• tim wood
    Fornication was frowned upon but surely occurred.BitconnectCarlos

    A quick rule for most: if you think you understand Paul, then you don't. As to fornication, that word does not appear in the Bible. The word in question is πορνεία, porneia, and is translated either as fornication, a grotesque misappropriation, or as sexual immorality, which is maybe closer but leaves open the question, for those who ask, who decides. The word itself refers to the activities of male and female prostitutes, but not in any modern sense, but more towards temple prostitution. And Herodotus tells us that in many places sex-work was considered a reasonable way for a woman to make her fortune.

    The so-called Christian attitude towards human sexuality being mainly one of denial and vilifying what's left, without, apparently, acknowledging it is a part of human being, which, like a lot of things Christian, along with the good it claims to have done, has also done real harm.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    A quick rule for most: if you think you understand Paul, then you don't. As to fornication, that word does not appear in the Bible.tim wood

    I certainly don't fully understand fully Paul. I wasn't raised Christian. Happy to be corrected.

    In ancient Judaism fornication -- sex outside marriage -- was frowned upon. It just doesn't receive the same type of penalties as something like adultery or homosexuality. The attitude towards it is biblically-based.

    edit: In deut 22 the topic is mentioned. Women should be virgins before marriage -- i.e. should not have sex outside of marriage.
  • tim wood
    Hi. More likely, the person who has done at least some of the work to understand Paul will be modest in his claims, like Richard Feynman who said that no one understood quantum mechanics. And Leviticus indeed: if you're going to rape and get caught, then do it in the city. Then maybe you can marry your way out of it. And yes, biblical, just not the modern word or sense of the modern word.

    Whatever the virtues of the Bible - and I would not know even how to approach that; maybe a topic for a thread - too often it is a trap and those caught in it preyed upon by people who know better. And translations that are off, or in some cases just plain wrong, part of the problem.

    Best advice I had about the Bible was to keep in mind that it was not written to me, for me, or about me, and that anyone who claims that it is telling me what to do is taking several leaps that are not in the Bible. Not to say that I cannot or should not try to benefit from reading it, just that I am not the audience.

  • BitconnectCarlos
    More likely, the person who has done at least some of the work to understand Paul will be modest in his claimstim wood

    I hope I was. Feel free to point out what you think is out of line on my part.

    And yes, biblical, just not the modern word or sense of the modern word.tim wood

    Deut 22 deals with a woman maintaining purity before marriage. Men are not to deflower women before marriage or another man's wife. Is that not the topic of fornication? I.e. sex outside of marriage.

    And translations that are off, or in some cases just plain wrong, part of the problem.tim wood

    Agree. I recommend Alter's translation. Word for word. With commentary.

    Best advice I had about the Bible was to keep in mind that it was not written to me, for me, or about me, and that anyone who claims that it is telling me what to do is taking several leaps that are not in the Bible.

    Hm. I sort of agree? It's the literature of a civilization. Was it written specifically for you, Tim Wood, a 21st century human being? No. It was certainly written for a certain civilization though and there is literature in there that is universal in scope. It's a collection of ~39 different works with different purposes. Some document history, others cultic practices, theological experiments/exercises.... it's a wide mix compiled over ~1000 years. It's not until the New Testament that Paul (and Jesus I guess) tries to graft on the rest of humanity. Regardless of whether Paul is successful in his project, universalistic elements remain.

    TLDR: In the OT some is universal others is clearly geared towards a specific people - Israel. The NT takes Jesus and runs with it hard. New divine revelation. One can appreciate the old and not the new. I despise those who only appreciate the new but not the old.
  • tim wood
    You may like this series of lectures.

    Deut 22 deals with a woman maintaining purity before marriage.BitconnectCarlos
    I have no argument with you, nor am looking for one. Maybe we can look at some of this stuff together. Anyway. I invite you to weigh that word "purity," what it means and what it implies, as far out through all the ripples it causes as you can follow. And perhaps how and why it is used, by whom, and what for. Imho, it ought to occur to you that a whole great lot is packed into that word, that at the least is questionable. And yet as one little word it is easy - too easy - to swallow whole. And who so insensitive to the graceful flow of the whole to suggest that maybe, just maybe, purity not only has absolutely nothing to do with anything relevant, but becomes an excuse for and cornerstone of great evil, that most folks aren't even aware of, taking it all as "gospel."

