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Homosexuality In The Bible


John Ryan
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I like to use different translations as they allow me to look at texts in different ways I'm curious about this and might have to download.

I can see some traditional & fundy churches having a field day with it!

Well, I think it is relatively easy to discern the bias in a translation such as this, whereas the bias in other classic translations is better obscured. Most people are not well versed enough to realize that "αρσενοκοιτης" translated as "homosexuals" is highly improper. Anybody with a background in Queer Theory or Michel Foucault understands that "sexuality" and "homosexuality" are modernist-linguistic constructs that arose out of the rising movement of psychology and advances in medicine. Yet, if you have never read these philosophical-sociology works teasing out the ideological construction of hetero/homosexuality, the bias in choosing "homosexuals" as English equivalent of the original Greek will remain hidden. Edited by John Ryan
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Most people are not well versed enough to realize that "αρσενοκοιτης" translated as "homosexuals" is highly improper. [...] "sexuality" and "homosexuality" are modernist-linguistic constructs . . .

 

John,

 

I am not clear on your point. The idea of sexual orientation is a modern concept. Are you saying that this translation uses the word "homosexual?" And, if so, in what context?

 

George

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John,

 

I am not clear on your point. The idea of sexual orientation is a modern concept. Are you saying that this translation uses the word "homosexual?" And, if so, in what context?

 

George

First of all, let me apologize for not realizing Greek text turns into gibberish on the forums. Secondly, I insinuated that classic translations, such as the NIV, err when they translate "arsenokoites" as "homosexuals."
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First of all, let me apologize for not realizing Greek text turns into gibberish on the forums. Secondly, I insinuated that classic translations, such as the NIV, err when they translate "arsenokoites" as "homosexuals."

 

I found one instance in a word search of the NIV; 1 Tim 10, "for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine."

 

The Early Christian Reader translates this as "sodomites" then has a footnote that says, "or male homosexuals, the Gk word used here is found only here and 1 Cor. 6:10 in our literature; it is also used in Polycarp To the Philipeans 5:3."

 

I would not have chosen this word as the concept of sexual orientation didn't exist at that time. However, I think a reasonable argument in an idiomatic translation could be made as this was condemning same-sex practices (not orientation). Whether they should have been banned is another issue altogether (I think not).

 

Is 'homosexual' used in The Voice translation?

 

George

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I found one instance in a word search of the NIV; 1 Tim 10, "for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine."

 

The Early Christian Reader translates this as "sodomites" then has a footnote that says, "or male homosexuals, the Gk word used here is found only here and 1 Cor. 6:10 in our literature; it is also used in Polycarp To the Philipeans 5:3."

 

I would not have chosen this word as the concept of sexual orientation didn't exist at that time. However, I think a reasonable argument in an idiomatic translation could be made as this was condemning same-sex practices (not orientation). Whether they should have been banned is another issue altogether (I think not).

I am still not comfortable with translating it as condemnation of "same-sex acts," however. There is much evidence to suggest the word is in reference to an economic-sexual sin, such as sleeping with young prostitute boys.

 

Is 'homosexual' used in The Voice translation?

I have no idea. Only snippets are available at this time, if I am not mistaken.
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I am still not comfortable with translating it as condemnation of "same-sex acts," however. There is much evidence to suggest the word is in reference to an economic-sexual sin, such as sleeping with young prostitute boys.

I always thought this was a reference to the Greek practice of an older mentor 'teaching' young boys about sex (by having sex with them) before they were married.

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I have no reason to think that there were no homosexual men in ancient Greece and Israel although probably not acknowledged as a natural orientation. I also have no reason not to think that same-sex relations were disapproved of in those societies. This is not a hang-up limited to Jews and Christians.

 

But, that was then and this is now.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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I always thought this was a reference to the Greek practice of an older mentor 'teaching' young boys about sex (by having sex with them) before they were married.

That is one of the popular progressive interpretations.

 

I have no reason to think that there were no homosexual men in ancient Greece and Israel although probably not acknowledged as a natural orientation. I also have no reason not to think that same-sex relations were disapproved of in those societies. This is not a hang-up limited to Jews and Christians.

 

But, that was then and this is now.

There cannot be "homosexuals" before the linguistic category existed. If you mean "innate same-sex attraction" by the word "homosexuality," then I would agree. However, the construct of homosexuality extends beyond mere innate attraction.
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That is one of the popular progressive interpretations.

