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Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament Paperback – June 1, 2007
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Note: This work is built upon the presupposition of biblical inerrancy of the 66 books of Bible--God's *exclusive written* revelation to mankind. If readers of this review are unclear as to what that means or the nature of the epistemological claims, please read Professor Ronald H. Nash's excellent primer, The Word of God and the Mind of Man.
Both scholarly and conservative, Professor Davidson provides insight from the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, etc.), from the biblical Canon (Bible), and from ancient Near-Eastern source literature. The book includes and contrasts various alternative theological perspectives (liberal, feminist, postmodern, etc.). Looking back millennia, Davidson's gleaned insights are often profound.
Section 1 (80 pages) provides teleological insight into sexuality in the Garden of Eden. Section 2 (462 pages) covers sexuality outside Eden. Section 3, (87 pages) entitled “Return to Eden,” is an in-depth commentary on the OT book: Song of Songs. Section 1 (Chapters 1 & 2) entitled Sexuality in Eden: The Divine Design (Genesis 1-3) are worth the price of the entire book!!
Despite my many years as a serious student of Scripture, Flame of Yahweh has given me a deeper understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture as well as extended glimpses into the ontological mysteries of sexuality as God originally designed it. An indispensable resource for counselors and pastor/teachers. For anyone wanting or needing a graduate level, serious in-depth theological, ontological, linguistic, and philosophical exploration of sexuality, this is it!
While the primary focus is on the Old Testament, Davidson occasionally addresses the New Testament outlook and discusses application to contemporary ethical questions. Discussions with other theologians are usually carried on in the footnotes, but no less enlightening for all that. This is not a complete Christian theology of sexuality, but it is a necessary building block for any such effort.
The book would probably have benefited from a better editing job, as it is frequently somewhat repetitive. This does make it more useful as a reference source, however, as you don't have to read the whole thing to pick up every nuance of the topic you're investigating.
Highly recommended for those interested in the history of sexuality, the theology of sexuality, contemporary pastoral issues, gender history, and the social history of ancient Judaism
This book is thorough and complete in itself.
Kudos to the Indexes too.
This book is not light reading by any means, but if you seriously want to know in depth what the Old Testament has to say regarding various aspects of human sexuality this book is for you. I also appreciate how Dr. Davidson also mentions the practices of neighboring peoples providing the reader with a cultural context with which to interpret the Biblical text.
I would recommend this book.