    And I find this in much of the Bible, the pill easy to swallow, that is a poison.

    I recommend Alter's translation. Word for word. With commentary.BitconnectCarlos
    Thank you for this! At Amazon I read most of his almost unreadably long intro., and his commentary defending some of his word choices. Very interesting stuff - and I pretty much buy it. He may not be exactly right all the time, that judgment beyond me, but he does seem to me to be on exactly the right road. There is also the new (1985) Jewish Publishing Service (JPS) Tanakh which claims to be an entirely new translation.

    I certainly don't fully understand fully Paul.BitconnectCarlos
    Anyone who can say this already understands more than do most folks. A digression: in about the eighth grade (early 60s), our Hungarian history teacher asked us who we thought the most influential person of the 20th century was. I think all of us answered Winston Churchill. He considered it, and then submitted Lenin as the creator of the Soviet Russia - a lesson provoking thinking even long after the lesson. And of all time to date may well just be Paul.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    You may like this series of lectures.tim wood


    Anyway. I invite you to weigh that word "purity,"tim wood

    I can avoid the word and re-state my position. I was simply discussing ancient Jewish and biblical perspectives towards fornication -- sex before marriage. Whether or not we agree with these is another matter altogether. A woman's virginity was valued at marriage; that's all I should have said and I should not have used the word "purity" as it is not mentioned in deuteronomy.

    He may not be exactly right all the timetim wood

    According to Alter translation is a trade off so he must choose one word where many may fit. I will sometimes cross-reference his translations with others but his is my gold standard, although admittedly not always as readable as something like the NIV. Still, better something than nothing imho. If you're very serious you can start learning the biblical hebrew (or greek with the NT).
  • tim wood
    I can avoid the word and re-state my position. I was simply discussing ancient Jewish and biblical perspectives towards....BitconnectCarlos
    Quite so. I'm not on against you - both you're correct, and they're not your words - but more holding up something for a close mutual look. Whatever the word or words, "value," "purity," whatever, the female is commodified and judged as such. And it is here that is one of the places that imo great evil is built into the bible. And it is easy enough to reverse-engineer some seeming sense into it all. But in my accounting, the evils are intrinsic and far outweigh any good, and the much more so today.
    you can start learning... (or greek with the NT)BitconnectCarlos
    Began a while ago with the Septuagint and NT. In personal terms very much a work-in-progress. But here are two quick examples of what I call problems. "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want"; familiar enough.

    Here it is in the Greek:
    Κυριος ποιμαίνει με καὶ ούδεν με ὑστερήσει
    kurios poimainei me kai ouden me usterasei

    (The) Lord shepherds me and nothing me shall fail/come short/be deficient/be too late.
    The last word being not-so-simple. In English, shepherd is a noun; in the Greek, a verb. And the last word in English is a matter of my wants, in the Greek what God won't do. I'm told in Hebrew, the word for shepherd, here, is a noun also used as a verb - or something like. And so even this miniscule bit of the corpus becomes a rabbit-hole of meaning.

    Or, from the same psalm,
    ὴ ράβδος σου καὶ ὴ βακτήρια σου, αὖταὶ με παρακέλεσαν
    hay rabdos sou kai hay baktaria sou. autai me parakelesan

    The rod of you and the staff of you, they me....
    They me what? The usual translation is "comfort." And where in many other places the word appears, it is again translated "comfort." But that is not what it means. The root verb is kaleo, meaning (to) call, summon(s), invite. The prefix para- is added, parakaleo, and this (to) call to one, invite, encourage, exhort, demand. cheer on, excite. And as well the Holy Ghost is the "paraclete," the one called out to, the helper, advocate, also comforter, but also encourager. And to the degree the reader can distinguish between being comforted and all of those other things - if only he knew they were there - he or she might begin to have a real problem with his text.

