March 1, 2017

July 12, 2012

Yes, Paul Really Did Say That

It was bad enough this week when General Convention decided to open all positions in the Church—clergy, lay and volunteer—to all those for whom their sex (gender) is like their apparel, i.e., chosen to fit the mood and the occasion. Then it voted to violate ECUSA’s Constitution by authorizing a “rite” for same-sex blessings which, until it also amends the Rubrics in the Book of Common Prayer, it has no power to authorize.

But the low point of the week was surely when the House of Deputies decided to attack a certain Bible translation (the English Standard Version) for using the word “homosexuality” to translate a passage from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. The contortions they went through in trying to avoid dealing with that reality say all one needs to know about the place of Holy Scripture in today’s Episcopal Church (USA).

When Resolution A061 authorizing certain new translations came to the floor of the House of Deputies, the Standing Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music had, after a public hearing, voted to enlarge the list of approved versions which it originally submitted in its Report to the General Convention.  As the SC originally had it, Canon II.2 (“of Translations of the Bible”) would have been amended to add two more contemporary translations to the list already in that Canon, as follows (numbers will identify each translation throughout this article):

Existing Translations Authorized

1. Authorized (King James) Version (1611)
2. Revised English Version (1881) [English Standard Version]
3. Revised American Version (1901) [American Standard Version]
4. Revised Standard Version (1952)
5. Jerusalem Bible (1966)
6. New English Bible and Apocrypha (1970)
7. R.S.V. Common Bible (1973)
8. New International Version (1978)
9. New Jerusalem Bible (1987)
10. Revised English Bible (1989)
11. New Revised Standard Version (1989)

New Versions Proposed in the SC Report

12. The Message (2002)
13. Common English Bible (2011)

After the public hearing on the Resolution, the SC amended it to add these translations:

New Versions Added After Public Hearing

14. Contemporary English Version (1995)
15. Contemporary English Version Global (2005)

And in the course of debating the Resolutions on the third day, the House adopted an amendment adding the English Standard Version (an adaptation from the R.S.V.) to the list:

Version Added by the HoD (July 7, 2012)

16. English Standard Version (2001)

Thus, before the 77th General Convention, there were eleven versions of the Holy Bible authorized for use in worship services in the Episcopal Church (USA). And at the 77th Convention, a total of five new versions were proposed to be added to those, and were approved in the House of Deputies.

Or, that is, until a Deputy brought to the floor, at the last minute before adjournment on the fifth day (July 7), a motion to reconsider the Resolution in the form that had passed the HoD just twenty minutes or so earlier (the form with the five new translations listed above). Specifically, the Deputy announced that he was making the motion because he had “discovered”—in just the time since the Resolution had passed—that the English Standard Version used the word “homosexuality” in translating chapter 6, verse 9 of First Corinthians.

He announced that he was “shocked”, and felt “betrayed”, that the House would propose to use such an anachronistic translation in today’s Church. Didn’t everyone know that St. Paul, who lived two thousand years ago, could have known nothing about the “long-term commitments” and deep, mutual love which characterize today’s same-sex relationships? And that to ascribe a modern, only recently developed word like “homosexuality” to the sins of temple prostitution which he was denouncing was a complete case of category mistake? [N.B.: I have paraphrased the Deputy’s remarks from the various accounts on the blogs. If anyone who was there has a more accurate transcription, I will be happy to post it.]

To rectify this horrendous error, the House quickly voted to “reconsider” the Resolution, which meant that it would be considered again, de novo, on the next day, and in the form as proposed by the Standing Committee (i.e., with the two proposed originally, plus the two Contemporary English versions, but without the ESV language). In just a matter of minutes, it was as though “l’affaire E.S.V.” had never happened.

The offending passage—which so “shocked” the betrayed Deputy  —appears (as stated) in First Corinthians (ch. 6, v. 9). Here is how the ESV (16) translates that verse (along with the rest of Paul’s sentence, in verse 10). Please note that in this excerpt, and in all the quotes that follow, I have bolded the particular translation’s equivalent, in each instance, of the language which gave offense to certain Deputies:

Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.]

Well, and what about the two Contemporary English Versions which the House of Deputies also adopted, in its collective wisdom? Here is how they each translate the same passage (14, 15):

Don’t fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual 10  will share in God’s kingdom. 

[The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. 1995. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.]

There’s that “word” again! How could that possibly have slipped by the gay police? So will the Contemporary English versions have to be removed from the list, as well?

But wait—we have only just begun to review how the other proposed recent versions translate that passage in Paul’s letter.  Here’s how The Message (12 - a paraphrased version, which makes no effort at  word-for-word accuracy) puts it:

Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. 

[Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: The Bible in contemporary language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.]

Maybe that language is loose enough to pass the Deputies’ strict standards. After all, no one in the Church today is into “abusing” sex, is one? So that language couldn’t describe any contemporary Episcopalians, and so must be all right. But what about the Common English Bible, which the Deputies adopted without objection? Here is its version of the passage (13):

Don’t be deceived. Those who are sexually immoral, those who worship false gods, adulterers, both participants in same-sex intercourse, h 10 thieves, the greedy, drunks, abusive people, and swindlers won’t inherit God’s kingdom.  
hOr submissive and dominant male sexual partners.

[Common English Bible. 2011. Nashville, TN: Common English Bible.]

Whoa! What did we just read? “[B]oth participants in same-sex intercourse”? Explained in a note as meaning “submissive and dominant male sexual partners?” How did that recommendation ever get past the diligent gay censors in the HoD?

The New Revised Standard Version (11) is very popular in Episcopal churches today, and is an update of the 1952 RSV (4). Here is how it translates 1 Cor. 6:9:

Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10  thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.]

The original 1952 RSV (4) simply called them “homosexuals”, while the Revised English Bible (10), and its predecessor, the New English Bible (6)—two other versions on the already approved list—used the now politically incorrect term “sexual perverts”. That language clearly expresses the illiterate prejudices of an earlier generation, before the American Psychiatric Association removed “homosexuality” from its official list of mental disorders in 1973. Yet, inexplicably, all three versions remain approved by the Episcopal Church (USA) for Sunday and daily worship.

Working backwards through the already approved list, we next have the New Jerusalem Bible (9), a version favored in the Roman Catholic Church. Its translation of St. Paul runs:

Make no mistake—the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites, 10  thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[The New Jerusalem Bible. 1985. New York, NY: Doubleday.] 

