The Bible proclaims a message of liberation. Though the Bible arose in an age when slavery and patriarchalism permeated society, the biblical authors sought to elevate the rights of slaves, the poor, and women. Their attempts to elevate the oppressed set in motion a trajectory of evolution, which we should still be advancing today. Critics of the Bible declare that it accepts slavery and the subordination of women, but they fail to understand the biblical texts in their historical context. For their age the biblical authors were advanced in their understanding of human rights, and the democratic values we hold today actually resulted from their early attempts to affirm the dignity and rights of slaves and women. It is equally important that we critique those spokespersons of the church who quote the Bible literally but have lost sight of its historical context so that they might still subordinate women today. Such spokespersons also declare that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But a closer reading of the text discerns that those few passages that address same-sex relations actually condemn rape, ritual prostitution, and master-slave relations. To use the Bible to condemn people is to misuse the Bible.
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Robert Gnuse is the James C. Carter, SJ / Chase Bank Distinguished Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Hebrew Bible at Loyola University in New Orleans. He is author of Misunderstood Stories (Cascade Books, 2014), No Tolerance for Tyrants (2011), and The Old Testament and Process Theology (2000).
Table of ContentsList of Abbreviations | Acknowledgments | 1. Perspectives on Biblical Trajectories | 2. Old Testament Law Codes and Justice for the Oppressed | 3. Loans, Interest, and Debt that Leads to Slavery | 4. Freedom for the Oppressed Debt-slaves | 5. Rights for Slaves in the New Testament | 6. Women’s Rights in the Old Testament | 7. The Dignity of Women in the Jesus Movement | 8. The Dignity of Women in Paul and the Ancient Church | 9. Old Testament Passages Used to Condemn Homosexuality | 10. New Testament Passages Used to Condemn Homosexuality | Conclusion | Bibliography | Scripture Index | Subject Index | Name Index