Editor's note: Daniel A. Helminiak, who was ordained a priest in Rome, is a theologian, psychotherapist and author of “What the Bible Really Says about homosexuality" and books on contemporary spirituality. He is a professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia.
By Daniel A. Helminiak, Special to CNN
President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, like blood in the water, has conservative sharks circling for a kill. In a nation that touts separation of religion and government, religious-based arguments command this battle. Lurking beneath anti-gay forays, you inevitably find religion and, above all, the Bible.
We now face religious jingoism, the imposition of personal beliefs on the whole pluralistic society. Worse still, these beliefs are irrational, just a fiction of blind conviction. Nowhere does the Bible actually oppose homosexuality.
In the past 60 years, we have learned more about sex, by far, than in preceding millennia. Is it likely that an ancient people, who thought the male was the basic biological model and the world flat, understood homosexuality as we do today? Could they have even addressed the questions about homosexuality that we grapple with today? Of course not.
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Hard evidence supports this commonsensical expectation. Taken on its own terms, read in the original languages, placed back into its historical context, the Bible is ho-hum on homosexuality, unless – as with heterosexuality – injustice and abuse are involved.
That, in fact, was the case among the Sodomites (Genesis 19), whose experience is frequently cited by modern anti-gay critics. The Sodomites wanted to rape the visitors whom Lot, the one just man in the city, welcomed in hospitality for the night.
The Bible itself is lucid on the sin of Sodom: pride, lack of concern for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49); hatred of strangers and cruelty to guests (Wisdom 19:13); arrogance (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8); evildoing, injustice, oppression of the widow and orphan (Isaiah 1:17); adultery (in those days, the use of another man’s property), and lying (Jeremiah 23:12).
But nowhere are same-sex acts named as the sin of Sodom. That intended gang rape only expressed the greater sin, condemned in the Bible from cover to cover: hatred, injustice, cruelty, lack of concern for others. Hence, Jesus says “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31); and “By this will they know you are my disciples” (John 13:35).
How inverted these values have become! In the name of Jesus, evangelicals and Catholic bishops make sex the Christian litmus test and are willing to sacrifice the social safety net in return.
The longest biblical passage on male-male sex is Romans 1:26-27: "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."
The Greek term para physin has been translated unnatural; it should read atypical or unusual. In the technical sense, yes, the Stoic philosophers did use para physin to mean unnatural, but this term also had a widespread popular meaning. It is this latter meaning that informs Paul's writing. It carries no ethical condemnation.
Compare the passage on male-male sex to Romans 11:24. There, Paul applies the term para physin to God. God grafted the Gentiles into the Jewish people, a wild branch into a cultivated vine. Not your standard practice! An unusual thing to do — atypical, nothing more. The anti-gay "unnatural" hullabaloo rests on a mistranslation.
Besides, Paul used two other words to describe male-male sex: dishonorable (1:24, 26) and unseemly (1:27). But for Paul, neither carried ethical weight. In 2 Corinthians 6:8 and 11:21, Paul says that even he was held in dishonor — for preaching Christ. Clearly, these words merely indicate social disrepute, not truly unethical behavior.
In this passage Paul is referring to the ancient Jewish Law: Leviticus 18:22, the “abomination” of a man’s lying with another man. Paul sees male-male sex as an impurity, a taboo, uncleanness — in other words, “abomination.” Introducing this discussion in 1:24, he says so outright: "God gave them up … to impurity."
But Jesus taught lucidly that Jewish requirements for purity — varied cultural traditions — do not matter before God. What matters is purity of heart.
“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles,” reads Matthew 15. “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”
Or again, Jesus taught, “Everyone who looks at a women with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus rejected the purity requirements of the Jewish Law.
In calling it unclean, Paul was not condemning male-male sex. He had terms to express condemnation. Before and after his section on sex, he used truly condemnatory terms: godless, evil, wicked or unjust, not to be done. But he never used ethical terms around that issue of sex.
As for marriage, again, the Bible is more liberal than we hear today. The Jewish patriarchs had many wives and concubines. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, and Daniel and the palace master were probably lovers.
The Bible’s Song of Songs is a paean to romantic love with no mention of children or a married couple. Jesus never mentioned same-sex behaviors, although he did heal the “servant” — pais, a Greek term for male lover — of the Roman Centurion.
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Paul discouraged marriage because he believed the world would soon end. Still, he encouraged people with sexual needs to marry, and he never linked sex and procreation.
Were God-given reason to prevail, rather than knee-jerk religion, we would not be having a heated debate over gay marriage. “Liberty and justice for all,” marvel at the diversity of creation, welcome for one another: these, alas, are true biblical values.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daniel A. Helminiak.
and God gave them over to a reprobate mind, those that loved not the truth to be saved. Another one bites the dust such as this professor who is wiser than God, using the foolishness of men to support ungodliness. But God will by no means be mocked, whatsoever one sows, the same he shall reap. Sad to see bilble prophecy foretelling the collapse of society morals playing out in front of our very eyes.
Yawn. What is sad is to see someone so mentally ill that posts such delusional fiction.
Whatever. The bible is a book of fables.
He is not saying he is wiser ... he is just telling the truth. Which can be hurtful to those who will not accept it. (None are so blind that will NOT see)
I'm with you Pete. There is only one truth, and We who know....Know. The rest just have their unholy opinions and hopes.