Is that language an improvement over the 1966 original Jerusalem Bible (5), which uses the words  ”catamites, sodomites” for “the self-indulgent, sodomites” of the 1985 update? Since “catamite” is a Greek term for a boy used by a pederast, it is not exactly friendly language, either.

What about one of the most widely used of all translations (though not so much in ECUSA, since its  recent revisions have not been listed in the Canon), the current New International Version? It says:

Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men a10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 
a [NIV Note:] The words “men who have sex with men” translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.   

[The New International Version. 2011. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.]

The 1978 NIV (8 - the one that ECUSA officially approves) translated what it now says means “men who have sex with men” as “male prostitutes [and] homosexual offenders”. It would thus seem that by the standards of today’s majority in the House of Deputies, no version of the NIV should be on the list.

And here is the New American Standard Bible (1995), the successor to the 1901 version:

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.]

The original version (3) of 1901, as well as its English counterpart of 1881 (2), uses the same word “effeminate” for the first class of offenders, but what the 1995 update translates as “homosexuals”, the earlier versions translate as “abusers of themselves with men” - a phrase which their contemporary,  Oscar Wilde, would have understood without difficulty.  

At last we come to the venerable King James Version (1), which now reads (in the light of the more recent wordings reviewed above) just the same:

Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  

[The Cambridge Paragraph Bible: Of the Authorized [King James] English Version. 1873 (cxix). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.]

To summarize what we have learned from this little excursion: there was practically no change in the official translations of the Bible from the 17th until the 20th century, when the new coinage “homosexual” began to replace the earlier descriptions of “men who abuse themselves with men.” The translators viewed the two descriptions as functionally equivalent renditions of Paul’s original Greek (see the Appendix at the end of this article). Seen in this context, the sudden affronts at the ESV’s use of “homosexuality” become foolish and perverse.

And what happened in the House of Deputies the next day (July 8)? Did the shocked and affronted Deputy admit to his Biblical ignorance, and did all the ones who voted to reconsider the addition of the ESV withdraw their objections?

Of course not—do you think these people are capable of admitting that they made a huge mistake, and were wrong? Rather than face ludicrous embarrassment over its Biblical naïveté, the GLBTQI faction in the House of Deputies immediately swept the issue under the rug, by sending someone to the microphone before debate could begin to move to recommit the Resolution to the Standing Committee. That person made a motion to recommit the whole matter to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, for “further study” in the interim until the next General Convention.

And those, dear folks, are the people whom you have elected to play at being “the Episcopal Church” once every three years—at your expense. I hope you are pleased with the manner in which they carry out God’s work in your name.


* * * * * * * * * * *


For the sake of completeness, and just so we cannot be accused of overlooking anything, let’s look at some other translations of the Bible, starting with the more modern first. Here’s how another respected recent version, the New English Translation (N.E.T.) renders it, with word-for-word accuracy:

Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 6:10  thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 
[The NET Bible (First Edition; 2001). Biblical Studies Press.]

And what about the Catholics? Are the modern translations which they now use any different? Here’s the popular New American Bible, the version used today in most Roman Catholic Churches:

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees, Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, & United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board. (1996). The New American Bible: Translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources and the revised New Testament.]

And here is how the former Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, translates the passage in his own recent  version of the New Testament:

Don’t be deceived! Neither immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor practicing homosexuals of whichever sort, 10  nor thieves, nor greedy people, nor drunkards, nor abusive talkers, nor robbers will inherit God’s kingdom. 

[Wright, N.T. The Kingdom New Testament: a Contemporary Translation. 2011. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.]

To complete the survey of modern translations, here is Kenneth Wuest’s expanded New Testament Translation, which “uses as many English words as are necessary to bring out the richness, force, and clarity of the Greek text”:

Stop being deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor those who are of a voluptuous nature, given to the gratification of sensual, immoral appetites, neither men who are guilty of sexual intercourse with members of their own sex, nor thieves, nor those who are always greedy to have more than they possess, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit God’s kingdom. 

[Wuest, K. S. (1997). The New Testament: An expanded translation. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.]

These recent translations seem to be pretty consistent. All use or refer to the words “homosexual” or “homosexuality” to describe the acts which St. Paul was cataloguing as barriers to the kingdom of Heaven.

Let’s stack up some more, both newer and older, just to be sure we are not missing anything:

Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 
[Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 3rd ed., 2007. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.] 

Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.]

Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters,  adulterers,  or anyone practicing homosexuality10  no thieves,  greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people,  or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 

[The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2009. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.] 

Neither sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor passive homosexual partners, nor dominant homosexual partners, 10  nor thieves, nor greedy persons, not drunkards, not abusive persons, not swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

[The Lexham English Bible. 2012 (W. H. Harris, III, E. Ritzema, R. Brannan, D. Mangum, J. Dunham, J. A. Reimer & M. Wierenga, Ed.). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.]

Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob—these people will not inherit God’s kingdom.&nbsp

[The Everyday Bible : New Century Version. 2005. Nashville, TN.: Thomas Nelson, Inc.] 

Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts 10  or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves—none of these will possess God’s Kingdom. 

[The Holy Bible : The Good News Translation (2nd ed., 1992). New York, NY: American Bible Society.] 

Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who make women of themselves, nor who abuse themselves with men, 10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor abusive persons, nor the rapacious, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

[The Holy Scriptures: A new translation from the original languages (Darby, J. N. [1890] 1996). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Finally, let’s look at two other ancient translations besides the Authorized Version of King James, just to  complete this survey. I start with the Catholic Douay-Rheims version, whose New Testament rendition into English (1582) from the Vulgate predates the King James by nearly thirty years:

Do not err: Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers:
10  Nor the effeminate nor liers with mankind nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor railers nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God. 

[The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.]

And for those who read Latin, here is the Vulgate itself, which dates back to St. Jerome’s translation in the fifth century:

nolite errare neque fornicarii
  neque idolis servientes
  neque adulteri
  10    neque molles
  neque masculorum concubitores

  neque fures
  neque avari
  neque ebriosi
  neque maledici
  neque rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt 

Biblia Sacra Vulgata: Iuxta Vulgatem Versionem. 1969 (electronic edition of the 3rd edition). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.

