The Bible and the ‘Gay Marriage’ Question

The above title is from an article by Robert Gagnon, Ph.D., who is an Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is also the author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon, 2001); and co-author (with Dan O. Via) of Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003).

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Gagnon give an incredibly impressive presentation a few years ago. I highly recommend his work, including the piece with the above title, which begins as follows:

What does the Bible actually say about “gay marriage”? That question is the title of a a recent op-ed piece in the Huffington Post written by Lee Jefferson, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Centre College. According to Jefferson the answer is: “Nothing,” or at least “Nothing negative.”Jefferson used the recent passage of “gay marriage” by the New York legislature as a springboard from which to denigrate appeals to the Bible against homosexual practice. I will use Jefferson’s article as a springboard from which to answer the question that he and many others have raised.

It is of relevance that, though Jefferson gives the appearance of speaking with authority on the question, he has not (to my knowledge) published any academic work on the issue of the Bible and homosexual practice. His expertise is not in the Bible but in Christian art of Late Antiquity. Jefferson also shows little or no awareness in his article of the array of strong arguments against his claims.

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