lördag, juli 03, 2010

Why Abomination Is An Abomination.

Under the headline is an article in Religion Dispatches by Jay Michaelson of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the byn now habitual English language translation of toeva, Greek bdé-lygma, as abomination. He talks of it as an error in the KJV (1611/1783) but what he does not mention is that it comes from the great Scholastic changes perpetrated on the very reliable Old Latin translation (2nd century North Africa ff) in Paris by the pupils of Peter Lombard (+1162), the so called Versio vulgata parisiensis.

Kaì metà ársenos ou koimäthäsä koítän gynäkeían, bdélygma gár estí; And with man don't lay in bed of wife, X it is, became Cum masculo non commiscearis coitu femineo, quia abominatio est;
With a man don't commit female "bedding", for it is an abomina-tion.

Incidentally, coitu (here rendered as "beddings") although well known from medical Macaroni, is a word that doesn't exist. It has been invented and put in the place of the Wife's Bed (the only bed there was in a Household in Antiquity) probably by the Versio vulgata people, to suggest sexual commerce. It is false.

The only current translation to retain the Bed is the 1956 Bible de Jéerusalem of the French Dominicans...

The obvious that 3 in a bed is one too many, was turned into the Socio-Political propaganda of the Scholastics. The aim was, of course, not to persecute the minority, but the Majority. Crowd control.

Koimäthäsä; lay, sleep even die, was turned into an abstract: commit, and gynäkeian; of wife into despective female/womanly - and, of course, toeva into devaluing abomination...

Dr Michaelson concludes "Personally, I like “taboo” as a replace-ment. It conveys the culturally relative nature of toevah, has some connotation of foreignness, and rightly aligns the taboo against homosexuality with taboos against, for example, eating unkosher food. It also has a vaguely archaic feel, which it should. Admittedly, “taboo” began as tabu, and specifically refers to a particular concept in Pacific indigenous religion; it is a bit inexact to import it to Judaism and Christianity. Yet the word has, by now, entered the common parlance, and in that general sense, it matches toevah fairly well. (Alternatively, we could stick with the Hebrew term, the foreignness of which heightens the foreignness of the biblical concerns about homosexuality.) One thing remains clear, though: what’s really abominable here is the word “abomi-nation” itself."

Click on the headline!

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