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Chapter and verse

Orion

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In her recent US radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:
...
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some
wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)
 

rivrrat

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LOL

I've seen it before, but I always find it amusing. ;)
 

digsbe

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Looks like some self proclaimed theologian doesn't know much about the Bible. She's wrong, and her theology is crazy. Although she's Jewish and I'm Christian, so her interpretation doesn't mean much to me as she ignores the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus.
 

TripleAgent

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I would very much like to see her response to this.

P.S. -- Would eating shellfish and practicing homosexuality at the same time add to each other in terms of degrees of abominations? Or would they multiply?
Just wondering.
 

Goshin

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I don't think I'd want to own a Canadian. They seem kind of whiney sometimes. :mrgreen:

Now, I would so totally buy me some Samoans for heavy lifting and bodyguard work. A matched pair of Swedish chicks would be really decorative too, especially for things like answering the door and fetching sammiches.
 

Orion

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I don't think I'd want to own a Canadian. They seem kind of whiney sometimes. :mrgreen:
What are you talking about?! HOW DARE YOU! We are worth owning! One of us is worth 4 Samoans! Everytime I turn around it's something else!... Canada this Canada that. You Americans! You...!

Oh :tocktock2
 

Tashah

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I would very much like to see her response to this.

P.S. -- Would eating shellfish and practicing homosexuality at the same time add to each other in terms of degrees of abominations? Or would they multiply?
Just wondering.
They actually cancel each other out. So long as you are gay and not allergic to shellfish, there is a path to salvation available.
 

Hoplite

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Yay cherrypicking! I've always wondered why it was OK to use Exodus or Leviticus to say being gay was not ok....but everything has a reason why it's ok
 

presluc

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Although I have faith in God and I am a hetrosexual I support Gay rights.

I believe that organized religious people would make good politicians for they both are realy good at cherrypicking.lol.

However the good Dr. Laura like many in organized religion overlooed a small detail ,one that is often overlooked.
The Bible was written by man, and man makes mistakes.
 

SingleCellOrganism

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Although I have faith in God and I am a hetrosexual I support Gay rights.

I believe that organized religious people would make good politicians for they both are realy good at cherrypicking.lol.

However the good Dr. Laura like many in organized religion overlooed a small detail ,one that is often overlooked.
The Bible was written by man, and man makes mistakes.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

I believe what the bible says is more/less true, but it WAS written by man - inspired by God, written by man.

To say there would be zero errors is insane. The bible says God's "word will accomplish what God intended", not "every single vowel is direct from God".
 

presluc

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Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

I believe what the bible says is more/less true, but it WAS written by man - inspired by God, written by man.

To say there would be zero errors is insane. The bible says God's "word will accomplish what God intended", not "every single vowel is direct from God".
Old news my friend how many people you see loving their enemies today so cherrypicking is a two way street.
 

Geo Patric

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The bible says God's "word will accomplish what God intended", not "every single vowel is direct from God".
it does?

care to cite chapter and verse?

christians have long rejected the premise ("You are cut off from Christ, you who would be justified by the Torah" - Galations 5:4) but while not true of the entirety of the Tanakh, according to the people that produced it and to the text itself, the Torah is the word of God and is wholly without error; "Moses merely wrote it down like a secretary taking dictation… every verse in the Torah is equally holy, as they all originate from God, and are all part of God's Torah, which is perfect, holy and true." - Maimonides - Thirteen Principles Of Faith

THAT christians have rejected it only speaks to to 'christianity' as an evolving socio-political force, not to the texts upon which christians (pretend to) base their faith;

"Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Jesus of Nazareth, according the the Gospel of (matthew 5:17)

The man that Jesus described as his spiritual heir, agrees:

"no prophecy of Scripture … was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet 1:20–21)

put simply, according the sacred texts of Judaism AND christianity, if you disagree with the pentateuch, you disagree with YHWH.

geo.
 

SingleCellOrganism

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Isaiah 55:11 "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

In your Matthew quote Jesus is talking about the 10 commandments (in my opinion), rather than the old Jewish laws found in Leviticus. Even further, he says that anyone who "relaxes" them will be called least in the kingdom (point: they are still in the kingdom)

In 2 Pet they are talking about prophecy, and how God influenced their writing, rather than saying "ever single word in the bible was uttered by the mind of God" - speaking directly about specific texts

YHVH is a suprising character, and the Jews never knew him according to the Greek scriptures (Jesus came and introduced who God was to them), so I see the OT as an echo of God's influence in their culture; rather than the direct input of God. Jesus "revealed" who YHVH is.

