Talk:The Bible and homosexuality/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

"Mankind" or "Male"

Mankind usually refers to the "Human Species". Or The "human race in its entirety"[1] which includes women. However the bible states "זכר" which means a "male" as in this source [2] (I understand that this Religious source cannot be used as strong evidence to the meaning but there is no argument that זכר means male). Check out these dictionaries [3][4][5] or complete your own google search Caseeart (talk) 03:34, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm aware of the common usage of the word "mankind," but we're directly quoting the King James Version in our quotations. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:39, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
  • זכר does not mean "mankind" since mankind includes women and זכר means male. Obvious things don't need quotations similar to Common knowledge policy.
  • Why don't we look at majority of sources and see what how most people translate it, like the one I brought. Here is a List of English Bible translations, maybe we should take a look. Check out this one [6] it also uses the word "man". This one [7] and the one I brought earlier [8] state "male".Caseeart (talk) 05:13, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
  • If you would like to propose a specific translation to replace our use of KJV, go ahead. Contrary to your claim, "we have to alter a direct quotation from a significant translation of a key text because it's wrong" does not fall under WP:BLUE. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 07:03, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
You are right about that we need to look at the sources and not original research. In this case we should probably go after majority. The 3 I found were translated Man and Male.
We should look at more sources. However in an event that a source quotes clearly false material (such as a false translation of a word) -and there are no other sources - it is a big question how to go about it. That would require a thorough look into Wikipedia's policies.Caseeart (talk) 07:30, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Again, there are reasons we use the KJV. Would you like to propose a specific translation to replace it with? If you keep speaking vaguely like this, we can't have that conversation, and your goal of changing the quotation will not be achieved. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 14:34, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
What's the reason for your rejection of the English Standard Version with the addition of a link to a variety of English translations? Esoglou (talk) 14:49, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm open to being convinced, but I'd like to hear an argument for any change of translation that doesn't come down to "it reflects the modern anti-gay Christian perspective." KJV is at least standard. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 14:59, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I still don't understand your objection to changing from
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" to
"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination"
Don't they mean the same, the only difference being in the change of English usage in 400 years?
And it seems to be the same for the change from
"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; their blood shall be upon them" to
"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them".
The English Standard Version is highly reputed for accuracy, isn't it? And the reason that "mankind" used to mean a male (זכר) is not current English has already been sufficiently indicated above. Esoglou (talk) 15:20, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps your comment about "it reflects the modern anti-gay Christian perspective" indicated that you thought "lie with mankind" meant something different from "lie with a male". Surely you didn't think that. Or did you? Esoglou (talk) 15:26, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not a translator, so it's not my job to justify the usage of particular words. I've asked you to make a case for any given translation. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 16:15, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I have done so. So has Caseeart. What's your counterargument against using a translation into more modern English? Esoglou (talk) 16:24, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Both of you seem to be making an argument for the use of a different translation because it uses a word that you prefer, rather than on its own merits, and that's not going to fly - that's the opposite order of how we're supposed to work. Basically, while KJV obviously doesn't use the most up-to-date language, it has the benefit of not being a direct result of any modern political debates. Any relevant translation issues get discussed in article prose anyway. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:26, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Roscelese speaks almost as if she were a follower of the King James Only movement, declaring more recent translations to be "a direct result of modern political debates", an idea that I, frankly, consider to be nonsense. She has refused to indicate whether she does think that the KJV rendering "lie with mankind" meant something different from "lie with a male", again an idea that I consider to be nonsense. I propose now that, instead of having in the article some translation (not necessarily ESV) that uses a less ambiguous word, as Caseeart and I have proposed, we humour Roscelese by having the KJV translation alone, adding to it a sourced indication of the meaning of the word it translates as "mankind". Esoglou (talk) 06:43, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I suppose I just assumed it was obvious that you need a reliable secondary source to discuss translation issues, but I underestimated your dedication to disruptive editing. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 14:01, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Your insistence on keeping the word "mankind" and excluding any disambiguation is curious. Are you denying that Strong's Concordance is a reliable source for the meaning of the word that the KJV translates as "mankind"? Esoglou (talk) 14:58, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd like you to follow our usual sourcing policies. Your personal beliefs do not grant you an exception to them. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:14, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Whatever about your likes and dislikes, and my personal beliefs and disbeliefs, is Strong's Concordance a reliable source for the meaning of the word that the KJV translates as "mankind" or not? Should I ask elsewhere? Esoglou (talk) 15:19, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
@Roscelese: Your accusation: "Both of you seem to be making an argument for the use of a different translation because it uses a word that you prefer" is not accurate. If you don't have any preferences - why are you repeatedly inserting a false translation.Caseeart (talk) 04:51, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
The accusation is also a breach of WP:GF: "If criticism is needed, discuss editors' actions, but avoid accusing others of harmful motives without clear evidence." Esoglou (talk) 06:30, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

I think we are getting off topic. Let me first clarify and reinforce previous comment-

זכר is only used in the bible to specify male gender and rule out female gender. It is used to identify both male humans (adults or children) and male animals. I will reference to an Hebrew/English version.

The first time זכר was used, was in when Adam and Eve were created Genesis 1:27 "male and female He created them".

The second time זכר was used is was for male animals. Noah was instructed to gather both male and female animals into the ark. Genesis 6:19 "And of all living things of all flesh, two of each you shall bring into the ark to preserve alive with you; they shall be male and female".

Here is a list of 5 translations:

  • Update A few editors in the RFC noted "use the version used by the reliable source that is making claims in reference to a particular verse". The "Homosexuality and Religion: An Encyclopedia" book translates: "You shal not lie with a male as with a women; it is abomination."[14]

(I want to add general discussion about this book but this is not the place).

The First Kings James version is the only one to use the term "mankind". It is also a false translation (at least in current English) since "mankind" refers to both male and female. In addition, "Thou shalt" is outdated English. Update/Correction: In modern English the translation "mankind" would constitute a false meaning. (I apologize to all the users of KJV for previously using the term "false translation").

All other 4 use either "male" or "man" which are similar. The "Bible in English" is the easiest to read and understand but is not accurate, since it uses the term "man" and not "male". The same with the "New International Version".

Update A few users in the RFC pointed out to "use the version used by the reliable source that is making claims in reference to a particular verse". The source uses the same translation as ESV. Caseeart (talk) 05:01, 27 April 2014 (UTC)


The verses and sources brought all point to Male intercourse with Male. Although commentaries and scholars assert certain verses in the bible to lesbianism - Since nowhere in the Bible does it ever mention (openly) against lesbianism - I think there should be a section about that the bible does not prohibit lesbianism. However I was not able to find any reputable source yet. Before I go further about researching and adding such a section - I want feedback.Caseeart (talk) 07:57, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

What about Romans 1:26? Esoglou (talk) 11:56, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry - I was referring to the original "old testament". In the old testament it is not mentioned even once. We could specify the "Hebrew Old Testament". However if this is a Christian article - than maybe it should just leave it out.
Since I see that this article is also part of Judaism - I think that it is WP:WEIGHT to clarify that the "Old Testament" does not prohibit or even mention Lesbianism (although Talmud compares it to the acts of Egyptians - ). Caseeart (talk) 13:21, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

To: Caseeart-Why should The Hebrew Old Testament be left out? The Old Testament of The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, and was translated into Greek. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

I think you misunderstood my comment. I was saying that if this article would be specifically pertaining to Homosexuality within the Christian religion - then as Esoglou pointed out - that lesbianism is clearly prohibited in the "new testament". In that case there is no place for a lesbianism section.
However this article is also a project of Jewish Religion that strictly follows the old testament - it could be pointed out that nowhere in the old testament is lesbianism prohibited. (Neither is a gay relationship quoted anywhere (if there exist such a type of gay relationship). - Only actual intercourse is mentioned- ). However for now I am leaving this article since some users make it very difficult for legitimate edits. Caseeart (talk) 12:52, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

RFC: Which translation of the Bible to use?

