13:25, July 22 97 0

2018-07-22 13:25:07

 

The Bible might have originally been OK with gay sex

A biblical scholar at Harvard argued in the New York Times that a Bible passage frequently interpreted as a prohibition on gay sex might not have been added a century after the book was written.

Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Idan Dershowitz says that that part is believed to not have been in the original text of Leviticus.

“Like many ancient texts, Leviticus was created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer,” Dershowitz wrote. “Many scholars believe that the section in which Leviticus 18 appears was added by a comparatively late editor, perhaps one who worked more than a century after the oldest material in the book was composed.”

He argued in a recent academic paper that the older version of Leviticus was probably just fine with gay sex.

His evidence? Leviticus 18 is generally about banning incest, and it specifically bans father/son incest and uncle/nephew incest. Why ban two specific types of sex between men if sex between men has a blanket ban on it?

Dershowitz wrote: “The key to understanding this editorial decision is the concept of ‘the exception proves the rule.’ According to this principle, the presence of an exception indicates the existence of a broader rule. For example, a sign declaring an office to be closed on Sundays suggests that the office is open on all other days of the week.”

Many of the rules presented in Leviticus have “glosses” attached at the end of the sentence, or clauses that repeat the rule.

There are only two glosses in Leviticus 18 that change the rule found in the first part of the sentence, and those are the two that ban incest between two men. Evidence, Dershowitz writes, that a later author touched them up.

“This editor’s decision to neutralize old laws by writing new glosses, instead of deleting the laws altogether, is serendipitous: He left behind just enough clues for his handiwork to be perceptible,” he wrote.

Of course, this contradicts the Christian belief that the first five books of the Bible were all divinely inspired and written by Moses over 1000 years before Christ, so don’t expect this to convince fundamentalists on Facebook.


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