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Old 11-20-2006, 01:58 PM   #271
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Originally posted by AEON


Paul did not list every single possible way to demonstrate sexual sin - he gave some examples.

Does this mean that if Paul didn't specific list a sexual activity that it is okay to go ahead and perform it? I would argue "no."
And once again you contradict yourself with this logic. You've stated several times we would need an example in the Bible for you to accept it, but now you throw that logic out when it suits your agenda. Which one is it?

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Originally posted by AEON

If I met someone who is very close to Christ and uses the Holy Spirit as his guide to understanding Scripture - I would be more likely to take his conclusions seriously.

Ultimately, I would love to have a conversation with a conservative Christian who is also gay - and really see what he thinks about the Holy Spirit's guidance on this matter. I know that this sounds close minded. But I seriously have learned that leaning on the Holy Spirit is required to understanding Scripture. Going into Scripture solely to provide links to support a point of view - does not demonstrate what I think is a genuine attempt to understand Scripture. If one does not approach the Bible with a "I know this is perfect, so help me understand" attitude - then apparent contradictions will never be understood.
Close minded? Indeed. Finding a gay conservative Christian might be hard to find for most would end up hating themselves.

I'm not sure why "conservative" is so important to you.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:37 PM   #272
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Originally posted by AEON
Does this mean that if Paul didn't specific list a sexual activity that it is okay to go ahead and perform it? I would argue "no."



well, being gay isn't a specific sexual activity, it's a sexual orientation, and the type of intercourse a gay person might have comes from the same motivation -- love and desire -- that a straight person draws upon when s/he has intercourse.

but, anyway, are you looking to the bible to tell you which specfic sexual activites are acceptable? does this mean no oral sex? missionary style only? is woman-on-top okay?

and, bluntly, i trust my inner Jiminy Cricket to lead me to what might be deemed ethical sexual decisions much more than i do Paul.



Quote:
I know that this sounds close minded. But I seriously have learned that leaning on the Holy Spirit is required to understanding Scripture. Going into Scripture solely to provide links to support a point of view - does not demonstrate what I think is a genuine attempt to understand Scripture. If one does not approach the Bible with a "I know this is perfect, so help me understand" attitude - then apparent contradictions will never be understood.

i can understand this from your perspective, but can you see how borderline schizophrenic this might sound to someone who isn't a Christian? that you need to first assume that the text is always right, and if you find something wrong with it, let a ghost help you out?

this is the type of thinking that leads us to flat-earth, dinosaurs-in-the-garden-of-eden perspectives on the world, and i know you're too smart for that (and have said that you disagree with those who are anti-science). take, for example, the idea that the world is about 4,000 years old. so we retrofit geology to fit that paradigm. we're just placing God before science, right?
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:41 PM   #273
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Yes - I used to hammer away at Christians with questions like this. Yes, the Gospels have Jesus saying different things as his "last words." This is easily understood considering there are four different writers. So, the truth is most likely that Jesus said all of those things - but each writer wrote down what was more siginificant to their intended audience. When a reporter records an interview and then writes the article - they don't write down every word - only the phrases that are important to their article. The same thing is happening here.
As a reporter, I can say this is true.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:48 PM   #274
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As a reporter, I can say this is true.


so the Bible is a mish-mash of reporting -- why, then, do some people trust its literal word more than, say, the NYT?

i'm semi-serious here.

it just seems like bad scholarship, or simply bad reading, to work under the assumption that i'm always wrong and the book is always right and the book is complete and final.

it seems much more logical to me to view the Bible as a living thing (analagous to the "living Constitution" school of legal thought) with which one is in constant dialogue. THAT would hold far more intellectual water with me than these submissive, "if i pray and the Holy Spirit guides me maybe THEN i'll finally understand."

but that's just me.

and now is a good time to reiterate the respect i have for everyone in this discussion and my point is not to call you all simpering schizophrenics at all. i promise. it's just to point how how certain methods of interpretation strike me as ... well, unreliable.

off to the airport to go home for Thanksgiving.

peace out. happy holidays to all.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:03 PM   #275
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so the Bible is a mish-mash of reporting -- why, then, do some people trust its literal word more than, say, the NYT?

i'm semi-serious here.
Great question. Probably because the reporters at the NYT aren't the creator of the universe.



