Talk:Book of Leviticus

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Purpose of Leviticus[edit]

The article mentions Wenham (1979) when it states "Leviticus is not, however, a manual for priests, as it concerns itself at least equally with the role and duties of the laity." This is not true. The book was a guide for priests descended from Levi.

Prior to the excised quote, Wenham himself states, "Leviticus is a fairly appropriate title for the book as it deals largely with priestly matters, and the priests were drawn from the tribe of Levi." So, you can see, Wenham himself states the source the book, then turns around and says that it's equally about the laity, without any proof of this. He states that laws about sacrifice (handled by priests) and the priesthood itself are of equal concern to the non-priest members of the church, without giving any evidence.

All actual evidence about Leviticus indicates that this book is a very specific manual for the priesthood, not that it is a general guide for the living of a regular life at this time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

History unclear to me & some murkiness seen[edit]

A. History of the Book of Leviticus is wanted

I've read elsewhere that there were big changes made to the Book in the 1940s (I'm not sure if there were reinterpretations of some wordings or outright additions to the Book). I don't know if what was meant was that a whole new Bible version was published in the 1940s or if there was a change between editions of the same version. I find some ancient historical information in this article, but not about more recent changes that may have taken place in the last 2 centuries or so. In my opinion, the addition of the historical evolution of the Book of Leviticus would be a good addition to the article.

B. Murkiness found (I focus here on the "Composition" section, but there are other places in the article with the same types of murkiness)

The majority of scholars agree that the Pentateuch probably received. . .: 14. ^ Newsom, p.26.
Does the citation actually use the term "The majority of scholars" on page 26 and then list them? If so, then perhaps you should say something like "According to Newsom, the majority of scholars. . . ", but if not, then who makes up that majority; there's only one citation presented, not "a majority"?

Nevertheless, they also agree that. . .: 5. ^ a b Grabbe (1998), p.92. See the above comment.

The entire book of Leviticus is probably composed. . .: 15. ^ Levine, p.11.
Does the cited page actually say "is probably"? Then, some kind of notification is in order (similar to "is probably composed, according to Levine,"). If not, does the sentence equal a WP editor's opinion or original research/synthesis?

Most scholars see chapters 1–16. . .: 16. ^ Houston, p.102. I have the same comment as the first one above.

The ritual instructions in the Priestly code apparently. . . but it seems better to think of the Holiness authors. . .: 17. ^ Houston, pp.102–103.
Does the cited page actually say "apparently" and "does seem better"? Then, some kind of notification is in order (similar to "Houston believes that the ritual instructions in the Priestly code is apparently"). If not, does the sentence equal a WP editor's opinion or original research/synthesis?

Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 19:29, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi Wordreader. I have not edited these articles extensively so I do not want to comment on your specific concerns but some of those subjects are discussed at Development of the Hebrew Bible canon. In addition Portal:Judaism or Wikipedia:WikiProject Judaism may also be a place to get a wider audience. Good luck! meshach (talk) 02:32, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Wordreader, you had all the sources given to you, and you didn't bother reading any of them. That's lazy. PiCo (talk) 23:41, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Off-topic POV cruft is removed from the lead[edit]

This material doesn't belong in the lead:

Leviticus is commonly cited[1][2][3] for its statements against homosexuality (King James Version: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.")[4] and condoning slavery. ("Both your male and female slaves, whom you shall have")[5]

