"Knowing this, that the law is not made for the righteous man but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners: for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and for murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers [pornois], for male-bedders [arsenokoitais], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine."
There is an old saying, and it's a true one: "All translators are liars."
That's includes the Bible.
There is a rather interesting quote from Paul about "effeminates" (malakoi oute arsenokoitai), not inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. The words used are rather difficult to translate, but they pretty much mean "soft men." They can mean "morally weak," or someone who uses "uses power to obtain sex." They can mean, depending on the context, laziness, degeneracy, decadence, or lack of courage. They can mean pedophilia. They can mean prostitution, "either relating to the paid-for-pleasure of others, or self-gain through the cultivation of someone wealthy – and often elderly - in order to inherit their estates." Or children kidnapped and used for sexual exploitation. It can even mean "sissy."
It depends, again, on the context, and also what it meant in those days. Example: "Repent from your sins" more correctly translates as "You have missed the mark so you must change your hearts and minds." And "soul" sometimes translates as "true self."
If I want to understand something written in the past, I look around today to understand it. Human nature doesn't change.
What do I see? Every act that can described by the meanings listed above. Those who exploit children sexually (who often tend to be homosexual), and are now trying to make it legal.
That, to me, is the big problem with homosexuality - they tend to go after children (pedophiles) or teen-age boys (pederasts). If not, why do they want to be in the Boy Scouts and the military?
I see those who kidnap women and children and sell them into sexual slavery. (I think of the movie, Taken.)
I see weak, effeminate manginas who support women over men, I see men who lie to women to have sex with them (some of them pretend to be feminists, like the demented Hugo Schwyzer) and some of them pretend to be mentors and models for younger men - which they are not (like promoting those monstrous "Dark Triad" traits without knowing what they are in reality as opposed to their foolish theories). I've seen men devote their lives to seducing women, and every one I ever met was a weakling, a liar, a coward, and a manipulator.
I've never seen a happy child-molester. They end up in prison, where they are at the bottom (cop shooters/killers are at the top of the hierarchy) and other prisoners will torment child-molesters to suicide or kill them if they can. Then of course there is the effect on the children.
I used to own a taxi and got to know several hookers. Believe me, they don't have hearts of gold. They're immature self-centered whackjobs who are only interested in money, which flows like water through their fingers. I knew some who were heroin addicts.
I'm not even sure what "Kingdom of Heaven" means. Being happy in the here and now? We should be, as much as possible. ("The thief comes not but to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.")
Bizarrely, these days, every "sin" (which really translates as "missing the mark") is now being encouraged to the point some people are trying to make them legal. First we had abortion, and now there is talk about euthanizing imperfect babies, and old people. It's a slippery slope.
I consider the Bible to be good practical wisdom about how awful human nature can be. I don't think it would have survived all these years unless there was a lot of truth in it.
"What!? Do you not understand that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be fooled! The promiscuous, the idolaters, the adulterers, the perverts, the homosexuals, the thieves, the greedy, the drunkards, the trash talkers, the extortioners — these will not inherit the kingdom of God."
The problem I have with queers and liberals is that they maintain this fallacy that gays are rational, intelligent people outside their sexual perversions. No doubt some are, or can put on the appearance of all that...but most cannot. I know of which I speak, of the dozen or so homosexuals that I know (including my own daughter) - all can be described as "eccentric", most are angry and irrational and a few are downright mental cases.
I gave up recently on trying to read Don Quixote. Many say it was the first fictional novel ever written - 400 years ago - and the social norms, the places, the jokes, the humour - are all lost to time. The jokes have to be footnoted to explain the punch lines. The social customs and puns have to be similiarly explained and annotated. Telling that story means translating across a gulf of 400 years- and then from archaic Spanish to modern English. After that one is left with a thoroughly footnoted mess that even a full blown academic historian would be hard pressed to enjoy.
The social liberals sneer at the bible and other old tomes saying that they were written for people that no longer exist. I disagree; the human animal is the same old shit bird today that he always was...and any attempts to civilize him are a Good Thing.
But the way things go today Bob, I wonder if we are not like Don Qixote - tilting at windmills as we long for a better time when chivalry was the creed of the land?
To follow up on Glen, what's really struck me about the Bible in recent years is that society was almost exactly the same as it is today.
It seems to me that there are two views of the Biblical/Medieval era:
1) History Worse: Everybody was a violent savage who needed religion to behave (unlike us wise, enlightened people today!)
2) History Better: Everybody was basically faithful (the stupids!), but these days we're more mature and wise, and we can approach issues like divorce in a modern fashion.
Both views (and they share a lot of overlap) essentially boil down to the premise that people are different now - that Paul wasn't dealing with the exact same sort of Hollywood filth as we are today.
I'll be the first to argue that degeneracy has reached epic proportions in the modern era, but the more I re-read the Bible with a 30 year old's perspective, the more I realize that Paul was railing against the same sort of moose-drip that I rail against.
But somehow it all got lost in translation.
Nihil novi sub sole.
I disagree with the comment that people remain the same. I will agree however the basic vices are ever present. I think you feel this way because you are Anglo-Americans, who see yourselves as the logical outcome of various virtues, instead of vices, that is closer to the truth. I am fortunate in that I believe I knew some of those last Europeans who where part of the culture and world view that was extinguished by Anglo-Americanism and Communism.
I see and understand them as an entirely different cosmos than yours - completely different - and I see you - 'Anglo-Americans and Communists' as completely blind and conditioned to disbelieve there was ever any alternative to your world view, other than barbarism. This is why to a large degree, when you speak on any infinite or universal subject - you really don't know that what you are talking about is only your Anglo-American/Communism dichotomy. So when you read the Bible, you imagine Arizona, Manhattan or Nevada, or Manchester or KnightsBridge... you will not admit this - ever - even if one sits down and explains the basic differences, and demonstrates historical examples and similar statements by people you might quote and admire, it still remains inconceivable to you.
I said human nature does not change - which is does not. If it did, those vices that Paul wrote about wouldn't be the exact same ones that exist today. That's why, even though translations are never exact, I still know what he was writing about - because I still them today.
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