Forum

Free news

FREE blog

Donate

Search

Subscribe

jews/911

Feedback

dna

Gun poll

RCC

AIDS

Home

Fathers

Surveys

Holocaust

IQ

14th Amdt

19th Amdt

Israelites

NWO

Homicide

Blacks

Whites

Signatory

Talmud

Watchman

Gaelic

Traitors

Health?

 

Royce: you're a moral minor and a moron!

 

 

 

 

On Sat, 14 Jun 2003 04:50:26 GMT, <tj9lev4b0e43kj57c6ip02s7l7oh4f13lr@4ax.com> A
Believer <pilgrim@executivemail.co.za> wrote:
>The Bible says nothing about a homosexual anywhere.
You show you are ignorant of the Bible then! The Bible may not use the trerm
"homosexual" but there is no doubt it condemns same sex sexual acts! Care to
deny what follows?
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=rk8kdtkturjo61vsiv022qhpbb5m0qha1d%404ax.com&output=gplain
Subject: Luther on _arsenokoites_ and _malakos_ (Royce Buehler Condones
Homosexuality as False Teachers Do.)
Message-ID: <rk8kdtkturjo61vsiv022qhpbb5m0qha1d@4ax.com>
References: <3AB04592.550790DD@earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 22:44:05 GMT
On Thu, 15 Mar 2001 04:29:11 GMT, <3AB04592.550790DD@earthlink.net> Royce
Buehler <figvine@earthlink.net> wrote:
>The story so far:
>
>Glenn pointed out that the official Filipino translation of
>_arsenokoites_ was the Tagalog term for "child molester".
>
>Jim Upchurch made the rash assertion that "nobody agrees with
>you" - by which he meant, all 'real' translations translate
>both 'arsenokoitai' and 'malakoi' by some variation of
>"homosexual".
>
>(Jim Upchurch is, of course, as usual, dead wrong.  Even the KJV
>translates _arsenokoites_ as "abusers of themselves with
>mankind" - which does not include all male homosexuals (and
>certainly no female homosexuals), unless you make the circular
>assumption that all homosexuality is "abuse".  Similarly, the
>NIV translates it as "homosexual offenders" - which does not
>include all male homosexuals (and certainly no female homosexuals),
>unless you make the circular assumption that all homosexuality
>is an "offense".)
>
>I pointed out that Martin Luther is one of those "nobodies",
>since he translated _arsenokoitai_ as "Knabeschaender", rapers
>of boys.
>
>Unable to counter this fact in any rational fashion, Jim made
>the wild assertion that it doesn't matter that Martin Luther
>didn't think _arsenokoitai_ meant homosexuals.  What matters,
>all of a sudden, is what Martin Luther thought _malakoi_ meant.
>
>This thrilling instalment:
>
>Well, it was (like almost all of Jim's wild goose chases) beside
>the point.  But it was interesting in its own right.  Today I
>had a chance to visit the copy of of Luther's translation of the
>Bible I sometimes drop in on.  And I can now inform y'all:
>Jim Upchurch's childlike faith that Luther *must* have translated
>*that* one as "homosexual" is also completely off base.
>
>Luther translated _malakoi_ as "Weichlinge" - "weaklings."
>What he meant by this, I'm not certain.  I doubt that he believed
>that only people who regularly pump iron can get into heaven.
>I'd guess that what he had in mind was people who failed to
>stand steadfast in the faith under persecution.  His was a fairly
>literal translation into German of the Greek _malakoi_ (which
>is literally "soft ones"), since "Weichlinge" derives from the
>adjective, "weich", which has the primary meaning of "soft."
>
>What is perfectly clear is that Luther *didn't* mean soft
>in the sense of "effeminate." That would have been a different
>German word altogether.
>
>So, Jim, you're batting a perfect 0.000 on this one. Keep up
>the good work.
Royce goes 100% against the Bible in defending homosexuals. Everyone examine the
following:
>In article <8Ok96.2187$I6.435808@news-west.usenetserver.com>,
> "Micah Burke" <klockheeed@NOSPAMhotmail.com> writes:
>> > No....I don't think Jesus would allow a gay person to be stoned.
>> > Maybe under the law....but not under grace.
>> > Thank God for that. 
>> A "gay" person in those days was executed not merely on
>> the basis of religious law, but also civil law.
: 
>False.  Not only were homosexual acts not capital crimes under
>Roman civil law, they were perfectly legal. There was no
>"religious law" against lesbian acts - nor against male/male
>acts other than anal penetration.
And you know what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 1 too!
I will show later.
>> Christ CONFIRMED both.
: 
>He confirmed both religious and civil laws generally; but the
>specific laws against homosexuality you are assuming did not
>exist.
[...]
>Good exegesis.
Where does the term "exegesis" appear in the Bible?
>> People who claim homosexuality is compatable with
>> Christianity don't understand the nature of the gospel,
>> and its relationship to the law.
: 
>People who claim we don't understand the nature of the gospel
>don't understand the nature of our faith.
Is this an admission of your orientation?
>> You cannot be saved unless you first die, and that includes your earthly
>> desires and fleshly lusts. We give our bodies
>> to God as a ~living sacrifice~ pleasing to him...
: 
>Absolutely true.
: 
>> acts such as homosexuality are clearly against the
>> moral code of the old law, therefore we know that
>> such an act could never be considered ~holy~
>> before him.
: 
>Perfect nonsense.  Eating shrimp and shaving are clearly
>against the code of the old law.  No form of sex between two
>women was ever forbidden in the old law.  Nothing in the
>Old Testament or the New Testament says that the old law
>was divided into a "moral" part and an "other" part; and
>nothing in either testament says that the law concerning
>"lying with a man as with a woman" belonged to the "moral"
>part.
>
>All homosexual acts are "clearly against" are the traditions
>of men to which you cling, without biblical justification.
YOU ARE IN VERY GREAT ERROR BELIAL!
What do you call this?
What does the Bible say about homosexuals and their activities or what
does it declare concerning "the gay and lesbian community"?
1 Corinthians 5
9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral
people--
10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy
and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls
himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer,
a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to
judge those inside?
13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
1 Corinthians 6
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male
prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will
inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified,
you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our
God.
Romans 1:26-29,32 :: New King James Version (NKJV)
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women
exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in
their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and
receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God
gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not
fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness...
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice
such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve
of those who practice them.
<end>
For the record here are other Bible versions of verses 26 and 27
Romans 1:26-28 :: New International Version (NIV)
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women
exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and
were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with
other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their
perversion.
28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the
knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought
not to be done.
Romans 1:26-28 :: Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
26 Because of this did God give them up to dishonourable affections, for
even their females did change the natural use into that against nature;
27 and in like manner also the males having left the natural use of the
female, did burn in their longing toward one another; males with males
working shame, and the recompense of their error that was fit, in