1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
Preach on Pete.
..."whatsoever one sows, the same he shall reap." And, in your deluded state, the irony of your comment totally escapes you, I assume.
The one with the reprobate mind is the one who reads more into the Bible passages than is actually there. And that, sir, is you. I'd suggest that you go borrow the book of Helminiak's from your local library. And learn that TRUTH is actually the application of the correct rules of LOGIC to TRUE FACTS. It has nothing to do with who makes the truth claim. Helminiak has laid out his argument quite nicely, and quite logically. The only problem is that you have heard pastor Billy Bob tell you that the Sin of Sodom had something to do with F*gs. It doesn't And Ezekiel even goes so far as to explain it to you. You don't WANT to hear that it could actually be YOU that is the Sodomite, as properly understood.
"And God gave them over to a reprobate mind."
This is why I hate "Your" God, but love the real God. The one who inspired the bible, not the one who lives in it. God loves everyone, DEAL.WITH.IT. God didn't send Jesus so that some crazy guy can say everyone is going to hell, the devil wins, and tacks it onto a bible to make everyone but the jews feel like they have no hope.
Look at the end of the book of Esther, who was a QUEEN of persia, who wrote that mordecai the jew was second in command to king XERXES, the BAD GUY from the movie the 300, and you will FULLY understand why so much of that book is tainted whitewash. If you love Jesus, you will love the least of these....and if you hate Jesus you will condemn them blindly. It is you he gave over to a reprobate mind...and Lord, and I mean the REAL Lord, help you if you don't change your ways.
Also, pete, for the record....Jesus's Holy Spirit said "Spread the Gospel." This is, matthew mark luke and john. If you don't like that fact, then you have no business being a follower of Jesus. Christianity isn't a religion, it is NOT this freakish little circus side-show that it has become today. Jesus hated religion so much he came to shake the very foundations of what was being taught at his time. It sickened him.
"Not everyone who calls to me "Lord, Lord", will be of me, yet I will turn them away and say I never knew them."
Who did it say loves Jesus? Those who love the poor, the needy, the suffering, and especially children. I go a step further and feel he'd love animals too and want us to take care of them. Modern Christianity is the biggest spit in the eye to everything Jesus stood for. He was anti establishment, going so far to scare out the money changers from the temple. He was anti "Scripture", but wanted people to follow the actual meaning behind it. He called the Pharisees "People who follow the rituals of men while completely ignoring the law." Then he said that the law was, above all, loving thy neighbor and thy brother. Being the good samaritan. It says that Christians will be filled with his Holy Spirit. Listen to the hate you spew...is that who you imagine Jesus to be??? Is the Holy Spirit of anyone else? It isn't Paul's, it isn't Peter's. It was God's.
If you want to preach the bible I suggest you actually read it, and I suggest you pay particular attention to those red parts. Those are the ones you should care about most, considering JESUS said them...not some crazy guy preaching how he saw UFOs or some heretic who says that Jesus will kill so many children at his second coming it will make hitler look like a saint. And yes, guess what? Apocalypse=children being hurt. If Jesus loves children and the least of these, and God in the book of Genesis PROMISED to himself he'd never destroy the earth again (and yes, even if the rainbow meant no floods, he promised it to HIMSELF.), it means the entire book of revelation is heresy. I would strongly suggest you "Know them by their fruit" and understand the bible we have today didn't fall from the sky as perfect. In fact, it's so mistranslated somehow they believe a "hell" exists when there is only sheol and gehenna and for the pagan audience of its time, hades, places NOT spoken of being eternal.
You are reading deeply into a work that is maligned by mistranslation, making it complete hypocrisy that you follow it to the letter yet completely ignore what Jesus was trying to say in the first place.
@tain.... I could say the same about this article and the author.
Yes they (the h o m o s e c t u a l s) are called dogs in the new testiment, and they will have no place in heaven as the Bible puts it. They do have right of marriage however in hell with the devil. Sodom and Gomorrah is in the bottom of the dead sea, we will fare no better as a nation. Praise the Lord He is coming again and willl be exhonerated. All will bend the knee to the Lord in the end.
Pete, would bet a nickel that your gay. Who are you to judge. Surely you'll have a hell of a time when you reach the pearly gates.
Thayer's Lexicon, tied to Strongs and referencing Rom 1:26 means "that which is contrary to nature's law", i.e. against nature; It does not mean atypical or unusual at all. In Roman 11:24, para physin means, according to Thayer's Lexicon, tied to Strongs for Romans 11:24 is "contrary to the plan of nature" – same meaning.
Faith is a personal thing. We each interpret God in our own way. But in the end we all have to live together no matter what our interpretations are. However, we also have the right to pray with whomever we wish to. That ought to be enough for all of you.
Paul uses the same two words, para physin 1 Corinthians 11:14, when he refers to long hair on men as unusual and not ordinary. It means 'beyond the ordinary'. Strong's isn't infallible. Helminiak is a well-respected theologian, and he's right on the money with this article. Instead of insisting that you know it all, perhaps you might accept that you don't know half as much as you think you do. Only then will you have true wisdom.
Do you really think that the lord would not give us something to learn from? Of course there is going to be something written. Bible has been written and guided through the holy spirit. It is truth directly from God. The interpretation that can be trusted is that of the Catholic faith. For Jesus said "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hell will not overpower it. Jesus also say in Matthew "And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."
