Showing posts with label The Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Bible. Show all posts

December 21, 2019

Vatican Publishes Reducing The Cause for The Reason Sodome Was Destroyed "Lack of Hospitality"

Image result for sodome et gomorrhe
 Sodome on fire. Reminds of San Francisco on fire. I wonder if they committed the same things. Of course not, just proving a point. When we discussed this story at length the class agree and did the teacher that this place never existed and if it did any act of nature, any storm, etc.,  can be blamed on anything or anyone.

The following is the posting of a News media which reports on the Catholic Church and the Vatican.
I am publishing here to see how they are changing the definitions of stories people quote all the time thinking it means one thing when it means another. For example on the well-mentioned story around the world of Sodom and Gomorrah and how got pissed at them and destroyed them. The Vatican now says that it happened because of the inhospitable of the mob. I am glad. When I was studying this story in the seminary we concluded it was a parable or story which is usually not true but to teach us the truth. The story is more than fire and brimstone. 

Two men (which could have been angels but definite they were strangers to him but he knew they were important). He offered his two virgin daughters to the visitors to sleep with them that night. So as you read the story you see many things that were wrong, sins if you will that were committed by different factions. The story holds many truths, not just one. I am mentioning this to you not to give you a seminary lesson but because this story is been used against gays through the years. This was one of the stories the pastor of my ex sat with us at the table in our home(after  Bill my ex, he had been kicked out of the church by phone because he came out gay). We discussed this particular story and he told me he agreed. As a Matter of fact, after discussing every single verse in the Bible that sounds anti-gay, he called it a draw. Now I am glad the church is telling its followers there is more than one interpretation in the bible and you cannot get hung up one particular one because, on some, we don't know unless we have supporting evidence like a witness who wrote something and it was found. 

People like me have dedicated the younger part of my life trying to correct this to anyone who listens. To my family who never really care to change what they already thought they knew. They, do call themselves Christians. I call them Christians without Christ. 

If we learn anything from the whole Bible is to be careful what human beings we throw aside, to hell or anyplace else because we don' know the whole story. 

No, I'm not a Bleeding heart liberal, just liberal because I do believe in the death-sentenced (highly controlled with federal laws). Some people have no right to be on this earth and maybe we are doing them a favor by sending them away but they should no longer, after learning what jail is, should not be around and breathe our air after taking some else' for no reason.
Any questions about this posting feel free to ask.
Adam Gonzalez, Publisher, Ex Seminarian

Now the LifeSite News:

ROME, December 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In what many see as an effort to normalize homosexuality in the Catholic Church, the Vatican has released a new book that reduces the “sin of Sodom” (Genesis 19:1–29) to “a lack of hospitality.”
“The story about the city of Sodom … illustrates a sin that consists in the lack of hospitality, with hostility and violence towards the stranger, a behavior judged to be very serious and therefore deserving to be sanctioned with the utmost severity,” the new book asserts. Sources consulted by LifeSite described the book as “utter banality” and “obviously ridiculous.” One theologian exclaimed, “Thank God this stuff isn’t magisterial.”
The new volume, titled What Is Man? An Itinerary of Biblical Anthropology (Che cosa è l’uomo? Un itinerario di antropologia biblica), was released on December 16 by the Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) and endeavors to examine the scriptural understanding of the human person. Jesuit Father Pietro Bovati, secretary for the Pontifical Biblical Commission, said the work was carried out at the express wish of Pope Francis.
With a preface by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, S.J., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the volume is composed of four chapters: The human being created by God (ch. 1); The human being in the garden (ch. 2); The human family (ch. 3); and the human being in history (ch. 4).
Its 10-page treatment of homosexuality comes in chapter three, in a section entitled “transgressive ways” that also includes incest, adultery, and prostitution.
The treatment on homosexuality begins by affirming that “the institution of marriage, constituted by the stable relationship between husband and wife, is constantly presented as evident and normative through the entire biblical tradition. There are no examples of legally recognized ‘unions’ between persons of the same sex.”
The commission then notes the emergence, particularly in the West, of “voices of dissent” with respect to the “anthropological approach of scripture, as understood and conveyed by the church in its normative aspects.”
The authors continue:
All this is judged to be a reflection of an archaic, historically conditioned mentality. We know that various biblical affirmations, in the cosmological, biological and sociological spheres, have been gradually considered outdated with the progressive affirmation of the natural and human sciences; similarly — it is deduced by some — a new and more adequate understanding of the human person imposes a radical reservation on the exclusive value of heterosexual unions, in favor of a similar acceptance of homosexuality and homosexual unions as a legitimate and worthy expression of the human being. What is more — it is sometimes argued — the Bible says little or nothing about this type of erotic relationship, which should therefore not be condemned, also because it is often unduly confused with other aberrant sexual behavior. It therefore seems necessary to examine the passages of Sacred Scripture in which the homosexual problem is the subject of homosexuality, in particular those in which it is denounced and criticized.
This paragraph has been misquoted in the media to make it seem as though the PBC endorses positions whose existence it merely notes. However, in noting the existence of these radical dissenting voices, it positions itself rhetorically between them and the traditional teaching of the Church. Therefore, the document is certainly not without blame in this question, as it is employing a rhetorical strategy to move the perceived teaching of the Church toward the radical gender ideology of our day, without attempting to reverse the whole of that distance in a single bound.
An informed source in Rome commented on the book’s treatment of homosexuality, saying: “This book is utter banality, which is evidenced first and foremost in the fact that it can be abused by everyone.”

