Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Importance of Proper Translation

Warning: some crude references may be used in this post.

Phil Robertson is under fire yet again for something included in a sermon he gave on Easter. The part in question is quoted from a Newsbusters report as follows:
Is homosexual behavior a sin?,’ the guy asked me. I said, 'Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolaters, nor adulters, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers — will inherit the kingdom of God.' I gave him the rest of the story.
This is one of the problems I have with our obsession with creating "easier to read" translations of holy texts. The Hebraic term from which homosexual is so often translated is more properly translated as "effeminate". Effeminate is an adjective used to describe behaviors of a man which are womanly in nature. In a biblical sense, this refers to a man taking a woman's place in society. Lest we forget, in a biblical sense, a woman's place in society is in the home, raising children, and teaching other women, not owning property, leading churches, or leading communities. Exceptions to this do occur in the bible, but if one pays attention, in each case, the woman in question was either unmarried or a widower with no male children, hence she was head of household, therefore being taken as a man in all legal senses until marriage/remarriage.

In all my years, I have never once found any reference strictly to homosexual sexual relations within the bible. In fact, the closest reference to homosexual relations of carnal nature is the line "thou shalt not lay with a man as he would lay with a woman." In fact, the only part of homosexuality forbidden by the bible is sodomy, which, I may remind you (crudely) one does any time one receives falatio or conducts anal penetration. Furthermore, the line which Phil quotes includes drunkards, adulterers, and most of all fornicators. Fornication, in biblical parlance, refers to any sexual acts without the intent of pregnancy. Therefore, following the verses being referenced, heterosexual relations with a woman who is no longer of childbearing age, or relations in which contraception are involved are also banned.

The bible also teaches that lusting after a woman to whom you are not married is commission of adultery in your heart. Therefore, you are also prohibited from not only premarital sex with your fiance, but also sexual desire of your fiance, let alone such desires with a woman to whom you are not betrothed. So, finally, I submit this, according to the passage quoted, if you have ever had sex out of wedlock, including masturbation; if you have ever lusted after a woman to whom you were not married, or if you have ever cooked for your wife, you are just as sinful as a homosexual.

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