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The Bible and Homosexuality

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Green Gaia, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    Bible languages of Hebrew and Greek have no word for homosexual. Old Testament Hebrew is a very primitive language. It is the first step beyond picture writing and is the first alphabetic language. It originally consisted only of consonants with no vowels written in the text. There is no "past, present, or future" in Hebrew. The Hebrew language had only about a 30,000 word vocabulary. Modern English has over 300,000 words. One Hebrew word could be used in dozens of different ways, and the meaning was determined by the context. Each word was made up of 3 letters of the alphabet and usually expressed some form of activity or action. It is impossible to translate most Hebrew words exactly into modern English. Scholars come as close as they can and do a lot of guessing.

    New Testament Greek was far more complex than Hebrew. Greek had a 250,000 word vocabulary and a great variety of words developed to express shades of meaning and degrees of feeling. Greek, for example, had four different words for "love". Greek had many verb forms that do not exist in English. The Greek used in the New Testament is different from classical or modern Greek. For many years, some scholars thought that New Testament Greek was a special language created by the Holy Spirit. Then, in the late nineteenth century, a collection of manuscripts was discovered from the time of the New Testament. These documents were bills of sale, personal letters, business and news reports that were written in exactly the same kind of Greek that the Bible used. For the first time, Bible scholars knew and could study the kind of "everyday" Greek, called "koine" Greek, that was used in the New Testament. The King James Version was translated in 1611, long before the oldest manuscripts were discovered.

    The reason that there are so many different Bible translations ( about 30 major ones) today is because the exact meaning of many words is still in question, and even what should be included as original material is hotly debated by Bible specialists. Other recent discoveries, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, add new information that throws light on the meaning of Bible words.

    The word "homosexual" is made up of Greek homo, meaning "the same," and Latin sexualis, from which the English word "sex" is derived. The word "homosexual" has been in use to refer to people who have sex with others of the same gender for only about 100 years. According to the most recent edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (tenth edition), "homosexual" as an adjective was first used in 1892 and as a noun in 1902, and "homophobia" was first used in 1969 and "homophobe" first used in 1975. The translation of any Bible word as "homosexual" is a mistake.

    The Greek word in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10 that is translated "homosexual" is arsenokoites, which is formed from two words meaning "male" and "bed." The word is not found anywhere else in the New Testament and has not been found anywhere in contemporary Greek of Paul's time. We are not sure what it means. It only appears in these two lists. The word is of obscure origin and uncertain meaning. It probably refers to male prostitutes with female customers, which was a common practice in the Roman world.

    When early Greek-speaking Christian preachers condemned homosexuals, they did not use this word. John Chrysostom (A.D. 345-407) preached in Greek against homosexuality, but he never used this word for homosexuals. When he wrote homilies and preached on 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, he did not mention homosexuals.

    The Bible has no word in Hebrew or Greek that is the same as our word "sex". The word "flesh" means "human" and never means "sex". The Hebrew way of thinking about human nature continued to dominate the thought of the New Testament. Details of sexual practices were never given in the Old or the New Testaments. The only term that conveys the idea of "having sex" is the Hebrew term "to lie with."

    Much of the New Testament thought was carried over directly from Hebrew terms and ideas in the Old Testament, which had been translated from Hebrew to Greek about 250 years before Christ in the Septuagint (LXX) version of Scripture. Careful study of a tremendous body of historical material is necessary to sort out the exact meaning of Bible passages. Even more study is required to grasp and understand what the passages actually said in the culture in which they were written.

    http://www.truluck.com/html/hebrew___greek.html


    Sexual Orientation and the Bible

    Our understanding of sexual orientation as we know it today did not exist 50 years ago, much less in biblical times. Only in 1973 did the American medical, psychiatric and legal professions begin to recognize that homosexuality is an orientation and not a choice, illness or crime.

    Sexuality is seldom discussed in the Bible. The Bible view of the role of women as property, the absolute importance placed on having children to continue the family, the customs and demands related to marriage and inheritance and an obvious demonstration of male dominance and control can be seen vividly described in Genesis chapter 38.

    In the Bible, all women were property that belonged to their father or husband. Women were members of the covenant people of God only because of their relationship to their father, brother or husband. Women could not carry circumcision, the "sign of the covenant," in their bodies. The Old Testament does not include a belief in "heaven" or a future time of reward and continued life. The only way a man could live on after his death was through his children ("seed"). No man was allowed to remain unmarried. Old Testament Hebrew does not have a word for bachelor.

    Marriage in the Bible was not based on romantic love but on a legal contract usually entered by parents on behalf of their children. The average age for marriage in the time of Jesus was 14 for girls and 16 for boys. Average life expectancy was only 25 years. The Greek word for romantic love, EROS, is never used in the New Testament, though it was the most common word for love in the Greek speaking world.