List of artifacts significant to the Bible
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Check it out ............your call!
Just like CNN twisting this for a political purpose....timing is everything!
God doesn't hate gay people, God hates the Sin..............
goes to show how easily we all including us Christians get caught up in it.........and how easily we are blinded by it!!! ;o(
He served as Associate Pastor of SS. Simon and Jude Church in Scott Township (Pittsburgh) for four years. On weekends throughout 23 subsequent years, Helminiak ministered in local parishes in Baltimore, Boston, San Antonio, and Austin and, admitted to being gay in 1976.
Moses wrote the first 5 chapters of the bible, and he has God refer to himself as "We" in genesis. I think there is good in the bible, but I think moses was completely schizophrenic. There may have been truth in what he said, but when you read verses like:
Deuteronomy 11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.
You can see he was pretty nuts. How many of you chop off your wives' hands? Exactly. Lay off gay people.
"The Bible itself is lucid on the sin of Sodom: pride, lack of concern for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49); hatred of strangers and cruelty to guests (Wisdom 19:13); arrogance (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8); evildoing, injustice, oppression of the widow and orphan (Isaiah 1:17); adultery (in those days, the use of another man’s property), and lying (Jeremiah 23:12)." Funny, that sounds just like the GOP. They're the real Soddomites!
Calvinism really harmed Christianity. Their fundamental argument is ridiculous. It goes something like this: God is outside time and space, and therefore knows who is going to make it into Heaven. God is Just, and wouldn't punish someone that he knew was going to make it into heaven. Ergo, you can tell who is going to make it into Heaven by how well they are doing here on Earth today.
This basic argument, in its many various forms, has quite literally POISONED Christianity. It gives Christians an excuse to not only get rich, but filthy rich. And why should they give charity to the poor when they believe that their very poverty is a sign that they are not favored by God? See how that works?
These Protestants do NOT want to hear that they might actually be the TRUE Sodomites. They much prefer to believe that it must be those gay people... Yet Ezekiel spells it out for them in very plain language. But how many of these right-wing Protestants even KNOW about that passage in Ezekiel? Probably not very many AT ALL.
Actually you need to look in the mirror, not at others.
JP Morgan finances Vatican Bailout...think about it.
TAX ALL RELIGIONS!!!
just another idiots translation, and his own interpitation,,of the lord
LOL..the Irony in your post says volumes. They are idiots, but you believe there is a lord. Thanks for the laugh.
The man is a respected theologian.
What are your credentials?
It isn't his 'translation'. He gives you the arguments. He applies logic to facts. And he applies the logic in a non-fallacious way. And guess what? LOGIC properly applied to FACTS yields TRUTH. You'd know that if you had made it to college and studied even a single semester of Logic.
Respected theologian? I've never heard of this guy until today and the only reason this article was written was to justify is own sin.
You haven't heard of him because you don't know the field. And you shouldn't pretend that you do, because it is quite evident that you don't.
Furthermore, this article stands on its merits - it doesn't rely on the orientation of the person making it. You right-wingers simply cannot get that through your heads. True facts + correct logic = truth. It doesn't matter who is doing the arguing. To claim otherwise is ad hominem. You'd know that, and understand that, if you had any sense about Logic.
He made his case. It is well-presented, and non-fallacious. If you disagree with any of his factual statements, then tell us what facts you disagree with. If you think he has made a fallacy (error in logic), then tell us which fallacy you think it is, and what statement contains it. Otherwise, you're just spewing forth unsubstantiated drivel from the peanut gallery.
Before we all should read this...we ought to have one question verified/confirmed by Mr. Daniel Helminiak. Are you gay? Do you like hot man love? If the answer is YES, then this article is BOGHUS.
Boring troll is boring. Go find something else to do.
Yes he is gay. Oddly enough – NOT – pointed out by CNN. Unreal.
Agreed. there must be something else going on here.
So what if he's gay? Why does that render the argument bogus? Ad Hominem isn't your friend.
The reason it isn't pointed out is simple. It is absolutely irrelevant. If you had any sense, you would know that truth comes by the proper application of logic to facts. It has NOTHING to do with the person. Your problem is that you simply haven't learned how to argue without ad hominem, which is, by the way, a fallacy.
Yep. Came out of the closet in 1976.
Trina, so when are you coming out......don't resist it. Can't pray it away.
Do you justify your entire existence with a book from the bronze age... your opinions are "BOHGUS" too.
Sounds like a gay guy trying to justify his acts to himself and the world.
Just like the Bible says, I man's ways is right in his OWN eyes.
Sounds more like he's trying to point out the flaws that are obvious to anyone but those with the lowest IQs.
Sounds like a bigot trying to rationalize his ignorance.
Pretty much sums it up....but he'll be held accountable by a higher power....
Really? What story did you write to justify your hate to the world?
Sounds like you don't want to know the history or anything else. You just want to keep on hating gay people, and tossing around ad hominems like a child. Do you even KNOW what a fallacy is? Have you ever taken a course in Logic? I seriously doubt it. It shows.
Ha! If you research his bio... that is exactly what he is! Too funny!
So what? You and others justify your hate with an ancient work, he's using it to counter-argument. If you were remotely intellectual, instead of being an uneducated bigot, you'd appreciate his argument, whether you agree or not.