themselves receiving.
28 And, according as they did not approve of having God in knowledge, God
gave them up to a disapproved mind, to do the things not seemly;
Notice verse 28 and how it speaks of the mental condition of what the
Bible describes as: "Men committed indecent acts with other men, and
received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
They have depraved minds!
Romans 1:28 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
And just as they did not see fit [1] to acknowledge God any longer, <*1>
God gave them over to a depraved mind..
Romans 1:28 :: King James Version (KJV)
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave
them over to a reprobate mind..
Romans 1:28 :: New King James Version (NKJV)
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave
them over to a debased mind..
Romans 1:28 :: NIV formatted (New Testament) (NIV-IBS)
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the
knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind..
IOW they are mentally diseased!
Royce Buehler stating: "All homosexual acts are "clearly against" are the
traditions of men to which you cling, without biblical justification" shows that
he violates: "knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice
such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of
those who practice them" because he evidently does "approve of those who
practice them."
2 Peter 2
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be
false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies,
even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on
themselves.
2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into
disrepute.
3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.
Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has
not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,
putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and
made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives
of lawless men
Why did God condemn Sodom and Gomorrah and why does the scripture say:
"he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of
lawless men"?
Want to retract your very mis-informed statement:
>All homosexual acts are "clearly against" are the traditions
>of men to which you cling, without biblical justification.
Here is some Biblical justification as if the above scriptures aren't!
Genesis 19
1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the
gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down
with his face to the ground.
2 "My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash
your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning."
"No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house.
He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of
Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out
to us so that we can have sex with them."
Want to retract your very mis-informed statement:
>All homosexual acts are "clearly against" are the traditions
>of men to which you cling, without biblical justification.
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them
out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to
these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
9 "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as
an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them."
They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut
the door.
11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old,
with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or
daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,
13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against
its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.
24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD
out of the heavens.
25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those
living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land.
26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had
stood before the LORD.
28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain,
and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Remember what 2Peter said in what you
call the New Testament concerning Lot?
2 Peter 2
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be
false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies,
even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on
themselves.
2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into
disrepute.
3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.
Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has
not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,
putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and
made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives
of lawless men
FILTHY LIVES OF LAWLESS MEN who said: "Where are the men who came to you
tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
Are you going to say I am once again showing hate and that I am gay bashing or
trying to stir up hatred toward gays because I tell the truth and refute you in
public?
How about this from what you call the New Testament?
Jude 1
1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been
called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by [1] Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we
share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once
for all entrusted to the saints.
4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly
slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into
a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered
his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.
6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned
their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for
judgment on the great Day.
7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves
up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who
suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Want to retract your very mis-informed statement:
>All homosexual acts are "clearly against" are the traditions
>of men to which you cling, without biblical justification.
10 Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and
what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are
the very things that destroy them.
11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit
into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
12 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the
slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without
rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice
dead.
13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for
whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is
coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts
they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners
have spoken against him."
16 These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires;
they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ
foretold.
18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow
their own ungodly desires."
19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do
not have the Spirit.
Different renditions of Genesis 19:5
Genesis 19:5 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
and they called to Lot and said to him, ""<*1> Where are the men who came to you
tonight? Bring them out to us that we may [1] have relations with them.''
I.e. have intercourse
Genesis 19:5 :: New King James Version (NKJV)
And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you
tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally."
Need I say more?
Royce says there is no biblical justification against homosexuality and he says
Pharisees are heroes in another post. Hmmmh makes you wonder!
"a number of heros of the New Testament besides Paul were Pharisees.."
-Message-ID: <3AD66574.2DD4AAC4@earthlink.net>
-From: Royce Buehler <figvine@earthlink.net>
-Reply-To: figvine@earthlink.net
-Subject: Re: I love children.
-Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 02:31:07 GMT
<END>
Need I say more?
      Doc Tavish

horizontal rule

A Defense Theory:

 

An Analysis of Six Critical Texts Used To Condemn Homosexuality

 

by: Royce Buehler

 

horizontal rule

When I first began attending to Internet newsgroup threads about homosexuality and the Bible, I held the conventional view: the Bible condemns it. I knew of ways to discount each of the standard texts; I thought a person could in a piecemeal way discount all of them and stay just barely within the bounds of intellectual honesty. But, strictly personally, if I were to deny that the condemnation was biblical, I would not have felt honest. I thought - and told other pro-gay friends so when asked - such a denial couldn't bear the accumulated weight of the six principal texts.

It had been decades since I myself believed that there was anything wrong with homosexuality. On this point, either the Bible was just plain wrong, or I was. Naturally, I thought it was probably the Bible; after all, if I think I'm probably wrong about something, I'm going to change my mind. But I was willing to learn otherwise.

I had not read the biblical arguments of Bailey or Boswell. (I still haven't.) When I read posts presenting versions of those arguments, I often groaned inwardly at how weak they sounded. But a funny trend set in. Most of those weak arguments gained strength when I went and checked them against the Bible. And many of the anti-gay arguments that struck me as most forceful fell apart when I checked them against the Bible. I found the anti-gay posts did more than the pro-gay posts to push me toward the realization that the traditional case stood on flimsier ground than I'd thought. (Most of these discussions centered on interpretation of the Sodom story. I won't bother to rehash any of it here, or to talk about Sodom at all.)

Then came a post that, as I thought, brought my whole pro-gay house of cards tumbling down. It was drawn from Joe Dallas, and it concerned the much-disputed word in 1 Corinthians 6:9, and in 1 Timothy 1:10. I had watched one anti-gay poster after another attempt to refute the assertion that arsenokoitai is a word which had no established meaning, which was unknown in classical literature and which was coined by Paul. They had succeeded only in digging themselves in deeper. Supposed classical references turned out to be from the third and fourth centuries; supposed verifications that it was used elsewhere to mean "homosexual" turned out to be appearances in sin lists just as devoid of context as are the two New Testament usages.

But Dallas took the bold step of acknowledging the truth: it was in all probability Paul's coinage. And then he played his ace: if that is so, it is almost certainly the case that Paul coined it by joining together the two Greek words arsenos and koitein, which the Septuagint uses to translate both verses in Leviticus that forbid "lying with a man as with a woman".

I'd seen so many outright falsehoods in the course of the threads that I refused to believe this one until I dug up a copy of the LXX and checked it out for myself. But there it was, all right. This famous mysterious neologism wasn't so mysterious after all. Paul was forbidding the same thing, or the same sort of thing, as Leviticus was. Dallas' conclusion was probabilistic, not deductive, but I couldn't deny that it was compelling.

However, I knew that this was the same Paul who wrote that as Christians we now live "in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." So I decided to go back to Leviticus and try to discern what the spirit of that old law was, what the reason behind it was. It would certainly give me a better understanding of Paul's intent, and if God were really in agreement with the anti-gay line, it might even supply me at last with the moral insight that would realign my conscience with the opinion of the bulk of the church.

(At this point, I'll drop the autobiographical past tense and carry on the rest of my discussion in the expository present.) Does Leviticus just pronounce "thou shalt not" about homosexuality? Or does it supply a reason? Here are the two critical verses (I'll stick with KJV, because it tends to stick to the Hebrew):

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

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

So in both instances, Leviticus does provide a reason. It is "an abomination"; in Hebrew, it is toevah. What is the significance of this word?


TOEVAH

A couple of years later, in 1996, a number of new English versions of the book of Genesis were published. I heard a radio interviewer ask one of the translators (I no longer remember which) what he found to be the most challenging piece of his task. He replied that it was translating the word toevah. No English word, he said, could capture its full connotation. The dictionary translation would simply be "something detestable." But it carries a vivid suggestion of detestable religious practices, of idolatry and ritual orgies. It also conveys the idea of something wildly dangerous, something you want to put at as great a distance as possible. At one point, he said, he was thinking of translating it as "radioactive". I thought his commentary was very interesting, coming as it did from someone with no special stake in the conversation about Leviticus 18 and 20. It reconfirmed what I had learned two years before.

Another source with no stake, which I had on hand in those days (although I recognize he's not thought of as a major scholarly authority - for one thing, his heavy reliance on etymologically determined definitions makes him a little suspect), was Strong. Toevah is Strong's number 8441:

to'ebah - fem. act. participle of 8581 [ta'ab, to loathe, detest]; prop. something disgusting (mor.), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; esp. idolatry or (concr.) an idol.