Sodom’s inhospitable mob

While the Pontifical Biblical Commission cannot straightforwardly be accused of simply endorsing the positions voiced above, it certainly goes a long way in insinuating them, particularly in its treatment of the sin of Sodom.
The commission, in fact, examines several Old and New Testament passages (Gen. 19, Judges 19, Lev. 18:22 and 20:13). The analysts preface their examination, noting that “the Bible does not speak of the erotic inclination towards a person of the same sex, but only of homosexual acts.”
Turning to the “sin of Sodom” and the city’s total destruction by divine justice for a “wickedness” beyond remedy (Gen 19:1–29), the biblical commission asks: “But what was Sodom’s sin, that deserved such an exemplary punishment?”
The authors observe that “in other passages of the Hebrew Bible which refer to Sodom’s guilt, there is no allusion to a sexual transgression practiced against people of the same sex.” Instead, they note, these passages (Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:49) speak of “betrayal,” of “adultery,” and of “pride.”
The commission concludes that a “significant [Old Testament] biblical tradition, attested by the prophets, has labeled Sodom (and Gomorrah) with the emblematic, but generic, the title of the evil city.”
But, they argue, at the dawn of the New Testament (particularly 2 Pt 2:6–10 and Jude 7), in the second century, a “different interpretation” of the sin of Sodom began to emerge and became the “customary reading” of the biblical account. 
“The city of Sodom is then blamed for an unseemly sexual practice called ‘sodomy,’ consisting of the erotic relationship with people of the same sex,” the commission writes.
The PBC continues: “This would seem to have, at first sight, clear support in the biblical narrative. In Genesis 19 it is said, in fact, that two ‘angels’ (v.1), hosted for the night in Lot’s house, are besieged by the ‘men of Sodom,’ young and old, the whole population (v.4), with the intention of sexually abusing these strangers (v.5).”
Turning the traditional understanding of the sin of Sodom on its head, the Pontifical Biblical Commission then makes this claim: “The story, however, is not intended to present the image of an entire city dominated by irrepressible homosexual cravings; rather, it denounces the conduct of a social and political entity that does not want to welcome the foreigner with respect, and therefore claims to humiliate him, forcing him to undergo an infamous treatment of submission.”
Confidence in their interpretation, the commission members write: “This way of reading the story of Sodom is confirmed by Wisdom, (19:13–17) where the exemplary punishment of sinners (first Sodom and then Egypt) is motivated by the fact that they had shown a deep hatred towards the foreigner.”
The commission concludes:
We must therefore say that the story about the city of Sodom (as well as that of Gabaa) illustrates a sin that consists in the lack of hospitality, with hostility and violence towards the stranger, a behavior judged very serious and therefore deserving to be sanctioned with the utmost severity, because the rejection of the different, of the needy and defenseless stranger, is a principle of social disintegration, having in itself a deadly violence that deserves an adequate punishment.
LifeSite consulted a theologian, who, speaking on condition of anonymity, offered these thoughts:
The idea that the Sodomites attacked Lot’s house not because they were consumed by perverted lust but because they were so hostile to immigration that they could not bear the thought of Lot entertaining two guests is obviously ridiculous. Were they concerned that these were just the beginning of a huge influx of Angels who were going to flood into Sodom, completely changing the character of the city until a rational animal hardly felt at home there anymore with the bars and restaurants overflowing with immaterial beings? It is obvious that voracious perversion and not a lack of tolerance for the ‘other’ is the source of the Sodomites’ crimes.

Spinning the abomination

In its book-length study, the Pontifical Biblical Commission then examines Leviticus, which says: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,” punishable by death (18:22; 20:13).
Noting that this sin is counted among “incest and other sexual deviations,” the commission observes that “the legislator gives no reasons, neither for the prohibition nor for the severe penalty imposed. We may, however, consider that the Leviticus law intended to protect and promote the exercise of sexuality open to procreation, in accordance with the Creator’s command to human beings (Gen 1:28).”

Subject to discernment?

Moving to the New Testament, the Commission affirms that the “reason for homosexuality” does not appear in the Gospels but is presented in three of St. Paul’s letters (Rm. 1:26–27; 1 Cor. 6:9; and 1 Tim. 1:10). The authors consider what they call the “lists of sins” offered by St. Paul and note that in 1 Cor. 6:9–10, male sodomy is preceded by adultery and effeminate behavior and is “sanctioned by exclusion from the Kingdom.” They note that other sins (like avarice and calumny) are subject to discernment, as their gravity may be more or less from case to case. The New Testament, they argue, enables us to see that “for Christians, the practice of homosexuality is considered a grave sin.”
Commenting on Paul’s Letter to the Romans (1:18–27), the Pontifical Biblical Commission stresses the connection between idolatry (1:20–25) and sexual deviation (1:26–27). The Pauline text reveals that “man ought to see in a sexuality that no longer recognizes ‘natural’ differences the symptom of his distorted notion of truth.” Man’s failure to acknowledge the true God, the commission notes, leads to “societal disorder and violence” (1:29–31).
The Pontifical Biblical Commission thus ends its treatment on homosexuality saying:
The exacting examination conducted on the texts of the Old and New Testaments has revealed elements that must be considered for an evaluation of homosexuality, in its ethical implications. Certain formulations of biblical authors, as well as the disciplinary directives of Leviticus, require an intelligent interpretation that safeguards the values that the sacred text intends to promote, thus avoiding repeating to the letter what it carries with it, even cultural traits of that time. The contribution provided by the human sciences, together with the reflection of theologians and moral theologians, will be indispensable for an adequate exposition of the issue, which has only been sketched out in this document.
“Furthermore,” they conclude, “pastoral attention will be required, particularly with regard to individuals, in order to carry out that service of good which the Church has to assume in its mission for people.”
Pope Paul VI removed the magisterial role of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1971, and since then it has functioned as a consultative body or think-tank. The difficulty of reconciling its documents with the teaching of the Church on the inerrancy of Scripture has been evident for some time.