This paragraph isn't about the Book of Levitus; it's about some people who have a hissy fit about what's in the Book of Leviticus. It's not a "controversy" - everybody agrees that the Book of Leviticus contains this material, and nobody sane or reasonable disagrees with what it means. Thus, it may be possible to work in gracefully into the article somewhere, but putting in the lead without providing proper context in the body is a non-starter. ► Belchfire-TALK 02:47, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Read the dictionary: "controversy" doesn't mean "something many people don't think exists". Some of the world's major religion's backbone text condoning slavery, something outlawed by the UN, is not "a hissy fit" and it's something most sane people would consider controversial. The current version doesn't even mention the word and you think those edits are POV? There's nothing POV about STATING THE EXACT WORDS THAT APPEAR IN THE BOOK. -- (talk) 22:44, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I think that I agree with Belchfire here. That material does not belong in the lead. I think that having it in the lead is undo weight: it is giving too much prominence to a subset of an issue. This article is about the book of Leviticus and not about some imagined controversy. meshach (talk) 23:38, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I think that this content should remain in the article in some form. I also think that Belchfire has articulated a good approach ("it may be possible to work in gracefully into the article somewhere"), however continually reverting the content simply because it is the lede is a non-starter. A better approach would be to move it to a new section in the body of the article, until it can be expanded and then summarized in the lede. - MrX 16:28, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Non starter? According to whom? You and an IP? Add it to the body of the article and see where that takes you if anywhere. Good luck. --Malerooster (talk) 16:32, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, according to me and the HUMAN. I have added it to the body of the article. Cheers. - MrX 16:40, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
If verses on homosexuality and slavery are cited in modern American debates on those subjects, then the relevant articles are where this should be mentioned. This is an article about the book of Leviticus, not about modern America.PiCo (talk) 21:06, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, this is a very relevant article for discussing the oft-quoted verses rhetoric used by religious fanatics in their foundering crusade against homosexuality. Our requirements for inclusion are notability and relevance to the subject, both of which are present in abundance. - MrX 21:16, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you for revealing your POV bias. Cheers. ► Belchfire-TALK 22:55, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

There seems to be a continued desire to keep the section Homosexuality and slavery out of this article and I'm at a loss as to why. The article should examine the cultural impacts of this book not only when it was written, but also the interpretation, analysis and cultural impacts in modern times. I'm open to discussing perhaps placing the content elsewhere in the article, but as of now, placing it under the main heading Themes seems to be the most logical and appropriate choice. Or, perhaps it should be moved under Summary. - MrX 19:01, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

  • MrX, you are reading Leviticus using a 20th or 21st Century brain, when in fact, the Pentateuch portion of the Bible was probably written about 3,000 years ago, when people thought quite differently. What your reference of the word slave or homosexuality means to you, is not what the word would have meant to them. Unless you are a linguist familiar with the etymology of the word in Hebrew, it would be very challenging to try and package that for use on Wikipedia comparing a modern concept with an ancient one. Words as symbols have depth and dimensions that are usually no longer current for us, and to try and massage that into a theme commensurate with an encyclopedia, may be beyond the scope of Wikipedia...Stevenmitchell (talk) 05:36, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
You have replied to a thread that is nine months old. If you continue reading this page, you will see that the editorial issue was resolved. My argument was not really based on the meaning of the words when they were written and I mostly agree with your points. My argument was about how Leviticus has, in modern times, been interpreted by some people or organizations to justify an adverse view of LGBT people. - MrX 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)


Note that I've just fully protected the article in response to the edit warring today. Please seek consensus for controversial changes here on the talk page, and keep our WP:NPOV guideline in mind. Also, you may want to consider WP:DR. Mark Arsten (talk) 15:48, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Article unprotected; material removed without further discussion[edit]

The article was recently unprotected again, and I'm sorry to say that my efforts to move this discussion forward seem to be failing. PiCo has again removed this sourced content, with the edit summary "Homosexuality and slavery are not themes of the book of Leviticus" PiCo. This is bare assertion, that is not founded in fact. Is the objection that is called a theme, rather than something else? I have proposed putting the content under a new section, but no one has responded to this proposal.

Our inclusion standards require that content be verifiable. This material more than meets that criteria. Please help me understand the valid reasons for suppressing this content. - MrX 14:38, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