Given this, Leviticus might be naming either of two reasons for the prohibition: it is wrong becuase it is "disgusting" to God (which wouldn't tell us why it is disgusting, and wouldn't get us much further, but maybe there isn't any further to get to), or it is wrong because it is a form of idolatry. So far, so good. Which of these two meanings is more likely? Well, a word is ultimately defined by its use. So (though we'll want to return to study this particular use in its context), the question resolves to: which of these two meanings is more commonly used? Which meaning would have sprung first to the mind of a contemporary of the writer?

So I conducted an exhaustive word study on toevah in the Old Testament.

It is important to recognize that word usage changes over the course of centuries. And despite wide differences of opinion on many specific dates, conservative and liberal bible scholars are agreed that the OT was composed over the course of several centuries. Nor do they disagree that the Pentateuch and the pre-exilic prophets preceded the post-exilic prophets; and that the post-exilic prophets preceded the wisdom literature (in particular, the book of Proverbs). So if we want to know how the word toevah was used when the Pentateuch was composed, we will get the best idea from writings prior to the post-exilic prophets.

Those writings use the term (not counting the two Leviticus chapters in question) 51 times. The term is used by two post-exilic prophets (43 times by Ezekiel, once by Malachi). It is used twenty-odd times in Proverbs, and once in Psalms. (I'll place Psalms with the wisdom literature; it would drop out of my final count in any case.)

Linguists generally expect that terms with strong negative or positive connotation will expand to wider and looser applications as time goes on. Accordingly, we would expect to find toevah linked specifically to themes of separation, contamination, and idolatry more often in the early books, with less frequency in Ezekiel, and with less frequency still in Proverbs; and that is what we find. For brevity, and taking advantage of hindsight, I will tally only the 'idolatry' theme here.

Here is a quick breakdown:

All early books: Idolatry or other strictly ritual offenses are specifically implicated in 38 out of 51 instances. Four other instances are too vague to determine what the offense may have been. Six instances apparently involve purely ethical offenses. The remaining three appear to be simple instances of detestation, with no ethical content. (I say "appear" in these last nine cases because in most of them there seems to be an issue of contamination, and perhaps of ritual contamination, driving the choice of word. For example, in Exodus 8:26, Moses tells Pharoah that the sacrifices the Hebrews will offer are toevah to the Egyptians. Therefore, he says, we must go three days' journey into the desert to offer them. Talk about "radioactive"! For another example, Deuteronomy 24:4 calls remarriage after divorce toevah . At first glance, this is an ethical consideration, and of course it is at least that; but it goes on, "because she has been defiled"; so a kind of ritual contamination is hovering in the background.) Summing up, of 44 instances of toevah which refer to specific offenses, 38 (or 86%) name offenses of idolatry or other ritual impurity.

In Ezekiel, the breakdown is: Idolatry or other strictly ritual offenses named in 35 out of 43 cases. Two are too vague to determine the offense; six name only purely ethical offenses. The usage for toevah has gravitated slightly toward the moral, but its primary significance is still worship of idols.

I haven't gone back to retabulate Proverbs precisely, but in this one late book the linguistic change is complete. About half of the references mention no specific offenses at all; almost all the rest mention moral failings.

Very well. With fairly high probability, then (something like 86%), when Leviticus uses the word toevah , it is using the word as it is most often used before the exile; it is referring to the worship of idols. With that in mind, I'll turn next to the full text of Leviticus 18 and 20. What do they contain to confirm or disconfirm a connection with idolatry, or to indicate what a connection with idol worship might be?


ORGANIZATION OF THE LEVITICUS TEXTS

The proper immediate context for the two verses under study is the whole of chapter 18 and the whole of chapter 20. Chapter and verse divisions were introduced late in the Bible's history, and ordinarily shouldn't be taken very seriously. In Leviticus, however, beginning with chapter 11, our chapter divisions result from clear markers in the Hebrew text, which is organized as a series of oracles, each introduced by a slight variant of the phrase, "The Lord said to Moses..."

I rely on several study bibles. The one closest to hand as I write is the St. Joseph edition of the New American Bible. Its usually helpful section headings read, for Leviticus 18, "The Sanctity of Sex". Most study bibles give it a similar heading. Those who follow the tradition of dividing OT laws into "civil, ritual, and moral" tend to assert that the law against lying with a man as with a woman is a moral law, because it appears in a chapter of sexual laws.

On a slightly closer look, Leviticus 18 seems to have this basic structure: An introduction exhorting obedience (vv. 1-5), a set of prohibitions against incest, listing various degrees of consanguinity (vv. 6-18), a mixed bag of laws against various forms of sexual immorality (vv. 19-23), and a homily about avoiding all these things so the land won't spit you out as it spat out the former peoples (vv. 24-30).

But the first of those laws against sexual immorality, v. 19, prohibits relations with a woman during the ritual period of "uncleanness" due to menstruation. Not exactly sexual immorality. And the third of those laws against sexual immorality, v. 21, is "You shall not offer any of your offspring to be immolated to Molech, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord." What's that doing here?