Who's Bible. The one that those old white midieval men decided which gospels to include and which to exclude for political purposes. What about the Gospels of Peter, Michael, Mary, etc. Why should we believe what they thought in their Dark Ages.
What the bible has to say about it is about as important as what Santa Claus and the tooth fairy have to say about it.
Don't forget Snow White's opinion and the Easter Rabbit too.
If your dad was gay you would have never been born. (Not that it would've been such a bad thing.)
Anyway, think about it.
Hey clueless, do you have any idea how many gay people have children of their own?
What does it matter what the bible says about it; we are suppose to have separation of church and state.
I'm not trying to change anyones religion, what needs to change is the law; under the law we should all be equal and currently we are not.
Isn't the GOP suppose to let everyone fend for themselves. Stop trying to save my eternal soul then; if I burn in hell for who I love so be it.
I don't know about my dad, but my mom is gay, so I fail to see the point in your argument.
Furthermore, by your logic, if my father was a Catholic Priest, I never would've been born either. Should we outlaw Catholic Priests.
What am I doing arguing you on this? I'm really going after the low hanging fruit around here.
Come on people stop bringing logic into this argument. Logic is evil, we are just supposed to accept what a bunch of ignorant men wrote down two thousand years ago, makes perfect sence. NOT ONLY IF YOU ARE A MENTAL MIDGET THAT CAN WRAP YOUR LITTLE HEAD AROUND SCIENCE
@ David L...Your low hanging fruit comment had me hysterically laughing...
this article is a gross mischaracterization of Biblical Truth, written by a liberal scholar who seeks to use the Bible to justify his own end, instead of the Lord's end.
CNN will run anything, unless it's the Biblical Truth that believers have always believed for all time. DO a story on pot smoking Christians, that's a way better story
The bible is pro slavery. Care to defend that or are you just another hypocrite who picks and chooses what part of the bible to listen to?
"The article goes against the views I blindly cling to, therefore, it is wrong."
Jeff. My impression is that you are certain that your particular interpretation of the scripture is inspired by God & anything else is incorrect. Wow, that is typical!
Jeff, any christian can interpret the bible to say whatever their personal agenda requires. It's all the same.
A country full of religious idiots = USA. The rest of the 1st would country's don't believe in magic. WAKE UP ALREADY MORONS.
you will burn in hell for your lies... you blasphemer...
As opposed to conservative scholars who interpret the bible to justify THEIR beliefs? How blasphemous for you to feel YOU know what Gods intentions were and that only you and conservatives know their true meaning. Mankind had (mis)interpreted the Bible for centuries to try to justify what they believe. You of course have the right to interpret it the way you do – and the author has the right to interpret it the way he does. And giving his credentials – I think he has a bit more knowledge about this than you.
@jeff lucas, Dude, this guy is an ordained priest in Rome.
here is your challenge: FIND THE PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE THAT SAY BEING GAY AND ACTING ON THOSE URGES IS WRONG?
Because the guy who wrote this article pretty much HANDED YOU BACK YOUR BS
You got schooled so go sit down now.
Well said Jeff.
Sorry Jeff – REAL Christians aren't pot smokers. And to Sophia – USA may not be perfect, but I'm sure whatever WOULD you're from isn't either. I will say a prayer for all of you unbelievers. Also, you can go to Global Media Outlook for help. Most posters on here really need it.
Ben ,consider this , you presumably work for a living , most responsible people do. You give x number of hours of your life that will never be recovered to another for the purpose of personal gain. However , you may have a real loser for a boss that makes your worklife miserable. Many people do. Now contrast that to a benevolent slave owner who provides all the necessities of life to a slave. Food , shelter , healthcare , education . It is a historical fact that not all slaves welcomed freedom. That meant they had to fend for themselves. Today freedom is taken for granted as a right. But the only free people generally live under a bridge in a shipping crate. All the rest of us are indentured servants to our employers.
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
Some of you are missing that the article's author was ordained as a Catholic priest.
"this article is a gross mischaracterization of Biblical Truth, written by a liberal scholar who seeks to use the Bible to justify his own end, instead of the Lord's end."
Ah, the old "If he was a TRUE Christian he'd think like I do and interpret the Bible as I do." This is casuistry at it's finest. There are as many "True Christians" as there are people who call themselves such. I guess it's time to move the proverbial goalposts yet again.
Um how do you figure that? The bible IS an interpretation by man, and has been more than once. It was written by man and has been translated many times since, into many languages, and then back again. The whole thing is open to interpretation and this guys interpretation of the passages he discussed made sense. Please discuss some passages from the bible that contradict his arguments, and then I can consider whether your interpretation does. Just fyi, I am not a religious person and I believe everyone on this planet has the right to live their life as they see fit as long as they are not hurting others. In addition, as a parent I know that no matter how much my children tick me off, I could never write them off, so if, as the bible says, we are made in God's image, I don't think he (or she) could either.
Amen, Jeff! Solid words.
Hadenuffyet, good point. Slavery in antiquity wasn't necessarily the same sort of "chattel" sort that some assume, though it could be very bad. Employer/employee relationships that we're accustomed to today largely didn't exist, and systems of patronage were essential in a world where justice wasn't always ensured by the state.
In any case, *I* don't need defend the Bible on this – I'm sure the author can explain to us how a correct translation of the OT actually *condemns* slavery. :)
Automatic translator for Jeff, that was the funniest thing I have read all day.