I would hate to think how I would conceive of God based purely on the OT. Wowzer.
 

Geo Patric

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Isaiah is a book of the Tanakh, NOT Torah. Outside of the Torah, jews, including jesus, were and are permitted doubt. NOT as to the LAW however.

and your opinion you are entitled to. jesus spoke of the TORAH, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. He mentions the collection by name.

yes, peter is talking not of the LAW but of the prophecy of Jesus' mission. I should not have employed that specific reference. It was unnecessary.
I would hate to think how I would conceive of God based purely on the OT. Wowzer.
YHWH is indeed a startling character. Have you read GOD: a bigoraphy (Jack Miles)? Mind blowing. the sequel dealing with Jesus is not quite as boggling, but still really, really good.

geo.
 
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SingleCellOrganism

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Isaiah is a book of the Tanakh, NOT Torah. Outside of the Torah, jews, including jesus, were and are permitted doubt. NOT as to the LAW however.

and your opinion you are entitled to. jesus spoke of the TORAH, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. He mentions the collection by name.

yes, peter is talking not of the LAW but of the prophecy of Jesus' mission. I should not have employed that specific reference. It was unnecessary.

YHWH is indeed a startling character. Have you read GOD: a bigoraphy (Jack Miles)? Mind blowing. the sequel dealing with Jesus is not quite as boggling, but still really, really good.

geo.
Do you have a link so I can confirm? I am unfamiliar with a scripture where Jesus mentions the TORAH or the Jews ability to question anything but. (maybe in the original Greek it appears and is translated differently in English?)

I have read the bible through multiple times, so I'm well familiar with YHVH, and passingly familiar with God a Biography but only as a book dedicated to making the God of the OT look foolish; which I have read plenty of other sources in the similar vein.

I don't trust books like that anymore, for example on the "jealousy" issue --- it would be implied that "God burned with jealousy" at the Jews is a contradiction of biblical morality ... but when you analyze what the intent of the words were, rather than the mere inclusion of the word jealousy, it makes sense. God was hurt and pining for the Jews who had turned away from his instruction, rather than some jealous rage fit, God was hurt and "jealous" like a husband whose wife cheats on him. This is the obvious example I run into time and time again.

I've read too much bad and misrepresented analysis of the bible to trust anything but my own english and biblical concordance skills :)

I don't read christian books for the same reason.
 

Geo Patric

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I'm ... passingly familiar with God a Biography but only as a book dedicated to making the God of the OT look foolish
if that is your understanding, you must have gotten it second hand from some doubtless ignorant fundamentalist... you did not read the book and you are NOT familiar with its content. It presents a real and understandable entity.

and jack Miles is no heathen. he is a former catholic priest converted to a protestant denomination - he has doctorates in theology from both christian (Meadville-Lombard) and Jewish (American Jewish University of Los Angeles), theological schools among a slew of other secular fellowships. He is the editor of the upcoming Norton Anthology of World Religions.
...when you analyze what the intent of the words were, rather than the mere inclusion of the word jealousy, it makes sense. God was hurt... and "jealous" like a husband whose wife cheats on him.
and? so? that god was hurt somehow expiates his breaking his own laws? the fella that got jealous when his neighbor seduced his wife... does the fact that he was 'hurt' mean HIS jealousy is ok too?

sorry.. i do not normally argue merits of a faith, per se, but that is really weak. Here, it is simpler; God is not subject to his own laws anymore than a feudal king was. he is not obliged to answer for his actions. he can do whatever he damn well pleases because he is the Master of the Universe.

it really IS a lot easier when you try and understand God the way you would understand anyone else.

geo.
 

hallam

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Although I have faith in God and I am a hetrosexual I support Gay rights.

I believe that organized religious people would make good politicians for they both are realy good at cherrypicking.lol.

However the good Dr. Laura like many in organized religion overlooed a small detail ,one that is often overlooked.
The Bible was written by man, and man makes mistakes.
IMO, i would think it is probably a good bet that Dr. Laura doesn't believe that the Bible was written/inspired by God but written by God. If this is true, one can see the difference in perspective pertaining to error in the text. She is still cherry-picking to be sure.
 