January 25, 2019

American Bible Society Tells Its Employees to Affirm No Sex and Go To Church or They Will Be Terminated

My first question is, what the hell are they doing working there? Ok, ok they need a job. So, Woulf the courts get involve to resolve the isssue? Im not curious to find out how will the Trumpie Supreme Judges will vote. Adam

(RNS) — Employees at the American Bible Society have until the end of this month to sign a statement promising that they will attend church and abstain from sex before marriage, which it defines as between a man and a woman.

Anyone who doesn’t sign the Affirmation of Biblical Community will be out of a job effective Feb. 1.

The new policy was introduced by the society’s board in December 2017, giving employees 13 months to decide whether to sign. While the statement essentially consists of conservative Christian beliefs, the effect of the policy will be to allow the society to terminate LGBT employees and unmarried heterosexuals who are not celibate.

Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society. Photo courtesy of American Bible Society

So far 36 people have quit their jobs, only a slightly higher number than in previous years, according to Roy Peterson, the society’s president and CEO.

Those departures represent a little less than 20 percent of the society’s workforce. But several have explicitly resigned in protest of the affirmation, and more are expected to resign by the end of the month.

In a statement responding to questions from Religion News Service, Peterson said the affirmation policy “was introduced because we believe a staff made up of people with a deep and personal connection to the Bible will bring unity and clarity as we continue our third century of ministry.”

At least one board member may be a casualty of negative reaction to the new policy. Angela F. Williams, the CEO of Easter Seals, a nonprofit providing disability services, resigned earlier this month. She had served as vice president of the American Bible Society’s board.

Williams would not comment on why she stepped down, but her departure came a week after a former American Bible Society employee, Jeremy Gimbel, confronted Easter Seals on social media, asking why its CEO serves on the board of an organization that “discriminates against LGBT individuals.”

Easter Seals does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status, according to a 2014 policy manual.

“I feel like the world needs to know what this organization really stands for,” said Gimbel, a gay man who had worked for the American Bible Society for 10 years as a web services manager before quitting last year after the affirmation policy was introduced.

Jeremy Gimbel, a 34-year-old gay man who had worked for the American Bible Society for 10 years, quit after the ABS adopted a new affirmation policy. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Gimbel

He penned a blog post about the experience in which he wrote: “I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how it would feel to sit amongst my colleagues, some of whom I’d worked beside for almost 10 years, and be told by the president of American Bible Society that I was no longer welcome there. No longer wanted. No longer good enough.”

Another gay man who said his position was eliminated last month told of numerous vacancies and at least one department gutted.

“The people they have lost have hurt this company like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. He declined to be named because his severance package requires him not to say anything negative about the organization.

The policy cements a shift that began in the 1990s for the organization — founded in 1816 to publish, distribute and translate the Bible — away from its ecumenical roots toward a narrower evangelical identity.

Beginning in the 1990s, the American Bible Society changed its constitution to make it a ministry that undertakes “Scripture engagement.” Previously the charter said the society published Bibles “without note or comment.”

Last year, the organization scuffled with a group of academics who protested the American Bible’s Society’s recently acquired .bible domain name because it excluded any group with a scholarly or secular orientation from using the internet network address. Its policies prohibit any content that “advocates belief in any religious or faith tradition other than orthodox Christianity or Judaism,” barring those critical of religious traditions or views considered unorthodox by ABS.

Since the introduction of the affirmation policy, the American Bible Society has also moved ahead with plans to open a $60 million museum on Independence Mall in Philadelphia on the ground floor of its headquarters. The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, which is slated to open next year, will “demonstrate how the Bible has changed those who changed America,” said Peterson.

Local Projects, the group that designed the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, is developing the interactive exhibits, which include five galleries and a 3D immersive theater.

“The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center invites visitors of all backgrounds to discover the relationship and role of faith and liberty in fostering core American values and to discover what these values mean for themselves,” Peterson wrote.

The museum is expected to draw 250,000 visitors annually.

Just a note from

A Long Tradition Of Gay Marriage

As churches struggle with the issue of homosexuality, a long tradition of same sex marriage indicates that the Christian attitude toward same sex unions may not always have been as "straight" as is now suggested. A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine's monastery on Mt. Sinai. 
It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The husband and wife are in fact two men.
St. Serge and St. Bacchus

Is the icon suggesting that a
homosexual or same sex marriage 
is one sanctified by Christ?

The very idea seems initially shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St. Serge and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.
While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that "we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life." More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St. Serge is openly described as the "sweet companion and lover" of St. Bacchus.
In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple who enjoyed a celebrated gay marriage. Their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their gay marriage.

October 24, 2018

"Dead Sea Scrolls" Bible Museum Admits Some Are Found to be Fakes

Image result for Bible Museum says five of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake
Five of the dead sea scrolls are fake
During my years at the seminary, I remember one of the younger teachers telling me about the find of the dead sea scrolls (discovered from the late 1940s to 1956). He was so excited like if he believed the Bible had been authenticated by the scrolls. Taking the elevated train in Brooklyn headed towards Manhattan with one of the older teachers on a Saturday afternoon, I remember discussing how did the bible came to be and how most people in churches don't know. "They think God put the Bible in a matchbox and sent it down to earth." I laughed but I knew his point.

With the dead sea scrolls, it was like God had done something like that. I thought the way they were found like it was the way this teacher (Rev Ruppert) was telling me. It was just like magic that appeared in an unbroken vase.  That along with so many other things put the seed of wanting truthful explanations when I asked questions but many times it was you can interpret it your way. And people do just anything they want to do whatever where is sleeping with their offsprings to killing someone who is sinned in a particular way.

