An Ethic of Humility

When scriptural evidence for particular stands or opinions is argued, experience has taught me that, many times, some or all of these components may be lacking.

             “… as with a woman.” What does that mean?

Without a pattern of use, how an interpretation yielding “you [a man] will not lie down with a male on a woman’s bed” can have any appreciable effect on the traditional understanding of the passages remains to be seen.

            Proscription – What’s it Really About

While the Levitical laws do not specifically allow for homosexual relations, neither do they condemn them, except when they represent an episode repeatedly condemned in scripture – adultery.

           Where did it start?

 The anti-homosexual understanding of Leviticus developed as a cultural response of generations of ensuing interpreters, culminating in the strongest prohibition against same-sex relations in scripture. The only problem is that the prohibition is unscriptural when a literal translation of the original languages is undertaken.

           What is Really at Stake?

Honest, knowledgeable, theologically reflective and humble dialogue on the subject of homosexuality requires removing the smokescreen of scriptural certainty, and dealing with the core visceral objections that have more to do with cultural tradition and social or economic fears.

5 Responses to “Scripture in Regard to GLBT”

  1. February 20, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    I am the last guy to get all ” Stone them!” about homosexuality. It would please me greatly if people in a committed homosexual relationship could be part of our church family. I do more so, however, wish to please God.
    When I read Lev. it says ” if you shakab as you mishkab you did a towebah. What am I missing? The words are used enough tmes elsewhere to get meaning. also there is a repitition in the New Test. I need a Little help.

    • 2 Rev Andy Little
      February 20, 2009 at 10:32 AM

      Yeah, I gathered from your articles you wouldn’t stone anyone. You’re one fo the few who have owned up to, “it’s the ick factor”, which is real, so why not admit it. That’s no basis for exclsuion, though.

      The reality is that Lev does not say, ” if you shakab as you mishkab you did a towebah”, that is the error. To borrow your pattern, it says in mixed Hebrew/English:
      “If you shakab mish’c’vey ishah you did a towebah.”
      “mish’c’vey ishah” means on a wife’s (woman’s) bed.
      So, tranliterated like you did, it says:
      “If you shakab on a wife’s bed you did a towebah.”
      Why is the wife’s bed or woman’s bed significant, if not for the running theme of adultery.

      Also, it doesn’t appear enough times elsewhere, just twice in Leviticus. Period.

      I will be doing exegesis on some of the other passages that seem to condemn homosexuality – only one or two come close, the others are equally mistranslation issues.

      My point in writing this, and the others to follow, is not to change someone’s mind by saying “I am right – you are wrong!” It is, instead, to ask, “are you so sure you’re right that you are willing to reject people from the family of God over it?”

      Ultimately, in extreme, I can reject someone who God would consider a child, or I can welcome and love someone who God would consider a sinner. It strikes me that I am being more Christ-like if I do the latter.

  2. February 21, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    I may need to upgrade my Lexicon. Looking forward to further updates.

  3. 4 Leland
    December 20, 2009 at 3:11 PM

    A very interesting take on the scripture. I struggled with this issue for years, even after being in a non-denominational seminary. However, years ago God gave me a similar answer about the Leviticus scriptures. After the clearer understanding I felt this burden lifted from my shoulders. It’s not so much the issue of a woman’s bed but rather, a time issue. A man shall not lie in the bed with another man WHILE in bed with a woman. And with the other Leviticus scripture, a single man shall not lie in bed with a husband WHILE in bed with his wife. This break down prompt me to break down other scriptures that religious sects use to describe God’s view on homosesuxaity, to the point I have this 23 page study that I give to gay men that are struggling to understand these scriptures.

  4. 5 Lee Thomas
    November 27, 2010 at 5:36 AM


    I have am trying to research the treatment of homosexuality in the Bible and have just come across some posts that you wrote for Soulforge in 2006. In one of the articles you deal with the translation of the Greek word “arsenokoitai” and state that in the Latin Vulgate it was translated as “adulteri” (a female committing adultery). I have looked at several online Vulgates and they seem to be translating arsenokoitai as “masculorum concubitores” which is closer to some of the more “traditional” translations. I was wondering what the reason for this might be.

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... or, preaching from both ends


That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

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