Molles” is Latin for “soft, effeminate ones.” And one doesn’t have to know very much Latin in order to be able to figure out Jerome’s “masculorum concubitores” to translate St. Paul’s Greek.

The translators have been fairly consistent for more than 1,400 years, have they not? The words they are dealing with, in Paul’s original Greek, are malakoi (“soft, effeminate ones”, i.e., the passive partners) and arsenokoitai (literally, something like “guys/bums abed”, i.e., the active ones) (οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται). Paul was using Koine Greek slang, which like any ancient slang has been out of use for so long that there are few instances of it in the Greek texts we have extant today, to describe the homosexual behaviors in which men then engaged.

More recent ink has been spilled over possible other interpretations of those two slang words than I care to acknowledge, or to link or discuss here. My point in reviewing all the translations of Paul from that of Jerome to those of the latest New Testament scholars is to show how off-base those would-be interpretations are. They are perfect examples of eisegesis —reading one’s own meaning into the words of Scripture—rather than exegesis, which is reading out of Holy Scripture the meaning which their divinely inspired authors had in mind when they wrote.

Paul knew perfectly well what he was talking about, and so can we.

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Who is the delegate and what are his credentials in biblical scholarship?

[1] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-12-2012 at 06:09 PM · [top]

Not the low point of the week, surely - scripture broke through the smoke screen for just a moment.  Wonderful.  And the image of the assembled orcs blowing smoke out of every orifice to cover scripture up again must surely have made an impression on all present.

I suspect that these inheritors of a failing church structure would happily disallow all scripture.

[2] Posted by Michael D on 7-12-2012 at 06:55 PM · [top]

This is the perfect example of the incredibly dumb and ignorant way resolutions are discussed at General Convention.  If it were not so funny it would be (and still is) tragic.  To quote a certain clergy deputy from a certain diocese, Mercy!!

John Burwell+ was there so I would think he would have a good account of what happened. That is where I first read about this incident.

FYI -From the Complete Jewish Bible (David Stern translator of the New Testament/Covenant)

I Cor6:9,10   Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves-people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols,who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob- none of them will share in the Kingdom of God.

[3] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-12-2012 at 07:20 PM · [top]

I hate to be responsible for another example of Johnson’s Law of Episcopal Dynamics at work, but I have $5 that says that somebody authors a resolution at the next GC to de-certify use of the King James (Authorized) Version.

The shame of TEC is that they send delegates to GC that apparently have never read Corinthians, but are in any case vested with leadership positions in the Church.

[4] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-12-2012 at 07:36 PM · [top]

Ignoring the stupidity and ignorance evident in the proceedings, it should not be a surprise.  The TEC cares not a whit for what the Bible says.  Thank God for our little conservative oasis in Central Florida.

[5] Posted by Wes Cowley on 7-12-2012 at 07:41 PM · [top]

TJ, I really, really wish you hadn’t said that. Can we get that message deleted?

[6] Posted by oscewicee on 7-12-2012 at 08:11 PM · [top]

“...a resolution at the next GC to de-certify use of the King James (Authorized) Version.”

And that pesky little Greek version that causes so many problems.

[7] Posted by MichaelA on 7-12-2012 at 08:17 PM · [top]

Well, you certainly put that absurdity in its proper place, Curmudgeon!

[8] Posted by A Senior Priest on 7-12-2012 at 08:22 PM · [top]

Someone should have pointed the learned Deputies to all the other verses in the
Bible.  I’m sure they haven’t ever seen those either.

[9] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 7-12-2012 at 08:23 PM · [top]

For those sickened by the absurd “theology” trotted out by the leadership at this GC, here is a sermon by +Bethelehem Nopece of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (yes, the official Anglican Communion province that often seems very liberal):

+Nopece gave the sermon at the Gafcon Leadership Conference held in London in May.

I had been feeling pretty down at the travesty of doctrine and leadership exhibited at GC, but this sermon reminded me that there is sincere and sound teaching to be found all over the Anglican world.  The people of Port Elizabeth in South Africa are fortunate to have this man as their bishop.

[10] Posted by MichaelA on 7-12-2012 at 08:53 PM · [top]

Ahem, General Convention: this is how you do leadership:

[11] Posted by MichaelA on 7-12-2012 at 08:57 PM · [top]

TJ, would you care to wager that the alphabet soup contingent will now demand a new “tolerant” translation?

[12] Posted by elanor on 7-12-2012 at 09:31 PM · [top]

Other cults have made up their own translations of the Bible to conform with their heresies (e.g., the Jehovah’s Witnesses), so I think you can be expecting the NIV (New Inclusive Version) of the Scriptures shortly.

[13] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 7-12-2012 at 09:36 PM · [top]

I’m a long way from the GC, in more ways than one, but let me venture a further explanation for the defeat of the ESV: bumper-sticker politics.

How many Romney bumper stickers do you think you’ll find in Episcopal parking lots this fall?

The ESV comes with a stigma: it was produced by Evangelicals who wanted a more literal translation than was provided by the NRSV or even the NIV (I seem to remember is was quite a while before the NIV was approved by TEC). Connect the dots: ESV-Evangelicals-Fundamentalists-literalists-Republicans-racists/sexists/homophobes and ... horror!

As for earlier, even recent translations, remember the “historical documents” attitude toward Anglican formularies. We keep some of these old translations, including the Greek text itself which is the root of the problem, in the museum behind glass, but heaven forbid that we should put one out on display on the coffee table! Someone right-thinking person might get the idea that we have gone wobbly.

Now I realize I am assuming a level of awareness among delegates that may questioned, but it only takes a spark to stoke the fires of political correctness.

[14] Posted by Stephen Noll on 7-12-2012 at 10:31 PM · [top]

#14 Stephen Noll.  It’s worse than that.  Most of the folks behind the ESV were not only evangelicals, but evangelicals of the Reformed persuasion.  As we all know, Reformed = Reconstructionists = Dominionists = Rushdoony = C Street = The Family = Homosexuals Being Murdered in Uganda.

