IS THE BIBLE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY?
A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
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Deuterocanonical & Pseudocanonical Books (Part 2)
3. in Greek: YESUS THE SON OF SEIRACH (Ben Seirach 51:30) 4. and in Aramaic: YESHUA, THE SON OF SHIMON, WHO IS BEING CALLED THE SON (descendant) OF SIRA (Bar [the Descendant of] Sira 51:38 Aramaic P'shitta)
“He has put down (is overthrowing) the mighty from [their] seats (thrones), and he has lifted up the meek.” (Lk. 1:52 Lamsa). Mary may be paraphrasing from the book by Shimon, the son of Yeshua, the descendant (ben) of Sira.
“God has overthrown the throne of the proud, and He has caused to sit (set) the meek in their place.” (The Great Grandson of Sira 10:14  AKA: Ben Sira, Bar Sira or Ben Sirach).
- DANIEL PROPHECY FULFILLMENT -
The books of Tobit and Judith contain history about the nation of Media. Additionally, the books of 1st and 2nd Maccabees contain history about the Greek nation and its later kingdoms. I would think this information would be in the Bible because these nations are talked about in prophecy:
“…suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land” (Daniel 8:5-9 NKJV). The male goat represents Greece and the notable horn represents Alexander the Great, Greece’s first king (Dan. 8:21, 1 Macc. 6:2). Greece defeated the Media-Persia nation which is represented as the ram. Later, Alexander drank himself to death and died of a fever at the age of thirty-two, and hence the large horn of the male goat was broken. The four notable horns that came up afterwards refer to his four generals: Antiochus (1 Macc. 1:10), Ptolemy (1 Macc. 1:18), Lysimachus (2 Macc. 4:39) and Cassander. From the horn that represented Antiochus who ruled Syria came a little horn. This little horn was Antiochus IV Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:10), who persecuted the Jews in the Glorious Land from about 171-165 B.C. He ruled from 175-164 B.C. His brother Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.), however, came to the throne before him (2 Macc. 4:7). (Daniel 8:20-22 NKJV) confirms some of the above interpretations. Here, the goat represents both Greece and its king.: “The ram which you saw, having the two horns – they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom (king) of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.” (Dan. 8:20-22 NKJV). The four kingdoms were Macedonia, Asia, Syria and Egypt.
Tobi / Tovi / Tobiṭ: FORWARD: The authors of this book (Tobiṭ 1:1; 14:11-15) appear in both the Aramaic and the Hebrew portions of Tobi (Tovi). The angel Raphael said: "... WRITE YE all these things [in a book] which were happening to you [pl.] and he ascended." (Tobiṭ S 12:20 Codex Sinaiticus). The Hebrew pronunciation of the father's name is: "Tovi" (Tobi 10:9) while the beth is pronounced hard for its Aramaic pronunciation of: "Tobi" (Tobi 7:2 ). His son Toviyah (Tobiyah) also appears in the respective Hebrew (Tobi 10:7) or Aramaic chapter (Tobi 1:20).
"And in the days of King Esar-Ḥaddon, when I returned to my house and Ḥannah my wife was restored to me along with Tobiyah my son; a good dinner was prepared for me on the day of the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost). And I reclined to eat."(Tobit 2:1 DSS). Tobiyah (Heb. Toviyah) is the son of Tobiṭ and is mentioned in the book of Ezra. (Ezra 2:60) says: "The descendants of Delayah, the descendants of Toviyah, [and] the descendants of Neqoda, six hundred and fifty-two." This is interesting because Ezra mentions many people who are also mentioned in other Scriptures dealing with the Aramaic environment. People such as Jeremiah the prophet, Neḥemiah, Mordecai (Ezra 1:1; 2:2), Ḥaggai, Zecaryah (Ezra 5:1) and Zerubbaḅel are all mentioned. So the book of Tobiṭ seems to fit nicely within the Bible. 1. "I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, who are presenting the prayers of the saints and are entering before the glory of the Holy One." (Tobiṭ 12:15 GrkOT). 2. "I am Raphael, one of those seven holy angels, those who are offering up [prayers] and entering before the glory of the Holy One." (Tobiṭ 12:15 Syro-Hexaplaric).
