Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Romans 1:27, examining the translation

Anyone interested in better understanding scripture is going to study the crap out of it with the Holy Spirit, so, my suggestion is to focus on the Holy Spirit and ignore what people, including me, have to say.

That said, most people are really twisted when they interpret what the Bible tells them.  In the first place, they hand defining the words they read over to people.  Does God define the word AND the same way people do?  The ways of God are not the ways of people, so, don't depend on what your second grade teacher taught you for your salvation.  Check everything with God.

Someone asked me about Romans 1:26-7,
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Romans 1:27

KJV word Strongs Greek Word Word Translation
And g5037    τέ also
likewise g3668    ὁμοίως same
also g2532    καί and
the men, g730    ἄρρην masculine
leaving g863    ἀφίημι send away
the natural g5446    φυσικός natural
use g5540    χρῆσις useful
of the woman, g2338    θῆλυς female
burned g1572    ἐκκαίω inflame
in g1722    ἐν in
their g846    αὐτός this
lust g3715    ὄρεξις desire
one toward another; g1519    εἰς in
g240    ἀλλήλων each other
men g730    ἄρρην masculine
with g1722    ἐν en in
men g730    ἄρρην masculine
working g2716    κατεργάζομαι achieve through labor
that which is unseemly, g808    ἀσχημοσύνη nakedness, indecency
and g2532    καί also
receiving g618    ἀπολαμβάνω grasping
in g1722    ἐν en and
themselves g1438    ἑαυτοῦ himself or herself
that recompence g489    ἀντιμισθία compensation
of their g846    αὐτός this
error g4106    πλάνη straying
which g3739    ὅς who, which, that
was meet. g1163    δεῖ seen

Being the kind of guy I am, I do not take anyone's word, except the Holy Ghost, for anything.  I am not saying that the Holy Ghost gave me this specific interpretation, but, I am suggesting that not everything is translated exactly as God would have liked it to be.  If we look at the individual words we can see there was some interpretation of how the Greek was translated into English.  This is pretty common, and when we include how word definitions have changed since King James had the Bible translated it becomes even more important to pray for understanding over every single word of the Bible.

So 1:27 tells us mano-e-mano is a bad thing, right?  I don't think so.  In fact, I translate it (in context with 1:26) a little more like this:

"also Men misusing women, inflamed in lust, with (encouraging) each other to take them (women) immorally and straying from that which is (commonly) seen"

Huh?  What?  You mean, maybe Paul was continuing on with the previous passage and discussing how women are misused and wasn't discussing men misusing each other?  WTF?

Yep, I think this particular passage is mis-translated big time.  In Judaism a Rabbi would often suck the blood off an infant boy's penis during a circumcision.  With all the issues about transmittable diseases and gay politics that is frowned on these days, but, Rabbinical Scholars determined this kind of contact, non-lustful, was permissible and even required at times.

What about when we add in the lust stuff?  Yes and no, lot of disagreement among scholars every where.

I am no Greek scholar, but, I remember reading about this translation and controversy before.  I am not confident this passage is correctly translated. It is not as straight forward as some would make it appear. It is discussing unnatural lusts, and men working together to achieve unnatural lusts, but, I think the exact nature of the immorality is not as clear cut as it sounds.  Since the context of the previous passage seems to be about misusing women, in some vile and unnatural way I'm not sure how the translators jump to the conclusion that men are using each other unnaturally as opposed to encouraging each other to use women unnaturally. It may even be talking about "menage de trois".

Leviticus 18:22 is a better passage against men having intercourse.  The only contact strictly forbidden in the Bible, between males, is intercourse. Anyhow, in my opinion, this passage is not quite as clear cut as it appears.

For your own direction I would suggest prayer and listening to the Holy Ghost. Trusting our salvation to people is never a good idea, even trusting your salvation to me would be a bad idea. Prayer and focus on the Holy Spirit is the only way to Christ and Christ is the way.  :-)

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