Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A thought about Sodom and Gomorrah

Just noticed: in my copy of the KJV bible, the Gen. story of the destruction of Sodom/Gomorrah, the commentary refers to "homosexual gang rape." Why even use the word "homosexual"?

Because it would have been gang rape of the daughters of Lot, should they have accepted the offer...they wanted the men instead.

I suppose that's why this commentary includes the word "homosexual."

I do not know Hebrew, though I do have a Torah commentary which I have not yet consulted (another note, later, perhaps), so I'll just put forth this very rough theory:

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a volcanic eruption. The writers of this part of what became Genesis, in their ancient Jewish method of writing history (as the history of God in his interactions with his people), included their contemporary morality in with the story-telling. Though it is not clear to me in reading this passage that homosexuality was the issue for which they attributed to God in his destruction of the cities, it is clear to me that the aggressive behavior towards Lot and his people was the reason.

It is also clear to me that, to these writers anyway, the offering of the daughters by Lot would have made it "okay" for these aggressive men to have sex with them. Is this what "honor your parents" meant at the time of the writing?

Today, as such passages are used in attempts to prove a moral position against gay people, is it not more honest to look at the passages without leaving anything out? If we are to accept the notion that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexual gang rape, then we must also accept that Lot was not punished for offering his daughters to these unfriendly citizens.

Note 1: Not addressed here are matters of different Bible translations and different interpretations of this passage. I understand that many believe the wickedness of the city to be that of inhospitality. I also understand that the men (the ones they want to rape) in question might be angels, not men. I don't address this because it would make a very long note, and I merely wanted to post my thoughts on this one point of argument.

Note 2: Genesis, Chapter 19, contains the passages in question.

Note 3: I always picture this scene as an isolated incident, and therefore assume that it is but one example of the sins of these cities. I wonder how this modifies the interpretation.

Peace and all good.

(The commentary I refer to is on page 39 of "The New Student Bible, King James Version," published by Zondervan in 1992. "Notes by Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford." There are other contributors to the book as well.)

1 comment:

  1. It has been pointed out to me that there are no volcanoes in the vicinity of the story. Nix on that part of my theory!


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