Quote:

it just seems like bad scholarship, or simply bad reading, to work under the assumption that i'm always wrong and the book is always right and the book is complete and final.

it seems much more logical to me to view the Bible as a living thing (analagous to the "living Constitution" school of legal thought) with which one is in constant dialogue. THAT would hold far more intellectual water with me than these submissive, "if i pray and the Holy Spirit guides me maybe THEN i'll finally understand."

but that's just me.
It is a living thing, but maybe in a different way than what you're associating it to be. And actually, your idea of "submissive if I pray and the HOly SPirit guides me maybe THEN I'll finally understand" comment is right on. And it's not going to hold "more intellectual water" with you if you're ignoring the spiritual aspect of it.

Quote:

and now is a good time to reiterate the respect i have for everyone in this discussion and my point is not to call you all simpering schizophrenics at all. i promise. it's just to point how how certain methods of interpretation strike me as ... well, unreliable.

off to the airport to go home for Thanksgiving.

peace out. happy holidays to all.
I have tons of respect for you, too. (And everyone else here) I'm enjoying the discussion.
Have a safe trip and a great Thanksgiving, Irvine.

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Old 11-20-2006, 03:21 PM   #276
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Originally posted by Irvine511




this is the type of thinking that leads us to flat-earth, dinosaurs-in-the-garden-of-eden perspectives on the world, and i know you're too smart for that (and have said that you disagree with those who are anti-science). take, for example, the idea that the world is about 4,000 years old. so we retrofit geology to fit that paradigm. we're just placing God before science, right?
I don't think this line of thinking does lead to a 4,000 old earth. Because I like to think I am somewhat reasonable - I had to pray for God's help to reconcile what I perceived as a contradiction - modern geology and Genesis.

It turns out, after studying the original Hebrew (which Yolland will agree - is VERY difficult and a somewhat moving target) - there is quite a bit that does not translate into modern English. It turns out, Genesis is not intended to be a science textbook. It is simply a summary that 1) God created the universe and everything in it and 2) God wants a relationship with us. I disagree with Christians who want to remove the scientific aspect of our understanding of the universe. To me, science keeps glorifying God - it does not diminish Him.

Astrophysics support the concept of a Creation Moment (Big Bang) and Intelligent Design (not the same ID being pushed in schools, but simply the idea that there is "intention" in the structure of the universe).

I will always place my relationship of God before science. But that doesn't mean I ignore science. I simply keep it in perspective. If the God wanted to write a science book on the universe - He certainly could have. He obviously thinks the relationship between humans and Himself is more important.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:28 PM   #277
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I will always place my relationship of God before science. But that doesn't mean I ignore science. I simply keep it in perspective.
What does this mean? If science glorifies God then why does there have to be a placement of where science is in your life?
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:55 PM   #278
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What does this mean? If science glorifies God then why does there have to be a placement of where science is in your life?
Honestly - sometimes I have no idea what you're asking. Seriously.

I'll try to answer - God is always number 1 (at least that is my effort - of which I do fail at times). Science is somehwere after family and friends and the St. Louis Cardinals. I love to read and study science, especially astrophysics (although I have to read the articles targeted at the non-physicist crowd. I was a liberal arts major). I honestly think it all points to God eventually (and so do some of the most brilliant minds in history I might add).
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:01 PM   #279
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Honestly - sometimes I have no idea what you're asking. Seriously.

I'll try to answer - God is always number 1 (at least that is my effort - of which I do fail at times). Science is somehwere after family and friends and the St. Louis Cardinals. I love to read and study science, especially astrophysics (although I have to read the articles targeted at the non-physicist crowd. I was a liberal arts major). I honestly think it all points to God eventually (and so do some of the most brilliant minds in history I might add).
I was just wondering the need for a disclaimer, that's all. I mean if you found that science undeniably proved homosexuality was naturally occuring would you still have the same stance?
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:50 PM   #280
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I was just wondering the need for a disclaimer, that's all. I mean if you found that science undeniably proved homosexuality was naturally occuring would you still have the same stance?
No discalimer. Just a statement.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:17 PM   #281
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Originally posted by AEON
Ultimately, I would love to have a conversation with a conservative Christian who is also gay - and really see what he thinks about the Holy Spirit's guidance on this matter. If I met someone who is very close to Christ and uses the Holy Spirit as his guide to understanding Scripture - I would be more likely to take his conclusions seriously.

