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Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation Paperback – October 3, 2006


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Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation + The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664230466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664230463
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dale B. Martin is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation and Pedagogy of the Bible: An Analysis and Proposal, both published by WJK.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book--I recommend it highly because it makes a reader think.
Nanabird
The ancients thought about sex and sexuality so dramatically differently than we do, anyone making that claim is simply naive or misguided.
DMDude
The author presents the topics in an even-handed way, which was appreciated.
Sue A

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on May 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book you have to read if you find yourself in lots of discussions about what the New Testament says about gender (sorry, very little about the Old Testament). This was our principle text in a course on Sex in the New Testament by an instructor who studied under Martin at Yale.

The book has all the apparatus of a good scholarly text, such as end-notes, bibliography, scriptural references table, and index. While the book is created by combining articles written at different times, for different audiences, the author has endeavored to smooth over the differences in tone.

The use of end notes instead of footnotes makes this very easy for the casual reader, and the author is skillful at putting things in just the right way to pick up his ideas easily.

One thing which may annoy the casual reader, but which delights the professional, is how Martin engages other writers in biblical exegesis, such as Richard Hayes (Martin and Hayes were colleagues once at Yale.) Hayes premise for the whole book, and the nub of his disagreement with Hayes, is that there is no undeniable, fixed meaning to scripture. It is all up for interpretation, until a community of believers comes to accept a particular interpretation.

Some of the articles deal with especially famous passages, mostly in Paul's letters, such as the well known statements which sound like they are about homosexuality in the first chapter of Romans. Turns out, Martin makes a very good case for saying Paul's statements are primarily about idolatry, not homosexuality.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard Stampfle on December 24, 2011
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Dale B. Martin is a fascinating teacher. If you don't know the difference between exegesis and eisegesis and can't tell a foundationalist from a fundamentalist, or hermeneutics from Hermetics, Dale is just the guy to set you `straight'. (Well, kind of...) I first met up with Dale when I took his on-line introductory course on the New Testament from the Yale Open University [...] . He is the first lecturer I have encountered to make the study of the Scriptures fun, interesting, and educational. The title of his book "Sex and the Single Savior" titillated my interest further.
In this excellent book of essays on the biblical interpretation of gender and sexuality, he out-does his classroom lectures with some surprising revelations. Did you ever wonder how Jesus of Nazareth interpreted Scripture? Dale gives us Jesus' take on divorce. In the Introduction he talks about the "anxiety of uncertainty" and cautions that "unethical readings of Scripture will abound." If you have ever wondered what the word `faith' really means, you will be mesmerized by his final chapter and conclusion on "the Risk of Faith."
Everyone will get something different from his book, but I found his analogy of "Scripture as a space: Museum" especially remarkable. He starts off by saying: "....we need to move beyond thinking of Scripture as a foundation for knowledge, as a rule book, a constitution, or an owner's manual. It is the work of our imagination." He compares Scripture to a museum or the objects in a museum. By the end of the chapter I had already begun to reexamine my views on the Bible.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful By E. Jones on December 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Martin has an acerbic wit and the tenacity of a yapping yorkie. This book is great fun to read, and he pulls no punches in pointing out the flaws in his foes' arguments. He's also a careful New Testament scholar who can beat literalists at their own game. Several of these essays have been published elsewhere. Most compelling are "Heterosexism and the Interpretation of Romans 1:18-32" and "Familiar Idolatry and the Christian Case against Marriage." A must-read if you're interested in issues of gender, sexuality and Christianity.
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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful By DMDude on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a NT scholar myself, I wrestled with Martin's views for some time. I was taught the supremacy of the historical-critical method and unwittingly learned all the shaming rhetoric used against anyone with an open mind on this topic. I have stopped living with the illusions taught me in Bible College and seminary about these matters -- that the INTERPRETER plays an integral part in what "meaning" is "found" in the text of the Bible, and that entire groups have been socialized to read the Bible as anti-gay. The ancients thought about sex and sexuality so dramatically differently than we do, anyone making that claim is simply naive or misguided. It's time GLBT people be embraced by the church for who they are - not in spite of who they are. I hope Martin's book opens people's eyes to how they need to reconsider what they've been taught about gay people.
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By Sue A on January 10, 2014
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I never thought there would be so much to say on sexuality in the Bible, but I found it! This is a great book if you really want to find out the history on some of the interpretations. The author presents the topics in an even-handed way, which was appreciated.
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