And if we turn to Leviticus 20, we find that it repeats every prohibition on the odd list which appeared in chapter 18. It is obviously just a slight rewriting of chapter 18, and presumably has the same central concerns. It reorders the prohibitions by severity (or at least by severity of punishment); it places much greater emphasis on forbidding child sacrifice (placed first, and comprising four verses); it adds one more law - against mediums nd fortunetellers - which it repeats it in the last verse, so that examples of idolatry frame the chapter. Finally, in its summary, it urges the Israelites not to contaminate themselves with ritually unclean foods.

If the organizing principle of Leviticus 18 is really a discussion of laws "about" sexual morality, the same must be true of Leviticus 20. Yet no one makes this claim about Leviticus 20. (For example, my NAB labels chapter 20 "Penalties for Various Sins".) The themes of idolatry and ritual purity are simply too prominent there.

Chapter 20 has a summary which echoes chapter 18's very closely: its theme is that Israel is not to adopt the customs of the nations which formerly inhabited the land. They are to keep themselves separate and apart, not committing toevah, so that they will not also be cast out of the land.

In other words, the central concern here is not about things which the Israelites might do of their own accord, prompted by their ordinary human desires. The concern is about things which they might do by imitating the surrounding cultures. This accounts, incidentally, for the placement of the incest laws here. Israel regarded the border nations of Ammon and Moab as hotbeds of incest. For one thing, Genesis describes how, after the destruction of Sodom, Lot's daughters made him drunk and seduced him. The children of these two incestuous unions are named Ammon and Moab [Gen. 19:36-38]. Deuteronomy places side by side the law which excludes Ammonites and Moabites from the congregation [Deut. 23:4] and the law which excludes the children of an incestuous union [Deut. 23:3]; both may be allowed in after the third generation.)

The Israelites were human. They did not need other cultures to show them how to engage in adultery. Nor, unless they were radically different from every other society in history, how to engage in homosexual behavior. But they did need outside examples to learn how to engage in adultery and homosexual behavior as part of a religious cult.


"THEIR ORDINANCES"

The introduction to Leviticus 18 frames all this still more clearly.

18:3. (KJV) "After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, ye shall not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall you walk in their ordinances."

These things that are about to be described are not just things that the Egyptians or the Canaanites did because they individually succumbed to various desires. They were things that they did by ordinance. They were religious laws of those peoples. The language here only suggests this, but Deuteronomy spells it out unmistakably:

Deut. 12:30. (NRSV) Do not inquire concerning their gods, saying, "How did these nations worship their gods? I also want to do the same." 31. You must not do the same for the Lord your God, because every toevah that the Lord hates they have done for their gods." (Emphasis mine.)

The Egyptians are mentioned first, then the Canaanites. The Egyptian state religion involved royal brother-sister incest, and the incest laws are mentioned first. Then comes a list of five "thou shalt nots". The literary form thus suggests that these laws reject Canaanite religious practices.

The suggestion is reinforced by the fact that verses 26, 27, 29 and 30 refer to the items on this list as toevah; and we know that toevah usually means idolatry. It is further reinforced if we consider whether each of the "thou shalt nots" fits with what we know about the milieu of strictly religious practices within which Leviticus was written.

Item one is intercourse with a woman "while she is unclean from menstruation". This is clearly a matter of ritual purity, and of fear of ritual contamination. (The menstruating woman is required in OT law to go off at a distance from the male community for a ritual period of seven days. Here we see the "radioactive" sense of toevah come into play again.)

Item two is "Having carnal relations with your neighbour's wife, defiling yourself with her." In "defiling" the theme of fear of ritual contamination is sounded again briefly. But the important thing to note is that the "ordinances" of the Canaanites did indeed require participation in free-for-all fertility rites. Archaeology confirms this, but we can learn it straight from the Bible: see the account in Numbers 25 of the orgiastic feast that payed tribute to Baal; and recall that Baal is the Hebrew word for "husband".

Item three forbids sacrifice of children to Molech - obviously a matter of idolatry.

Item four is our prime text, forbidding 'lying with a man as with a woman'. There is no dispute that male temple prostitution was a prominent feature of Canaanite religious practice; we'll go through the relevant texts in detail later in this series.

Item five forbids mating with animals. I conjecture that ritual sex with animals believed to incarnate a god (or with priests dressed as such animals) was a cultic practice in Canaan. Certainly such practices are well documented in a variety of cultures. [I would be interested to learn information anyone has, pro or con, on this question. The Bible never gives an example of a violation of this particular provision.] For biblical inerrantists, of course, no archaeological evidence is necessary. They will know that the Canaanites mated with animals as part of their religion, since Leviticus lists it with the abominations, and Deuteronomy states that they did every one of their abominations for their gods.

Joe Dallas, in "A Strong Delusion", puts forth the counterargument that if Leviticus prohibits homosexuality only within the context of idolatry, the other practices it prohibits must also be deemed morally unobjectionable outside that context. His counterargument fails, since the OT forbids again in other contexts every item forbidden in Leviticus 18 and 20 - with the sole exception of "lying with a man as with a woman".


