Harvard scholar is wrong: Leviticus NEVER approved of gay sex

Monday, July 23, 2018
 | 
Bryan Fischer - Guest Columnist
http://on.fb.me/1pFPvvd

Bryan FischerIt has become so important to LGBT activists to pretend that God actually approves of their behavior that they will distort and mangle the Scripture in an effort to do it. But it is so difficult to twist the Scripture to manufacture divine support for sodomy that not even a scholar from Harvard can do it.


"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."
(Leviticus 18:22)

The New York Times reached a new low in biblical scholarship this weekend by even publishing an article by a Harvard pseudo-scholar on what Leviticus teaches about gay sex.

The first thing to note is how many times the author, one Idan Dershowitz, includes qualifiers that immediately raise serious questions about what kind of actual evidence he has that his chief assertion – that the original version of Leviticus permitted rather than condemned gay sex – is true.

Examples (emphasis mine throughout):

"Many scholars believe that the section in which Leviticus 18 appears was added by a comparatively late editor, perhaps one who worked more than a century after the oldest material in the book was composed. An earlier edition of Leviticus, then, may have been silent on the matter of sex between men."

That's three hedges of immense proportions in one paragraph alone. That's not the voice of scholarship, that's the voice of conjecture. Three additional paragraphs likewise contain waffle words that create doubt about the credibility of his interpretation.

"In addition to having the prohibition against same-sex relations added to it, the earlier text, I believe, was revised in an attempt to obscure any implication that same-sex relations had once been permissible."

"A law declaring that homosexual incest (sic) is prohibited could reasonably be taken to indicate that non-incestuous homosexual intercourse is permitted."

"It seems that with the later introduction in Leviticus of a law banning all male homosexual intercourse, it became expedient to bring the earlier material up-to-date..."

The first huge problem with Dershowitz's interpretation is the utter and complete lack of any textual evidence whatsoever for his proposition. The authoritative version of the Masoretic Text (the Hebrew text from which the Old Testament is translated) contains no alternative readings from any other extant Hebrew texts. (I checked my copy of the Masoretic Text just minutes ago.) Further, there is likewise no variant in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Masoretic Text that was produced in the third and second centuries before Christ. If these additions and emendations the writer imagines had actually happened, the Septuagint would reflect them. It doesn't.

So the writer's theory fails to find any support of any kind in either the Hebrew text or the Septuagint translation. His theory should be ash-canned on those grounds alone.

The second huge problem with Dershowitz's theory is that he utterly botches the interpretation of the phrase "to uncover the nakedness of." The phrase is correctly interpreted as euphemism for sexual intercourse, as Dershowitz does. But the phrase always refers to a woman, and never to a man.

For instance, he uses this verse to support his argument: "The nakedness of your father and the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness" (emphasis his). The phrase "the nakedness of your father" is a reference to his wife; as her husband, her "nakedness" belongs exclusively to him and to no one else. So "the nakedness of your father" means the "nakedness of your mother" in this prohibition.

This explains Genesis 9:22 where we find that Ham's sin was that he "saw [another euphemism for intercourse] the nakedness of his father." If the "nakedness of his father" represents a nakedness that properly belongs to Noah alone, then it is a reference to Ham having incestuous intercourse with his own mother. Canaan, then (Genesis 9:25), would be the offspring of this illicit union, which is why Canaan and his descendants were under the curse of God from day one.

Likewise, the author tries to make his point with another verse, but only confirms the theory I am advancing here.  "'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother.' Simple enough, right? The following gloss, however, may give you whiplash: 'you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt.'" The solution to Dershowitz's puzzlement is simple: "the nakedness of your father's brother" is a nakedness that belongs to him alone, and therefore refers to his uncle's wife. Thus the phrase is, as Moses goes on to declare, a prohibition against a man sleeping with his aunt.

For some reason, it has become obsessively important to gay activists to pretend that God actually approves of their behavior. So important that they will distort and mangle the Scripture in an effort to do it. But it is so difficult to twist the Scripture to manufacture divine support for sodomy that not even a scholar from Harvard can do it.


Bryan Fischer hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk (American Family Radio) from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central).

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