IS THE BIBLE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY?
A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
In the Hebrew Old Testament, the word sa-ris is translated two ways in the NKJV Old Testament. It is translated as eunuch and officer. The KJV also translated sa-ris as a chamberlain. It is also left untranslated with an additional word as Rabsaris and Rab-saris (i.e. Rab Sa-ris), which means chief eunuch. The Hebrew word sa-ris is translated as m'haym-na in the Aramaic Old Testament, with the exception of two places, which are in bold print below. Dr. George Lamsa translated the word m'haym-na as officer and eunuch in his English Translation of the Aramaic Bible (Old and New Testaments). The following shows where the words sa-ris and m’haym-na appear in the Bible.
OLD TESTAMENT:Gen. 37:36; 39:1; 40:2; 40:7; 1Sam. 8:15; 1Kings 22:9; 2 Kings 8:6; 9:32; 18:17; 20:18; 23:11; 24:12; 24:15; 25:19; 1Chr. 28:1; 2 Chr. 18:8; Judith 12:11; Esther 1:10; 1:12; 1:15; 2:3; 2:14; 2:15; 2:21; 4:4; 4:5; 6:2; 6:14; 7:9; Esther Additions A:12,14,17; Wisdom 3:14; Sirach 20:3; 30:20; Isa. 39:7; 56:3; 56:4; Jer. 29:2; 34:19; 38:7; 39:3; 39:13; 41:16; 52:25; Dan. 1:3; 1:7; 1:8; 1:9; 1:10; 1:11; 1:18. (Note: The NAB dishonestly translates the word “eunuch” as “afflicted man” from the Greek text of Sirach 30:20; plus deletes words.)ARAMAIC WORD M'HAYM-NA TRANSLATED AS: EunuchNEW TESTAMENT:Matthew 19:12 & Acts 8:27,34,36,38-39
Now, is this verse taken out of context?: “For there are eunuchs who were born so from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. To him who can comprehend, that is enough.” (Matthew 19:12 Lamsa). This verse is found when Jesus is speaking about marriage between a man and a woman. Then Jesus goes on and quotes this verse talking about people that it wouldn’t be good for them to marry because of the way they were born, or because of a situation, or because of their choice. - In order to get a correct interpretation of a verse, you have to know the definition of the words and the way the verse is used in the context. But also, in regards to the New Testament Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John), Jesus a lot of times changed the subject in his teaching or when he was asked questions. Some of his words may appear to be out of context to a reader when they are not. So we have to go by the definitions for the word m'haym-na- Eunuch. Now this verse is actually not out-of-context in regards to men that it wouldn’t be good for them to marry a woman (wife). It would not be good for a homosexual man to marry a woman because he lacks the sexual perophone receptors that enable him to be attracted to a woman. It should be noted that a homosexual is impotent toward a woman. The other two reasons why a male wouldn’t be able to marry a woman are obvious by the meaning of the word m’haym-na and its associations. Another thing that needs to be pointed out is Jesus’ last statement in verse twelve. He said this about the eunuchs that it wouldn’t be good for them to marry a woman: “…To him who can receive (or accept) [it], shall receive (or accept) [it]." The last part is usually written elliptically as "let him receive it." The word spaq means "to receive, accept," when it accompanies the word mil-tha [word, statement, saying, message] (see Jn. 8:37). It also appears in the previous verse when Jesus says: "...not every man accepts (sa-peq) [or shall be accepting] this saying (mil-tha), but to whom it is given." (Matt. 19:11). However, it literally and mostly means “to be sufficient, enough, adequate; to suffice” (See Deut. 3:26; Matt. 6:34; Jn. 6:7, etc.). Jesus may have meant all three of those meanings with his use of the word spaq. This last statement is written (or constructed) the same way as Jesus' other statements of "he that has ears to hear, let him hear" or "he that has eyes to see, let him see." I don't see any reason to translate one of spaq's meanings for the first occurrence and then one of its other meanings for the second occurrence as Dr. Lamsa translated that statement as "..to him who can comprehend, that is enough.” I also don't believe "comprehend" is a good translation for spaq in any of the Biblical Scriptures. Spaq was translated into Greek as cho-reo “to receive” (KJV) or can mean “to receive with the mind, accept" (NKJV).Lastly, it is unlikely that Jesus’ reference to a born eunuch is referring to a straight impotent man. I can’t picture a straight man accepting his impotence or seeing his situation as being sufficient if he is lusting after a woman. Also, a lot of gay men marry women because they don’t know the truth about what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible teaches. A lot of the men that are impotent toward their wives are homosexuals.
A COMPENDIOUS SYRIAC DICTIONARYm'hay-min, m'haym-na, m'hay-man-tha a believer, a Christian, faithful, trustworthy, an eunuch(Syriac Dictionary, edited by J. Payne Smith 1998, pg 255).
This Syriac Dictionary stops short of defining m’haym-na as an effeminate, but it does define the phrase “man of the woman” (gwar ni-sha-ya) as meaning: an hermaphrodite, a eunuch, effeminate. (Syriac Dictionary, edited by J. Payne Smith 1998, pg 59).
Foreign Language Lexicons (or Dictionaries) don’t always give all the meanings of a word. If we go by only the definitions given by this Syriac Dictionary, then we would have a hard time understanding what Jesus meant by his use of “born eunuchs.” See the Eunuchs (cont.) sub page to get proof of the definitions for the word m'haym-na (translated as eunuch). I also cover certain beliefs about eunuchs that are accepted, that may not be false, but that the Bible does not support as absolute truth regarding eunuchs. Pictures of eunuchs are shown with information under the "Esther's Eunuchs" sub page. Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Preacher Mattai © 2016. All rights reserved.