Albert Mohler responds to the NYTimes "The Secret History of Leviticus"

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Bert Perry's picture

Dershowitz more or less argues that the inconsistent use of "uncover nakedness" indicates that an original version of Leviticus did not have the prohibition of homosexual relations in it.  My take on the matter for the past few years has been that the phrase is not used except for heterosexual relationships.  One might infer that it's OK to see the nakedness of another man (say in the locker room) or an animal, hence the Hebrews would not have used the phrase for a perversion between men or between man and beast.

Note as well that Dershowitz is pretty close to offering a defense of bestiality.   Can't say it's end game, but interesting...

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

....regarding Dershowitz's thesis is that a powerful textual argument against his claims is that it would be odd for a chapter full of prohibitions to include one, and only one, permission.  If I were trying to do higher criticism on a passage that actually did that, that one permission would be, in my view, the part that was changed because it is a disruption of the unity that otherwise would exist.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Dr. Dershowitz claims that “Before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex — whether between men or women — were practically unheard-of in the ancient world.” And he believes that Leviticus was “created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer.”

He then argues that “an earlier edition of Leviticus … may have been silent on the matter of sex between men.” (Note carefully: He means a non-existent edition of Leviticus. A Leviticus that is the figment of his own imagination. A Leviticus without a shred of textual, manuscript support in any ancient language at any period of time.)


WallyMorris's picture

When I was a senior in college (Univ of Georgia), I had some electives to use up. I knew I would be studying for the ministry at BJU, so I took a year of Hebrew. The professor (George Howard [he wrote a short commentary on Galatians]) was an unsaved United Church of Christ member. One day in class, he said that the way to make a name for yourself in scholarship was to develop an idea that no one had thought of before and get it published. I suspect that is what this man is doing.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

Bert Perry's picture

In most areas, "finding something new" is required to get an earned doctorate, and at most universities, it's required for a professor to get and retain tenure--"publish or perish".  Now in the sciences and engineering, you've always got something new to invent or discover, so this isn't as much of a problem.  However, in various areas of the liberal arts, you've only got one Bible and you've only got one Shakespeare.  It's going to be hard to say something that's never been said before....

....unless you just make stuff up.  I can't prove it, but one has to wonder whether Dershowitz knows what he's saying is nonsense.  I could claim it's a fact if I used his exegetical methods, but that's not exactly fair.  :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.