Monday, September 24, 2012

No Genesis Marriage. Jerome added Wife - Uxoris

Jerome, Dogma made "marriage" and "wife" a Genesis concept, 
which, compared to texts, it was not.

Aishe, Aisha.  Woman.  
Genesis relationship with a man "often unexpressed in English."  Strong's.

Consider the translation merry-go-round.  Thinks Jerome, Saint Jerome born 240 AD, died, say 314 AD.  Long ago.  He translated into Latin for the purposes of the emerging Catholic Christianity (as opposed to the Christians who migrated East, rather than allying with Rome).  He was conversant with the various texts of scripture from many languages at the time

So, thinks Jerome, as he approaches the issue of woman as human being or the cultural role of Wife, identity related to the male, I see (says Jerome), I see no no ambiguity in the text that the word "woman" is used, but because I work for the Boss in the Emerging Roman Version (read patriarchy) I will use a more culturally shaping and useful word, Wife.

Where I see Woman in the text, I will substitute Wife.  Done.

Yea, I will affix Uxoris, pipes up Jerome. We cannot have a mere "woman of him" or "man of her" in our texts, depicting sexual relationship.  We must have hierarchical marriage, with wife, and husband as in patriarchy and property interests, interposed. 

 I will make her a wife, the way the Church wants it. 
I will  pretend a ceremony! 
I will deem him a husband, and her a wife, and so he did, 
with conceptual entanglements through the centuries resulting.

Marriage this, marriage that. Define, describe. Who was married. Who not. Who knows. Who should be. Who wants to be. Who can stop whom from it. Who means what by it.

Marriage is cultural; not "divine" at all from the old texts. Is that so?  Explore.  Vet. See Jewish Marriage in Antiquity, by M.L.Satlow,
 My preference is to go directly to Genesis and see what I can figure out first.  Will then go read the tomes. We know from this site, that details are few -- great opportunity for translators and institutions to fill in blanks and pretend:  see Women and the Law in  Ancient Israel, at

Current issue: Tradition flees from the idea of Jesus being married, although would it not have been more unusual if he had not been married?  Were the disciples married? Do we care? Marriage, if cultural, as it seems to  be, should be no-one's theological interest.

Jerome:  Translator into Latin, and inserter of the textual Uxoris. Do our translators alter or ignore evidence to show what the culture wants. What we have, is material on the woman-acquisition process in patriarchal Hebrew history.  Not "wives" with vows and sanctity afloat.

Historical purpose  of Marriage:  to "concentrate property and personnel within narrowly delimited descent groupings (reflecting) a social order marked by considerable political and economic inequalities."  Marriage patterns: transactions and exchanges interfamilial as well. See

Is that anything like the current and recent-past ceremonies to love,  honor, even obey?  Is there a commitment or just an economic bind that may or may not include "love."  Partnership ideas?  Was there any ceremony at all, or just that purchase and sale, swap. I use the Mechanical Translation of Genesis, Blue Letter Bible, for Strong's concordance, mostly.  See sites below.

A.  Evolution of Marriage

1.  Ask:  What was the relationship between early men and women in the Old Testament. The concept of a "wife" and "husband" permeate culture and religious practice, even most all our Old Testaments; but are expressed in different terms in the ancient texts themselves.

1.1.  Start at the beginning. Seek out transliterations and find ambiguity, if not outright contrary terms used, other than the marriage, husband and wife so dear to our ritual hearts.  According to this transliteration of Genesis, for example, there is no marriage existing with a separate term like that in Genesis. See A Mechanical Translation of the Book of Genesis,

1.2  There were, however, pairings, the acquiring of women, with events that preceded and occurred at marriage as a bonding with some obligations, as a practical matter of a formal pairing.  The man took power over her (Strong's 1111, 1167, see below).  This was not part of Creation, however;  look at the time passing from the Expulsion to the rest of Genesis.

1.3  With all that power to the man, however, the woman was not powerless.

It appears from Gen. 24:39 that the woman had to agree, she was to "walk after" the man, if she so chose.  Gen.24:51.  The man also is to "take and walk." Gen.24:58.  They inquire of the woman what she will do.

Woman is to be respected.  See Sarai and Abram. Abraham (renamed as Father Lifted, not Abram) is told by Elohim, Powers, as to her status:  "I will respect her and also from her I will give to you a son and I will respect her and she will exist for nations, kings of peoples will exist from her." Gen.17:16  [My RSV says only that God will bless her].  "Respect" is also a term used for men, Gen.48:3, 9.  So, respect women, respect men, both functional.

Woman has value. There is a bride price and gift, see Gen.34:12.
  • Purchase, sale, control.  Great Creeping Patriarchy.  All that is a far cry from Genesis' Creation -- and evolved only in the long male powerplays thereafter.  After all, she was periodically vulnerable. And once the men started wanting lineage, she was caught.  Is that so?  See Mechanical Translation at Appendixes p.418, Gen. 9:21 (the site offers a free download that is great fun to have on the drive -- look up anything anytime).  
There were some rules. To have sex with a woman without permission is to afflict her, defile her, see Dinah at Gen. 34:2,5, 13.

An expression of love seems to be "attached to"  Gen.34:8, love (same word), to adhere to, or speak to her heart, Gen.34:3.  She is "gotten" to serve as a woman. See Gen.34:12. Women are product, swapped for other women. Gen.34:21. She can be Whore. Gen.34-21 -- So that arrangement also existed, of course. Could she keep her own income? It was an exchange of act for value. A whore or prostitute does not operate in secret. f A whore covers her face. See Gen.38:15. But an "honorable" woman taking that path can be "cremated" (a prostitute using deceit to get what she wants, Gen. 38:24).

To take another's woman is a crime, Gen. 39:7ff (Paroh's woman)

Taking her and coming to her may be enough (if she does not object?) see Gen. 38:2-4. As to signifying consent on that and other issues, walking to it can signify consent to whatever is on the table.  See Gen. 38:11

She owned property. For example, any instance of "his" tent should be translated instead as "her" tent, because in ancient Hebrew culture, the family tent belonged to the woman. It is so described at Gen.12:8.  Is that the beginning of, give the woman the house?
  • And Rahhel and Le'ah ask for a portion of their inheritance from their father, Gen. 31:14-16:  "[W]ere we not thought of as foreigners to him given that he sold us and he also greatly ate our silver, given that all the riches which Elohiym (Powers) delivered from our father, to us he and to our sons and now all which Elohiym (Powers) said to you, do."   [At v.19, after they all went back, Rahhel went in and took Lavan her father's idols and Ya'aqov (Jacob, He Restrains) took Lavan's heart (what?) and there was a pursuit ff.
The woman controlled when she has children, at the outset, until she herself came to be controlled.  Conception.  At Creation, the woman took the first step -- she was not a passive recipient of what Adm had -- instead, she  "acquired" or "purchased" a child -- it was her act with Yahweh, nothing put upon her against her will.  Gen.4:1.  Acquired:  That is the meaning of the word Cain. Acquired.  He is the one who served the ground, while his later brother, Able (meaning "empty") fed the flocks. Look at the trouble from the beginning:  There was Cain doing what he was supposed to, till the fields (Adm's job) but Able who fiddled with sheep got the preference.  No justice from early on.

Jahweh visited Sarai and she conceived?  It wasn't Abraham?? See Gen.21:1-2.  Like Eve who bargained with Jahweh?

1.4  It is a long time, however, before she starts to be seen as an individual.  Women on occasion had individualized names, but these are the exception.  All men's names, however, were descriptive (Hairy, He Who Laughs, etc.)

