The Queer Bible Commentary – Book Review

This book brings together the work of many different writers who are known for their interest in the area of gender, sexuality and Biblical Studies. Whilst the Anglican Communion ties itself in knots over one gay bishop, gay theologians, writers and pastors are at work all over the world reading biblical texts in both radically orthodox and in radically new ways. It is clear within this work that the authors of the articles presented here have a fascination with the biblical witnesses and a commitment to engage deeply with the biblical texts.

Each book of the bible has its own chapter in this commentary, with the chapters on the larger books subdivided to allow different voices to engage with different aspects of the texts. Of particular note is the gentle enquiry into the motives of Saul/Paul of Tarsus. This is no better expressed than by Robert Goss who questions just exactly what it was that Saul/Paul was feeling as he held the cloaks of the mob who stoned beautiful Stephen, who had the face of an angel.

In method and mood, this book owes a great debt to feminist scholarship, a debt that is freely acknowledged. Alternate and diverse readings of texts abound. This is theology that is challenging, subversive and above all playful. It is unusual to find such a serious theological work which contains so much humour.

There is no doubt that the title of this commentary is a provocative one. The title alone will divide potential readers. The text itself is highly recommended reading for anyone not put off by the title. It is essential reading for anyone who is.

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