Slaves, Women & Homosexuals
In Slaves, Women & Homosexuals William J. Webb tackles some of the most complex and controversial issues that have challenged the Christian church--and still do.
He leads you through the maze of interpretation that has historically surrounded understanding of slaves, women and homosexuals, and he evaluates various approaches to these and other biblical-ethical teachings. Throughout, Webb attempts to "work out the hermeneutics involved in distinguishing that which is merely cultural in Scripture from that which is timeless" (Craig A. Evans).
By the conclusion, Webb has introduced and developed a "redemptive hermeneutic" that can be applied to many issues that cause similar dilemmas.
Darrel L. Bock writes in the foreword to Webb's work, "His goal is not only to discuss how these groups are to be seen in light of Scriptures but to make a case for a specific hermeneutical approach to reading these texts. . . . This book not only advances a discussion of the topics, but it also takes a markedly new direction toward establishing common ground where possible, potentially breaking down certain walls of hostility within the evangelical community."
"Teaching hermeneutics will never be quite the same after one reads this thought-provoking book. The ethical issues it explores raise even deeper questions of how to apply 'cultural background' in interpreting the Bible. Even those who differ on some details will find most of the book's arguments persuasive and helpful, and no one can afford to ignore the issues it raises."
"Webb has tackled some of the most difficult and controversial issues that have faced the Christian church. Some of these issues, such as the role of women in the church and the question of homosexuality, are especially hot topics today. What makes Webb's book special is that it attempts to work out the hermeneutics involved in distinguishing that which is merely cultural in Scripture from that which is timeless. In my estimation, Webb's insights constitute major, positive progress. This book is must reading."
"This book successfully walks the reader through the hermeneutical maze that accompanies the treatment of each of these areas. The goal is not only to discuss how these groups are to be seen in light of Scripture but to make a case for a specific hermeneutical approach to reading these texts. Slaves, Women Homosexuals not only advances a discussion of the topics beyond current literature, it takes a markedly new direction toward establishing common ground where possible, potentially breaking down certain walls of hostility within the evangelical community."
"The book is well focused, thoroughly researched, carefully argued, meticulously fair to differing views and profoundly biblical. I find it very persuasive."
Introduction: Welcome to the World of Application
Part I: Toward a Hermeneutic of Cultural Analysis
1. The Christian Culture
2. A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic
3. Cultural/Transcultural Analysis: A Road Map
Part II: Intrascriptural Criteria
4. Persuasive Criteria
Criterion 1: Preliminary Movement
Criterion 2: Seed Ideas
Criterion 3: Breakouts
Criterion 4: Purpose/Intent Statements
Criterion 5: Basis in Fall or Curse
5. Moderately Persuasive Criteria
Criterion 6: Basis in Original Creation, Section 1: Patterns
Criterion 7: Basis in Original Creation, Section 2: Primogeniture
Criterion 8: Basis in New Creation
Criterion 9: Competing Options
Criterion 10: Opposition to Original Culture
Criterion 11: Closely Related Issues
Criterion 12: Penal Code
Criterion 13: Specific Instructions Versus General Principles
6. Inconclusive Criteria
Criterion 14: Basis in Theological Analogy
Criterion 15: Contextual Comparisons
Criterion 16: Appeal to the Old Testament
Part III: Extrascriptural Criteria
7. Persuasive Extrascriptural Criteria
Criterion 17: Pragmatic Basis Between Two Cultures
Criterion 18: Scientific and Social-Scientific Evidence
8. What If I Am Wrong?
Conclusion: Arriving at a Bottom Line
Appendix A: Man Created First Primogeniture Assumptions
The Traditional Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:13
Appendix B: Women as More Easily Deceived Than Men
The Traditional Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:14
Appendix C: Research on Detecting Deception
Appendix D: Woman Created from Man and for Man
An Assessment of 1 Corinthians 11:8-9