Thursday, October 23, 2008

What The Bible Doesn't Say

Folks, this is what it's all about. This is the major problem with various interpretations and teachings from all the Institutions of Christianity. Many of the interpretations are from what the Bible doesn't say. The Bible is clear in what it say's, but it's also clear in what it doesn't say. Where Christian Institutions fail is when they assume what the Bible doesn't say on various issues, and bring these assumptions into the Scripture that is written. This will make the meanings and interpretations of Scripture false. This is the crux of it. Man made the Institutions. Man is faulty and more importantly ego driven.

In a lot of other cases, certain Institutions have celebrated their ignorance of what the Bible doesn't say and had the audacity to make their own additional documents, letters and added teachings all off of their assumptions of what isn't written. Amazing.

Unfortunately, all institutions have followers. These followers do not know better in most cases. They know about Jesus and so forth, and then learn what is taught to them. Everyone around them believe in those teachings, and they do too. Why be an outcast when you can be part of a dominant clique? It's a classic case of peer pressure. I call it "Religious Peer Pressure". They certainly don't do the leg work, and if they did, they would leave the institutions. I have no doubts about it. Once the Holy Spirit makes Himself known to you and guides you, there is no looking back. Scripture becomes understood, and the true teachings take shape in your life. You start to understand that Institutionalized Christianity is following the Open Gate.

Let me tell you about what the Bible doesn't say.

It doesn't tell you about Gay Marriage.
It doesn't even tell you about Homosexuality. After all, "homosexuality" wasn't even coined until the 19th century.
It doesn't tell you about Abortion on a Political Scale
It doesn't tell you about Science nor modern Medicine.
It doesn't tell you about Muslims.

There will be another post on how to read the Bible. Also there will be more posts on these very subjects, and we can dissect what the Bible does say.

Christian followers, I know that you Love Jesus, at least the Jesus you were taught. However, you are far off on what exactly Jesus Taught, and you are even further off of what Scripture says and how it was said. There is a lot for you to learn. But it starts with you, and it will end with you too.

25 comments:

Asylum Seeker said...

I think I have just heard the sound of a thousand neo-con brains suddenly halting, whirring, trying to clatter back to normal functioning. You can't try to separate their religion from their political talking points. It will destroy the very fiber of their being!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. People always assume what God said, thus their actions. This is very sad to me. The so-called Religious people claims to love God, but yet they do all the stuff God said not to do. And because of their own bias they judge everybody else. it's a shame really.

Harvey said...

Boggs:

I have been waiting for the time when you might choose to try to enlighten other Christians in how to read (...more important, to understand) what is written in the Bible, as opposed to what other people, some of them actually well meaning, may try to interpret for them. One would hope that we have reached the time when illiteracy no longer means that only the clergy and a few Nobles can actually read, let alone understand what is written there. Unfortunately, perhaps to a somewhat lesser extent, Rabbis and Priests have been guilty of the same failure to put understanding of what the Torah and the New Testament can tell us about the right way to live and the right way to relate to God, if we have the kernel of faith necessary to such a relationship, in the hands of their congregations. I expect that this failure is at least partly the result of the Clergy's need to reatin control of their "flocks" so as not to permit them to deviate either from dogma or from regular tything.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

The same can be said for the US Constitution - what it doesn't say is just as important as what it does. Rarely do people sit down with any of these iconic texts and simply read them as if for the very first time - and without some pundit or priest trying to twist it before you do.

Harvey said...

Except, in the case of the Consitution, the framers were wise enough to realize that evntually we would need "interpretation" and some change as circumstances inevitably would require in the future and provided a vehicle (the Supreme Court) to deal with this need. Since most believers think that the Bible is the literal Word of God and therefore immutable, they resist any interpretation that is not at least a thousand years old. Even then, there is constant rancor and bickering among the various sects within Christianity, sometimes to the point of very unChristian behavior towards each other, while totally seeming to lose sight of what the real intent of whoever actually wrote the words hoped to convey to us. To be fair, the other "people of the Book" (Islam) have clearly fallen into precisely the same internecine warfare over similar differences in "interpretation" of the Quran. The real tragedy, it seems to me, is that all of this strife and unbrotherly and non-loving behavior can be seen to be precisely opposite to what the Torah and the New Testament are trying to teach us.

GearHedEd said...

Botts,

If Leviticus 20:13 isn't about homosexuality (even if the term didn't exist then), then what IS it saying?

Botts said...

Gear,

Leviticus is null and void. It was written for Israeli Priests. They couldn't do a lot of things. Some doesn't even make any sense.

It is also the Old law not the New law.

But the Verse you are referring to has many translations to it. The closest Translation to the original language states that a Man can't lie with another man where a woman lay before.

Doesn't say anything about Homosexuality.

That's the point of my post. People have problems with Gays regardless of Scripture. They bring that prejudice into the interpretations. I guess to make themselves feel better.

I'll be writing a post strictly on Homosexuality soon. I'll explain my points in detail.

Institutionalized Christians can really only bring a couple verses. Genesis, Romans and Leviticus. And none of those versus says anything about Two People of the Same Sex being in love with each other in a monogamous and faithful relationship.

pboyfloyd said...

I think that I know what you're trying to say, Botts, but the more I think that I have a grasp of what it actually is, the more it slips through my fingers, so to speak.

People, being people will try to make their religion pertinent to their daily lives and the ongoing events 'there-in'.

People are bound to want to make their religious and their political beliefs* 'in harmony', so something has to 'give'.

I'm sure that most Christians, if asked, would say that their religion was the most precious part of them, yet, confusingly and confusedly, they seem to be willing to drag their religion through the cesspool that is politics.

I can't wrap my head around the idea that the Bible is 'truth' but not the truth that priests, ministers and pastors are telling Christians that they see it as.

I was conversing with a pastor by email for awhile and I got him to admit that he believed that there is a god(and only the one GOD) because he 'wanted to'.

I gave up talking to him because he imagined he was winning me over by sending me beautiful pictures of nature(flooding my email account) and those 'pass-around' emails of Christo-republican humor, patriotism and pro-Bush spin.

But there are layers upon layers of this "stuff"(for lack of a better way to put it) that you could NEVER break through in a million years.