 A US Bible museum has removed fragments of what it believed were part of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the display after tests suggested they were forgeries.
The Museum of the Bible, in Washington DC, sent five of its 16 fragments for analysis in Germany.
But results showed "characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin", the museum said.
Costing $500m (£386m), the museum was opened by Evangelical Christian and billionaire Steve Green in 2017.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a set of ancient manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.
The first of the scrolls were found in caves in Qumran on the western shore of the Dead Sea in 1947. They were reportedly first discovered by a young Bedouin shepherd searching for lost sheep.

'Commitment to transparency'  Image result for Bible Museum says five of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake

The tests were ordered after biblical scholars who examined 13 of the museum's previously unstudied fragments said there was a "high probability" that a number of them were modern forgeries.
However, he added: "This is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare biblical artifacts, the elaborate testing process undertaken and our commitment to transparency,"

Image result for Bible Museum says five of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake
 What are they going to do with all the monument they've built to the scrolls?
It is not the first time the museum's owners have faced controversy.
Last year, Mr. Green's company the Hobby Lobby paid a $3m fine (£2.3m) and returned thousands of items after the US Department of Justice accused it of smuggling artifacts from Iraq.


More from NPR
One of those researchers, Kipp Davis of Trinity Western University, examined the fragments' scribal quality, writing techniques and manuscript state. He wrote in October 2017 that his studies confirm "the high probability" that at least seven fragments in the museum's Dead Sea Scrolls collection were forgeries, "but conclusions on the status of the remaining fragments are still forthcoming."
In April 2017, the museum sent five fragments to the German-based Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) for an array of tests, including 3D digital microscopy, scanning X-ray fluorescence and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy material analysis of ink, sediment layers and chemical makeup.
BAM's report raised further suspicions about the authenticity of all five fragments that were tested, the museum said.
The museum will replace the five fragments' in the display with three other fragments that will receive further study.
"Exhibit labels will continue to inform guests that there have been questions raised about the authenticity of these fragments and that further research will be conducted," the museum said.
Much of the Museum of the Bible was funded by the Green family, which owns the Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores. In a religious freedom lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court in 2014, Hobby Lobby won an exemption in its employee health plans from having to cover the cost of contraceptives.
Through Hobby Lobby, billionaire Steve Green and his family amassed a private collection of about 40,000 biblical artifacts and manuscript. Much of the Greens' collection is now at the museum.
Hobby Lobby was found to have violated federal law when it purchased 5,500 objects from dealers in the United Arab Emirates and Israel in 2010. Those artifacts, originally from Iraq, were smuggled into the U.S. In a 2017 settlement with the Justice Department, Hobby Lobby agreed to forfeit the objects and paid a $3 million fine.

July 24, 2018

Leviticus Chapter 18 is Not as Anti Gay As Many Have Wrongly Interpreted It

In Leviticus 18:22 and especially in Leviticus 20:13 we are no longer faced with “small” but obvious errors of translation where the sacred prostitutes or the inhabitants of a small village on the shores of the Dead Sea were converted into homosexuals and rejected by the god of Israel. Here we are faced, or rather, believers (Christians, Jews and Muslims) are faced with a moral dilemma of the first order. Should gays die? Should they be executed as outlined in God’s law?

Leviticus 18:22. The text.

Although no original texts are available, regardless of whether we take the Septuagint version of the Bible translated into Greek (III BC), or the Jewish Masoretic (X century AD), which are the oldest available texts, we can find a Similar construction in them that would literally translate as:
“With man you will not sleep bed woman is detestable.”
Leviticus 18:22 in Greek:
“ka i meta arsenosou (male) koimethese (lie down) koiten (bed) gunaikein (woman) bdelygma(detestable) gar esti”
Leviticus 18:22 in Hebrew:
“hî   tō·w·‘ê·ḇāh (detestable) ’iš·šāh (women); miš·kə·ḇê (bed) tiš·kaḇ (lie down) lō   zā·ḵār (man) wə·’eṯ-”
It is obvious that the phrase “with man you will not sleep bed woman” has no explicit meaning, and that we must make sense out of it.
The most “modern” Christian tradition wanted to see a general condemnation of both behavior and homosexual orientation in this text, although current theologians, such as the Protestant R. Lings, tell us that there are at least 12 possible interpretations of this text, none of them related to homosexuality.


When trying to interpret any chapter from the bible you just can't take a single text. Just like a conversation. Also you need to know if not who wrote it but how many people had input into it. Lastly you most interpret the bible from the greek or early hebrew. Languages change and what a puzzy in the US is not the same as in England.  A 'bicho' in Puerto rico is not the same as in Cuba or the Americas. You call someone a "bicho' in Puerto rico and you got a fight on your hands but in other places is just a mosquito. We use the word "cool" a lot, at least I do. In 1905 they would have brought me a cold drink or beer to get cool. But people that want to feel superior to others and want to do damaged to others try to find an excuse in the bible. What better excuse! except is not. We live in an era of enlightment because we have technology to takes forward but also takes us back to our roots. For instance we have known the Earth was round long before the Apollo flights into space in the 1960's but still there are thousand of people that say the earth is not round. So we can't go for a minority of idiots because they are everywhere but by the "propondence of the evidence."
🦊Adam (3 yrs Seminary graduate with 2 yrs post)

By Idan Dershowitz
Dr. Dershowitz is a biblical scholar.

No text has had a greater influence on attitudes toward gay people than the biblical book of Leviticus, which prohibits sex between men. Before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex — whether between men or women — were practically unheard-of in the ancient world.