ECHOS AND SILENCES

In debates over homosexuality and the Bible, one frequently hears advocates of the traditional view assert that homosexuality must be not only a sin, but a sin especially detested by God, on the grounds that Leviticus 20 prescribes the death penalty for it. What they fail to realize is that the "death penalty" argument is two-edged. One edge, which they believe cuts against homosexuals, is in fact blunt: we have shown that what Leviticus 20 makes a capital crime is probably not homosexuality as such, but some form of idolatrous practice. The other edge, cutting against the traditionalists, is sharp.

If an offense is a capital crime, then the chances are good that it will be taken very seriously. The chances are in fact excellent that if you write down the laws twice, you will get around to mentioning the offense each time. We therefore would expect, on finding a capital crime named in Leviticus, to find it at least forbidden somewhere in Deuteronomy.

That expectation is, in general, borne out. Here is a complete list of the offenses which Leviticus 20 says are punishable by death. In each case, we note the parallel passage in Deuteronomy.

Leviticus 20

Deuteronomy
3-5 Sacrifice to Molech

12:31

6 Mediums and wizards

Not specifically, included in 'no other gods', 5:7 et al

9 Cursing father or mother

27:16

10 Adultery

5:18, 22:22

11 Incest: father's wife

20:20

12 Incest: child's spouse

20:23

13 Homosexuality - allegedly

--Not repeated--

14 Incest: both daughter and mother

20:23

15 Man committing bestiality

20:21

16 Woman committing bestiality

20:21

Seven out of nine are repeated precisely in Deuteronomy - down to the details of which degree of consanguinity is involved in acts of incest. 20:12 (incest with a daughter-in-law) is not repeated precisely, but the same degree of consanguinity is forbidden in Deut. 20:23. Necromancy is not specifically forbidden again in Deuteronomy, but it is attested in a number of places outside of Leviticus 18/20, notably in I Samuel 14:32-35, which refers to the death penalty associated with the practice.

Many of these items are forbidden in numerous other places in the Old Testament, but Deuteronomy by itself makes the pattern clear. One offense, and one only, is deemed worthy of the death penalty but not worthy of mention in more than one place: homosexuality. The silence is strange. Given how common the offense is in all societies (far more so than bestiality, or incest with one's father's wife), the silence becomes even more perplexing.

Recall that, although an argument from silence is usually a very weak argument, it becomes valid if one can also present strong evidence that the speaker would have made a statement if the speaker had entertained a particular belief. We have strong reason to believe that the Pentateuch will state a prohibition more than once if it incurs a capital penalty: namely, that it does repeat such prohibitions in every case except this one.

A second silence is also mildly odd: Both men and women are forbidden to commit adultery, or incest with a parent, or incest with a parent-in-law. But, at least if the prosecution's theory is true, only males are forbidden to have sex with their own gender. If we assume the traditional theory, both of these silences are unexpected, and both break the pattern of the way the Bible treats equally serious sins. The silences present a puzzle.

On the defense theory, however, there are no curious silences to be explained. If what Leviticus 18/20 forbids is a specific idolatrous practice, then:

  1. it is a practice which is also specifically forbidden in Deuteronomy, just like all the other capital crimes, and
  2. the cult which indulged in the practice had males coupling with males, but not males coupling with females.

The data fit the defense theory like a glove; try to slip the same data onto the prosecution's theory, and these two unseemly holes, these two embarrassing silences, stick out like missing thumbs.

And what was this idolatrous practice?

Deuteronomy 23:17. (NRSV) None of the daughters of Israel shall be a temple prostitute; none of the sons of Israel shall be a temple prostitute. 18. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a male prostitute into the house of the Lord your God, for both of these are abhorrent [Hebrew toevah] to the Lord your God.

Our study of Leviticus 18/20 led us to expect an idolatrous practice involving "lying with a man as with a woman". Here the Bible itself spells out for us what the idolatrous practice was: male temple prostitution. Deuteronomy even repeats the same explanation for its prohibition which Leviticus had pronounced: It is abomination, toevah.

For many generations of Christians, the idolatrous significance of Deuteronomy 23:18 has been obfuscated. In the King James translation, the terms for temple prostitute and male temple prostitute had been translated as "whore" and "sodomite" respectively. It was simply a mistranslation, a fact on which all modern bible scholars, both conservative and liberal, concur. All modern translations - including the NIV, no friend to homosexuals - render it correctly, as the NRSV does above.

The reason it has become uncontroversial is that the Hebrew allows no room for confusion. The Hebrew term for the male temple prostitute is qadesh; for the female, the feminine form of the same word, qadeshah. It has the same root as the word 'holy', and a literal translation would simply be "(male or female) holy one". Obviously, the writer of Deuteronomy didn't consider these people to be holy; but he was using the common name for them in Canaan: they were called "holy" there, because they had been dedicated to the god at whose shrine they offered their sexual services.