The other Aramaic reading is: “I am Raphael, one of the angels who are standing before God.” (Tobiṭ 12:15 Peshitta). Raphael is one of the seven spirits before God’s throne (Rev. 1:4). The Book of Enoch*, which has some probability of being canonical or inspired also lists Raphael among the seven main angels. The Angels are Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Saraqael, Gabriel and Remiel (see Enoch 20:1-6).
Note: Most of the original "Aramaic and Hebrew Book of Tobiṭ" has been preserved in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). That text is different and older than the Peshitta text of Tobiṭ. DSS Tobit has older grammar such as the use of the yod instead of the nun to express the future tense plus there are different synonym words to relate the same message. Peshitta Tobiṭ, at the end of the book, says that some of its material is a translation from the Septuaginta (LXX) and some of its material is from another version, as remembered. Tobiṭ 12:15 wasn't preserved among the DSS fragments so I quoted from the Peshitta. Peshitta Tobiṭ basically matches the Syro-Hexaplaric text from 1:1 - 7:11. However, the second half of 7:11 to 14:15 from the Syro-Hexaplaric text was replaced with a "so-called" mixed text in the latter half of the Peshitta text of Tobiṭ. The mixed text is presumably some of the now lost Peshitta, some from the Syro-Hexaplaric, and some from later material. Textual Error Rebuttal: The New American Bible of (Tobiṭ 12:9) reads: "for almsgiving (e-le-e-mo-su-ne) saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full (be satisfied with) life;" [Agrees with Sinaiticus Greek Text]. - People have criticized the Book of Tobiṭ for saying that ".. alms rescues out of death and cleans away (purges, removes) every sin ..." However, the Greek word e-le-e-mo-su-ne means both: "mercifulness" and "alms." It is also often the Greek translation of the Hebrew word ṣe-da-qa "righteousness, alms" (Deut. 6:25; 24:13; Isa. 28:17; etc.). The Aramaic equivalent is zad-di-qu-tha. So I'm of the opinion that "righteousness," which can include "alms," is the better interpretation. Especially since the original word was either Hebrew or Aramaic in Tovi (Tobi). Thus fully comprehend and perceive that the word "righteousness" could be meant there and elsewhere instead.
Judith: 1. 'And Youdith (Judith) said to them: "Hear ye me, and I will do a thing which shall reach to (arrive at, come to) generations of generations; for the sons of our race." ' (Judith 8:32 GrkOT).2. 'And Ihudith (Judith) said to them: "Hear ye me, and I will do a cunning thing which shall be left for generations and for generations; for the sons of our people." ' (Judith 8:30 P'shitta). It sounds like Judith's (Greek: Youdith's) words are prophecy and that the book of Judith (Hebrew: Yehudith) is Scripture. It is the record that came to us or was left to narrate what she did. God giving the wicked over to be burnt up with worms eating their flesh is also spoken of in Judith and in the New Testament: “... the LORD Almighty shall execute vengeance on them on the day of judgment, to put fire and the worm[s] (larvas) in their flesh; and they shall weep (klau-son-tai) in [their] perception by the senses forever” (Judith 16:17 GrkOT / 16:20-21 Peshitta, Vulg.) [see also Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:48]. The Greek text has the word "worms" in the plural but if the original text was in Hebrew or Aramaic, "worm" would be in the singular but understood as referring to more than one. It's possible that one Greek word is corrupted. The last part may have originally said: "... and they shall be burnt up (kau-son-tai) in perception by the senses [i.e. feeling, seeing, hearing] for ever (for an age)." [P'shitta & Vulgate supports: "be burnt up"].
"... and they became mighty ones in battle and they overturned the camps (or armies) of [their] enemies." (Heb. 11:34 Peshitta). It sounds like Paul had in mind what transpired in the book of (Judith 15:1-4, 6-7) here.
