Clobbering back with the Clobber texts:
Taking the Bible Seriously - Are There Clobber Texts in the Bible?
Rev. Dr. Thomas Hanks

Part 4:  
Deconstructing our homophobia:  with Paul in Romans

Introduction:  Ideology, Propaganda and Biblical Interpretation
"I am not ashamed of Jesus' Good News to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized, because
this Gospel communcates God's empowerment for the integral liberation to everyone who believes,
first for the Jews, then for the Gentiles. For in Jesus' Good News God's liberating justice is revealed,
a liberating justice that is by faith from first to last" (Romans 1:16-17a).


INTRODUCTION: Ideology, Propaganda and Biblical Interpretation

    Modern readers often express fear of being misled by "gay propaganda" -- a label hastily
    applied to any scholar or writer who seeks to question traditional homophobic interpretations
    and translations. However, since Jacques Ellul's classic study in 1962, students of
    propaganda remind us that "majority propaganda" (in this case heterosexist) is always much
    more pervasive and likely to be much more insidious than anything various minorities manage
    to come up with. A sober review of the history of interpretation and translation of the six basic
    "clobber texts" studied thus far makes abundantly clear that vicious homophobia has been
    operative in biblical interpretation -- and in half the texts (Jude 7; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy
    1:10; see Deuteronomy 23:17-18) even in the translation.

    Two texts (Genesis 19 and Jude 7) present the sin of Sodom as involving cruel refusal of
    hospitality and attempted gang rape of God's angel messengers; six texts in the Hebrew
    Scriptures referring to male (cult?) prostitutes were mistranslated with the term "sodomite"; two
    pauline texts (1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10) use a rare, euphemistic term ("male-
    beds") whose meaning remains sharply debated even after decades of intensive study; and
    two texts (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) prohibiting unprotected male anal intercourse, reflect the
    patriarchal, procreation sexual ideology of a book neither orthodox Jews nor traditionalist
    Christians use as binding or normative for modern life (especially in such minutiae). Jesus and
    Paul both set aside the creation ordinance commanding procreation and one of the Ten
    Commandments as not literally binding or normative for Christians (as well as countless other
    teachings of the Torah); and Jesus never said a single word against any kind of same-sex
    genital acts. When inspiring the Bible, if God really wanted to provide a clear, precise,
    universal ethical absolute to condemn "homosexuality" (including lesbians, never referred to in
    any of these texts), certainly this was a strange way to go about it!
 
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