Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mom the Bible Scholar

is going to teach us about history and gay marriage:
grow up people.

The Romans practiced it (The men would marry women and the men would have boyfriend sexual partners....).
In other words, the Romans didn't practice gay marriage. In fact, no one has practiced it in 6000 years of recorded human history; we suddenly discovered it a decade or so ago and now it's supposed to be self-evident? I do find it interesting, though, that given that marriage has always been heterosexual - even in nations that existed long before Christians or Christianity - and those nations have also practiced homosexuality, that after all this time the most sophisticated pro-gay marriage arguments still come down to, "Christians sure are mean" and "It's not faaaAAAAIIIiiir." It's as if these nations never had any reason to design marriage the way they did other than to be mean.

Now, doubtless the Romans on occasion practiced homosexuality (else Paul would have little to complain about in Romans 1) but if we're going to look to the Romans for our laws, we might want to consider the law known as adulterium, under which both adulterers were stripped of half of their property and banished to separate islands, while if a husband found out his wife was cheating and refused to prosecute her in the courts, then he could himself be prosecuted for running a whorehouse. This law, passed under Augustus sometime around 18bc, was actually a liberalization of the Roman code; under ancient Roman law, an adulterous wife could be legally killed by her husband*. The Romans were not exactly swingers.

But that's not all, we also have a lesson in ancient writing:
Hell it was practiced even before the Bible was 'invented' and you don't know how accurate the 'Bible' because most of it was verbal until written word 'was invented' , (and you know the telephone game goes, not everything is passed 100%)......is ... if you want me to go into that, I will but that will be a whole new post about it.
That would be quite a post, I'm sure, filled with all manner of momly wisdom. But it is rather funny to see such scholars claim that most of the Bible was "verbal until [the] written word was invented," as writing was widespread in the Ancient Near East some 16 centuries before Moses is supposed to have set chisel to stone. "No writing in Moses' day" is an ultra-modern** scholarly assumption; fortunately it was one of the first assumptions of bible scholars proven incorrect when grave-robbing was promoted to science 150 years ago.

But I do wonder about the word "most" here in conjunction with the scriptures. While some (poorly) argue that Moses is based on oral tradition, and while a few argue (even more poorly) that the Gospels are, I wonder how they manage to make the letters of Paul and the general epistles (which make up nearly half of the books of the Bible) oral. The minor prophets (another dozen books) are generally considered, even by liberal scholars, to have written some or all of the books named for them, which takes us over half, and the major prophets with the exception of Daniel are all believed, even by liberals*** to have been written rather than passed mouth-to-mouth. So even if we assume all the historical works from Moses through Nehemiah were passed via the telephone game - a very bad assumption - we still could not get to "most."

I would insert a very smarmy and condescending sentence here, but I don't want to talk bad about somebody's mother.

* Alimony? HA!

** by which I mean, 18th Century

*** As Wikipedia helpfully states in the case of Isaiah, "Critics often reject the unity of the work as such would require that the author had intimate knowledge of future events— a possibility precluded by the Naturalism under-girding much of higher criticism." In other words, the main reason for rejecting the authorship of the prophets has less to do with history than with a philosophical presumption that makes prophecy itself impossible.

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