Closing this RFC was somewhat of a challenge due to the variety of opinions expressed not just on what translation to use, but also whether or not it is necessary to use one specific translation in the whole article, one specific translation in the section, etc. There appears to be a consensus that the English Standard Version (ESV) is the best translation to use for the passages from Leviticus for reasons including, but not necessarily limited to, its cultural predominance in Christianity today, and its usage by the source to which the critical analysis of the passage in Leviticus is attributed. Notwithstanding the vote count in favor of using ESV, I do not see a consensus that ESV should be the sole translation used in the article. Editors aptly note WP:NPOV as reasoning that the article should not be limited to one translation. As such, I close this RFC with the finding that the ESV should be used as the translation in the Leviticus section of the article with the nuance in the ref tag regarding Bible Gateway having other translations available, and that no translation should be used exclusively throughout the article. Editors also noted the fact that the translation that is "selected" from the outcome of this RFC should not be the eternal translation used. I would remind all that consensus can change, and that a new translation may materialize in the future that supersedes the ESV, KJV, NIV, etc. Thank you to all who participated in the discussion for remaining civil in what could easily have descended into a contentious and tendentious discussion. God bless. Go Phightins! 19:49, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Which translation of the Bible should be used for the biblical quotations in this article? Please specify a translation and not a word in any given quotation; the article contains a number of quotations and we should probably try to use the same source for all of them, and additionally, attempting to translate a quotation yourself is likely to fall foul of WP:NOR. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:31, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

