and have not been retouched or corrected
(i.e., bad spelling has been left in).
In Matthew 19:3, the Pharisees asked Jesus, "Is it legal for a person to divorce his wife on the grounds of 'Any Matter'?" The Rabbis were asking Jesus about his interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1. The "Any Matter" is a technical term from Jewish divorce law, a form of divorce introduced by the Rabbi Hillel. The other type of divorce, on the ground of "General Sexual Immorality", was available to both men and women, both of whom were able to divorce their partner on the specific grounds based on Exodus 21:10-11. This traditional divorce was becoming rarer by the start of the first century, being replaced by the "Any Matter" divorce, which was for men only, and popular as no grounds had to be shown and there was no court case. For an "Any Matter" divorce, the man simply had to write out a certificate of divorce and give it to his wife. My Jesus' time, the "Any Matter" was the more popular form of divorce, but the rabbis were still arguing about the legalities of it. The disciples of Shammai were particularly opposed to it. [...]If this is accurate, it would for sure mean a world of difference to many people. Divorcés who despite tremendous effort weren't able to save their marriage, and on whom those more fortunate are looking down their noses, could now raise their heads and show this as an example of how Jesus' tolerance, acceptance and love far outshines that of his most ardent followers. Which (sadly) isn't news.
Jesus replied that a divorce on the grounds of "Any Matter" was not legal, that "whoever divorces his wife, unless it's on the grounds of 'General Sexual Immorality', and marries someone else, commits adultery". Jesus is simply saying that if someone divorces by a form other than the grounds of "General Sexual Immorality" form of divorce, they are not properly divorced and thus not free to remarry, and so are committing adultery if they do. He is continuing his statement that he disagrees with the "Any Matter" form of divorce.
It is most important to note the significance of the above. The way the passage has traditionally been translated implies that Jesus was asked the question, "Is it ever legal to divorce?" and he answered, "No, except on the grounds of sexual immorality." This is not the case. Jesus was asked if it was legal to divorce on the grounds of "Any Matter" and he answered, "No, only on the grounds of 'General Sexual Immorality'". In other words, he was disagreeing with the form of "Any Matter" form of divorce. He certainly wasn't saying that at that time, or in the time to come, people were never to divorce except for sexual immorality.
Ann Nyland: Study New Testament For Lesbians, Gays, Bi, and Transgender. With extensive notes on Greek word meaning and context. Smith and Stirling, Uralla, N.S.W. 2007. 422 p.Dr. Ann Nyland, a Greek lexicographer, not a theologian, has translated the New Testament into English. Her translation, called The Source New Testament, or TSNT, was published in 2004. Now, she has worked it into a "Study New Testament", with extensive notes and commentary. One point that she works into the notes is that homosexuality is, in fact, not forbidden in the Bible.
has been assumed to mean "homosexual". However, the word does not mean "homosexual", and its range of meaning includes one who anally penetrates another (male or female), a rapist, a murderer, or an extorsionist. When used in the meaning "anal penetrator", it does not apply exclusively to males as the receptors, as it was also used for women receptors. The word does not appear in any Greek literary source until the poets of the Imperial period. This late occurrence is most significant as the Greeks wrote at length on male-male sexual relationships.Not surprisingly, the book has created an uproar among right wing Christians, especially in the USA. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald (26.11.07) says that a US distributor, God's Word to Women, has banned the Australian publication, and withdrawn another Bible translation published by the same publishing house for promoting a lifestyle in contradiction of the scriptures. Two American academics have asked that their endorsements be removed from other works by Nyland, because of her authorship of the gay study bible.
"Since we made the Gay and Lesbian Study Bible available to the public, leading evangelists who previously recommended our books have withdrawn their endorsements from all our books and Bibles on the grounds that we have produced a work that even discusses homosexuality.There is also an the article in Wikipedia on the controversy.
"The Christian right's unfounded treatment of gay and lesbian people is inexcusable bigotry which they blame on the God whom they worship."
As ministers of various churches and denominations we recognise that the churches we belong to, and the church in general, have not been places of welcome for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people. Indeed the church has often been profoundly unloving toward the GLBT community. For these things we apologise, whatever the distinctive of our Christian position on human sexuality – to which we remain committed. We are deeply sorry and ask for the forgiveness of the GLBT community. We long that the church would be a place of welcome for all people and commit ourselves to pursuing this goal.The "Revs" voice an intent to participate in the Mardi Gras event - which by all accounts should have taken place by now, since we already have entered Lent - which seems to be an equivalent of the Pride festivals of other countries, including Finland. To that extent, we have taken that step before our brothers and sisters Down Under - see here and here. Not everyone is interested in being apologised to, however. In a comment, the pseudonymous Thug says:
We ARE a group of Christian ministers who voluntarily and individually bring this apology.
We ARE NOT official representatives of our churches or denominations.
We ARE NOT making a statement on the biblical position on gay and lesbian relationships.
We ARE recognising the lack of hospitality, care and welcome that the churches have offered the gay and lesbian community.
Christians are swimming in a sea of blood they've spilled from innocents. No apology that fails to address the magnitude of Christian crimes against GLBT humanity is acceptable.Maybe so. Sadly so. But it is a start.
The following scene took place on a BA flight between Johannesburg and London. This is a true story.
A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a Black man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air Hostess.
"Madam, what is the matter," the Hostess asked.
"You obviously do not see it then?" she responded. "You placed me next to a Black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat."
"Be calm, please," the Hostess replied. "Almost all the seats on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another seat is available."
The Hostess went away and came back a few minutes later. "Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in Economy class. I spoke to the Captain and he informed me that there are also no seats in the Business class. All the same, we still have one seat in First class." Before the woman could reply, the Hostess continued: "It is unusual for our company to permit someone from Economy class to sit in First class. However, given the circumstances, the Captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting." She turned to the Black man and said, "Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First class."
At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded.
If you are against Racism, please send this message to all your friends. Please do not delete it without sending it to at least one person. "When you're down to nothing, God is up to something."