Chapter 18 of Leviticus contains a list of forbidden incestuous acts, followed by prohibitions against sex with a menstruating woman, bestiality, and various other sexual acts. In Verse 22, we find its most famous injunction: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 20:13 repeats this law, along with a punishment for those who violate it: “They shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.”)

Like many ancient texts, Leviticus was created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer. Many scholars believe that the section in which Leviticus 18 appears was added by a comparatively late editor, perhaps one who worked more than a century after the oldest material in the book was composed. An earlier edition of Leviticus, then, may have been silent on the matter of sex between men.

But I think a stronger claim is warranted. As I argue in an article published in the latest issue of the journal Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, there is good evidence that an earlier version of the laws in Leviticus 18 permitted sex between men. In addition to having the prohibition against same-sex relations added to it, the earlier text, I believe, was revised in an attempt to obscure any implication that same-sex relations had once been permissible. 

The chapter’s original character, however, can be uncovered with a little detective work.

The core of Leviticus 18 is the list of incest laws, each of which includes the memorable phrase “uncover nakedness.” This is typically understood as a euphemism for sexual intercourse, so “you shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister” would mean something like “do not have sex with your father’s sister.”

Most of the incest laws are presented in a straightforward manner, but two are not. The first exception is: “The nakedness of your father and the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness” (emphasis mine). At first, this verse appears to outlaw sex between a man and either of his parents. However, the italicized explanation, or gloss, suggests that the law actually addresses only one parent: the mother. It is difficult to reconcile the two parts of this sentence.

The same thing happens again a few verses later: “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother.” Simple enough, right? The following gloss, however, may give you whiplash: “you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt.” By the time we’ve finished reading the gloss, a prohibition against intercourse between a man and his paternal uncle has transformed into a law about sex between a man and that uncle’s wife.

Each verse in Leviticus 18’s series of incest laws contains a similar gloss, but the others are merely emphatic, driving home the point. (For example, “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness.”) Only in these two cases — the father and mother, and the father’s brother — do the glosses alter our understanding of what is prohibited. A law prohibiting sex with one’s father fades away, and a law against sex with one’s uncle is reinterpreted as a ban on sex with one’s aunt.

What we have here is strong evidence of editorial intervention.

It is worth noting that these new glosses render the idiom “uncover nakedness” incoherent. The phrase can no longer denote sex if uncovering the nakedness of one’s father is an act that also involves one’s mother — as the gloss implies. 

But more strikingly, the two exceptional verses are the only ones that address incest between men — all the others involve women. Once the new glosses were added to the text, the prohibitions in Leviticus against incest no longer outlawed any same-sex couplings; only heterosexual pairs were forbidden.

If a later editor of Leviticus opposed homosexual intercourse, you might wonder, wouldn’t it have made more sense for him (and it was probably him) to leave the original bans on homosexual incest intact?

No. The key to understanding this editorial decision is the concept of “the exception proves the rule.” According to this principle, the presence of an exception indicates the existence of a broader rule. For example, a sign declaring an office to be closed on Sundays suggests that the office is open on all other days of the week.

Now, apply this principle to Leviticus 18: A law declaring that homosexual incest is prohibited could reasonably be taken to indicate that non-incestuous homosexual intercourse is permitted.

A lawmaker is unlikely to specify that murdering one’s father is against the law if there is already a blanket injunction against murder. By the same token, it’s not necessary to stipulate that sex between two specific men is forbidden if a categorical prohibition against sex between men is already on the books.

It seems that with the later introduction in Leviticus of a law banning all male homosexual intercourse, it became expedient to bring the earlier material up-to-date by doing away with two now-superfluous injunctions against homosexual incest — injunctions that made sense when sex between men was otherwise allowed. 

This editor’s decision to neutralize old laws by writing new glosses, instead of deleting the laws altogether, is serendipitous: He left behind just enough clues for his handiwork to be perceptible.

One can only imagine how different the history of civilization might have been had the earlier version of Leviticus 18’s laws entered the biblical canon.

Idan Dershowitz (@IdanDershowitz) is a biblical scholar and junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter. 
A version of this article appears in print on July 22, 2018

February 4, 2017

Old Gay Slang of Polari Gets Theological Seminarians in Holy Hot water

 Polari Bible

A Church of England theological college has expressed regret after trainee priests held a service in the antiquated gay slang language Polari.

In commemorating LGBT History Month I am including this posting which appeared on the BBC an hour ago.
The reason this touched me enough to want to include it with other LGBT news and with Trump’s news of picking fights with our friends and adversaries is because it included three words gay slang, Bible.  

We had our hands full with home grown terrorists,  now we are doing everything we can as a government to create bad will so we get no backing from our friends, from intelligence that affect us and trade that make our goods cheaper to creating new problems with our enemies which can cause a nasty confrontation in which there would be no winners.

As I mentioned about the bible which most people don’t know is that is a compilation of pages written by men in the old testament for jews and the new for a new church which was formed less than 2,000 years ago. This particular story has to do with gay slang and the bible.

In the bible there were many pages that were found and depending which king was in power pages were put together and translated to form the new testament. I am mentioning this because the bible has many editions and on each edition you find a newer translation in relationship to how the people on that period talked. Open your bible and see under which king it was translated and put together.
Just like the bible was form for the people of those times and you today are free to pick it as your holy book from your god, you are reading something a man just like you picked for the people of his time and put together to be understood by the religious among them. It was not the apostles it was not Jesus Christ or anyone you might say was a holy person because its closeness to Jesus Christ or to god. There were men that were born many decades after Jesus died.

