Book Review | Unprotected Texts
Author: Jennifer Wright Knust
Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire is an unbelievably fascinating book that dissects the books of the Bible in search of their teachings on love, marriage, family, gender, sex, etc.
Being raised Catholic (and having attended parochial schools for 12 years), I was basically taught one thing: No. No to everything that was not based upon the male hierarchical, “traditional” values; that included premarital and extramarital sex, homosexuality, “atypical“ family structures, and so on. Furthermore, to do (or believe) otherwise was a grievous sin. You can imagine the dilemma this can raise when an individual questions such a rigid belief system, or when they behave in a manner that does not conform to those guidelines.
But Jennifer Wright Knust’s new book points out that it’s safe to question these “rules,” and even challenge them…because the Bible’s position on these issues are not as simple or as straightforward as many proclaim. Don’t misunderstand the substance of Unprotected Texts, though, or write it off as being blasphemous or salacious…because it is neither. Knust has not written this with the intent of being sensational or outrageous, and treats her subject matter with great deliberation and respect. Knust, a New Testament scholar and pastor, is raising salient discussion points, and uses both the Bible texts and other research to guide (and support) her book.
Knust says it best when she concludes that it is mistake to believe that the Bible lays out a clear definition of ethics. She believes that literal or simplistic interpretations of Scripture are also a mistake. Unprotected Texts is not a quick or easy read; it requires concentration and an open and thoughtful attitude. But, if you are interested in broadening your knowledge and understanding of the Bible’s teachings, this is a book that will keep your attention for hours.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*