    To read bits and pieces of biblical material into present day culture is to misrepresent the Bible and to distort its message of God's love in Christ for all people in today's world.

    http://www.truluck.com/html/sexual_orientation_not_in_bibl.html
     
  2. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    The Six Bible Passages Used To Condemn Homosexuals
    http://www.truluck.com/html/six_bible_passages.html


    Genesis 19:5
    Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13
    Romans 1:26-27
    I Corinthians 6:9;
    I Timothy 1:9-10

    In preparation for each passage, read the entire chapter. For Romans 1:26-27, read the first 3 chapters of Romans. Read Genesis chapter 38 for a clear picture of the Old Testament attitudes about women, sex, the necessity of producing offspring, the control of men over women, the double standard for men and women, and other sexuality issues.


    Genesis 19:5:
    "Bring them out to us that we may know them."

    Author's Note: "Know" simply means know! No hint at homosexuality exists in the original Hebrew. No later Bible references to Sodom ever mention homosexuality as the sin of Sodom. Many modern translations add words to the text to create the lie that the people of Sodom were homosexual.

    "SODOMY" is not a biblical word. Laws against sodomy not only violate the Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state; they also use an incorrect and wrongly translated term for the laws. A "Sodomite" in the Bible is simply a person who lives in Sodom, which included Lot and his family. The term "sodomite" in the King James Version of Deuteronomy 23:17 and I Kings 14:24 is an incorrect translation of the Hebrew word for "temple prostitute." (See the recent book by Mark D. Jordan: The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. University of Chicago Press, 1997.)

    The average person assumes that the Bible clearly condemns male to male sexual intercourse as "sodomy" and that the city of Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality, which is seen as the worst of all sins in the Bible. These assumptions are based on no evidence at all in the Bible.

    No Jewish scholars before the first Christian century taught that the sin of Sodom was sexual. None of the biblical references to Sodom mention sexual sins but view Sodom as an example of injustice, lack of hospitality to strangers, idolatry and as a symbol for desolation and destruction. See Deuteronomy 29:22-28; 32:32; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Jeremiah 49:18; 50:41; Isaiah 13:19-22 and Matthew 10:14-15. In Jude 7, the term "strange flesh" is Greek hetero sarkos ("different flesh" and from which the word "heterosexual" comes) and refers to foreign idols or people. It is not homo ("the same") flesh or people. Sarkos is never used in the New Testament as a word for "sex."

    The word "know" in Genesis 19:5 is Hebrew YADA. It is used 943 times in the Old Testament to "know" God, good and evil, the truth, the law, people, places, things, etc. It is a very flexible word, as are many Hebrew words. In Genesis 19:5, the word was used to express the request of the people of Sodom that Lot should bring out the strangers in his house so that they could know who they were. Sodom was a tiny fortress in the barren wasteland south of the Dead Sea. The only strangers that the people of Sodom ever saw were enemy tribes who wanted to destroy and take over their valuable fortress and the trade routes that it protected. Lot himself was an alien in their midst.

    Lot's strange response to the request was to offer his young daughters to the men, an offer that seems to me to be far more reprehensible than any problem of sexual orientation. If the men were homosexual, why did Lot offer to give them his daughters? These hostile and violent people were heterosexual, and homosexual orientation had nothing to do with the incident.

    Special note on YADA: The Hebrew word YADA "to know" is never used in the Old Testament to mean "to have sex with". People have been conditioned to think that "to know someone biblically" means to have sex. The use of YADA in Genesis 4:1-2 to say that Adam knew Eve and she conceived and gave birth to Cain is followed by saying that later she gave birth to his brother Abel without any reference to YADA. Why? Simply because YADA does not mean to have sex. It is a general term that describes many kinds of intimate relationships. I have studied all of the uses of YADA in the Old Testament, and my personal conclusion is that it never means what we mean by sexual intercourse. Just substitute a common slang expression for sexual intercourse instead of the word "know" in Genesis 4:1 and you will see how inappropriate the idea is. The Old Testament Hebrew writers never thought or wrote in those terms. The Bible never gives any details about sexual acts. The only clear Hebrew term for sexual acts is "to lie with," which is left without any further explanation.

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN SODOM?

    To twist the story to say what it does not say is to miss what it does say. The story does not deal with sexual orientation or with homosexuality and has no bearing at all on the issue of God's acceptance or rejection of Gays and Lesbians. The story of Sodom clearly teaches that evil and violent people who attack aliens and strangers whom they do not know or understand receive God's quick and terrible punishment.

    The purpose of the story is to show that misunderstood, strange, or feared minorities in any community are in danger from violence by the majority when that majority is ignorant, ungodly, selfish and afraid. The real message of Sodom is backwards from the claims of homophobic preachers and teachers. The Gay and Lesbian minority in our society today is more like the guests in Lot's house who were protected behind closed doors ("in the closet") than like the frightened mindless mob that wanted to expose, humiliate and destroy people that they did not "know" and control.

    Set the record straight! Genesis 19 is about the fear (like homophobia) and anger of a mob (like many misguided religious fanatics) directed against a small group of isolated strangers (like Gays and Lesbians today) in their midst. Sexual orientation is not the issue here or anywhere else in the Bible.