If they ever even considered your POV, they'd get some smug, "We'e alright jack!" emails from their 'circle' and 'POOF!', you're forgotten, you're 'gone like Kayser Soze'.

*like, "Indeed, as a Christian, I feel that the hungry should be fed etc., but as a Republican, I feel that they should get off their lazy asses and help themselves!"

Asylum Seeker said...

"I gave up talking to him because he imagined he was winning me over by sending me beautiful pictures of nature(flooding my email account) and those 'pass-around' emails of Christo-republican humor, patriotism and pro-Bush spin."

Spamming for Jesus/Reagan/Emerson. Mind boggling.

Kodiak said...

Botts, A while back I came across some interesting stuff regarding the translations of Biblical texts. Since I collect a lot of material, I am unsure if this research was done by the same author or if several authors contributed, but it was well written and seemed to cover several issues I had already found for myself using additional research methods. This piece just (for the most part) said it very well , and was mostly without preachiness. Forgive the large cut-and-paste, but I hope you find it useful.

***
I completely agree with those who feel we should read the Bible literally. I think it is particularly important to understand the text precisely when we condemn people to hell and wish to legislate morality on the basis of 'God's Holy Word.'
The original books of the Bible were written in Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and koine Greek.

Because translation into English can be problematic or even wrong, I propose that we only deal with the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts to avoid all the problems of translation and interpretation (you can easily follow along by looking up the Book, chapter and verse in any Bible available to you). Since the Bible is the principal source for the condemnation of homosexuals, I have compiled all of the original verses that have ever been thought to be relevant to the issue so that we can be absolutely precise in our understanding and judgment.
I provide my own commentary at the end of the verses.
Feel free to read them and comment back about whether or not they actually refer to homosexuality, and why, using the original language verses as illustration and argument.

Lets start with the basics of the Bible as it was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

The first problem is that there is no word for "homosexual" in biblical Hebrew or koine Greek (the original languages of the Old and New Testaments respectively). The word "homosexual" did not even exist in English until the late 19th century. The notion of "sexual orientation" was developed in the course of the 20th century. There is not one single solitary mention of a "homosexual" or "homosexuality" in the original text of the Bible.

Genesis 19: Sodom and Gomorrah:
For most people, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a retributive act in which God destroyed the two cities for their homosexuality. Many people accept this without even checking the source:

From the position paper posted by Brian:
The name of the ancient city of Sodom14 has become a synonym for homosexual behavior. While other evils existed in this community, sodomy was prominent. The homosexuals of Sodom were so depraved that they threatened homosexual rape of Lot’s guests. ?Bring them [?the men who came to you?] out to us so that we can have sex15 with them,? (This adds words that are not in the Hebrew) Lot was told (Genesis 19:5). The biblical record indicates that the mob became violent and tried to break down the door of Lot’s house. Only divine intervention spared Lot and his household from their evil intentions, and God subsequently destroyed both Sodom and the neighboring city of Gomorrah (Genesis 19:4?11,24,25).
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This interpretation has been hotly disputed and has fallen into disrepute with scholars. The interpretation hinges on the meaning of ONE verb. The Hebrew word "to know:" ("yada") - usually means to know personally.
It is indeed curious that no other passage in the Old or New Testament mentions that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for homosexual acts, not even Jesus, who says that they were destroyed for their inhospitality (Matt. 10:14-15, Mark 6:11, Luke 10: 10-12).

When Angels arrive as the guests of Lot and are taken inside, the men of the city call out "Where are the men which came into thee this night: bring them out unto us, that we may know them." The Hebrew word "to know:" ("yada") - as I said usually means to know personally. One way of reading the passage is to think that the men of the city saw that Lot had two fine looking guests, and that they were asking him to bring out the guests. In this case an introduction would be a pretext for violence in which the "angels" might be assaulted or robbed. In a small number of cases (about 10 of 943 occurrences) the verb "yada" (to know) means "to have sexual relations." Those who would read this passage as an admonition against homosexuality have no evidence besides the few but certain instances where "yada" has to mean "to have sex."

No other Biblical writer who mentions Sodom and Gomorrah thinks that it is an issue of homosexual sex (cf. Ezekiel 16 46-48), and Jesus' failure to use it as the cause of destruction would seem conclusive.

In Jude 7, Sodom and Gomorrah are said to have given themselves over to fornication and "going after strange flesh" the later of which is sometimes thought to refer to homosexual activity. In fact, "strange" translates the Greek adjective "heteros" which simply means "other." It is the root of "hetero" in "heterosexual." In other words, the phrase going after "other flesh" is a reference to general promiscuity. The "homosexual" reading of Sodom and Gomorrah developed at a later time.

When St. Jerome translated the books of the Bible into the Latin for the Vulgate version he occasionally uses the word "sodomita" of various sexual acts, both homosexual and heterosexual, of which the Roman Catholic Church disapproved. The word "sodomite" entered the English translation of the Bible in 1611 with the King James Version of the Bible where "sodomite" is an incorrect translation of the Hebrew word "kadash" - a temple prostitute.

It is simply not possible to maintain that it has been the position of Christian exegetes for the last 2,000 years that the story of Sodom was expressly about "homosexuality." In the first place, the scriptural evidence is meager: 1) a single verb with a double meaning at Genesis 19:5 (Hebrew yada, "to know), and a tortured reading of Jude 7 ("perversion" is not a credible reading of sarkos heteras which, rather, refers to promiscuity). Ezekiel 16: 49 accords better with all other mentions of Sodom in the Bible.

The use of yada in Gen 19:8 is not "proof" that it carries the meaning of sexual relations in this passage. The clearest indication that yada in Gen. 19:5 and in Gen 19:8 have different meaning is found in the Septuagint.

At Gen. 19:5 where the citizens of Sodom ask "to know" the angels, the translators use the verb syggignosko where it means "to mutually recognize or jointly know, to share a fellow feeling with." The prefix indicates joint or reciprocal awareness. It is not used of carnal relations.

