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I give you my heart...

LGBTIQ Theology: Gathering Information and Writing My Research Paper...

If you are friends with me on facebook or twitter, you will know by now that I am doing a research paper on LGBTIQ Theology entitled, "What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality?"  So far I have spent many nights sitting up till midnight reading up on all of the verses that pertain to homosexuality in Scripture as it is in our English translations.  As many scholars know, the Old and New Testaments were not originally written in English and were written over 2000 years ago, so when we want to truly understand what they mean, not just what it says in our NIV Study Bible or New King James Version of it, we have to look deeper.

Here are a few things you need to consider when looking at the Old Testament:

1) It was mostly written in Hebrew, except for the parts that were completed after the Exile in 539BC.  The parts that were written after the exile, namely Leviticus, were written in Koine Greek.  Quote from The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica, by Ernst Wurthwein.  "...we have a text that is centuries older than that of any previously printed edition.  But even this manuscript which underlies BHK and BHS is remarkably recent when we consider the age of the Old Testament and compare it with the important fourth and fifth century manuscripts of the Greek Old and New Testaments.  In fact, we do not have any Hebrew manuscripts of the entire Old Testament written earlier than the tenth century.  The oldest dated codex (pl. 20) contains only the Prophets and dates from A.d. 895 (Codex Cairensis, cf. p. 35). (Wurthwein, 1988: 10,11).

2) Old Testament law was written for the Israelites.  They are not directed at the current day Jewish community.  All laws are time and place specific.  The following link that I have provided in point 3 gives a little information of a law code called the Hammurabi code that was around at the same time as the Leviticus code.  Please have a look at the link to have a deeper understanding of ancient law and ancient manuscripts.

3) More info can be found here to explain how the Old Testament was written.

There are more points to make here, but I haven't finished writing my paper yet, so I'll get back to you on this one.

A few things you need to consider when reading the New Testament:

1) It was written in Koine Greek.

2) There are four gospels that are about the life, death and ministry of Jesus Christ, and the rest of the content of the NT are not gospels.  They are letters to groups of Christ-followers.  They are called Epistles.  The ones Paul wrote to the churches that he planted are generally pastoral care letters, with instructions, rebukings and blessings and prayers.

3) The epistles are time and culture specific.

4) There is no Koine Greek word for homosexual.

5) Jesus didn't say anything against homosexuals.  In fact one of the stories of a Centurian is about Jesus saving the life of the Centurians lover, who is also a man.

These were some things I wanted you to consider before reading my paper, as many have asked to read it. I'm happy for everyone to read it, however you need to understand that the point of my study is to have a deep understanding of the biblical text.  My supervisor for my paper would fail me if I just handed in a paper that used any English translation of the verses, because that's not what biblical scholars do.  They have to do word studies and cultural studies to support what they understand the verses to say.

I'm saying all of this because so many Christians want to hold on to the traditional English version of what it says about homosexuality in the Bible, but to me... That's not good enough.  If there truly is no condemnation in Christ, then I will search and dig and investigate until I can prove that that is true.

Just to get your minds searching a little, I finally had the chance to sit with a Hebrew Scholar that didn't just turn me away and tell me that they couldn't help me with this. Here is the transliteration of Leviticus 18: 22 : And a male not to lie down in a bed of a woman/wife. That didn't sound like homosexuality to me, more like specifically not allowing priests to have sex with a man in a married womans bed.  Our Hebrew lecturer then took me to the library to get the books for me to do a word study on the words, "to lie," "abomination," and "male."  Abomination said something about Sacral Law, meaning that they are things that are done for religious purposes.  This verse has more to do with how a priest conducts himself.  Is it Holy? Is he pure or has he defiled a married womans bed with adultery and spilling precious and valuable seed that could have been used to build up the nation?  Has he behaved like a priest who worships Molech, who apparently uses temple prostitutes in their worship?  These things are considered abominations because they mix the wrong fluids and womens fluids in particular are the most disgusting...  There is a holiness code that says, Women are "unclean" for 33 days after the birth of a male, and 66 days after the birth of a female. After this time, the mother must also offer a year-old lamb as a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove as a sin offering.  So heterosexual sex isn't seen to be pure either.

Or is the verse just saying that a male should NOT have sex in a married womans bed?  ie: not allowed to masturbate in her bed, because he would be wasting seed.  I just realised that there was only one man in the sentence...  It's just that the verses are all directed at priests, so I was just assuming that it was about a priest having sex with a male in a married womans bed...  See how our mind can get so muddled so easily?

If we just followed Jesus instead of clinging to our heritage of the Old Testament, we might just be able to call ourselves true Christ-followers.

If people had a proper translation of the New Testament and didn't regard Levitical Laws as daily moral codes for our current times, we wouldn't have a problem.  Not only have we missed the mark with cultural context, translation and timing, we consistently forget that Jesus said that there were only two commands, to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself.  Jesus was trying very hard to explain that current law should be followed.  He made a point of telling people they should follow Caesars laws, but the Holiness code...  He was trying to do away with. When will we listen?

Christians break the Holiness codes all the time, but when it comes to homosexuals, they want to cling to misinterpretation and condemn.  It's way harder to look at our own sin and too difficult to truely look into the eyes of someone different and say brother or sister, we are different and the same, let's break bread together...

That's all I got for now.  Stay tuned.

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Something to think about...

>5) Jesus didn't say anything against homosexuals.

Matthew 19:4 - And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’

How does God get glory from homosexuality?

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