  • ESV - I note that this was suggestion, and works well enough as a modern, literal translation. The short quotes will not constitute copyright violations, as far as I know. Obviously, with some of these verses it will be helpful to include a number of translations - as the article does with 1 Cor. 6, for example. StAnselm (talk) 03:44, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • (Updated) - The translation which is used in the source of the article which is identical to ESV. This is also the best presented translation. - Three reasons as noted above: *This is the most accurate and literal translation. Literal translation is essential for this article that analyzes homosexuality in the bible. *This translation is in line the majority of other translations. *This translation uses current English language. However if at any time, a user presents a more literal translation I am open to change. Caseeart (talk) 04:37, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • KJV - While the translation is less than perfect, it is far and away the most common translation used in the English speaking world, and the one that most readers will likely recognize. Further, as the KJV article notes, "... it is still the most popular translation in the United States, especially among Evangelicals." Of all schools of Christian thought, American Evangelicalism is the largest and most vocal school pushing the theology that homosexuality is incompatible with the Bible; using the ESV, the RSV, the NIV or some other translation would misrepresent the Scripture upon which this theology is based. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 04:48, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Although the KJV is popular in the US and Evangelicals, the translation on this verse differs significantly from the literal meaning. As noted earlier in the talk page - that while the biblical text uses the word "Male" (זכר), the KJV on the other hand uses the word "Mankind" which in current English - includes human males and females. This alters the meaning and may be inappropriate in this article that analyzes the biblical text.Caseeart (talk) 05:51, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
It is, however, a widespread basis for much of the anti-gay sentiment in Anglophile Christendom. It's impact should not be discarded. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 15:24, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Doesn't "mankind" in the KJV translation in fact mean the same as "men", "males", "blokes"? (If you see something else that it can mean, please enlighten me.) So why should a translation that means the same thing be considered a basis for anti-gay sentiment? Is it just that some (few, I suppose) wouldn't understand what KJV is saying? Esoglou (talk) 15:49, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Your question would be better addressed to the people who continue to use the KJV as their principle translation, and who use the KJV phrasing to justify their doctrines on homosexuality. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 15:55, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I must have misunderstood. I thought you were attacking ESV as homophobic. It seems that it's the version that you prefer for use in the article that you consider to be a basis for anti-gay sentiment. Esoglou (talk) 16:03, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
User talk:TechBear's point that this translation is widely used among mainstream groups of Christians - is notable. However literal neutral (non religious motivated) translations are important in THIS article since the article is not about translation or religion, rather it is about analysis on the text. Caseeart (talk) 17:02, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Not possible to do textual analysis (or to discuss other people's textual analysis) of the English translation of a non-English text without taking account of the translation. The only way to avoid the issue of translation is to analyse the text in the original language. No translation (of any text) is completely 'neutral' or 'literal' - of necessity, every translator makes choices. Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 16:11, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • No translation should be canonized as the one and only version to use. Wikipedia supports neither the King James Only Movement nor the fans of any other translation. In this concrete case the question is about which is better: a translation that uses the ambiguous term "mankind" in contradistinction to "womankind" (i.e., KJV), or a translation that uses the unambiguous term "male" (i.e., ESV). In this concrete case ESV is clearly the better. Whichever version is used, access to other versions should be facilitated as in this edit, if disagreement has arisen among editors about which version to present in the article. Esoglou (talk) 08:22, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
That is a good point not to support any specific translation. We should also not lock in on any translation. If at a later time a user presents a better translation - we should be open to change. I will update my vote.Caseeart (talk) 16:28, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I still decidedly support ESV as the better translation for use in the 21st century. I just wanted to point out also that, if there has been disagreement, even the best translation should not lock out access to others, and that if an inferior or ambiguous translation is used, there is even more reason to provide access to other translations. Esoglou (talk) 16:38, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • KJV - This seems to be the version most often quoted from when discussing homosexuality in a biblical context. I also support TechBear's apt reasoning. Context is important though, and there may be some cases where a source uses another version in a specific analysis. - MrX 11:08, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Possible compromise - Esoglou makes a good point. Perhaps we can use the JKV for the parts of the article that reference Christianity, and an equivalently widespread Jewish translation (not the ESV, which is a Christian translation) for the parts of the article that reference Judaism? With relevant verses already quoted in both sections, it would give the reader an opportunity to see the text in differing, relevant contexts. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 15:28, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Do you see any difference in meaning between what KJV says and what ESV says? Do you see any difference between what either of them says and what CJB says in the first and the second verse? Esoglou (talk) 15:49, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
The accuracy of the translation is entirely beside the point. The King James version is the most popular translation in the English speaking world, and it remains especially popular among Evangelical Protestants, the school of Christian thought most associated with promoting the doctrines that are the focus of this article. But to show that I am willing to compromise on the issue, I would also accept the Vulgate, to reflect the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, or the Russian Synodal Bible, which is the official translation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Given that these are in Latin and Russian respectively, I do not believe they would be acceptable for the English language Wikipedia. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 16:00, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • we use the version used by the reliable source that is making claims in reference to a particular verse. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:56, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree with this. This isn't for editors on Wikipedia to decide. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 00:06, 2 May 2014 (UTC)ink
      • Every article or book I ever seen about Biblical matters uses one translation all the way through. I think this would be very poor style. The cheerful dwarf (talk) 04:49, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
        • our "style" issues take second place to WP:V / WP:OR and every other content policy. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:39, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
          • Everyone else is doing it wrong. Your brainstorm is the one true way. The scare quotes around the word "style" are a nice touch. Do you think I made the concept up? The cheerful dwarf (talk) 04:10, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
            • If everyone else is doin it wrong by putting sources and content above "style" - I say lets be naughty and join them! -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom</ thspan> 05:32, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
              • What a treat! More stupid, sarcastic jokes. Do you get them cheaper if you buy by the dozen? Perhaps Wikipedia needs a Manual of "Style" instead of a WP:Manual of Style. The cheerful dwarf (talk) 07:08, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
                • I agree with TheRedPenOfDoom. We should use the translation from the source that is brought for this section of the article. The source uses a literal translation identical to ESV. We should not give any priority or preference to any translation and make it the official translation of Wikipedia. Caseeart (talk) 01:06, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I'm tempted to agree with this. I feel like picking which translation would provide the clearest picture of what we think is going on in the Bible verges on WP:OR, but obviously not as much as translating it ourselves. I'm not familiar with biblical study, but shouldn't we use the version that is either most commonly used in academia today or the one that the cited source uses? Why is the version the source uses not good enough? – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 03:00, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Question / Comment The RfC says we should probably try to use the same source for all of them.
  • Why?
  • Isn't the idea that more than one translation of the original text is possible quite important in this context? Is that really something we should gloss over? The RfC seems to beg the question.
  • If we were only to use one translation then it seems to me that the decision about which translation to use could become mired in accusations of POV-pushing. Clearly some translations are more favourable to certain viewpoints than others.
  • The social and historical context of each specific translation should not be ignored.
Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 16:03, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with this. Different translations may for different reasons be better at different points. At the point in question, nobody has said that there is any divergence in meaning. Even if at other points another translation is used, the better one here is the unambiguous ESV text. Esoglou (talk) 18:24, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
In addition we may want to stick to the translations brought in each source (or if a translation is absent - the best translation for that context). Caseeart (talk) 01:06, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
  • ESV. This is a revised and modernized version of RSV. RSV was a landmark project and the translation widely acclaimed. It was published in 1952 and was standard for both worship and academic use for many years. ESV has been endorsed by various Evangelical leaders. We should use a single translation so readers don't get distracted by translation trivia. It's not a translation comparison article. The top five Bible translations are NIV, KJV, NLT, NKJV, and ESV.[15] Of these five, ESV easily comes in first place as the modern language translation suitable for scholarly study. The cheerful dwarf (talk) 05:12, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
What about the point that user TheRedPenOfDoom brought that we should use the translation that was "used by the reliable source that is making claims in reference to a particular verse." The source for this section of this article uses the ESV[16]. Why are we preferencing which translation should be used on Wikipedia (as other users pointed out)? Caseeart (talk) 00:34, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Scholars writing about the Bible generally use one translation consistently through an essay or book. This is the standard in field, the way it's done. Changing translations for no reason apparent to the reader looks sloppy. Rick Warren certainly gets a lot of flak for doing it. Style is all about following standard formats so that the reader can focus on the content of the article. Every editorial decision means that you preference one thing over another. There is no way to avoid making choices in life. "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice," as the old song puts it. If a translation is controversial, you might want to compare NRSV and ESV. Then you get both the liberal and conservative spins on the passage. I doubt that's an issue for any of the passages quoted in this article. If it's not, why clutter up the article with translation trivia? The cheerful dwarf (talk) 01:47, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Question. Would any supporter of using KJV in the section that gave rise to this discussion object to adding to the KJV translation a note about the meaning it there attaches to the word "mankind"? (ESV and the like need no such explanatory note.) Esoglou (talk) 06:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I had initially added a caveat to the RFC about possibly not being consistent in our use of a translation, but ended up leaving it out. I do think we should be consistent because, as I'm sure we will immediately find if we implement "use whatever translation the source uses," different sources use different translations. In cases where there are concerns about the translation, as with arsenokoitia, we can and do discuss translation differences in the article text, but I think The cheerful dwarf is right: it's poor style to jump from translation to translation when we're not actually talking about translation, and it will immediately backfire. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 16:24, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
    • While it won't look right if we change the translation each time we quote the *same* verse as The cheerful dwarf - pointed out, (especially if we mix ancient English translations with modern English translations) - it doesn't seem that it will be a problem if we stick to the translations of the sources when quoting *separate verses*. Most sources use current English. (If the same verse is quoted twice - we would then need to choose which single translation to use both times as The cheerful dwarf asserted).
      • This remark seems quite correct. I support it. Esoglou (talk) 07:37, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
    • If we will pick out and choose one translation for the article - how will we address the concerns of the other users Such as POV and that we are not to preference decide any translation to Wikipedia (for this article and for any articles).
    • Even the sources of this article including the book "Homosexuality and Religion: An Encyclopedia" on page 66 uses the ESV translation for both verses of Leviticus, and on page 68 the book uses a different translation (not ESV) when referencing Mark 10.[17] This did not seem a problem in style since the book was sticking to literal current English. Caseeart (talk) 01:26, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
      • Surely such translation jumping is just carelessness? The concept of POV is not meant to apply to style issues. There is no NPOV method of determining paragraphing, the size or placement of images, the organization of the article, etc, etc. What if there is more than one source and they use different translations? Writing should be about communicating to the reader, not pointless hairsplitting. Update I checked the Mark 10 translation. It is from NRSV. The difference between NRSV and ESV is pretty small beer. But if you mix KJV with a modern translation, readers will certainly notice. The cheerful dwarf (talk) 10:36, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
        • Different sources use different translations, as The cheerful dwarf says. And there is no need to force adoption of just one single Bible version throughout an article (unless the article is about a group that prefers to use that version). That could give rise to POV disputes about the choice of version to use, as Caseeart says, disputes that would not necessarily arise when choosing a version for a particular verse within the article. Esoglou (talk) 12:09, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with "use the version used by the reliable source." Since this is a discussion about the "Bible and homosexuality" not what religion A, B, or C says about homosexuality or what group A, B, or C says about homosexuality, limiting the discussion to a particular translation will bias the article to the viewpoint of a particular group. As long as the translation is one of the translations that are normally accepted (i.e NIV, KJV, NLT, NKJV, and ESV from above), then it can be used. Unless a specific point is being made about a non-traditional translation, non-traditional ones shouldn't be used.Marauder40 (talk) 14:21, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
    • In this concrete case a specific point is being made: that the ambiguity of KJV's "mankind" should be avoided. (I am unsure about the meaning of your terms "traditional" and "non-traditional": into which category do the non-KJV versions that you say are normally accepted fall?) In this concrete case do you think it permissible or even advisable to use a version other than the KJV that Roscelese wants to be the only one used? Esoglou (talk) 15:13, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
      • I was addressing the overall question since it seemed to be applying to the entire article, not a particular case. When I mean traditional version non-traditional I am implying things like, if someone wants to include something from a Bible used by Mormons, Johovah Witnesses etc. and even translations made by people not even associated with a religion as a primary translation they shouldn't be used unless in Wiki voice something is said like "Johovah Witnesses believe x and base it on their translation of the Bible included here." I don't think we should rely only on one translation, that is limiting the scope and putting an authority on one version which WP shouldn't be doing. It would in effect be saying that everyone that believes KJV bible is the authoritative version is correct, but everyone else isn't.Marauder40 (talk) 15:22, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
        • In either case there is no argument here since the *source* that brings this specific verse of Leviticus does not use KJV. This book chose to use ESV, which is also the most accurate and literal translation I have found for this verse. Caseeart (talk) 01:05, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • @Esoglou:"In this concrete case a specific point is being made: that the ambiguity of KJV's "mankind" should be avoided."
Then I would suggest using more than one translation at that point in the article, to allow the reader to understand that different translations say slightly different things.
That seems the most informative approach to me.
If it's important enough to really go into detail then IMO it would not be inappropriate to quote the specific word(s) used in the original language and give the possible translations of it/them.
Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 12:14, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
No objection whatever on my part. Esoglou (talk) 16:40, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
  • ESV - It has pretty much become the standard English version.--TMD (talk) 14:14, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Suggestion - By default I would use one version that is widespread (either KJV or ESV). But if - in particular cases - other versions provide a text translation that changes the meaning of the text significantly, I would mention that too. Marcocapelle (talk) 15:30, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Not the only chapters and verses used to condemn homosexuality

Deuteronomy 23:17-18 is another chapter and set of verses used to condemn homosexuality as well. So is Jude 1:7, though probably not as much anymore. (talk) 06:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Some quick googling suggests that different sources interpret that differently. See e.g., [18], [19], [20], others. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 07:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Sourcing other reasons not to believe in condemnation