I know that this sounds close minded. But I seriously have learned that leaning on the Holy Spirit is required to understanding Scripture. Going into Scripture solely to provide links to support a point of view - does not demonstrate what I think is a genuine attempt to understand Scripture. If one does not approach the Bible with a "I know this is perfect, so help me understand" attitude - then apparent contradictions will never be understood.
And here's where our discussion here ends. I cannot carry on a discussion with someone who ultimately isn't interested in anything I'm saying, and then starts using faith-based nonsense as reasons to ignore me. I lean heavily on the Holy Spirit to understand Scripture. If you insist that I don't, why am I to take your word, at face value, that you do? Because you're a conservative Christian, and liberal Christians are supposed to respect you, by default?

Your arrogance ultimately astounds me, even for a cleric (and having been a part of the Catholic Church, I've certainly encountered my share of "holier-than-thou" hierarchy). I mean, you'd think that there were such a thing as different Christian denominations. Silly me. I guess I should ignore this handy diagram of different Christians...



...because Satan must've gone back in time to create them to obscure us from your omnipotence.

Six years ago, I was probably a bit naive to start these kind of arguments. I then understood "fundamentalism" to basically believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. As such, discovering that the translation was incorrect should be sign that there's nothing wrong with a "literal interpretation" if the translation is actually accurate! But no...as I have come to understand, it is about tradition, status quo, and nothing more masquerading in a veneer of self-righteousness. No amount of reason, logic, and textual analysis will ever trump the burden of tradition. And that's where comparisons to the Pharisaic archetype in the NT starts to be quite accurate.

Truthfully, I don't care what you believe. I start caring when you start using those beliefs to work to legislate your prejudices. Or use those prejudices to start smear campaigns against all homosexuals. Or to instigate fear campaigns to get your way. Or to plant thoughts of inferiority or sickness into inquiring gay Christians. Whatever you might think, lying is still a sin, even if you might believe that the end justify the means.

Let me make this clear before you start contorting what I've written here:

1) I don't hate you. I have no reason to hate you. It is God's law to love everyone--you included. It is our duty to love everyone, no matter how despicable they may seem, which is why I, for instance, strongly oppose the dominant conservative Christian love of the death penalty. Like you once said yourself, you can look for exception clauses all you want, but looking at the totality of the Bible, which is to love one another, the only people who can justify the death penalty with the Bible are people only interested in maintaining tradition at every and all costs.

2) In keeping for my love for you and all your fellow conservative Christians, I will pray that you see the light, just as Christian anti-Semites, misogynists, and racists all had to humbly experience from the blessings of the Holy Spirit in history. I see that, unlike many conservative Christians, you have a deeper respect for science. You're already ahead of the game, and I trust that your hardened heart will continue to grow in the love of Christ that I have experienced. Simple answers to complex problems might seem very appealing to you, and it might be difficult to defy all the conservative Christians you surround yourself with, but you once walked away from Gnosticism. I trust you'll be able to walk away from another heresy, if you pray to Jesus Christ hard enough.

3) I am a human being. And, contrary to the rumors, you are a human being yourself. And, like any human being, I am going to be apt to anger, mistakes, and rash judgments. But, if anything, I am guilty of being overly passionate, and such passion gives way to impatience. I cannot reasonably expect to erase over a millennium of perverted Christian theology in a day, and I shall continue to pray to the Lord for continued wisdom, stronger patience, and deeper empathy. We all have room for improvement. When was the last time you examined your conscience? Don't worry. That's a rhetorical question between you and God. It's none of my business.

And with this, I'm ultimately done with this thread. Although there's one last thing I'm going to comment on from someone else...
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:24 PM   #282
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Sexuality, for instance, was not the focus of early Christian doctrine.
What do you mean by focus? Sexual immorality at the church at Corinth were definitely a major problem. Also in the church at Rome. (also - the Catholics are fairly adamant on the author of the Book of Hebrews - any guess who that is?)

The focus of Paul is always on Christ. If that is what you mean (which I doubt) then you are correct. That is a given.

