Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire

Jennifer Wright Knust

Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today's discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an era where the phrases, "the Bible says," and "God says," are so often exploited, it is time to consider what the Bible actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.

Unprotected Texts directly and pointedly takes on widely shared misconceptions about sex, arguing that the Bible cannot—and should not—serve as a rulebook for sexual morality, despite popular claims to the contrary. From the Song of Songs' lyrical eroticism to the rigid sexual rules of Leviticus—and everything in between—Knust parses the Bible's contradictory, often surprising messages.

Skillfully revealing the latest insights from critical scholarship, Knust provides a compassionate and liberating model for navigating these deeply personal issues that affect us all.


About the Author

Jennifer Wright Knust is assistant professor of religion at Boston University, specializing in New Testament, biblical studies, and early Christian history. An ordained American Baptist pastor, she has served churches in Philadelphia and Maine. She holds a doctorate in religion from Columbia University and a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She is the author of Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity.


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