My point being that we most be careful when we take not a book but a particular phrase on the bible be new or old testament and take it as god talking to you because it was not god who picked that page for you to read and it was not a servant of god who translated it. I can freely say these were not god fearing men because history tell us that all those kings from England to Egypt, Greece, Germany and nations that longer exist did very awful things. The bible in many cases was used as a tool for an  excuse to commit murder and other barbarisms.

Having those things in mind I present to you a holy scandal that occurred when some seminary students(and I can tell you we can be very curious and the church keeps a tight control on that curious spirit)decided to pick the polar bible to carry a service. As far as they were concerned at the time the Polaris bible was also a bible just from a different linguistic time.
 As you read,  it will become clearer of what I am talking about and how just reading the bible got some seminarians in holy hot water. Gays from another era (that sounds so good to write even though is not true for Egypt, Iran and so many other places in Africa and as far N.East as the Soviets (Russians) still jail, kill gays that come out. That is why we can never relax. For the sake of those gays and us that we do not go back by executive order, legislation or another opinion by an anti gay Court.


The service at the chapel of Westcott House in Cambridge was to commemorate LGBT history month.
The congregation was told the use of the lexicon was an attempt to "queer the liturgy of evening prayer".
But officials said it had not been authorized and was at variance with the doctrine and teaching of the church.

Polari is thought to have originated in Victorian London but fell out of use as homosexuality began to be decriminalized in England in the 1960s.

Its words, however, were brought to wider public attention in the same decade by comedian Kenneth Williams in the BBC radio series Round the Horne.
'Fantabulosa Fairy'
One person present at the service told BBC News it was led by an ordinand - a trainee priest - rather than a licensed minister.

The congregation was also made up of trainees.
While they had been given permission to hold a service to commemorate LGBT history month, a Church of England source said the college chaplain had not seen the wording of the service.
The translation was based on the Polari bible, a work compiled as a project in 2003 by the self-styled Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The scripture and liturgy were printed on to an order of service.
An Old Testament reading from the Prophet Joel which says “rend your heart and not your garments, return to the Lord your God" was printed in Polari as "rend your thumping chest and not your frocks - and turn unto the Duchess your Gloria: for she is bona and merciful".

Instead of the traditional "Glory be to the father, and to the son, and the Holy Spirit" the prayer offered was: "Fabeness be to the Auntie, and to the Homie Chavvie, and to the Fantabulosa Fairy".
'Hugely regrettable'
Services in the Church of England are legally required to be conducted using the church’s approved liturgy.

The principal of Westcott House, the Rev Canon Chris Chivers, said the liturgy of the service had not been authorised for use.
He said: "I fully recognise that the contents of the service are at variance with the doctrine and teaching of the Church of England and that is hugely regrettable.
"Inevitably for some members of the house this caused considerable upset and disquiet and I have spoken at length to those involved in organising the service.
“I will be reviewing and tightening the internal mechanisms of the house to ensure this never happens again."

BBC and
Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

March 26, 2016

The Adherence to Ancient Scripts is the Mother of Most LGBT Discrimination

This early Christian Coptic papyrus includes an early reference to Jesus' wife, whose existence is never explicitly stated or denied in the New Testament. Photo: Karen L. King.

 Australians are becoming increasingly impatient with Christian opposition to same sex marriage, in large part because the arguments typically mounted against it appear so weak and unconvincing.

For example, the argument that because marriage is an ancient institution it shouldn’t be tampered with is contradicted by the fact that it has been tampered with, modified and redefined throughout all of its long history.

The argument that marriage entails the possibility of having children is weak and historically inaccurate too. The oft repeated claim that children should be brought up by their biological parents, and are significantly disadvantaged if brought up by same sex couples, isn’t supported by a growing body of empirical evidence. The idea that there are only two basic or normative genders, male and female, is similarly contraAdherence to an Acient Text is the Mother of dicted by accumulating evidence from the relevant sciences.
It is little wonder that Australians, and young Australians in particular, are mystified and irritated by this Christian opposition. There is, among many, a growing suspicion that the arguments used by Christians are simply a smokescreen to hide the real and underlying prejudice, which is homophobia: the primal fear of variations from the sexual norm.

There is likely to be some truth in this accusation. Opposition to same sex marriage is so strong, and so obviously visceral in its overwhelming urgency that something must be going on below the surface, surely.

But there is another, perhaps even more influential prejudice at the heart of Christian opposition to same sex marriage.

This too-often-unacknowledged prejudice is the belief that what the Bible says or implies must take precedence over every other source of knowledge. If the Bible says or implies that something is wrong, it is wrong, regardless of what anyone might say, regardless of how sensible alternative ways of looking at things might seem.
There are many subtly different forms of this way of thinking, which reaches all the way back into the Bible itself, but the bottom-line prejudice is this: if the Bible clearly and plainly asserts that something is true or right, it is true or right.

I call this a prejudice because it involves pre-judging, making a judgement before the facts, and often irrespective of the facts.

History is replete with examples of this prejudice and its influence. Early readers of the Bible were convinced that the clear teaching of its early chapters gave them an accurate picture of the origins and spread of human civilisation.

They were understandably disturbed by the discoveries of Copernicus, quickly described as heretical and contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible, which it is. Bible-believing Christians continue to resist scientific consensus about the age of the earth and universe. They continue to hold out against evolutionary theory, and still argue that our first ancestors were Adam and Eve, despite accumulating evidence to the contrary.

And the reason they do this is because of this overriding prejudice that the Bible is to be the Christian’s first and final authority, which must always take precedence over extra-Biblical sources of knowledge or understanding.

It is this prejudice which helps to explain why some Christians are so opposed to same sex-marriage. The arguments employed by them, when boiled down to their motivational core, are simply valiant efforts to make sense of what they believe to be the clear teaching of the Bible, with verses such as the following quoted in support:

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them ... Leviticus 20:13.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error ... Romans 1:24-27.