    Read also the strange story in Judges 19:1-30 of the Levite in Gibeah, which was patterned after the story of Lot and the angels in Genesis 19. Jewish teachers before the time of Christ never saw either of these stories as having any connection with homosexuality or sexual orientation. Neither should we.


    Leviticus 18:22:
    "You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."

    Leviticus 20:13:
    "If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death."

    Author's Note: Both of these verses refer not to homosexuals but to heterosexuals who took part in the baal fertility rituals in order to guarantee good crops and healthy flocks. No hint at sexual orientation or homosexuality is even implied. The word abomination in Leviticus was used for anything that was considered to be religiously unclean or associated with idol worship.

    Because these two verses in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) have been used more than any other Bible texts to condemn and reject gay and lesbian people, the following material is given to help you think objectively about traditional abusive use of the Bible regarding homosexuals.

    The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is obviously a hypocritical selective use of the Bible against gays and lesbians. Nobody today tries to keep the laws in Leviticus. Look at Leviticus 11:1-12, where all unclean animals are forbidden as food, including rabbits, pigs, and shellfish, such as oysters, shrimp, lobsters, crabs, clams, and others that are called an "abomination." Leviticus 20:25 demands that "you are to make a distinction between the clean and unclean animal and between the unclean and clean bird; and you shall not make yourself an abomination by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean." You can eat some insects like locusts (grasshoppers), but not others.

    Leviticus 12:1-8 declares that a woman is unclean for 33 days after giving birth to a boy and for 66 days after giving birth to a girl and goes on to demand that certain animals must be offered as a burnt offering and a sin offering for cleansing. Nobody today who claims to be a Christian tries to keep these laws, and few people even know about them! Why do you think that most people don't know about them?

    Read Leviticus 23 to see the detailed regulations concerning "complete rest" on the Sabbath day and demands of animal sacrifices to be carried out according to exact instructions. Leviticus 18:19 forbids a husband from having sex with his wife during her menstrual period. Leviticus 19:19 forbids mixed breeding of various kinds of cattle, sowing various kinds of seeds in your field or wearing "a garment made from two kinds of material mixed together." Leviticus 19:27 demands that "you shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard." The next verse forbids "tattoo marks on yourself." Most people do not even know that these laws are in the Bible and are demanded equally with all the others.

    Why don't fundamentalists organize protests and picket seafood restaurants, oyster bars, church barbecue suppers, all grocery stores, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and stores that sell suits and dresses made of mixed wool, cotton, polyester, and other materials? All of these products and services are "abominations" in Leviticus. When have you heard a preacher condemn the demonic abomination of garments that are made of mixed fabrics?

    The warning is given in Leviticus 26:14-16 that "If you do not obey me and do not carry out all of these commandments, if instead, you reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances so as not to carry out all my commandments ...I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up." The list of punishments and terrors that will come from not keeping all of the commandments continues through many verses.

    Read what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5 about hypocrites who judge others. "Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves... Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? ...You hypocrite!"

    If you have been led to misuse Leviticus and other parts of the Bible in order to condemn and hate and reject people, you are on the wrong path. Jesus quoted only one passage from Leviticus: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (19:18 ). Jesus used Leviticus to teach love. Many false teachers use Leviticus and other writings to condemn, humiliate and destroy. I know which approach seems truly Christian to me. Jesus never condemned homosexuals or even mentioned anything that could be taken as a reference to sexual orientation.

    Any charge against Gays and Lesbians based on the life and teachings of Jesus has to be dismissed for a lack of evidence!

    The use of Leviticus to judge and condemn anyone today is ludicrous and absurd in the light of the total content of the book. To call the content of the Book of Leviticus the "word of God" and try to enforce any part of it today is without support in the teachings of Jesus and in the letters of Paul.

    Jesus in Mark 7:18-23 chided his disciples for their lack of spiritual understanding. Jesus and his disciples had been condemned by the religious leaders because they did not wash and eat according to the Law. Jesus said, "Are you too so uncomprehending? Don't you see that whatever goes into your mouth from the outside cannot defile you; because it does not go into your heart, but into your stomach, and is eliminated? (Thus Jesus declared all foods clean."). And Jesus added, "That which proceeds from within you, out of your heart, defiles you. Evil thoughts, abusive sex acts, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, wickedness, deceit, not caring, envy, slander, arrogance and foolishness: all of these evil things proceed from within and defile you."

    Paul also rejected the absolute commands of Leviticus in Colossians 2:8-23, where he said, "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!' (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) in accordance with human commandments and teachings? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against human indulgence." (2:20-23). Paul declared in 2:14 that Jesus has "canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was hostile to us; and Jesus has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

    Many people have answered the argument that most of the "abominations" in Leviticus referred to food by saying that the people back then knew that pork was unhealthy, and that is why pigs were declared to be unclean. If you follow that logic, you would declare anything that is unhealthy to be an "abomination." We know that cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, fat food and many other things are unhealthy; so why are they not also called "abominations" and condemned by the rabid Bible literalists with protests and pickets against cigarette machines, all liquor stores and bars, all fast food outlets, and any store that sells anything that is unhealthy? The reason is simple. The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject anyone is impossible to justify in the light of the facts.