THE OVERLOOKED FIVE

The word qadesh appears five other times in the Old Testament. These are the verses concerning same-gender sex which never appear in the anti-gay literature. They are simply of no use in denouncing homosexuality, since they so obviously concern the practices of an idolatrous cult. The KJV mistranslated four of these occurrences as "sodomite" again; the last one it mistranslated as "unclean", a term so bland that (so far as this writer has seen) the verse has been left entirely out of the debate on homosexuality and the Bible. The oversight is unfortunate, since, as we shall see, this last instance is perhaps the most revealing of the lot.

Here are the five (RSV):

1 Kings 14:23. "For they [Judah] also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree; 24. and there were also male cult prostitutes [qadeshim] in the land. They did according to all the abominations [plural of toevah] of the nations which the LORD drove out before the people of Israel."

1 Kings 15:12-13. "He [the good king Asa] put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13. He also removed Ma'acah his mother from being queen because she had an abominable image made for Asherah; and Asa cut down her image and buned it at the brook Kidron."

1 Kings 22:46. "And the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his [Jehoshaphat's] father Asa he removed from the land."

2 Kings 23:7. [The entire chapter is spent describing King Josiah's cleansing the temple, Jerusalem, and Judah of all sorts of idols and pagan practices.] "And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah."

If archaeology and the etymology of qadesh had left us in any doubt, these verses and their contexts of idol-clearing activities underscore the religious function of these male prostitutes. It is particularly clear in the 2 Kings passage.

Most telling is the instance in 1 Kings 14. On the traditional theory, Leviticus prohibits homosexuality in general, and only in Deuteronomy is male temple prostitution directly addressed. One would therefore expect the writer of Kings to echo the themes of Deuteronomy 23 when the subject of male temple prostitution comes up: the parallel with female prostitutes, the concern over bringing their pay into the temple.

But that doesn't happen. Instead, 1 Kings echoes several of the specific themes of Leviticus 18:27-28: calling the practices toevah (echoing the whole phrase "did all of the abominations"); characterizing them as practices of the former inhabitants of the land; stating that those inhabitants were driven out of the land because of them. That the writer was not rather moved to allude to the supposedly more specific passage in Deuteronomy is a trifle odd - unless he regarded the Leviticus passage as likewise specific to the practice of cult prostitution.

Finally, we have Job 36:14. "They [the godless] die in youth, and their life ends in shame. (Footnote: among the [male] cult prostitutes.)" For some reason, no version seems to want to translate the Hebrew of this verse as it stands.


SUMMATION

Let us sum up what we have learned. Aside from the complex of passages dealing with Sodom, the Old Testament mentions same gender sex exactly eight times. Of these, the two in Levticus may be regarded as ambiguous: it is possible they refer to male-male sexual behavior in general; it is possible (as rabbinical tradition has it) that they refer specifically to male-male anal intercourse. But most likely they refer only to male temple prostitution. This is made likely, first, by the stated reason for the prohibition - that it is toevah, which most commonly means idolatry. It is made likely, second, by its grouping with other prohibitions which can also be understood as concerned with idolatry. It is made likely, third, by the statement of Leviticus 18:3 that the prohibitions in the chapter are prohibitions of things the Egyptians and Canaanites did by "statute". It is made likely, fourth, by the fact that otherwise this would represent the only death-penalty offense whose prohibition is never repeated. It is, fifth, made slightly more likely by the peculiar failure to extend the prohibition to actions of females with females.

The other six passages which refer to same-gender sex all use the term qadesh, and all commentators, liberal and conservative, agree that it unambiguously describes idolatrous male prostitution.

There is not a single passage which gives a specific example of any disapproved male-male sexual act, other than acts of temple prostitution. (Again, setting aside the Sodom complex, since we are all agreed that gang rape-murder is not a good thing.) The only two passages (and one might argue that Leviticus 18 and 20 are more like two versions of the same passage) which may prohibit male-male acts in general, we have shown, are most likely also directed to the same specific idolatrous acts.

The defense theory completely accounts for the biblical evidence. The prosecution theory requires us to ignore all the evidence which the defense has here submitted. It requires us to attribute the overwhelming weight of concern for qadeshim, the way Kings echos Leviticus rather than Deuteronomy when discussing qadeshim, the failure of Deuteronomy to make any general same-sex prohibition, despite the supposed seriousness of the crime, the utter absence of a single historical case of non-idolatrous homosexual behavior among the half-dozen specific cases alluded to - all these it requires us to attribute to sheer coincidence.

The prosecution would have you believe that the central concern of the One who inspired these writings was to prohibit homosexuality in general, and that this Inspirer intended to make that crystal clear to every reader. They would have you believe that this Inspirer, being omniscient, knew that the very questions defense has raised here would arise. And they would have you believe that, nevertheless, said Inspirer, while including two specific examples of gang rape, and six specific examples of cult prostitution, chose to omit any example of two males cleaving sexually to one another out of secular motives, whether they be motives of lust or of love.

The defense does not believe that the One who inspired these writings was so inept at achieving His goals. We believe that the intent of the text is what the intent seems to be, when it is approached on its own terms without preconceptions as to the guilt of our clients. It prohibits gang rape. Of that charge, the prosecution will stipulate that our clients are not guilty. It prohibits the toevah, the idolatrous practice, of a man lying with a man who has been dedicated as a temple prostitute, a qadesh. Of that charge, the prosecution will stipulate that our clients are not guilty.

