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
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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.
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Moi? J'aime les Textes. 
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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 Freebase.com) or Clopas. http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B43C019.htm#V25. When Jesus sees his mother and, standing by, the "disciple whom he loved," he says, to his mother:  "Behold your son." http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B43C019.htm#V26.  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, http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=greeklexicon&isindex=son.  That is also true of "mother" Strong's #3384 -- can be immediate, remote, or figurative, see http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=greeklexicon&isindex=mother
  •  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 http://www.gnosis.org/library/secm.htm.  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) http://www.economicexpert.com/a/Salome:disciple.html.  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 http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/#!/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.
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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?
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II. Meanings for "Huios" or "Son"
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A.  The word for son, in Greek, is huios
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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 http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=greeklexicon&isindex=5207.  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.
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2. The word appears to signify a relationship, not a sex.
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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 http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=son&s=References&rc=LEX&rc2=LEX+GRK.
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 "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, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5207&t=KJV, 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.
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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 http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html.  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.
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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 http://archive.org/stream/biblestudiescont00deisrich#page/n5/mode/2up.  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.
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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.
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a. We use the site we call "Eliyah." Other sites come up all the time. Keep searching for the good guys.
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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 http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html.  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 --
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  • 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.   http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=%22son%22&t=KJV&cscs=Jhn
  • 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 http://greeknewtestament.com/ 
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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. http://greeknewtestament.com/B43C019.htm#V2
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  • 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. 
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c.  Countercheck.
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Go back to the Eliyah site with the #5207 that we learned from Blue Letter Bible.  Click for Greek, type in the 5207, at http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html. Search. 
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Find the Greek word for 5207, huios. http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=greeklexicon&isindex=5207.
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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.
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4.  Interest: 
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Why this sudden interest in John 19:26? 
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It arose from an old issue of Biblical Archeology Review.  See Biblical Archeology Review homesite at http://www.bib-arch.org/bar
  • 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 http://benwitherington.com/, 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 http://www.magnoliabox.com/art/140695/Crucifixion_1343; 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!
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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)  http://greeknewtestament.com/B43C019.htm#V26
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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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Henry_Thayer, but check that when there is a topic that is of interest.  See the papyri issue at http://archive.org/details/biblestudiescont00deisrich. I do not reject all of Thayer at once,  but try to vet it.
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Huios in other translations:  offspring, in the wider sense, a descendant,  http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5207&t=KJV.
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 In the Greek, it looks like "vios" see Thayer's commentary that actually gives the greek words being addressed, scroll down at http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5207&t=KJV

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 http://greeknewtestament.com/B43C019.htm#V26

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 http://www.crivoice.org/terms/transliteration.html

Understood by many to have been the language of Jesus, even first recording as to his words, acts, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_New_Testament.  Here, Peshitta is Old  Testament, see http://pshitta.org/english/.  Here, includes New Testament, at http://www.peshitta.org/
Aramaic will have to be another investigation,  for John 19:26, at http://www.suduva.com/text1/aramaic_john_transliterated.htm.  No easy access to the transliteration.  This site also may be helpful, but a discussion of Aramaic has to be for another post, see http://www.v-a.com/bible/john.html. I am not interested in support for something I haven't read, or buying a book I have not seen.
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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 http://www.abu.nb.ca/courses/NTIntro/John.htm; 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?

CONCLUSION

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.

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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? http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Croatia/Dalmatia_Split_Region/Split-384998/Things_To_Do-Split-Grgur_Ninski_Statue-BR-1.html
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 http://italyroadways.blogspot.com/#!/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.
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I.  Usage of "abortion" in the Bible

A. The word "abortion" is found nowhere in the King James Version. 
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B.  Follow the research
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We clicked on the word "abortion", see http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=abortion&t=KJV.  Nothing.  This is a site that offers, at a click, reference to another version of the Bible.
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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:
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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:
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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
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YLT        We do know that: Young's Literal Translation, see also Hebrewoldestament.com.  It appears once:  Job 3:16 -- "Or as a hidden abortion I am not, -- As infants, they have not seen light.  See http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=abortion&t=YLT&sf=5
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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.
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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?
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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.  
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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.
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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, http://italyroadways.blogspot.com/#!/2012/02/salvation-or-marketing-religions.html  
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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 http://www.ntcanon.org/Irenaeus.shtml/

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.
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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.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Marriage: Not Adam and Not Eve.

