Textual orientation

Choon-Leong Seow. In RL Brawley (ed) Biblical Ethics & Homosexuality: Listening to Scripture (Louisville: Westminister John Knox Press, 1996). Seow guides us through the four categories of texts that are usually cited by those who argue against homosexuality: legal texts (Lev 18.22; 20.13); narrative passages (Gen 19; Judges 19); New Testament 'lists' (Rom 1.26-27; 1 Cor 6.9; 1 Tim 1.10); and creation theology (e.g. God creating humans male and female, with a charge to "be fruitful and multiply" - see Gen 1.28). Seow then points towards the wisdom literature including Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. These writings are the learnings of human experience;the work of mothers, fathers and sages rather than that handed down from the religious establishment. In this tradition, science, as well as experience, can be a source of wisdom. "Here in the wisdom tradition of the Bible," says Seow, "is scriptural authority for human beings to make ethical decisions by paying attention to science and human experience" (p 29, italics his). Human experience can at times move us beyond the biblical text. This is a biblical perspective we must keep in mind when considering homosexuality.