The bible says"those without sin should cast the first stone"- are you without sin? no? enough said
Jeff, have you ever actually read the bible cover to cover? I'd bet a week's wages that you haven't.
Do enlighten us. That's a great charge. Where, specifically, do you think this analysis is wrong and how , specifically?
Atypical opinion piece of a "believer" who wants to conform dogma to their beliefs instead of vice versa.
You mean like Slavery, Women's Rights, Child Rights, Polygamy, and shell fish right?
and isn't that what most of your B.I.B.L.E. THU.MPERS been doing all week in these forums??
CAN WE SAY H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.T.E.S.???
Look in the mirror bigot. You are describing yourself to a "T"!
The Holy Bible is quite clear. Man shall not lay with man as with woman. If you don't understand that, it's because you don't want to. Plain and simple.
The bible is quite clear: slavery is fine.
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
Nothing said about standing up and F$%king- just lying down.
Yeah sure.... The Bible is very clear on EVERYTHING. Since when? If the bible is so clear on everything, then why are there so many different sects of Christianity, each with their own interpretation of the bible? And of course you don't realize that the bible we use today has been translated and re-translated time and time again, and often does not even come close to reflecting what the original texts actually state. And of course, you don't realize that the bible is firmly rooted in ancient Jewish texts that were interpreted and re-interpreted in their own right. If you are ill informed enough to state what you just stated, then you will most certainly be led to do things you shouldn't do by someone who can manipulate your faith by merely saying, "I read the bible and it clearly states....[fill in the blank]." Believe what you want. Do what you want, but leave those who think you are full of it out of it. Your "emporer has no clothes" morals are not good enough for most people, or for the god you think you are speaking for.
Bill – you clearly don't understand the bible. New testament replaced old testament. Old testament = tooth for a tooth. New testament = turn the other cheek. Don't quote the bible if you are too daft to understand it please, heathen.
and, according to the same book (leviticus) both eating shrimp and the poly-blend socks on your feet are an equal abomination. wearing that shirt and shuckin' dem oysters are an equal sin\ in the eyes of your creator. enjoy your afterlife
and where in the bible does it say that "word-for-word"?????
Tell me so I can look it up
When a Hebrew becomes a slave because of debt.
And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. And then he shall depart from you; he and his children with him; and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God. And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have; from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.
a. You shall not compel him to serve as a slave: In the Mosaic law, if one chronically could not pay his debts, he would have to work off the debt as a servant of his creditor. But these laws command fair, just and compassionate treatment of any Jewish man so unfortunate.
b. Shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee: Not only must such a servant be released when his debt was paid, but he also must be released at the year of Jubilee.
c. And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have; from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves: Foreign slaves among the Jews did not have the same rights as Hebrew slaves sold into servitude because of debt; they could be held as slaves for life, though they had to be treated humanely (Exodus 20:8-11; 21:20-21).
Slavery was permitted in the Bible because of sin in the world. It existed before the Jews were formed as a nation and it existed after Israel was conquered. God allows many things to happen in the world such as storms, famine, murder, etc. Slavery, like divorce, is not preferred by God. Instead, it is allowed. Where many nations treated their slaves very badly, the Bible gave many rights and privileges to slaves. So, even though it isn't the best way to deal with people, because God has allowed man freedom, slavery then exists. God instructed the Israelites to treat them properly.
The Bible acknowledged the slave’s status as the property of the master (Ex. 21:23; Lev. 25:46),
The Bible restricted the master’s power over the slave. Ex. 21:20).
The slave was a member of the master’s household (Lev. 22:11)
The slave was required to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10; Deut. 5:14)
The slave was required and to participate in religious observances (Gen. 17:13; Exodus 12:44; Lev. 22:11).
The Bible prohibited extradition of slaves and granted them asylum (Deut. 23:16-17).
The servitude of a Hebrew debt-slave was limited to six years (Ex. 21:2; Deut. 15:12).
When a slave was freed, he was to receive gifts that enabled him to survive economically (Deut. 15:14)
The reality of slavery cannot be denied. Slaves were "slave labor played a minor economic role in the ancient Near East, for privately owned slaves functioned more as domestic servants than as an agricultural or industrial labor force."1
@truth1063, even if what you said was true, the scripture that was quoted by the OP is from Leviticus, an old testament book (Lev 18:22). So, if the new testament replaces the old testament, then this scripture is null and void.
@truth1063, his slavery quote is from the same book that the "man lay with a man" quote is from. Leviticus. The book of the old testament between Exodus and Deuteronomy. You have to stretch the Bible pretty far to come to the conclusion that being gay is evil. I've read the Bible cover to cover. Have you?
‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.
So yeah you are too daft...
BTW the bible is crap
The word 'as' *MEANS* 'while'. Go look it up.
The prohibition is against multiple males laying with one or more females. That would, obviously, produce children whose father was unknown. Since Jews trace their Jewishness via the mother, this wouldn't cause the child to NOT be a Jew. The mother would obviously be known, since she is who popped out the child. But the Levites, a special PRIESTLY CASTE, were Jews who traced their priestliness along the PATERNAL line. And if multiple men were laying with one or more females, the child would NOT KNOW who its father was. And that is the whole point of the passage. It isn't about gays. It's about paternity in a day and age where paternity tests didn't exist.