At Gen. 19:8 where Lot offers his daughters to the townsmen saying that they have not "known a man" the translators use gignosko which can have the meaning "to know cognitively, personally, or sexually." In the other scriptures (Adam and Eve, Cain and his wife etc.) the Septuaginst also uses gignosko to indicate sexual knowledge instead of syggignosko. One has to wonder why Lot would offer his daughters to men whom he knew were homosexual.

Origen (late 2nd early 3rd century AC) specifically says that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality.

"Hear this, you who close your homes to guest! Hear this, you who shun the traveler as an enemy! Lot lived among the Sodomites. We do not read of any other good deeds of his.....he escaped the flames, escaped the fire, on account of one thing only. He opened his home to guests. the angels entered the hospitable household; the flames entered those homes closed to guest" (Origen from Homilia V in Genesim)

In addition to Origen's exegetical explanation that the destruction of Sodom was occasioned by inhospitality, we also have the following:

Chrysostom's 4th century CE commentary on Genesis 19 mentions ONLY lack of hospitality ((philoxenia) :  (PG, 54: 405)

St. Ambrose (4th century CE) saw the moral issue as one of hospitality: Lot "placed the hospitality of his house--sacred even among a barbarous people--above the modesty [of his daughters]." "Praeferebat domus suae verecundiae hospitalem gratiam, etiam apud barbaras gentes inviolabilem," De Abrahamo 1.6.52."

John Cassian (late 4th-early 5th century C#) claimed that it was occasioned by gluttony: "Sodomitis causa subersionis atque luxuriae, non vini crapula, sed saturitas exstitit panis," De coenobiorumn institutis 5.6 (PL, 49: 217-18). St. Isidore of Seville (late 6th-early 7th century CE) in his Sententiae 42.2 [PL, 83: 647]. Isidore of Seville (Sententiae 42.2) also did not connect the destruction of Sodom with sexuality.

People have said a great deal in recent years about the issue of inhospitality. In my understanding, this is not just about serving a bad cup of tea. In antiquity when there were no Best Western Inns, fast food restaurants, ATM machines, or paper money, most travelers were completely at the mercy of other people to extend hospitality to them in order to receive protection from criminals and the elements. Coinage was precious and semiprecious metals and they had to carry it with them. The prospect of robbery and violence was extreme, and the hospitality offered to someone could be a matter of life or death.
In Greek the word xenos means both "stranger" and "guest," and in Latin the word hospes also serves double duty. In these cultures, as well as in ancient Judaism, the issues were important enough to have the supreme deity (Yaweh, Zeus, and Jupiter) oversee and punished breaches of xenia (guest-friendship). Hospitality is the corner stone of all civilized, altruistic behavior and finds its ultimate expression in Christ's words to love one's neighbor as one's self. Lot was upholding this value, and the town’s men attempted to breach it. It was a threat of violence that would violate Lot's hospitality that is a "wicked thing."

Leviticus 18:22:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

LEV 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

These two passages are badly misunderstood. There is difficulty in the original text as to what the actual act entails. The adjective that supposedly affirms the sinful nature of the act is likewise problematic. Some translation renders it as "detestable;" KJV advocates will call it an "abomination. "

Both passages say essentially the same thing in Hebrew and Greek (the Septuagint). The verb and the direct object are cognates (a so-called cognate accusative). The root for both the verb and the object can mean several different things. The verb has possible meanings of "going to sleep, going to bed, having sex." The object of the verb means "sleep, bed, sex" To translate literally one has several alternatives: "Do not sleep sleepings; do not lay lyings; do not bed beddings," etc. The object is then modified by a word meaning "of a woman, female, feminine." One ends up with the difficult phrase "With a man do not sleep sleepings of a woman, with a man do not lay lyings of a woman, with a man do not bed beddings of a woman, etc." Jewish moralists, Greek and Hebrew linguists, and Biblical scholars for over a millennium have debated exactly constitutes "sleeping sleepings of a woman" and who is technically a "man" in the situation. It is by no means clear that this is a reference to homosexual activity in the original text.

No one in the time of Moses or Christ ever used the words "detestable" or "abomination." Both are modern English words and English as we know it did not exist in Biblical times. Of the two, "abomination," is preferable ONLY BECAUSE it is correct in the Elizabethan sense of the word which is borrowed from Latin "abominatio." The root is omin- which means "omen." The prefix ab means away. Thus the word means to turn away from something because it is ill omened or portentous. However, since we no longer use the word in this sense, it must be deemed archaic.

But what about the original text in Hebrew? Various things in Leviticus are called an "abomination." Some are what we would consider moral issues (incest), but others are manifestly about health and hygiene (avoiding pork, shell fish, brackish water). Some are matters of cleanliness (touching dead snakes, sleeping with a woman during menstruation). Others still are issues of ethnicity and religious identity (cutting of hair and beard, etc.). The word "abomination" translates the Hebrew word toevah which really means something like "impure or unclean for the purposes of ritual" (i.e. something that could unfavorably affect sacrifices, auspices, etc.). It is not a blanket denunciation of all homosexuals any more than it is a denunciation of all women by saying that they are also considered toevah during menstruation. This is further underscored by one of the oldest most authoritative translations of the Old Testament--the Septuagint. Beginning in the 3rd century BCE Greek speaking Jewish scholars translated the Old Testament into Greek. The Greek language distinguishes between violations of morality and justice (anomia) and infringements of ritual purity (bdelugma). In Leviticus 18:22, the activity is called a bdelugma making it an issue of ritual purity rather than one of general morality. The word toevah is used throughout the Old Testament to designate those Jewish sins which were thought to contaminate Jewish identity, and it frequently is used with reference to idols and idolatry (as in the phrase toevah ha-goyim, "the uncleanness of the Gentiles" (2 Kings 16:3). It is often used in condemnations of temple prostitution [1 Kings 14:24--"sodomite" in the KJV is a mistranslation for the Hebrew kadash or "temple prostitute"]). The severity of the punishment (death), then, would seem to arise from the association of the act with idolatry and paganism and is backed by the first few exhortations of the Ten Commandments.

