As many know I consider this text my signature text. Jesus was oppressive to the Syro-Phoenician/Canaanite Woman. She was an immigrant who cross the border to get health care. She brings to memory of all immigrants, legal and undocumented who migrate to the United States, Europe and Canada for opportunities and things that they need such as education, careers. and healthcare, that they otherwise would not get in their home countries because of colonialism and neo colonialism. Immigrants from Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Immigrating for health care, education and economic opportunities that often are not there because of policies that is destructive to them which was given by colonial and neo-colonial masters. Sometimes they immigrate because to escape drugs and violence caused or made worse by the masters. Coming into countries that are not their own for help. This was the Syro-Phoenician/ Canaanite woman’s dilemma. She is triple oppressed, she is a woman, from a different ethnicity and from a different religion and most likely twice oppressed by both the Romans and the Jews like many immigrants. If you go back to biblical history c.f the Book of Joshua , you would understand that the Canaanites were the inhabitants of the land. They were conquered , killed and enslaved by the Israelites because they wanted the land and they worshiped different religions and oppressed by the Romans who conquered that same land and who probably treated them like crap. Immigrants are sometimes twice oppressed especially Muslims and Black immigrants. Muslims are oppressed because they are foreigners and they are not Christians, Latin Americans, Afro Caribbean, Africans and other people of color who immigrant are also twice oppressed they are foreigners and people of color and sometimes triple oppressed if they are non Christian. They migrate to for health care, education, jobs and to escape violence, just like the Syro- Phoenician woman. Jesus tells her he cannot give the crumbs of the children of Israel to the dogs basically calling her a bitch and withholding health care from her. Immigrants know people who act like Jesus everyday , being accused of taking the jobs, being accused of being welfare and even being accused of thinking we are better than others and being accused that we benefit from people’s struggles, being accused of taking scholarships even though many immigrants work hard to get these scholarships. Immigrants are being called “dogs” and being told we cannot get the crumbs from all sides, from everyone, being accused you not black enough, being accused of being too black, among other accusations. I can imagine how that woman felt when Jesus told her what he did. She needed something not for her but for her daughter and Jesus is accusing her of taking away healthcare from the children of Israel, even though this woman needed it. This what immigrants put with all time. However,like many immigrants, the Syro-Phoenician woman stood her ground and let him know all though she was not Jewish or a man or worshiped the same gods as he, her life mattered and she was a human being. The Canaanite woman probably did not to leave her home, just like most immigrants documented and undocumented, they left for better opportunities whether is health care, education, economic prospects or to escape violence and drugs. Because they came , it doesn’t mean they are less than. Jesus seeing the woman’s persistence, the woman letting him know that she mattered, he relented and healed her daughter. Jesus learned from an immigrant, a woman, someone from another ethnicity and someone who worshiped differently than him, that her life matter and that everyone deserves the same opportunities as others and that he shouldn’t discriminate. We have people who claim to follow Jesus with the same attitudes as him but what they are missing from this text , is that Jesus learnt. If we going say all life matters, then we better act like all life matters which includes Blacks, Muslims, Hispanics and other immigrants. This episode in Jesus’ ministry set the tone for the rest of his ministry. A Jesus who cared and helped everyone. In my Gandhi voice, “ I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” but I digress…………………
I did my own translation and nothing in 1st Corinthians says anything about sex before marriage , so my Greek dictionary says that porneia(πορνεία) says prostitution in classical Greek and then later was added illicit sex , and it seems vague however translations with their own agenda added things like fornication ( which was a term that came with the King James ), fornication ( i.e sex before marriage was added to the definition of illicit sex because the translators thought sex before marriage was wrong but originally the word meant prostitution and later became somewhat vague .
NSRV and NIV are Accurate Translations
1 Peter2:11-25 is one of the general epistles that is attributed to the apostle Peter but most likely was not written by him because it is highly unlikely a Galilean fisherman would be able to write good Greek. The Epistle was most likely written around the late 1st century, as Cynthia Briggs Kittredge states in her essay “1 Peter” in the Women’s Bible Commentary.