    The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is absurd and makes literal legalistic bible based religion look ridiculous.

    To me personally, the message of Jesus Christ always has been good news for everyone. Personal evangelism has been my basic emphasis in the ministry since I became pastor of a small rural church in South Carolina in 1952 when I was nineteen years old. Our little church led the Baptist Churches of South Carolina one year in per capita baptisms. In all of my churches, both Baptist and MCC, my emphasis has been personal evangelism. What is your emphasis in your ministry? I personally have led hundreds of people to Christ and taught other hundreds of people to become effective in sharing Christ with others. During all of this time I have been homosexual. I have realized that I was gay since I was a about 10 years old. God loves me just as I am and uses me in ministry that fits me and my life as an individual. I pray that you find the same thing for yourself.


    Romans 1:26-27:
    "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions: for their women exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature. And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural use of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error."
    Author's Note: All of this refers to idolatrous religious practices that were common in the time of Paul.

    Taking anything that Paul said out its context is like trying to drive a car blindfolded. You don't know where you are, where you have been, where you are going, or who you just ran over and killed!

    Paul's writings have been taken out of context and twisted to punish and oppress every identifiable minority in the world: Jews, children, women, blacks, slaves, politicians, divorced people, convicts, pro choice people, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, religious reformers, the mentally ill, and the list could go on and on. Paul is often difficult and confusing to understand. A lot of Paul's writing is very difficult to translate. Since most of his letters were written in response to news from other people, reading Paul can be like listening to one side of a telephone conversation. We know, or think we know, what Paul is saying, but we have to guess what the other side has said. As 2 Peter 3:16-18 pointed out, we have to be on guard against using Paul's writings in unhealthy and destructive ways.

    When I taught a college course in the Book of Romans, I decided to memorize Romans, as Augustine suggested. The effort paid off. Being able to visualize the message of Romans as a whole immediately cleared up a lot of Paul's thought that I had not been able to untangle before by traditional means of study. It helped so much that I continued to memorize the books of the Bible that I taught in college courses.

    The theme of the first 3 chapters of Romans is expressed in 1:16: "The gospel is the power of God for spiritual freedom (salvation) for all who believe." Paul showed that all people equally need and can have Jesus in their lives. Paul's gospel is inclusive, as expressed in Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

    Romans 1:26-27 is part of Paul's vigorous denunciation of idolatrous religious worship and rituals. Read all of Romans 1:18 to 2:4 for the context of the verses.

    Romans 1:26-27 contains some words used only here by Paul. Familiar words are used here in unusual ways. The passage is very difficult to translate. The argument is directed against some form of idolatry that would have been known to Paul's readers. To us, 2,000 years later and in a totally different culture, the argument is vague and indirect.

    Verse 25 is clearly a denunciation of idol worship, "For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature and not the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."." Paul at no point in his writing dealt with same-sex orientation or the expression of love and affection between two people of the same sex who love each other.

    Paul wrote Romans from Corinth, the second largest city in the empire and the crossroads of world trade and culture. Pausanius observed at about the same time as Paul that there were over 1,000 religions in Corinth. The most prominent were the fertility cult of Aphrodite, worship of Apollo, and the Delphi Oracle, which was across the bay from Corinth. Paul's readers would have been aware of the religious climate from which he wrote Romans and would have understood Paul a lot better than we do.

    The word "passions" in 1:26 is the same word used to speak of the suffering and death of Jesus in Acts 1:3 and does not mean what we mean by "passion" today. Eros is the Greek word for romantic love, but eros is never used even once in the New Testament. "Passions" in 1:26 probably refers to the frenzied state of mind that many ancient mystery cults induced in worshipers by means of wine, drugs and music.

    We do not know the meaning of "burn" in 1:27, because Paul never used this particular word anywhere else, and it's origin is uncertain. The term "against nature" is also strange here, since exactly the same term is used by Paul in Romans 11:21-24 to speak of God acting "against nature" by including the Gentiles with the Jews in the family of God. "Against nature" was used to speak of something that was not done in the usual way, but did not necessarily mean that something "against nature" was evil, since God also "acted against nature."

    One more word needs special attention. "Committing indecent acts" in 1:27 is translated by King James Version as "working that which is unseemly." Phillips goes far beyond the evidence and renders it as "Shameful horrors!" The Greek word is askemosunen and is formed of the word for "outer appearance" plus the negative particle. It speaks of the inner or hidden part or parts of the individual that are not ordinarily seen or known in public. "Indecent" in 1 Corinthians 12:23 referred to the parts of the body that remain hidden but are necessary and receive honor. 1 Corinthians 13:5 used the word to say that love does not behave "indecently."

    This word for "indecency" was used to translate Deuteronomy 24:1 into Greek to say that a man could divorce his wife if he "found some indecency in her." The religious teachers argued endlessly about what "some indecency" meant. Some said it was anything that displeased the husband. Others were more strict and said it could only refer to adultery. In Matthew 19:1-12, Jesus commented on Deuteronomy 24:1-4, but he did not define the term.