@Beland: I think your contributions to the lead are certainly reflective of common views on the Bible and homosexuality, but you do need to provide high-quality sources and discuss the subject in the body of the article, not just the intro. When looking for these sources, I would recommend that you look for ones that discuss the issue specifically from the perspective of interpretation of the Bible, since that's the subject of this article; arguments that reconcile Abrahamic religions and homosexuality without much reference to the Bible are relevant to other articles, but not so much to this one. For instance (guessing), are there Christian sources which say "yes, the Bible does have these anti-gay passages, but it also has 1 Corinthians 13, and that's the one that we should prioritize"? Or sources which discuss the framework of sexual morality presented in the Bible from a historical perspective and point out that the writers weren't really able to imagine a sexual relationship of social equals? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:08, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

The word 'abomination' is known to be a mis-translation. The actual word, toevah, means "something permitted to one group, and forbidden to another", and, "Toevah is used four times in Leviticus 18—once to refer to male homosexual acts, and then three times as an umbrella term. As in Deuteronomy, the signal feature of toevot is that the other nations of the Land of Israel do them: “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit these toevot… because the people who were in the land before you did these toevot and made the land impure (tameh)” (Lev. 18:26-27; see also Lev. 18:29). The term is repeated with reference to homosexual activity in Lev. 20:13." This can be found here: Does the Bible Really Call Homosexuality an “Abomination”? Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg of mis-translations in the Bible.--Craxd (talk) 11:58, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It's true that toevah is closer to "taboo" than "abomination". I'm also continually forgetting if there's a homosexuality+religion article somewhere in this overlapping lot of them here where we actually discuss that translation issue, or if we keep talking about it and not writing it. Would you be interested in writing something for the article to cover this issue? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:05, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for improvement by adding further clarification; and acknowledgment to the audience of the message

Hello to the authors, just offering a perspective regarding section: Matthew 19:12. I think acknowledgement should be given to include everyone in God's grace and not exclude anyone. Jesus' reference to eunuchs who were "born as such" has been interpreted as having to do with homosexual orientation... And... those eunuchs who have been so from birth "is" the closest description.... This wiki article presents one interpretation of Matthew 19:12, however there seems to be no original clarification of its meaning other than the different translations/ revisions of the Bible we all have available eg "For there are eunuchs who were born that way" or "because some men are celibate from birth" or "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb" etc I do feel the passage referred to needs to consider the whole audience that it was spoken to or referring to.

Those who have been "made so by others" could mean ones who had their testicles removed in order to be employed as Eunuchs which is what did happen in history as we all know. Eunuchs who were born that way "could" be referring to those who had their testicles removed at birth (possibly) or those who were born and raised to be Eunuchs in accordance with their parents whim or the whim of their masters eg the masters of the court or palace whatever the case. History tells us many Eunuchs were slaves (eg Imperial_Harem), this would not discount babies from slaves or people considered slaves from birth. It could also refer to those without the relevant sexual organs or glands or nerve endings/ sensuation or those who were of physical disorder (since birth) or without physical limbs or with an intellectual disability or even possibly lived their whole lives as a Eunuch without any interaction or experience with the opposite sex and there's also those that were born into a celibate life with the church, also don't forget we now have genetic engineering and there are reports of modern day Eunuchs. It is conceivable that according to Eunuchs themselves all possibilities leading to their life situation or title in society may not have been by choice or forced and may have been considered completely a result of circumstances arising from their situation or physical body since birth.

Many wouldn't want to deliver Jesus' message incompletely and siding with good faith here there's no clear evidence that this is intended by the article. I feel it is always important to acknowledge with any interpretation that the Bible in revelations 22:18 warns against changing or adding to the bible's message. Jesus was particular in saying who his message related to for instance In verse 11 Jesus replied in relation to marriage between a husband and wife "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given." To argue that the message only speaks to those born with a certain sexual 'orientation' rather than simply 'their function as a Eunuch' could be seen as unfairly dismissing or excluding a significant portion of humanity. I strongly inspire a rephrasing of "eunuchs who were born that way" to be considerate to and encompass all walks in life that it could be pertaining or speaking to or rather than suggest it only speaks to a certain audience-only. It might be better to leave the verse un-interpreted and refereed to only in its original form and allow all recipients of Jesus message to make up their own minds if the message is for them or for whom it pertains to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Galviston (talkcontribs) 01:51, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

You do not make the call, reliable sources make the call. See also WP:NOTAFORUM. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:35, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

The conclusion from the reliable source that is currently referenced does not appear correct. In Stromata (chapter III,1,1), Clement claimed that the "followers of Basilides" gave their own "explanation" of Matthew 19:12. The explanation described that some men, from their birth have a natural sense of repulsion from a woman. The explanation did not mention anywhere that these same men would have a natural sense of attraction to other men.

There is no official (reliable) reference to any actual material written by the followers of Basilides to prove Clement's claim. Stromata does not reference a book or scroll in his book regarding how he came to discover the followers of Basilides explanation. Clement stated that this was "their (the followers of Basilides) explanation" and did not go on to discount any other possibilities of the passages intended audience.

Rather than count out any intended parties of the passage in the Bible we could reference reliable sources which detail all definitions of what a Eunuch entailed if this will help. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Galviston (talkcontribs) 05:58, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

The claim you object to is verifiable in John J. McNeill, (1993). The Church and the homosexual(4 ed.). Beacon Press. pp. 64–65. So it won't go away simply because you do not like it. Not all sources are reliable sources. McNeill is a scholar of theology, find a comparable source if you want to have a say, but please, no apologetics from wannabe-scholars. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:23, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Jesus' discussion of marriage

I added a section citing two scholars' interpretation of Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9, and part of it was removed due to sourcing concerns. Catholic World Report is a news organization, and the analysis/opinion piece cited in it, according to WP:RS, is a reliable primary source for statements attributed to that author. The identity of the author (if a specialist or recognized expert) can be used to determine reliability. Dr. Leroy Huizenga ( is the chair of the department of Theology at University of Mary and obtained a Ph.D. in Religion/New Testament at Duke University. He is a reliable source for mainstream interpretations of the New Testament. The other source, Reformed Review, is a journal of Western Theological Seminary for the Reformed Church in America. Both scholars agree that Jesus presupposed a two-sex requirement for marriage, and that seems to be the mainstream interpretation of this passage among New Testament scholars. Given the sourcing, I think it's worth referring to this in the lede. The mainstream interpretation of these passages relates to homosexuality, and this teaching of Jesus is not otherwise suggested in the lede. I have reverted the deletions: please discuss if you wish to change.Estel Edain (talk) 21:22, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

There is nothing that prevents the Catholic World Report source from being used as a source, but WP:DUE instructs that material should be include in proportion to its coverage in reliable sources. In this case, can you identify any sources, preferably scholarly sources, that have cited Huizenga's essay?
The biggest objection I have though is this:

"The Gospels do not directly address the question of homosexuality, although Jesus may be restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples when he discusses marriage."
— Sentence that you added to the lead

That statement is speculative, and not at all a fair representation of any major point in the article. (see WP:LEAD).- MrX 22:26, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Suggest splitting this article into two groups

