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View Diary: Wrong: Jesus did speak about homosexuality (291 comments)

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  •  Alas, another reason why... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, dirkster42

    ...People really ought to study Greek rather than take it for granted that Webster is inspired.

    The word in question in Mt 19:12 is in Greek eunouchos, which is, of course, no help since the English merely transliterates. I looked this up online on the Perseus website search through the various versions of Liddell. (For those without experience, I used a pretty powerful online Greek dictionary using a long respected source across a broad set of Greek literature.) The word does mean, literally, male human with sexual organs removed. There are instances with a sense of animals that have been castrated, and, oddly, an adjective reference to pitted fruits, an image I think has some stones (pun intended). It's that adjectival usage that gets me--it sounds as though the word is referring to the absence, not the procedure. My guess is that Matthew's usage is doing the same thing, requiring no pre-natal surgery for interpretation. In that day and age, anything or anyone deformed was pretty much culturally taboo in one way or another.

    OTOH--I did find a couple references in Josephus' Jewish Wars --in fact, the only references that turned up in Wars--which seem to imply that some eunuchs were (ab)used sexually by powerful males. But Josephus has to write a whole circumlocution in order to explain what he means, so I'm guessing the meaning isn't in the word eunouchos itself.

    If sweettp2063 would like to argue the point, the real question is: What evidence do you have of this usage of eunouchos as equivalent in meaning to homosexual? You can't just cite interpretation difficulties in your target text; that leads to a mess of screwy circular reasoning. It was an interesting approach, so I spent about an hour looking but I couldn't come up with anything as evidence. Thanks for the interesting paper, but I'd have to mark you down for not answering that basic question of evidence.

    •  You were not my professor (0+ / 0-)

      and some of the essay is based on what he taught in class.  He did speak about how the Bible condems homosexuality and how wrong the Bible is for doing so.  I don't know what you teach and you may specialize in theology or something at a university but the essay was written for a general education class at a community college.  

      If you want some evidence other commenters posted some links that support my essay.  I read the first one and it includes research based on ancient texts.  The second one I haven't read yet so I don't know how good their argument is.

      •  No, I'm not. (0+ / 0-)

        And I do apologize for sounding like I have that responsibility. But you did put this on the web, and when you do so then you're trying to persuade me (among others). So it seems like it's fair game for me to apply some of the same basic standards I apply to all other things that cross my desk.

        Please take this as a compliment: I don't spend 1.5 hours researching just everything that comes via DailyKos. In fact, weeks go by without my commenting on anything. But I had forgotten the Matthew quote and was intrigued by your argument. Maybe even hopeful. Maybe I would find something I didn't know that confirmed your hypothesis. I'm sorry I didn't. I admit I could have spent more time: there were thousands of ancient quotes to go through. Liddell is a fine academic resource, but he had his biases, too. I could yet be wrong--in fact, if you wanted to take up the challenge, you could go out and find the evidence in Greek usage that would support your idea. Then you could tell me about it, and I would be more than happy to chalk that up as a learning experience. Glad, in fact--it would be something I didn't know.

        Still, no matter what grade your REAL professor gave you, your paper could be strengthened. It doesn't matter if it's theology or linguistics or gen. ed.--an opinion is always stronger if it's backed up by evidence. The question you asked may require some technical expertise to answer: some familiarity with ancient language and literature, a bit of history, some understanding of gospel composition perhaps, etc. But there are resources in your grasp and people you can ask for help. The trick in education is learning how to find and use that evidence.

        The advantage you do have is the ability to find and remember quirky peculiarities and to then think outside the box. "What would I be reading if I read it this way?" "You don't suppose that....could be more true?" Believe me, that's a skill a lot of folks don't have. So I wish you luck and blessing in your education. Just remember that somewhere out here on the web is a cranky old guy who keeps asking: "So...what evidence do you have for that exactly?"

        (BTW--just to let you in on a little secret: My DK handle is not meant to inspire images of arrogance; it's a play on my name.)

        •  Yes, it could be strenghtened (0+ / 0-)

          but I'm not going to do it.  Already did a thesis paper in college for my MA in history but not looking to do a PhD in theology or ancient literature especially Greek--Oedipus Rex turned me off completely.  Now I'm pretty much done with formal education.  Hope you looked at the first link above, there are a lot of references to Greek literature.  

          Another thing I found was Wikipedia and it's page on eunuchs.  Alexander the Great is mentioned--a well known bi-sexual because of his marriage to Roxanne and his relationship with, I think it was Aristotle, along with other men--and there is a story of how he had a much favored eunuch and bestowed favors on him.  

          Thank you for your kind words.  I do think outside the box and yet you said to try to read something in a different way.  That's something to ponder about and hope I will do that in the future.  

          As far as evidence I ask the same thing mostly of right-wingers who speak out of their nether regions.  You know, all of what I've read about eunuchs concerning who they were, what jobs they did, and such has convinced me  each and every time that I am correct.  For example, eunuchs are the ones who guarded the harem or were called the bed keepers and such.  Who  better to guard the women who were only to have sexual relations with the king or head male than men who had no interest in having sex with women?  It doesn't take a giant leap of faith to conclude the harem guards were homosexual men considering that women were suppose to keep themself pure for only one man.

          Anyways, what's in a name?  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

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