Finally, these passages cannot be construed to condemn homosexuality as an "orientation." Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and koine Greek do not have a word for "homosexuality," or "homosexual" because the notion of sexual orientation had not been formulated in Biblical times. Indeed, the term homosexual was not coined in English until the late 19th century and never appears in a translation of the Bible prior to the printing of the RSV in 1948. It is a construct of modern psychoanalytic theory and the current understanding off it by the APA dates from 1974. Whatever the activity IS that is considered toevah in Leviticus is a specific act, and would not be a general denunciation of all homosexual acts, nor could it be a denunciation of all homosexuals. Whoever is involved in the act (just like someone who sleeps with a menstruating woman or touches a dead snake) needs to be ritually purified before taking part in religious solemnities (just as a Levite priest would need to do if he wished to handle the Torah after sleeping with a menstruating woman). Christ absolved his followers from complying with Jewish cleanliness codes. Whatever the matter is under discussion, it is a specific kind of activity that renders a priest "ritually impure" for the purposes of religious observances.

The entire book of Leviticus addresses itself to a cleanliness code for "Levite" priests. These are not necessarily moral offenses. Although certain moral and ritual offenses may overlap, the use of the word toevah to describe them all shows that they are being related through ritual, not moral impurity. Above all it may refer to those offenses that obscure or efface Hebrew identity and sometimes it is synonymous with "idol" or "idolatry."

The Greek speaking Jews who translated the OT into Greek (the Septuagint) render toevah from Leviticus as bdleguma. Like the difference between toevah (ritually impure) and zimah (intrinsically immoral) in Hebrew, Greek is clear in its distinction between bdelugma (ritual impurity) and anomia (immorality). At the time of Christ, the Septuagint was the version of the OT most used around the Mediterranean, and New Testament writers quote the Septuagint when they refer to OT scripture. Thus the source used by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul always translated toevah as bdelugma so there can hardly be any question of the use of "an improper word."

The use of the word "sodomite" in the King James translation at Deut. 23:17 (which says "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor sodomite of the sons of Israel.") and 1 Kings 14:24 ("And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.") is once again a clear mistranslation of the Hebrew word "kadash" which is - a temple prostitute.

In the original text of the Bible - it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Even in English it is not restricted to same sex behavior but identifies forms of sexual activity outside of vaginal intercourse.

1 Corinthians 6:9:
("Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind...")
The King James Version of the Bible condemns "effeminates" and those who are "abusers of themselves with mankind." This second phrase is also used in Timothy 1:10. The Revised Standard Version conflates two words and refers to "homosexuals."
("for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine")

None of these definitions are tenable. There is no word for "homosexual" in Greek. The RSV marks the first time the word "homosexual" ever occurs in an English translation of the Bible. The words "effeminates" (KJV) and "male prostitutes" (above) translate the Greek word malakoi which means "soft" in both its literal and metaphorical meanings. The most reasonable translation has nothing to do with prostitution. It simply means people who are "unrestrained" or "wanton."

Wanton:
1.) sexually indiscriminate: lacking restraint or inhibition, especially in sexual behavior
2.) random: lacking reason or provocation wanton violence and destruction
3.) desiring to do harm: done out of a desire to cause harm
4.) excessive: unrestrained, heedless of reasonable limits, or characterized by greed and extravagance
5.) unruly: lacking discipline

The Greco-Roman culture did not make the same culturally based association between homosexuality and effeminacy that ours tends to. The great, masculine exemplars of myth and history frequently engaged in homosexual activities (Zeus/Jupiter, Herakles/Hercules, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar) and no one of the 1st century AD would not have assumed the malakos (soft) had anything to do with effeminacy, homosexuality, or male prostitution. The word is never used in Greek to designate gay people as a group or even in reference to homosexual acts generically, and it often occurs in writings contemporary with the Pauline epistles in reference to heterosexual persons or activity. What is more to the point, the unanimous tradition of the church through the Reformation, and of Catholicism until well into the twentieth century, has been that this word applied to masturbation.

The original Greek 1 Corinthians 6:9 

The KJV translates: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.,

The problematic words in this translation are male prostitutes (malakoi) and homosexual offenders (arsenokoitai). The King James Version of the Bible condemns "effeminates" and those who are "abusers of themselves with mankind," respectively. The second phrase is also used in Timothy 1:10.
The Revised Standard version conflates the two words in 1 Corinthians and renders them "homosexuals."

The claim that that the word arsenokoitai (see above) obviously means "homosexual" or "homosexual offender" defies linguistic evidence and common sense. Since the word "homosexual" was not coined in English until the late 19th century, nor the notion of "sexual orientation" explored until the 20th century, there is no legitimate argument for accepting this translation.

(The following summary is derived from John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality) "The second half of the compound, koitai, is a coarse word, generally denoting base or licentious sexual activities," i.e. a person who, by insertion, takes the "active" role in intercourse. The prefix arseno- simply means "male." Its relationship to the second half of the compound is ambiguous: in bald English the compound means "male in active intercourse,"but it is not clear whether "male" designates the object or the gender of the second half. The English expression "lady killer," when written, conveys the same ambiguity: in speech, emphasis would indicate whether "lady: designates the victim or the gender of the "killer," but in print there is no way to distinguish whether the phrase means "a lady who kills," or "a person who kills ladies." This a particularly revealing parallel, since a third and largely unrelated meaning (i.e., "wolf," or :"Don Juan") is actually the most common sense of the term but could not be deduced from the constituent parts, a telling example of the inadequacy of lexicographical inference unsupported by contextual evidence. Arsenokoitai, then, means male sexual agents," i.e.,active male prostitutes, who were common throughout the Hellenistic world in the time of Paul." That such a designation existed in the Latin of the time is well known: the drauci or exoleti were...male prostitutes capable of the active role with either men or women... etc.