Like sections of the article Second Coming are split into different interpritations by different groups; I suggest splitting this article, section by section, into the different interpretations of the passages. One for homosexual apologists, the other for their opponents. This should help eliminate most of the bias, percieved or otherwise, in the article. It would require a rewrite but let's face it, the entire article is pretty badly writen as it is. Chrononem  15:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't agree with your premise and I can't support your proposed structure. By the way, what is a "homosexual apologist"?- MrX 15:28, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
WP:POVFORKs do not deal with bias, they only create echo chambers for each bias. The reason the eschatological articles are divided by schools of interpretation is that they go in such drastically different directions that they're barely discussing the same subject matter (including, but not limited to, "the Beast was just a poetic representation of Nero," "the Beast is an as-yet-unborn demonic figure," and "the Beast is any oppressive political ideology"). The different interpretations of the Bible and homosexuality are discussing the same subject matter, they are just in disagreement in a way that relates to each other.
Basically, the eschatology articles are saying "a, β, or 3," while this article is arguing over "a or ~a." Ian.thomson (talk) 16:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Apologist means "advocate," usually of a religious view.
The articles are saying "a or β", like the eschatology articles they are providing the reasoning for multiple, mutually exclusive, views without pointing to one or the other as true. One group argues Christ will immediatly end the world on his return on that He will reign 1000 years on Earth; Similarly one group argues that Romans 1 refers to homosexuality, another that it refers to homosexual experimentation. The views are mutually exclusive, only one view of each set can be correct. Chrononem  18:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
this suggestion fails utterly WP:POVFORK. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:31, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Both of those views at least agree that those verses concern homosexuality in some fashion, and are really only understood in their opposition to each other. The eschatological views can't agree on whether Revelation is about the past, present, or future, or even some atemporal constant. It's not a matter of being exclusive, but even on the same topic.
The homosexuality issue is "Did Han or Greedo shoot first," while the eschatology issue is "Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, or CSI Miami."
If Romans 1:20-32 was being interpreted with the variety of eschatology, the arguments would be "against some form of homosexuality," "against witchcraft" ("for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature"), "against Gnosticism" ("For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen") and "against the Incarnation" ("changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man").
It is instead agreed upon that it concerns homosexuality in some way, with the distinction being the finer detail of whether it concerns homosexuality in general, pederasty, going against one's own natural inclinations (whatever they be), or idolatrous temple prostitution that only happens to be homosexual for cultural and practical reasons. They are not distinct in the same sense that green, blue, and red are; but are a gray scale spectrum. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
While your analogy is amazing I don't think it is a perfect fit. I believe this subject fits smoothly into the recomendations for a POV fork. Unlike the "Did Han or Greedo shoot first" there is a little more to the arguments than whether you had to watch the "remastered" version. Hermeneutics is every bit as involved as eschatology and it creates a rather confusing jumble of "could be this but then there's that" when we leave it in an unstructured mess. Chrononem  19:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I cannot agree, nor do I see what such a restructuring would leave us with, other than "interpretations Chrononem endorses" and "interpretations that are Wrong." There's no case to be made for "old interpretations vs. recent interpretations" or "homosexual apologist interpretations vs. orthodox interpretations" - as the article itself points out, Sodom's sin has been identified as economic for thousands of years, arsenokoites in Paul was used in reference to heterosexuality in the 300s, etc. These writers are not recent and are unlikely to fit your quaint description "homosexual apologist." –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:35, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Questionable sources

I have reverted this edit because the sources are a pamphlet and a 39 year old source. I also don't view the material as in improvement over the current text. I'm opening this section with the hope that Quoflector can explain this edit.- MrX 18:54, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Response from Quoflector

The pamphlet was written by world-renowned New Testament scholar Walter Wink. As to the 39-year-old source, this is the IDB--a modern classic bible dictionary. Both are sources which are valid and pertinent for this topic (the irony is that the traditional understandings of the Bible are far older than 39 years--yet these are included in the article. Should these historical and traditional understandings be eliminated as well as any source which is merely 39 years old?)

While adding information which explains a more current exegesis, I have not eliminated traditional material. Thus, the edits present a NPOV.

My posts, in their entirety, have been quickly removed twice in the last week. If traditional editors still disagree that a view other than the traditional view should be represented, I believe an administrator should be consulted for dispute resolution.


Note: I have previously written a more detailed explanation for these edits to the talk pages of Roscelene and AnomieBot when they reversed my posts. They are as follows:

Introductory paragraph I have made the following edit: "Some passages in the Bible which prohibit homosexuality have traditionally been interpreted literally—apart from their historical context of pervasive temple prostitution. (Wink and Pope refs) Some interpreters maintain that the condemnation of homosexuality in these texts is determinative for gays today, while others state that the 'abomination' of homosexuality was based on the ancient understanding that semen was the sacred giver of life (the woman serving only as an incubator). Moreover, many ancient sexual prohibitions—including intercourse during menstruation, masturbation and birth control—are no longer followed by Christians. Thus, Jesus' love ethic—used to critique and reject these ancient sexual practices of the Bible—may also be used to critique and reject ancient prohibitions against homosexuality. (Wink ref)" My reasons for this addition: 1. While I left in place the first sentence stating the traditional position, I indicated these scriptures have a historical context which is pertinent: Temple prostitution is one significant example. 2. Another pertinent context is the prescientific understanding of the biblical author which explains the reason why one verse each for homosexuality (Lev. 20:13) and masturbation (Gen. 38:10) prescribed the death penalty. 3. As sexual practices have radically changed from ancient times, scholar Walter Wink's advocacy for Jesus' love ethic to critique all sexual (and other) behavior is noteworthy. The deleted passage is: "Today too some interpreters uphold that understanding of these passages, while other interpreters maintain that they do not condemn homosexuality,[weasel words] saying that historical context suggests other interpretations or that rare or unusual words in the passages may not be referring to homosexuality." My reasons for this deletion: 1. The first third of the sentence is similar to the addition. It could give a reason for traditional interpretation. 2. The remaining two-thirds of the sentence is vague regarding the reasons for the understanding of "other interpreters." More specificity, as the edit above, helps the reader's understanding. The above edit provides needed information. Should resolution be needed, I am open to discussion.

Sodom and Gomorrah, paragraph 1 & 2[edit] I posted the following end of the sentence (in quotes): Historically, the passage has often been interpreted within Judaism and Christianity as a punishment for homosexuality, "however, various interpreters indicate this is irrelevant as a homosexual gang rape does not condemn all gays any more than a heterosexual gang rape is an indictment of all straights." My reasons for this addition: 1. Regarding gang rape, this is a valid observation by a scholar, Walter Wink, who has written on this topic for at least two decades as well as a gay activist, Matthew Vines, who has made the same observation. 2. The beginning of the sentence acknowledges the traditional interpretation of punishment for homosexuality. I deleted the following sentence: "but the passage has historically been interpreted within Judaism and Christianity as a punishment for homosexuality due to the interpretation that the men of Sodom wished to rape the angels who retrieved Lot.[4]." My reasons for this deletion: 1. Though the beginning of the sentence is virtually the same, I wished to avoid a run-on sentence. 2. The explanation that punishment for homosexuality for rape is due to the men wishing to rape the angels is contradicted by the fact that the rape in question is a gang rape. Moreover, as indicated elsewhere in this section, none of the early explanatory material in the Old Testament held that the offense in question was homosexuality. I am confident the original post is both valid and pertinent, so it should be included. As Wikipedia is a collegial community, I am open to inclusion of another explanation for the traditional view. I will withhold editing of this pericope for 24 hours, awaiting a response which will resolve this dispute.

Regarding the second paragraph of the section, Sodom and Gomorrah, I posted the middle material (in quotes): While the Jewish prophets spoke only of lack of charity as the sin of Sodom, "the gradually unfolding sexual interpretation of "Sodom" became the basis, beginning in the 13th century, of the word sodomy," still a legal synonym for homosexual and non-procreative sexual acts, particularly anal or oral sex. My reasons for this addition: 1. The sexual interpretation of Sodom, as noted in the first paragraph, was not contemporaneous with Gen. 19. It was a later development which gradually unfolded. 2. The dictionary cited indicates the first known usage of "sodomy" was the 13th century. So this edit is consistent with the material cited. 3. Note that I did not edit the first or last third of the sentence. The middle portion deleted from the above sentence is "the exclusively sexual interpretation became so prevalent that the name "Sodom" became the basis of the word sodomy," My reasons for this deletion: 1. The time for the origin of the word "sodomy" is not given. 2. The implication of this pericope is that the several other understandings of the Gen. 19 narrative are irrelevant (for example, Lot's explanation that the guests--in accordance with strict rules for hospitality--"have come under the protection of my roof" (Gen. 19:8). 3. There is no citation indicating there was an "exclusively sexual interpretation" during the 13th century. This possibility is doubtful as the Old Testament scriptures cite hospitality, social justice and other non-sexual reasons--and Jesus cites hospitality. For these reasons, I believe the edit should stand. I will wait 24 hours for a reply if a resolution is sought. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Quoflector (talkcontribs) 19:55, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