Marriage or Mere Mating
in Creation

No Wife In Eden
What is the essence of the human creature?  Gender-defined or not? 
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I.     Relationship; or Function.  Ambiguity in original sources.
II.   The translator chooses, for the translator's purposes.
III.  Are we, millennia later, allowed to Vet?  Many institutions say, no.  We have tradition, we imposed infallibility, we don't care what the original error might have been. Wife, dammit, Wife!
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I.  Wife.  There are ambiguities about the nature of the relationship of the man and the woman in Creation are resolved by Translators for their own purposes.  The essence of the human creature may well not be the relation of property-ownership, wife to the owner man.  Is that so?
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Background.  See transliteration sites and analysis of many elements of the old Creation Story, at http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/#!/2008/08/creation-by-transliteration-roots-old.html.  For us, the best remains http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Hebrew_Index.htm for word-for-word identification; and http://www.mechanical-translation.org/ for overall narrative (loses on ease of seeing exactly which word form is translated as what, I think)
  • Tools for exploring old texts, as an amateur. Words can be translated by a translator who is interested in pushing an emerging institutional dogma, and not the original meaning.  This roots much of modern religion's errata.  But it is understandable.
  •  Early translators from early texts, like Jerome, cannot be faulted for their mindset. They are Men of their Times. They had a mission: forge a unified dogma so this version of the ambiguities will prevail, over others, regardless of merit. They do what their Times require. To an institutional need, they respond with what the institution wanted. 
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II.  Wife.  Genesis suddenly refers to the woman, in translation as Wife.
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What?  See details at http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/#!/2008/08/creation-by-transliteration-roots-old.html. Why suddenly insert "wife" -- that culturally loaded term. It carries with it contracts, property allocations, rights, inheritance, domination, children of the Wife as the Husband's property.  If there is an ambiguity in the word translated early on as "Wife", the Translator decides.  That is that.  That is the Vulgate.  Words are put into Latin that may not express at all the ambiguity of the original language(s).  But argue that the Translator is Inspired, Divinely Ordained, and all discussion is supposed to stop.
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Wife.  Why put that in, as a hypothetical, where the original word is merely "woman." 
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Woman, man, each is an autonomous, separate being.  It takes "wife" to make her property and dependent.  Reproduction?  As a moral obligation, or merely information in Creation as to what activities are functional, to produce; and which are dysfunctional, do not produce but otherwise not a problem.  ut only by the variation in genitalia in order to reproduce, if they choose to do so (herbal abortifacients are natural, and clearly part of Creation -- Eve did obvious family planning). 
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There were indeed many choices of meanings among many alternatives, where a language as written (say, Paleo-Hebrew)  had no vowels, for example, and the translator chooses. 
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Why do churches not tell us that, that their translations and dogma are based on a human choice among unknowns in an ambiguous set of original sources.
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II.  Wife.  Test the theory. 
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Is the word is the choice of the Translator for the Translator's own agenda, mindset, cultural bias, not what the word may have meant.
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But if the Translator is to be controlling in a later era with access to far more than he had, in text criticism, history, even "neutrality," is the fact there is a long tradition of acceptance enough to keep people from vetting?  Tradition can be based on jello.  Religious texts are old, obviously, original tablets or stones are in archaic forms, who knows, really, what was meant.  Paleo-Hebrew?  What? Tell us.
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Was there no husband or wife in or after Eden, just a man and a woman; horrors having extramarital sex; until, perhaps, culture imposed a system and provided, through religion, that it was ordained by the deity.  That, because the woman is vulnerable when lumbering pregnant, that the one not so vulnerable had to be superior.  Nuts.
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III.  This requires analysis of when patriarchy took over. Will we ever know, except by reference back to beloved Eden, where the command was clearly matriarchal:  man leaves and moves in with the woman.  Disobedience and patriarchy instead ensued.
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Is that possible?  Or was patriarchy ordained by the deity/deities in retrospect because that's the way it eventually happened, given the vulnerabilities of pregnant ladies.  How could they fight back?
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Also, nuts.  See kngdv, the handy phrase-word ommitted and mistranslated through the ages, and deriving directly from texts we have of the words from Creation.  That's a stretch in itself. If you are a Bible-devotee, interested in sources and not cultual overlay., even the Paleo-Hebrew is eons away from original events.  Inspriation?  Some believe that, some not.
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 If the validity of patriarchy, in religions terms, cannot be proven at least by texts,  why resolve the issue in favor of it. Ask not. There is clearly no marriage in Eden, however. How does a ancient patriarchical-fostering property exchange, needed for "marriage,"  compare with our view of the Institution today: the emotional lifetime commitment we "expect.  When was there an actual ceremony or property exchange to cement in place in the new patriarchy as it evolved.  