This has been gone over before, but once more now: The book of Leviticus is a theologically-oriented law-book, aimed at creating the rules that allow the tiny Jewish community to keep itself "pure" in an impure world. Separation and holiness are the overarching themes - separation from the world of the Canaanites (who were not the historical Canaanites, but simply everyone in Palestine who wasn't a Jew), and holiness (closeness to their concept of God). Homosexuality takes up, I think, a single verse. That's not a theme, it's entirely incidental. You need reliable sources to say this is a theme,and I don't think you'll find them. PiCo (talk) 21:58, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for coming to the talk page to discuss this. Some of the other objections (above) to this material was specifically with regard to placing it in the lede, which has already been addressed. Perhaps shoehorning this content into the "Themes" section is also a bad editorial approach. I have made an alternative suggestion, to briefly summarize it in the Summary section. Do you object to this, or do you have yet another alternative to suggest?. Also, is it your conclusion the sources already presented are unreliable, or are otherwise inadequate? - MrX 04:28, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
My problem with your edit is that singles out a single one of Leviticus' many prohibitions. If you want this mentioned, why not also mention that Leviticus prohibits good God-fearing Jews (and Christians?) from the following abominable practices:
  • Boiling a goat in its mother's milk (were ancient Israelites really tempted to do this?)
  • Eating fat.(Leviticus 3:17)
  • Consulting a psychic or spiritualist.(Leviticus 19:31 - I have a certain sympathy for the Levites on this one, though I wouldn't go so far as to put the psychics to death, as demanded by Leviticus 20:27)
  • Planting more than one kind of seed in a field.(Leviticus 19:19 - do you have roses and daisies together in your garden? Yahweh will get you for that!)
  • Wearing clothing woven of more than one kind of cloth.(Leviticus 19:19 - are you wearing a nice polyester/cotton shirt right now? Thunderbolts are coming your way!)
  • Cutting the hair on the sides of your head or clipping of the edges of your beard.(Leviticus 19:27 - so long hair is in, as are straggly beards.)
  • Tattoos.(Leviticus 19:28 - right on!)
  • Being a female rape victim.(Deuteronomy 22:23-24 - ok, so it's not Leviticus, but I just thought I'd mention it.)
The summary section is meant to be a summary of the book's contents, and I believe the homosexuality thing is mentioned there. It isn't a theme - Leviticus is book with a theological perspective, and the themes are all theological (which is true of all the biblical books). Possibly in the Christianity section, if you phrase it acceptably. PiCo (talk) 06:46, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
From the perspective of the Book of Leviticus' authors, homosexuality may have been regarded at the same level of importance as eating fat or cutting hair, but in today's world, the intersection of Leviticus and Homosexuality is very notable, largely because of how the bible is has been interpreted and used to justify discrimination against gay people.
For example, on HighBeam, there are 119 articles in magazines and journals that cover the subject, from publications such as Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Catholic Insight, New Oxford Review, Presbyterian Record, Theological Studies, Currents in Theology and Mission, Washington Jewish Week, The Ecumenical Review and Church & State to mention a few. On Questia, I found 143 books and on NewsBank I found more than 4000 newspaper articles.
It's irrefutable that the topic (Levitical homosexuality) is a major cultural/legal theme in the Book of Leviticus, and it is not limited to a Christian interpretation, so the suggestion to put this content in that section probably will not work. I think what would work is very brief mention in the Themes>Holiness section and then a subsection under Subsequent tradition with two to three paragraphs, and then a concise summary in the lede. There may even be enough content for a fork article. The guiding principle here is WP:DUE, summarized as "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources." The modern cultural influence of Leviticus' proscriptions on homosexuality is a significant viewpoint, and this article can not be limited only to the contemporary theological viewpoint. - MrX 14:41, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think so. PiCo (talk) 21:56, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
You don't think so...what? That's not a very convincing argument in light of the sources that I identified, and it certainly doesn't justify continually removing the content. Please help address the content issues collaboratively, rather than making dismissive statements and reverting other editors who happen to hold a different editorial view than you. - MrX 23:06, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
You haven't put forward any arguments at all to support the idea that homosexuality is a major part of the Book of Leviticus. The subject takes up just two verses, so I doubt you ever will. All the things you say are excellent arguments for mentioning those two verses in articles on current American controversies over sodomy, gay sex, sex education, gay marriage etc etc, but not for having it spill over into this article, which is about the book itself and it's Iron Age setting. By the way, the anti-gay agenda is almost exclusively American - the rest of the world is getting on with legalising gay marriage (except benighted places such as Uganda, where American evangelicals have managed to insert their agenda). PiCo (talk) 23:30, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
My concern is not related to same sex marriage, LGBT rights or anything of the sort. My concern centers on the the large body of scholarly commentary about Leviticus being one of the few biblical texts that is so often quoted for its proscription of homosexual behavior. Although I concede it's a relatively small portion of Leviticus, it is supported by a significant number of sources that discuss the topic, and that is how we determine DUE weight.
The idea that the scope of this article is limited to the subject's iron age context is one that I considered, but the question is, should it be? WP:POVFORKs are usually discouraged. I think a next step may be to bring this to WP:NPOVN to get a few more eyes on it, and determine if omitting this content complies with our policy of neutral content. I'm willing to be swayed from my position, but it will take more that one or two involved editors, especially since there are at least a few other editors that share my concerns. - MrX 00:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you have no concern with gender equality and gay rights - these are important issues, and I'd respect you more if you took an interest in them. Nevertheless, the fact remains that if Leviticus is quoted in today's debates, then the mention of that fact should be in articles about today's debates. By all means take this to arbitration if you wish - though I don't think it's an NPOV issue. PiCo (talk) 01:29, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you mean that toungue-in-cheek or if you really believe that when I wrote "My concern is not related to same sex marriage, LGBT rights or anything of the sort" that I actually meant "I have no concern with' gender equality and gay rights". I will assume good faith though.
I'm not suggesting arbitration, which is a formal process for issues that can't be resolved by the community. I'm suggesting WP:NPOVN so we can get some outside opinions, and hopefully resolve this content dispute. - MrX 01:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I have started a discussion at at the NPOV notice board here: Book of Leviticus. - MrX 03:28, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