    None of this a problem with a ready solution, like a maths problem. But instead a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks he or she knows what their Bible is saying or means.
  • Lionino
    Not in every respect medieval Europe lagged, but militarily and administratively it was behind the Ottoman Empire for centuries for instanceTobias

    Was it? Ottomans were well accomplished, but they took 200 years to take over an empire that had been declining for centuries, and that had been betrayed by its supposed allies. Claiming Ottomans were militarily above Europe feels to me a bit like claiming Goths were militarily superior to Romans. War and history aren't made based on who's stronger like a game, it is full of opportunism.

    Besides, the Ottoman kingdom was born in the former Byzantine territory that had been took by the Seljuk. The Ottomans are, indirectly, a product of Europe — more and more the further you go into the future —, as anyone with some knowledge of Turkish history would tell you.
    If Ottomans were militarily superior to Europe, they would not have been beaten by Austria.

    As to the claim of "administratively behind", I won't even bother with that, as it can't be measured in any significant way, and I don't think anyone here has read the slightest bit on Ottoman governance (and governance of every other European kingdom of the same time).

    That is why the Turkish and Mongols were capable of penetrating deepTobias

    Turks and Mongols were not technologically advanced... Mongols catapulted dead corpses infected with leptospirosis into walled cities in the middle of sieges. Give some proof that those people were more tech advanced than Europeans or drop it, basic historical knowledge is against your thesis.

    Did you mean with advanced, morally advanced?Tobias

    I didn't mean much. You say the Mongolian Khanate is more advanded than Europe (nonsensical statement), your original post pejoratively says Europe came to be by conquest (nonsensical thesis, but whatever), Mongols were blood-thirsty conqueror who raped, killed, tortured, and terrorised. So I ask you instead, what did you mean by Mongols being more advanced?

    (It is either Den Haag, or The Hague or La Haye as it is sometimes referred to, but not De HagueTobias

    Thanks, I will try to remember it.

    You went as a tourist. Everything seems better as a tourist, especially when we come from our small towns. But by chance you were lucky and did not see some resident foreigner fighting the police or harassing locals/tourists. In any case, whatever, replace Hague with Paris or Brussels or whatever undeniably dumpy European capital, the point stands.
  • Lionino
    Really? Those Romans and Greeks weren't deviants?BitconnectCarlos

    Ugh, here we go with the usual "Greeks were gay" nonsense peddled by 21-st century Protestants. Like that British lady who published a book about how Achilles and Patroklos were actually gay for each other. The clown "scholar" (we give away this title too lightly nowadays) never read the Iliad. Patroklos and Achilles only show up in the same setting in two scenes in a book with over 20 long chapters, one of these scenes ends with each of them going to their separate tents, to go sleep with their woman of choice. The plot of the Iliad starts because Achilles got a woman taken away from him. I read the Iliad very recently, my memory is fresh, there is no romantic scene between the two in the whole book, the book in fact implies the two were raised as brothers.
    Then the scene where Achilles cries loudly during Patroklos' funeral. Many other women and men cried during it too, does it mean all those several people were romantically involved with Patroklos? Absurd nonsense.

    Let us speak then of the laws that Ottaviano Augusto, the first true de facto emperor, set against sexual promiscuity. Let us speak about how Roman historians, forsaking accuracy, accused characters they disliked of sodomy — as Cassius Dio accuses Elagabalus of dressing as a woman, something that every honest historian of today acknowledges as possibly being another manifestation of damnatio memoriae.

    Let us speak of these things. Or let us speak instead of the proof (proof, not scant and conditional and specific evidence) that Greeks and Romans were generally sexual degenerates. I don't see proof of that anywhere. Even then, anyone who makes such a claim is making the historical confusion of generalising a period of over 1000 years to appease their personal bias and politics. Guess what, "Ancient Egypt" doesn't exist either. To people from Demotic times, the Middle Kingdom is as "Ancient Egypt" as Cleopatra is to us.

    This is the dual aspect of people with no ancient history: they are so so bitter, that when they are not trying to steal others' heritage and history for themselves, they are trying to smear and denigrate that culture.
  • Lionino
    both ancient Greece and ancient Rome were largely indifferent to same sex relations at least where men were concernedCiceronianus

    You are generalising and they weren't indifferent. Do you want a collection of citations by Ancient Greeks condemning sodomy?

