The Contributions Of The Septuagint To Biblical Sanctions Against Homosexuality -- By: James B. DeYoung
JETS 34:2 (June 1991) p. 157
The Contributions Of The Septuagint To
Biblical Sanctions Against Homosexuality
As the public debate over the place of homosexual behavior in western society intensifies, various attempts are being made to justify homosexual behavior on the basis of ethics or religious belief as derived from Scripture. Several writers have sought to reinterpret passages of Scripture that seemingly condemn homosexual behavior as a sin and/or a crime.1
The reinterpretation of OT passages has included an appeal to the LXX. On the one hand, it is claimed that English translations have erroneously translated certain OT passages so as to give them a homosexual meaning when the Hebrew has no such meaning. Appeal is made to the LXX as evidence that these early translators saw no homosexuality in the text and rendered the Hebrew by Greek terms void of homosexual meaning.2
On the other hand, some hold that where the LXX does use terminology denoting homosexuality it erroneously translates the Hebrew, which lacks any homosexual meaning. At these places the LXX translation was influenced by the antipathy of the Jewish translators toward the expression of homosexuality in the Greek culture around them in the third century B.C. or later.
The net effect of these positions is the same. English translations signifying homosexuality (such as “sodomite” or “have sexual relations with”) are in error, it is claimed. Since the claim is that the Hebrew text is void of a homosexual meaning, it is the LXX that is the key to this linguistic debate and its ethical consequences.3
This study focuses on the meaning of “to know” in the account of the sin and fall of Sodom (Gen 19:5, 8) and the meaning of “sodomite” as found in the KJV at Deut 23:17–18 (LXX 18–19) and elsewhere (1 Kgs 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kgs 23:7; Job 36:14) where the term qādēs̆ and its cognates occur.
* James De Young is professor of New Testament language and literature at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon.
JETS 34:2 (June 1991) p. 158
Since these passages describe both Gentile practice (
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