The four translations I will discuss are the NRSV, NIV, KJV and ASV. I argue that the NRSV is the most accurate translation of the Greek passage and that the NIV is a close second because they both illustrate the devastating impact of Roman slavery and Roman oppression during the time when 1Peter 2:11-25 was written, while the KJV and ASV both downplay the impact. KJV first downplays the oppression of empire in v11, by using the words, strangers and pilgrims instead of aliens and exiles in which the NRSV states. The NIV word usage is closer to the NRSV stating foreigners and exiles. The ASV version also downplays the oppression that occurred and is similar to what the KJV says. The ASV states sojourners and pilgrims. Words have nuanced meanings, thus there are differences in meaning between aliens, exiles, foreigners, sojourners, strangers, and pilgrims while aliens, sojourners, strangers, and foreigners are similar in meaning. Exiles and pilgrims are not similar. The word pilgrims suggest that pilgrims are in the empire willingly, but NRSV translation suggests something different. The word pilgrim according to Merriam Webster Dictionary means a wanderer or traveler or someone who travels to religious sacred places but exile as the NRSV translates is a foreigner that is expelled or barred from their native country because of political reasons. Given the context of 1 Peter, it is most likely the word is exiles and not pilgrims.
Verse 12 is also slightly different between the four translations. The NRSV states, “Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge “ In v12, the NRSV says Gentiles while the NIV says pagans. This is one of the few times that the KJV agrees with the NRSV and says Gentiles. The ASV also agrees with the NRSV and KJV and says Gentiles. Gentiles are the accurate version and not pagans. Hence, it seems that even the NIV has its biases when it says pagans, which suggests otherness. Gentiles usually suggest people who are not Jewish, but the pagan translation suggests people who are not Jewish and Christian and worship many other gods. Within that same verse, there is a different translation on whether the accurate translation is desire or lust. In the ASV and in the KJV v11, it is fleshly lusts. In the NIV it is sinful desires and the NRSV says desires of the flesh. In the same verse there is also the issue of the phrase day of visitation that both the KJV and ASV use, however the NIV uses the day he visit us and the NRSV uses when he comes to judge. I believe when he comes to judge is accurate.
Another example of how KJV and ASV down playing Roman oppression are the words they use in v13. One such word means to submit. KJV in v13 says “submit yourselves to every ordinance” and the ASV says “be subject yourselves….”The NRSV says accept authority. There are differences between accept, subject, and submit. Accept has two meanings in the dictionary: to consent to receive and the other is come to recognize, regard as true, credit, and give credence. Subject, on the other hand, means to be placed under authority, and finally submit means to yield to governance and authority. These three words to the reader and the translator give three different meanings and contexts. The NRSV use of accept suggests that we recognize and accept the Romans are in charge, while the KJV and ASV are saying we place ourselves under Rome, and it is not a bad thing. Kittredge says, “The word that the NRSV translates “accept the authority of “is the Greek word hypotasso, translated elsewhere as subject yourselves, submit and be subject. The author uses the verb submit five times to the hearers in general (2.13), to slaves (2.18), to wives ( 3.1) of the holy women (3.5) who were subject to their husbands, of the angels, authorities and powers, subject to Jesus Christ ( 3.22) and to those who are younger to submit to the elders (5.5).” What Kittredge says supports my understanding that the NRSV translation is accurate version of the Greek text.
In the same verse the KJV also says king instead of emperor. The ASV also says king also in that verse and not emperor as in the NRSV and NIV. These translations do not seem to understand the political context of removing emperor and replacing it with king.
The context being that the Roman empire did not have a king over it but rather an emperor, although there were client kings such as Herod in the empire. While in the Greek word βασιλεί translates to king, I believe that the NRSV and NIV translating it to emperor are accurate because these two versions understand what was going on throughout the empire. I believe Kitteredge also supports this view when she says that the household codes given such as subject or submit to authority is used to be given to a wider context in the empire. I.e. everyone through the empire must submit to the emperor and other authorities. This is why king is not the accurate word but emperor is. The political climate during the time 1 Peter ,according to Kitteridge because of evidence from the letter, it is most likely that the community who this letter was written to were Christians in Asia Minor who were being persecuted under the Roman empire. Thus if Christians did not succumb to Roman structure, they would be victim of slander and persecution by the Romans (2.12). The NRSV and the NIV translating the Greek word into emperor instead of its direct translation of king thus understands the context of 1 Peter and the persecution of Christians during this time.