[15] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 7-12-2012 at 11:35 PM · [top]

#15, Evangelicals of the Reformed persuasion? Hmmm. That is too nice. Perhaps that should be evangelicals of the deluded, heretical, Christ Hating persuasion? Lets be accurate!  tongue wink

TJ at #4. Nope, no way. I am not taking that offer. I agree with those who are wondering when the *other* ESV (Episcopal Standard Version) will be done.  I will go beyond what you said in your comment.  My thoughts on Johnson’s Law of Episcopal Dynamics at GC 2015? A resolution will be before before houses at General Convention to ONLY authorize this heretical *ESV* version.  I really do wonder if the rate of devolving into heresy has increased of late? Lord have mercy!

[16] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-13-2012 at 12:20 AM · [top]

Well, none of those passages mention lesbians, so I guess the devotees of Sappho are just fine, huh?  /sarcasm off

[17] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 7-13-2012 at 12:40 AM · [top]

Scripture NEVER affirms, approves, exempts or excludes homosexuality or any behavior contradictory to GOD’s design - - - nor does nature.

Same sex attraction is a disorientation, a dangerous lifestyle and not a normal alternative. 

CDC statistics show males having sex with males have a 44 times increased INCIDENCE of HIV and the highest rate of all other STDs.  The lifetime cost of treating one AIDS patient is over 600 thousand dollars. 

Science (medical and mental health) research shows that those with same-sex attraction/sexual activity have increased rates of depression, suicide, addictions, injuries, disease, relational instability and violence and early death.

These people are delusional….ignoring and acting against all the evidence in Scripture and science is not love - it is idiocy.  It is not good, it is evil.

[18] Posted by St. Nikao on 7-13-2012 at 05:08 AM · [top]

I think you can be expecting the NIV (New Inclusive Version) of the Scriptures shortly.

Sorry Jim, but you are WAY behind the times.  Approval canons not withstanding, the “Inclusive New Testament” and “Inclusive Hebrew Scriptures” (ie- the Old Testament) have been in use in Dio of Northern Michigan for most of the last decade, and several parishes use nothing else.  I am sure there are other parishes all over the country also using it with their bishop’s approval.

[19] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-13-2012 at 06:40 AM · [top]

TJ, You are kidding,right?  red face

[20] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-13-2012 at 07:19 AM · [top]

#17, an interesting point. Leviticus 18 and 20 are about male-male sex. The OT is silent about female homosexual practice. Paul is probably repeating rabbinical tradition when he writes about females. I accept that as being the word of God, and thus an authentic teaching.

By the way, the inhabitants of the Greek island of Lesbos are true Lesbians. I understand they are not happy with that word being used to refer to female homosexuals.

[21] Posted by Ralph on 7-13-2012 at 07:22 AM · [top]

#18 proof again that God’s Holy Word is there FOR OUR PROTECTION - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE).

Not to pick on anyone - but I offer up as supporting evidence that VGR was treated not too long ago for alcoholism, correct?

Once you choose not to follow God’s Word, you head down a dark path.  You are outside of God’s design and God’s will for your life.  God will try hitting you a few times with the “Holy 2X4”, to try to save you, but it is up to you to listen to Him.

I have plenty of scars and bruises from the “Holy 2X4” - some physical, many spiritual and emotional.  I am glad that He who made all thing didn’t give up on me.

[22] Posted by B. Hunter on 7-13-2012 at 07:43 AM · [top]

SC-bcl - Would that I were kidding, but no.  Until recently, the diocese sent the readings out weekly to everyone on the email list, along with that week’s Thew Forrester authored collect and whatever St. Paul’s in Marquette had substituted for the Psalm. 

The reason they stopped doing it was that Forrester published a collection of his writings, and his publisher insisted he stop giving them away for free. 

In one of the ironies of life, although I left TEC rather noisily 3 years ago, 2 dioceses keep me on their mailing lists, and I suspect on their membership rolls as well. 

Here is a representative service booklet (hope I get the format right):

Here is the homepage, if you want some insight into what the average TEC church will look like in 5 years:

I suggest looking at the Mutual Ministry stuff- many dioceses send their staff to Marquette to learn about doing this in their own dioceses- check out the various training resources and such.  20% of the local parish ASA have been ordained as either a priest or deacon.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

[23] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-13-2012 at 07:45 AM · [top]

FYI, there are 17 passages in Holy Scripture on the topic of homosexuality.  God makes it PERFECTLY CLEAR it is a sin.  Keep in mind that the covenant of marriage is likened to Jesus’ relationship to the church - and THAT is the relationship satan is really trying to destroy - think about it - if you were satan, isn’t that what you would do??

See in particular #12, which TEC just affirmed in this past convention. 

1. Gen 1 & 2 - we see from the beginning that the complementarily of the sexes reflects God’s inner unity and His creative power and Fatherhood. God created man and woman to become one flesh which is consummated in the act of marital love.

2. Gen 2:18 – throughout the creation story, God says “it is good” seven times. But when God pointed out that man was alone, God says “it is not good.” God then created woman. Man and woman therefore belong together by God’s design, according to His natural and supernatural law.

2. Gen 2:24 – God created man and woman so that they could share communion. This communion is consummated in the marital act (which must be between a man and a woman). This communion is also a reflection of the eternal communion of the Blessed Trinity, who created man in His own image and likeness.

3. Gen 19:24-28 - the Lord rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah as punishment for the sin of homosexuality. Homosexuality perverts God’s covenant with humanity.

4. Gen 13:13; 18:20 - while homosexuals argue that the sin in Genesis 19 was the sin of in-hospitality, these verses show that the Sodomites were evil and wicked people before the alleged sin of in-hospitality. That is because the Sodomites were guilty of homosexuality, not in-hospitality. In fact, 2 Pet 2:6:8 says that Lot witnessed their evil sexual practices “day after day.” The Sodomites’ sin was daily and pervasive.

5. Gen 19:5 - this confirms that the Sodomites’ sin is homosexuality. Here, the Sodomites mistaken the two angels for men and, surrounding Lot’s house, ask to have sex with them. When the yell to Lot “bring them out that we may know them,” the Hebrew for “to know” (yadah) in Gen 19:5 means having sexual relations. See, for example, Gen 4:25 where “yadah” refers to sexual relations between Adam and Eve.

6. 2 Pet 2:6-10 - Peter also proves that the Sodomites were guilty of homosexuality. He says God condemned them for “licentiousness” and “lust of defiling passion,” which is where we get the title “Sodomite” for a homosexual. The Greek “aselgeia anastrophes” for lustful behavior is also found in Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19 and Jude 4.