However, that doesn't mean that sexual immorality was ignored. Ongoing sin always clouds the relationship between us and Christ - so when someone sinning claims their behavior is "not sin" - then "The Gentile Church leading" Paul would obviously need to correct such false teaching. And he did.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:57 PM   #283
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Originally posted by Irvine511
and it seems, if we are to go with the Greek translations as Melon often points to, then we see we are talking about temple prostitutes (boys in their early teens) and not contemporary gay men.
...to clarify, "temple prostitutes" weren't boys. They were adult males that formed the priestly class of Greco-Roman religion. It was a common belief, even amongst the Israelites' Semitic contemporaries, that to have sex was to be closer to the gods. As such, having a mass orgy with the temple priesthood must make you even closer!

But here's where understanding historical context comes in handy: these temple prostitute priests were not homosexual. They were bisexual. In other words, it is absolute linguistic sloppiness to extrapolate that a prohibition against participating in these temple orgies was meant to cover all of "homosexuality." That's because women took part in these orgies too, and had sex with those same exact "temple prostitutes" that men engaged in too.

Pederasty was a separate Greco-Roman sexual practice, where teenage boys were essentially treated like "apprentices" by older men. And once these teenage boys hit adulthood, they were fully expected to get married and have a family with the opposite sex. But this being the Roman Empire, marital fidelity was anything but. There's an interesting story of a mad Roman Emperor who, when his slave boy lover drowned, he had him declared a god.

And that leads me to my next point. There's an interesting quirk in the annals of the Gospels:

"When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.' He said to him, 'I will come and cure him.' The centurion said in reply, 'Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, 'Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' And Jesus said to the centurion, 'You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.' And at that very hour (his) servant was healed." - Matthew 8:5-13

The Greek word for "servant" (or "slave," depending on the Bible) in this passage in Matthew is "pais," which is the word from which we derive the word, "pederasty." Knowledge of the customs of the Roman Empire would reveal that it was very common for the Roman elite to have relationships with their slaves, and in light of this, Jesus obviously demonstrated the importance of faith over tradition.

But don't let me be accused of being selective! Luke 7:2 has a different narrative regarding the Centurion:

"A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, 'He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.' And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, 'Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, 'I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.' When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health." - Luke 7:2-10

The word for "slave" in Luke is the Greek word, "doulos," which is a generic term for a servant or a slave. And, in many ways, the narrative of Luke makes an effort to insist that he's a slave by talking about all the work he has to do. No "work" at all is mentioned in Matthew.

So, from a linguistic POV, it's considered a theological draw. While Luke is, undoubtedly, about a literal slave, Matthew is much more unclear.

Thought I'd share an interesting bit of trivia!
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:10 PM   #284
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What do you mean by focus? Sexual immorality at the church at Corinth were definitely a major problem.
You look at Corinthians and have your mind in the gutter. There was much more on Paul's mind than sex. Since you don't believe me...

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Paul's first letter to the church of Corinth provides us with a fuller insight into the life of an early Christian community of the first generation than any other book of the New Testament. Through it we can glimpse both the strengths and the weaknesses of this small group in a great city of the ancient world, men and women who had accepted the good news of Christ and were now trying to realize in their lives the implications of their baptism. Paul, who had founded the community and continued to look after it as a father, responds both to questions addressed to him and to situations of which he had been informed. In doing so, he reveals much about himself, his teaching, and the way in which he conducted his work of apostleship. Some things are puzzling because we have the correspondence only in one direction. For the person studying this letter, it seems to raise as many questions as it answers, but without it our knowledge of church life in the middle of the first century would be much poorer.

Paul established a Christian community in Corinth about the year 51, on his second missionary journey. The city, a commercial crossroads, was a melting pot full of devotees of various pagan cults and marked by a measure of moral depravity not unusual in a great seaport. The Acts of the Apostles suggests that moderate success attended Paul's efforts among the Jews in Corinth at first, but that they soon turned against him (Acts 18:1-8). More fruitful was his year and a half spent among the Gentiles (Acts 18:11), which won to the faith many of the city's poor and underprivileged (1 Cor 1:26). After his departure the eloquent Apollos, an Alexandrian Jewish Christian, rendered great service to the community, expounding "from the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus" (Acts 18:24-28).