My comment about gender issues was quite serious. If you were wanting to put comment on the misuse, by their modern American counterparts, of an ancient and outdated text produced by what one eminent biblical scholar (N.P. Lemche) describes as a "tiny community of religious fanatics", I'd respect that immensely, even though I'd oppose it. Yes, I've seen and responded to the NPOV notice board. PiCo (talk) 03:38, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm somewhat surprised this has been reverted back and forth so many times with so little modification. For instance, the statement that "Leviticus is commonly cited for...condoning slavery" is supported only by the Bible verse itself (WP:Primary), and the juxtaposition of slavery and homosexuality in the sentence seems like Synth as far as I can tell from reading the sources cited. That said, what would people think of this as a potential compromise? It's a single sentence about the homosexual relations placed in the "Uncleanliness and purity" subsection, since that already mentioned sexual relations. I also replaced the newsy bloggy sources that were just examples of the verses being cited with an actual scholarly source that directly supports the statement. ~Adjwilley (talk) 05:43, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Still doesn't work in the context of the structure of the article - that subsection is about ritual purity and impurity as defined in a society that hasn't existed for over 2000 years (2nd temple Judaism); then suddenly you start talking about modern America. The only reasonable place is the section on Subsequent Tradition, which can plausibly handle contemporary "takes" on Leviticus. It could say something like: the laws of Leviticus still have currency in modern Orthodox Judaism (which they do - Orthodox Jews really do avoid eating lobsters, cutting their beards, etc etc), but not in Christianity; the sole exception being the contemporary appeal to Leviticus by ultra-conservative Christians in the US (not outside - it really is a US thing) to support their stance on homosexuality (but oddly they accept Leviticus for homosexuality only, and ignore the laws on mixing fabrics, marrying your dead brother's wife, etc etc). PiCo (talk) 09:41, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
This content I believe should be in the page. It is one of the most used parts of the bible in modern media and culture, good or bad. It is more than notable and relevant to the page. I have no problem with it not being in the lead but to remove it entirely would be a NPOV issue. (talk) 13:40, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Homosexuality takes up just 2 verses of the book. Please explain why you think it deserves more attention than all the other verses. PiCo (talk) 13:46, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Because (scroll up) it is notable as evidenced by abundant sources, which is how we determine appropriate DUE weight in articles. We don't let the subject itself determine this. - MrX 14:43, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
@216.81, it is not one of the most used parts of the bible. I would leave that for the teachings of Jesus, including the Golden Rule, Sermon on the Mount, etc., or even the 10 Commandments.
@PiCo, so are you suggesting something like, "Though Christians generally reject other aspects of the Law of Moses, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are often cited in biblical arguments against homosexual relations." under the subsection on "Christianity"? ~Adjwilley (talk) 14:48, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Looks like the page has been protected again, so we'll have to do those annoying edit requests now. Mr. X, what would you think of moving the new sentence down to the Christianity subsection? Do you have any suggestions on how it should be phrased? ~Adjwilley (talk) 16:30, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the appropriate context for this material is broader than just Christianity, and even broader than Subsequent tradition. I think a new section, Modern interpretations (or similar) is probably a good way forward. It probably should also be very briefly mentioned under holiness, the overarching theme under which these verses are found. Whether or not it should be mentioned in the lede would depend on how much prominence it has in the overall article, but best case, only a word or two would be warranted in my opinion. - MrX 20:56, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
@Adjwilley: yes, that's the basic idea - it's a fact that Christians don't follow the Mosaic law, while Jews still do. American right-wing evangelicals invoke Leviticus on homosexuality, but nothing else (which is rather inconsistent). Your draft sentence looks about right but would need sourcing.
@Mr: The section is called "Subsequent tradition", but in fact deals with modern interpretations as well as the medieval period (the Talmudic interpretation that's mentioned). The two subsections Judaism and Christianity could be combined and replaced with subsections on early Christianity, Talmud and contemporary America, or simply written as separate paras withing one section (which might be preferable). Putting homosexuality explicitly in the Holiness section would give homosexuality much more attention than Leviticus itself gives it (i.e., undue weight). PiCo (talk) 22:07, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with both of you that it probably shouldn't live in the "Uncleanliness and purity" section, though it did seem to fit nicely at first, which is why I put it there. Short of creating a new "Modern interpretations" section (that's more long term) I suppose the next best place would be the "Subsequent tradition". For the short term, can we all agree to move it to the "Subsequent" section, at the end of the "Christianity" section, since I generally prefer not to have single-sentence sections? That, at least, will solve the present dispute (I think) and people can move on and expand the article in other areas as needed.
@PiCo, this would probably work as a source, though it's fairly blog-ish. (It was one of the sources on the disputed paragraph.) I could also live with dropping the subheadings in the "Subsequent tradition" section, since both subsections are very short.
@Mr. X, I'm having a hard time visualizing a mention in the current "Holiness" section. Do you have a suggestion for how it might be done? ~Adjwilley (talk) 00:57, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
If you look at The Bible and homosexuality#Leviticus 18 and 20 you can get a better idea of how to integrate this content. Unfortunately, this article is heavily dependent on quotations, but I think we could add a sentence at the end of the holiness section, similar to what you wrote: "Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have historically been interpreted by Jews and Christians as clear blanket prohibitions against homosexual acts." without it being too awkward. - MrX 01:50, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it would be appropriate to add specific mention of just 2 verses to the Holiness section - it's explaining the Levitical notion of holiness (which was rather different to what we understand by that term today - holiness was a state of radical ritual separation from the world, not simple moral goodness), and that sentence just doesn't fit. Also, the sentence says that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 "have historically been interpreted" as a ban on homosexual acts, but there's nothing much to interpret - the penalty is death, which makes the intention pretty clear.
