Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is Being Gay A Sin? Part Three - WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?

Is Being Gay A Sin?
We are entering Part Three of the blog series, "Is Being Gay A Sin?" So my theologians, Christians, and scholars state that Jesus never mentioned the gays. And that is a possibility. However, there are other scholarly theories that think he spoke out quite directly from the Sermon on the Mount. As a Christian, it is our duty to prayerfully study and understand what God was trying to communicate to His people, not only in ancient Hebrew times, the more recent Greek and Roman times, but througout ALL time.

Please read:

They will help you in reading this work in context and in the flow it was intended.

Part Three
WWJD… What Would Jesus Do?
Did Jesus ever really have anything to say on the issue? Better be careful what you call your Christian brother, Foo’

Matthew 5:22: “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matt 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;”

Mat 5:22 . . lego . . . pas ho . orgizo . . adelphos eike . eike . . . enochos . . krisis . hos an . epo . . adelphos rhaka . . . enochos . . sunedrion . hos an . epo . moros . . . enochos . geenna pur Mat 5:23 oun . . prosphero . doron . . thusiasterion . ekei mnaomai . . adelphos echo tis kata .

Someone on an Internet discussion group pointed out that this passage may be the only reference made by Jesus to homosexuality. I think argument can be made, but not conclusively. The context is of course the compilation known as the Sermon on the Mount, a series of sayings of Jesus which are taken to call for a transcending of the Torah, to get to the "spirit" if you like [although I am sure a defense could be made of the Law, that is not my concern here].

The important words are Raca/Rhaka, and Fool/moros.
Rhaka is not a Greek word. This seems to be its only occurrence in a Greek text, and Lidell-Scott Jones Greek Lexicon merely states that it is Hebrew. Most translations either ignore the word, or note it as a general term of abuse. Greenberg relying on the work of Warren Johannssen, points out that its roots in a variety of Semitic languages mean "soft" [Hebrew "rakha"] and carries a connotation of effeminacy or weakness. The Akkadian word "raq" is used to denote a woman's name or occupation, and its graphic representation in Akkadian derives from a Summerian symbol for woman. In other words it can be argued that "Raca" [applied here to a "brother"] is an accusation of "sissy", or perhaps "catamite". It’s the same in Spanish as calling a male the female word of “puta”. It is a word for females that means whore, but when applied to a male, means “fag” or “punk”.

This argument works better if the word Moros is considered. The word can mean "fool", but it also has the amply used connotation of sexual aggressor, or even "homosexual aggressor". LSJ9 confirms this, although Johannsen makes much more of it. It could reasonably be argued then that Jesus words here condemn those who abuse other about their homosexuality. Such as, gay bashers, homophobes, those that openly spread hatred, lies, and misinformation. And that IS coming from Jesus' mouth, directly. Pray carefully and ask God to lead you to a conclusion on this passage. I personally think it was Jesus, defending a sect of his people, using the common language of the time and that the translation is wonky. But that is me. YOU, Reader, need to make sure that you can live (or die and still make Heaven!) with your choices... with the words you speak... with the actions you take... with the people you either comfort, or condemn.

In other words it could be translated as:"But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother "sissy" will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says "You bugger" will be liable to fiery Gahanna."

Less convincing, but still plausible, is that since the abuse of "queers" is condemned, but homosexuality itself is not mentioned [unlike the women taken in adultery story] that Jesus is defending those who engage in homosexual practice. Considering Jesus breaks with other mores of contemporary Judaism, equally seen in his commendation of those who are "eunuchs for the kingdom of Heaven", this is a plausible, but far from certain reading of this text.

Here are additional blogs in the series:
Part One - Why and Introduction
Part Two - Sodom and Gomorrah
Part Two - Levitical Law
Part Two - Romans Road To Salvation
Part Two - Oh, Paul... Nobody Likes Prison Rape
Part Two - Wrapping Up the "Big Six" Scriptures
Part Three - WWJD, Y'all? What Would Jesus Do?
Part Three - Better Run Tell Somebody!
Part Four - Same Sex Activity In The Bible
Part Five - Common Christian Beliefs
Part Five - One Anglican View Against Being Gay
Part Six - Examples of Gay Couples in The Bible
Part Six - David and Jonathan - A Love Story
Part Seven - Conclusions, Recaps, and References


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