While Paul was in Ephesus on his third journey (1 Cor 16:8; Acts 19:1-20), he received disquieting news about Corinth. The community there was displaying open factionalism, as certain members were identifying themselves exclusively with individual Christian leaders and interpreting Christian teaching as a superior wisdom for the initiated few (1 Cor 1:10-4:21). The community lacked the decisiveness to take appropriate action against one of its members who was living publicly in an incestuous union (1 Cor 5:1-13). Other members engaged in legal conflicts in pagan courts of law (1 Cor 6:1-11); still others may have participated in religious prostitution (1 Cor 6:12-20) or temple sacrifices (1 Cor 10:14-22).

The community's ills were reflected in its liturgy. In the celebration of the Eucharist certain members discriminated against others, drank too freely at the agape, or fellowship meal, and denied Christian social courtesies to the poor among the membership (1 Cor 11:17-22). Charisms such as ecstatic prayer, attributed freely to the impulse of the holy Spirit, were more highly prized than works of charity (1 Cor 13:1-2, 8), and were used at times in a disorderly way (1 Cor 14:1-40). Women appeared at the assembly without the customary head-covering (1 Cor 11:3-16), and perhaps were quarreling over their right to address the assembly (1 Cor 14:34-35).

Still other problems with which Paul had to deal concerned matters of conscience discussed among the faithful members of the community: the eating of meat that had been sacrificed to idols (1 Cor 8:1-13), the use of sex in marriage (1 Cor 7:1-7), and the attitude to be taken by the unmarried toward marriage in view of the possible proximity of Christ's second coming (1 Cor 7:25-40). There was also a doctrinal matter that called for Paul's attention, for some members of the community, despite their belief in the resurrection of Christ, were denying the possibility of general bodily resurrection.

To treat this wide spectrum of questions, Paul wrote this letter from Ephesus about the year 56. The majority of the Corinthian Christians may well have been quite faithful. Paul writes on their behalf to guard against the threats posed to the community by the views and conduct of various minorities. He writes with confidence in the authority of his apostolic mission, and he presumes that the Corinthians, despite their deficiencies, will recognize and accept it. On the other hand, he does not hesitate to exercise his authority as his judgment dictates in each situation, even going so far as to promise a direct confrontation with recalcitrants, should the abuses he scores remain uncorrected (1 Cor 4:18-21).

The letter illustrates well the mind and character of Paul. Although he is impelled to insist on his office as founder of the community, he recognizes that he is only one servant of God among many and generously acknowledges the labors of Apollos (1 Cor 3:5-8). He provides us in this letter with many valuable examples of his method of theological reflection and exposition. He always treats the questions at issue on the level of the purity of Christian teaching and conduct. Certain passages of the letter are of the greatest importance for the understanding of early Christian teaching on the Eucharist (1 Cor 10:14-22; 11:17-34) and on the resurrection of the body (1 Cor 15:1-58).

Paul's authorship of 1 Corinthians, apart from a few verses that some regard as later interpolations, has never been seriously questioned. Some scholars have proposed, however, that the letter as we have it contains portions of more than one original Pauline letter. We know that Paul wrote at least two other letters to Corinth (see 1 Cor 5:9; 2 Cor 2:3-4) in addition to the two that we now have; this theory holds that the additional letters are actually contained within the two canonical ones. Most commentators, however, find 1 Corinthians quite understandable as a single coherent work.
This, by the way, is the preface to 1 Corinthians in a Catholic Bible. Do take special notice of the phrase "religious prostitution" regarding your favorite anti-gay passage with 1 Corinthians 6. Looking at the church at Corinth as a Christian community undergoing a crisis of church leadership, rather than merely a bunch of sexual deviants, helps make more sense of it.

Quote:
(also - the Catholics are fairly adamant on the author of the Book of Hebrews - any guess who that is?)
Interesting you mention this, because, like you, I understood this to be a Pauline epistle like the others. So I decided to check out the introduction in my Catholic Bible. After all, if "Catholics are fairly adamant," then the introduction will reflect that, right?

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As early as the second century, this treatise, which is of great rhetorical power and force in its admonition to faithful pilgrimage under Christ's leadership, bore the title "To the Hebrews." It was assumed to be directed to Jewish Christians. Usually Hebrews was attached in Greek manuscripts to the collection of letters by Paul. Although no author is mentioned (for there is no address), a reference to Timothy (Hebrews 13:23) suggested connections to the circle of Paul and his assistants. Yet the exact audience, the author, and even whether Hebrews is a letter have long been disputed.