7. Jude 7 - Jude also confirms the Sodomites’ sin is homosexuality. Jude says they “indulged in unnatural lust” (Greek, ekporneusasai) and went after “strange flesh” (Greek, sarkos heteras) in reference to their homosexual sins.

8. 2 Peter 2:4-6 - Peter also reveals that the Sodomites are suffering in hell for their sins by comparing the Sodomites’ punishment to the eternal punishment of the evil angels. Just as God did not spare the angels when they sinned but cast them into hell, so He did the same with the Sodomites when He “condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly.”

9. Jude 5-7 - Like Peter, Jude confirms that the Sodomites are in hell by saying that they had the same fate as the evil angels. Jude says just as the evil angels were condemned to hell, the Sodomites “likewise” (Greek, hos) acted immorally and are undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. “Undergoing” (Greek, upechousai) is a present participle which means their suffering is ongoing. See also the clear polarity between those who are saved (v.5) and those who are condemned (vv. 6-7,11,13).

10. Lev 18:22, 29 - God commands a man never to lie with a male as with a female, or he will be cut off. This refers to supernatural death which is eternal separation from God. While the Old Covenant laws have been abrogated by the New Covenant, the Church has adopted their moral principles. Thus, the moral prohibitions on homosexuality still apply in the New Covenant, as Peter, Paul and Jude demonstrate.

11. Lev 20:13 - God says that if a man lies with another man, he shall be put to death. From the very beginning, God has revealed that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, unhealthy, and mortally sinful.

12. Deut 22:5 - cross-dressing is also considered an abomination before God.

13. Matt 19:6 - after referring to God’s divine plan for man and woman, Jesus says a husband and wife become one flesh, which ultimately reflects God’s union with humanity through the Church. Homosexual unions pervert this divine truth of God’s love for and union with the human race.

14. Rom 1:26 - also, when a woman lies with another women (lesbianism), this is unnatural and a perversion. God wants His children to be pure and holy as He is holy. Paul condemns all homosexual acts, whether committed by men or women.

15. Rom 1:27 – Paul calls the practice of homosexuality shameless, unnatural and a perversity. It is contrary to the natural law, as it eviscerates the life-giving aspect of human sexuality and reduces it to a selfish, pleasure-seeking end.

16. 1 Cor 6:9 - Paul teaches that sodomites will not enter into the kingdom of God. The Greek word for “sodomite” (arsenokoites) literally means “male copulation” or “male sexual relations.” The Greek “arsen” means “male” and “koites” means “coitus” or “sexual relations.” Paul uses the same word in 1 Tim 1:10.

17. 1 Tim. 1:10 - sodomites are called ungodly and sinners, unholy and profane, lawless and disobedient. They are called by God to chastity. It is important to note that homosexual attractions and inclinations, while disordered and dangerous, are not by themselves an act of sin. It is the acting out on homosexual attraction that is sinful. Those with homosexual desires can still live a life worthy of Christ by remaining chaste and pure as they abstain from acting out on their desires.

[24] Posted by B. Hunter on 7-13-2012 at 07:50 AM · [top]

I’ve learned not to open links to the Dio of Upper Michigan without a great deal of caution. Sort of like turning on a light before entering a room, just in case.

[25] Posted by oscewicee on 7-13-2012 at 08:01 AM · [top]

#23, TJ, ouch; my eyes, my eyes!  I read the Epiphany link, and, besides retching at the shlock they call liturgy, I couldn’t help but thinking, “Are there men in the congregation?”

[26] Posted by Michael+ on 7-13-2012 at 08:01 AM · [top]

And, regarding the ESV, our parish switched from NIV to ESV last year after Zondervon decided to put the N-NIV in the NIV package, effectively putting New Coke in the old Coke bottle.  Our parish loves the ESV, and the ESV study Bible is the book I most frequently recommend.  An added benefit of the ESK study Bible is congregational health - we lug the thing around to Worship and meetings; no need to go to the gym.

[27] Posted by Michael+ on 7-13-2012 at 08:04 AM · [top]

Eventually TEc will have to either eliminate the Bible altogether or come out with a new translation. They can’t keep up the charade of reading from a book that they don’t believe. A church based on such a charade is doomed.

[28] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-13-2012 at 08:16 AM · [top]

I wasn’t familiar with the ESV but since I’ve learned that it’s not good enough for TEC, I’ve subscribed to their daily readings.

[29] Posted by oscewicee on 7-13-2012 at 08:17 AM · [top]

I will say it again; Scripture IS NOT important to the leaders of TEC.

[30] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-13-2012 at 08:23 AM · [top]

Perhaps the new translation can substitute he/she/etc. who “is not hospitable” or he/she/etc. “who is not in a committed loving relationship”.  Do they even teach Greek in the progressive seminaries?  The ability to actually read scripture in such a way could be dangerous.

[31] Posted by marney on 7-13-2012 at 10:54 AM · [top]

Well! Our Resource Books of images soooo need revamping.
A nice new Episcopal translation ought to be produced, say I. 

Oh that’s tedious,  let’s just tweak the lectionary.

[32] Posted by Villyboyo on 7-13-2012 at 01:04 PM · [top]

The level of ignorance is breathtaking.  I shudder to ask but cannot help myself.  Was the deputy in question ordained or lay?

[33] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 7-13-2012 at 01:14 PM · [top]

The way things are going, (loss of membership, money, etc) will there be anyone left for the next GC?

[34] Posted by romans1 on 7-13-2012 at 11:13 PM · [top]

Romans1, I have seen a prediction recently that TEC will shrink from 2,500 congregations to 700 congregations over the next ten years, on current trends.  If that occurs, they can still hold a convention, but not with all their bells and whistles.

It wouldn’t surprise me if a drop like that really did precipitate a crisis well before the ten years is up.

[35] Posted by MichaelA on 7-14-2012 at 12:40 AM · [top]

#31 writes, “Do they even teach Greek in the progressive seminaries?”

Greek and Hebrew aren’t required for the MDiv at Sewanee. They are required at Nashotah House, with advanced electives available.

More interestingly, the seminaries seem to teach Scripture only by means of survey courses. Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey. (At Sewanee, “Old Testament Foundations” and “New Testament Foundations.” That…is…it.) And at least some of the training is academic (what is said about the Bible), not practical (what the Bible says). Source criticism, form criticism. Stuff like Wellhausen (thankfully going out of fashion), and which books did Paul not write, the Jesus seminar, and so forth.