That woman's naming occurs in early chapters, as with Adah, Ornament; Tsilah, Shadow (look up in chapters and verses in Glossary at MT) [and for fun, note that men are also individually described as to an attribute in their naming, and Seth means Buttocks].
Women's naming then peters out until much later with Abram.  By then, the cultural patriarchy had taken root.  See FN 1 for many, many names of women.  But these are a small portion of the total naming of all those men and places in Genesis.

1.5   Is Creation foolproof, Good?  Is all that was made, made Good? Not necessarily. Creation was made to be "functional" -- a different concept from "good".  See MT.
  • Elohim, meaning Powers, also made mistakes, one being the heart of the human: " [T]he thoughts of the heart of the human are dysfunctional from his young age and I will not continue to hit all the living ones which I made." (the promise to Noah, meaning Rest). See FN 1 for naming of women after Abraham.

B.  Marriage, the Ceremony and Vows, Roles

Check out whether marriage occurs in Genesis.  Marriage. Husband. Wife. Ceremony. Rights. Children. Home. Divorce.  What?  Starting Transliteration.  Download the Mechanical Translation, scroll to Genesis 1, then do a search or "find" of the entire book for each term.

1. Marriage. 
  • The word appears only in Gen. 38:8, as a phrase for these ideas --  'come to the woman of your brother  and do the marriage duty to her and make a seed rise for your brother.' 
  •  "Marriage duty" appears nowhere else and is undefined. What were the duties, if any, other than to beget.  And with the begetting, who got what rights to the product?  Was she free to go, live an autonomous life, who controlled her, how.
  • Marriage appears as a term in itself not in Genesis except as to the one duty; only appears as a self-defining unrooted concept in the Dictionary appended to the translation itself. 
2.  Husband.

Husband.  If there is a marriage, there must be a Husband.  Find find.  No occurrence at all for the word Husband in Genesis.  It also only appears as a self-defining but undefined unrooted concept in the Dictionary appended.

3.  Wife.  If there is a marriage, there must be a Wife.  Try Wife.  There is a "midwife" in Gen. 35:17; and Gen. 38:28.  The word "wife" only appears as a self-defining but undefined unrooted concept in the Dictionary appended.
  • Mechanical Translation.  An example of a phrase we commonly see translated as Wife -- Because you listened to your wife, etc.  But there, Genesis 3:17 shows no "wife", only woman, woman of you, your woman. Do a search in the Mechanical Translation for woman, and it all is references to the men taking their woman, or taking a woman.  Try it.  
Taking a woman or getting a woman is not the same as a marriage, or a wife.  Those require ceremony, vows, all that.  What words did the ancient Hebrews use?
  • Go to the Blue Letter Bible, as another reasonable source, and note this is conservative.   .  "Wife" appears, says Blue Letter, in the King James Version (my favorite), 16 times in Genesis as an exact match.  It appears in 370 other verses in the entire KJV, it says.
The "word number" for Wife is 802 in Hebrew and it appears as each of those 16 references to "Wife."  Must mean wife, right?  Look that up. 802 is Ish-shah, and it uses "wife" to define "wife" -- one, married, female, misc. What?  No help.
802 in Strong's is the feminine of 376.

376 is "a man as an individual or a male person." And it includes husband.

 802 includes wife.  Both, then add a status to the designation as male or female. What did they mean by it? Is there a difference between that and "woman"?  Strong's 802 is also the feminine of 582, and 582 is a mortal, a man in general, and husband and wife are stuck in there with no clue as to what is the origin of that relationship, just stuck there.  "Often unexpressed in English" we are told.

So, the relationship, the woman thing, is "often unexpressed in English."  English wants Wife, dammit, Wife!  The Church requires that she be a wife!
Pick an example of "wife" in one of our translations.  Again, we pick at random Genesis 3:17, "because you have listened to the voice of your wife...."
Hebrew for the word we are looking for is, I think from deduction, תאכל
Scripture4all  - AshthK -- woman of you.
Hebrew Old Testament - 'aShThK -- Jerome translates it into the Latin as Uxoris
And so does everybody else thereafter.  Uxoris!  Wife!

Check translation of Uxoris.  It should show Wife.  Yes.

But check translation of the Hebrew "woman" that Jerome translates as "wife" -- and that word for woman is not not Uxoris at all. 

Look at all the references to wife -- each one instead refers to the 802 or woman or woman of you, or women of him, or take a woman.  And everybody falls in line after Jerome the Wrong and says, wife, wife, wife. Woman of you is different.

The word for woman in Latin is Mulieri. Jerome uses mulieri when God speaks to the woman, that she will give birth in pain.  Gen. 3:16. What is the Hebrew there? Woman e-ashe.  No reference to who she is connected to.  Fine. E-adm, man, e-ashe, woman.  Being in a relationship, he's my man, etc., does not create a marriage.

Conclusion so far:  no reference to any ceremony, any exchange, any obligation, just the taking of a woman.  And several, as with Abraham.  Yet Jerome, good old Jerome, he needs to find wives here and so he does, arbitrarily.  Dogma, dogma.

4.  So what is marriage in Genesis?

In Gen. 2:24, we have the man leaving his father and mother [but who were they when Adm and Aishe were created by the Creator -- was Elohiym multiple (yes, by its terms) and so there was a heavenly pairing? and adhering to his woman.  Genesis 2:24 requires no contracts, no property exchanges, no controlling, nothing but adhering.  No sacrament, no blessing.  So much for our cultural to-do about marriage.
  • So:  'aShThK.  Gen.3:17.  Go further.  Lot's wife is Lot's woman instead.  Abraham's wife is Abraham's woman instead.   At Gen.20:3, a woman is "married of a master" -- sounds like no wife there, just a bonded person. People buy women.  Jacob works seven years for what he hopes will be Rachel for woman of him.  No "wife."  Leah speaks of aishi, man of me. 
Etc.  Woman of him, man of her, but no ceremony, no "marriage", a bonded system, a purchase.  This will take more detail, but where in Genesis does anyone undergo a ceremony or words other than to do the buying thing?

802 is aisha. 802 is not "wife."  Jerome, go back and rewrite.  No uxor. Mulier. Woman.

FN 1.  Women's individualized names do not resume after that initial flurry, until Abraham, whose name means Father Raised.

His woman (the word "wife" is not used) is named Sarai, or Princess, thus a status as well as an individual in gender. Gen.11:29.  More:  continue to read that Abraham let her be taken by Pharaoh, saying she was his sister, in order to save his own skin).  For these, if not specified, go to glossary at the Mechanical Translation for chapter and verse locations.

Listing in part:

Sarai. Princess. Sarai is also known as Noblewoman [bought for a thousand silver? see Gen.20:16. Is a man's woman different from his bondwomen? same verse].
Milkah. Queen.
Hagar. Stranger; maid of Sarai who owned her and controlled her
Re'umah. meaning Lifted Up, Abraham's concubine Gen.22:24
Rivqah, Ensnarer.
Qethurah, Incense (concubine of Abraham)
Rahhel. Ewe
Le'ah. Weary
Dinah. Judgement [Dinhavah is also a city meaning Give Judgement]
Devorah. Bee (nurse of Rivqah)

A place is named Shaddai, meaning My Breasts. Gen.35:11 and elsewhere, just noting it here because it is repeating.

Bilhah.  Wear Out.
Zilpah. Trickling (is this a man or a woman?  not clear, see Gen.46:18, a later reference).
Basmah.  Spice.
Timnah.  Withhold.
Meheythavael.  Favored of El.
Asnat. Belonging to Nat (not quite certain of that one), daughter of Pothee-Phera (he whom Ra gave)
Serahh. Excess.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who invited a deity to the marriage?