Paul uses the same two words, para physin 1 Corinthians 11:14, when he refers to long hair on men as unusual and not ordinary. It means 'beyond the ordinary'. Strong's isn't infallible. Helminiak is a well-respected theologian, and he's right on the money with this article. Instead of insisting that you know it all, perhaps you might try to accept that you don't know half as much as you think you do. Only then will you be on the path to true wisdom.
The purpose of the Bible is to point the way to salvation, not to reform society.
1) That's Old Testament bs.
2) The Bible informs you and your relationship with that particular god if you so happen to believe in that particular god; it does NOT inform our secular legal system.
3) The Bible also CLEARLY condones killing those who curse their parents and wear mixed fibers. Why aren't you pushing for those to be made into law, too? IN fact, in the same Leviticus 20 where it says don't lie with a man as you would a woman it says to kill those that curse their parents and then explicitly says that you must follow ALL the laws. Of all the places to pick and choose from, at least don't do so from the one that explicitly says you have to obey them all!
Bill – you are taking that out of context. It is addressed specifically to the Israelites who fled Egypt, and it only applies to people who can no longer take care of themselves and thus are forced to be dependent on others. No where in the Bible, especially the Torah, is slavery justified. Also, for the record, the article is a lie. In Leviticus, it clearly states that a man is not to lay with another man the same as he would with a woman.
Nat Q – Your #3 is completely false. It does not say those who commit those offenses should be killed.
Since the USA is not a theocracy – WHO CARES?
It is turning into one.
This article is proof that a person can make the Bible say anything he or she wants it to say by taking verses out of context and using the old "mistranslation" excuse.
Pot, kettle, black.
You're right. Absolutely.
Once we get done with gays it's time to take on the really bad one: pork producers and consumers. They are twice as abominable as gays!
LOL ... Why not ... how could anyone know the true context anyway ... it's all a game ... let people be people and stop judging them.
That goes for both sides. I think the author points out some interesting things that open-minded people might consider when they think about their own beliefs and why they should care about what other people do in their own homes.
Bill – once again you are taking things out of context.
Why did God create gay animals?
Doesn't matter what the animals do. We're not animals. We're human beings with souls that will give an account after our death. Animals will face no such judgement. But humans will.
So you could have a "boyfriend" Nick, that's why. You'e into barn animals, aren't you?
So it makes sense for God to create these animals for us but to allow them to be gay because they do not matter?
To concerned – maybe you need to go to high school and take a biology course – humans are animals.
Well, God created them to control population and to add diversity. Glory to Him on high
You lost me at your claim to know for a fact that animals do not have souls.
Ok . . . "concerned" . . . why did God creat gays and lesbians? Answer me that one!
Such a false argument – animals are not gay – you are probably going to tell me not to eat shrimp too – same ol boring stuff –
Did mohamid commit pediphilia and kill people and inslave people ? oooops -
I don't care what the Bible says about gays. That peg just doesn't go in that hole.
Ever see what happens when one male dog tries to mount another male dog?
There's gonna be a butt whuppin.
actually, h.omos.exual acts in nature are very common. dogs, monkeys, rats, etc.
If you believe that the bible is actually the literal word of god then you are a sap. It was compiled and edited a centuries after Christ lived by powerful men, who if they could see you now would be having a good laugh at your expense.
sorry, wrong thread
Maybe in YOUR world. Sicko.
I do not care about gays, it's not the most important thing in the world. It's used by politicians to attract attention. If gays want go extinct – it's their business. Humanity has forgotten though that life is not about pleasures only. Paying no attention to more important issues is going to strike back – sooner than everybody would like.
that's funny Vovan, because it's the straight people making all the 'gay babies' lol
That's not the words of your God....that's the teachings of H.O.M.O.P.H.O.B.I.C.S.
Actually the peg does go in that hole and works nicely. The male prostate is in there... kind of like a female g-spot.
Interesting way God made our anatomy.
An excellent article. Of course the fundamentalists and Bishops will not agree, even if they themselves have secret lives. Well done Mr. Helminiak!
terrible article. just trying to make excuses for the bible. it's very clear about killing g.ays.
In nature, gibbon monkeys schmonk each other up the rear. So are gays evolved from gibbon monkeys?
and WHERE in the B.I.B.L.E. does it say anything about gays especially to off them?
Ya no where
sit down you F.O.O.L.
Dragonslayer – Leviticus. Chapter 19. Don't speak out of ignorance, it usually just ends up making you look silly.
You can always tell a bible-thumper. Just just can't tell 'em very much.
Go suck your boyfriend's dick.
The comment here proves what you said exactly.
@ . Nice christian response there.
Not sure what you mean by a "bible thumper." Could you clarify for me. If that is meant to be a disparaging remark then it would seem you cannot be told much either. Oh well.
I never understood the mistranslation angle. People look back at the original Greek thousands of years after the fact and claim that it means something different to what the traditional meaning was believed to be, even if that belief has been held since that actual time of the original texts.
Surely Paul and his disciples would have expressed a particular reading, passing it down through generations. If these alternate translations are correct, where did they go?
i find it funny that christians making excuses for the bible only say it's a mistranslation or misinterpretation when it's something that is obvious evil, like kill g.ays. but when it's something good, they never say anything was mistranslated or misinterpreted. funny that....
