Transgender, Intersex, and Biblical Interpretation

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SBL Press, Jul 7, 2016 - Religion - 132 pages
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A call for “trans literacy” within biblical scholarship

In this volume Hornsby and Guest introduce readers to terms for the various identities of trans people and how the Bible can be an affirmation of those deemed sexually other by communities. This book offers readings of well known (e.g., Gen 1; Revelation) and not so well known (2 Sam 6; Jer 38) narratives to illustrate that the Bible has been translated and interpreted with a bias that makes heterosexuality and a two sex, two gender system natural, and thus divinely ordained. The authors present examples that show gender was never a binary, and in the Bible gender and sex are always dynamic categories that do, and must, transition.


  • Definitions of key terms, including transsexual, transgender, cissexism, heterosexism, intersex, eunuch
  • Critique of how biblical texts are used in Christian positional statements on transsexuality
  • Statistics concerning rates of violence against trans persons

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    About the author (2016)

    Teresa J. Hornsby is Professor of Religious Studies at Drury University. She is the author of Sex Texts From the Bible (SkyLight Paths), and most recently a co-editor of Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship (Society of Biblical Literature). Dr. Hornsby writes extensively on how the Bible has been (and could be) used in the lives of “queer” Christians.

    Deryn Guest is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Hermeneutics, University of Birmingham. She is the author of Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies (Sheffield Phoenix) and co-editor of The Queer Bible Commentary.

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