Lost in translation of “homosexuality” in the Bible

2014-11-10 19:49

We must remember that the bible was written by men who were human. The bible is a collection of stories beginning with all creation, including Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden and continuing through the birth and death of Jesus, onto the revelation and termination of everything as we know it today.  I do appreciate the fact that the authors of the Bible were inspired by God but didn’t actually write the bible Himself.

For many years the claim that the bible is clear "that homosexuality is forbidden by God" has often been perpetuated. The bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Two of these languages are ancient and dead. The bible has been written and translated into many different languages. It is highly possible that the bible translators might have misinterpreted and mistranslated certain original texts from their original languages. There was no word in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek for "homosexual" or "homosexuality." These words were invented near the end of the 19th century when human sexuality began to be studied as a science. Sexual orientation was not understood in biblical times. The writers of the Bible had neither the understanding of it nor the language for it.

In regard to marriage, it's important to remember that the Bible was written in a patriarchal culture that assumed men were in control and women were subject to them. Marriage was not an equal partnership, but a matter of a man owning a woman or women as property.

The greatest challenge that most people have to deal with is that the Bible has certain scriptures that ought to be to be taken literally and some figuratively. Now, how will Sipho from Soweto ever know which verses to take figuratively and which to take literally?

Take for example, "Women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says." (1 Corinthians 14:34).

This verse says that women should not speak in church. It has completely ignored that today we see woman taking part in church and some being ministers in our township churches. Applying this verse to the modern day church would be ancient, absurd and nonsensical.

"If any man takes a wife, and goes in on her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, 'I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin..." (Deuteronomy 22:13,14)

"But if ... evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones..." (Deuteronomy 22:20,21)

If a man discovers that a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night, all the men in town can murder her by flinging stones at her young female body as she screams in pain. Is this the word of God? I have serious reservations about that. Who approved for this to be in Bible which advocates for violence and abuse against women?

The command to stone to death a young girl who is not proven to be a virgin on her wedding night is simply an ugly man-made rule of murder that found its way into the Biblical text.

Do you think that such verses like the one listed above are simply not the Word of God? How mature is one's faith if one cannot even admit that a verse which commands that young girls be stoned to death isn't the Word of God?

The same principle could be applied to a verse like this in Leviticus 18:22, the bible states, "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."

"One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the congregation of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 23:2)

If you were born to an unwed mother, the Bible says that you should not be allowed in church. Most people were born out of wedlock in today’s society meaning that they should not be going to church if we were to follow what the Bible says.  Do we all follow this rule, those of us who claim to be Christians?

Why are most Christians selective in certain scriptures? When it comes to those scripture verses which seem to speak against homosexuality, however, they suddenly and indignantly demand that every word be followed to the letter and applied to our modern day!

The idea of refusing membership in the church to a child born to an unwed mother is seen as being unreasonable today, even though the scripture instructs it. The idea of quoting scripture to abuse people who are gay and lesbian is just as unreasonable and antiquated.

'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly (Leviticus 25:44-46).

Here the Bible is advocating for cruelty to other human beings. Everyone knows slavery is immoral and it advocates for cruelty to fellow human beings. Yet Christians often assault people with numerous anti-homosexual verses straight from the same book which endorses slavery.

When it comes to the scriptural verses which seem to be against homosexuality, Christians declare their belief in the "infallible, inerrant Word of God", demanding that every single word be taken literally, without exception. To them homosexuality is a sin and all gays are going to hell.  But when it comes to the awkward verses listed above it is a different story. If tomorrow I decide to marry a woman and discover that she is not a virgin am I entitled to stone and kill her? The Bible says I can do it so therefore it should be right then......

The very same Bible says it is a sin to kill another person. Now who decides which Bible verse is more important than the other?

In today’s society we have:

Terrorist attacks, mass murder and genocide which was advocated by the bible:

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you may nations...then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy." Deuteronomy 7:1-2. NIV

"...do not leave alive anything that breaths. Completely destroy them...as the Lord your God has commanded you..." Deuteronomy 20:16. NIV

Racism which was motivated by the bible:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9, ESV

Racism is the idea that certain groups are genetically superior to others. The former Apartheid regime used this verse to oppress black people in South Africa as they believed that they are a chosen race.  The architects of Apartheid spread this propaganda that white Afrikaners were the “chosen people of God” and needed to be separated from blacks.

This raises more questions than answers. In today’s society there is a lot of hatred, violence and abuse and I can say that most of it stems from the Bible as it is advocated by the “Word of God.” The writers of the Bible made it clear that slavery, genocide, mass murder, and the oppression of women are acceptable. Now does it make it right today to practice all these things as they are in the Bible?

What gives Bible writers and translators the authority to rule over lives and declare that homosexuality is a sin when they advocate for far more heinous crimes against humanity and wreck havoc in today’s society?

Follow me on Twitter: @Youngster_Cam

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Representative- Knysna

George - Knysna
George Employment Consultants
R15 000.00 Per Month Per Month

Key Accounts - IT

Southern Shore Recruitment
R15 000.00 - R25 000.00 Per Month

Audit Senior / Bookkeeper to Trial Balance

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Placement Point (Pty) Ltd
R15 000.00 - R21 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.