Does declaring an institution sacred make it so? 
What did the deity say and do about marriage.
What did later people say and do.
For whose benefit? 
Are we bound by others' views?

A.  What God hath joined together, let no man (no one?) put asunder.

So goes a familiar part of a religious marriage ceremony for some.  How dare anyone challenge the institution of marriage, so venerable for 3000 years of recorded history.  So we are admonished.

Look again.  What did the deity do as to ordaining "marriage" -- was there a contract, and exchange of matters of value, witnesses, and then a change of habitation and consummation? In later Biblical references, is a "wedding" the same as a "marriage"? What is law governing human-human relationships in the old texts. What prohibits or says anything at all about what it is, who can be in it. The Torah is silent. The Talmud, or teachings, instead is the source of custom. Vet the terms, see process at Vetting Roots, Vetting Lexicons. Add another mechanical translation, or transliteration site, at  The point is that there is no one answer, no one approach. Check them all before adopting any authority.

  • It looks like weddings are a cultural, a non-religious matter, late in blooming, a product of later teaching (hello, Paul) by others, and the Christian soldiers marched in and extrapolated that their "God ordains it". Ideology derivatives.  
  • With Jerome and other early translators in the Common Era, find the word "wife" interposed where "woman" appears in the transliteration (we are checking for other transliterations to compare); and find "marriage" and betrothal language where no "betrothal arises from the context -- instead, you may find master and servant, for example. A purchase. 
  • Is there "marriage" at all as we know it, or is the woman "acquired" at the wedding. Or acquired by purchase. Look back at the language of Eve in considering Cain: I have acquired a son from JHWH.  See .  Gaining something, acquiring. Adam not even in the picture, literalist view. Eve on a par with the deity, and bargaining for something on her own. Research old texts. Find ambiguity.
  • Research method: multiple open windows. Show the research path by fair use of URL's and linking (if anyone objects tell me and I'll do something else as may be required.  How else to research unless these footnote-equivalents are given?) (Lexicon at; and Scripture4all at for hebrewoldtestament and Greek online for starters). 
  • Early times. Transliterations. This site,, is useless for our purposes because it it ideologically institutionally Christian, not Jesus' words, using its interpretation to lay out the same interpretation again, and does not correlate the Hebrew word with the specific English, just gives the traditional ideological narrative. How does simply going to a wedding bless it?

B.  Findings so far, and subject to change with new information.

1.  The word marriage.

In English Biblical translation, marriage is found 19 times in my King James version, and in 18 verses.  Type in the word marriage at the Lexicon, and search,
The word "wedding" is used in the original texts, suggesting just a specific social event; but English translators often substitute "marriage" -- with other overtones and a long time frame. Does that make any difference.

2.  Multiple contexts.

That one word marriage, in English translation, is used, however, in six different ways, with six different meanings or contexts, even though connected in the New Testament by the wedding idea of celebration.  The six ways are shown by separate word numbers for each usage, see the Eliyah lexicon. I have looked each up below.

3.  Old Testament.

Looking at all the uses of "marriage", the word marriage occurs in the Old Testament only twice. But there is no specifying in either of those references how something we call a marriage takes place.  There is no reference or law about it in the entire Torah, or the rest of the Old Testament.  All that has emerged about the ins and outs of marriage is a matter of custom, oral tradition, teaching, the Talmud.  Not Torah.  The Good Lord sayeth nothing.  Good Lord!

4. Sacred or secular.

 Marriage so far appears to be mere custom, not religion; but with a religious overlay to suit institutional needs. One man one woman:  not so.  Many wives, and marriages to little girls, all part of Western heritage. Mormon included. Is that so? Section 5 addresses the specific meanings but I omit a definition that uses the word to define itself.

Marriage:  the pesky idea. Asking for a blessing is nice, but fulfills or proves no religious deity-originating law about who can enter into that relationship.

5.  Process.  What makes a marriage?  Old Jewish custom:

A marriage process did evolve from early recorded times, but not as part of the Torah.  It is from the Talmud, that developed and evolved through the society, we learn that a marriage is the taking of a wife, and that wifiness results from three steps, once she has given her consent -- Talmud says a woman cannot be acquired without her consent, Judaism 101 at That site lays out what is needed--

a. exchange of money, (at least the ring, perhaps, and where its value is known)

b. a contract, with the husband's obligations to the wife, her conditions of inheritance, child support obligations, the wife's support in case of divorce, and more if they wanted; and the status that is deeper than mere betrothal begins, the kiddushin

c. the husband brings her to his home [I thought in Creation he was to leave his and move in with hers?? -- another disobedience?] moving in and actual conjoining; the nisuin;  and this in the old days could be as much as a year after the kiddushin, the commitment.  What if either had buyer's remorse during the long kiddushin? If he jumped ship, she would be left married but without a husband? These days the two events are celebrated at once, I think.  See Judaism 101.

6.  The contract.  This part of acquiring a wife is also laid out.

6.1   It is a contract, so no rabbi is needed at all.  It is merely custom to have a rabbi officiate. Wanting a religious officiant is more a Christian overlay to this private contract, and reflects our laws that a civil or religious officiate. See Judaism 101.

6.2  Wedding ceremony:  exuberant. And the patriarchal interpretation rises up and calls itself blessed, as The Man (not as humankind, but as though "Adm" were male even without the woman) glories in His image (what??) and the controls ensue, bless its heart.

7.  The significance of marriage as a social stabilizer.  It is unnatural not to be married.
  • So, Jesus probably was indeed married, if he was a good Jew. Is that so? 
  • Marriage is not primarily for procreation, however.  Look to "companionship, love and intimacy."  The Judaism 101 refers as justification to the verse Gen.2:18 that the deity determined that it is not good for the man to be alone.
    • At that stage, however, there was only humankind, the Adm, who only got a gender when there was the other gender; and 
    • It is debatable if the word referred to means "good" -  it could well mean "functional."  A single humankind entity is not functional? That makes more sense, and fits with the overall plan for the adm to till the ground and tend the garden and name things, period. See  Nothing sacred or holy about the creation of the adm or the evolution of genders, if not created that way in a single puff.
 Again, see Judaism 101 at If that site is wrong, please let me know. This is not my tradition.

8.  Without affirming that any such marriage-producing-wifehood process occurred, the word wife nonetheless is hammered into the translations twice in the Old Testament, and time and again in the New.
  • Although marriage appears only 19 times in 18 verses, the word wife appears 407 times in 370 verses in the King James. See again the Eliyah lexicon.  How can there be a wife if there was no "marriage"? What was meant by marriage?  At the least, there is ambiguity about how the idea of marriage evolved, and what is ordained by whom.  Look up all the words that English translates as wife, and find, instead, woman. Not husband or wife, man of her, or woman of him. 
  • And with no exchange of money, and contract, the conjoining is just that:  and not a marriage at all. Meet Adam and Eve.  Or their progeny and wherever they got themselves "wives."  There were pairings, no obligations
  • So far, marriage is a matter of societal custom, convenience, and designating who is to control whom.  The deity could care less.
  • This is an odd liberty that English translation takes with the word "marriage" - to spread it around willy-nilly,  where, to the contrary, there is no definition of marriage at all in the Torah or Old Testament, or New. It is only in the Talmud, oral tradition, teachings, that ideology and custom are spelled out, but that is not Torah, direct word of the power(s) above around everywhere, etc.
9.  Explore, with those old traditions and the fact of no Torah guidance at all, the many meanings where the English translation says only marriage.

