Summary: Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today’s discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an era where the phrases, “the Bible says,” and “God says,” are so often exploited, it is time to consider what the Bible actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.
Unprotected Texts directly and pointedly takes on widely shared misconceptions about sex, arguing that the Bible cannot—and should not—serve as a rulebook for sexual morality, despite popular claims to the contrary. From the Song of Songs’ lyrical eroticism to the rigid sexual rules of Leviticus—and everything in between—Knust parses the Bible’s contradictory, often surprising messages.
My Thoughts: I am having a hard time separating my own beliefs from this review. Huh? OK. Let me think …
The book is well-written, and the subject is very well researched (obviously, I suppose). The argument is presented quite well, and the book as just a book is done well. But, I don’t know if I’m buying the arguments presented in this book. I just don’t know. Honestly, I had to read this faster than I’d have liked in order to get my review done on time. This is a very thought-provoking book that one must take their time going through – especially if you were raised in the modern church, like me.
Despite being a book that’s largely research-based (as opposed to fiction, for example), this is not a boring book. (Because, let’s face it, it’s quite common for books of this type to be a bit of a chore to read through.) Again, it’s written well. I actually didn’t find myself dreading having to pick it up to continue reading (as I sometimes do with books of this type).
I plan to revisit this book when time allows – perhaps during my month off from scheduled reviews in March. I want to really read through it slowly and more thoughtfully than I was able to this time around. It’s great, it’s thought-provoking, and most definitely worth another (more focused, less rushed) read.
My Rating: 3 stars
Source: Received as part of a blog tour promotion on TLC Book Tours.
Read It: You can get your own copy of Unprotected Texts HERE. (This is an Amazon link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission. Your support is appreciated!)
About the Author: Jennifer Wright Knust is assistant professor of religion at Boston University, specializing in New Testament, biblical studies, and early Christian history. An ordained American Baptist pastor, she has served churches in Philadelphia and Maine. She holds a doctorate in religion from Columbia University and a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She is the author of Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity.
Tour Info: For the main page for this blog tour, including more reviews of this book on other blogs, visit TLC’s post.
FTC Disclosure: All items reviewed were either obtained by me for my own enjoyment or sent (from the author, publisher, publicist, via tour sites, etc.) in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary compensation for my posts. All opinions expressed are my own. Any exceptions to this are clearly noted in the appropriate posts.
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