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New Testament and Homosexualit Paperback – August 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishing (August 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800618548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800618544
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I would also like to know the author's current thought development if he chose to write a new edition.
D. Meyers
When my husband of 20 years began having an identity crisis problem I found the information in this book to be helpful in dealing with his feelings of homosexuality.
Vicki Klettke
One of my seminary professors recommended this book to me while I was an M.Div. student, and I have recommended it to many others since.
Joshua Villines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
The author did a very good job of examining in a logical and scholarly fashion exactly what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality. I appreciated the lack of political rhetoric in the book. The cultural background information was very helpful in understanding how to interpret the Biblical passages often quoted on both sides of the debate.
I found the list of Biblical passages referenced in the back of the book very helpful. I used the index to read all of the referenced passages in the NIV translation of the Bible.
To get the maximum out of this book, you have to be willing to put some intellectual effort into exploring the Bible as a Bible scholar does. This doesn't mean that the book is hard to read - on the contrary, it is written very clearly. This book is most useful if you have an honest desire to understand how the Bible addresses the issue. It will not be as useful if you are simply trying to find ammunition to support your already stated viewpoint.
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97 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Villines VINE VOICE on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you think that the reason Christians should oppose homosexuality is "because the Bible says it's wrong" then, you should buy this book. One of my seminary professors recommended this book to me while I was an M.Div. student, and I have recommended it to many others since. Scroggs does an excellent job of introducing the reader to basic prinicples of biblical interpretation and then applying those principles to the (very few) verses that seem to address homosexuality.

If you have any biblical questions on this issue, this is the book to start with. It's starting to get a bit dated now, but it is still a great way to grasp the basic concept that the biblical writers were not addressing the issue of loving, consensual, monogamous, healthy relationships between adults of the same sex.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Martha Knox on January 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for anyone curious about the Scriptural basis (used by both sides) in Christian debates over the morality of homosexual acts. It is short (150 pages) and very readable.

The book starts out with a brief overview of various positions on homosexuality taken by different Christian sects, and how those different positions are claimed to be supported by Scripture. Then he takes a historical approach, going into detail about the cultural background of the time and place where the New Testament was written, which means particular focus on Greek pederasty (sex between men and boys). Scroggs explains both the debate in mainstream Greek society, as well as the views of and Scriptural interpretations (and misinterpretations) of both Palestinian and Hellenistic Jews. He makes clear what is known, as well as what is missing from the historical records.

My favorite aspect of this book is that Scroggs does not let the reader know his opinion at first. He starts being incredibly objective, and then slowly becomes more and more opinionated and colorful in his statements. Finally, in the last chapter, Scroggs gives his own conclusions. I won't spoil the end, but I will tell you that he bases his conclusions on two conditions:

(1) The biblical statements must be consonant with the larger, major theological and ethical judgments which lie at the heart not only of Scripture, but of the historical church throughout the ages. (2) The context today must bear a reasonable similarity to the context of the statements at the time of writing.

Scroggs, a Biblical scholar and Christian, is intellectually honest and rigorous about both his research and analysis. He jumps to no rash conclusions about anything, and when he states his own conclusions, he always presents opposing views in a way that is non-judgmental.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By rossuk on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the early books dealing with the bible and homosexuality written in 1983 just after John Boswell's book (Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, 1980).

In his commentary on 1 Corinthians Gordon D Fee says that this book "is a model of fairness to all sides". The book is very clearly written and his quotation of the various Greco-roman sources is especially useful as it gives us valuable historical information about society and homosexuality at that time, for this alone it is worth getting. His main thesis is that pederasty was the main form of homosexual activity in higher levels of society in the Greco-roman world. And that the NT bible is against this exploitative sexual activity. Now if Paul had only written 1 Cor 6:9 condemning the malakoi and arsenokoitai, he would have a very good point. However, this argument falls rather flat when one considers Paul's reference to male and female homosexual activity in Romans 1. The fact that Paul says that the men were "consumed with passion for one another" means that he is hardly referring to just exploitative sex. As far as we know female homosexual relationships were very rare in society in those days. Paul's argument in Rom 1 is based on the created intent of the Creator, therefore he indicts both males and females who practise this sin. It is easy to understand that men indulge in this sin, but even the females indulge in this sin, that is Paul's point.

In his discussion of the origin of the word "arsenokoites" used in 1 Cor 6:9 he establishes that this is based on the Greek translation of Leviticus 18 and 20 in the Septuagint the LXX (p86).
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