Episcopal Priest Elizabeth Edman’s Method of Biblical Interpretation

In ‘Queer Virtue,’ Rev. Liz Edman examines not only what it means to be a queer priest, but how Christianity is a queer religion.

CHR Comment: Edman’s comments in the interview show that she holds to a loose reading of the canon of Scripture in which some texts are ignored in order to emphasize other texts or “overall message” as she puts it. In this approach, the canon becomes no canon at all since the full canon does not actually rule or guide the reader. (“Canon” is from a Greek word for a reed that was used as a measuring tool in antiquity.) It’s a bit like rounding all your measurements up to feet and saying that the inches aren’t that important even though you can’t possibly have feet without inches. Such an approach to measurement would not work practically beyond very general estimates.

Additionally, her description of John 2:1–11 provides a thorough allegorical use of the passage. Allegory, which takes things symbolically, may be useful for illustration purposes but it is not a helpful tool for determining what something actually means. Allegory may illustrate doctrine but it does not establish doctrine as Edman seems to propose. Edman’s “progressive” methods result in a separation of biblical teaching from its original context.

Source: Exploring the Queerness of Christianity with Episcopal Priest Elizabeth Edman


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