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The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics Paperback – September, 2002
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"...the fullest and best presentation of the conservative position....expressing the case same-sex intercourse sympathetically and convincingly." -- I. Howard Marshall, Professor of New Testament, Emeritus, University of Aberdeen, Scotland (Blurb Inside Book)
"...the most thorough examination of the scriptural and theological...perspectives on same-sex relations....a tour de force." -- Marion L. Soards, Professor of New Testament, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (From Jacket Flap)
"Gagnon has offered a learned, judicious, and comprehensive examination of the biblical testimony....fair and compassionate...a major resource...." -- Brevard S. Childs, Sterling Professor of Divinity (Hebrew Bible), Emeritus, Yale Divinity School (From Inside Book)
"Gagnon's book is an extremely valuable contribution to the current debate....I recommend this book wholeheartedly." -- C. E. B. Cranfield, Professor of Theology (New Testament), Emeritus, University of Durham (From Inside Book)
"Gagnon's incisive logic, prudent judgment, and exhaustive research should make this book a dominant voice in the contemporary debate." -- Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., Professor of New Testament, Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem (From the Back Cover)
"I believe that this volume will become a classic in the ongoing discussion of the church's...response to homosexuality." -- Duane F. Watson, Professor of New Testament, Malone College (From Inside Book)
"I know of no comparable study of the texts and interpretive debates that surround homosexual behavior." -- Max L. Stackhouse, Stephen Colwell Professor of Christian Ethics, Princeton Theological Seminary (From the Jacket Flap)
"No Christian concerned with homosexuality can afford to ignore this book." -- John Barton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford (From the Back Cover)
"This is a brilliant, original, and highly important work,...indispensable even for those who disagree with the author." -- James Barr, Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University (From the Back Cover) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
The reality is that this book is a systematic look at the issue of homosexuality, and is a significant challenge to the hermeneutical partiality of more liberal scholars. Indeed, Gagnon allows the text to interpret itself, rather than asserting assumptions (i.e. only the exploitative homosexual practices is condemned, the ancient world did not have loving homosexual partners, etc.) that aren't accurate. Gagnon provides specific examples of how the claims made by opposing scholars may be an incomplete or eisegetical understanding. If you want to know more about homosexuality, this book is a phenomenal resource.
In this book, Robert Gagnon takes the Biblical stance that homosexuality is clearly a sin. His book is divided into several parts, going in a logical, chronological order, starting with the Old Testament and ancient Near-Eastern culture, Judaism, the teachings of Jesus, the teachings of Paul and finally, a look at some scientific research in regards to the subject.
At 493 pages this is certainly not light reading--especially considering the copious amounts of footnotes--but it is definitely very heavily researched, citing sources from many ancient cultures, philosophers, historians and religious texts.
Also of note, I noticed that Gagnon is wary of avoiding sweeping generalizations (words like "all", "always", "everyone", etc)--a trait to be desired in objective research that is sometimes lacking. While he largely disagrees with those taking a pro-gay stance, to his credit he makes it known when they have said something that he entirely or at least partially agrees with.
The main question remains: Does Gagnon make a strong case for saying that the Bible is against homosexuality? I would have to say that he does. In addition to his arguments, there are some things I would have pointed out from my studies in the various world religions. For example, Zoroastrianism also speaks against homosexuality as evident in the following passage of the Zend-Avesta.
"Ahura Mazda answered: 'The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, is the man that is a Daeva [demon] . . ." The Zend-Avesta, Fargard VIII, V, 32.Read more ›
Contrary to what you might assume, Dr. Gagnon does not believe that every word in the Bible is absolutely true. On page 345 he states, "On the whole I find Paul's exposition of the gospel to be compelling and an authoritative lens from which to interpret and inform my experience. Nonetheless, even though I generally agree with the ultimate point that Paul wants to make on issues of critical significance for Paul, I sometimes have reservations about the way that Paul gets there. For example, I sometimes find Paul's exegesis of the Old Testament to be less than compelling. Paul is still 'my apostle,' but he does not (and did not in the first century) have to be inerrant in every matter."
Given that he believes the Bible is a fallible book, his arguments have appeal for theological moderates as well as for theological conservatives (such as evangelicals). And even readers who reject his conclusions on non-Biblical grounds will likely be convinced that contemporary attempts to find Biblical permission for homosexual conduct are futile.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A thoroughly exhaustive read but it answers biblically nearly every argument used to reinterpret the Bible's clear teaching on the active homosexual lifestyle. Read morePublished 1 month ago by John A Hall III
Gagnon, of course, is the "gold standard" of experts on the subject of homosexuality and the Bible. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Diane Singer
The Bible has more to say about homosexuality than I thought it did. Gagnon does a good job with this topic.Published 3 months ago by Jim Tieszen
The definitive book on the subject, and one endorsed by some of the greatest Biblical Scholars of recent memory: Brevard Childs and Bruce Metzger, especially. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Fr. John Whiteford
This text provides you with the most comprehensive treatment of the issue of same sex attraction. Theologians, scholars, and those seeking a better understanding of the Christian... Read morePublished 3 months ago by LTC C D Honkanen
Fantastic scholarly work. A complete demolition of modern attempts to legitimize homosexual behavior within the Biblical narrative. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Outstanding scholarship and thorough research. Gagnon presents the traditional Christian view on homosexuality, using scripture to defend his position. Read morePublished 6 months ago by TJ Center