Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire

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9780061725586: Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire

“An explosive, fascinating book that reveals how the Bible cannot be used as a rulebook when it comes to sex. A terrific read by a top scholar.” —Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus

Boston University’s cutting-edge religion scholar Jennifer Wright Knust reveals the Bible’s contradictory messages about sex in this thoughtful, riveting, and timely reexploration of the letter of the gospels. In the tradition of Bart Erhman’s Jesus Interrupted and John Shelby Spong’s Sins of Scripture, Knust’s Unprotected Texts liberates us from the pervasive moralizing—the fickle dos and don’ts—so often dictated by religious demagogues. Knust’s powerful reading offers a return to the scripture, away from the mere slogans to which it is so often reduced.

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From the Back Cover:

Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today's discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an era where the phrases, "the Bible says," and "God says," are so often exploited, it is time to consider what the Bible actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.

Unprotected Texts directly and pointedly takes on widely shared misconceptions about sex, arguing that the Bible cannot—and should not—serve as a rulebook for sexual morality, despite popular claims to the contrary. From the Song of Songs' lyrical eroticism to the rigid sexual rules of Leviticus—and everything in between—Knust parses the Bible's contradictory, often surprising messages.

Skillfully revealing the latest insights from critical scholarship, Knust provides a compassionate and liberating model for navigating these deeply personal issues that affect us all.

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright Knust is assistant professor of religion at Boston University. She is an ordained American Baptist pastor, and holds a doctorate in religion from Columbia University and a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary.

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