Colleen M. Conway
This chapter begins with a brief overview of the theorists who have shaped gender analytical work on the New Testament, especially the application of gender theory in classical studies. It then concentrates on gender analyses on New Testament writings that demonstrate the differing approaches of masculinity studies, queer theory, and intersectional analysis. The primary focus is on gender construction in Paul’s letters and the canonical gospels, with additional discussion of symbolic and metaphorical uses of gender in other writings of the New Testament. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of future directions for gender criticism.
Calvin J. Roetzel
This essay compares Paul’s human profile with that of the mythic apostle portrayed in both canonical and non-canonical sources. It highlights Paul’s formative years in Tarsus, his urban, Hellenistic background, the Greek he learned, and the philosophy he engaged in a diverse cultural setting. His Diaspora Jewish upbringing, schooling, scriptural study, and religious observance engaged his Hellenistic world in a vital reciprocity that was life-changing. On the other hand, both canonical and non-canonical materials conspired to portray another Paul of myth and legend. This image focused on but was not limited to portraying the mythic Paul—Paul as miracle worker, the celibate Paul, and Paul as martyr. Rather than juxtaposing the portrait of the mythic against the historical Paul, casting one as ‘true’ the other ‘false’, this essay suggests that both versions collaborate to offer a portrait that is more real and theologically nuanced than either taken alone.
Theodore W. Jennings Jr.
While the Bible is often understood to forbid same-sex love, a closer examination reveals a wide variety of forms of same-sex love that are presupposed and even celebrated in these texts. After demonstrating that biblical texts taken to prohibit same-sex love have been misunderstood, the chapter explores multiple forms of same-sex love in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Love between women in the story of Ruth, the expressions of warrior love in the stories of David and the centurion who came to Jesus, the transgendering of Israel in the prophets and the transgendering of Jesus and Saint Paul in the New Testament, even tales of sexual awakening and violence, provide a rich tapestry of same-sex love exhibited in biblical literature giving deeper meaning to the message of divine love which for Christians is exemplified by Jesus.
The question of women in Qumran is a recent one. The interest in, and awareness of, women on the site and in the scrolls was slow in coming, and associated with the emergence of intellectual feminism, which put as its chief goal the discovery of women where none had previously been noted. This external phenomenon was bolstered by two internal developments, strongly connected with Qumran research: 4QMMT, with its apparent similarity to Sadducee halakhah, created doubt with regard to the Essene hypothesis; the belated publication of all the documents from Qumran in the 1990s and 2000s made the cumulative presence of women in them ever more evident and difficult to ignore. This article presents an overview of women's appearance in the Qumran texts and discusses their history and state of research. It follows the conventional structure of dividing the Qumran library between biblical texts, apocryphal texts, and unique Qumran-sectarian texts.