Finally, the NRSV is the accurate translation of the Greek and that the NIV is a close second because of the downplaying of Roman slavery in the KJV and ASV. Although there were many \types of slavery in the Roman empire including that of indentured servanthood, we cannot deny the brutality of slavery in the Roman empire. Slavery was almost just as brutal as the transatlantic slave trade, only difference Rome did not enslave people because of the color of their skin. The Romans enslaved everyone. In v 18 the NRSV says, “Slaves accept the authority of your masters with deference not only to those who are kind and gentle but those who are harsh. “ The NIV states, “Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate but also to those who are harsh. In this particular incident the NRSV and the NIV are close in translations. The KJV translation state Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward and the ASV expresses this like Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. The Greek word for servants/slaves actually translates to slaves. The KJV and the ASV uses the word froward and not harsh. I believe using froward and not stating explicitly that it is harsh, makes me very suspicious of the translators of the ASV and the KJV. Why use froward a word normal, lay people don’t use if you were not trying to suppress the harsh reality of the Roman Empire? Jennifer Glancy in her book Slavery in Early Christianity expresses, while agreeing that 1 Peter acknowledges that slaves have to submit to authority, she believes this is troubling. If you look at the entire context of v18-25, it is implying that the wounds of slaves are not important, at least on in a physical way. The wounds that slaves get are like the wounds that Christ had gotten on the cross. Hence 1 Peter is saying slaves should not worry about justice because it would not be achieved but suffer like Christ did. The whole context of 1Peter 2:11-25 is imperialistic at the very least. Slaves have to accept the lot of not only kind masters but cruel and harsh matters which with the letter to the audience suggests that Christians must accept being killed and persecuted in the wider Roman Empire. I do not believe servant or bondservant in which the KJV sometimes translates the Greek word δοῦλός (doulos) but slave. Slave fits the harsh reality of Roman slavery and oppression. Glancy agrees with me when she says “By contrast, the author of 1 Peter claims that through their willing acceptance of unjust physical violence, slaves earn the commendation of God “
Context and translation matters especially when one is translating an ancient text. The NRSV which I believe accurately translates the Greek text to the best ability that it can, is accurately translating the Greek text properly because it understands the socioeconomic, historical and cultural contexts of the New Testament. The NIV although with its biases is a close second. I advise anyone when reading 1st Peter and any other New Testament text to read the NIV if they cannot find an NRSV copy. The KJV and the ASV uses servant is I believe a euphemism. The NRSV and to a lesser extent the NIV is not using euphemism but instead is translating over the context into English as best as they could and are not downplaying Roman oppression.
Cynthia Briggs Kittredge “1 Peter,” in Women’s Bible Commentary: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Revised and Updated eds. Carol A Newsom, Sharon H Ringe, Jacqueline E. Lapsley (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), 616.
Jennifer A. Glancy, Slavery in Early Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 149.
Glancy, Jennifer A. Slavery in Early Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006.
Kittredge, Cynthia B. “1 Peter” Women’s Bible Commentary: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Revised and Updated eds. Carol A Newsom, Sharon H Ringe, Jacqueline E. Lapsley (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012.
I have always had trouble accepting myself for who I was. I am a big supporter of the LBGTQ community but I was always afraid of outing myself as one. I like boys but I also like girls. I remember my older sister calling me a lesbian, I took great offense to that because first I was afraid in largely Roman Catholic island with growing pockets of Pentecostalism and 7 Day Adventist that I would be bullied. Growing up with an abusive family where you were called names, beaten and teased would not have helped either. Liking boys and being sexually active with them would get me beat and many times put out, liking girls also would probably have got me beaten and put out.
I continued to like girls while dating boys, have not really told anyone this not even my mentor ( the one person I know, who would understand and accept me for who I am), she probably knows and is probably waiting for me to tell her myself). I have always been afraid. I always had to prove myself, I remember in undergrad when I told my brother I had a learning disability, he was like show me the papers and I will believe you and I always struggled with school until I got to college when I was diagnosed.
Anyways during the second week of January I had to take this inter-religious class and the professor asked us to identify ourselves and I said I am black and proud, Afro-Caribbean, Catholic-Methodist, twerker, Feminist. I did not add dyslexic and dysgraphic or bisexual but later on that day on another piece of paper I added I am a dyslexic, dysgraphic, bisexual, Afro-Caribbean,feminist, Catholic-Methodist who loves to twerk and is black and proud and who suffers with anxiety, severe depression, and PTSD.