    Paul was certainly aware of the variety of ways that the teachers interpreted the word "indecency," and he used it in a variety of ways himself. To read into "indecent acts" a whole world of homosexual ideas is to abandon the realities of objective academic study and to embark on useless and damaging speculation that cannot be supported by the meaning of the word or by Paul's use of it elsewhere.

    If Paul had intended to condemn homosexuals as the worst of all sinners, he certainly had the language skills to do a clearer job of it than emerges from Romans 1:26-27. The fact is that Paul nowhere condemned or mentioned romantic love and sexual relations between people of the same sex who love each other. Paul never commented on sexual orientation. As in the rest of the Bible, Paul nowhere even hinted that Lesbians and Gay men can or should change their sexual orientation.

    SPECIAL NOTE on Romans 1:31, where the King James Version translated the Greek word astorgous as "without natural affection." This is one of the characteristics of people "with a reprobate mind" (KJV of 1:28 ). The word for "reprobate" is more recently translated as "depraved" or "perverted" in order more neatly to fit the sexualizing of everything possible in the list. The literal meaning of "reprobate" (Greek dokimon) is "to fail to measure up" or "to fail to meet the test" and simply means that the list of things that follows is the result of a mind that has abandoned God. The word astorgous, "without natural affection," is used only here and in 2 Timothy 3:3. It has nothing at all to do with homosexuality or with sex. It is the Greek word for "family love" or "family ties" with the negative prefix. It refers to people who despise and reject their family members. Rather than being directed at homosexuals, it is a term that is directed at people who despise and reject their own homosexual children and brothers and sisters! Modern translators, knowing this, usually render the word as "unloving," and the implication of some sort of "unnatural" or "perverted" affection is removed. Many more translation corrections are needed elsewhere!

    The use of Romans 1:26-27 against homosexuals turns out to be a blunt instrument to batter and wound people who were not intended in the original text. Paul clearly taught throughout Romans, Galatians and his other letters that God's freely given and all inclusive love is for every person on earth. Notice what Paul said about judging others in Romans 2:1: "Therefore you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."

    I Corinthians 6:9:
    "The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God."
    Author's Note: The Greek words translated "effeminate" and "homosexual" do not mean effeminate or homosexual!

    I Timothy 1:9-10:
    "Law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) teaching."
    Author's Note: The Greek word translated "homosexual" does not mean homosexual!

    These two verses contain completely wrong translations to create "homosexual ghosts" that do not really exist! Ghosts may not hurt you, but they can make you hurt yourself! The homosexual ghosts in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 were created by the inaccurate and intentionally misleading translation of two Greek words.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 sound very convincing in including lesbians and gay men in the most dreadful lists of depraved human behavior imaginable. The fact is that the word translated "homosexual" does not mean "homosexual" and the word translated "effeminate" does not mean "effeminate"!

    The English word "homosexual" is a composite word made from a Greek term (homo, "the same") and a Latin term (sexualis , "sex"). The term "homosexual" is of modern origin and was not used until about 100 years ago. There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is parallel to the word "homosexual." No Bible before the Revised Standard Version in 1946 used "homosexual" in any Bible translation.

    The word translated as "homosexual" or "sexual pervert" or some other similar term is Greek arsenokoites, which was formed from two words meaning "male" and "bed". This word is not found anywhere else in the Bible and has not been found anywhere in the contemporary Greek of Paul's time. We do not know what it means. The word is obscure and uncertain. It probably refers to male prostitutes with female customers, which was a common practice in the Roman world, as revealed in the excavations at Pompeii and other sites.

    When early Greek speaking Christian preachers condemned homosexuality, they did not use this word. John Chrysostom (A.D. 345-407) preached in Greek against homosexuality, but he never used this word for homosexuals, and when he preached on 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, he did not mention homosexuals. See the full discussion of this in John Boswell's book: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality - Appendix 1, "Lexicography and Saint Paul," pages 335-353.

    "Soft" does not mean "effeminate." The word translated "effeminate in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is Greek malakoi and means "soft" or "vulnerable." The word is translated as "soft" in reference to clothing in Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25 and as "illness" in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35. It is not used anywhere else in the New Testament and carries no hint of reference to sexual orientation. Malakoi in 1 Corinthians 6:9 probably refers those who are "soft," "pliable," "unreliable," or "without courage or stability." The translation of malakoi as "effeminate" is incorrect, ignorant, degrading to women, and impossible to justify based on ancient usage compared to the meaning of "effeminate" today.

    This incorrect rendering of malakoi and arsenokoites as references to gender orientation has been disastrous for millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual people. This mistaken translation has enlisted a mighty army of ignorant religious fanatics against homosexual people and has turned many Lesbians and Gays against the Bible, which holds for them as for all people the good news of God's love in Christ.

    Evil homophobic Bible "translations from hell" must not go unchallenged. The use of these translations by ignorant religious bigots to incite fear and hate against Gays demands a clear, academically sound, credible and easily understood response. Material given in this web site is only a beginning. Every Bible word that has been incorrectly used to wound, alienate and oppress people must be examined in detail and carefully exposed. God has called us to return the Bible to the oppressed and outcast people for whom it was written.

