Really great essay! Christianity raided the OT for an anti-body theology. Now it’s in a tight spot when their fictions are coming to light.

BTW: The Hebrew Bible is never given to Jesus followers. Christians are never urged to read it, study it, know it. You can study it to learn the ways of God, but it’s not the theological conditions for the present time. To follow OT law is to deny Jesus.

I’m really into this 2005 paper by Bruce Wells on the slandered bride law of Deut 22. He shows that Jewish law, as adjudicated, is far different than Christians imagine from simply reading it. A procedure to deal with wives not being virgins is not there to enforce female virginity. Rather, it gives parents the ability to deal with a daughter who is outside the values of the covenant community. An analogous law exists for rebellious sons.

I’d note Michel isn’t David’s wife in 1 Sam 18:20, as you imply, so we ask- is there a profile of marital love in the Bible? I don’t think so. Spousal love is the Jesus energy (bride of Christ) and so would not be seen until then. These sexual modes are understood to reflect modes of divine engagement.

(Note that 1 Sam 18:20 uses the word agape, which is not, as Christians often say, ‘unselfish’, eternal or non-sexual. It probably refers to family love.)

I’m also loving an essay by Pablo Andinach, “Clandestine Relationship: An Approach to the Song of Songs,” in Foster Biblical Scholarship: Essays in Honor of Kent Harold Richards.

The Song of Songs invites the reader to be freed from the hypocrisy wrapped around sexuality, and it does this through the voice of a woman who does not accept the norms and stereotypes that male society has assigned her. She pronounces the revolutionary phrase, ‘I am black and beautiful.’ (1:5) From this point she strikes with force against the rigid structures of her time and ours. She wants to liberate women and men from the chains of prejudice so that they may meet, touch each other, and look straight into the face of the other.

The boldfaced passage reminds me of your work here!

religion. sex. facts.

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