Sunday, September 8, 2013

Leviticus 18 and 20

Dear Reader,

My friend, Jerry Sheppard, and I have been conversing for several months with a Jewish homosexual named Alex Haiken, who erroneously considers himself to be a Christian. Apparently Alex failed to read where Jesus says "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12) and where it testifies that "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we [are liars] and do not practice the truth" (1 John 1:6) and where it states that "Everyone who names the name of the Lord must depart from wickedness" (2 Timothy 2:19). Alex constantly and consistently laces his writings with error, misinformation, inferences, presumptions, assumptions, conclusions drawn on assumptions, pretext, front-loading, and eisegetical interpretations based on his feelings and opinions.

Alex fails to "Study to show [himself] approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). Instead, Alex relies on the unscholarly works of such homosexual/homosexual advocating authors such as John Boswell, Jack Rogers, Dale Martin, and Justin R. Cannon (to name a few). These men have absolutely no credibility whatsoever, and, like Alex, their works have been exposed to be filled with sloppy and dishonest scholarship, blatant plagiarism, copy errors, selective citations, truncated quotations of text, and creative editing. Alex delights in ripping verses and passages from their context and habitually neglects to apply the rules of hermeneutics (the science and art of biblical interpretation) and engage in honest, responsible, sound biblical exegesis. Alex talks a good game concerning exegesis, plagiarizing the definitions from authors who have spoken on the subject without giving them due credit, but constantly fails to actually practice responsible exegesis. We are now going to engage in honest, responsible, sound biblical exegesis in determining what Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 are dealing with.  

Alex attempts to tell us that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 condemn homosexuality for "religious" purposes but not for "moral" purposes. He claims the context of these passages has to do with religious idolatry and cult prostitution. But is this a truthful assessment of the context?  No, it is not.

First, let us address Leviticus 18. You, the intelligent and educated reader, are wise enough to know that Alex's argument is both outrageously bogus and laughably fallacious. Does Alex honestly expect us to believe that uncovering the nakedness of your father or your mother (18:7), of your father's wife (18:8), of your sister (18:9), of your son's daughter (18:10), of your father's wife's daughter (18:11), of your father's sister (18:12), of your mother's sister (18:13), of your father's brother (18:14), of your daughter-in-law (18:15), of your brother's wife (18:16), or any other blood relatives (18:17) has anything to do with cult prostitution? Alex would do well to try and retain the context. Does Alex honestly expect us to believe that having intimacy with a woman during her menstrual cycle (18:19) or having sex with your neighbour's wife (18:20) has anything to do with cult prostitution? The only verse that has anything to do with the practices of religious idolatry is verse 21, which is borne out through the entirety of Scripture. The heathen nations would sacrifice their children to their various gods. Nothing else in this chapter has to do with idolatrous practices, nor with cult prostitution.

By what great exegetical miracle does Alex expect to convince us that having sex with animals was religious idolatry (18:23)? People were doing it when God decided to flood the world, and they are doing it today without the slightest trace of religion attached to it. The passage does not connect it with idolatrous practice whatsoever. It condemns it entirely, just as it does with homosexual behaviour (18:22). Honestly, Alex needs to go back to school and educate himself as to what "context" actually is. If he paid close attention to verse 21, he would notice that "nor shall you profane the name of your God" has nothing to do with practices of religious idolatry. This is the third commandment reiterated. It is not connected with the first half of verse 21. Alex would do well to be reminded that the chapter and verse divisions did not exist in the original Hebrew and Greek. He should try and remember that when considering what context truly is and what it consists of.

Second, let us address Leviticus 20. If Alex paid attention to the context, he would see that the verses speaking of the practices of religious idolatry again address child sacrifice (20:2-5). None of the rest of this chapter has anything to do with religious idolatry. A person could try and argue that verse 6 does, but he/she would be in error. Does Alex honestly expect us to believe that cursing one's father or mother (20:9), or committing adultery with another man's wife (20:10), or lying with one's father's wife (20:11), or lying with one's daughter-in-law (20:12), or marrying a woman and her mother (20:14), or having sex with an animal (20:15-16), or discovering one's sister's nakedness (20:17), or having sex with a woman during her menstrual cycle (20:18), etc., etc., etc., has anything to do with religious idolatry? Alex is reaching yet again, as all the evidence is against him. Let's observe further:

Leviticus 18:22 says, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
In the Hebrew, it reads: "ואת‾וכר לא תשׁכּב משׁבּבי אשׁה תוצבההוא"
In the Greek Septuagint, it reads: "και μετα αρσενος ου κοιμηθηση κοιτην γυναικος βδελυγμα γαρ εστιν"
In the Latin Vulgate, it reads: "cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo quia abominatio est."