As a result, clergy might read one translation, and might consult one brief commentary for Sunday sermon preparation. Or, just preach spontaneously about blue ducks that day.

I gather that detailed study of some of the individual books is offered via electives.

Any observant Orthodox Jewish layperson has a working knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic - necessary not only for studying Scripture, but also for studying the commentaries that are part of the canon. They study together, and with their rabbis, who are true scholars.

Since we cannot assume that our clergy have read and understood the Bible, I suspect that faithful TEC laypeople should at least acquire a basic understanding of Greek and Hebrew - enough to use a computer Bible and the lexicons, and enough to study and understand the conservative academic commentaries. We should emulate our Orthodox Jewish friends, because we’re not going to get it at church.

The problem with that is finding an informed group leader (Mark 6:34) willing to take the time to prepare for sessions, and able to lead. I suspect that’s why EfM groups have the reputation of falling into heretical discussions when they meet.

[36] Posted by Ralph on 7-14-2012 at 06:49 AM · [top]

The current situation is even worse than Ralph points out.  Remember the statement from the Bp. of Arizona (about a year ago, I think) where he pointed out that the majority of TEC clergy never graduated from a seminary? (not sure if that was his diocese or the whole of TEC, but clergy without seminary are increasingly common almost everywhere in TEC) With the increase of people entering orders as a second career, and the replacement of professional clergy with “mutual ministry” (which is another term in TEC that does not mean what it meant 30 years ago), the number of clergy who have a seminary education is dwindling. 

Is there a respectable course in Koine Greek available online?  I really can’t take 2 years off at this point in my career to go somewhere to study, but the smattering I picked up in Latin class and through Bible study and reading bits of theology will only go so far.

[37] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-14-2012 at 07:33 AM · [top]

The debates at diocesan conventions are stunning for a seminary trained priest.  The new brand of clergy get up and say utterly absurd stuff, in many cases revealing they’ve not read the Bible in English, let alone one of the original languages.  It is breathtaking and depressing all at once.

[38] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-14-2012 at 07:47 AM · [top]

“Is there a respectable course in Koine Greek available online?”

Here’s one:

A simple, basic version from the same author is at:

William Mounce is a very, very dangerous person - he was on the ESV translation committee (horrors!), and he thinks that laypeople ought to know some Greek (and Hebrew).

[39] Posted by Ralph on 7-14-2012 at 07:54 AM · [top]

TJ, EEEEWWWWWWW! When I read the ‘revised’ (better term would be destroyed) Lord’s Prayer, I nearly retched on my computer screen. I noticed NO scriptures readings no reading at all or were the ones at the end of the bulletin the ones used at “services”. My disgust level has never been higher! Eegads, the shock someone from that parish would experience if they happened to go to my parish on Sunday. This is the future of TEC???? Gross and disgusting in many details.
I only found two things that I recognized in that bulletin. One of them being the use of Bob Powell’s Sanctus S-129.  [If only Bob got royalties from all parishes that used his service music, he would be a very rich man.That is an interesting story in its own right but that would be off topic].

I will have to save that bulletin so I can use it as handout to those who will say that TEC is just fine and is not headed down this direction. Oh yeah, Here it is in black and white people.

Ralph,  Thanks for the links to the online classes. I have the time to study but not the money being unemployed at the moment.  What would happen if laity were to be learn some Greek and Hebrew? Interesting. How those would are hell bent on the direction as evidence by the recent GC handle that knowledge? Oh. never. mind. That is right. The new thang says: Scripture??? ... we don’t need to read scripture. we make up our own.

huge sigh.

[40] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-14-2012 at 08:36 AM · [top]

#40, in DioSC, I suspect clergy would welcome having laypersons who can thoughtfully engage them in original language word study. Those who have studied these languages need constant practice to keep themselves in shape.

In certain other dioceses, it would for sure be a threat.

[dig_at_SH]Possibly, it would be almost as alarming as withholding your pledge.[/dig_at_SH]

A used copy of the book “Greek for the Rest of Us” can be had online for around $12. There are some associated free videos that are somewhere on Mounce’s website.

But, using it effectively does require you to have various other resources, some of which are also available inexpensively at the used book websites. The electronic Bibles, lexicons, and commentaries are wonderful, yet expensive.

If God is calling you to learn some Greek and Hebrew, he will provide a way for you to do that.

[41] Posted by Ralph on 7-14-2012 at 09:25 AM · [top]

I noticed during the 2006 GC that the Lectionary actually omits 1 Corinthians 6:9,10. See the Reverse Lectionary here.

What you will see is that 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8 is assigned for Easter evening, and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 is assigned to Epiphany 2B. Verses 9 and 10 are omitted completely.

Is there any wonder so many people were so surprised by the use of the word ‘homosexual’ in Scripture, let alone the condemnation of the behavior?

Am I alone in finding it very curious that these two verses are omitted from the Lectionary?

Does anyone know when this omission/deletion would have occurred?

[42] Posted by AnnieCOA on 7-14-2012 at 10:02 AM · [top]

#32, No need to tweak the Lectionary. See my post above, #42. The offending verses are not included in assigned readings.

[43] Posted by AnnieCOA on 7-14-2012 at 10:04 AM · [top]

SC Blue Cat Lady,
I believe the “Scripture” (given the translations they use, or that they have been known to use readings from texts of other religions, not sure that “Scripture” is the correct term) readings are on a separate sheet.  There may be copyright issues involved, since often they are not using standard texts, that prevent them from putting the readings up on the web.  As I think I mentioned in the earlier post, the Rev Thew Forrester used to send the readings out on a weekly basis, and his reason for ending the practice involved copyright, so it might also apply to web publication.

[44] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-14-2012 at 10:52 AM · [top]

TJ, Thanks, You are probably right that the copyright issues were problematic but hey I am surprised Thew Forrester actually bowed to their demands and ended the practice. I wonder what his publisher was threatening as it is actually not that hard to receive permission from a publisher. Was it before publication when he used the ‘readings’ from unpublished works? Then I understand.

