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Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis Paperback – June 28, 2001
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"Webb has tackled some of the most difficult and controversial issues that have faced the Christian church. Some of these issues, such as the role of women in the church and the question of homosexuality, are especially hot topics today. What makes Webb's book special is that it attempts to work out the hermeneutics involved in distinguishing that which is merely cultural in Scripture from that which is timeless. In my estimation, Webb's insights constitute major, positive progress. This book is must reading." (Craig A. Evans, professor and director of the graduate program in biblical studies, Trinity Western University (Langley, British Columbia))
"This book successfully walks the reader through the hermeneutical maze that accompanies the treatment of each of these areas. The goal is not only to discuss how these groups are to be seen in light of Scripture but to make a case for a specific hermeneutical approach to reading these texts. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals not only advances a discussion of the topics beyond current literature, it takes a markedly new direction toward establishing common ground where possible, potentially breaking down certain walls of hostility within the evangelical community." (Darrell L. Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary (from the foreword))
"The book is well focused, thoroughly researched, carefully argued, meticulously fair to differing views and profoundly biblical. I find it very persuasive." (Stephen R. Spencer, professor of systematic theology, Dallas Theolocial Seminary)
About the Author
Darrell L. Bock (Ph.D., Aberdeen) is research professor of New Testament studies and professor of spiritual development and culture at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He has written the monograph Blasphemy and Exaltation in Judaism and the Final Examination of Jesus and volumes on Luke in both the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament and the IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Bock is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He serves as a corresponding editor for Christianity Today, and he has published articles in Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Morning News.
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Top Customer Reviews
William J. Webb's "Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermenuetics of Cultural Analysis" attempts to answer this very question. In this systematic and logically-tight text, Webb presents his argument for what he describes as a "redemptive hermeneutic" using 18 different criteria to determine the directional "redemptive flow" of Scripture on any given topic, thereby being able to determine what aspects are culturally-based and which are transcultural.
For each criterion, Webb uses what he describes as "neutral" issues (issues that have been settled in the Church, such as slavery,) as examples of how the criterion works. He then applies it to two issues still in contention today - women's place in the Church and the legitimacy of homosexuality.Read more ›
Webb takes seriously the intuitions of the modern reader who is rightly appalled after reading a text like Exodus 21:20-21:
"If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."
What to make of such a barbaric practice, which appears to be sanctioned by the Bible? Webb's answer: read it from the slave's point of view. At the time it was written, this was seen as having a softening effect on the institution of slavery; under the Mosaic Law, slaveholders could not go beyond certain limits, specifically causing the death of their slave. Unlike the surrounding culture, which put no limits on slaveholders, this text has a `redemptive component' that moves the culture towards a better ethic, one that ultimately vindicates the abolition of slavery. Thus, to read the `words on the page' in isolation from their redemptive spirit and ethical movement is to misunderstand the text.
This raises the question of cultural analysis: how to go about it? By what criteria do we discern the cultural components of a text from the transcultural ones?Read more ›
The book is remarkable in the thoroughness of its approach. Every verse dealing with the question of the role of women, slaves and homosexuals has been analyzed. I have taught New Testament at the college level for many years and learned a great deal from his approach. He showed great sensitivity to the question of the homosexual, yet, does not compromise the Biblical position.
I currently have a group of people from my church using this set of criterion on the topic of the death penalty. All are impressed with Webb?s high view of scripture and the usefulness of his approach.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Insightful an engaging well intentioned read that opens the discussion. Thoughtfully contrived for those that desire to give the subject matter due consideration. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I believe this book gives the best all around approach to really understanding the Bible that I have seen so far. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Larry V. Freeman
This was an interesting study and certainly a lot to think about. Although this is not representative of egalitarian hermeneutics Webb contributes something unique to the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Allison
Webb boldly wrote on a topic that was very controversial. His hermeneutics are questionable if not leading to heresy. But his heart is not. This book is almost history today.Published 10 months ago by David C. Johnson
It was more of an academic book but it helped me to understand the progression of the scriptures.Published 11 months ago by Heidi P
Great reminder of the primary goal - redemption, and how this should be the basis of a Christians approach to "Issues".Published 11 months ago by Ray Stagg
This is a great book for preachers and teachers who want to know which biblical rules should be applied today and which ones should not. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Alfonso Gilbert