I wish I could have been as articulate as Kevin Daugherty during the thousands of arguments I’ve been in, supporting these views in opposition to others relying on scripture to justify oppression.
Filed under Ethics and Morality
Tagged as Bible, Christianity, compassion, ethics, faith, justice, LGBT, love, peace, religion
OK, I just read Kevin Daugherty’s post and I’m disappointed. I agree with everything he said, but he established the general case…and then stopped. Mistranslation? Good. What passage? What is a better translation? Oh well. It was worth visiting just to find out that there are MennoNerds.
I’ve written previous posts, admittedly a couple of years ago, on the specifics of lousy translation regarding some of the “clobber verses” from the Bible. Since you were nice enough to drop by and contribute, here’s one:
Verses from Romans are often used. Paul wrote in Greek. The Greek words (as you probably know, since that culture had a different attitude toward homosexuality at the time) are very specific in gender. None of the words written by Paul can be applied to females. Apparently, only male homosexuals are the problem.
Then there’s the problem of culture clash. Paul was a learned person for his era, but he wasn’t a writer of speculative fiction. He would have had a hard time imagining lifetime same-sex partners living openly, protected by law, raising children.
Then there’s the problem of how to define “inspired”. Some Christians think that means “all books are equal”. If all the books are equal (in weight of regard and truth) then it sets up conflicts, because there are thousands of contradictions set up by that precondition.
I wrote before about the guiding principle between every Biblical translation into English since the 1850. It’s “functional equivalence”. Functional equivalence means you get to substitute pronouns, words, even whole phrases, if you think readers in your time and place wouldn’t understand and be able to comprehend the attitudes behind the original words and phrasing. Every person who speaks more than one current language (I also speak Spanish and some German and Welsh) knows that makes some things hard to translate. If you just published the transliteration (actual words) you would have to add a page of notes for every verse, and ordinary readers (non-linguists) refuse to read the Bible that way.
So if you don’t read old Greek, ancient Hebrew and Aramaic, there’s little chance you’ve ever actually read the Bible at all. Yet Christians all over the world think they absolutely KNOW what it says, and can act accordingly.
My main point in this overlong reply, is that you have to go back to the core philosophy and ethics of Christianity to support your argument. The mere reliance on “this is what it says” doesn’t cut it with me. Either that, or start whipping out your college credentials. My wife has an MA in Theology, so I inherited an awesome library by marrying her, but I still have to ask her a ton of questions. It’s useful to have a scholar at home.
False prophets abound towards the end of the age. The Bible is clear that homosexuality it is a sin that God hates. It is sad that people are trying to teach these people they will not be judged harshly like all other sinners without repentence and turning away from the lifestyle.
Well, you’re entitled to your opinion. I obviously don’t share it. A God of harsh judgements isn’t one I can have any respect for.
Respected. That’s what tolerance is about.
As a Pagan, this article (the original) just reinforces my firm belief that Christ has very little to do with modern Christianity. Granted, I’m not a biblical scholar, nor do I spend much time trying to interpret the scripture. That being said, “Judge not” seems pretty unambiguous.
Christ was pretty clear when He taught that sin was between God and the sinner. “Love God, and love each other” again seems pretty cut and dry.
Agreed. Thanks for reading and contributing to the discussion!
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 792 other followers