@Adjwilley, I don't think Patheos will work as a source, even though I agree with what it says about the evil of lobster-ophagy - I think you'll have religiously inclined editors coming and saying this is a wicked atheistic blog. There's some interesting material in Cyril Rodd's book, "Glimpses of a Strange Land", which is already in the article bibliography - Rodd is trying to explain that Judaism of the 5th century BC was an alien culture, and that we need to make an effort if we are to understand it (an effort that modern American right-wingers are not willing to make).PiCo (talk) 02:18, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I think we need to step forward incrementally. Because there is still disagreement over having the sentence in the "Holiness" section, but so far nobody has said anything against moving it to the "Subsequent" section, I have framed an edit request below to move it to the "Subsequent" section. I have marked the request as being answered just to make sure we can all agree on it before it goes live. Also, because it's a fairly complicated edit, I've made a mock-up in my sandbox here. I ended up dropping the subsection headings, and added a sentence of explanation as well. If there's something you want to change, please don't hesitate to edit my sandbox yourself. ~Adjwilley (talk) 04:54, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that - it looks very well-considered. I've made a revised version, while keeping your original so that the two can be compared. PiCo (talk) 05:36, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that looks like a positive step forward. Interest has also been expressed at the NPOV/N discussion about including a mention of slavery, but we can tackle that in a subsequent edit. - MrX 05:44, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I'll activate the request once PiCo and I work out a small disagreement in the sandbox. (I've left a message there.) ~Adjwilley (talk) 06:48, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I made a suggestion for the second piont and will leave the first to your discretion. PiCo (talk) 07:05, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Note: I agree to the version linked by Adjwilley above (here). I'm unable to follow the subsequent edits as they seem to duplicate material, with added commentary. - MrX 14:19, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay, I had to put out some fires elsewhere, and then my laptop came unplugged. (It's old and slow and the battery only holds enough charge to run it for a few milliseconds...) Anyway, I have made some changes to my revision to accommodate what PiCo was saying. Most notably, I merged the two paragraphs in Judaism, dropping the last sentence of the 2nd, and I added the note about other prohibitions (e.g. shellfish) not being observed by Christians. There was also some explanation and rephrasing that happened, but nothing major that I can think of. I didn't make the changes that I didn't feel were supported by the source, because I'm not entirely comfortable with stating something in the article and then looking for a source to support what I said (kind of putting the cart before the horse). Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and activate the request now. Frankly I think it would be ok for the article to be unlocked now, as we have moved past the point of simple reverts. ~Adjwilley (talk) 17:03, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
That's fine. We just need Mr's input now. You might consider pasting the new draft section in below, in total, to back up/clarify the edit request.PiCo (talk) 23:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
The article is reasonably well-structured at this point. However, it is still unclear why the section on Subsequent Tradition requires special mention of homosexuality. That prohibition exists within a series of prohibitions on sexual behavior, such as incest and bestiality, which have been considered binding by Christianity since its inception. The distinction between portions of the Law and Old Testament in general that apply to Gentile Christians and those that do not are a significant topic of the New Testament. The directive given to Gentiles by the Apostles to "refrain from sexual immorality" is understood to mean all forms of sexual immorality as defined by the Old Testament. Furthermore, these verses in the book of Leviticus are hardly the only ones in the entire Bible that prohibit homosexuality and define it as sinful. The above discussion is full of ignorance of Jewish and Christian doctrine, and is marred by a narrow, modern-day socio-political agenda regarding homosexuality. MOst of that has been correctly excluded from the article, but the unique mention in the Subsequent Tradition section is still inappropriate weight. At a minimum, all of the sexual prohibitions of the text should be included as presently-binding "blanket prohibitions", not homosexuality alone. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Please remove the last sentence in the Uncleanliness and purity and add it to the end of the Subsequent tradition section with the modifications shown in this diff. Additionally, please remove the subheadings for Christianity and Judaism, and make the other changes shown in the diff (merging the first two paragraphs of the Judaism section, dropping the last sentence of the second, making some tweaks to the "Christianity" paragraph, and adding information about Christian views of the old covenant to the new paragraph at the end). These changes were discussed above, as well as in the sandbox where they were made. Otherwise, feel free to unlock the article, since we have moved beyond the stage of making simple reverts. ~Adjwilley (talk) 17:14, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Not done: This page is no longer protected. Subject to consensus, you should be able to edit it yourself. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 14:52, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Adjwilley, perhaps you could make the consensus edit and then we can adjust from there. - MrX 15:16, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Nothing like a complicated edit request to get an article unlocked, eh? Thank you Dougweller. I've made the may still need tweaking, but for the present, let's all pretend like there's a 1RR restriction on the article. ~Adjwilley (talk) 16:25, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the very last sentence in the article misrepresents what we want to say. It says: "However, in both Christianity and Judaism, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have historically been interpreted as clear blanket prohibitions against homosexual acts." I think what we really want to say is that these verses continue to be actively cited, and frequently, in arguments over legalisation of homosexual acts and equality in law for homosexuals. I leave that to others to amend if they agree.
Also, an anon isp is reinserting a subsection on homosexuality that we on the Talk page agreed not to have. I really do think it's time something was done about this person - I assume it's that same Homeland Security person. 00:26, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I have reverted the IP and invited them to this discussion. I disagree with rewording the sentence about Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, as it would be an understatement. The verses are also cited in churches, pamphlets, web sites, etc., by various organizations, which you learn more about here.
On a related note, we also need to incorporate the related material on slavery. Any ideas? - MrX 00:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for reverting the IP. Oddly that one geolocates to somewhere in western Canada. I did a quick Google search on slavery in Leviticus, and also slavery in the Old Testament, since I knew very little about the subject. Although a Google search is not the best way to find NPOV material, one thing I learned right off the bat was that the slavery in the Old Testament isn't anything like what the word slavery brings to mind these days. This is a pretty good read if you want to get an idea of how complicated the issue is. So is the article Christian views of slavery. In short, to copy a bit from the WP article, "The Bible uses the Hebrew term ebed to refer to slavery; however, ebed has a much wider meaning than the English term slavery, and in several circumstances it is more accurately translated into English as servant or hired worker."