It is possible - although we have amply shown that it is not likely - that the intent of the text was indeed to prohibit homosexual acts in general. But we are in a court of law. You are not obliged - you are not permitted - to convict based on a mere probability; much less on a mere possibility. You must find the prosecution's theory true beyond a reasonable doubt; or you must render a verdict of "not guilty."

Please do not introduce your own personal feelings into your deliberations. You must decide based on the law, the text which is before us, and on the law alone. You must acquit.


POSTSCRIPT - THE NEW TESTAMENT REVISITED

Same-gender behavior, in one form or another, is mentioned in only three places in the New Testament. (Again, I lay aside the Sodom complex.) Two of these are sin lists in which the disputed word arsenokoitai appears. We have concluded that it is most likely a coinage based on Leviticus 18/20. Since we have now demonstrated that, in all probability, Leviticus described not homosexuality in general, but male temple prostitution; and since we know that similar institutions prevailed in 1st century Gentile culture, the defense theory accounts entirely for these two verses.

We would expect, on the basis of our defense theory, that when we turn to the other passage (Romans 1), we will find that it features idolatry prominently in its account. That is, of course, exactly what we find. Romans asserts that the same-sex behavior with which it deals (whatever it is) is a direct consequence of the worship of idols, of images of "birds and beasts and men." At this point the defense could also rest its New Testament case.

However, in the course of researching this essay, I stumbled upon an extremely interesting correlation which, so far as I am aware, has not been remarked on previously. I discovered that like the term arsenokoitai, Romans 1 also echos (most likely deliberately) an old testament passage. If the echo hasn't been noted before, it's because we don't know our Old Testaments as intimately as the apostle Paul did!

Let us first briefly recapitulate the storyline of Romans 1. Paul's narrative postulates a set of people who:

  1. Knew God and worshipped God.
  2. Declined to acknowledge him as God.
  3. Engaged in idolatrous practice, and
  4. As a punishment, engaged in some sort of same-gender behavior.

Now let us look at the full context for Job 36:14. Elihu is speaking to Job. The points he makes are a good deal more subtle and complex than the superficially similar points made by the previous speakers, the "false comforters". He begins by saying, like them, that God unfailingly punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous. But then he continues, as they do not, with an "and if..." The structure of his assertion is what programmers refer to as a "nested if-then-else clause." I'll indent it to make its logical structure easier to follow. (I find Elihu's discourse deeply fascinating, completely apart from its application to the current discussion.)

Job 36
5."Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding."

There's meat for a long sermon already! Do human beings measure how "mighty" someone is by his capacity to despise no one, or by his capacity to injure those he despises? Do human beings measure "might" by depth of understanding? Does Elihu foreshadow a God who shows his might by mingling with prostitutes, and by dying a violent and ignoble death? Religious people are fond of quoting that God's ways are higher than our ways; but are they actually still higher, still stranger, than those people have usually imagined?...

6. He does not keep the wicked alive,
but gives the afflicted their right.
7. He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
but with kings upon the throne he sets them forever,
and they are exalted.
8. AND IF they are bound in fetters ["they" here is "the righteous"]
and caught in the cords of affliction,
9. THEN he declares to them their work,
and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
[So one may be "righteous" and still "transgress"]
10. He opens their ears to instruction,
and commands that they return from iniquity.
11. IF they ["the righteous" still] hearken and serve him,
[THEN] they complete their days in prosperity,
and their years in pleasantness.
12. BUT IF they ["the righteous" still] do not hearken,
[THEN] they perish by the sword,
and die without knowledge.
13. The godless in heart cherish anger;
they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14. They die in their youth,
and their life ends among the male temple prostitutes.

Ignoring the fortunate righteous in verse 11, (Paul gets to them in Romans 4), Elihu's narrative postulates a set of people who:

  1. Knew God and worshipped God. (Like Job, they began "righteous", as in verse 7.)
  2. Declined to acknowledge him as God. (Verses 12 and 13: they do not hearken; they become "godless in heart" and do not cry for help.)
  3. Engaged in idolatrous practice, and
  4. As a punishment, engaged in some sort of same-gender behavior. (Life among the male temple prostitutes encompasses both idolatrous practice and same-gender behavior.)

The parallel with Romans 1 is striking. I submit that Elihu must have been Paul's primary model for the Romans 1 narrative, and a principal reason (though I think it was, as mathematical physicists put it, overdetermined) why the particular punishment he describes there involves same-gender sex. Having found this model, we can confirm the conclusion to which the rest of our old testament study, and the specific role of idolatry in Romans 1, had already pointed us: Just as in Job, the form of same-gender sexual activity Paul had in mind as he wrote Romans 1 was male temple prostitution.

With this final, unexpected, and welcome witness, the defense rests.

 

TRAITOR McCain

jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law

f.ck Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition

 

Hit Counter

 

Modified Saturday, March 11, 2017

Copyright @ 2007 by Fathers' Manifesto & Christian Party