Saturday, January 19, 2008

Answer to a question from a reader

The etymology of the word "homosexual" is relatively recent. Therefore, it is true that the first Bible translation that had the word "homosexual" was only published in 1938 or 1946 depending on the source you like. But I am not sure what that proves.

If you read the King James Version, which represents one of the earliest English translations of Leviticus Chapter 20, it is pretty clear what is being forbidden: "13 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." There are other instances in the Bible where the behavior is condemned, but this passage seems pretty clear. Not that I think all of Leviticus should be followed; there are actually some pretty strange requirements in there, like a soldier should not pleasure himself the night before a battle and men should not shave the side of their heads or trim their beards. We have kind of taken an ala carte view of Leviticus, a fact that drives non-believers batty.

But Jesus came with a new covenant, not to replace the old covenant, but to fulfill it. In real terms however, He did overturn a lot of the law but most importantly he did not condemn sinners, even the ones lying down with other men. He forgave them and told them, as he told the woman he rescued from stoning, "Go and sin no more."