    Three of the passages: Genesis 19:5; I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10 are incorrectly translated. The other three: Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27 are taken out of their original setting of condemning idolatrous religious practices and wrongly used to judge and condemn people of the same sex who love each other. None of these passages refer to people of the same sex who love each other. None originally were aimed at homosexuals.

     
  3. Stained_Class

    Stained_Class Member

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    I do believe you would find more "discussions" on this forum if you posted your own IDEAS about this topic than blindly just cutting & pasting from arbitrary websites. Just a suggestion.

    No Bible before the Revised Standard Version in 1946 used "homosexual" in any Bible translation.

    This is very, very important. My Bible, first published in 1909, and revised periodically until 1945, states I Corinthians 6:9 as "nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind".

    Which means we are asking the wrong questions, and instead should be asking "how do we use language to control people?".
     
  4. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    I didn't blindly cut and paste. I've read it all many, many times, not only on that website, but others as well. I purposefully did not post my own thoughts on this topic because I wanted people's reaction to what was written. Thanks for the suggestion though. :goodjob:
     
  5. ErikaLee

    ErikaLee Member

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    I agree that there is very little in the Bible to condemn homosexuality. But I also can't find anything in the Bible that describes Mary Magdalane as a prostitute. That seems off the subject, but it is not, in my opinion.

    I believe there are a good many things that I call "liberties" taken on behalf of the Clergy and the sculptors of the Bible to change things or add things or just to say things and get them spread by word of mouth, that are done solely to keep in line with ideas that they would like to keep.

    But I do have to disagree.... in the Bible, when they say to "know", they mean to have intercourse with. Adam knew Eve and they bore children.

    Oh, and Stained, quit picking on Maize. You're being argumentative and hateful and you know it. I would prefer you don't start talking to me like I'M a child and you're a Wise Man. See if you can work that out.

    EL
     
  6. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    I agree vith the view that there are no Bible verses relating to what we today mean by "homosexual" etc.

    One problem with especially OT interpretations, as mentioned, is, that the vocabulary is very limited indeed. To make things still worse, there are lots of euphemisms, to avoid plain language, and the meaning of many of those are lost. Recently, when trying to defend Ruth against the allegation in a textbook of Bible science that she had been "engaged in irregular sexual activities", I found (in addition to "know" = "enter") that "to overshadow" (Lk 1:35) by spreading the "wing" or "cloak" over a woman was another euphemism for marital relations." (Having compared numerous interpretations in several languages, I came to the conclusion that Ruth behaved with the utmost decency.) - The confusion regarding references to certain parts of the body is even worse.

    If the literal text of the Bible was meant to convey a static message, valid for all times, the all-knowing, all-powerful God would have made copies in today's languages. Well, he/she/it did not, so when reading the Bible, we obviously must try to get behind the written words to find the message.

    Anders
     
  7. CJW

    CJW Member

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    So you're essentially saying, "Did the Bible really say?"

    Interesting who in the Bible says, "Did God really say?"
     
  8. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    Not quite, what I am saying is that the Bible is very difficult to interpret today, for believers as well for the rest of us.
     
  9. w00t

    w00t Active Member

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    As far as I know Jesus never condemned homosexuality, so that is good enough for me. Not all of the Bible readily fits 21 Century ideas. For instance slavery was not condemned, yet we know it to be very wrong. Therefore the attitude to gay people was of its time, but does not relate to how we should perceive them today.
     
  10. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    I'm going to bump this thread back to the top of the forum because we seem to keep getting off topic in the Gay Marriage thread and addressing issues that should belong here. So if you have something you'd like to say about homosexuality and religion in general, post it here, not the gay marriage thread.

    Also, the title of this thread is The Bible and Homosexuality, but it does not have to exclude the teachings of other religions. Let's open the discussion to all religions and what they have to say, or don't say, about homosexuality.

    Thank you,
    Maize
     
  11. CJW

    CJW Member

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    It seems to me that the other thread consisted mainly of moderators saying whatever they wanted to and going at great length on a great variety of topics. But then whenever they were in a tight spot, "Oh, we need to talk about only gay marriage now." As if everything else had nothing to do with it. At any rate....

    As to the notion of same sex "marriage":
    Legally, only one form of sexuality has been sanctioned by the state. This is because it promotes the general welfare, stability, etc., to do so. This is based on objective facts. No other forms of sexuality have been promoted. Objective facts do not indicate that they ought to be. This is the status quo. There is nothing wrong with it as it is based on sound logic and facts. But now, one group of people self defines by their sexual desires and says, "This is who I am." Etc.etc. Sexual desires is also what Hedonists apparently believe that laws ought to be based on. They define themselves by them so why not the law too, I suppose? And so subjective and relative sexual desires that some people have chosen to self define by and base cultures/"communities" on are supposedly a sound basis for law. This is absurd but typical to decadent civilizations. Note how I didn't say that anyone simply chooses their desires. So no one need begin sniveling about how they are supposedly the hapless victim of their own desires, so that this gives them an excuse to be ruled by and defined by them, etc. None of us choose are desires as in, "Hmmm, I think I'll like this today!" But we still make numerous choices about them and evidence indicates that we do have a part in shaping them. Note the fact that law ought to be based on objective realities and the general welfare is being thrown out the window in favor of the subjective.