If one becomes engaged, not only in the original languages of the Bible, but the history of the translation of the Bible into various languages, it becomes clear that different societies at different points in time read their own biases into the occasionally ambiguous or poorly understood ancient words of the original text. Even some of the better modern translations of these passages into contemporary languages do not reveal the particular biases of the English translations. If we take 1Corinthians 6:9, there is a list of types of sinners --one that includes the RSV's dubious translation of the word "homosexual." Consider a couple of the words.

original Greek: . English translations alone give: covetous (KJV), greedy (RSV). grabbers (NEB), usurers (JB), misers (NAB):

For original Greek  extortioners (JKV), swindlers (NEB), robbers (NAB, RSV), greedy, (C) lawbreakers (GN)

Now consider the words malakoi () and arsenokoitai ()" In Latin, Elizabethan English, French, German, and Italian:

Vulgate: neque idolis servientes neque adulteri (neither idolators nor adulterers)

KJV: nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (whatever that means)

RSV: nor homosexuals (both words translated as one)

FJB: ni dépravés, ni gens de mœurs infâmes (the depraved, and people of infamous practices) --hopelessly general terms

German Luther: noch die Weichlinge noch die Knabenschänder (weaklings and child molesters)--the later being more statistically prevalent for men who live as heterosexual males than any other lifestyle.

Italian Bible: né idolàtri, né adùlteri (nor idolators nor adulterors)

Moreover, there is a history of exegetical analysis of these passages throughout time. Each society translates them in consideration of their own moral values. (It is perhaps revealing that the above-mentioned terms were thought to refer to masturbation by the Medieval Catholic church).

Here is another follow-up on the use of the Greek word arsenokoitai in 1 Corinthians 6:9. It is also used in 1 Timothy 1:10. In the second half of the 20th century, some English translators have alleged that it means homosexual, and various exegetes claim that it has meant homosexual for the last 2,000 years. St. John Chrysostom, writing in Greek in the late 4th and early 5th centuries CE, provides exegeses of both 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 fails to note anything regarding same sex activity. Here is a conspectus of different translations for arsenokoitai in both 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 prior to the mid 20th century:

1 Corinthians 6:9 1 Timothy 1:10

Latin Vulgate: idolis servientes (idolators) masculorum concubitores
4th AD (bedcompanions of men)

Douay-Rheims: idolators them who defile themselves with mankind
1582

KJV abusers of themselves with mankind abusers of themselves with mankind
1611

French Louis II: les infâmes les infâmes
1910 (the infamous) (the infamous)

German Luther: Knabenschänder Knabenschänder
1545 (child molesters) (child molesters)

Italtian Giovani D.: quelli che usano co' maschi quelli che usano co' maschi
1649 (those who make use of men) (those who make use of men)

What this shows first of all is that there is no consensus about the meaning of arsenokoitai in the course of history and in different tongues. It is rarely translated in a way that can palusibly be construed to mean "a homosexual."

Secondly, it shows great confusion on the part of translators as to what the word actually means since the meanings range from "idolator," to "child molesters," to "the infamous," to "the bedcompanions of men." In cases like the KJV and the Italian Diodotti Bible, the allusion to the "use" and "abuse" of men with themselves or with others is likewise so vague as to suggest ignorance about the meaning of the original Greek word.

Lastly, it demonstrates that even individual translators/translations (St Jerome in the Latin Vulgate and the Douay-Rheims) are not consistent in their translations between the two verses. I have argued in other places that the meaning of arsenokoitai is essentially unknowable in the current state of our knowledge. It is extremely rare, it never occurs before Paul, it appears in lists, and it never appears in contexts where it defines itself.
Since the Greeks had no conception of "sexual orientation" and no English translation before the mid-20th century uses a word that signals "sexual orientation," there is no reasonable way to argue that this is meaning is a possibility for arsenokoitai. I think this conspectus helps to bear out these observations. Although the roots suggest some combination of beds and men, the translators are very uncertain about how to construe the roots with relationship to one another or whether, in fact, it is even a reference to sexuality.
1 Timothy:
1 Timothy uses the Greek word arsenokoites (pl. is arsenokoitai). It is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 6:9. While people guess about it at some length on either side of the debate, the bottom line is that no one (NO ONE!!!) actually knows what it means. It is undefinable in the current state of our knowledge since it is used in lists, never defines itself in context, and never occurs before Paul.

The meaning cannot be determined certainly from the roots nor is the relationship of the roots to one another clear. The root koit- comes from the noun "bed" and the verb kointan is anything one does in bed (lie, sleep, rest, have sex, etc.). The root arsen (alternate spelling is arren-) means "male," but it is not clear if it is an attributive adjective for the subject ("male bedders") or if it is objective ("a bedder of males"). It is just as likely to be the former, in which case it could be related to male prostitution or violent crimes like rape.


Comparative words in Greek are construed both ways. In such words as arsenomorphos
the arsen- root is the subject of the implied verb. It does not mean "forming a male" but means "of masculine form." This argument assumes that the roots still maintain a separate and original meaning when conjoined in the compound. This is not itself a safe assumption since we can refer to a "lady killer" where the meaning is a "Don Juan." We would be completely misguided if we were to argue about the certainty that it must mean either "a lady who kills" or "one who kills ladies."

Some commentators take malakoi and arsenokoitai as meaning the active and passive roles in anal intercourse or as an erastes/eromenos type of relationship. This is a fanciful modern interpretation, depending on the presumption that the words actually form a pair. Nowhere does the paring of malakos and arsenokoites occur in Patristic, or for that matter in Greek, literature. The typical way of designating such a relationship in Classical Greek is with erastes/eromenos, but Philo, writing contemporary with the Pauline epistles, uses drontes with paschontes and paiderastai and paidika.


That aside, relationships between adult men and boys is really not what is
designated by the term "homosexuality" in modern usage (although in the minds of some it may seem like a subset of the term). In actuality, the term "homosexual" designates adult sexual orientation rather than the paraphilia we call pederasty.

Furthermore, different languages do not show the inclination of the RSV and its successors to translate arsenoikoitai as having anything to do with homosexuality" Here are other language translations of malakoi and arsenokoitai from 1 Corinthians 6:9:

KJV: nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (whatever that means)

RSV: nor homosexuals (both words erroneously translated as one)

Vulgate: neque idolis servientes neque adulteri (neither idolators nor adulterers)

FJB: ni dépravés, ni gens de mœurs infâmes (the depraved, and people of infamous
practices)

German Luther: noch die Weichlinge noch die Knabenschänder (weaklings and child molesters)

Italian Bible: né idolàtri, né adùlteri (nor idolators nor adulterors)

There is no indication that the Greek Patristic writers understood arsenokoites to mean "homosexual." Fatal to the allegation that the Church has always understood this interpretation is that St. John Chrystostom does not mention same sex activity in his exegeses of either 1 Corinthians 6:9 or in 1 Timothy 1:10; and when speaking of same sex activity (which he derogates) he never uses the word arsenokoites

In view of the fact that "homosexual was never used as a translation for arsenokoites prior to the RSV in 1948, that the word "homosexual" was not coined in English until ca. 1900, and that sexual orientation per se was not formulated until the late 19th and 20th centuries, I can find no reason to assert that arsenokoites or malakoi EVER meant "homosexual." In fact there is scarce evidence that it could.


