What Does the Bible Teach about Sex? The Final Episode of Bible Secrets Revealed

by Michael Kruger

This is the sixth and final installment of a series of posts reviewing the new History Channel series entitled Bible Secrets Revealed (for others installments, see here, here, here, here, and here).

It looks like the History Channel saved the best (or most controversial) for last.  This last episode is provocatively entitled, “Sex and the Scriptures.”  The episode description really sets the tone:

Millions of people around the world look to the Bible for moral guidance about marriage, faith and family. But could the Bible contain contradictions, or hidden meanings, that challenge our beliefs about what is right–and what is wrong–when it comes to human sexuality?

Gee, I wonder what the answer to this question will be.  As we will see below, despite the veneer of neutrality here, the History Channel has no intention of presenting both sides of the issue. It has a clear agenda to push the boundaries about what the Bible really teaches about sex.

So, here are some issues the video raises, and my responses:

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1.  Does Ruth try to seduce Boaz? Not surprisingly, the episode quickly gets to the story of Ruth and Boaz.  But, rather than seeing it as a story of love and redemption (as Boaz rescues Ruth from her life as a widow), it presents it as a story of sex and seduction.  In particular, the video claims that when Ruth uncovers the feet of Boaz, it is her attempt to have sexual relations with him.

But is that really the case? It’s not surprising that modern readers may take the story in this direction (it seems like modern readers take most stories in this direction!), but it makes nonsense out of the text. For one, the Bible never shies away from telling the reader when people have sexual relations (e.g., David and Bathsheeba), so why would we have to read between the lines here? On the contrary, the text tells us not that Boaz had sexual relations with Ruth, but that he woke later in the night in surprise, saying “Who are you?”! If she were trying to send a sexual message, apparently he didn’t get it.

And then, to top it off, Boaz commends her integrity (v.10), and then shows his own integrity by deferring to a nearer kinsman-redeemer who might marry her first (v.12). These are hardly the actions of a man who just sleeps around with girls on the threshing floor.

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