    Now, someone may say this has nothing to do with "gay marriage." Which is nonsense, noting the law and how some seek to alter morality and law to suit the sexual desires that they define themselves by has everything to do with it. Hmmm, I wonder if I can self define by my own desires and then declare that the state give me whatever I want based on that?
     
  12. CJW

    CJW Member

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    As to the Bible and homosexuality.... you don't need some religious text to know that homosexuality is wrong. All you need to do is admit to some basic common senses, e.g. there is a Creator/Designer. Once you do that such a basic conclusion of the designed complementarity of the sexes cannot be denied logically. And even if you don't do that... atheists also go to all the movies celebrating Romance based on this designed complementarity, etc. They enjoy the same books and plays, etc. It is pervasive in all civilized cultures. It is a basic fact of life that need not be denied. That ought not be denied because objective facts show that it is destructive to do so. It seems that those who do deny it tend to do so for religious reasons. E.g. denying the designed complementarity of the Yin and the Yang just because it is also be referred to in the Bible or Christianity and they disagree with Christianity.
     
  13. CJW

    CJW Member

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    Jesus never did away with Natural Law nor the Jewish exposition of it. The point of His coming was to atone and not to do away with the Law. Indeed, if the Law is done away with then there is no need for atonement.

    As to your views on slavery, if what you say is true then why were the abolitionists generally thought of as "religious zealots" and why did they base their claims on the Bible?

    e.g.
    "Familiarity with that great story of redemption, when
    God raised up the slave-born Moses to deliver His
    chosen people from bondage, and with that sublimer
    story where our Saviour died a cruel death that all
    men, without distinction of race, might be saved,
    makes slavery impossible.
    Because Christians are in the minority there is no reason
    for renouncing Christianity, or for surrendering to the false
    religions...."
    --Charles Sumner, staunch abolitionist
    and one of the founders of the Republican Party

    "It is pretended, that I am retarding the cause of emancipation
    by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy
    of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my
    influence--humble as it is--is felt at
    this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming
    years--not perniciously, but beneficially--not as a curse, but as a
    blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to
    thank God, that he enables me to disregard "the fear of man which bringeth a snare," and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power."
    (William Lloyd Garrison 1805-1879)

    Garrison was publisher of The Liberator, founded the American
    Anti-Slavery Society in 1833 and had hundreds
    of death threats made against him for politically
    incorrect views which went against the cultural
    and economic "special interests" of the day.

    He stood against a pro-slavery government, laws, court
    decisions, public opinion and "science" i.e. scientific
    theories that led to the notion that blacks were "biologically inferior."
     
  14. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    Because the Bible can be read and interpreted many different ways. That's why one person's view of what it says should not be forced upon another.
     
  15. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    I suppose this comes back to the question of, "Is homosexuality a choice or not?" I would say you have a point, except that I don't believe homosexuality is a choice, I know it's much more complicated than that, and millions of people feel the same way. Funny how it's only the non-homosexuals who claim it's choice and therefore should be discriminated against and punished. I've never heard a gay person say, "I'm really attracted to the opposite sex, but I like being an outcast in my society and threatened and beaten up and denied rights, so I chose to have a same-sex partner. Yep, sounds like fun!" Come on, that's not how it happens. Do you really believe people would chose to be treated this way? A person no more chooses to be gay then they choose whether to be right or left handed. The only real choice a gay person ha is between a closeted life of denial and fear or the strength and freedom that comes from telling the truth.

    Gays* are not asking for whatever we want based on our different sexuality, as you claimed. Gays are asking for equal rights, which we feel we do not have right now because we are denied the right to marry the partner we love. Now, before you say "marriage is a privilege, not a right," in Loving v Virginia (1967) the US Supreme Court defined marriage as a fundamental human right.

    Also, notice in all the laws that protect a person's civil rights, "sexual orientation" includes both gay and straight people. No one is asking special treatment but merely the same equal rights that others already enjoy.

    But I'm sure you, and others, still believe it is a choice. So please tell me what makes you think it is a choice and why someone would chose it in the face of all this discrimination and intolerance.

    *note: I use the word "Gays" to refer to all those in the GLBT community.
     
  16. CJW

    CJW Member

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    Maize, in language and texts whenever you write something you are in the process of saying you are right. In communicating it to someone else you are "forcing" what you write upon another. It is not an issue of whether or not we judge, it is how we judge. Your argument needs to be refined to, "I don't think we can know the truth of the Bible. Therefore, we cannot use it as a guide." The mere fact that people disagree is no argument at all. All one has to do to refute it is say, "Well, I interpret the text you wrote differently than you. Therefore, there is no truth in it that is transferrable." I.e. no truth that we can get to that would be transferrable to another. I leave it to you to refine your argument how you want to. But as it stands, "Because people disagree about something, I conclude this...." is not sound logic.