I note that Walter Wink is indeed a noted scholar, but what is written in the pamphlet is his opinion, and should not be cited as fact. Matthew Vines is not a scholar at all. One of the problems with this article is that it talks about "some scholars" on one side and "some scholars" on the other side, without explaining the relative strength of numbers - hence the weasel tag in the lead. But "others state that the 'abomination' of homosexuality was based on the ancient understanding that semen was the sacred giver of life" is completely inappropriate for the lead - that is, I think, a fringe argument that not many scholars would offer. I think the "Sodom was gang rape" argument is a significant one that should be mentioned in the article, but sourced to someone more reliable than Vines. If we can source a 13th century origin of the word "sodomy", that should definitely be included too. StAnselm (talk) 20:40, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
As StAnselm mentions, the pamphlet is not a usable as a source, nor is the self-published Tumblr post. Perhaps you can find similar material in a better source.- MrX 04:05, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
I confess I didn't follow the link to the pamphlet; I looked at the website link and went "that's probably not a reliable source." Let's use RS book sources. Quoflector, I think we do already address some of the issues you name, eg. the Sodom story not being about homosexuality, but for others, like the temple prostitution thing, you'd need to cite sources and to do so in a way where it's clear what you're talking about (I assume you're talking about the Levicitus passage but it was not at all clear from the text you added). StAnselm, can you find some reliable, non-partisan scholarly sources that draw the conclusion you want to add? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:09, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

The Bible

We need to be clear that the Bible is a Christian religious work. It is not recognised as a Jewish religious text - although it takes some texts from older Jewish scripture. This article should therefore have a purely Christian character and avoid commenting on what Jews think of this that and the other. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:42, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

That's a terrible idea. Jews don't recognize the so-called New Testament, but there are centuries of Jewish commentary on the so-called Old Testament. "Not recognised as a Jewish religious text", my foot. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 14:52, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid I stand by my point. It would be perfectly fair to have an article which considers the treatment of homosexuality in Jewish scripture (the Talmud etc). But it's simply misleading to conflate the Christian Bible with the religious texts of the Jews. They are not the same - and the interpretation by Christians of texts in the "Old Testament" is not the same. That's why we get into a mess in the article when we try to explain that Jews (before the first century) don't identify Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality but then have to explain elsewhere that Christians do. I'm also pretty sure that the books that form the "Old Testament" aren't even recognised as a single collective set by Jews today. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:16, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The Talmud is not a Jewish scripture. If I didn't think you were a good faith editor I would have stopped reading there. What exactly do you think the Jewish scriptures are if you don't think the Torah, for instance, counts? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:27, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
I didn't say the Torah didn't count. The Jewish/Hebrew Bible or Tanakh contains twenty-four books - all of which were originally written in Hebrew. The Christian Old Testament features more than 24 books of the original Hebrew Bible, but in a divergent order. There are also a number of different versions of the Christian Bible, with different selections of books, as well as different ordering and naming of books, or incorporation of additional material into the books. The first part of all Christian Bibles is the Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible divided into thirty-nine books and ordered differently from the Hebrew Bible. The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches also hold certain books and passages that are excluded from the Hebrew Bible to be part of the Old Testament canon. The point I have tried to make is that this article is far too broad. It suggests there is one "Bible" - and I fear a reader not familiar with the nuances of its structure will easily get confused. Why is it necessary to have one article on the Bible that tries to pull together Jewish and Christian thought - as if the two are the same thing?Contaldo80 (talk) 09:10, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
It's true that the content is a bit scattered over various articles, but if you think this article is unnecessary, you need to propose a split/merge, not suggest purging it of Jewish content. The ordering of books has little to no bearing on interpretations of text within any individual book, and an article on the Tanach and homosexuality would be gratuitous. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:56, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not so much that this article is unnecessary - it's rather that the content doesn't match the title. I would be inclined to purge this particular article of "Jewish" content because the title suggests to me the "Christian Bible" (supported by the current content which makes a division between the Old and New Testament). And there is already a separate article entitled Homosexuality and the Hebrew Bible. So we are we doing this in two places? We can already clearly see that Jewish interpretations of Sodom and Gomorrah are not inclined towards homosexuality as a cause (at least not in older interpretations). But the Christian interpretation is. So how then can we feasibly comment on the Bible's coverage of homosexuality if we're having to argue it from the perspective of two different religions? Religion A says this passage means this... Religion B says actually it means this... Religion B also points to this text... But Religion A doesn't even recognise that text... etc. The lead starts of referring to the "Old Testament" then the heading below has the "Hebrew Bible". It just seems all a bit clumsy to me. To be clear I am not suggesting that we have no text from Genesis, Leviticus etc but rather that we refer to them as the "Old Testament" consistently and just include Christian commentary/ interpretation.Contaldo80 (talk) 09:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't agree; I rather think the article you name - which, by the way, contains a bunch of Christian interpretation - should be merged here. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:13, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Why would we do that? Why would we want to create an article that tries to merge together the opinions of two seperate religions on a subject? What is to be gained to the reader by doing that? While the Homosexuality and the Hebrew Bible has a couple of Christian references they are by no means widespread and could easily be purged; leaving this article to give the Christian perspective. Why are you so attached to an article that so easily confuses? Contaldo80 (talk) 08:51, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
I really don't think anyone is being confused by this. If something is confusing, it's the plethora of redundant articles on the same topic. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)


Noticed the passage on arsenokoitai whilst skimming this article and had a few points to raise. 

Shouldn't the bias of Bishop Gene Robinson be made apparent given the claims made? At the time of the quote he was a practicing homosexual. Odds are he still is, though the Wikipedia bio just notes he planned to divorce his husband a couple of years ago.

Boswell's points are interesting, but again self interest should be made apparent - dead of AIDS at age 47.

I understand neutral sources are not required, and of course anyone following the links will discover and be able to weigh the bias for themselves, but as currently presented it appears like they're disinterested experts.

There is a reference in passing to arsenokoitai possibly referring to exploitive pederastry, and that the term refers to homosexual acts rather than those committed by individuals identifying as homosexual - male on male acts by "heterosexual" inmates for instance but nothing about the interpretations which see it referring to both homosexuality and pederastry. Should the two "afterthought" sentences be expanded if possible, and something added about the missing interpretation? 