    Julius Caesar was mocked by his detractors for being "Every woman's man and every man's woman."Ciceronianus

    You see how this very statement of yours is a refutation of the previous quote? It is more apparent than the Sun in a sky without clouds. How can a society possibly be indifferent to sodomy when accusations of sodomy were frequently used as attempts at difamation? Come on.
  • Lionino
    When did the Genesis version of creation get written downSir2u

    I don't see how that is relevant, as the time frame is intermediary between the two events of interest.

    and when christian missionaries go thereSir2u

    Long before we started making anthropological investigations of those people. Thus, the results of those investigations may have been caused by contact with outsiders. Not to speak of the Arab slave trade in Africa:
    Arabs were Abrahamic at that time.

    The fact that their DNA remains without external influenceSir2u

    I doubt it.
    Moreover, most Pygmies now speak Niger-Kordofanian (e.g., Bantu) or Nilo-Saharan languages, possibly acquired from neighboring farmers, especially since the expansion of Bantu-speaking agriculturalists beginning ∼5 kya (Blench 2006).
    And ideas get spread by ways other than demic diffusion. An unmixed DNA doesn't say much about one's culture.
  • Lionino
    be good enough to make clear exactly what does happen when I - or anyone - reads a book.tim wood

    "I read a book therefore that book is part of my culture".
    Just... what?
    I don't see how you could be confused on the meaning of these words so far into the game, but "culture" here is not being used in the sense of "You are so cultured for reading Foucault, Jimmy", the "culture" here is of national character. Harry Potter — a book widely read in Hungary — is not part of Hungarian culture.

    And he graciously explained that he could not, because he couldn't read it, making clear that he could not read any of it.tim wood

    People often can't understand texts in their own language, it is still the same language. I made the point already, in the post that you are replying to, that Modern Greeks need training to understand Homeric Greek. You, however, don't need just training, you are learning a whole new language from scratch.

    And the attempt to reconcile Pagan and Christian beliefs/dogma/thought was already underway with Constantine, c., 330 AD.tim wood

    I am obviously referring to the setting after the fall of the WRE. Again, arguing for the sake of arguing.

    You referred to the Great Wall, and then, it seemed, suggested that either the Great Wall had nothing to do with thieving hordestim wood

    The Great Wall was a randomly picked example of "a piece of one's history". I said nothing else about it. Where did "thieving hordes" come from? It is impressive sometimes how people here complicate things that are so simple by quite literally seeing things that were literally not there.

    But maybe simpler if you just state your point(s) in simple language, then we might see if we agree or disagree on some matter of substance.tim wood

    My message is stated the way it needs to be stated, you can either try to understand it or hear what you want to hear. You are looking for statements that you can pick apart analytically; the message comes in a whole, not in atomic pieces logically connected to each other subsequently.
  • Ciceronianus

    I usually delight in quibbling, but don't feel you must peruse your cache of quotes regarding the naughtiness of sodomy on my account. I don't doubt there were those who disapproved of it and pederasty in particular, but I think most were indifferent to it compared to the angry fascination with it we see later.

    As to Caesar, as I noted, the Romans thought a man taking the passive role in gay sex was ridiculous. So, Caesar was mocked for taking the passive role, in other words becoming another man's woman.
  • Lionino
    Afterwards advances in technology were mostly made in the US and Japan.Tobias


    "Afterwards" as in the last 60 years, where Europe is still competitive nevertheless. Let us not forget that the reason the US got Nobels at all is because of all those juicy German and (European) Jewish scientists who moved there after WW2. I recall some statistic that 30% of US Nobels were in fact not native (God knows how many are sons of immigrants). I visited their grad departments a few times, the staff there were mostly foreigners — those were public universities in fly-over states mind you.

    is that it is somehow threatening to your self perception to acknowledge the contributions of other peoples than EuropeansTobias