These people who are looking back... they are scholars who actually understand what was believed at the time (often very different from what you think was believed today).
Bootyfunk – The last book I read about Biblical error cited more examples than there are words in the Bible. Some were important, and others weren't. Believe me, scholars are aware of everyone, even if they don't text you about each & every one.
The Bible is very clear on this issue: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the se-xu-ally im-mor-al, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice h-omos-exu-ality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." The Bible does condemn it.
The Book of Harry Potter is clear on some things...the point??????
The Bible is the Word of God. So it is the truth in life. Since it is the truth in life and if it condemns and tells that certain things are wrong then they are wrong. The point being that this type of relationship between a man and man or woman and woman is forbidden by God and will be judged as sin.
so you believe all non-virgin brides should be dragged to their father's house by their would-be husband and then, with the whole town, she should be stoned to death?
that's about 98% of the american female population.
And I suppose you've never committed any those sins?
Grow up, but until then, go bang your bible some where else.
What about those that remarry? Are they going to &*#! too?
So I suppose you don't eat Shellfish, wear cotton and stone women woman to death too then... cause those are in there. You can't pick and choose if you are going to be a hard liner...
Faithful should change their name to "Fearful" afraid of dying and trying to convince themselves there is a great beyond. Also see: Not so bright.
you are absolutely right. the people who do the most harm against christianity are the leniant christians..and so called professors who twist the plain truth..of the bible..to meet the popular demands of the day. too bad. wolves in sheeps clothing...
Yes I have commited a bunk of those sins. But Thank God there is a way to escape that... and it is only found through Jesus Christ.
And the whole non-virgins thing is for those who commited fornication outside of marriage.
Faithful, you need to cite the chapter and verse, as well as the version of the bible you're using. If it's the NIV, as I suspect, you might as well toss it out and get another version. The NIV is incredibly corrupted.
I'm thinking whole 'mistranslation' concept went right over your head.
Well, at least the women are spared
Oh, well then.... alcohol should be illegal. I mean, we can't have "drunkards" running around.
you may believe the Bible to be true, but not everyone does, and the Bible should not be bandied about as something EVERYONE must follow. Separation of church and state is a clear argument against yours.
You are certainly threatened by this aren't you...cherry picking phrases to confirm your intolerance and hatred....you should be ashamed to call your self a christian.
The bible also condemns eating pork and crustaceans...
Faithful, so have I. But our priority should be bringing these people to Christ. No excluding and condemning them for their sins.
Wow, you call yourself Faithful? So what about those who disagree with you?
Then let God deal with it. as for you it's best to mind your own business since you are not he.
Faithful, the Bible is not the word of God. Much of the old testament was written by Moses. The 2 creation stories in Genesis are based upon ancient creation stories long before Moses was alive. The new testament was written and approved hundreds of years after Christ's death. The four gospels were not written by Matthew Mark Luke and John they are Gospels ACCORDING to M,M,L,and J. Their followers wrote them and the church patriarchs connected much of the words spoken by Christ with writings of the old testament especially prophets. I do believe in Jesus and the writings of the Bible, but God did not speak directly to one person and said "Hey write this down" It is history book which speaks of Gods love for all of us
Since the Bible is the word of God and the Truth, you practice Kosher Law right? You've never eaten shellfish or touched pork or had meat and cheese together right? You have never worked on the Sabbath, and have killed anyone who has, right? If not, by the word of God and his truth, as you yourself define it, you are impure and unlcean, and will never be admitted into the kingdom of heaven.
First of all, Thank you! There is no way to screw up translations that are THAT CLEAR! Secondly, HS, you win for most ignorant and irrelevant statement! There is absolutely no comparison whatsoever to be made between the Bible and Harry Potter.
@BinhT – You can try to 'bring me to Christ' all you want, but my boyfriend is coming with me!
Sorry about that. It is from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. And I quoted the ESV.
"There is absolutely no comparison whatsoever to be made between the Bible and Harry Potter."
Seriously, I laughed out loud at this. Fiction is fiction. It doesn't matter how old it is.
All I was doing was stating what the Bible truly says on this issue. I have not given my other opinions on other things that have been mentioned by others comments. That is all. It is wrong and stated clearly in the Bible that it is. But There is another side of things.
God loves everyone. But we have sinned. We have rebelled against God and we all deserve Hell and seperation from God. This does include me. But... There is good news!! God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we can be reconciled to God. This is what the Gospel is about.
So to those that say I am being judgemental and condemning... my comment originally was to state what the Bible says about this issue being talked about in this article and what is really considered marriage in the Bible.
All I want to do is to uphold the standards written in the Bible and the standards set down that formed our country which were based on the Bible.
you talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & talk & BLAH BLAH BLAH
BUT NOT ONCE HAVE YOU EVEN SHOWN THE PROOF OF WHERE IN THE B.I.B.L.E. IT SAYS IT
S.H.U.T. U.P. already! You are obviously not intelligent enough for this conversation.
and the sames goes for you too
go sit down by BootyFunk and let the people with higher I.Q.s then 50 continue this debate/conversation
According to you comment, sounds like the majority of Americans, wait a minute, the majority of the world, will be damned.
Why not educate yourself a bit further than that? Helminiak addresses the passage in Corinthians quite thoroughly in his book. You might need to learn a couple Greek words. And hopefully you know that the Bible wasn't written in English. Right?
