The New Testament on Sexuality

The New Testament on Sexuality

The New Testament on Sexuality

The New Testament on Sexuality


This is the fifth and final installment of William Loader's authoritative, acclaimed series on attitudes toward sexuality in the ancient world.

Sexual themes are never far beneath the surface where there are human beings. This was certainly the case for Christians in the first-century world. Some began in a strongly Jewish context and worked out their faith in dialogue with their scriptural heritage. Others had to work out their sexual ethics in a world strongly influenced by Greco-Roman ideals and practices.
In The New Testament on Sexuality William Loader explores the relevant cultural contexts and looks at New Testament texts related to sexuality, highlighting both the warnings about sexual wrongdoing and the affirmations of sexual union. He deals with specific themes such as divorce, same-sex relations, women and men in leadership, and celibacy; individual behavior, gender roles and rules, preferences, and hopes also fall under the scope of his investigation. Broad-ranging and thorough, this book engages both the biblical texts and the diverse ways in which they have been interpreted.


This volume is the final of five volumes presenting findings of research into attitudes towards sexuality in Judaism and Christianity in the Hellenistic GrecoRoman era, conducted between 2005 and 2010. As in the previous volumes, sexuality is understood in the broad sense of matters pertaining to sexuality rather than in the more defined sense which we find in discussion of sexual orientation and sexual theory. the first volume dealt with the early Enoch literature, Aramaic Levi Document, and Jubilees, the second, with the Dead Sea Scrolls, the third, with Pseudepigrapha, but including also works such as Ben Sira and Theodotus, and the fourth, with the extensive writings of Philo and Josephus, and also the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.

The discussion in this volume of writings of the New Testament (NT) builds on the findings of the previous four volumes. I have decided, however, to include within this volume two chapters which give a brief overview of attitudes towards sexuality in the world in which the nt writers and the people about whom they wrote, lived. Chapter 1 thus notes salient features of Jewish attitudes, drawing on

William Loader, Enoch, Levi, and Jubilees on Sexuality: Attitudes towards Sexuality in the Early Enoch Literature, the Aramaic Levi Document, and the Book of Jubilees (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007).

William Loader, The Dead Sea Scrolls on Sexuality: Attitudes towards Sexuality in Sectarian and Related Literature at Qumran (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009).

William Loader, The Pseudepigrapha on Sexuality: Attitudes towards Sexuality in Apocalypses, Testaments, Legends, Wisdom, and Related Literature (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011).

William Loader, Philo, Josephus, and the Testaments on Sexuality: Attitudes towards Sexuality in the Writings of Philo, Josephus, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011).

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