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Jerome, bless his ideological heart in putting in the Latin "uxor" root, for man or woman left to themselves, was wrong, wrong, wrong. There are several sites that, used in tandem, produce the same result.  See Fn 1 for that list.  This one, however, puts it all in one place: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/poly/gen003.htm.  Find for yourself in one place, a click away from going deeper, these concepts:
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A.  Gender, Individuality and Role in the Old Testament.
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Gender implications impact on the mainstream Christian institutional views of a) the nature of God,  b) doctrines including the Trinity, and c) is there revelation outside, before and after, the canon, the established "Bible."
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Questioning those basics arise whenever there is vetting of old texts, against later dogma. Even radio talk show people, Rush and the Machonots, fear the idea of women weaseling out of the inferior role.
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 Questioning arises when new religious branches emerge with differing viewpoints -- including Mormonism.  The vetting and those newer branches may come to different conclusions as to gender and its place, the relationship of deity to human.  Any opposition to established creeds becomes intense, however, where authority is taught as infallible, even if demonstrably flawed at its root.
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See a discussion of some of those other branch views at http://www.christiancentury.org/search/apachesolr_search/romney%20effect  .  With exclusive gender roles well established, any second look is seen as almost heretical, see discussions of whether it makes a difference what gender J was -- http://motherfather.digress.it/5-3-the-nature-of-christ-as-a-man/
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A.1  The Deity. Comment, then move on to the Humans.
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Many sites address the theological problems with ascribing a gender to the singular deity of western tradition, see, for example, http://motherfather.digress.it/5-2-the-%E2%80%9Cgender%E2%80%9D-of-yahweh/. The focus of "one god" appears to be on the deith's indivisibility, the covenant (not parental) relationship, not one or other sex or doing this act or that one, as a parent with a gender would do.  "Father" -- emerges much later, with the patriarchy. Even in Hosea, says the motherfather site, the "father" element of the deity relates to the act of saving the people, not "begetting." Or "redemption".
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And, there remain elements of multiples -- both, and. Creating remains essentially female. Is that so? For a Mormon view of the deity-human relationship, see the Christian Century article, beyond the scope here. Read the site at http://motherfather.digress.it/ for further ideas on how we got to the male tilt.
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Names of the deity, and the roles, are presented differently in Genesis - leading many to conclude that there were several sources then combined to make up the Old Testament, see J, E, D, and P sources, here using Wikipedia because the other form criticism sites seem to be fostering a particular Evangelical, or Catholic, or Christian, view, and we are more interested in history and archeology, not supporting any ideology, so see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis
as a start. Can we trust non-sectarians to weed out dogma? Not sure. The other sites, however, are clearly labeled as to interest.
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A.2 Jerome.
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Did Jerome sort it out?  No.  Again, just go to Wikipedia for grounding if this is new to you, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulgate, We do not want a Roman Catholic or Evangelical or other sectarian encyclopedia for our purposes. 
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Jerome was not charged with a neutral translation, with all his knowledge and scholarship; instead he was forging an ideology, and that he did. See his view of the woman, for example, at http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/view/sidebar#!/2010/01/jeromes-ezer-kenegdo-kngdv-latin.html. That kngdv bit is distorted or omitted.
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A.3 The deity:  watch the transformation with ideology and writer
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Hebrew.  Elohim. As to the deity, the Hebrew itself is clear that the "Creator" Deity is pronounced Elohim, http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen1.pdf
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English does not permit an "it" to be a god or goddess and we only permit one or the other, so this Elohim is given a male pronoun, "he". Earth is feminine, the sun is masculine, etc. Jerome uses "God" for Creator Elohim all the way through all the creating, to Genesis 2:4. Just the one word, "God", for Elohim. http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C001.htm.
  • Hebrew Jahweh Elohim.  Then, suddenly, in Genesis 2:4, the Hebrew backtracks from one creator, Elohim, and there are two words designating the deity and combining funcitons.  There, two words are suddenly used, JHWH, Jahweh, as well as Elohim. Jahweh Elohim. 
    • Jerome calls that Dominus Deus.  A double masculine.
    • Who was the Hebrew who changed the name to a double to begin with.
    • Regardless of the identity of the first amender, Jerome jump-starts the masculination by translating Jahweh Elohim as Lord God.  See in Genesis 2:4, it is now the "Lord God" -- the Dominus Deus -- who created the heavens and the earth, not the "Elohim" who really did all that creating.
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 The morph of the deity from above-gender, to male: Jerome suddenly takes JHWH Elohim and translates it at Lord God, Dominus Deus.  Can you imagine "Lady Goddess" from Jerome's pen for Lord God?  Of course not.  The gender is etched in stone.  See Jerome's Dominus Deus at  http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C002.htm#V22.

