“The Queer Bible Commentary”— Looking at the Bible Gaily

Guest, Deryn and Robert E. Goss, Mona West and Thomas Bohache, editors, “The Queer Bible Commentary”, SCM Press, 2006.

 Looking at the Bible Gaily

 Amos Lassen

 Of the several queer commentaries available of the Bible, “The Queer Bible Commentary” is the most complete. It is comprehensive and covers both the New Testament and the Old Testament. It deals with a wide range of hermeneutical issues, principles and strategies which must be employed in queer interpretation. It is complete so that even if we do not agree with what is here, we can find out where to go for better explanations. And above all else, it is the very first book to deal with the Christian and Jewish Bibles in one book. For that reason lone, it is indispensable.

       The book does not take a verse by verse look at the Bible. Instead it focuses on portions of the Bible that have particular relevance for those of us interested in Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans gender issues. It looks at the construction of sexuality and gender, the reification of heterosexuality and the matter of gay and lesbian ancestry within the Holy Books themselves. It also looks at the transgendered voices of the prophets and how the Bible is used in the contemporary world—politically, from the socio-economic view, and religiously. It likewise shows the impact it has on the modern GLBT communities.

       New questions are asked and traditional questions are redirected in new and very innovative ways thereby offering new approaches. Contributions come from a myriad of sources and ideas are drawn from feminist, queer deconstructionist, utopian theories, from the social sciences and from historical-critical discourses. The readings are focused from the GLBT perspectives and this affects our communities.

       Included is an extensive bibliography that can be of great help in accessing the full range of literature which deals with a queer interpretation of the scriptures. Of course all of this information does not come at a cheap price but if you are like e and want to know exactly what scripture tells us about the way we live, no price is too high to pay.

       A personal note—since I have been researching the Joseph story there have been times when I did not know where to turn or further pursue information. This book showed me exactly where to go and what to read. I am now the proud owner of my own copy and it sits proudly on my desk ready to be opened at any moment.

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