The one remaining passage which may be thought to contain a reference to homosexuality is 1 Romans 1:26-31:

("
26) Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27) and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. 28) And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. 29) They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips 30) and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. 31) They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.")


You can't contend that this is a categorical condemnation of homosexuality without considering Greek linguistics, context and rhetorical structure. The phrase para physin (misleading translated "against nature") only refers to "nature" in a restricted way. It's not a reference to the "laws of nature" which was a concept that would not be formulated for another millennium by Thomas Aquinas. Here, it means "nature" in the sense of "characteristic." It is "contrary to the nature (sc. of a Christian)."

Paul addresses the Christian community at Rome and chastises them for behavior that is contrary to the nature of Christian. He speaks of 1) the acceptance of unchristian Gods which are rhetorically typified by zoomorphic divinities. Paul is against all false gods, but for the sake of example he uses Gods that are made in the image of animals. Next he speaks of 2) unchristian worship which, for rhetorical emphasis, is typified by orgiastic rites. Paul is against any form of unchristian worship but uses same gender sex as an example. Lastly he speaks of an "unchristian" cast of mind (the so-called "reprobate" mind). In actuality, the Greek word is adokimos. A dokimasia was a test given to establish that something had passed muster. The adokimos mind is one that had not passed muster--i.e. one that is contrary to the nature of a Christian. Paul disapproves of any type of unchristian thinking, but for rhetorical purposes, he typifies it with such characteristics as "backbiters,""proud,""boasters,"undiscerning," "unloving," "unforgiving," unmerciful."

The people in the final group are every bit as much "pagan" as the people who worship zoomorphic gods and engage in ritual sex. Paul has one thing to say about that at the beginning of
Chapter 2:1. 'Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemest thyself; for thou that judgest does the same things."

In context, it is impossible to say that Paul categorically condemns homosexuality as sexual orientation. Likewise, there is no place where he categorically approves of heterosexuality in the same sense (it is wrong in the context of temple prostitution, adultery, fornication, etc). The BibIe is only concerned with specific acts in specific contexts. No one in the 1st century CE had ever conceptualized either homosexuality or heterosexuality as sexual orientation. Indeed, no word in Greek exists for a "homosexual" or "heterosexual" in this sense or for "homosexuality" as a designation for sexual orientation.
All one can say is that Paul uses same gender ritual sex as an example of unchristian worship which is not a generic condemnation of a type of sexual orientation. It's a specific kind of act in a specific context.

The term "against nature" in Romans 1:26 requires comments as does the term "natural." The Greek phrase is para physin () means "against nature" only in a particular sense. Paul is not anachronistically referring to "natural law" which was not formulated until over a millennium after his death. He uses nature in the sense of "characteristic," "that which typifies a thing." It is frequently used in discussions of ethnicity (it is the nature of a Jew to...., it is the nature of Gentile to....). The preposition para doesn't so much mean "against" as it does "beyond"--an indication that something is unusual or exceptional. The phrase "para physin" then means "unnatural" only in the sense that it refers to atypical behavior ("it is contrary to the nature of the Jew to...., it is contrary to the nature of the Gentile to....).

The translation "indecent acts" is very misleading. the Greek aschemosune katergazomenoi () means "carrying out, accomplishing, that which is aschemosune. The word schema in Greek refers to the "form, shape, appearance" of something. That which is aschemosune is something that is without form, shapeless, graceless or indecorous."

To call plane (), "perversion," is to call upon modern connotations that the Greek word simply does not have. It means "wandering."

As I’ve already stated, there is no word in Greek that means "homosexual, heterosexual, homosexuality, or heterosexuality." These words were coined 20 centuries after the writing of the New Testament to designate two different types of sexual orientation. When everything in the position is framed by the use of these words, to me the discussion falls to pieces.
Try going to the pages and see if you can rewrite it without the terms "homosexual, heterosexual, homosexuality, and heterosexuality" because no reader of Greek in the 1st century CE would have had a comparable word to use. Also bear in mind that same sex activity is not necessarily an indication of "homosexuality" any more than opposite sex activity is an indication of "heterosexuality." Many homosexuals (in our understanding of the word) marry and have children because of family or social pressure while remaining homosexual. Likewise, heterosexuals may for one reason or another have same gender sex without becoming a "homosexual." Also bear in mind that it is not possible to categorically lump all same sex acts together and call them "homosexual" since there was no category of thought and no word that designated that something was "homosexual."

The words malakoi and arsenokoitai are irresponsibly translated to mean "homosexual" despite the fact, in the history of the existence of the New Testament, they never did so until a notion of sexual orientation entered our vernacular. This is anachronistic.

While Greek had no word that meant "homosexuality" they did have a words and concepts that meant "idolatry." The context of Romans 1 is a discussion of idolatry as the Greek makes plain. In fact, Paul proceeds in outline form to elaborate the topic, a matter that is clearer in Greek that it is in English:

I. The wrath of God is revealed against the unrighteousness and godlessness of men.

A. 19-20. dioti--Subheading is signaled in Greek by dioti. Because God has made himself known and manifest to them

B. 21-3 dioti---2nd parallel subheading signaled in Greek by dioti. Because, knowing him, they did not glorify him and were not thankful; Professing to be wise, they became fools. They made corruptible images (eikones).

The following three subheadings are introduced by identical phrases that indicate they are parallel and elaborate the topic of idolatry.


1. 24-5. dio paredoken autous o Theos en... God gave them over to akatharsia
`
2. 26-7. dia tauta paredoken autous o Theos- God gave them over to pathe atimias.