9.1  Old Testament usage -

"Marriage" appears twice in the English translation of two separate Hebrew words in theTorah (Pentateuch, first five books).   In each, the text supports only a cohabitation idea, if even that (as to a master-servant relationship that clearly is not "wife");  it is the Talmud that adds ritual, status, ceremony.
  • Strong's number 5772, H5772 is Ownah,
    • Genesius, 18th C scholar, ( commentary: .  "Conjugal cohabitation",cohabitation, conjugal rights, but that from the Talmud, not the Torah
    • Ex.21:10, "duty of marriage" -- Torah.  
      • "Wife" in translation where a servant is the context, not a wife-- Exodus elsewhere:  Ex.21:3.  It is suddenly here that "wife appears, when the context clearly is not marriage, see Jerome in the Vulgate putting in "uxor" or wife at  The text is woman, not wife. And everybody just falls in line, wife, wife, wife. Thanks, Jerome. Your agenda worked.
        • As to a male servant, he shall serve 6 years, then go free. And if the master gives him a woman (the translator at this site says "wife" but that is not supported in the transliteration at -- the verb is possess a woman,  not be married -- she is merely property) then she goes out with him; but if she has had children, she and the children remain the master's.
        • But if the servant says he loves her and wants to stay, the master shall take him to the judges, and then the master shall bore a hole in his ear and the servant shall be bound to him forever [pierce your ears origin?] Same Online Interlinear site.
        • "Betrothal" as English translation when the text says nothing of the kind. Ex.21:7-9.  It is Jerome again who does it -- see the betrothal language where buying or taking the woman is meant by the text, and in most of the translations at
        • If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go "out" as the male servants (they get free and can go out after 6 years) and she does not please the master to whom she is appointed, then she shall be "redeemed" and the master shall have no power to sell her to a foreigner (this gets hard to follow, at 
        • And if the master had appointed her to his son (no betrothal language), he shall deal with her in the manner of daughters (what?) (are we to assume she did something bad?)
      • "Wife" used where multiple servants instead are the context.  As to the master, if he has that first maidservant (translated as "wife" when it looks like sexual partner is intended only, not wife) and takes another (woman) (also translated as "wife"), then his duty to the first is not diminished.  He must provide her meat and clothing and habitation. Ex.21:10-11, at
        •  So that is the duty when a servant is sold to the master:  feed, raiment, shelter.  That is not the same as the marriage obligations of the Jew as the culture changed, see Judaism 101, with rights of inheritance, giving her property, etc.
        • Still -- all that marriage language out of nowhere in this master-servant relationship. 
          • The English translation adds out of nowhere that her "duty of marriage" remains -- but this is no marriage. 
          • Duty to be his sexual partner?  That would be plausible, but that i snot being a wife. Master with privileges is something else.  If cohabitation or sexual privilege is meant, the English changes it.
          • Trust not thy translated scriptures, for they are pretzeled beyond all recognition for the glory of those who seek to salt words for their benefit.
        • And if he does not those three things, she shall go free but without any cash.
        • Keep reading:  the master does not have power of death over the servant; and on for many other laws of the time as to killing, injuring.  It takes a great deal of adding words and omitting things to get to a clear narrative. There is no airtight single narrative.
Old Testament non-Torah
9.2  New Testament - Marriage
a.  Still no laws, rules about marriage, so look to Judaism 101,
As a Jew, the process for marriage as outlined at Judaism 101 seems consistent here, but someone else would have to find out the specifics of First Century Talmud, or later centuries when the Gospels were written by those persons unknown. What is added in that time, that is not in the texts of what Jesus himself said.
b. Enter the New Testament, Greek now, translations from that, and Paul and Paulian theology and Rome, superseding plain meaning of what are ambiguous and partial texts, with much excluded in the name of unification, forging in stone an emerging ideology. Thayer, commentary, is 19th century, and a good start.  Later findings

c.  All the New Testament references, like the Old, are to a status, not a process, and there is no establishing any religious role for a deity in it.

No ordaining. No blessing. Just going to a wedding does not bless it.  Not setting up "sacraments" makes them necessarily "sacred".  The texts provide for none such. Oh, my.  On the other hand, other references to adultery and fornication suggest that the deity cares about the marriage, and that stems from Commandments, or does it? Perhaps the deity wants people to stand by their contracts -- and it means nothing more than that kind of honor in one's word. Marriage isn't blessed:  it is another contract.  Is that consistent? You in the back with your hand up.  Go ahead.
    • Mt.22:2, "made a marriage for his son"
      • Lexicon:  Comes from the feminine of primogeniture. Feminine of #1060.  That #1060 means firstborn. Found him a firstborn woman? Or made a "feminine" for his son?  By this time, we can conclude that custom and oral tradition had established a process for marriage, but what was exchanged, what was the contract of such marriage?
      • Wedding festivities, see
    • Jn.2:2, " the marriage"-  ditto. Wedding - no reference to a deity's view of a wedding
    • Hb.13:4, "marriage...honorable in all" [eliyah site adds "is" in the ellipsis] - ditto. Matrimony fine, but watch out you paramours and adulterers. You need the contract before you indulge? The dogma enters. This says God will judge.Jesus said not to cast first stones. You pick.  I am looking for references to man-man or woman-woman relationship and find nothing; Ditto as to contraception.  Merely saying no to spilling seed outside is not enough -- that could be matter of courtesy and tidiness. Bring a towel.
    • Rv.19:9, "called unto the marriage supper of the lamb" -ditto but here a celebration is specified, an occasion
  • Strong's 1547,  G1547 is ekgamizo.  Give a daughter away in marriage, the "ek" meaning out of the house,
    • Mt.22:4, "come unto the marriage" -- wedding
    • Mt.22:9, "bid to the marriage"
    • Mt.22:30, "given in marriage"
    • Mt.22:39, "giving in marriage"
    • Lk.17:27, "given in marriage"
    •  I Cor.7:38, "he that marriage doeth well, but he that giveth...not in marriage doeth better"   [eliyah lexicon site adds a "her" in the ellipsis]

C.  Conclusion so far

Marriage is an evolving cultural idea, not full-blown from the Beginning, see; and with later justifications added about the deity requiring it, blessing it, all that.

Instead, from the texts, marriage is the acquiring of a wife, primarily a contract for keeping company, and ordering sensibly the passions of the people. As such, the deity really did not join anybody to anybody else, Adam and Eve could not have made the causal connection between a conjoining and a baby nine months later, and the meaning of the relationship can be expanded or not, as the culture itself desires.

 If you make the contract, however, stick with it or bear consequences not of damnation but other damages including divorce (permitted among the Jews). No casting first stones, is that so?  Persuade if you like, but no forcing. There is no 3,000 years of consistent marriage.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creation: Good means merely Functional, in Working Order. Not "good" morally superior.