 

There cannot be "homosexuals" before the linguistic category existed. If you mean "innate same-sex attraction" by the word "homosexuality," then I would agree. However, the construct of homosexuality extends beyond mere innate attraction.

 

I did mean "innate same-sex attraction." What "extended" concept do you mean?

 

George

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I did mean "innate same-sex attraction." What "extended" concept do you mean?

Well, our society's construction of homosexuality is very much linked with the idea of it as a life-style. There is an idea of what a homosexual man is, beyond purely same-sex attraction. For example, the idea that a homosexual male is an invert is still wildly popular. When people pejoratively say something/someone is acting "gay," it does not simply mean they are acting as if they are attracted to the same-sex. That makes absolutely no sense. The strength of Derridan deconstruction is that it reveals to you the hidden ideological content of words we imagine not to be ideological. It is also the idea that homosexuality becomes a social identity. Coming out of the closet is perceived in our culture as the assertion or revelation of a hidden identity, which makes us who were are.

 

I align myself predominantly with the tradition of queer theory in studies of sexuality. What it essentially argues is that sexuality is fluid, multi-faceted and regulatory. Hetero, homo and bisexuality are human-created categories which fail to adequately reflect reality. They are useful, but the danger lies in believing that they truly reflect our core identities, and not merely an identity we adopt through the socialization process.

Edited by John Ryan
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Well, our society's construction of homosexuality is very much linked with the idea of it as a life-style.

I do think this is 'deconstructed' by relationship. My ability to leave the Bible behind (regarding sexuality) was based on those homosexuals whom I met and know. I am not without my homophobia or stereotypes but I have many more stereotypes, now, under the category "homosexual".

 

Dutch

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I do not desire to muddy the waters of this discussion, but I am curious to know what you (who have been engaging in this conversation) think about the origins of orientation and programs (like the ex-gay movement) designed to change peope, or make them straight.

 

If you think this could really be agitating a bunch of africanized honey bees let me know and I'll drop it.

 

Peace,

 

Brian

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I am curious to know what you (who have been engaging in this conversation) think about the origins of orientation and programs (like the ex-gay movement) designed to change peope, or make them straight.

 

Destructive, harmful, none of my business. Why should I insist on someone changing their orientation?

 

George

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Destructive, harmful, none of my business. Why should I insist on someone changing their orientation?

 

George

 

Thank you George. I recall a discussion I had with a classmate the Seminary I attended; Sacred Heart School of Theology in Milwaukee. He was studying for the diocese of Louisville, KY. He told me his sister had been involved in one of the Ex-gay ministries and finally came to the conclusion that none of it worked.

 

I agree. I know of no one who would choose that as an "option" for their lives. But appearantly their are still numerous denominations who believe it is something that can be changed. Very sad.

 

Brian

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origins of orientation

There is a spectrum I think. some friends have told of the moment when they had clarity of their orientation and I have seen the fluidity of sexual identities, - not in youthful adventures but in a series of commitments - that John mentioned in his discussion of queer theory. Skin or relationship is neither female or male. And some of us know that our orientation is singular and innate.

 

Not allowing oneself to know and reveal one's identity can mean slow death. My father walked this path.

 

 

Dutch

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I do not desire to muddy the waters of this discussion, but I am curious to know what you (who have been engaging in this conversation) think about the origins of orientation and programs (like the ex-gay movement) designed to change peope, or make them straight.

 

If you think this could really be agitating a bunch of africanized honey bees let me know and I'll drop it.

 

Peace,

 

Brian

I know your question was asked of those who have already participated in the conversation but please forgive me if I also say something. I think one of the difficulties fundamentalists have is that they have to try all sorts of things to try and justify their understanding of what they believe is an inerrant bible. I am proud to recognise that among progressive and liberal churches this is not the case. The issue leaves fundamentalists unable or unwilling to question the bible as they see it as the bedrock of their faith and therefore they will not challenge it or have it challenged. Liberals and Progressives lean more on the spiritual and are free to question the bible on issues like homosexuality and disagree with the disapproving verses of the bible.

Personally I fail to see why some hold such difficulties questioning the bible whose authors thought that the world was composed of a firmament which we live on and a firmament above held up by huge pillars. The stars were then held in place by the firmament above.