    It is sound logic to look at what the text says and to look at objective historical facts. E.g., the Nazis sought to eliminate the "ethical code worship of the Jews" and their racism was Nature/immanence based. The Nazis forbid the publishing of the Bible/Word. In contrast, the abolitionists fiercely believed in that ethical code and the typology it is based on and their humanism was God/transcedence based. And they sought to adhere to transcedent principles expressed in the Word.
     
  17. CJW

    CJW Member

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    "I suppose this comes back to the question of, 'Is homosexuality a choice or not?'"

    I think what was said with respect to the state promoting only one form of sexuality was pretty clear. Whether there is an element of choice in sexual desires or not is irrelevant to the law. It's really not clear why you bring this up. When I say, "Well, can I self define by my own desires and then declare that the state cater to them too?" Whether I choose my desires or not is irrelevant. The key point is that law is beginning to be based on subjective desires, self definitions/"identities" and the like instead of the objective general welfare. These type of notions are destructive. The dissolution of the basic objective categories of male and female in favor of subjective categories such as "gay" and "straight" is indicative of the decline of a civilization.

    "Do you really believe people would chose to be treated this way?"

    You may have an image in your head that has nothing to do with reality. How many millions of gays are there vs. the imagery of victimization built upon the rickety foundation of relatively few instances of homophobia. If self defined gays really suffer pervasive discrimination on a par with black people then why are they among the most elite class of citizens in America? In fact, it's not really clear that there's any other more elite class, in general. Marketing surveys demonstrate that they generally make more money than the majority of other demographics. They go to college at rates much, much higher than black people. And so on. In fact, in many ways as a self defined class of citizens they are catered to in the culture and looked up to in some ways. I can quote you some self defined gays who claim to have chosen "to be gay." And so on and so forth. But at any rate, this talk about what choices are being made is irrelevant to the law and the ethical codes of religion. So, it would really be an irrelevant tangent to go into it. The way you frame the issue indicates that you are not dealing with it in a logical and evidential manner though. It seems that you're dealing with it in an emotional manner. There wouldn't be any thing wrong with investing emotional capital in your position if it was correct. But it seems that actually you've invested emotional capital in a position of "Gay=Victim" before verifying that it's factually and logically correct.

    "Gays* are not asking for whatever we want based on our different sexuality, as you claimed."

    Gay = different sexuality

    Essentially, all you said was, "People of different sexuality are not asking for whatever we want based on our different sexuality..." This is clearly specious. I could self define myself by some desires too. Perhaps I'll be an, "I want to have money person." Then, I'll declare that the state is discriminating against me. After all, the state gives some other people money but not me. In the interest of treating all people equally I should get the same amount of money as anyone else. Or I could self define as an "I want some food person." Because the state gives some people food but doesn't give all "I want some food people." food this is an instance of inequality and injustice that must be rectified. Of course my activism as an "I want some food person." would go nowhere unless an "I want some food person." identity was built up for many years first. But it is still just as illogical after the cultural identity of "I want some food person." is built up over many years as it is to say it now.

    "Gays are asking for equal rights...."

    When a group of people can self define by their own desires and then declare that they don't have the same rights as everyone else it is indicative of the end of civilization.

    "...which we feel we do not have right now because we are denied the right to marry the partner we love."

    When it comes to the law it is based on the objective general welfare. The state is not in the business of validating people's subjective love, even that of people who feel they need such validation. I.e. people who seem to know in their hearts that what they are calling "love" is not and so need some sort of external validation.
     
  18. amanda

    amanda Member

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    1 cor. 6:9 and 1 tim 1:10condemns homosexuals. It is said they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Its not gods plan. He made man for woman and woman for man. I cannot understand why people are so blind to the truth. People say they were born that way. God said he made all men upright. He condemns it why would he make it. Its a choice. If someone is having sexual feelings for the same sex it doesn't mean you have to act out on it. Whats more important your soul or being gay. People ignore the scriptures like its not even there. I don't hate homosexualls. I hate there sin. When god talks about marriage, he talks about man and woman, never man and man or woman and woman. The bible is Gods will for us. We are not supposed to ad or take away from the book rev. 22:18,19. What is the world coming to. Nobody can make an arguement that it is okay. Show me a passage in the bible that it is okay. Homosexuality is a choice.
     
  19. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, not out there someplace. If we are going to follow the Bible word for word, then I hope none of us eat pork or in the same room as a woman who is menstruating.
     
  20. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    This has to be BY FAR, my favorite anti-gay/racial/pagan/whathaveyou statement. I love how people throw it around in a vain effort to make themselves seem/feel far less bigoted... its like saying "I don't hate (Insert minority here) I just don't think they should be here/vote/marry/go to the same schools."

    if you go by what the bible says is ok, I hope you dont talk in church...
    1 Cor.14:34-36 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

    or wear pants...
    Deut 22:5
    The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

    wa:-do
     
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