Go back to the Old Hebrew mechanical translations of actual word forms.
And the Powers Saw That It Was "Functional."
Not good as a moral preference.  If it worked, it was functional.
Shall we take that idea to church?
 If so, we note that there is in texts no moral aspect; merely keeping the thing going.
Is this so?
Our creation as Adm Human was not "good" either.
Merely functional:  Tend the place.  And Adm messed that up.  It was not functional to leave him in charge.
We are functionaries, if anything.
Function of the earth? Not "good", not human-directed, just to be kept "in working order".
אלהים את־חית
A. Overview:
What are we good for?  Christian Century magazine, article Eating in Ignorance, by Norman Wirzba 5/30/2012 at p.27 states that Creation is to be good for us; not what we are good for.  "Creation exists for our health and nurture, but it is not made for our exclusive enjoyment."  Fine as to part 2; we are not exclusive beneficiaries.  Wrong as to part 1, what Creation is for. To mix dogma with old texts is one reason why some of us tend to the spiritual, but not to the institutional, see same issue, at

Creation exists why?  For reasons unknown and unknowable, but by design, to be at least "functional" -- to keep itself going.  Humankind:  tend it.  Till it.  Eat its seeds. See Mechanical Translation at Download and search Genesis 1-4. There are always multiple possibilities in any translation-transliteration, but this one carves out a clearer, nondogmatic meaning than others such as Scripture4all, enthralled by traditional narratives. See

If we use Scripture4all's "good", what is the meaning of  "good" in creation's "saw that it was good"?  Mechanical Translation has an answer: Good means "functional",  so that it might follow that any interference with the functionality of creation is the ultimate evil?  Does that prohibition include climate change, pollution, species decimation. Look at old wording and reconsider Adm's place in the world.
1. God saw that it was good?  
What is good? a moral determination, or a usefulness, effectiveness measure, a distance measure, etc. Skip the usual sites first, research sites listed at Vetting Lexicons; and go directly to Find that that mechanical translation from Hebrew shows that "good" not used to comment upon Creation:  "functional" is.  At the very least, there is ambiguity about what "good" meant then, and how English and dogma treat it now.
2.  Creation of human Adm has no following trope that that was good. So making the Adm was not even functional. That turned out to be true.  Adm couldn't even do the job he was given.
3.  Checking uses of "good" as Strong's H 2896 in the King James Genesis, other sites. 
B. Discussion
1.  Uses of "good": 
Traditionally, God, at creation, saw that it was good. That is not necessarily so. See
A modern word-for-word mechanical translation shows that there is no "good" in moral terms involved;  only that the Powers saw that the thing worked.Get the fast, free download for a word-for-word transliteration. 
Instead of "he (always a masculine singular in Western religious translation) saw that it was good", find the plural "Elohim" or "Powers" and "given that functional" or "saw that it was functional. 
2.  We delude ourselves if we think our own "creation" as Adm (the human) was "good" in a moral sense. Not so.  For all of us who think humankind is special, note the absence of the trope that the deity saw, after making Adm, that it was good.  Without the word, Adm is not even functional! Dead silence. Is this so: The Powers knew they blew it from the start, from Adm.  It is only before Adm that the Powers see that it was good.
Test the theory: This theme of creator's regret recurs with Noah:  the deity says there will not be another deity-inspired destruction like the flood again, but that does not stop his evil-doing humans from doing it themselves:  See Genesis 8:21 -- Deity Straight Talk.

  "*** The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth....***"
3.  Now check the usual old sources.  How did we get to the one meaning, the moral "good" from the Hebrew. Even, our idea that we get dominion in the sense of control for our own use and benefit, from it, see Dominion: Worst Concept in the World; or worse yet, that we are "sanctified" and more worthy than other creatures (the same nphsh in all of us) because of an image. See Sancity for Human Life? Because of an image?
a.  Old words

Elohim, or aleim, ki tub, perhaps, phonetically at, for example,
b. The customary translation appears in the Parallel Old Testament: at
The word for "good" has these Strong's designations as appearances in the King James Bible: see
c. The word appears hundreds of times in the King James. I am focusing on Creation and Genesis, because origins are enchanting. What did the original written words say, and how or if people later spun or omitted in order to further cultural identity, survival, and interest groups' power structures.
d.  Lexicons

Strong's H 2896:  Descriptive Good. Adjective. 
  • Gen.1:4, the light was good, phonetic KY-TVB;  and the KY - TVB repeats in all these --
  • Gen.1:10, separating earth from seas, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:18, plants yielding seeds and fruits, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:21, making whales and birds and fish, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:25, making beasts and cattle and creepies saw it was good.  See the old Paleo Hebrew at Only the modern Hebrew there is transliterated, however, and we can find there the portion of Elohim "saw that it was good" -- not sure what portion of the Paleo Hebrew stands for that. What word for "good"--
  • Gen.1:31, seeing everything that was made, saw it was good.
  • Gen.2:9, everything that came from the ground and was pleasing to the eye was for food, saw it was good;
  • Gen.2:9, gold is good;
  • Gen.3:5, not good for the man to be alone (adm, human);
  • Gen.3:6, woman saw that the tree of knowledge of good TVB(noun) and evil VUr'y was good (adjective) for food, as well as pleasing to the eye, and desired to make one wise; then the concept jumps a full dozen chapters, to
  • Gen.15:15, die in a good old age, same word, but with an H, what is that? TVBH
  • Gen.18:7, a calf tender and good
  • Gen.19:8, here are my daughters who have not known men, do unto them as is good in your eyes [is that a putting of accountability on the men out there, setting a moral limit to what they can do, was there a limit on what to do with women of another household, or is good merely what feels good? this is not mere permission to rapine], and to these men do nothing because they came under the shadow of my roof [hospitality cannot be violated?]
  • Gen.21:16, a good way off, a bowshot
  • Gen:24:12, send me good speed this day
  • Gen,24:40, the thing proceedeth from the Lord, we cannot speak unto thee bad or good
  • Gen.26:29, thou wilt do us no hurt as we have not touched thee [now, that is a good standard for intervention in others' lives: leave me alone if I have not touched you], and as we have done nothing but good to thee, and sent thee away in peace
  • Gen.27:9, fetch me two good kids from the flock
  • Gen.30:20, Leah had a good dowry.

    Other translations disagree on the number of times "good" is used as Strong's H 2896. 
Strong's H 2896. Noun.
  • Gen.2:9, tree of knowledge of good and evil;
  • Gen. 2:17, don't eat of the tree of good and evil or you die; Gen.3:5, gods know good and evil;
  • Gen.3:22, the gods see that the man (not worried about the woman eating) ate of the good and evil tree, and is now like one of the gods knowing good and evil; and fearing that the man now will reach out and eat of the tree of the lives also, and so live forever (as do the gods)(again, the deity had no worry about the woman doing this - as kngdv, she was not even banned from the garden, all she had done was get deceived. Adm could have informed her about that tree and he was there and stood by and didn't.  He and the NShCh got the book thrown at them, not the woman)
e. 4100, at Gen.27:46, if this thing happens, what good shall my life do me. That is another use of good.
f.  Cross check:
Some other translations must have used other than the H 2896 in their translations of "good" -- Find dozens of uses of "good" in the alternate search at Strong's Hebrew Lexicon, the big dictionary, at
See all these other words that mean "good" in Hebrew: 36, 258, 239, 376, 393, 434, 457, 553, 829, 1309, 1319, 1576, 1580, 2388, 2447, 2451, 2492, 2617, 2623, 2869, 2895, 2896, 2897, 2898, and on through the 3000's numbers.
Where to check the Strong's H 2896?  Strong's is not enough in itself.
Go to another site, Mechanical Translation: free download of Mechanical Translation of Genesis at
Find this meaning for "he saw that it was good"

Elohim (powers)
"given that functional", or
"saw that it was functional".
Creation not good but functional? Makes sense. Functional. Works in the system already created. No morality, no good-evil, just in working order. And no pronouncement of "good."  No wonder. The Adm had evil in his heart from his youth. Disobediences Vet your translations.  Vet your tutors tho teach that the earth is to be tamed, exploited, used by you for your benefit because you are sanctified and God will make certain the sun comes up again. Who taught the tutor to toot?

