My next post was initially going to be an analysis of the effects of the concepts of omnicience, omnipotence and infallibility on how we think about the Bible, God’s prophets, and God. However, it appears that my readers are much more interested in sex. And who can blame them? Sex is so much more fun!
In all seriousness, when we touch sex (so to speak) we touch a major nerve cluster that connects countless social phenomena. Sex affects the private sphere of the home, the public policy sphere of laws and debate, and the religious sphere of belief and ritual. Sex informs gender relations, intimate power dynamics and individual identity. In systematically examining how sex is portrayed, regulated and (yes) even celebrated in the Bible, we can gain some very surprising insights regarding not only ancient culture and attitudes, but about our own as well.
In the posts to come, I would like to look at how sex is portrayed in the following texts:
- Genesis (particularly the Fall Narrative and the Patriarchs/Matriarchs)
- King David and the Succession Narrative
- The Major Prophets
- The Books of Ruth, Esther, Judith and the Song of Songs
- The Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke)
- The Revelation of St. John
While these comprise only a sample of the breadth of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, they will yield some very rich insights into how sex plays in the Bible, and how our (sometimes limited) understanding of the Bible affects our concept of sex and human sexuality.