male-to-male sexual intercourse with the familiar ¿A man shall not lie with a man as with a woman,¿ yet neither of them translate the wording as it accurately should be translated ¿With a male you shall not lie the lyings of a woman.¿ This does not say the same thing as these authors would have you believe, and for this reason, their work is terribly misleading. Of the two views, I have to think that Via does the better job of making a convincing argument, but mostly because Gagnon does such a horrible job on his side. In particular, Gagnon distorts the Scriptures, and at times blatantly lies in order to make his point. For example, he creates analogies to justify his position that have never been used in any argument in favor of same sex relations. He states that ¿There is no virtue to being more consistently disobedient to Jesus¿ teaching.¿ '47' As a professor of New Testament Studies he knows fully well that Jesus never taught anything against homosexuality. In fact, Jesus never mentioned it. Gagnon claims that same-sex intercourse creates problems such as mental health issues and gender identity disorders, and quotes himself as his source. First, anyone who quotes himself as a source is either extremely egomaniacal, or hasn¿t bothered to take the time to research his topic properly, and in Gagnon¿s case, I fear it¿s a bit of both. In the first ten pages of his argument, he cites himself as a source six times. In fact, throughout his writing he rarely cites anyone else. Second, his arguments are not supported by psychiatric studies, which he simply ignores. In short, if it doesn¿t help his argument, it doesn¿t exist. He compares homosexuality to incest and loosely mentions bestiality, which is a clear indication of his own internal homophobia. The man does not like homosexuals and goes to great lengths to attempt to make a logical, scholarly argument to justify his position. He fails miserably in this endeavor. In the few cases where he does deviate from his English interpretation to the original language, he does so with deliberate confusion and obfuscation of the truth. He implies that words are used in contexts where they are not used and uses modern day meanings for words that do not show such context in the first century '55'. He also deliberately misquotes the Scriptures whenever it serves his argument. His statement that Ezekiel refers to homosex is completely false, as Ezekiel clearly names the sins of Sodom and never refers to homosexuality in any form. He states that Deuteronomy speaks out against ¿homosexual cult prostitutes¿ '59' when he knows that the word he is translating cannot be translated as homosexual. It speaks out against cult prostitutes both male and female, but never infers that the males are having sex with other males. This is a complete lie on Gagnon¿s part, and clearly shows his homophobia. One of his weakest arguments is when he states that Jesus ordered his followers to

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    A good survey of the debate

    This book written by scholars is not overly scholarly, allowing the interested reader coming from any level or perspective to see the arguments from both sides. It also allows for the possibility that both arguments are being made with the bona fide *intent* of biblical faithfulness. With so much heat in the debate, this is a little light in the darkness. Don't take it for more than it is, but rather as a primer or overview, and see what comes. Maybe after reading this the person you disagree with won't be as bad as you thought.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Professor Via and Professor Gagnon come together to debate a ver

    Professor Via and Professor Gagnon come together to debate a very "touchy" subject in the church today. Via argues that homosexuality is not entirely immoral. In other words, he argues that some people can be born with a destiny to find love in a homosexual relationship and tries to use scriptural exegesis and other sources to justify his claims. On the other hand, Gagnon argues that homosexuality is absolutely and all inclusively immoral using his knowledge of scripture and historical context of scripture to back up his position. I recommend this product to those seeking to gain a greater understanding of this hot topic of the day and how each side defends their viewpoints.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    not good

    Not worth the money at all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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