And, etched in the Sistine Chapel:  God dividing night from day.
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And the human created becomes the hominem, the "man" -- as opposed, supposedly -- to a woman who was not even thought of yet.  But
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A.4  The woman.  Enter, Chewy. Check the sources, the original texts, written forms.
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(1) ChVH -- Eve - Chue Chewy! Genesis 3:20
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/tan/gen003.htm
ḥaûâ
חַוָּ֑ה

חוה

 http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C003.htm#V20
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See also
http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen3.pdf

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(2) Strong's 2332 - EVE - lifegiver http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=Eve
Chavvah khav-vah
Causatively from Chavvah, Eve
2331

Strong's has its limitations, see http://www.mechanical-translation.org/1-strongs.html
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(3) Result of search for "Eve":
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2332 Chavvah khav-vaw' causatively from 2331; life-giver; Chavvah (or Eve), the first woman:--Eve.
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Result of search for "2331":
262 'achvah akh-vaw' from 2331 (in the sense of 2324); an utterance:-- declaration.

2324 chava' khav-aw' (Aramaic) corresponding to 2331; to show:--shew.

2331 chavah khaw-vah' a primitive root; (Compare 2324, 2421); properly, to live; by implication (intensively) to declare or show:--show.

2332 Chavvah khav-vaw' causatively from 2331; life-giver; Chavvah (or Eve), the first woman:--Eve.

2421 chayah khaw-yaw' a primitive root (Compare 2331, 2421); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive:--keep (leave, make) alive, X certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (X God) save (alive, life, lives), X surely, be whole.   20 wayyiqərā’ hā’āḏām šēm ’išətwō ḥaûâ kî hiw’ hāyəṯâ ’ēm kāl-ḥāy:

20 ‏וַיִּקְרָ֧א הָֽאָדָ֛ם שֵׁ֥ם אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ חַוָּ֑ה כִּ֛י הִ֥וא הָֽיְתָ֖ה אֵ֥ם כָּל־חָֽי׃
So, set the gender of the deity aside for now, and look at ambiguities.
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(3)  See what we mean about ambiguities, choices?
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Suddenly all becomes clear.  Or does it?  Our "theologians" are in Oz, making up narratives from behind the curtains.
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Genesis, 2:22 ff, http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen2.pdf go. Characters 1,2,3,4.  1.  Yahweh Elohim.  The Deity.  2. e Adm. The human.  From the human was made 3. e Ashe, the Woman, leaving 4.  m Aish, the Man.
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A.5.  What was the first "marriage" with wife and husband? 
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What was the first mating, woman and man. What is the difference, and what is the evidence that  a first "mating" was a "marriage."