Likewise I feel the ex-gay movement is a nonsense and a cruelty inflicted on people who have no fault other than to be sensitive to such people who cannot question what they do. I have no faith in those who say they can change a persons sexuality and agree with George that it really is none of their business. They also do not recognise that gay relations is not unique to humans or of fallen people but is found throughout creation. See:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

I wonder what they would feel if we set up an ex-fundie movement. Whether this is politically correct or not we would (IMO) have more chance of succeeding in such an endeavour than those who insist they can change someones sexuality.

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I wonder what they would feel if we set up an ex-fundie movement. Whether this is politically correct or not we would (IMO) have more chance of succeeding in such an endeavour than those who insist they can change someones sexuality.

 

Hey Pete,

 

There already is one! It used to be called the way, of course now it is called Christianity!!!! :lol:

 

Brian

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I know of no one who would choose that as an "option" for their lives. But appearantly their are still numerous denominations who believe it is something that can be changed. Very sad.

 

Brian,

 

Hypothetically, what if they are right that one could change, so what? Why should homosexuals be compelled to change.

 

I think making the argument based on innateness is the wrong path to take. If innateness were the test, we would be obligated to accept any behavior with a genetic basis. Are willing to do that? What about pedophilia? Psychopaths?

 

Instead, I think what we should ask is, who is harmed? Why should benign practices someone else engages in be my concern?

 

George

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At the risk of repeating myself from previous discussions that some may not have engaged in, I don't think we can blame homophobia on religion.

 

Any good theory should account for all and only the data. But the proposition that religion causes homophobia cannot be supported. There are devoutly religious people who are not homophobes and there are secular people who are homophobes. Therefore, religion cannot be the cause.

 

However, religion is sometimes used as a rationale to give our underlying prejudices divine authority.

 

George

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There is a spectrum I think. some friends have told of the moment when they had clarity of their orientation and I have seen the fluidity of sexual identities, - not in youthful adventures but in a series of commitments - that John mentioned in his discussion of queer theory. Skin or relationship is neither female or male. And some of us know that our orientation is singular and innate.

 

Not allowing oneself to know and reveal one's identity can mean slow death. My father walked this path.

Well, queer theory criticizes the spectrum developed by Kinsey of homosexuality on one side and heterosexuality on the other. It is not that it necessarily denies that we might have innate desires towards on "sex/gender". Rather, it doubts that the sexual categories we create reflect our innate essence. In the view of queer theory, sexual categories are seen as adopted identities. For instance, in our American cultural-linguistic framework, we have this idea of "coming out," but in Ancient Greece, the idea of a homosexual identity was absent. There was no concept of "homosexuality" to "come out" about.
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Well, queer theory criticizes the spectrum developed by Kinsey

I wasn't referencing Kinsey. My sense of spectrum is based on my personal observations of friends and acquaintances. Sometimes their lives are lived out of wholeness and sometimes out of brokenness. Individuals who don't care about the gender of skin, Individuals who don't care about the gender of relationship. For others gender/sexual identity is defining. I don't believe everyone has the freedom to move back and forward. So I think it is innate for some people. Most gay's I have met told me that they knew early in life. I met a couple individuals whose gender/sexual identity didn't seem to be out of wholeness.

 

Could I have been gay? Probably not although I went on a few dates with gay men. I have been thinking of women as partners for a long time. The gender of their skin is important to me.

 

Dutch

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Rather, it doubts that the sexual categories we create reflect our innate essence. In the view of queer theory, sexual categories are seen as adopted identities. For instance, in our American cultural-linguistic framework, we have this idea of "coming out," but in Ancient Greece, the idea of a homosexual identity was absent. There was no concept of "homosexuality" to "come out" about.

 

Clearly, there is identity associated with homosexuality, as with most things human. But, if you are suggesting there is no basic biological difference between straight and gay, I think this is wrong. Are you suggesting that all men feel an equal attraction to other men and women?

 

George

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I don't think ex-gay ministries are healthy or helpful. I don't know anyone who's been through it, but there are a lot of interesting blogs and other writings on the internet where people have shared their experiences - negative, scary, hurtful seem to be the running themes.

 

Ask the supporter this: Could enough therapy make you gay? Could you be reoriented to homosexuality? They will say no, of course not.

 

BINGO!

 

It makes me sad that people's churches encourage them to "pray the gay away" instead of embracing them for who they are. Unfortunately, there are so many myths and stereotypes surrounding homosexuality that people can't seem to figure out are a load of garbage. Narrow-minded, uneducated people hear "gay" (or lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, etc) and think: AIDS! Child molesters! Sexual deviants!

 

Heaven forbid people do a little digging, a little talking, a little question, a little THINKING.

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