Saturday, November 13, 2010

God And Sex What The Bible Really Says by Michael Coogan ~review

God and Sex: What the Bible Really SaysSynopsis from Goodreads:

For several decades, Michael Coogan's introductory course on the Old Testament has been a perennial favorite among students at Harvard University. In God and Sex, Coogan examines one of the most controversial aspects of the Hebrew Scripture: What the Old Testament really says about sex, and how contemporary understanding of those writings is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. In the engaging and witty voice generations of students have appreciated, Coogan explores the language and social world of the Bible, showing how much innuendo and euphemism is at play, and illuminating the sexuality of biblical figures as well as God. By doing so, Coogan reveals the immense gap between popular use of Scripture and its original context. God and Sex is certain to provoke, entertain, and enlighten readers.

My take on this book;

Anytime I can read a book that may further help me understand the Bible and what God's word really means I am excited to read it, so I jumped at the chance to review God And Sex What The Bible Really  Says by Michael Coogan. With that being said, even though it had me looking up a few scriptures, overall, the ideas presented in this book was quite different from my religious upbringing.

This book sheds a different light on the topic of sex in the Bible. He explains very simply how meanings can be lost in translation. For us to" know" someone means just that, to perhaps know them personally or know their work, but to "know" someone in the biblical sense means to know them sexually. It is easy to see how reading the Bible we should really know the true meaning of the word as it was used during Bible time. He goes on to tell us that in Hebrew time words such as hand, feet,nakedness among other terms could be used as euphemisms for male or female genitalia.

His  covered subjects such as marriage, adultery, homosexuality along with a myriad of other sexual related topics. This book was an easy read, written so the average person could understand it, and included footnotes peppered throughout. He presents his ideas in a clear concise way, without sounding preachy.

While his interpretations vary from what I was taught in church, I still found this an interesting book to read.

About the author:                                            

Michael Coogan is Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College and Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum. He has also taught at Harvard University, Boston College, Wellesley College, Fordham University, and the University of Waterloo (Ontario), and has participated in and directed archaeological excavations in Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, and Egypt. He is the author of Old Testament text books and The Old Testament VSI.

Thanks to Hachette books for providing me a copy of this book for review.

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