Sex and Violence in the Bible by Joseph W. Smith III


Part of the name of this book is A Survey of Explicit Content in the Holy Book.
Hats off to Smith for providing an excellent encyclopedia of where the sexy and violent verses are in the Bible. Smith writes with the similar regard for body parts and gore as do medical journals. The text is very matter of fact, but not dry. Smith displays his humor quite well.

This is not something that your little brother would sneak a look at like the pictures in National Geographic. It is very well thought out, and I do believe it is a crucial look at some of the ways the Bible talks about human sexuality, the sex organs, and all the euphemisms and idioms that the Bible employs to get the point across. Some of the verses Smith calls "vague", I find explicit enough for me. I seriously doubt that I will ever read Song of Songs the same way again.

Smith treats violence the same way. Matter of fact explanations without delving too deeply into the gore, but examining the different words, and the different connotations for the situations.

One of the main reasons he has written this book is because he knows the Bible is inerrant, and others books that delve into these subjects are by authors who believe the Bible is full of errors.

I think there is a much more valuable lesson to be learned by Christian authors who have this insatiable desire to be so edgy their prose seems to slice tender Christians. There are only a moderately few places where the Bible is explicit (Ezekiel comes to mind). Christian authors should take their cue from how God breathed His word. Idioms and euphemisms aside, God had no desire for shock or graphic violence and sex. Being creative in how we describe things is part and parcel of a truly excellent writer.

God really does know best.

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