Reading Scripture With A Queer Eye

“Gospel”, from “Godspell“, means literally “Good News”, or “Glad Tidings” – which is why one modern Bible translation calls itself “Good News for Modern Man”. Sadly, for queer Christians, the Bible is far too often seen not as good news for them, but as very bad news indeed, wielded as a weapon to beat us over the head with the handful of well known clobber texts. It’s little wonder then, that far too often, we either step away from the Bible in fear, or approach gingerly, concentrating very defensively on strategies that counter the homophobic interpretations of those texts of terror, seldom going deeper.

More recently, a handful of writers have begun a process of reclaiming scripture, highlighting in particular some passages that are quite clearly affirmative of same- sex relationships, the stories of Ruth and Naomi, of David and Jonathan, or of the Gay Centurion, for instance. These are welcome, and can usefully be classed together under Keith Sharpe’s aptly descriptive phrase, the “Affirmative Testament” (as opposed to the “Defensive Testament”, with which we can counter the clobber the hostile texts).

But in fact, there is far, far more of value in the Bible that is of value to our community than  merely the small number of passages that are clearly and directly supportive. As the editors of The Queer Bible Commentary have ably demonstrated, with substantial commentary on every single book of the Bible, virtually any passage can profitably be read from a queer perspective. Inspired by the Queer Bible Commentary, I wrote a few myself last year, but was unable to sustain my intention of developing a regular series. Instead, as part of my project to develop my resource pages, I have embarked on a process of collecting links to bible reflections by other LGBT writers.

There’s a long way to go. The list is not yet by any means complete, and it remains no more than a collection of links, grouped (like  The Queer Bible Commentary) in Bible order.  There are gaps to be filled, and information added, for better guidance on the content of each link (probably be providing an expanded page for each of the groups of books, eg, Pentateuch, OT History, Prophetic Books, Gospels, Doctrinal Books and  so on).

Nevertheless. incomplete as it is, it is already developing into quite a substantial collection. As a teaser, I copy below the listing from the Affirmative Scripture page as it stands at present.  This is just a start,  and will be extended and expanded. (Any suggestions for additional content or method of handling the material, will be gratefully received). Meanwhile, explore the links – and enjoy the Good News.

OLD TESTAMENT / HEBREW BIBLE

PENTATEUCH

HISTORICAL BOOKS
POETICAL BOOKS

PROPHETICAL BOOKS

NEW TESTAMENT

GOSPELS

ACTS
DOCTRINAL BOOKS
REVELATIONS
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