Sunday, 26 July 2009

SCROGGS: The New Testament and Homosexuality

Scroggs, Robin
The New Testament & Homosexuality
Fortress Press, 1983

158 pages

"Just what is a proper use of the Bible, especially the New Testament, in Christian debates about acceptance of homosexuals? In addition to bringing clarity and honesty to issues of the relevance of the Bible, this work brings a little more light and a little less heat to the discussion, a little more acceptance of all persons on the "other side," and maybe even an awareness that in Christ there is really no "other side" at all."

"Anyone wishing to engage the ongoing debate of the place of the homosexual in the Chrisitian community cannot ignore this book - not because the author has overhelmed us with convincing proof of the right attitude toward the practice of homosexuality - but because he has carefully and meticulously researched the ancient literature from both the Graeco-Roman and Jewish cultures and may understand what problem or practice the scriptural text is addressing."

"By primary as well as secondary texts, Scroggs describes the Graeco-Roman world as male-dominated. Adult public life was highly segregated. Males conducted business, met in assemblies, social clubs, and lecture halls with other males. In this segregated society both beauty and eroticism centred on other males."

by Robin Scroggs, professor of New Testament, Union Theological Seminary, a happily married heterosexual who has been acclaimed in many Christian publications for his serious research about what the New Testament really says about homosexuality.

Scroggs reason for his research was a discussion of homosexuality by ministers. "I sat amazed as I heard the Bible being invoked in ways that were wholly inappropriate to any canons of biblical scholarship. Perhaps something snapped in me...for better or worse I decided somebody needed to provide resources that would give both clarity and honesty." He says he has no personal interest but sees the tragic results of false biblical scholarship and the tragic rejections of homosexuals in the name of Christian righteousness or even love. It is about time someone spoke honestly about the issue, not just from emotional homophobic assumptions of what the New Testament really says."

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