Hi Ralph,
You are correct about clergy in this diocese. I have heard several clergy here explain a Greek word or two when the occasion/need arises-  even in the middle of a sermon <gasp> Thanks, I will look into the resources you provide. Languages are not easy for me but I would love to know more and try to better understand some sense of the meaning in the original languages.

[45] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-14-2012 at 11:11 AM · [top]

This looks like a good resource to me for anyone wanting to learn Biblical Greek (they don’t distinguish between classical and koine):

To someone seriously learning, I think their live forums might be a great benefit. There are lots of books out there ( for example) and used copies can be had from ABE fairly reasonably.

This is something I really want to do and I already have a little collection of books - even got Liddell-Scott awhile back. The Athenaze books offer material in gradual steps that are easy enough to do even if you work full time, but progress will be quite slow unless you gobble through it. “Greek: An Intensive Course” by Hansen and Quinn is a fabulous book for making quick progress if you can set aside a few weeks to really work on it. I had to put this down years ago when my father was ill and I have never taken it up again. Maybe now is the time. Both Athenaze an Intensive are classical Attic Greek. Can anyone speak to how studying classical Greek is an aid/hindrance to koine?

[46] Posted by oscewicee on 7-14-2012 at 11:34 AM · [top]

I should never presume anything about what others might want to do. (So clergy friends - don’t be upset with me). However, I do appreciate efforts by clergy to share with laity their knowledge of Greek or Hebrew (having experienced both here) in furthering our understanding of a biblical text. It is wonderful to have clergy who want to share their knowledge with us laity especially when it is of a seemingly difficult and to many *unknowable* ancient language. To those clergy who do, keep on doing so.  Also, I have had other laity share their knowledge of Greek and Hebrew with me.  Don’t want to leave other laity as they can be teachers as well. The people of God learning about God’s word together!

[47] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-14-2012 at 12:14 PM · [top]

That impressive collection of parallel texts has proven it to me: The Bible, especially Paul, is condemning homosexuality in exactly the same terms used in the debate in 21st century western culture.

I really like your methodology for proving it too! It could be helpful in many different ways. For instance:

We know John the prophet baptized adults who could consciously repent, by immersion in the Jordan River. Added to that, nearly all extant English translations call him “John the Baptist”. Therefore, John MUST BE a member of the Southern Baptist or American Baptist tradition! He shares common traits with them, and a common English moniker! See Matthew 3.1:

New Revised Standard Version “In those days John the Baptist appeared”

New International Version (©1984) “In those days John the Baptist came”

New Living Translation (©2007) “In those days John the Baptist came”

English Standard Version (©2001) “In those days John the Baptist came”

New American Standard Bible (©1995) “Now in those days John the Baptist came”

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) “In those days came John the Baptist”

American Standard Version “And in those days cometh John the Baptist”

Douay-Rheims Bible “AND in those days cometh John the Baptist”

Darby Bible Translation “Now in those days comes John the baptist”

Young’s Literal Translation “And in those days cometh John the Baptist”

This last one is really important, because it calls itself a “literal” translation. With this kind of multi-lateral support for John’s identity, he must be a direct link with modern Baptists!

Or wait, let’s not stop there. What about that pesky heliocentric model of the solar system that kicked earth out of it’s God-ordained central position in the cosmos? It’s a lie, obviously. Because we know that the Biblical writers were obviously operating with the same type of cosmology we have today, and they were inspired by God to write the following in Ecclesiastes 1.5:

New Revised Standard Version:  The sun rises and the sun goes down,  and hurries to the place where it rises.

New International Version: The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

New Living Translation: The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.

English Standard Version:  The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.

New American Standard Bible: Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again.

King James: The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995):  The sun rises, and the sun sets, and then it rushes back to the place where it will rise [again].

Douay-Rheims Bible: The sun riseth, and goeth down, and returneth to his place: and there rising again,

Young’s Literal Translation: Also, the sun hath risen, and the sun hath gone in, and unto its place panting it is rising there.

You see, thanks to this article, in a small space I have just definitively proven both the identity of John as an ancestor to modern baptists, and a geocentric solar system in which the sun circles around the Earth to rise and set. No need to resort to pesky cultural or historical studies (that just eisegetes info into the text!). Just read the text, and exegete it in the most obvious way possible.

This way of arguing could solve a lot of problems for us!

Oh, wait, I forgot: In order to duly establish our credentials, we must also cut-and-paste in some suitably ancient translation and show that we know the ancient languages…

Let’s go with the Greek Septuagint for Ecc. 1.5:

καὶ ἀνατέλλει ὁ ἥλιος καὶ δύνει ὁ ἥλιος  καὶ εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ ἕλκει·

Note that both ἀνατέλλει (3rd singular from ἀνά, meaning “again”, and τέλλω, referring to rising or growing) and δύνει (3rd singular from δύω, to sink or plunge) are present tense verbs with an ongoing aspect, meaning that it refers to a customary or continual action for the subject, ὁ ἥλιος (ths sun). And everyone knows that ἕλκει is the present tense version of ἕλκω (to attract, draw, drag), which is the same word Jesus uses in John 12.32 to say he will “draw all people” to himself. Clearly the Greek translators of the LXX have in mind a geocentric universe, where the sun is continually dragged by God across the heavens to rise and set upon the earth (which, as we know, is probably flat, with all those references to the “ends” and “four corners” in Scripture).

That cinches it. Give us a Bible and some ancient language skills, and we can demonstrate the common-sense obviousness of nearly any historic opinion we want to verify.

[48] Posted by louis.benron on 7-14-2012 at 04:57 PM · [top]

#48, I guess I’m missing your point.

First, neither the Bible, nor Paul, condemns homosexuality.

God condemns sinners, and Jesus saves those who come to Him.

God explicitly forbids homosexual practice. And, Paul is merely speaking on God’s behalf when he writes. I think that 1 Cor 6:9-20 can only be read one way. The unrighteous shall not inherit God’s kingdom. Paul then reads a list of examples of unrighteous persons, including men who are passive and active in homosexual practice. Then, he tells his audience, “This, some of you were.” (Implying, of course, that sexual practice can change, as we know is the case.) He then goes on to describe God’s redemptive work.

The list of English translations of Matt 3:1 baffle me. The Greek calls him, “John the baptizer.” That’s what he did. He went around baptizing people. the English word “baptist” is the same thing.