人族 (talk) 18:48, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Someone's sexual orientation is not a reason to exclude or qualify them as a source. Otherwise, our heterosexual authors would obviously be suspect, since they have a vested interest in maintaining the supremacy of a group to which they belong. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:04, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Right, but we should make it clear that Robinson's is a minority (if not fringe) position. (The Homosexuality in the New Testament article says "Standard Greek lexicons and dictionaries understand this word as a reference to homosexual behavior"). StAnselm (talk) 19:20, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
That's arsenokoitai, not malakoi, the word Robinson is talking about. His position on that word seems pretty mainstream. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:35, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, my mistake. But Homosexuality in the New Testament says of that word, "Standard Greek lexicons and dictionaries understand this word as a reference to the passive partner in a male homosexual act." Most scholars think it means someone wilfully engaged in such sexual relations. StAnselm (talk) 20:01, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
That would be incorrect. While some scholars view malakos as referring to a boy/male engaged in receptive anal intercourse in this passage, hardly anyone who knows much about Greek thinks the term iItself is any kind of technospeak for such behavior. The term's actual denotation is much more general and vague than that. Antinoos69 (talk) 09:24, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Both things (the lexicons and the majority scholarly opinion) refer, I think, to the meaning in 1 Cor. 6:9. StAnselm (talk) 10:43, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't like terms like "majority scholarly opinion". What exactly do we mean. Who are we talking about? The reference you cite is from Childs who is a seminarian. I'm skeptical that he is being objective. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:17, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Most scholars obviously means the majority of biblical scholars - i.e. people who professionally study the text of the Bible to determine its meaning. What do you think it means? The reference I added is an excellent example of what we mean by a reliable source: a full professor at a major institution published with a reputable publisher. (Did you misread the reference? It's Mark Allan Powell, not Childs.) But I wasn't citing his interpretation of the text as fact, merely his assessment of the scholarly opinion. Excluding this means we are giving undue weight to minority opinions, and this makes the article POV. StAnselm (talk) 18:48, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
I hadn't actually considered excluding anyone, merely noting bias available to anyone following links. As for heterosexual authors having a vested interest in maintaining group supremacy, that's a rather unique view there! Does it assume some sort of power dynamic rather than a desire for validity influencing textual reading? Just curious because as I say, that's a unique spin on things! Also probably lumps celibates into a heterosexual class. As for the malakoi point, I tweaked the Robinson comment to clarify what was being referred to. And as for seminarians not being objective, how so? An educational institution specialising in theology should have some sort of expertise in theology no? 人族 (talk) 02:57, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
It is standard in academia and identity politics to conclude that all heterosexuals, celibate or not, have a vested interest in heteronormativity. The general principle is that all members of the majoritarian or in-power group have a vested interest in the system, whatever the relevant system may be. In other words, one might say, there is no objective and unbiased perspective from which to speak, and no objective subject position. There is nothing new about this. Antinoos69 (talk) 11:17, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
And yet academic consensus and reliable sources still exist. StAnselm (talk) 11:57, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand how your comment relates to mine. I was addressing the notion of objectivity and who is presumed to have it. Now, as far as your comment goes, are you assuming academic consensus is necessarily correct? Are you assuming the "reliable" in "reliable sources" means correct? Scholars don't generally make those assumptions. "Reliable" and "academic consensus" are simply meant to indicate that a serious but very imperfect and flawed process has been applied in a best attempt to minimize bias and maximize the likelihood of reaching correct conclusions. But bias and error can never be thought to be eliminated, as the volatile history of scholarship aptly demonstrates. Antinoos69 (talk) 12:21, 6 May 2016 (UTC) Also, these days, part of that process is to make sure that representatives from all groups are represented in the scholarly discussion, provided they are willing to attempt to adhere to accepted standards of methodology. Where oppressed groups are concerned, it has become standard to give some added weight to scholars (and others) belonging to that group, as a lesson of history, though the process is a bit messy. Antinoos69 (talk) 12:29, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia can't operate under that assumption - regardless of an author's minority status, "the fact that this view is not mainstream proves that we have to represent it harder" just isn't how we work here. We can be attentive to bias in the scholarly community, from which we draw our reliable sourcing, by paying attention to things like newer scholarship on a subject which may correct older errors and considering weight in that light. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:20, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid you don't understand the very specific and narrow comments to which I was responding. Reread the discussion for clarity. In my last comment I was discussing how scholarship itself is actually conducted these days. So "the fact that this view is not mainstream proves that we have to represent it harder" has absolutely nothing to do with my comments. Previous comments about a specific group, and no others, being biased and improper to the discussion certainly does have much to do with my comments. Can I assume your beef is primarily with including Bishop Robinson's statement? If so, I suggest you carefully reread it, also. The view actually reflects academic consensus. Take careful note of what he's literally and explicitly saying, as I suspect you are mis- or overreading it. Antinoos69 (talk) 10:16, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

StAnselm - the POV tag?

@StAnselm: on what basis was the POV tag added? It is incumbent on the user who adds the tag to begin a discussion identifying issues that can be fixed. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:40, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

I mentioned it above; the article gives undue weight to the minority/fringe interpretation of malakia as "softness"/"effeminacy" in 1 Cor. 6:9. StAnselm (talk) 02:59, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
What are you hoping to accomplish through the use of the tag? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:20, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Ultimately, the whole "Other epistles" section be rewritten so as not to give undue weight to minority ideas. StAnselm (talk) 19:49, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Can I assume you're referring to Bishop Robinson's comments? If so, I would suggest you note what he's actually saying. He's not addressing what Paul originally meant, assuming Paul is responsible for the term's presence, but the early history of interpretation. There is nothing "minority" or "fringe" about Robinson's actually expressed view here. Antinoos69 (talk) 10:32, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Does "early church" here mean "history of interpretation" or "original author(s)" or "original readers"? It's rather vague. The "all we actually, factually, know about the word" seems to be hyperbole. I think it's better if the whole Robinson bit goes. But it's not just Robinson. The passage as a whole does not reflect the majority opinion of the word (here) as referring to someone wilfully engaged in homosexual relations. (It does refer to "A discussion document issued by the House of Bishops of the Church of England", but that is only about the meaning of arsenokoitai.) Boswell's view is also a minority one, and that should be made (more?) clear. StAnselm (talk) 19:47, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
"Early church" would refer to interpretation well after Paul and when a substantial "church" existed, probably no earlier than the Church Fathers. Remember, Robinson would be using the term more like a theologian and cleric. The degree of vagueness is well within the usual parameters. As for "hyperbole," Robinson is merely stressing some of the very point(s) made by the source you yourself had recently provided (p. 25, tops of second and third paragraphs). Where I would agree with you, more or less, is with regard to the fact that the section largely passes over what "Paul" actually may have meant—and your source made plain we must speak only in terms of may. But that's not a NPOV issue, so the tag should go. Material would have to be added about Scroggs, Martin, Vorster, the history of sexuality, and whatnot. One should note, however, that the scholarly consensus regarding all the biblical passages is merely that the passages are referring to some sorts of ancient same-sex sex, almost always male-male sex. There is no consensus in most cases, including here, over what sort or sorts those may be. One also must be clear to limit consideration to those scholars who actually specialize in these matters, and not someone who, for example,  wrote a commentary on a book containing a drive-by reference to some such sex. Also note that no biblical scholar is an expert on the history of sexuality. With regard to classical antiquity, those experts are all classicists and historians of antiquity, and the overwhelming consensus among those specializing on the matter is that sexual orientation was not an ancient phenomenon. The article as a whole exhibits severe problems on these last points. I would strongly oppose removing the Robinson material, as it seems clear the actual reason for doing so is that some object to his ability to speak as a gay man on this issue, which is an impermissible criterion in academia and scholarship. On the contrary, all subject positions are welcome within the scholarly tradition. Antinoos69 (talk) 12:48, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
Once again, the scholarly consensus is that malakoi in 1 Cor 6:9 refers to wilful engagement in homosexual relations. We might not like it, but the article ought to reflect that consensus. StAnselm (talk) 03:18, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Ancient male-male sex, while a fascinating topic, isn't something for modern people to like or dislike being discussed in the Bible, as, given the ancient construction of sexuality, it has nothing to do with us. The only problem here is that the discussion focuses on history of interpretation, regarding which scholarly consensus is actually provided, and not original intent, which regards the consensus to which you refer. The solution is to provide material on the latter. This isn't an NPOV issue. It's an add-more-material-on-another-matter issue. (And that should be done as indicated in my previous post.) Don't you see? Why are you thinking of this as an NPOV issue? I don't see any consensus here for an NPOV problem, quite the contrary. Antinoos69 (talk) 05:35, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
And maybe Template:Unbalanced section or Template:Undue weight section might be (more?) appropriate. But the problem with merely adding more stuff is this section is supposed to a summary, with the main article at Homosexuality in the New Testament. So what we have here is far too long, anyway. Also, some of the history of interpretation material might be better suited to the History of Christianity and homosexuality article. Anyway, Robinson's book is not at all a scholarly work - it is a popular volume with no references. As such, it doesn't really belong here. StAnselm (talk) 08:17, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
We are still talking strictly about the discussion of 'malakos,' right? I don't see how those two alternate templates apply. We're talking about three sentences and adding material on what "Paul" may have meant. And I still am not seeing any consensus here for the originally contested tag. Why, then, is it still there? Lastly, I don't think we can treat the article merely as a summary of others; it's a full article in its own right. Antinoos69 (talk) 10:13, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, there is a "main" hatnote at the top of the NT section - this means the section is supposed to summarise what's in Homosexuality in the New Testament article. Secondly, tags are not like statements in articles - there needs to be a consensus to remove them; there does not have to be a consensus to add them. No, Finally, I think the arsenokoitai passage is problematic as well - Boswell is clearly identified as a minority opinion, but then there is a long paragraph dealing mostly with his minority view. That's probably not appropriate for a summary article. StAnselm (talk) 19:47, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Can you cite a Wiki policy that requires that articles with such "hatnotes" be mere summaries of the articles they reference? Otherwise, I would take it as obvious that they are not required to be such. Boswell certainly is a minority scholar, generally speaking, but his notions of the history of interpretation (and I'm primarily thinking of his first appendix in CSTH) is on much firmer ground, for the most part. Antinoos69 (talk) 12:30, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I already linked to it: Wikipedia:Summary style. StAnselm (talk) 18:36, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Sodom and Gomorrah section

This edit (since reverted) caught my eye. Post-reversion, the article still asserts "Most interpreters find ...", which was added in this earlier edit. That earlier edit made quite a major change in an article assertion supported by a cited source without making any change to the supporting cite, saying that the change was a reversion to a previous version. I am unable to verify the cited supporting source online, but I'm sort of doubtful that it supports the "Most interpreters find ..." part of the assertion.

I took a look at the Sodom and Gomorrah article, which is cited as the "Main article" in this section. The final paragraph of the lead there says:

Divine judgment by God was then passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah and two neighboring cities, which were completely consumed by fire and brimstone. Neighboring Zoar (Bela) was the only city to be spared. In Abrahamic religions, Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with impenitent sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of divine retribution.[1][2][Jude 1:7] Sodom and Gomorrah have been used as metaphors for vice and homosexuality viewed as a deviation. The story has therefore given rise to words in several languages. These include the English word sodomy, used in sodomy laws to describe sexual "crime against natures", namely anal or oral sex (either homosexual or heterosexual) or of beastiality.[3][4][5]  Some Islamic societies incorporate punishments associated with Sodom and Gomorrah into sharia.[6]

I don't see this hairsplitting between rape and homosexuality or discussion about what "Most interpreters find ..." in that main article. As I read WP:SS#Basic technique, that's where detail about that belongs.

It seems to me that this section needs a hard look and perhaps a rewrite. Wtmitchell  (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 22:34, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I think the source was probably accessible at the time it was added to that statement - based on the edit that added it in the article history (mine, although long enough ago that I'm guessing at my motivations rather than remembering), it looks like I added it as a summary of the following material eg. the Jewish prophets, Jesus, and the Talmud, possibly with the now-inaccessible source alluding to more modern interpretations as well?
That said, I would very much question your assertion that violent rape as a violation of hospitality vs. homosexuality constitutes "hair-splitting" - the sources do not agree with you, nor do I as a scholar or a human being - as well as gently pointing out that editing goes both ways - if there is useful material here or extraneous material in the main article, we can fix that too. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 05:42, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
The term hairsplitting was a bad choice on my part. Not only was that term needlessly provocative, it did not convey the meaning I intended. What I was trying to get at was that if there has been a reevaluation such that "most interpreters" now find that the story condemns the violent rape of guests rather than condemning homosexuality, that ought to be better clarified and better supported. Other significant viewpoints which have been published by reliable source also ought to be fairly represented, as required by WP:DUE. Also, any conflict between this article and the Sodom and Gomorrah article regarding what sort of behavior the story is asserted to condemn ought to be resolved.
Re the supporting cite ([21]) -- it is linked to one specific page in the cited book, and attempts to highlight the string "possibly coined" there. I presumed that it was intended to specifically support the assertions where it was cited, but I didn't dig back to the edit history carefully enough to be sure what those assertions might have been whenever the cite was first added. I have no idea whether or not it supports the assertions as they stand now.  
If it matters, I'm no biblical scholar and have no strong personal POV about the content we're discussing. Wtmitchell  (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 10:34, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I think the search string is probably unrelated. However, since I can't seem to find anything on this subject in the book (it definitely at least touches on the topic, just isn't searchable), I think we should either see if we can find what it says through another means, or use another source. Either way, the language of "most" as summing up subsequent content on Ezekiel, Jesus, the Talmud, etc. seems inapt now. Maybe we can say that interpreters have either focused on the hospitality/selfishness aspects or on the sexual ones. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 14:22, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm neither qualified academically nor amped-up sufficiently by POV contribute much more to the discussion. It does seem to me that sources express differing POVs about this. Weston W. Fields (1997), Sodom and Gomorrah: History and Motif in Biblical Narrative, A&C Black, p. 56, ISBN 978-0-567-06261-1  and other books say that the sin was inhospitality. Vern L. Bullough; Bonnie Bullough (2014), Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia, Routledge, p. 568, ISBN 978-1-135-82502-7  and other books say that the sin was not inhospitality. Dave Miller. "Sodom--Inhospitality or Homosexuality?". Apologetics Press.  concludes after discussion that "the objective, unbiased reader of the Bible is forced to conclude that God destroyed the men of Sodom on account of their sinful practice of homosexuality." Robert A. J. Gagnon (2010), The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, Abingdon Press, pp. 62-63, ISBN 978-1-4267-3078-8  asserts, "the sin of Sodom was not inhospitality or homosexual behavior but human arrogance in relation to God."  It seems to me that WP:DUE needs to be applied here. Wtmitchell  (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 21:01, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Let's keep sourcing in mind. I'll offer up some revised text soon and see what you/others think. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:42, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, I do have a degree in biblical studies, so I'll offer some clarification. One must sharply differentiate between what might be termed faith-based views and scholarship, often published by variously religious and "strange" presses, and mainstream, academic views and scholarship. (I really had to struggle to refrain from putting quotes around that first scholarship.) Only the latter is suitable for Wikipedia. Within mainstream academia, both religious and otherwise (but not faith-based), there is overwhelming consensus around inhospitality and against male-male sex. Within the conservative faith-based school, there is overwhelming consensus that "homosexuality" is at least part of the focus, complete with a certain tone deafness about male-male sex and the history of sexuality, but I digress. Antinoos69 (talk) 08:45, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

James Neill is wrong; the Greek word (not "term") "pais" means "child."  Period.  Anyone who's studied Modern Greek grammar knows that the Modern Greek word "paidi"  [παιδί] comes from "pais",  meaning "child."  There's no sexual connotation to it.  I'm Greek and I speak the language fluently. 2602:306:8379:7660:7576:865A:4625:F9DC (talk) 14:30, 8 February 2017 (UTC) M. Haritos

You have no idea what you're talking about. Pais was a common way of addressing and referring to the younger eromenos in a pederastic relationship. Everybody knows that. Just have a look at any of the introductions to ancient Greek "homosexuality"; Dover and Lear & Cantarella are particularly apt in this regard. You might also consider the many pederastic kalos inscriptions (i.e., ho pais kalos [The boy is beautiful.]). Antinoos69 (talk) 17:52, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
"I'm Greek and I speak the language fluently." A great help I'm sure. lol. Contaldo80 (talk) 11:30, 9 February 2017 (UTC)


The article should include mention of the controversy around the Sexuality of Jesus and the Disciple whom Jesus loved. Ben Finn (talk) 10:12, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Melton, J. Gordon; Baumann, Martin (2010). Religions of the World, Second Edition: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practises. 
  2. ^ Qur'an(S15) Al-Hijr:72-73
  3. ^ Shirelle Phelps (2001). World of Criminal Justice: N-Z. Gale Group. p. 686. ISBN 0787650730. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ John Scheb, John Scheb, II (2013). Criminal Law and Procedure. Cengage Learning. p. 185. ISBN 128554613X. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ David Newton (2009). Gay and Lesbian Rights: A Reference Handbook, Second Edition. ABC-CLIO. p. 85. ISBN 1598843079. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ Kolig, Erich (2012). Conservative Islam: A Cultural Anthropology. p. 160.