Subscribe Share/Bookmark

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Has “Homosexual” always been in the Bible?


THE WORD ARSENOKOITAI SHOWS UP IN TWO DIFFERENT VERSES IN THE BIBLE, BUT IT WAS NOT TRANSLATED TO MEAN HOMOSEXUAL UNTIL 1946.

WE GOT TO SIT DOWN WITH ED OXFORD AT HIS HOME IN LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA AND TALK ABOUT THIS QUESTION.

YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF A RESEARCH TEAM THAT IS SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE DECISION WAS MADE TO PUT THE WORD HOMOSEXUAL IN THE BIBLE. IS THAT TRUE?



Ed: Yes. It first showed up in the RSV translation. So before figuring out why they decided to use that word in the RSV translation (which is outlined in my upcoming book with Kathy Baldock, Forging a Sacred Weapon: How the Bible Became Anti-Gay) I wanted to see how other cultures and translations treated the same verses when they were translated during the Reformation 500 years ago. So I started collecting old Bibles in French, German, Irish, Gaelic, Czechoslovakian, Polish… you name it. Now I’ve got most European major languages that I’ve collected over time. Anyway, I had a German friend come back to town and I asked if he could help me with some passages in one of my German Bibles from the 1800s. So we went to Leviticus 18:22 and he’s translating it for me word for word. In the English where it says “Man shall not lie with man, for it is an abomination,” the German version says “Man shall not lie with young boys as he does with a woman, for it is an abomination.” I said, “What?! Are you sure?” He said, “Yes!” Then we went to Leviticus 20:13— same thing, “Young boys.” So we went to 1 Corinthians to see how they translated arsenokoitai (original Greek word)  and instead of homosexuals it said, “Boy molesters will not inherit the kingdom of God.” 
I then grabbed my facsimile copy of Martin Luther’s original German translation from 1534.  

My friend is reading through it for me and he says, “Ed, this says the same thing!” They use the word knabenschander. Knaben is boy, schander is molester. This word “boy molesters” for the most part carried through the next several centuries of German Bible translations. Knabenschander is also in 1 Timothy 1:10. So the interesting thing is, I asked if they ever changed the word arsenokoitai to homosexual in modern translations. So my friend found it and told me, “The first time homosexual appears in a German translation is 1983.” To me that was a little suspect because of what was happening in culture in the 1970s. Also because the Germans were the ones who created the word homosexual in 1862, they had all the history, research, and understanding to change it if they saw fit; however, they did not change it until 1983. If anyone was going to put the word homosexual in the Bible, the Germans should have been the first to do it!

For the full article, click here


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.