Also, one of the first sites I stumbled onto was this, which surprised me because the slavery and homosexuality issues were being juxtaposed in a way similar to the disputed edit to say something along the lines of "If you use Leviticus to justify the hate of homosexuals, then you are a supporter of slavery." Obviously I'm not encouraging that we use that source (it seems to be a Christian apologetic site) and I don't think we should try to make the argument that if you believe such and such part of the Bible then you support slavery. (That kind of stuff is best left to blogs and forums IMO.)

I guess the question is, what do we want to say about slavery, and do we have a source? (The bit about slavery in the disputed edit was just sourced to the Bible.) ~Adjwilley (talk) 01:57, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

The IP is an open proxy and reported as such. I did a poor job of articulating why slavery is notable. It is because of it's use as a counterargument for the prohibitions on homosexual acts. I also understand that slavery had a different connotation in that culture than now. I'm not going to pursue better sources for that though. Someone else can, if they feel strongly about that content. I only mentioned it becuase of the original disputed edit and the fact that several people at the NPOV/N discussion mentioned that it should be included. - MrX 02:35, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
It looks like many of the IPs, including the IP that first introduced the material, are from proxy servers in Canada. Weird. Let's see if they decide to use the talk page. If one is looking for counterarguments, the source on the new sentence has a few that are much better than the slavery one IMO. I'm not terribly interested in pursuing it myself though either, in part because it seems a bit Coatrack-ish to me. ~Adjwilley (talk) 04:04, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Boldly unprotected[edit]

