Bible trouble: queer reading at the boundaries of biblical by Teresa J. Hornsby, Ken Stone

By Teresa J. Hornsby, Ken Stone

The essays in Bible hassle all have interaction queer theories for reasons of biblical interpretation, a unprecedented attempt so far inside of biblical scholarship. The identify word Bible hassle performs on Judith Butler s Gender difficulty, gesturing towards a chief textual content for modern queer conception. The essays contemplate, between others, the Lazarus tale, the Ethiopian eunuch, gender difficulty in Judges four and five, the track of Songs, and an unorthodox coupling of the books of Samuel and the movie Paris Is Burning. This quantity problems not just the bounds among biblical scholarship and queer concept but additionally the bounds among varied frameworks at present utilized in the research of biblical literature, together with sexuality, gender, race, type, heritage, and literature. The members are Ellen T. Armour, Michael Joseph Brown, Sean D. Burke, Heidi Epstein, Deryn visitor, Jione Havea, Teresa J. Hornsby, Lynn R. Huber, S. Tamar Kamionkowski, Joseph A. Marchal, Jeremy Punt, Erin Runions, Ken Stone, Gillian Townsley, Jay Twomey, and Manuel Villalobos.

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On Jael playing “bad mother” to Deborah’s “good mother,” see Exum 2007. 16. Certainly yad can simply mean “hand,” but it can also bear the meaning of penis/phallus—a homographic situation that permits wordplay—as noted by Décor 1967 and Ackroyd 1986, 398–426. References where yad seems to indicate the penis include Isa 57:8; Song 5:4; and more questionably Jer 5:31; 50:15. 17. 13). 26 BIBLE TROUBLE who will be his undoing. The audience gasps at the abrupt, totally unexpected exposure of the “woman’s” penis, captivated/titillated, horrified, or delighted by this dramatic and unforeseen shift in the plot—depending upon where one’s allegiances lie.

English Bibles routinely miss the ironic, comic point. 15. Several commentators speak of maternal imagery. Fewell and Gunn suggest that “the powerful warrior becomes an aborted fetus. … Destroyed by a woman whom he could have easily overpowered, he falls between her legs, stillborn” (1990, 404; see also 392–93). Pressler suggests that it is Jael’s upsetting of “our own deeply rooted expectations about the behavior of maternal women” (2002, 157) that accounts for commentarial unease: “The violation of motherly norms, therefore, is likely the act that most distresses biblical interpreters” (158).

24 The “win,” however, can accrue only to those who subscribe to the narratorial pro-Israelite ideology. The message is that these marginals— they—can do all the dirty work, for it won’t rub off on us. A lesbian perspective, however, can question that assumption and suggest, contrarily, that it does rub off on the writer and his community. If Jael is a questioning rather than a questionable figure, then some Israelites of this story are shamed and called to account. This much, of course, the narrator is happy to concede, willing to let Jael’s actions throw into relief the way some tribes failed to fulfill their social obligations.

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