It is because same sex marriage would necessarily involve sexual activity which the Bible plainly and clearly describes as abominable or abhorrent that Christians who adhere to this way of reading the Bible simply cannot say yes to same sex marriage. It is not that they are homophobic, necessarily. It is not that they are not genuinely caring and compassionate towards LGBTI Australians. Many are. However, their Bible-based, Bible-first prejudice simply won’t allow them to approve of this institutional modification.

But the problem with this prejudice, as with other prejudices, is that it can mislead and cause damage, which it certainly has in this case. Throughout the history of the church, and with ample justification from the text, Christians have taken the above verses to imply that to be gay is to be perverse; is to be corrupt and a corrupter of others.

They have insisted that homosexuality is a life-style choice, or a sickness, or a defect from which one can be healed. Most seriously, it is an affront to God which makes the gay person worthy of rejection and disdain.

Although Christians might now distance themselves from homophobic attitudes, these historic and Bible-based understandings of homosexuality have clearly contributed to homophobia, along with the terrible and inexcusable mistreatment of LGBTI people which continues to this day.

And it is for that reason that I, as a dissenting Christian, along with many Christians who think likewise, believe the time has come for this prejudice to be shed. We need to acknowledge that the Bible, for all of its beauty, wisdom and on-going relevance, is an ancient text, pregnant with ancient assumptions and beliefs, many of which we no longer reasonably hold.

We no longer believe in an earth-centric universe. We no longer reasonably believe in a young earth, or that the populations of the world can be traced back to two first-created humans known as Adam and Eve.

We, or most of us, have happily shed these earlier held beliefs, and therefore should also feel free to re-think the assumptions and beliefs which underlie Biblical discomfort with same sex activity.

Pushing back to understand these assumptions and beliefs will give us the wherewithal to appropriate the abiding relevance of these ancient texts, and will also put us in a place when we can fully and generously apologise for the damage and hurt we have caused to countless numbers of our LGBTI sons and daughters. May that time come quickly.

November 23, 2014

Leviticus Bans 76 Acts and Gives Out Penalties (How many are you guilty of?)

