Thursday, January 5, 2012

traduttore, traditore. New Testaments and Gays


by Bill Sklar <86730@LAWRENCE.BITNET>

"References on Homosexuality and the Bible"

I CORINTHIANS 6:9-10 reads:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [malakoi], nor homosexual offenders [arsenokoites], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

I placed two words in brackets. The first one, "malakoi", Scroggs (p. 14) says "literally means 'soft' and is no technical term for a homosexual." It apparently refers to young boys who would take the "recepient" position in anal sex, often for money. It's also translated in some Bibles as "morally weak".

"Aresenokoitai", on the other hand, is clearly a sexual term but, according to Scroggs:

Since... the New Testament occurrences are the earliest appearances of the word, it is not easy for us to be sure what it means. John Boswell in his recent study denies that it refers to a homosexual person in general but rather specifically to the male prostitute who could serve heterosexual or homosexual clients. At any rate, the sin is prostitution, not homosexuality in itself. (p. 14)

These words are the words used both in Corinthians and in I Timothy 1:10 which are commonly translated into modern bibles as "homosexual", "effeminate," and "self-indulgent." In these enlightened times, however,there is no indication that such terms are in any way connected to homosexuality in itself.


Mistranslated New Testament Words?

It is claimed that over 100 words are mistranslated in the New Testament from the Greek.[1] However, many of those mistranslations are due to the inadequacy of the Greek, as a powerful a language as it was, to express the novel ideas and concepts of Christianity. (wiki)

D - what Big J did talk about the most was (drum roll here) 'the kingdom of god'. Generally meaning god's LOVE.
And didn't say squat about gays.
I seem to recall a lot of concern about society's disenfranchised and needy. Charitable stuff.

I'll end with a quote from the movie "Dogma".

Rufus: He still digs humanity, but it bothers Him to see the shit that gets carried out in His name - wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the factioning of all the religions. He said humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it.
Bethany: Having beliefs isn't good?
Rufus: I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier..

D - I've read Karen Armstrong. Joseph Campbell. Greta Vosper. The textbooks from A to Z on this. Almost all the main religious holy texts of the world. On living bibically. On evangelicalism.
But I will just focus on translation issues as a guy who likes language stuff for this site.

1 comment:

dino snider said...

The third Lateran council (12 centuray A.D.) decreed that priests who engaged in sodomy should be deposed from clerical office and required to do penance - while laymen should be excommunicated.

D - Too bad the chuch did not take its own advice this past century. It would have saved them a great loss of prestige and credibility. Right now in Canada's maritimes, the RC church is making parishes cough up for lawsuit costs, instead of the Vatican footing the bill. Wow, just wow...