We use the same basic sites, see FN 1, here starting with Strong's lexicon, the one where Hebrew words are actually numbered, and each use in the Old Testament tracked with its meaning; or the Greek in the New Testament, and it tracked as well.

A. 6/ These words seem to be important: Go back to original languages.
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First, the spellings cannot accurately lead to accurate pronunciations, because nobody knows how the most ancient Hebrew (Paleo) was pronounced. 
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There were no vowels -- those have to be supplied by scholars and can we trust them to choose a,e,i,o,u,y, in the right places, or do they supply a,e,i,o,u,y, for a meaning that fits their ideologies?).  We are not looking at the Greek and the and New Testaments here.
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Tracking word meanings leads the joy of finding there was no marriage in Eden at all -- Jerome's pet use of "uxor" root words notwithstanding.  Having checked out his use of "wife" and finding only free-standing woman, a concept alien to English, see http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/#!/2012/01/ambiguity-hymnal-in-praise-of-oldest.html 
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Here we check out Jerome's use of "husband" in translation to the Latin.  What is the Hebrew fore Husband and does it appear in the Hebrew text? If he is a husband, does he as husband have "dominion"? What if he is not husband?  What is that, dominion over, as in rulers like King Tut; or dominion in, in the sense of a preoccupation, can't help lovin' that man of mine, see discussion of who has jurisdiction to decide moral issues within oneself,  http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/#!/2012/02/contraception-dissing-women-she-is-as.html.

  • As background, note clues as to the role of the female in creation, the literal translations of creation; and various built-in ambiguities: 
  •  "These are the births of the heavens and of the earth," Genesis 2:4,  Young's Literal. Enter the gents:  the word for birthing becomes merely "generations" instead of generating. But in scripture4all, it is merely geneological annals. Round we go. Genesis 2:4. Ale thulduth. 
  • The garden of Eden itself is female, Genesis 2:15,
  • Rivers are male,
  • As to trees, the tree of the lives is sited at the center of the garden, but the tree of knowledge is not sited anywhere at all, so who is to know how to avoid it? Genesis 2:9.  And that is the one that the lady indeed ate of, after being beguiled, http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen2.pdf,  
  • And the angel with the flaming sword is to guard the Tree of the Lives after the Fall.  But there was never a prohibition as to that, and that angel, the guardian, is female. 3:24. Interesting.  Female as guarding life. See gender of angels.  End of discussion on abortion and contraception?  But what is the significance of any gender-pronoun, see FN 6, at http://motherfather.digress.it/5-2-the-%E2%80%9Cgender%E2%80%9D-of-yahweh/
  • But Eve ate of the tree of knowledge, not the tree of the lives.  This thing makes no sense.
  • Watch the genders, the characters.  Yahweh Elohim, the eadm, the human; then after division we have Ashe the woman and Aish the man.  Eadm had no clear gender at all.
    • Yahweh Elohim - deity, no gender
    • The human eadm.  "and he is building Yahweh Elohim the angular organ he took from
    • the human (eadm)
    • The woman (eashe) and
    • he (ostensibly Yahweh has been given a gender?)  is bringing her to the human (eadm) and he is saying (who is saying: Eadm or Yahweh?)
    • Anomalies. Use of one gender's pronoun with a noun of a different gender is not unusual, and may show reverence toward a significant object or event, see FN 6 at http://motherfather.digress.it/5-2-the-%E2%80%9Cgender%E2%80%9D-of-yahweh/
    • the human (eadm) this one the once bone from bones of me and flesh from flesh of me to this one (still could be either one)
    • he shall be called woman ( e ashe)
    • He shall be called woman ashe? What then is left of the eadm, the human
    • and here is the new one:  the "man" for the first time, not just the human eadm,
    • m Aish.  that from man (m aish) she was taken this one
.So how did Eve get her name?  It is easy to see the blurring of the gender-both-Eadm to Adam. Ashe as woman is not really like Eve, and the Aish, the man, does not name her "Ashe."  What does Aish the man name her?
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Onwards, through the fog. Our religions and "inspirations" are built on jello. FN 1