The excursus on the “heliocentric model of the solar system” is likewise baffling. I personally have watched the sun rise, and I’ve seen it set, too. What are you trying to say? What’s the point here?

[49] Posted by Ralph on 7-14-2012 at 05:34 PM · [top]

I hope Louis did a C&P for that post.  I’d hate to think he put a lot of time into such nonsense.

[50] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-14-2012 at 05:55 PM · [top]

Right Jeffersonian, Nonsense it is. BTW what is a C &P ? I am not understanding something…...

[51] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-14-2012 at 06:35 PM · [top]

#51 - Cut and Paste.

I’m curious to know what we’ve learned over the millenia about homosexual acts that would change our understanding about them vis a vis whether they are sinful or not.

[52] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-14-2012 at 06:48 PM · [top]

I was going to ask whether he was an atheist, or a TEC presbyter in line for a pointy hat. 

If this guy has his way, TEC will have to devote the entirety of the next GC to outlawing Bibles, since I am not aware of any translation that will meet his stringent scientific requirements.

Poor fellow is so caught up in his own semantics that he cannot appreciate a sunset, because in his world, it is just the indication of a point in the daily rotation of the earth.  I would argue, at an aesthetic level, that if there were no God, at sunset, it would just get dark.

[53] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-14-2012 at 07:21 PM · [top]

“Can anyone speak to how studying classical Greek is an aid/hindrance to koine?”

Oscewicee, personally I think studying classical Greek is a great advantage to studying Koine Greek, but then I would, because that’s what I did! 

The languages are very similar:  A useful comparison is to think of classical Greek as King James English and Koine Greek as modern English.  Mutually intelligible, provided you have your wits about you, and the older language is a little more complex in its grammar.  So, its easier to learn Classical and then read Koine, than it is to learn Koine and read Classical.

But, in reality, most of us won’t get the luxury of a choice.  If you have the chance to learn Koine, then go for it.  And if the only thing you have access to is classical Greek, don’t be afraid to do that either.

Even if you only have the opportunity to learn patristic or modern Greek, do it: a little adjustment is required to go back and read the Koine of the New Testament, but not much.

[54] Posted by MichaelA on 7-14-2012 at 11:26 PM · [top]

Ralph wrote:

“And at least some of the training is academic (what is said about the Bible), not practical (what the Bible says).”

Well said – this is a recipe for disaster.

“Greek and Hebrew aren’t required for the MDiv at Sewanee. They are required at Nashotah House, with advanced electives available.”

Which shows that Nashotah is serious about theological training and Sewanee isn’t. 

In Sydney, it doesn’t matter if you go to Moore (Anglican), Morling (Baptist), Croydon (evangelical inter-denom) or Tabor (Pentecostal), you can expect to be put through the wringer on Greek, and Hebrew will also be strongly encouraged.

[55] Posted by MichaelA on 7-14-2012 at 11:27 PM · [top]

“Since we cannot assume that our clergy have read and understood the Bible, I suspect that faithful TEC laypeople should at least acquire a basic understanding of Greek and Hebrew - enough to use a computer Bible and the lexicons, and enough to study and understand the conservative academic commentaries.”

That’s a great idea.  People can only do what they have time for of course, and we all have lives, but study like this can be very rewarding.

[56] Posted by MichaelA on 7-14-2012 at 11:28 PM · [top]

#55—I give my own church credit for teaching courses in New Testament Greek.  Has been a while (the two associate pastors teaching the course have left, one to become a senior pastor in another church and the other had to move because his wife got a job in another state), but I’m thinking that’s something we should start doing again.

[57] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 7-15-2012 at 04:42 PM · [top]

Hmm, #48 has clearly demonstrated the danger of a little greek and computer data base: it can be used by those who have a preformed idea to prove their idea.  This is known as eisegesis.

Exegesis begins with the word and what it meant to those to whom it was originally written.

Thus John was the Immerser, the baptizer in transliteration, not a Baptist of modern terms.

And astonishingly, the heliocentric model of the universe is the one of experience, feeling, and astronomy until the mathematically simpler Copernican model came along and it in turn was replaced by the relativistic model.  One can, with modern computers, perform the heliocentric calculations relatively easily and describe the universe in those terms quite adequately.  So, really, I take it that louis.benron is trying to warn us that experience is NOT the best teacher or definer of doctrine but that base assumptions are most important.

I think you must let Scripture speak to you as God’s revelation in judgement on your experience, else you are apt to go astray.  And to that I would add that tradition is giving full vote to our ancestors and not being chronologically snobbish.

Avoid eisegesis at all costs lest you end up like the Episcopal Organization, married to the Spirit of the Age and soon, oh so soon, to be divorced.

[58] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 7-15-2012 at 05:53 PM · [top]

[#58], agreed. In addition, Mr. Benron has demonstrated yet once more the left’s inability to appreciate, use, or follow logic. Note that he follows the outward time sequence of the main article, going backwards from the present to the earliest Christian period. But he cannot see that the point of all the comparisons was that the beginning and the end points, as well as all those in between, were talking about the same action, namely, men lying abed with other men. And it is only that equation which makes the logic hold.

In his “examples”, however, he starts with a current usage of the English word “Baptist”, and then pretends to go back in time as though that usage were constant throughout Christian history. As #58 and #49 both point out, the problem is that, by the time you get back to Jerome or the original Greek, the word “Baptist” means “baptizer,” or “immerser.” So there is no logical equivalence whatsoever, and his little exercise in “left-type logic” falls apart, as such exercises always do.

The same goes for his other examples. Each one is a perfect illustration of eisegesis, a technique which he pretends to be avoiding.

But don’t try to tell Mr. Benron that. He appears too wedded to his concepts for any of us to be able to make so much as a dent in that particular union.

[59] Posted by A. S. Haley on 7-16-2012 at 11:11 AM · [top]

I am thankful that the offending passage was mentioned in GC.  I am thankful for the reported “audible gasp”.  It tells me that there were those people present who truly didn’t know.  For them it may be the beginning of their salvation.

Curiosity can be a great asset; it may lead someone to read Holy Scripture for the first time and God’s word does not return to Him empty, it accomplishes the task for which it is sent.

[60] Posted by Frances S Scott on 7-17-2012 at 10:31 AM · [top]

Thank you Frances, an excellent reminder.

[61] Posted by MichaelA on 7-17-2012 at 07:05 PM · [top]

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