Before the class Sex and the Bible. I hardly knew who Jesus was or what the inside of Bible looked like, or how it was set up. I have been my entire life non-religious, and while I don’t believe that this class would ever change that, it is interesting to learn about because it is such a huge part of our culture and other cultures around the world. In short, biblical text interests me because I am curious, because I feel it is something I know absolutely nothing about but maybe should, and because I think that this class, because it is paired with sex, will be a nice ease into the world of Christianity and what it is all about. The Song of Solomon, being the first thing in the Bible I have ever read, interests me because it shows a side of the Bible I have never heard or have heard talked about.
The Song of Solomon is a poem that portrays Solomon falling in love with a woman and taking her to bed. He describes her beauty and their time together, but she also speaks in this text about their time and her love for him. In chapter 5 of Song of Solomon, verse 3, she says “I had put off my garment; how could I put it on again?” It was first in this verse that I realized that she was ashamed that she had had sex before marriage and that for the time, it could reflect poorly on her. Never in the text did it mention that Solomon had regrets of his experiences with her. Again in chapter 5, verse 7, the woman mentions that the people of the city have found her and know what she did, and she is being “beat” and “wounded” for it; assumingly, this means that her ego and pride have been damaged (Harper Collins Study Bible, 2006).
In the first chapter of Unprotected Texts by Dr. Knust, we read that Knust herself had been a part of slut shaming as a child, even when she had been a good Christian girl and was by no means a “slut” at all. But her church and her Bible, that she had read and understood, didn’t help her get past this time in her life. Knust states, “…my Christian upbringing did little to help me handle the shame of being the designated slut. If anything, I had learned to hate sluts…” She also begins discussing how modern culture is still putting a lot of pressure on the women, and not the men, to avoid sex and be “pure”. She introduces the ‘biblezine’ named Revolvethat was marketed to young Christian girls and describes the text as basically saying “Better not be a slut, girls! You may end up dead. Sex is dangerous…but being pretty is a top priority.” These glimpses at modern culture compared to what we read in Song of Solomon line up nicely. We are given the beautiful female that falls in love, has sex with the “innocent” male, and is later shamed for it, or “dead” or “wounded” (Knust, 2011).
Knust, Jennifer Wright. Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire. New York: HarperOne, 2011. Print.
“Song of Solomon 5.0-6.0.” The Harper Collins Study Bible. 1st ed. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2006. N. pag. Print.
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