Sexuality And The Jesus Tradition

Written by William Loader Reviewed By Simon Gathercole

This book has appeared only a year after Loader’s recent study. The Septuagint, Sexuality and the New Testament, and covers not only the Jesus tradition in the Synoptics (John is mentioned only very cursorily), but also Paul, Revelation and the Gospel of Thomas. The volume has a very fresh approach which does not proceed only along the usual well-worn tracks associated with the subject-matter. One avenue explored is that of pederasty in the ancient world, with the contention that in Mark 10:13–16 Jesus offers by contrast ‘a safe place for children’. The proposal is somewhat speculative at this point. Loader also tackles the familiar territory, as is seen in his discussion of divorce. Here he sees Jesus and the New Testament as a whole as uncompromisingly strict: only sexual immorality is a possible avenue to divorce. (Indeed, it is possible that Jesus presumed it must lead to divorce.) Loader rejects the arguments of Brewer and others about other possible grounds as mere speculation. Overall, this is a stimulating and challenging book, which deserves to be taken seriously and to be employed (discerningly) in the debates that will no doubt continue to preoccupy the church.

Simon Gathercole

Simon Gathercole
Cambridge University
Cambridge, England, UK