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The beginnings of sexuality in Genesis LXX and Jubilees

Loader, W. (2008) The beginnings of sexuality in Genesis LXX and Jubilees. In: Karrer, M. and Kraus, W., (eds.) Die Septuaginta: Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten. Coronet Books Incorporated, pp. 300-312.

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In writing of his divine zeal for the Corinthians, Paul employs the metaphor of marriage and seduction: 'I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived or seduced Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ' (2Cor 11 ,2-3). Paul's statement reflects a bundle of values relating to sexuality, but the play on the threat to their chaste virginity through being seduced by super-apostles is made possible in part by the way Paul's Greek Genesis renders Eve's account of the serpent's act in Gen 3,13. 1 Whereas according to the Hebrew, Eve declares that the serpent 'tricked/deceived me)' , the Greek reads, a perfectly good translation, ' deceived me', but can also be read as 'seduced me' (as in Sus 56). This has informed Paul's metaphor. More problematic is whether the translators of the LXX intended such a reference; probably not. We have no access to the minds of translators, only to their translations and occasionally to evidence of how they were read. All translation is interpretation and all such interpretations develop a life of their own. In this paper I want to consider two interpretations of those most influential opening chapters of Genesis, Genesis LXX and Jubilees, and to examine what they say about attitudes towards sexuality.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Coronet Books Incorporated
Copyright: 2008 J.C.B. Mohr
Publisher's Website:
Notes: Series title: Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament; Vol.219 ISSN: 0512-1604
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