OK? Everyone please be nice now. If another Admin (I don't mean me) comes along and finds edit warring here they might find a different solution, which would be a shame. Dougweller (talk) 14:00, 6 March 2013 (UTC)


Isaiah, Chapter 1, states that the Lord is angered and disgusted by animal sacrifice, which seems to suggest an evolution of spirituality that supersedes that part of Leviticus. (Note that animal sacrifice was common practice in ancient times among the Greeks, Romans, Druids, and on other continents, a practice that disappeared in places that became civilized.) Given that Jesus quoted Isaiah extensively, and is also directly quoted in non-canonical sources as opposing animal sacrifice, it seems to me that it is an error for Christians to quote the ancient book of Leviticus as a foundation for modern morality. It is my observation that it is primarily US "fundamentalists" who make this error. I am referring to the breakaway denominations invented in the US over the last couple of centuries, that are based largely on Calvinism, along with the innovative doctrine that the King James Version (translation) of the Bible was itself divinely inspired, and therefore inerrant, and to be taken literally (e.g. one-week Creation). These denominations often are denoted by terms such as "evangelical", "pentecostal", and "born again", and place undue emphasis on Leviticus and the book of Revelations, while largely ignoring Jesus' teachings as presented in the four Gospels, and they also believe that the Apocalypse is coming soon, maybe next week. Because these denominations are heavily represented on television ("televangelists"), many non-Christians receive a false impression of Christianity. Jesus said not one recorded word about homosexuality, for example. So, to set the record straight, it would be better to say, "some evangelical Christian denominations quote Leviticus to support their view that homosexuality is immoral", rather than "Christians quote Leviticus". My own view is that the whole topic of Leviticus, evangelicals, and homosexuality doesn't belong in an article about Leviticus. To me, those early books of the Bible reveal the early stages in the spiritual progress of a tribe trying to bring order into the primitive times they were living in, and are of interest for that reason, and the misuse of those books by misguided people in the 21st Century belongs in an article about American Christian Fundamentalism.