Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting Back Into my Study... Today: Genesis 19

So I've been slacking on my study again... but I'm starting back. I've started off with topics that usually cause a heated discussion, or "the issues" because they are so prominently debated today - and I want to see for myself what the Bible really says on these topics. In the end I hope to make it through all scripture.

Today I continue my study on the scriptures utilized to by religious doctrine to condemn homosexuality. I started with I Corinthians 6:9-10 here... today I want to look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah - Genesis 19 is one of the most commonly cited of the half-dozen anti-homosexual "clobber" passages in the Bible.

Unfortunately, the real names of Sodom and Gomorrah were not preserved. Sodom was derived from the Hebrew word "S'dom," which means "burnt." Gomorrah is derived from the Hebrew word "'Amorah," which means "a ruined heap." These appear to be place names which were assigned after their destruction and were not their original names.

Genesis 19 is totally unrelated to consensual same-sex sexual behavior. It is obvious that Lot wanted to protect the angels from the city mob. The people of Sodom, having recently been under attack by foreigners, might have been worried that the angels were really military spies. The mob might have wanted to humiliate the strangers with homosexual rape which is as abhorrent as heterosexual rape. The male-on-male rape that the angels were threatened was not a act of romatic attachment or lust; it was a common method of humiliating men in that era. Lot indicated in Genesis 19:7 that whatever the mob intended to do to the angels, it was "wicked."

bulletD. Bartlett: "Many of the Bible's stories don't mean what they seem on their face. Many mainstream scholars say it [the Genesis passage] is about hospitality and how to deal with the messengers of God. If it does refer to homosexual behavior, it's homosexual rape. They don't just want to lie down with them voluntarily; they want to rape the angels."
bulletR Kimelman: "In the Mideast then, once a man has entered into your home, your responsibility to his protection is your primary moral obligation, even if it's at the expense of your own daughters. The Bible is recording a story; it is not mandating behavior."
bulletJ.K. Nelson: "If you read it literally, in its English translation, without considering its context, one could say the Bible condemns homosexual activities. When we look at the Bible and try to draw moral rules for living, but we take it out of the context of the time when they were written, we do them a great injustice."

No comments:

Post a Comment