Textual Error Rebuttal: The Aramaic text of (Judith 1:1 & 7) reads: "... Nebuchadnezzar, the king [of the province] of Assyria ..." The Greek text reads: "Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Assyrians." Often the word "Assyria" is translated as "Assyrians" in the LXX from the original Hebrew or Aramaic text; so the Greek translation can be explained. This isn't a historical inaccuracy as some have claimed. Nebuchadnezzar II, the King of Babylon (Babylonia), allied with the Medes, Persians and Scythians, defeated the Assyrian and Egyptian armies at Carchemish around 605 BC. Assyria then ceased to be an independent nation and was absorbed into the Babylonian Empire. Olophernes [English: Holofernes] or Elparna was the chief captain of the army of Assyria. He was also the second-in-command after Neḅuchadnezzar (see Judith 5:1; 6:1, 17). The province of Assyria, part of Babylonia, also spoke Aramaic and was doing Babylonia's (Babylon's) bidding (Judith 1:14-27; 3:5-8). That is why "... Nebuchadnezzar, the king [of the province] of Assyria ..." fits the narrative in Judith.
2 Maccabees 6:1-5 contains part of the fulfillment of (Daniel 12:11 NKJV): “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (See also 1 Maccabees 1:54). It was Mattathias and his friends who tore down the pagan altars and any idols (1 Macc. 2:25,45).
"And they performed the dedication of the altar eight days. And they offered whole-burnt offerings with gladness and they sacrificed a sacrifice of deliverance and of praise - And Ihudah (Yehudah) and his brethren and all of the congregation of Yisrael ordained that they shall be keeping the days of the renewal (dedication) of the altar in their appointed time, [from] year to year, even eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of Chislev [December] ..." (1 Macc. 4:56,59). It was the Feast of Ḥanuccah (Dedication) that Yeshua celebrated at (Jn. 10:22-24). Other Festival days have Scripture backing them; so this New Testament citation alone could be an indication that 1-2 Maccabees are Scripture (see also 2 Macc. 1:9; 10:6).
“Restored to women their sons, raised people from the dead; while others died through tortures, not hoping for deliverance, that they might have a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35 Lamsa). This sounds a lot like what took place in 2 Maccabees chapter 7.
The eight Deuterocanonical Books appear to have been originally written in a Shemitic language, meaning: Hebrew or Aramaic, or possibly as a dual language composition of Hebrew and Aramaic like the Books of Daniel, Ezra and Jeremiah. It can be currently demonstrated that the book of Tobiṭ (Tobi) was probably a dual language composition of Hebrew and Aramaic. Five manuscripts of Tobiṭ were discovered at Qumran - four in Aramaic, one in Hebrew. For the most part, the manuscript fragments don't contain the same content or verses. There are three fragmentary verses (Tobit 13:13  & 14:1-2) which could indicate a meager attempt to translate the Aramaic into Hebrew. Tobiṭ 14:1-2 has additional info not found in the Greek LXX translation and hence seems a bit spurious. We also do know that the Book by Shimon, the great grandson of Sira, was originally written in Hebrew. Most of the Hebrew text of this book has been preserved or recovered in several manuscripts, which I also have a book containing them. - We don't have any reason to believe that God would use Greek as the source language for Holy Scripture, and hence the other six books. Hebrew and Aramaic were the nations' and characters' languages of the time; so it just seems likely that Hebrew and/or Aramaic were the source languages. If I have to deduct or guess, the book of Wisdom, if authored by King Solomon, as the writer claims (Wis. 9:7-8, 12; etc.), was probably originally written in Hebrew. I can’t say for certain what the original language was for the books of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah. Parts of the canonical book of Jeremiah are in Aramaic, so it is probable that the Letter of Jeremiah and the book by his scribe (i.e. Baruch) were originally written in Aramaic. Also, it could be that the reason Aramaic text is found in the books of Daniel, Ezra and Jeremiah is that God