Plug them in, side margin at  Now see the possible translations that can be plugged in. We used the KJV, good shows up 720 times in 655 verses OT. The word "good" is used in a range of settings, some not appearing in the KJV, others in the KJV but not elsewhere, etc. There is no agreed definition and what is 2896 in one translation may well be something else in another.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Behold thy Son means Greek Huios. Woman, Behold thy Huios. Mere kinship: remote or immediate; including animals

Meanings of Huios.
That is the word in the familiar, Woman, behold thy "Son".
The focus is on relationship, however, not gender.
Figurative, not Literal
Explore: Is "son" a relationship; or a set of physical gender apparati.  This John 19:26 example of the use of the words tilts strongly to the figurative, to the relational aspect of "son"'; not a gender. Christianity as an institutional religion molds an ideology that is not necessarily related to the actual texts, but evolves from culturally desired interpretations.  That is a cultural practice only:  the Records of Christianity are the texts, however;  whether or not those get reflected in the self-interest of an institutional canon.

Vet the reasons for inclusion or exclusion of any particular translation tilt. Is the worshipping population responding to social pressure, or actual foundations.
Moi? J'aime les Textes. 
I.  Overview - Scene, Issue, Discussion, Conclusion
  • Scene: Crucifixion.  Gospel of John. Present, at the cross:  Jesus' mother, Mary;  Mary Magdalene; another Mary, the wife of Cleopas (that at or Clopas. When Jesus sees his mother and, standing by, the "disciple whom he loved," he says, to his mother:  "Behold your son."  Your "huios" in the greek.  Who is that?  Other disciples had fled. Noone else was there or that person would have been named.  Or was there some mystery "man" to correspond to the "son." Those who want the disciple whom Jesus loved to be a man, say that this witness must have come in later. The Gospel of John, however, limits the people there to the three Mary's.
  • Issue: Greek "huios." Who was the disciple whom Jesus loved.the one that his mother Mary was to regard as her "huios."   Does use of "huios" mean that the person so indicated was male? Or is it the relationship of parent to child, parent to son in particular in that culture, that is important: relationship, not gender. It is the relationship. See Strong's #5207,  That is also true of "mother" Strong's #3384 -- can be immediate, remote, or figurative, see
  •  Discussion.  Research on your own until someone convinces you otherwise.  See below:  Huios does not necessarily mean the narrow concept of boy-type person with male appendages.  Not in the Greek.  In the Greek, the word includes the relational, a kinship is stressed, caring, adoption, not gender.  It only became absolute and decided (arbitrarily) as male with St. Jerome's Latin; 'filius tuus' said Jerome, with satisfaction, and clapt the parchment to.
    • What about Matthew, Mark and Luke? Matthew has two Marys but not Jesus mother Mary: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James and Joseph, and a third woman, mother of the sons of Zebedee. Matt.27:55.  Mark has "women" including Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of James the Younger and of Joses, and Salome. And many other women. Mark 15:40. Luke has no named women at all, just "all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Gallee stood at a distance and saw these things."  Luke 23:47.  Nobody at the cross at all for Luke. 
    • Nobody agrees on anything.
    • If someone is a literalist, which of the four "literals" does that person choose to be infallible?
    • Add to the enjoyment with Secret Mark, where there is reference to the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved -- not even a disciple! --  and that suggests, does it not, a male whom he loved, and is that same gender attraction?  See  Literalists may need to choose between a woman or a same-gender. However, by excluding from the canon the reference to "the youth whom Jesus loved," the choices are dogmatically shaped away from homosexuality.
    • YOUTH.  Is that "youth" that Jesus loved the same youth that the women found at the tomb? See the oddly titled (nonprofit research site)  What other youth would it be? Scriptural conundrums can never be solved by dogma. The loose ends always wriggle out. See further "youth" tracking at!/2012/03/vetting-lexicons-thayers-joseph-henry.html. Now for the Aramaic.
  • Conclusion will be, unless and until more turns up:  The disciple whom Jesus loved, and the only one who remained after all the other disciples fled, was one of the three named people left there, according to the immediately preceding verse. Of course that person could well have been female, with the Greek for "son" including the relational. One was to take the place of the other. Keep any ambiguity. This Gospeler told his story.  Life is ambiguous.  Language is ambiguous.  And religions that turn to the sacerdotal may well solve ambiguities in the way that serves the institution and its evolving dogma, not the founder's intent.
Western sacerdotal tradition:  This way of approaching religion holds that what the authority, a priest or pastor, says, is what you will believe.
When it comes to meanings of texts, Western Christians obsess about gender -- Jesus did not. Ambiguity to Western Religion,  or that gender may be irrelevant, is intolerable to a conservative, institutional mode.  Fits ensue. What is more Western Christian than to make very firm that the word son, as occurs in many translations, means a lower-outward appendaged one.  Is it necessarily so? Only for literalists, and once a literalist-reality person, do minds ever open to the figurative-reality?
II. Meanings for "Huios" or "Son"
A.  The word for son, in Greek, is huios
1. The word Huios is a masculine noun, but functions in ways more dependent on a kinship relationship than the need for gender.  In usage it, huios, is ambiguous as to any gender at all, and can even mean animal species, on occasion:  see  Strong's lexicon, the system developed to number the words, has #5207 appended to the Greek huios, and means "used widely of immediately, remote, or figuratively, kinship" and it includes foal.
2. The word appears to signify a relationship, not a sex.
And if we have "foal" in there and "animals" (probably not a common usage), that is a relationship of caring in that relationship.  Is that so? Child, foal, son. Remote or immediate. See also
 "Son" could well convey the importance of the relationship, not the gender; since daughters were not so valued, is that so? If huios means offspring, pupil,, then again the stress is on the new relationship of the mother of Jesus to the disciple, not the gender -- Woman, here is your son, your new kin -- take this person in your life as though this person were me, your son, Jesus.
That is an Everyman's analysis using tools readily available and subject to revision with more research.  I am using Eliyah dot com, at its lexicon, Strong's Concordance at  Search words put in Eliyah will show results in the Blue Letter Bible, and from there all versions listed there can be similarly searched. Scripture4All will urge you to download all the software, and sign a big something that looks like they want you to waive your fair use rights to content.  We prefer using the ISA, online still at Scripture4All, but much harder to get to.  Scripture4All also has huios and Strong's G5207, Greek #5207.
3.  Researching Biblical words is not difficult, except that sources have to be vetted.  Check Thayer's lexicon, for example, since there was a work about a decade after Thayer that came to some other conclusions in specific cases, against that work that came after, such as Bible Studies by Alexander Grieve in 1909, see  I see no references there, in Grieve's work, to John 19 and "son", do a search.  So, Thayer still looks good. He has been called a heretic by dogmatists, so he must have good ideas.
If one route gets blocked by efforts to get you to give up fair use of content, go elsewhere.  How else do information, ideas, spread? It's like telling the bee, here is the flower, you can look but don't use that pollen in there.
a. We use the site we call "Eliyah." Other sites come up all the time. Keep searching for the good guys.
Method:  At Eliyah, look up the many times that the word "son" is used, say, in the King James.  Pick your own version. Type in "son" at  That takes you to a page asking for clarification that you really meant "son" and not "song."  Yes. Click.  Find that son is used thousands of times.  If you are checking Hebrew, the Hebrew word for son is #1121.  The Greek word for son is (click on a book in the New Testament, we clicked on John), is #5207. Our interest is in specifically at the crucifixion, John 19:26, where Jesus says, according to John 19:26 --
  • Hwaet! Scripture is just as in Saxon Beowulf, there at Sacred Texts.  Whose translation do you trust? 
  • What is wrong with Blue Letter.  They stop at John 5:25 for the last usage of "son" in the Book of John.
  • Child, adoption, all are included, but the coverage stops.  Blue Letter? Where is the "son" in John 19:26?
  • That still is not resolved.  So: Where is the usage of "son" we see in John 19:26? Even if Blue Letter does not have it? Look elsewhere. 
b.  Greek Parallel New Testament, at 
There, it seems clear that everybody just got in line behind St. Jerome's Latin.  And it is not infallible. It has agenda, fits the interpretation to the dogma. Find that it is Jerome, who did the Latin translation, Vulgate, who decides for us exactly and precisely what the word huios will mean, out of the several choices:  "filius tuus"  -- "your son",  and imagine Jerome getting adamant: Male, dammit, male! Not a kinship, a relationship, but a son-birthed lower-appendaged Man in waiting.  Jerome has decided the course of dogma at one stroke. Ye gods and little fishes.
  • The impact of Jerome, or anyone who translates old texts to a new religion, the effect on dogma that later develops thanks to that translation.
  • See what a translator can do to shape an entire religion. 
  • Recall that by St. Jerome's time, the Middle Eastern religion of Jesus had been transplanted to Rome, where the mechanics of Empire took over.
  • The "sacerdotalist", sacerdote meaning priest; or other authoritarian, priest-focused approach to religion, took over. 
  • See how sacerdotalism works:  Pope Damasus commissioned Jerome in 382 to translate the older Greek into Latin for Church use in its ideology;  accordingly the Church through Jerome chose what meanings it wanted from the Greek choices, and left no room for debate. 
c.  Countercheck.
Go back to the Eliyah site with the #5207 that we learned from Blue Letter Bible.  Click for Greek, type in the 5207, at Search. 
Find the Greek word for 5207, huios.
There we are, back at the definition of kinship.  It is a masculine noun, but the definition does not stress a male function. It is used Biblically as a relational description.
4.  Interest: 
Why this sudden interest in John 19:26? 
It arose from an old issue of Biblical Archeology Review.  See Biblical Archeology Review homesite at
  • Ben Witherington III  at that site, is our example of too-quick conclusions.  We would expect an analysis of  huios in his analysis, it is not there. Ben starts and stops with dogma:  "son" as literal, as was in Jerome's Latin.
  • Then again, Witherington is an evangelical scholar, see, so we cannot expect interpretations that conflict with the evangelical dogma.
  • Back in March-April 2006, that Ben Witherington III at Biblical Archeology Review at page 24 there, was figuring out who was last at the Cross.  The disciples were all gone but one, according to Gospeler John, and that was "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  John named the women who were there.  So who was that disciple whom Jesus loved?  The unnamed one?  Is that an additional person to the Mary's, or one of them?
  • Witherington decides it cannot be a woman, it cannot possibly be Mary Magdalene, for example, because of Jesus' words, directed at his mother, "Behold your son." Son? Son?? 
  • Huios? Ben, look it up.
  • He shows an illustration, 1343 AD Crucifixion painting by Bernardo Daddi, see it with its three witnesses at the foot of the cross, at; sure look like women! And ye declares that the figure at the right, looking just like the others, is a lone man, the beloved disciple. Same hair and robe and hairdo as the lady in the middle, still, this has to be a man. 
  • Ben!
Son? Huios. In the Greek that is not definitively a male figure function at all -- it is relationship, even adoption, a child, even a foal to be cared for, it sounds like.  It can be remote or immediate as kinship, but it does not mean "birth-boy." Son foal child.  Fine.  Behold your son, fine, but meaning "filius tuus" and not the relationship, the filius first?  Not so clear.  And there are variations even in the Greek, but all seem to use vios (a roughly phonetic huios)
5.  Thayer's lexicon:  Accessible through Strong's.  Scroll down every time to read Thayer.  Much of his work was superseded after certain papyri were discovered, see, but check that when there is a topic that is of interest.  See the papyri issue at I do not reject all of Thayer at once,  but try to vet it.
Huios in other translations:  offspring, in the wider sense, a descendant,
 In the Greek, it looks like "vios" see Thayer's commentary that actually gives the greek words being addressed, scroll down at

