Letter writers differ on their interpretation of biblical teachings
This is a response to Michael Moore’s March 27 rebuttal to my March 20 letter showing Leviticus should not be used to condemn homosexuality.
“All religion is cafeteria religion” meaning all religions “order” their “cafeteria” selections from the Bible to support one of the about 40,000 denominations to choose from. So, when you state, “ ... many have become so very good at making the Bible say what they want it to say...,” you and I are no different, except I am not a Christian.
I did read your article “Homosexuality and the Bible” and I am sharing, what I believe, are significant comments about what you said.
As I tell Jehovah Witnesses (JW), II Timothy 3:16 should not be used as “proof” for Biblical scriptures. II Timothy was probably written between 80-110 CE, the same time Matthew, Luke and John were probably being written. The first known canonization of our present Bible was 367 CE.
“The Bible is ‘CLEAR’ that the homosexual lifestyle is sin...” Mr. Moore, if there is one word that definitely should not be used with the Bible, it is “clear”; about 40,000 denominations support me. I once heard a minister say, “Am I going to believe God’s word or man’s word?” That statement is false; it should be, “Am I going to believe MY INTERPRETATION of God’s word or man’s word?”
Here are a list of general problems I have with your article:
1. You believe the creation story is a fact. Which one? There are two creation stories that contradict each other: Gen 1.1-2.4a and Gen 2.4b ff.
2. You believe Adam and Eve is a fact. Therefore, you believe in a literal Satan, original sin and an eternal Hell. You do know that the JW do not believe in an eternal Hell and they use the Bible to support their claim. Also, you CANNOT justify a loving God with an eternal Hell and it is not a choice.
3. You believe Noah’s Ark really happened.
4. Your assertion that “to know them” does not imply “gang rape” in Sodom and Gomorrah, completely ignores the context.
5. One internet source I found stated 3 reasons why the “male cult prostitutes” is inappropriate for II Kings 15:11.
6. One home visiting JW stated he believed whatever the Bible said. I gave him the FFRF non-tract, “Bible Contradictions,” which lists 29 contradictions, and gave him my contact information; haven’t heard from him. Remember, you said, “Always line up scripture with scripture.”
7. You state Lev 18:22 applies today and skipped over if Lev 20:13 applies today.
8. You mention that Jesus clarifies which OT laws we are or we are not to follow; I did not see any NT verses to back this up.
9. You state Duet 22:5, which teaches that men and women should not wear the same clothes, is still in effect. How about Num 5:32-36; should we stone to death people who work on Sundays? How about Ex 18:13; should we kill any bank person charging interest for a loan?
10. “Nowhere in the Bible do we read God accepts us as we are.” See Gen 7:1, Job 1:1, Luke 1:5-6 and II Peter 2:7-8.
11. To support your view, you used the woman guilty of adultery from John 8, twice. Most Biblical scholars do not believe John 7:53-8:11 to be part of the original text. A study of ancient manuscripts do not include these verses and their first appearance is well into the Middle Ages.
12. “It is truly amazing how the word of God is often twisted to fit the needs of the people.” ... and you haven’t? ... and you think the other 39,999 have?
No, there is no connection between my 12 problems and the possibility of 12 disciples (well, possibly 11 at the end).
2. “The New Testament,” Dr Bart Ehrman, pages xxxii, xxxiii, 13.
3. “101 Myths of the Bible,” Gary Greenberg, pages 7-10.
4. booksandjournalsbrillonline.com, “The End of the Male Cult Prostitute: a Literary-Historical and Sociological Analysis of Hebrew Qades-Qedism,” Phyllis Bird.
5. “Confused? Bible Contradictions,” Dan Barker, FFRF, Nontract No. 5.
6. “The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic,” Bishop John Shelby Spong, page 14.
7. “Fighting God,” David Silverman, page 89.
— Larry E. Farr