Someone told me two weeks ago, that I must accept myself. I am going to that every day now.
Tamar David’s daughter was failed by her family and her community and by if I dare say God. When you exegate the text you know all the things that followed David after his affair or rape with Bathsheba ( depending on which Old Testament scholar you ask it may and may not have been a rape) Tamar’s rape, Absalom killing Amnon, Absalom trying to overthrow David etc happen because God placed a curse on the house of David to punish him for his sin. David failed his daughter by being angry but doing nothing, Absalom failed Tamar by telling her do not say anything because Amnon is her brother. Amnon failed her by raping her and sending her away. Were is the hope for women like Tamar when the deity, her family and community fails her. Were is her hope when her community and family plots against her ( as Amnon had help from their cousin.) Were is her hope when she is being used by a deity that claims to love and protect her but yet uses her to punished her father. Who can she go to when her father does nothing because Amnon is his first born. and where does she go but to her full brother’s house in despair never to be seen, heard or mention again except that Absalom named his daughter after Tamar. Can we not question God’s goodness in this? and what kind of deity places a curse on a man’s family to punish him? Tamar was failed by everyone including by the deity himself or herself.
Signifying and scripturalization takes place in many forms in our culture, through music, art, media, television and many other forms of entertainment. Although many of these productions claim to not have any religious affiliation, they cannot help being influenced by the religion of the culture of the people who developed it. More often than not, it is the internalized dominant sacred texts or scriptures of the people that are used in the asaociated signifying process. What is signifying? According to Henry Louis Gates Jr, signifying is when you are alluding, implying or insinuating divergent meanings of words and phrases for the benefit of a particular person or group. When you signify you understand that meanings are adaptable and changeable.1 Scripturalization, according to Lynne Darden’s interpretation of Grey Gundaker’s work, is “the re-contextualization of sacred text. The term is derived from the understanding that sacred text and community cannot be separated from its scriptures. It is through the process of scripturalization that the formation, deformation and reformation of community are possible.”2
Christianity the major religion in the West has constantly played a prominent role in Hollywood even though I suspect it would likely be denied. As a result, there is often observed biblical allusion in Hollywood movies like the Matrix and television series like Scandal. Many popular songs, like Lady Gaga’s Judas and Madonna’s Like A prayer are influenced by the Christian message. Sometimes, Hollywood in movies like War and Risen uses biblical allusions to critique popular Christianity and at other times affirm the worth of basic Christian values that are so much a part of the culture. These values have always been at work in the culture. It is also observed that no matter the culture, Christ like characters are present and appreciated. The interpreted popular message of these Hollywood production is that we are relationally all the same.
I have a huge interest in science fiction and fantasy television shows and series that have a huge background in mythology and fables. The television show I am writing about in this paper that has a great deal of signifying and scripturalization in it is Xena, the Warrior Princess. Although the television series takes place in a mythologized version of ancient Greece, the series sends its main characters on travel adventures around the mythologized world for its time. For example, the land of the Norse is traveled to and signified as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland and China as Chin. The main characters also travel to North Africa, Rome, Japan, and ancient Palestine where they meet David and King Saul. Before I get into the ways in which the series uses signification and scripturalization, I will provide a background for the show.
Xena, the Warrior Princess is a spinoff of the series, Hercules, the Legendary Journeys. Xena was an evil warlord who was redeemed by Hercules after she tried numerous times to killed him. After Hercules redeemed her, she went on to have her own adventures by doing right deeds. She absolves the guilt from her evil past by helping people. Redemption is the key theme throughout the series because the overarching concern of Xena, the Warrior Princess is whether or not she can experience redemption for her evil sins. Her travels reflect her quest for redemption. Xena usually credits her salvation experiences to Hercules and her travel partner, Gabrielle; who she says keeps her on that the path of being good.