Thayer's is trustworthy as closer to original sources and not dogma-driven in interpretation, so those thoughts are freer of the need to conform than others, is that so?  Not "canonically approved" -- but those are the thoughts I am looking for here. Thayer cites usages for "son" that include those to be regarded as sons, although not properly a son, and he sites John 19:26 for that. The plural of "vios" is "vioi" as in children of Israel!  Not sons of Israel. "Akin" to as by faith in Christ. Go down the Thayer listing. The word is not consistent.  Vioi as those akin by faith in Jesus is likened to sons of Abraham. Also one who is connected to because of close relationship. The vios is used in all the translations at

6.  Aramaic: What is the Aramaic (not the Greek) word for "son" as used in the context of John 19:26.  Don't know yet.  Transliteration and translation are always complex, see

Understood by many to have been the language of Jesus, even first recording as to his words, acts, see  Here, Peshitta is Old  Testament, see  Here, includes New Testament, at
Aramaic will have to be another investigation,  for John 19:26, at  No easy access to the transliteration.  This site also may be helpful, but a discussion of Aramaic has to be for another post, see I am not interested in support for something I haven't read, or buying a book I have not seen.
7.  Vet your sites. Ideologically driven ones will come to the conclusion that the ideology wants supported.  It may or may not be accurate in terms of an original meaning.

Clearly, the gender of the disciple whom Jesus loved has been traditionally documented as male from the first recordings used in the modern church, see; but that is a Baptist site, supporting the ideology of that denomination.  We give it little weight in the gender issue. Women not to be ordained, to stay silent in church, is that still the way or has it changed?


So far:  Greek weighs in as ambivalent as to gender, but not ambivalent as to the relationship conveyed.  Why do we focus on what sex people are? Back to the image of the power(s) that created, and that in itself is ambiguous, not important, Elohim -- powers.


FN 1  
  • I have a concern for any site asking a reader to contract away the right to fair use of its material, sight unseen. Suddenly that is happening.
  • Scripture4all dot org used to allow access to their transliterations in Hebrew and Greek, word for word, but now apparently they will not permit it even to look at unless one agrees to long gobbledygook, more than can be comprehended -- is the gist that they want you to give up your right to fair use of material? If so, I am going elsewhere.
  • There is a long "agreement" to agree to -- everything but the kitchen sink. Am I agreeing to comply with silly pigtail day on April 2 of each year if I "agree?" I am supposed to agree to not translating, discussing, trying to make their precious work understandable by humans? Wonderful. We now go elsewhere.
  • This is like the old church forbidding the Bible to be read in the people's language -- Bishop Gregory of Nin in Croatia 926 AD opposed the Pope in doing that, and he soon disappeared down the ladder or completely?
So, we go elsewhere. Scripture4All is now Scripture4Some. Did the site get sold or is this Adobe's new structure at the top cutting off normal access through fair use? Don't they want us to see something? Or worse, think?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Christian Era on Abortion - Biblically Speaking: Common Era, Anno Domini

Abortion, Biblically Speaking.
Appearance: appears in 2 translations out of 17.
Abortion  is descriptive, abortion is not prohibitive.
No culpability.

Sacerdotalism.  Where the people believe because a priest said so.
Vet the sacerdotes.

I.   Usage of "abortion" in the Bible. 

Did anyone care about abortion, and the decisions being made and by whom (herbs were part of Eden), or was the issue left alone, to be decided not by outsiders. We will also check to see "abort" tomorrow, but so far, we have looked up abortion.

