Great summary of current thought in biblical interpretation and translation. The challenge of doing this topic justice as a "summary" is entire volumes are needed to outline the manuscript, translation decisions, cultural, geographic, and linguistic nuances that would impact how the original audiences would have understood the author's meaning.

You've done a good job pointing out that at the very least, there is uncertainty and ambiguity in the "clobber passages" - unique words, strange applications (like how the gang rape in Sodom was bad because it was men, like it would have been okay if they had gang raped women?). At worst (from the "traditional" perspective), there has been a historical misuse of Scripture to alienate a significant group of God's children.

Bernard Ramm, in "Protestant Biblical Interpretation," wrote:

"In the concrete task of writing Christian theology this principle means that the theologian must basically rest his theology on those passages that are clear and not upon those that are obscure. Or to phrase it yet another way, ‘Everything essential to salvation and Christian living is clearly revealed in Scripture.’ Essential truth is not tucked away in some incidental remark in Scripture nor in some passage that remains ambiguous in its meaning even after being subjected to very thorough research.” (Ramm, 1970, p. 105)

Maybe someday people will acknowledge the conservative playbook may lead us to a different conclusion than the ones drawn in the middle ages?

Thanks again for writing this!

Andy’s book, “Tried to be Straight: Biblical Options for Gay Christians” comes out in 2021. Find out more at

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