is telling the Jews that the new language that He will use for Scripture will be Aramaic. Christians left it up to the Jews to preserve their Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures. So they didn't preserve the additional eight disputed books in their original language. However, the Greek Christians preserved those translated books in the Greek Old Testament. The Aramaic Targums hadn't translated any of the original Hebrew Deuterocanonical books yet. So those books weren't readily preserved or regarded as Scripture by the Arameans (Syrians), Assyrians, Chaldeans, Babylonians, etc. Any original Aramaic books among them got lost. It seems to me that all eight of the Deuterocanonical Books were translated from the Greek text into the Aramaic for the Chaldean Catholic Canon. The Additions to Daniel and Esther were also translated from the Greek words in the Greek Old Testament. I'm not fully convinced that they are part of Scripture. However, if they are, then it's possible that the writer wrote in an inverted (out of order) manner. If the sections in Daniel and Esther were written past their last chapter, chapter 10 or 12, or they were written on a separate page later, to be added or appended to Daniel and Esther, then they may have been regarded as ungenuine additions over time, and hence rejected. Separately, The Aramaic Targums of Esther have a whole lot of extra words. They don't appear to be the exact same as the Greek additions but could validate them. It's possible that "The Three Young Children" textual section was also deleted from between (Dan. 3:23-24) of the Masoretic and DSS Hebrew text because of all the words of praise. It's possible that chapter 13, titled: "History of Susanna (Shoshanna)," was [also] deleted because it talks about the wickedness of a couple elders or judges (Dan. 13:41, 53). Chapter 14: "Bel and the Dragon," may have been deleted by the Jews because it was thought of as "a fill in addition," with added details, about what happened in Daniel chapter 6. However, Daniel chapter 6 is not the same as Daniel chapter 14. Daniel was thrown into the lions' den twice; under different rulers and different conditions, if Chapter 14 is true. If the Additions were/are authentic Scripture, then presumably, why weren't all the sections united in a final Hebrew &/or Aramaic form during (or a little after) the writer's lifetime; and accepted by the Jews as part of Daniel and Esther? Why is there no Hebrew/Aramaic proof that they were deleted? So they are in dispute.
The Apocryphal Books:
1st Ezra (1st Esdras) & 2nd Ezra (2nd Esdras) [Chapters 3-12]:
The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (CAL) has these books online. The name "1st Ezra" suggests that this writing is the first book written by Ezra. The name "2nd Ezra" suggests that this writing is the second book written by Ezra. And at 2nd Ezra (2nd Esdras) 1:1, the words read: "The second book of Ezra the prophet ..." However, the first two chapters of 2nd Ezra (2nd Esdras) are missing from the Aramaic & Greek texts of that book. Those two chapters are believed to come from the Latin text and have been named "5th Ezra (Esdras)" because they are additions or forgeries to the original text of "2nd Ezra." The Greek texts of 1st & 2nd Esdras are both numberless and hence 1st & 2nd Esdras could be renumbered to 2nd & 3rd Esdras. However, some count the book of Nehemiah as the 2nd book written by Ezra and hence CAL numbers 1st Ezra as "3rd Ezra" and 2nd Ezra as "4th Ezra." Though the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were reckoned as one book in the past (to get the Old Testament Canon to equal 22 books according to the number of letters in the Hebrew Alphabet), I still think the book of Nehemiah was authored by Nehemiah and thus should be considered a separate book not from Ezra the scribe. Nehemiah 1:1 suggests Nehemiah wrote or possibly dictated the following thirteen chapters.
Note: CAL lists 1st Ezra as 1Esdras(3 Ezra) and 2nd Ezra as P 4Ezra on its website. It's also important to know that "Esdras" is the Greek transliteration for the name of "Ezra;" even when this name appears in the book of Ezra. Ezra or Esdras are the same person (see Ezra 7:1-5 and 1st Esdras 8:1-2).