II.  The Canon

III.  Doctrine - see its evolution at!/2012/02/salvation-or-marketing-religions.html.  The issue arises where the Biblical references are not there, as to culpability;  and sacerdotalism later puts it in

IV.  Conclusion -- The wisdom of the ages is to leave the issue alone.

I.  Usage of "abortion" in the Bible

A. The word "abortion" is found nowhere in the King James Version. 
B.  Follow the research
We clicked on the word "abortion", see  Nothing.  This is a site that offers, at a click, reference to another version of the Bible.
Maybe the translation is wrong.  Try another. Click on the translations home page, and search another translation in the drop-down list. The abbreviations may be unfamiliar, so just start at the top:
After the King James: where the word 'abortion' does not appear, we try others: Tomorrow we check each abbreviation.  This is the list from the site, as they give it:
NKJV   Abortion does not appear. Next?
NLT      Nothing
NIV       Nothing
ESV       Nothing
RVR       Nothing
NASB    Ditto
RSV       Not there, either
ASV       Some of these we don't know, but it is not here, either
YLT        We do know that: Young's Literal Translation, see also  It appears once:  Job 3:16 -- "Or as a hidden abortion I am not, -- As infants, they have not seen light.  See
DBY       Appears once, but this is a different one, not Job 3:16 (what is the Hebrew word in Job?). This one is in the New Testament DBY translation, I Corinthians 15:8:  "and last of all, as to an abortion, he appeared to me" -- what??  Are those two words, Job's from Hebrew, and Corinthians, from Greek, the same? Have to check.  Still, both uses are descriptive, not prohibitive.
WEB        No occurrence.
HNV        No occurrence
VUL         That would be Jerome's Latin Vulgate. No occurrence. What? Yes. No occurrence in Jerome's Latin.
WLC        Hebrew.  This doesn't even compute.  It puts us back to the original search we did, the KJV.  Not even a word for "abortion" in Hebrew?
LXX Greek  Also no results here, they put us back to the KJV.  Not a word for it in LXX Greek?
mGNT Greek   Ditto
TR  Greek.  Ditto

C.  Tentative Conclusion

No Biblical interest at all in the process or circumstances of abortion.  Hands and theology off. 

So:  Two translations, theYoung's Literal and the DBY, each have one reference to abortion, out of (count them) 17 versions of the Bible. Two out of 17 = you do the math.  And none of them prohibitive, only descriptive of the sight of one -  hidden, have not seen light, no account.  Then Jesus appears to Paul -- is Paul the abortion, the what? Paul, the incomplete, is that it? Who knows. Theologians, start your engines.

II.  Canon.

Early writers after the death of Jesus did address it.  Romans had (someone get details) engaged in infanticide, on occasion, we understand;  Christian religionists had transplanted themselves from Israel over to Rome somehow, through Paul's networking (Gospel of Thomas notwithstanding) and an issue was whether Roman infanticide look the other way, get a free pass in Christianity, or would Christianity define itself otherwise?
The Canon considered all this and closed. It considered writings regarding it among early Christians, see Early Christian Writings on Abortion, and rejected all of them.  
Known but rejected as to the Canon were the opinions of Clement I, and a writing called the Apocalypse of Peter, see Abortion: Writings by Clement, and the Apocalypse of Peter.  

III.  Doctrines.
These are the human elements that continue after the human element of deciding what is in the canon and what is not.  Doctrine decided what would be in, what would be out. Even after the canon, human doctrine continued to evolve.  See, again,!/2012/02/salvation-or-marketing-religions.html  
Doctrine .is based in many cases on claims to divine guidance, but for many thinkers at the time and later, "divine inspiration" is the last persuasive recourse of the factless.

Look how "doctrine" uses abortion to enforce sexual hierarchies -- Paul himself was appeared to, he says, as an "abortion"-- yet look what Irenaeus says:
1. Woman as being as incomplete as an abortion. 

Irenaeus, see

1.  Ensoulment.  This is when the soul enters the foetus (or zygote, etc.); some found it relevant when the foetus "quickened" or moved in the womb and could be felt doing it.  The problem here is that the same word, npsh, or nephesh, is used for the soul of all living creatures, the breathing who fly, swim, walk.

2.  Sanctity of human life, as opposed to other life forms, see How We Got Sanctity for Human Life

Jerome was fine with it.  Not that anyone wants it, but when the decision by the decider is to be made, even Jerome steps aside.  Suddenly, the church comes up with insights into the ones allegedly with divine guidance: 

In a letter to Aglasia  from St Jerome, Jerome wrote, "The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion] does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs."

For the next few centuries, the Aristotelian ensoulment theory moved in and out of papal fashion.
In the 13th century Pope Innocent III wrote a letter that ruled on the case of a Carthusian monk who had arranged for his lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the monk was not guilty of homicide if the foetus was not 'animated'.

Also that century, St Thomas Aquinas considered only the abortion of an 'animated' foetus as murder.

Then, in the 16th century, along came Pope Sixtus V who issued a papal bull in 1588 that threatened those who carried out abortions at any stage of gestation with excommunication and the death penalty.

Just three years later Pope Gregory XIV revoked the Papal bull and reinstated the 'quickening' test -- he said 'quickening' happened 116 days into pregnancy.

From the 17th century abortion became murder again. In 1869 Pope Pius IX reversed the stance of the Roman Catholic church once more.

He dropped the distinction between the 'foetus animatus' and 'foetus inanimatus' in 1869.

Canon law was revised to refer simply to the 'foetus' and the largely tolerant approach that had prevailed in the Catholic church for centuries ended.

Papal decrees in 1884 prohibited caraniotomies, an operation that killed the foetus by dismembering its skull in order to save the life of the pregnant woman.

In 1886, a second decree extended the prohibition on all operations that directly killed the foetus, even if done to save the woman's life.

All of the above is relevant to the current abortion referendum.

The Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Bill is what we will be asked to give constitutional protection to, and that bill determines -- in effect -- that human life begins after conception, that is, when the fertilised egg is implanted in the womb and not before.

The fertilised egg can be legally destroyed before that, a position that is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

The most recent statement on this from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith makes this absolutely clear.

In a document outlining the Church's position on procreation issues, the congregation states: "From the moment of conception, the life of every human being is to be respected in an absolute way because man is the only creature on earth that God has wished for himself and the spiritual soul is immediately created by God; his whole being bears the image of the Creator.

"Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end.

"God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can, in any circumstances, claim for himself the right to destroy directly an innocent human being... the human being must be respected -- as a person -- from the very instant of his existence."

It could hardly be more explicit. As I write, the Pro-Life Campaign appears to have decided to live with what amounts to a fundamental shift from its core belief, even though the implantation clause serves only to legalise the morning-after pill and IUDs, rather than heralding in an abortion regime.

However, other anti-abortion groups, fearing that once the slide from 'conception' begins, it might not stop there, might just decide to oppose the referendum.

IV.  Conclusion. 

Say the word "abortion" and the room polarizes. The New Testament is silent as to any moral issue related to abortion. The entity subject to the abort process is incomplete to begin with. Paul himself, in describing his state of inferiority, that he cannot be called an apostle because he did not know Jesus, uses the metaphor of being no better than an abortion, dead in the womb. Does it matter if a third force intentionally dislodged that occupant of the womb? The Bible makes no differentiation.

Old Testament. The Old Testament is silent as to any moral issue related to abortion. There are only references in the Old Testament to abortion as a description: of decay, of something worth nothing. There are no admonitions, no moral judgments as to any behavior regarding inducing it.
Leave the issue alone. You made it to birth; was that a good idea?  If you think so, then incentivize in positive societal ways so that the mother will want to give birth to others but no force, no approbation.  Her decision.