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presluc

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it does?

care to cite chapter and verse?

christians have long rejected the premise ("You are cut off from Christ, you who would be justified by the Torah" - Galations 5:4) but while not true of the entirety of the Tanakh, according to the people that produced it and to the text itself, the Torah is the word of God and is wholly without error; "Moses merely wrote it down like a secretary taking dictation… every verse in the Torah is equally holy, as they all originate from God, and are all part of God's Torah, which is perfect, holy and true." - Maimonides - Thirteen Principles Of Faith

THAT christians have rejected it only speaks to to 'christianity' as an evolving socio-political force, not to the texts upon which christians (pretend to) base their faith;

"Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Jesus of Nazareth, according the the Gospel of (matthew 5:17)

The man that Jesus described as his spiritual heir, agrees:

"no prophecy of Scripture … was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet 1:20–21)

put simply, according the sacred texts of Judaism AND christianity, if you disagree with the pentateuch, you disagree with YHWH.

geo.
I can cite a better capter and verse Mark 11th Chapter 22nd verse Have Faith In God.
 

presluc

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IMO, i would think it is probably a good bet that Dr. Laura doesn't believe that the Bible was written/inspired by God but written by God. If this is true, one can see the difference in perspective pertaining to error in the text. She is still cherry-picking to be sure.
You as well as I know that any book that was written 2000 yrs ago and has been rewritten ever since will have some wrong phrases.
 

hallam

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You as well as I know that any book that was written 2000 yrs ago and has been rewritten ever since will have some wrong phrases.
Again, If you think the book was written by man, then yes. However, if you think the Bible was the written work of God or even further is God, then no. It wouldn't have wrong phrases in this second condition. We would be misinterpreting it as it would never be wrong. These are two vastly different perspective and I am not pushing one or the other. I am just saying that the perspective is completely different if you move away from the Bible written by man or inspired by God POV. This particular columnist is most likely in the first category here and would have a completely different perspective.

To directly answer your question, there is no possible way for you to know if the Bible was rewritten. You can suspect that it was for sure. During the middle ages and the Renaissance it is certainly possible. But there are very few copies of the early bibles for you to compare to todays Bibles. Those that we do have are fairly similar to what we have today which would contradict the notion of change through time. You are free to still believe that the Bible has changed again because of the few copies. Another thing most people do not take into account is language changes naturally. A good example to highlight is fear as in "Fear God" from the KJV. However, if we look at the language of King James fear meant respect which is on par with what we think it means today and what the original Greek meant. And this is just changes within one language over time. When you take into account language change over time and differing language such as Latin, when people used Latin daily, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, and then to the languages we have today, I think of what most people count as rewriting is just misinterpreting translational changes. However because all these things change, you may have a valid point. The Bible may have been edited. I just don't think the evidence supports this enough for the message of the Bible to change significantly over time.
 
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SingleCellOrganism

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@hallam

Good summation, I agree. The intent of the words is likely as they were originally written, but our interpretation has changed because of the language factors you noted. The dead sea scrolls have been tested against modern bibles with a very small degree of variation.

The "fear" of God is misunderstood even today, in my opinion of course. (and there is the other problem: opinion)
 

Geo Patric

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there is no possible way for you to know if the Bible was rewritten.
ah, now, that is certainly untrue. we can tell when certain parts of the bible were written through lexical analysis, what language was used to write it, particular usages.

we can also compare the vernacular versions with the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin versions. we can compare christian and jewish versions. for instance, the christian "Old Testament" differs from the Tanakh in several significant ways - the prophesies appear as the last books of the OT, though much earlier in the Tanakh. where the Tanakh ends with God's silence (in one of the last, he not only does not speak directly OR through another, he is not spoken OF... he does not appear at all) the OT ends with a bunch of fellas telling us the messiah is near.... turn the page and TA DA! there he is.

too, the tanakh was "written", that is, committed to writing, only during the Phillistine/Persian captivity and compiled only after Cyrus sent them home. Prior to that, the storied had been handed down and handed down orally. Much of it was, to put it simply, fabricated for the purpose of CREATING a national identity that had never really developed to any appreciable extent.
if we look at the language of King James fear meant respect which is on par with what we think it means today and what the original Greek meant.
Probably, as Matthew was more clearly than any of the other Gospel writers, writing specifically to Jews, his original was in Aramaic, but... no matter.