Just because some theologians under the order of King James put together a translation that you ACCEPT as true, doesn't make it true. If you want to get to the core of this argument, you must look up the words yourself, and find out what they mean, YOURSELF. With today's technology, this is extremely easy. Suffice it to say, Helminiak has done the research. And you haven't.
HS – The Bible has proof of it's accuracy within it. Harry Potter is an intentionally fictional book. Anymore questions? Oh yes, you are probably going to say, what proof is there in the Bible? Well for starters, the Torah accurately describes dinosaurs. Science discovered dinosaurs in the 19th century. It describes gravity, the hydro-logic cycle, the relative number of stars to particles of sand, and the correct location of Jerusalem on the continent of Pangaea. All these things were confirmed by science many years later. It also predicts the near genocide and exodus of the Jews from Europe and the reformation of Israel.
"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."
christians are often embarrassed about the evil found in the bible, so they makes excuses for it. the bible is very clear about killing g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone that works on the weekend. the bible is disgusting. stop making excuses for the bible.
Christian Taliban is no different than their Muslim brothers
God, who is holy and cannot stand to be around sin, wrote the Bible. That verse you quoted does mention the seriousness of sin. All sin is deserving of death. In the Old Testament, that was the case. Once Christ died on the cross, there came a new era of grace. But it is still sin and God will judge those who do commit those sins. The only way to be saved and to be forgive of you sins to to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
one of the 10 commandments is thou shalt no work on the sabbath. breaking one of the 10 commandments is punishable by death. so should christians go to the mall and kill everyone working on the weekend at the Gap? they are sinners and deserving of death according to the bible.
there is no such thing as "sin". that is a terrible, self-destructive religious view. there is no such thing as god. you are in a cult called christianity. leave the cult, think for yourself.
If I think for myself, I will destroy myself. This is very much true. If I look to myself, I am only totally depraved at heart. In my lies no good thing. Only God's Word is truth. And I will stand on that.
LOL, well, since you are of the opinion that thinking is bad, here's a quote for you:
"Circ.umvent your intelligence."
– Kirk Cameron
sounds like he'd be a hero of yours...
You actually believe that God himself wrote the bible? How little you actually understand about the nature and origin of your religion. Do you also believe that man was created 6 thousand years ago and that dinosaur bones were planted by Satan to mislead us? The bible was commissioned and agreed upon by the Romans, and was in fact a collection of a greater number of stories, letters, etc, that were decided by church leaders in Nycea if I remember correctly. It was most certainly not written by a deity or even by one man. If it was, it would be consistent at least.
Faithful – I myself am a lifelong Irish Catholic. I do believe in God and the Holy Trinity and the Bible. But. I believe that God will judge me – NOT the US Government. My faith, my religion has NOTHING to do with government or politics.
I respect what you believe. You need to respect what others believe.
I see the crazies are out in force today. And calling themselves faithful.
The only Christians that are embarrassed are the ones who do not know that ANYTHING from Leviticus is actually part of the Torah! Shame on anyone who coerces naive Christians by bringing anything from those books up. Learn your stuff!
Let this one go. He forgot to set his alarm clock when Hale-Bopp passed. He missed the bus...............
did u not hear the response? when Jesus came...he was the answer to all sin so now those people don't have to suffer UNLESS they refuse to believe...
Lets get to it. Brian you are correct because "Christians" which I used to be don't really know anything in the Bible, just a few memory verses learned in sunday school. Yahshua said "take my yoke and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light", What was HE talking about? Also HE said, "If you love me, you will keep my principles and instructions (Commandments for those GREEK MINDED). The original writings were in HEBREW, NOT JEW, lets get that straight also. Abraham WAS NOT A JEW. He was from present day Iraq! Christians STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED unto Yahweh! That way when this type of crap is posted to a news site you don't make yourself look stupid by arguing with unbelievers. If you are really KINGDOM of ELOHIM people you don't leave your place of the kingdom. Secular people ASSUME they know the Word by what you give them to say because of your ignorance! Yes they repeat more of it back to you and then you get confused. Yes what Brian said, you don't even know what TORAH is! IT IS NOT JEWISH, IT IS HEBREW. They were called Israelites, Judah whom we get Jew from was a 4th son out of 12 brothers. I will leave you with that christans! When you know the truth, and it makes you free, then you wont have to get upset about articles like this because it is man NOT Yahweh! You can see the ignorance with the writer saying after Yahshua came, grace came. NEWS FROM THE FRONT, Grace has ALWAYS been here from the beginning and still exists, that is why we all are still here.
Gay men don't "lie" with women, therefore they don't "lie" with men as they "lie" with women. This also says nothing of women "lying" with women.
'As' means 'while'.
A man shall not lie with another man as he lies with a woman.
A man shall not lie with another man WHILE he lies with a woman.
Levites are a priestly caste which trace their priestliness through their father. Multiple men having intercourse with one or more women would render that linage corrupt and unknown. A single man having intercourse with multiple women wouldn't be a problem, so it isn't condemned. The key here is that they didn't have paternity tests back then, and they (Levites) traced their priestliness through their father. So to keep the linage from being corrupted, they implemented this rule. And it makes perfect sense. But it is arguably not even applicable today, now that we have paternity tests.
Epinoia – Clever, but incorrect. The original version of this verse in the Torah is "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination." Your interpretation would not fit into this context.
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