3. 28-32 paredoken autous o Theos God gave them over to adokimon noun


The discussion at 1: 26-7 is clearly situated under the topic of idolatrous worship and is not a discussion of "homosexuality" per se, nor is it a topic unto itself. It is one of the three ways in which Paul characterizes idolatry by example. He is typifying orgiastic worship. Most notably it does not deal with "homosexual relationships" in any way that we understand them today.

Also bear in mind that 2 Timothy 4:3 works both ways--for those who wish to have a prejudice affirmed they will pay attention only to what they wish to believe.

2 Timothy 4:3: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

The way in which people provide an academic proof for a position is to give concrete evidence for or against that position. Such a proof could take one of two forms: 1) There is proof that the Bible favors same sex marriage as seen at _____(chapter, verse). Or, 2) There is proof that the Bible condemns same sex marriage as seen at_____(chapter, verse). Neither a positive proof nor a negative proof is possible since the Bible simply does not mention it.

If one seeks to use the ABSENCE of evidence as proof, then one ventures into the well charted area of logical fallacies, in this case the argumentum ad ignorantium or "argument to ignorance." In this case, there are two forms the fallacious argument can take: 1) "SSM is prohibited by God since the Bible never says that they are acceptable." Alternately it could say 2) "SSM is allowed by God since the Bible never says that they are unacceptable.” If you reject the logic behind statement #2, then you must reject the logic behind statement #1 since they employ an identical species of logical fallacy.

The absence of a position for a social institution in the Bible is not proof that it is condemned. I've used the example of women's suffrage. It is not mentioned in the Bible, because there was no social precedent for it, but that does not mean that it is divinely forbidden.

In closing, it is worth observing that Jesus never spoke out about or against homosexuality. Sexuality was not as an important an issue as was wealth, demonic possession, and hypocrisy.
His laws were to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. The most strongly worded statement he makes about any kind of union is to say that divorce was not admissible and made adulterers out of those who did divorce
The one remaining passage which may be thought to contain a reference to homosexuality is 1 Romans 1:26-31:

("
26) Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27) and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. 28) And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. 29) They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips 30) and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. 31) They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.")


You can't contend that this is a categorical condemnation of homosexuality without considering Greek linguistics, context and rhetorical structure. The phrase para physin (misleading translated "against nature") only refers to "nature" in a restricted way. It's not a reference to the "laws of nature" which was a concept that would not be formulated for another millennium by Thomas Aquinas. Here, it means "nature" in the sense of "characteristic." It is "contrary to the nature (sc. of a Christian)."

Paul addresses the Christian community at Rome and chastises them for behavior that is contrary to the nature of Christian. He speaks of 1) the acceptance of unchristian Gods which are rhetorically typified by zoomorphic divinities. Paul is against all false gods, but for the sake of example he uses Gods that are made in the image of animals. Next he speaks of 2) unchristian worship which, for rhetorical emphasis, is typified by orgiastic rites. Paul is against any form of unchristian worship but uses same gender sex as an example. Lastly he speaks of an "unchristian" cast of mind (the so-called "reprobate" mind). In actuality, the Greek word is adokimos. A dokimasia was a test given to establish that something had passed muster. The adokimos mind is one that had not passed muster--i.e. one that is contrary to the nature of a Christian. Paul disapproves of any type of unchristian thinking, but for rhetorical purposes, he typifies it with such characteristics as "backbiters,""proud,""boasters,"undiscerning," "unloving," "unforgiving," unmerciful."

The people in the final group are every bit as much "pagan" as the people who worship zoomorphic gods and engage in ritual sex. Paul has one thing to say about that at the beginning of
Chapter 2:1. 'Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemest thyself; for thou that judgest does the same things."

In context, it is impossible to say that Paul categorically condemns homosexuality as sexual orientation. Likewise, there is no place where he categorically approves of heterosexuality in the same sense (it is wrong in the context of temple prostitution, adultery, fornication, etc). The BibIe is only concerned with specific acts in specific contexts. No one in the 1st century CE had ever conceptualized either homosexuality or heterosexuality as sexual orientation. Indeed, no word in Greek exists for a "homosexual" or "heterosexual" in this sense or for "homosexuality" as a designation for sexual orientation.
All one can say is that Paul uses same gender ritual sex as an example of unchristian worship which is not a generic condemnation of a type of sexual orientation. It's a specific kind of act in a specific context.

The term "against nature" in Romans 1:26 requires comments as does the term "natural." The Greek phrase is para physin () means "against nature" only in a particular sense. Paul is not anachronistically referring to "natural law" which was not formulated until over a millennium after his death. He uses nature in the sense of "characteristic," "that which typifies a thing." It is frequently used in discussions of ethnicity (it is the nature of a Jew to...., it is the nature of Gentile to....). The preposition para doesn't so much mean "against" as it does "beyond"--an indication that something is unusual or exceptional. The phrase "para physin" then means "unnatural" only in the sense that it refers to atypical behavior ("it is contrary to the nature of the Jew to...., it is contrary to the nature of the Gentile to....).

The translation "indecent acts" is very misleading. the Greek aschemosune katergazomenoi () means "carrying out, accomplishing, that which is aschemosune. The word schema in Greek refers to the "form, shape, appearance" of something. That which is aschemosune is something that is without form, shapeless, graceless or indecorous."

To call plane (), "perversion," is to call upon modern connotations that the Greek word simply does not have. It means "wandering."

As I’ve already stated, there is no word in Greek that means "homosexual, heterosexual, homosexuality, or heterosexuality." These words were coined 20 centuries after the writing of the New Testament to designate two different types of sexual orientation. When everything in the position is framed by the use of these words, to me the discussion falls to pieces.
Try going to the pages and see if you can rewrite it without the terms "homosexual, heterosexual, homosexuality, and heterosexuality" because no reader of Greek in the 1st century CE would have had a comparable word to use. Also bear in mind that same sex activity is not necessarily an indication of "homosexuality" any more than opposite sex activity is an indication of "heterosexuality." Many homosexuals (in our understanding of the word) marry and have children because of family or social pressure while remaining homosexual. Likewise, heterosexuals may for one reason or another have same gender sex without becoming a "homosexual." Also bear in mind that it is not possible to categorically lump all same sex acts together and call them "homosexual" since there was no category of thought and no word that designated that something was "homosexual."