76 Things Banned in Leviticus (and their penalties)

by ***DAVE on WED  
I ran across this this list first via Fred Clark, tracking it back to here — a list of 76 actions proclaimed as sinful or forbidden in Leviticus.
Leviticus is a funny book for modern Christians.  Along with Deuteronomy and swathes of Exodus and Numbers, it lays out the Law for the Israelites.  But it’s largely ignored by modern Christians because it’s felt that Jesus replaced the Law (except where He didn’t) and that Paul said a lot of it didn’t apply (except for the parts that did).  And for all of that, many are still willing to cite Leviticus for things that they think are sinful, while ignoring it for things they don’t.
In other words, people tend to cherry-pick which of the Levitican laws (or, for that matter, all of the Old Covenant, not to mention most of the Bible) they think still apply, and which don’t.
This cherry-picking is sometimes reasoned, and sometimes not.  Sometimes it’s based on personal taste — I think that’s okay, so we can ignore that law. Everyone does that these days, so it must be fine. I think that’s icky, so we should cite it frequently as sinful. Sometimes it’s based on reasoning — e.g., comparing them to the Greatest Commandments as Jesus laid them out and seeing if they still seem to apply:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I prefer the latter approach.
So here are 76 things in Leviticus, with verse references, that are banned.  It’s by no means exhaustive. As an extension of original list, I’m going to try to include the stated penalties for each act.  Consider which of these you (if you’re of such persuasion) think still apply, and which we get a pass on, and why you believe so.
Some of the items specify the penalty or punishment. Many fall back to Leviticus 4 and 5, which lists, based on who commits the sin and whether they knew it was a sin or not, what sort of sacrificial offering animal needs to be given up.
The text except for what’s in [square brackets] is from here.
 1.       Burning any yeast or honey in offerings to God (2:11) [Normal penalty.]
2.       Failing to include salt in offerings to God(2:13) [Normal penalty.]
3.       Eating fat (3:17) [That one's "a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live." All fat is to be saved for offerings to God. Normal penalty.]
4.       Eating blood (3:17) [Normal penalty]
5.       Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve witnessed (5:1) ["They will be held responsible."]
6.       Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve been told about (5:1) [Which sounds like hearsay. At any rate, "they shall be held responsible."]
7.       Touching an unclean animal (5:2) [NIV translates this as touching "the carcass" of an unclean animal. So if Rover dies, or you're a worker in a pork plant, you're in trouble here. Normal penalty.]
8.       Carelessly making an oath (5:4) [Even if you don't realize you have. Normal penalty.]
9.       Deceiving a neighbour about something trusted to them (6:2) [Return the item and a 20% penalty, plus normal penalty.]
10.   Finding lost property and lying about it (6:3) [Return the item and a 20% penalty, plus normal penalty.]
11.   Bringing unauthorised fire before God (10:1) [God will smite you.]
12.   Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6) ["You will die" and God will be angry at everyone. May only apply to the priesthood.]
13.   Tearing your clothes (10:6) ["You will die" and God will be angry at everyone. May only apply to the priesthood.]
14.   Drinking alcohol in holy places (bit of a problem for Catholics, this ‘un) (10:9) ["You will die." May only apply to the priesthood.]
15.   Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (cf: camel, rabbit, pig) (11:4-7) ["You will be unclean.]
16.   Touching the carcass of any of the above (problems here for rugby) (11:8) ["You will be unclean."]
17.   Eating – or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12) ["You will be unclean."]
18.   Eating – or touching the carcass of – eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (11:13-19) ["You will be unclean."]
19.   Eating – or touching the carcass of – flying insects with four legs, unless those legs are jointed (11:20-22) ["You will be unclean."]
20.   Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (good news for cats) (11:27)  ["You will be unclean." Also applies to touching their carcasses.]
21.   Eating – or touching the carcass of – the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon (11:29) ["You will be unclean."]
22.   Eating – or touching the carcass of – any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42) ["You will be unclean."]
23.   Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4) [Actually, she's unclean a week, and then another 33 days. Then she has to offer up a sacrifice.]
24.   Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5) [Actually, she's unclean a week, and then another 66 days. Then she has to offer up a sacrifice.]
25.   Having sex with your mother (18:7) [The penalty for all the sexual sins in ch. 18 is that the participants are to be "cut off" from their people. Some have additional penalties mentioned below.]
26.   Having sex with your father’s wife (18:8) [In 20:11, both are to be put to death.]
27.   Having sex with your sister (18:9) [In 20:17, if you marry her, both are to be "publicly removed from their people"]
28.   Having sex with your granddaughter (18:10)
29.   Having sex with your half-sister (18:11)
30.   Having sex with your biological aunt (18:12-13) [In 20:19, he will be held responsible for the dishonor.]
31.   Having sex with your uncle’s wife (18:14) [In 20:20, they are held responsible for the dishonor, "they will die childless"]
32.   Having sex with your daughter-in-law (18:15) [In 20:12, both are to be put to death.]
33.   Having sex with your sister-in-law (18:16) [In 20:21, if you marry her, "they will be childless."]
34.   Having sex with a woman and also having sex with her daughter or granddaughter (bad news for Alan Clark) (18:17) [No specific penalty given, but per 20:14 if you marry both of them, all three of you are to be "burned in fire."]
35.   Marrying your wife’s sister while your wife still lives (18:18)
36.   Having sex with a woman during her period (18:19) [15:24 simply says the man will be considered unclean for 7 days. In 20:18, "Both of them are to be cut off from their people"]
37.   Having sex with your neighbour’s wife (18:20) [In 20:10, both are to be put to death.]
38.   Giving your children to be sacrificed to Molek (18:21) [In 20:2, the person is to be stoned to death.]
39.   Having sex with a man “as one does with a woman” (18:22) [In 20:13, both are to be put to death.]
40.   Having sex with an animal (18:23) [In 20:15, both are to be killed.]
41.   Making idols or “metal gods” (19:4) [No penalty given.]
42.   Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9) [To be left for the poor. No penalty given.]
43.   Picking up grapes that have fallen in your  vineyard (19:10) [To be left for the poor. No penalty given.]
44.   Stealing (19:11) [No penalty given.]
45.   Lying (19:11) [No penalty given.]
46.   Swearing falsely on God’s name (19:12) [No penalty given.]
47.   Defrauding your neighbour (19:13) [No penalty given.]
48.   Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (not well observed these days) (19:13) [No penalty given.]
49.   Cursing the deaf or abusing the blind (19:14) [No penalty given.]
50.   Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15) [No penalty given.]
51.   Spreading slander (19:16) [No penalty given.]
52.   Doing anything to endanger a neighbour’s life (19:16) [No penalty given.]
53.   Seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (19:18) [No penalty given.]
54.   Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19) [No penalty given.]
55.   Cross-breeding animals (19:19) [No penalty given.]
56.   Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19) [No penalty given.]
57.   Sleeping with another man’s slave (19:20) ["Due punishment," but not death, just a ram for sacrifice.]
58.   Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23) [No penalty given. May only apply to fruit trees planted in Israel.]
59.   Practising divination or seeking omens (tut, tut astrology) (19:26) [No penalty, but in 20:6 they will be "cut off from their people" by God. In 20:27, they are to be stoned to death.]
60.   Trimming your beard (19:27) [No penalty given.]
61.   Cutting your hair at the sides (19:27) [No penalty given.]
62.   Getting tattoos (19:28) [No penalty given.]
63.   Making your daughter prostitute herself (19:29) ["The land will turn to prostitution." No other penalty given.]
64.   Turning to mediums or spiritualists (19:31) [No penalty given.]
65.   Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32) [No penalty given.]
66.   Mistreating foreigners – “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born”  (19:33-34) [No penalty  given.]
67.   Using dishonest weights and scales (19:35-36) [No penalty given.]
68.   Cursing your father or mother (punishable by death) (20:9) [Death, as noted.]
69.   Marrying a prostitute, divorcee or widow if you are a priest (21:7,13) [No penalty given.]
70.   Entering a place where there’s a dead body as a priest (21:11) [I.e., if you're a priest. No penalty given.]
71.   Slaughtering a cow/sheep and its young on the same day (22:28) [May apply only to sacrificial animals. No penalty given.]
72.   Working on the Sabbath (23:3) [No penalty given.]
73.   Blasphemy (punishable by stoning to death) (24:14) [Death.]
74.   Inflicting an injury; killing someone else’s animal; killing a person must be punished in kind (24:17-22) [Killing someone means death. Injuring someone mean punishment in kind. Killing or injuring another's animal means punishment in kind.]
75.   Selling land permanently (25:23) [No penalty given.]
76.   Selling an Israelite as a slave (foreigners are fine) (25:42) [No penalty given.]
Quite the list.  Not many Christians today would go for all of those … but most would consider some of them as laudable commandments still applicable today.
And for good measure,I’ll add this little bit (Leviticus 35-37):
If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.

Levitcus a book of law for the time. Our laws and nations laws change as time changes because the world becomes a different place every quarter of a century (25 yrs). Out laws ares for our times, if Leviticus was written today What do you think it would say?  

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