I see some signifying and scripturalization in this way. Hercules, the good, merciful and all powerful person could have punished her but instead he shows mercy. When she asks why he didn’t kill her, he tells her, “Killing doesn’t make you a warrior and I think you know that.” He tells her this in the Hercules episode, ‘The Gauntlet’. Hercules, who has the influence and power, I guess could be signified as both “God” and Jesus in the series. (Jesus as the Christ, like Hercules, was a half god while his mother was mortal. God was the father of Jesus and Zeus was the father of Hercules, this half-god journeys around ancient Greece saving, redeeming o people, and giving evil people second chances, as well as, helping the poor, women, orphans, widows, homeless and etc. In essence, Hercules in this show is a type of Christ character. God and human intervening in the lives of humanity.
Jesus, this half-god, yes I believe that Jesus is a half god if we believe that God is his father and Mary is his mother, travels around ancient Palestine is comparable to the series’ Hercules. The only difference was that Jesus could raise the dead and heal the sick. Hercules saved and redeemed Xena. He basically told her to go and sin anymore. As he did on show, he asked her if everything was over after they joined forces and defeated her army. Him asking this question was his way of making sure that he no longer has to fight her. Gabrielle, a village girl and an amazon princess is Xena’s friend; although there is innuendo that they were lovers and that depends on who you ask, is another Jesus like character. She keeps Xena on the straight and narrow. Holding on to Gabrielle’s goodness keep her on the path of good. We hold on to Jesus’ goodness to keep us on the straight and narrow of a sinless life.
“Selfless, pure Love is the only divine perfection we have in this world. It is the greatest power one can possess.”―Eli in “The Ides of March”
Xena, the Warrior Princess is filled with signifying and scripturalization. In season five of the series, there is an increased presence of the scripturalization and signifying of the Christian story. In the second of half of season four, they meet a man with powers called Eli who has not yet come into those powers. Eli is the Avatar of the God of the Ultimate Way. Eli is the Jesus like figure going about healing people and speaking of peace. At the end of season four Xena and Gabrielle are crucified by the Romans. Eli is grief stricken. Joxer and Amarice, Xena’s friends get Gabrielle and Xena’s bodies. While Eli goes into prayer and after he has prayed to his god, he raises Xena and Gabrielle from the dead. This story is very similar to that of the Lazarus story, Jesus’ friend Lazarus dies and Jesus is grief stricken, however he goes into prayer and then raises his friend from the dead. Eli talks about a new world order coming, a time without the gods, a time where there will be peace. Jesus also speaks about a new world order, a new kingdom. Jesus says he is the son of God, Eli says his god is greater than the Greek Gods. Jesus angered the Romans, Eli angered the Greek Gods, Ares the god of war killed Eli and the Pontius Pilate ordered Jesus crucified, both Eli and Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to their disciples. Both Jesus and Eli were challenging systems. Eli the oppressive reign of the Greek gods and Jesus the oppressive reign of the Romans. Eli is Aramaic/Hebrew for “my God”.
The show evolves especially in the latter portion of season four and later seasons five and six with strong similarities being drawn between Eli and Christ. The similarities are obvious for those of us who are Christian and who watched the show. For example, his teachings of non-violence, his powers of raising the dead which can be seen in the episode entitled “Fallen Angel”, his casting out of demons seen in the episode, “ Devi”and the Christian fish symbol which is seen in episodes. “Seeds of Faith”, as well as,”Eve” and “Heart of Darkness.
Another way the series scripturalized the Christian story is its storied use of the “immaculate conception.” The show scripturalized this story line twice in its delivery. Both Gabrielle and Xena got pregnant by the hand of an angel or a god without having sex, in essence the story of Mary. Xena a few months after she was resurrected by Eli, found that she was pregnant and she knew that she did not have sex in a while, Gabrielle thought it was either Hercules or Ares the god of war, the two male loves of her life. Xena’s baby, Eve was conceived by Immaculate Conception. The angel Calisto announces it to her. Mary who was to be wed to Joseph and the angel, Gabriel announced that she was carrying baby Jesus. Both Eve and Jesus were said at the time of their birth to bring greatness to the world. Eve was said to bring about the twilight of the gods and bring a new world order. Jesus was said to be great and would inherit God’s kingdom. Both Eve and Jesus’ greatness were foretold by divine beings. Jesus by the angel Gabriel and Eve by the Fates.