Leviticus 20:13 says, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them."
In the Hebrew, it reads: "ואישׁ אשׁר ישׁכּב את‾וכר משׁבּבי אשׁה תּוצבה צשׂו שׁניהם מות יומתו"
In the Greek Septuagint, it reads: "και ος αν κοιμηθη μετα αρσενος κοιτην γυναικος βδελυγμα εποιησαν αμφοτεροι θανατουσθωσαν ενοχοι εισιν"
In the Latin Vulgate, it reads: "qui dormierit cum masculo coitu femineo uterque operati sunt nefas morte moriantur sit sanguis eorum super eos."

וכר = "a male, man, mankind (as opposed to womankind)"
אישׁ = "man, male, husband"
אשׁה = "woman, female, wife"
ישׁכּב ,תשׁכּב = "a primitive root; to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose)"
משׁבּבי = "a bed; abstractly, sleep; by euphemism, carnal intercourse"
תּוצבה ,תוצבה = "properly, something disgusting (morally): detestable; abomination"
αρσενος = “male, man, husband”
γυναικος = “female, woman, wife”
κοιτην = “a bed; spoken of the marriage bed, metaphorically for marriage (Heb. 13:4)”
κοιμηθη, κοιμηθηση = “to sleep”
βδελυγμα = “that which is detestable; abomination”

Notice the word "coitu" in Latin for both verses? It means "coupling;" i.e., coitus, copulation, or sexual intercourse. In Leviticus 22:13, we also have the word "dormierit," which means "sleeps." What do you call "a man who lies with a male as one lies with a woman"? What is this describing? For anyone who is honest and truthful in the least, their answer will be, "A homosexual." The immediate surrounding context around these verses is in regard to immoralities and vile behaviours that are extremely prohibited by God , as we have seen above, and are labeled as detestable abominations. The words, grammar, and context of these passages are as crystal clear as the sun is bright. The person who denies this is not being honest. The description in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English (as well as every other language) is that of homosexuality.

Alex tries to argue that the word αρσενοκοιτες did not exist in the Roman world outside Paul’s usage of it in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. However, this is false. While it may not have been used as a compound word the way Paul used it, nevertheless the above two passages make use of both root words: αρσεν (male) and κοιτε (bed). Leviticus 22:13 uses them side-by-side. We know that there is nothing in these passages about an actual, literal bed, so why did the Hebrew scholars who translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek Septuagint use the word κοιτε? Well, κοιτε is used in Hebrews 13:4 to speak of the marriage bed, metaphorically of marriage itself. The fact both words are used in these passages illustrates that, while perhaps not compounded, the term was used in other literature (and prior to Paul’s usage thereof). Also, it shows us that Paul had these passages in mind when he penned 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. The Greek translation of these verses weighs in heavily against the false arguments raised by Alex.

You see, dear Reader, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have nothing to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution. Alex is reading this into the text, which is called eisegesis. Everything in these chapters are prohibitions set by God. The behaviour of homosexuality is prohibited by God and condemned as an abominable perversion. So as you can see, dear Reader, Alex manipulates, maligns, and twists these passages to say what he wants them to say, when a clear study of the context reveals otherwise.

It does not matter whether it is homosexual gang rape, homosexual prostitution, pederasty; whether there is a significant age difference or the ages are relatively the same; whether it is a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man or it is a "committed, faithful and loving monogamous partnership;" or whatever other brush one wants to attempt to paint the picture with, homosexuality is still homosexuality. Homosexuality is a moral perversion and bankruptcy of human nature and sexuality that is condemned by God because it is unnatural and goes against His created order and what is to be expected. All nature, biology, science, and logic prove that homosexuality is an unnatural perversion of both human and sexual nature. There is no issue regarding homosexuals who want to marry because such a union does not constitute marriage and it never will. A marriage constitute one man and one woman. Period.