The Aramaic text of 2nd Ezra (the Apocalypse of Ezra) says that it is the first book written by Ezra at the end of the book. (Apoc. of Ezra 14:48 ) ends with: "... the first discourse of Ezra was finished." Those words, however, aren't found in the Greek or Latin text. ANALYSIS
The (so-called) Aramaic 1st Ezra is a translation of the (so-called) Greek 1st Esdras. There are many personal names with the common Greek "-os" ending and many Greek pronunciations of names without the "-os" ending. The Aramaic translator also misread the Greek word thu-ro-ron "door-guards" for the Greek word thu-gat-er-on "daughters" at (1 Ezra 9:25). Moreover, there is no evidence that an original Hebrew and Aramaic text existed. It's not Canonical or inspired. It's mainly copied material from Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles with 1 Ezra 3:1-5:6 being additional material not found in the Old Testament. 1st Ezra doesn't have much additional beneficial doctrine. However, it does show us that the eunuchs guarded the king's bed inside the room and were also stationed outside the room's door. Moreover, Aramaic 1st Ezra also has value in that it shows us that the alternate spelling of Orishlem (Jerusalem), with the additional yod for the "i" sound, is a valid spelling. In the Peshitta Bible, that alternate spelling for Orishlem only occurs one time, at one place in the New Testament (Matt. 5:35). A scholar may think that spelling is a typo, but it isn't. That alternate spelling for "Yerushalem" appears many times and throughout 1st Ezra. Also, it's not unusual for Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek to have more than one spelling and/or pronunciation for a city name or person. Hebrew has three different spellings for "Jerusalem" in the Bible while Aramaic and Greek have two or more different spellings for "Yerushalem." There is a third Aramaic spelling for "Yerushalem" in the "Doctrine of Addai" and I think I have seen a fourth variant Aramaic spelling for Yerushalem in 3rd or 4th Maccabees.
Aramaic 2nd Ezra wasn't found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and wasn't accepted as Canonical by the Catholic Church. Both those reasons suggest it is a later forgery. It also states that "that the world was being established (constructed) and on a table" (2 Ezra 9:19 Aramaic text); which isn't scientifically accurate. Additionally, it also suggests that the Old Testament contains only 24 Books; which I don't think is correct. Just adding the Four most meritorious of the Deuterocanonical Books (1st & 2nd Maccabees, Tobiṭ and Judith) makes the Old Testament canon consist of 28 books (& that's by giving allowance to the combining of the Books by the Jews). Aramaic 2nd Ezra, which has some differences from the Greek or Latin texts, has Ezra dictating forty days to five scribes who write down ninety-four books. Twenty-four of those books are to be made public so that the worthy and unworthy could read them. The other seventy books were to be given to the wise ones among the people (2 Ezra 14:41-47). 2nd Ezra has some value in that it shows us that an "angel" can be addressed as "MA-RI-A - the LORD" and "God" and also distinguished from God, and hence not God.
Maccabees 3 & 4:
The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (CAL) has the books of 3rd and 4th Maccabees on their website. ANALYSIS
1st and 2nd Maccabees were known to both Josephus and the Jews. Josephus likely used the information in those books as his source for books 12-13 in his Written Work: "The Antiquities of the Jews." Then he added commentary. Additionally, those are the only two books quoted by the Church Fathers as canonical. So it's not likely that 3rd & 4th Maccabees are canonical. Fourth Maccabees has the least value. It just recounts and expounds some of the same content in 2nd Maccabees - regarding the death of Eliezer and the death of a mom and her seven sons. INTERLINEAR ARAMAIC - ENGLISH BOOKS I went ahead and made four of the disputed books (1st Ezra, 2nd Ezra, 3rd Maccabees, & 4th Maccabees) plus the Doctrine of Addai (or Addi [Lamsa]) interlinear. I wanted to read those books myself to determine their validity. If you want to also read them plus learn some Aramaic in the process - go ahead. I also cover some Aramaic grammar in the Introduction of 1 Ezra and in the Appendices of 3rd Maccabees and the Doctrine of Addai. You can click on the links below to download the pdfs. 1st Ezra 2nds Ezra 3rd Maccabees 4th Maccabees The Doctrine of Addai Note: If the browser scans the file at the download and changes the Aramaic text to gobbly gook, clear the cache in your history for all time. You can also try the download on another computer, notebook, phone, etc. Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Preacher Mattai © (Ɔ) 2016. All rights reserved.