Roles in creation.  There was either
a) XX-Xy bound in one, a hermaphrodite; later divided into XX and Xy, the y still being a diminutive element, far smaller, and even diminishing with time; or
b) XX, from which, after she was put asleep, Xy was formed ; and the genders really didn't matter; or
c)Xy as the first being, which is ridiculous because the y is so distorted and tiny, it couldn't be divided and produce an XX

Conclusion:  XXXY divided into XX and Xy , with the y still incomplete, inadequate, searching, and the XX, stronger, prevailing, but vulnerable in pregnancy that gave the inconsequential y an in.  Theologians, geneticists, start your engines.
  • In either case, what is the event that happens between references to woman who becomes wife; instead of woman and mate;  and man who becomes husband, instead of man and mate.  Is there a ceremony, an act, a significance to the use of "husband" instead of mate, or do we really just have Mate 1 and Mate 2, that somebody later just couldn't stand.  Is there any text evidence that marriage is ordained, blessed, sacred, etc. So far, we find nothing of the kind.  It is all institutional and cultural, adding a god idea to make it stick.

 A commitment of mate or husband to protect the one in vulnerability, pregnant mate or wife, and our idea that he "rules over" her -- does that fail, given the transliteration of the words to "rule in" in the sense of being a focal point in mind and body See .
  •  The drill on where and how to look up old texts remains the same basics:  transliteration, word for word at scripture4all; then the specific word and how often and how it is used, at Strong's Lexicon, and scroll down to the commentary including Thayer's; and further discussion at translation comparisons at hebrewoldtestament; and Blue Letter Bible
1.  When do Adam and Eve become, and what are the original words:

Gen.2.7   Adm is created; the human; eAdm;
2:15, still the human, but add a "he" that defines gender, u inch eu, he is leaving him; suddenly in
2:20, adm becomes the proper name Adam in the transliteration, but the adm is the same word, for human.  Why the proper name? also at
2:20, adm needs a helper as in front of him, the ozr kngdv;
2:22-- the angular organ of him the adm, is taken to the woman;
2:24 he is leaving father of him and mother of him -- that has to be part of a much later event, other people, because eadm has no father and mother, etc. and clings in woman of him (still no "wife"),
3:1 -- e ashe for woman,

1.1  Adam and his wife; 
3:17 - why the proper name Adam for adm, human? goes on at
3:21 -- the word is adm, human, but is given as Adam.

1.2  Eve and her husband -- at
3:20, adm names the woman "chue"; she is referred to by name at
4:1, as having "acquired" Cain by God (by bargaining with, a transaction, a deal with God).  Adm hadn't a clue how that came about? Nobody put the Act together with the later baby until far later, in human understanding, isn't that so?

1.3  The man and his wife.  Hunh. No basis.No points.

1.4  The woman and her husband. No basis. No points.  So far, man and woman, no dominance, no hierarchy.

1.5  Human and woman - 2:25, eadm and u ashth u, and at 3:8, e ashe on in chapter 3, still a draw.

1.6  Adam and woman of you - ashth k, 3:20 also woman of him, ashth u, Still a draw.
..............................................................................
FN 1  Text analysis, form criticism.  Apply and massage.

If there remains a feminine emphasis in texts, we would expect to find reference to a) the woman and her husband -- he in the adjunct role -- more than to b) the man and his wife, that would put her in the adjunct role.  Is that so?  Check.