..

As early as the end of the second century, the church of Alexandria in Egypt accepted Hebrews as a letter of Paul, and that became the view commonly held in the East. Pauline authorship was contested in the West into the fourth century, but then accepted. In the sixteenth century, doubts about that position were again raised, and the modern consensus is that the letter was not written by Paul. There is, however, no widespread agreement on any of the other suggested authors, e.g., Barnabas, Apollos, or Prisc(ill)a and Aquila. The document itself has no statement about its author.

Among the reasons why Pauline authorship has been abandoned are the great difference of vocabulary and style between Hebrews and Paul's letters, the alternation of doctrinal teaching with moral exhortation, the different manner of citing the Old Testament, and the resemblance between the thought of Hebrews and that of Alexandrian Judaism. The Greek of the letter is in many ways the best in the New Testament.
I guess it isn't so cut-and-dry, after all. Guess you learn something new everyday!

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The focus of Paul is always on Christ. If that is what you mean (which I doubt) then you are correct. That is a given.
Your doubts are unfounded. That's what I meant.

Well, it looks like I made one response too many from what I intended. Peace be with you all, and you will continue to be in my prayers.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:22 PM   #285
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...to clarify, "temple prostitutes" weren't boys. They were adult males that formed the priestly class of Greco-Roman religion. It was a common belief, even amongst the Israelites' Semitic contemporaries, that to have sex was to be closer to the gods. As such, having a mass orgy with the temple priesthood must make you even closer!

But here's where understanding historical context comes in handy: these temple prostitute priests were not homosexual. They were bisexual. In other words, it is absolute linguistic sloppiness to extrapolate that a prohibition against participating in these temple orgies was meant to cover all of "homosexuality." That's because women took part in these orgies too, and had sex with those same exact "temple prostitutes" that men engaged in too.

Pederasty was a separate Greco-Roman sexual practice, where teenage boys were essentially treated like "apprentices" by older men. And once these teenage boys hit adulthood, they were fully expected to get married and have a family with the opposite sex. But this being the Roman Empire, marital fidelity was anything but. There's an interesting story of a mad Roman Emperor who, when his slave boy lover drowned, he had him declared a god.

And that leads me to my next point. There's an interesting quirk in the annals of the Gospels:

"When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.' He said to him, 'I will come and cure him.' The centurion said in reply, 'Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, 'Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' And Jesus said to the centurion, 'You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.' And at that very hour (his) servant was healed." - Matthew 8:5-13

The Greek word for "servant" (or "slave," depending on the Bible) in this passage in Matthew is "pais," which is the word from which we derive the word, "pederasty." Knowledge of the customs of the Roman Empire would reveal that it was very common for the Roman elite to have relationships with their slaves, and in light of this, Jesus obviously demonstrated the importance of faith over tradition.

But don't let me be accused of being selective! Luke 7:2 has a different narrative regarding the Centurion:

"A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, 'He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.' And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, 'Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, 'I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.' When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health." - Luke 7:2-10

The word for "slave" in Luke is the Greek word, "doulos," which is a generic term for a servant or a slave. And, in many ways, the narrative of Luke makes an effort to insist that he's a slave by talking about all the work he has to do. No "work" at all is mentioned in Matthew.

So, from a linguistic POV, it's considered a theological draw. While Luke is, undoubtedly, about a literal slave, Matthew is much more unclear.

Thought I'd share an interesting bit of trivia!
The point of these stories is not to argue whether or not all officers had sex slaves (of which you totally connect a Centurion - a man who generally rose through the ranks - with a self indulgent ruling class the emperors came from) it is to demonstrate the power of faith. Even if the Centurion had a boy slave lover (which I don't see here - but I will indulge even though feminine attributes were despised by Roman Infantrymen and are still despised by today's Infantry soldier - because it a sign of weakness) the point is that Centurion loved this man and he sought healing from Christ.

Jesus healed many people, especially those considered sick or sinners. If anything, these passages would beg one to question “how odd that Jesus responded this way to a Centurion - what was troubling this soldier internally that Jesus responded in such a way to his request?”

Bottom line - Jesus responded to this man's faith despite his sins. The same as He did for me and countless others. These stories are not confirmation that Jesus condoned homosexual behavior.
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