I’ve officially started the writing portion of my big semester-ending exegesis paper for Old Testament. “Big” is a relative term, as other grad students have assured me; 10-12 pages isn’t that bad, and I’ve found myself looking longingly at that kind of page length when I’ve been forced to chop my previous papers this semester to fit much smaller requirements.
Anyway, the topic is Leviticus 18, which is all about sex – mostly which family members you shouldn’t sleep with, but also some random verses about men sleeping with men, men and women sleeping with animals and, yes, men sleeping with women on their period. Oh, and don’t sacrifice your children to Molech.
I’m not going to give away the thrust of the paper just yet, but let it suffice to say I take a pretty firm stand that this is not the appropriate way to adapt ancient Near Eastern holiness codes for a 21st century culture: