leviticus 18:22 lost in translation

Finally, if one applies Lings’ interpretation of miškevē from Gen 49:4 to Lev 18:22 and compares the verse’s textual context, the incestuous connotation of miškevēmakes more sense in the context of Leviticus 18. The comparison of Lev. Three problems discussed in […], Most traditional English translations interpret Leviticus 18:22 as a divine condemnation of erotic, same-sex relationships. Spam protection has stopped this request. April 11, 2019. The NLT does, right there in its “translation” to Leviticus 18:22: “Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin.” But that’s not what the Hebrew says, and I’ve put the word “translation” in scare quotes because I think that what the NLT has here is an interpretation, not a translation. The original Hebrew is more ambiguous than the traditional English translation. King James Version Correct translation: And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman's bed; it is an abomination. [8]The absence of an equivalent preposition in Hebrew casts doubt on a the interpretation that compares “normative” and “deviant” sexual actions. However, careful philological, literary analysis of the original Hebrew shows another interpretation: a divine condemnation of same-sex rape. 18:22 that condemns incestuous, same-sex rape. April 11, 2019. Therefore, the likely meaning of miškevē ‘iššârefers more to incestuous male-male rape as opposed to all erotic, same-sex relationships. [5]This grammatical construction is not present in the verse. 22 `And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it [is]. The dominant view of western Christianity forbids same-sex relations. This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Initially, the relationship of Lev. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." English translators add the prepositions asand withto the traditional translation for its “perceived lacunae.”[3] This translation presupposes a comparison between a “normal” action (“lying with a woman”) and a “deviant” action (“lying with a male”). Instead of practicing the principle of lectio difficilior probabilitor, “the more difficult reading and more likely reading,” modern translators dispel ambiguity by making the translation as simple as possible. [6] Similarly, another grammatical construction that validates the English translation “with a woman” involves the Hebrew preposition ‘ethappearing a second time in front of ’iššâ. [7] This construction does not exist in Lev. Most traditional English translations interpret Leviticus 18:22 as a divine condemnation of erotic, same-sex relationships. [4] However, the grammatical construction of the Hebrew text does not warrant such an interpretation. Therefore, the use of Leviticus 18:22 as a weapon against all same-sex relationships is not only unjust, but linguistically misguided. 18:22 to incest in Lev. First, the addition of propositions to clarify the literal translation of Lev 18:22 not only downplays the ambiguity of the Hebrew text, but skews its interpretation. The original Hebrew is more ambiguous than the traditional English translation. Via Facebook, a friend of mine was wondering if the translation of Leviticus 18:22 presented in this article was accurate: And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman's bed; it is an 18:22 and compared to the textual context within the book, Lev. A large portion of Leviticus 18 proscribes the divine condemnation of incest. Most traditional English translations interpret Leviticus 18:22 as a divine condemnation of erotic, same-sex relationships. Most traditional English translations interpret Leviticus 18:22 as a divine condemnation of erotic, same-sex relationships. [9]  In Gen. 49:4, the verse explicitly refers the incestuous activity of Reuben with his father’s concubine, Bilhah. The following text compares the Hebrew and NRSV translation of Lev. 18:22 by English translators alters the verse’s meaning. This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. He legitimizes a reading of Lev. Second, the plural wordmiškevē is a rare biblical word. 18:22 to the repetition of miškevē ‘iššâ(“lyings of a woman”) in Lev 20:13, uncovers a parallel relationship to incest. Lost in Translation: Alternative Meaning in Leviticus 18:22. Remember, first, this is not a Christian text. However, careful philological, literary analysis of the original Hebrew shows another interpretation: a divine condemnation of same-sex rape. [11] The philological nuance implies that miškevē means rape of a family member. Lost in Translation: Alternative Meaning in Leviticus 18:22. Third, when this alternative connotation of the miškevēis applied to Lev. This verse is one of the clobber passages that people cite from the Bible […]. Instead, miškevē is the direct object of the verb tiškav (“you shall not lie”). NRSV Translation:You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination. 18:22 becomes more cohesive. The truth about Leviticus 18:22, however, is not so clear. While Leviticus 18 focuses on the forbidden sexual relationships, Leviticus 20 focuses on the punishment for participating in such relationships. A hegemonic interpretation of Leviticus 18:22 posits a strict prohibition of male-on-male sexual activity. Please contact site owner for help. To substantiate such a translation, the Hebrew equivalent for as (kě)must be connected directly to miškevē(“lyings”) since the Hebrew preposition attaches grammatically to either a noun or an infinitive. [1] However, the translators’ attempts to clarify the Hebrew text presents a reading that is not only harmful, but incongruent to the context of Leviticus. Themiškevē ‘iššâis an act that is punished identically to other acts that are clearly incestuous. [1]K. Renato Lings, “The ‘Lyings’ of a Woman: Male-Male Incest in Leviticus 18:22?,” in Theology & Sexuality (London: Equinox Printing, 15:2, May 2009), 240. Instead of practicing the principle of lectio difficilior probabilitor, “the more difficult reading and more likely […], “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”[1] It is not a surprise that this verse seems to say that gay male sex is forbidden in the eyes of God. 18:22. This interpretation is problematic because it conforms to idiomatic rules that do not exist in the original Hebrew. Second, the reoccurrence of the rare Hebrew word miškevēwithin Gen. 49:4 presents a philological nuance that is crucial to discerning the word’s incestuous connotation in Lev. Leviticus 18:22, clubber passages, incest, homophobia, Bible, heteronormativity, This blog entry addresses the problematic translation of Leviticus 18:22, a verse commonly used as a “clobber passage” to justify prejudice against LGBTQIA people. Therefore, it warrants careful scrutiny. (An) abomination is that.[2]. If a translation of Leviticus 18:22 were included that did not generally condemn at least male homosexual behavior, confidence in the translation would drop precipitously and their sales would drop equally fast. Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22 by: JIM Leviticus 18:22 - The translations of this verse found in most English Bibles are not supported by the Hebrew text. 18:18-23. 18:22. While “lyings”, “acts of lying down,” or “beds” are possible translations for the word miškevē, the comparison to the Hebrew singular word for bed, yātsūa,suggests that the two Hebrew words are not interchangeable. In sum, traditional English translations of Leviticus 18:22 are known as “clobber passages” that condemn homosexuality. Spam protection has stopped this request. 18:6-17 is not obvious, especially in comparison to Lev. The laws are reordered in Leviticus 20 to emphasize consequences of deviant relationships. Lings’ philological, literary analysis undermines the inclusion of Lev. The Hebrew phrase kӗšōkhēv’eth(“as one lies with”) also conveys the same meaning that traditional English translators seek, but it is not present within the original text. First, the addition of propositions within Lev. Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email. [10] Lings asserts that the plural miškevë may focus on the deviant nature of Reuben’s incestuous relationship with Bilhah. In fact, miškevēonly occurs one more time in the entire Bible besides its parallel occurrence in Lev. This essay focuses on three main points in K. Renato Ling’s literary analysis of Lev. Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email.

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