The words malakoi and arsenokoitai are irresponsibly translated to mean "homosexual" despite the fact, in the history of the existence of the New Testament, they never did so until a notion of sexual orientation entered our vernacular. This is anachronistic.

While Greek had no word that meant "homosexuality" they did have a words and concepts that meant "idolatry." The context of Romans 1 is a discussion of idolatry as the Greek makes plain. In fact, Paul proceeds in outline form to elaborate the topic, a matter that is clearer in Greek that it is in English:

I. The wrath of God is revealed against the unrighteousness and godlessness of men.

A. 19-20. dioti--Subheading is signaled in Greek by dioti. Because God has made himself known and manifest to them

B. 21-3 dioti---2nd parallel subheading signaled in Greek by dioti. Because, knowing him, they did not glorify him and were not thankful; Professing to be wise, they became fools. They made corruptible images (eikones).

The following three subheadings are introduced by identical phrases that indicate they are parallel and elaborate the topic of idolatry.


1. 24-5. dio paredoken autous o Theos en... God gave them over to akatharsia
`
2. 26-7. dia tauta paredoken autous o Theos- God gave them over to pathe atimias.

3. 28-32 paredoken autous o Theos God gave them over to adokimon noun


The discussion at 1: 26-7 is clearly situated under the topic of idolatrous worship and is not a discussion of "homosexuality" per se, nor is it a topic unto itself. It is one of the three ways in which Paul characterizes idolatry by example. He is typifying orgiastic worship. Most notably it does not deal with "homosexual relationships" in any way that we understand them today.

What most Christians fail to realize is it’s about Love. Plain and simple.
You are either of God, of the Light and strive to be of goodness, charity, compassion and God, or you are of Dark and strive for self and become that of hate, envy, destruction, greed - evil.

pboyfloyd said...

"Yada, yada, yada!"

Asylum Seeker said...

Yarrrrgghh! The text! It burns me! [enters fetal position]

Mark B said...

Christianity, like many institutions, seeks to have finite explanations to base their credibility upon. It is comfortable, neat and clean to have all doctrine out there for easy interpretation. This is great in order to maintain homogenous agreement among believers. And it works to a certain extent, bringing joy and peace and a common ground that offers security until unfortunately, one day it becomes clear that not everyone or everything fits neatly into our doctrine.

Throughout history, there have been a few challenges that have upset this cohesiveness, such as Martin Luther and his 95 thesis', an Inquisition or two, slavery and I believe now the issues are homosexuality and the other things you mentioned.

It is amazing to me that whenever we think we have it all right, a gay pride parade comes marching down the street and it certainly doesn't look like they're on their way to Sunday School. Naturally if THEY don't fit into the box we as Christians have confined ourselves to, the commom reaction is fear and then it is time to go on the attack because they are messing up the ordered world we want to raise our kids in.

Our brand of Christianity, I believe, has become too comfortable and complacent. Our reaction to those that don't fit and the science that wasn't created in 7 days, is the main reason many have turned from Christianity and are now hostile towards it. There has been a lot of hurt and anger generated from the ones who are supposed to accept and love.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is this: God loves THEM. I do not believe God wants us to be comfortable and complacent. We have tried to create a neat and tidy environment, but a glance around reveals a hurting world that could use a bit of loving.

Harvey said...

Mark:

Nicely and (I believe) honestly put. You seem to agree with Boggs, at least in the central theme of what Jesus apparently tried to teach us. It seems to me that although the "hurt" that organized religions (all of them, at one time or another) have periodically caused makes many people condemn them, if one reads and understands the central message, they all have their "hearts" in the right place.
As usual, it is the people who feel "called" to interpret for and guide the rest of us through the difficulties inherent in trying to follow these basicly wise and sound tenets who screw everything up.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Mark (and Botts).

Forgive me for saying what I cannot express in words that don't sound condescending (not my intent). You both do speak in a way that seems Christ-like in your thinking. In the Bible Christ always seemed to have a penchant for associating and accepting all sorts of people that were shunned by the pious of the age. I applaud how you seem to follow that path in what you say. Although I don not share your doctrine, We do share a common thread - empathy and compassion are central to bettering the world.

Harvey said...

Boggs:

You may find some of the more recent posts on DD's old blog interesting.

Botts said...

Harvey,

Provide me a link. I'd like to see them.

Harvey said...

Boggs:
I have had to go on AOL to News Bloggers. Only Mo Rocca now appears, but if you scroll down to the RSS feed section, you can see "recent comments" where saintbrianthegodless appears regarding a recent comment on DD's last Blog about Obama. As of today, I have been unable to get to it any other way and, incidentally, have been unable to get any of my posts to appear there, even though there has been activity today. Good Luck.

Harvey said...

Please forgive mistyped "Botts"

pboyfloyd said...

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8401041856819184248&postID=2516445296380384661

Every time I go to DD's old blog I just use my 'history'.

Works for me.

GearHedEd said...

Jesus may have said to 'Love thy neighbor as thyself", but he also said to the adultress who was going to be stoned to death after dispersing the mob, "Go, and sin no more".
Question for Botts: How do you feel(even though you may not belong to that particular denomination)about the Episcopalian Bishop in New Hampshire who is openly gay and living with his partner? It seems counter-productive to me, at any rate. And no, I'm not homophobic. My best friend in high school was gay, and I'm not. He respected my orientation, and I didn't try to dissuade him from his.

Botts said...

"How do you feel(even though you may not belong to that particular denomination)about the Episcopalian Bishop in New Hampshire who is openly gay and living with his partner?"

First, I have no problems with Gays and Lesbians if they are true to what they are.

It seems that the good Bishop is being who he is. Science hasn't confirmed it yet, but it will in the future. People are born the way they are.

Being Gay isn't a sin. How can you change how you feel? How can you change what sex you're attracted to? You can't.

I think the sin is when a Gay person lives a heterosexual life to fit in. I believe that is unnatural and is exactly what Romans talks about.

If you're gay, be gay. If you're not gay, don't be gay.

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