there are various interpretations of the use of the term 'fear'. the KJV translated several lexically related terms as 'fear', the most common of them being "yira(h/t)" which may be read as anything from 'awe' to 'fear'.

in some cases it is certainly the former. in Matthew, however, context make clear that he means 'fear' precisely as WE use it:
"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28)

the same word is used in both places. obviously, fear as is "OH MY GOD HE IS ROBBING ME" is not meant as 'resepct'. As much as many contemporary folks dislike the idea being fearful of a loving god, remember, he was once BOTH terrible and loving. When admonished to fear god, it is because he IS all powerful - he tells you that he will destroy you if you do not behave.

so, yes... be afraid... be very afraid.

geo.
 
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hallam

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ah, now, that is certainly untrue. we can tell when certain parts of the bible were written through lexical analysis, what language was used to write it, particular usages.

we can also compare the vernacular versions with the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin versions. we can compare christian and jewish versions. for instance, the christian "Old Testament" differs from the Tanakh in several significant ways - the prophesies appear as the last books of the OT, though much earlier in the Tanakh. where the Tanakh ends with God's silence (in one of the last, he not only does not speak directly OR through another, he is not spoken OF... he does not appear at all) the OT ends with a bunch of fellas telling us the messiah is near.... turn the page and TA DA! there he is.

too, the tanakh was "written", that is, committed to writing, only during the Phillistine/Persian captivity and compiled only after Cyrus sent them home. Prior to that, the storied had been handed down and handed down orally. Much of it was, to put it simply, fabricated for the purpose of CREATING a national identity that had never really developed to any appreciable extent.
Order has no bearing on message. Even inclusion of books in some Bibles and not in others does not support your claim here. You are essentially saying a text found in one submission is different from a text in an earlier addition. Word analysis doesn't account for living languages. Similarly, another reason you can't make the claim know is because you don't know if the version of the older text was the main version of text that was during the period. Historians simply can not know this as they and you were not there. With out this confirmation, you and other are simply speculating. The probability may be hight that you are high but you can't verify it to the limit of knowledge.

I further disagree with your analysis of oral history. There is no evidence of these historical comparison which supports that the oral histories are false. Just because we have issue with passing down stories between generations does not mean that the Jews did as well during this time. These are not Arabic stories like 1001 tales which are meant to be embellished. There is no evidence to believe that the stories were changed except if you accept socially constructed history which basically just says because we can't, they couldn't.

Probably, as Matthew was more clearly than any of the other Gospel writers, writing specifically to Jews, his original was in Aramaic, but... no matter.

there are various interpretations of the use of the term 'fear'. the KJV translated several lexically related terms as 'fear', the most common of them being "yira(h/t)" which may be read as anything from 'awe' to 'fear'.

in some cases it is certainly the former. in Matthew, however, context make clear that he means 'fear' precisely as WE use it:
"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28)

the same word is used in both places. obviously, fear as is "OH MY GOD HE IS ROBBING ME" is not meant as 'resepct'. As much as many contemporary folks dislike the idea being fearful of a loving god, remember, he was once BOTH terrible and loving. When admonished to fear god, it is because he IS all powerful - he tells you that he will destroy you if you do not behave.

so, yes... be afraid... be very afraid.
The colloquialism I was referring to was to be to afraid of God. This is a misinterpretation of due to language change. It doesn't mean this and never did. Taking the passage like you did is apart of the reason that this misinterpretation has remained. It is very easy to make this conclusion from just that passage. but lets look at the whole passage.

24"(AL)A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.
25"It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. (AM)If they have called the head of the house (AN)Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

26"Therefore do not (AO)fear them, (AP)for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

27"(AQ)What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim (AR)upon the housetops.

28"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather (AS)fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in (AT)hell.

29"(AU)Are not two sparrows sold for a [a]cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

30"But (AV)the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31"So do not fear; (AW)you are more valuable than many sparrows.

32"Therefore (AX)everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

33"But (AY)whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

34"(AZ)Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35"For I came to (BA)SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;

36and (BB)A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

37"(BC)He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

38"And (BD)he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

39"(BE)He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
We see that this passage is not about being afraid of God but being empowered by God so that you can do God's work.
 
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