Another way the show uses signification and scripturalization, Eve is not only a Christ figure, and she is also a Paul figure, she has two names. Paul never met Jesus, Eve never met Eli, however Paul persecuted the followers of Jesus and Eve as Livia persecuted the Elijians. Paul met Jesus during his Damascus experience and Eve met Eli when she was having her visions. Eve converted to the way of Eli and Paul converted to the way of Christ. Eve spreading the message of Eli, and Paul spreading the message of Jesus. A conversation between Eli and Gabrielle signifies and scripturalizes the conversation in Matthew 18:21-22,
Gabrielle: “What is the truth?”
Eli: “So you really wanna know?”
Eli: “It’s life. We must revere it wherever we find it. To bring peace to this world, I have to teach mankind a reverence for life.”
Gabrielle: “So, if someone were to walk up to you and knock you down…”
Eli: “Then I’d get up.”
Gabrielle: “But if they knocked you down again?”
Eli: “Then I’d get up again, if I could. But under no circumstances would I fight back. If I did, I would simply be perpetuating the cycle of violence that has ravaged the earth for centuries. That cycle has to be broken, Gabrielle, and the truth is that it can only be done through non-violence.
I raise the following question in conclusion, Why did the creators and artists of the show choose to signify and scripturalize the Christian narrative in the show? My asserted belief is that the creators of the show borrowed so as to show the bigger picture that everything in our cultural understanding is not as narrow as it seems. Its use allowed them to tap into some larger source of understanding and develop or establish cross cultural meanings for the presenter and those who are viewing. There are universal appreciations of good and evil, right and wrong and how people can be supported or hampered by either. The bigger picture I believe that the creators and authors did by signifying and scripturlization is that the Christ and the Christian story is bigger than Christianity, that the notion of good and evil is not only core to the Christian story. That the story of redemption and saving is not a Christian story but a universal storyline no matter the culture. Although we are both good and bad, all of us are worth saving and all of us have some Christ characteristics in us c.f Eve. The creators of the show used the Christian story and Christ like figures to say that there is always a type of oppression we must fight whether it be the Greek Gods , the Romans and/or the Jewish priests. There is this sense that you must lead your people into freedom no matter the cost to you c.f Jesus and Eli.
Jr., Henry Louis Gates. The Signifying Monkey: a Theory of African American Literary Criticism. 25 ed. publication place: Oxford University Press, 2014.
1 Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Signifying Monkey: a Theory of African American Literary Criticism, 25 ed. (publication place: Oxford University Press, 2014), 4.
2 Lynne Darden., “Scripturalizing Revelation: An African American Postcolonial Reading of Empire.” Definition of Terms, Charles Copher Lecture 2016.
When women are looking for their spouses they had told to wait for their Boaz but let me say this. That is not good advice because , as much as we like to believe that the way these two came was great and how it was Godly and all that jazz. The truth of the matter in the text the Diety had nothing to do with this and I am not even sure He/she/it/they have been mentioned at all in the Book of Ruth. It wasn’t romantic, nor godly or innocent or honourable, although Boaz did the honourable thing by marrying Ruth. The truth is what the text says and illustrates is desperation by two women, one who was an elderly woman who can no longer produce male children in a society that honors and prefers males and one young woman who decided to give up her life and family to help take care of her mother in law. Namoi knew in that society they lived in ( it was stupid but heck Namoi
must have been a really good mother in law). She and Ruth would need a man to take care of them that is why she pimped off Ruth and said to her go and dress up , put perfume on, approach Boaz when he is drunk and lay at his “feet” which if you do a word study and study the sexual practices of the ancient world when a woman lays at a man’s feet it is usually sexual or has some sexual innuendo feet in the ancient world more often than not has some sexual connotation to it . Hence , Ruth didn’t simply lay at Boaz’s feet she performed something sexual and that is why he had to marry her. So no it wasn’t romantic or godly or innocent. We need stop telling women that to wait for their Boaz because we telling them that they are in dire straits or in desperation that they need to perform sexual acts on a man so that hopefully he marry them or take care of them ( I say hopefully because many of these guys out there aren’t just going marry someone they had sex with) and some are going break their promise after they get the girl to sleep with them.. Ruth and Boaz are not the standard or the how to guide just like any of the marriages in the bible. Women shouldn’t be taught that have to do anything to get or keep a man whether it is from sexual acts or cooking and cleaning except love them