    I don't know what threatening to oneself means. Someone said the East was more advanced than Europe until recently. That is nonsense. Let's read up some history.
    What's next, someone is gonna bring the Islamic Golden Age? Totally don't look up where that Islamic golden knowledge came from, stop before that part so you can prove yourself right.

    there is no Greek person that can trace his heritage back to the ancient Athenians and Spartans is apparently of no concernTobias

    Jesus Christ, you have no clue what you are talking about. You don't even need genetic studies, which I have to refute your claim, to prove that wrong. Think: did the Spartans not leave any children behind?
  • Lionino
    Does that mean the Japanese person will get Mishima in ways that others cannot?tim wood

    For one, they speak the same language as Mishima so they can read what he said, not a translator's rendition of what he thinks Mishima said.

    from Ainu in the North to Okinawans in the Southtim wood

    Ainu are not Japanese, Okinawans are. And before you complicate what is so simple: Ainu are not Japanese just like Kurds are not Iraqi, Okinawans are Japanese just like Bavarians are German.

    To say they're all alike in ways different from other people, that allows them a special appreciation of their own literature withheld from others, while containing a grain of truth, is mainly nonsensetim wood

    "It is true but it is nonsense".
    Recognising the truth in what I say while at the same time stating your malformed beliefs are immune to their refutation found therein, aka weaseling out.

    books more than a hundred years old are about people who are dead, and about places and things that either no longer exist or no longer exist as they didtim wood

    This doesn't help you the way it does. There are groups A, B, and C. A is dead for centuries now. B's language, blood, government, territory, archictecture, dances, food comes from A. C's does not. To whose culture does A belong to? Not to C, that's for sure, no matter how many books C reads.

    But at the same time the literature is a door I can go through, and experience and learn from.tim wood

    This isn't just about literature.

    hay rabdos sou kai hay baktaria sou. autai me parakelesantim wood

    What is this transliteration? Why does η become "hay" and then becomes "a"?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    All right, you've convinced me that Achilles wasn't gay. Point taken. To my understanding, however, pedestry was an institution within ancient greece where younger men would be tutored/groomed by their older mentors. This persisted for centuries and was phased out with the rise of Christianity.

    @Ciceronianus is your source on all things Roman. But again, a different sexual ethic than the Christians (and Jews). AFAIK upper class Roman men basically had free reign sexually when it came to the lower classes and especially slaves whose bodies could be used on demand. Extreme promiscuity within the slave ranks. But I would say compared to Jewish-Christian notions of sexuality the Romans (and paganism in general -- constantly associated with sexual libaciousness in the bible) definitely had greater degrees of sexual access and looser/different norms. The romans for instance distinguished between penetrator and penetrated -- in the Hebrew Bible both receive the same harsh treatment and the same carries over into Christianity.

    I'm not calling all of them sexual degenerates. That's a value judgment that I'm not at liberty to make. But Roman men (and surely Greek ones too) were allowed to use their slaves and have their dalliances. The Maccabees fought a very bitter war against the Greeks due to Greek ways intruding and the sexual ethic surely played into it.

    Judaism and Christianity with its emphasis on monogamy ushered in a stricter sexual ethic than the polytheistic world. I don't believe Jews used their slaves sexually like the Romans did although I'd like to find more info on this topic.
  • Lionino
    Ciceronianus is your source on all things RomanBitconnectCarlos

    You people are trolling me :rofl:

    pedestry was an institution custom within ancient greece where younger men would be tutored/groomed by their older mentorsBitconnectCarlos

    That is a claim with some truth to it that English speakers like to blow out of proportions so they, who are actually lovers of sodomy and pederasty (Epstein island!), see themselves reflected in ancient history.

    When Philoxenus, the leader of the seashore, wrote to Alexander that there was a youth in Ionia whose beauty has yet to be seen and asked him in a letter if he (Alexander) would like him (the boy) to be sent over, he (Alexander) responded in a strict and disgusted manner: "You are the most hideous and malign of all men, have you ever seen me involved in such dirty work that you found the urge to flatter me with such hedonistic business?"
    Moreover, when Philoxenus, the commander of his forces on the sea-board, wrote that there was with him a certain Theodorus, of Tarentum, who had two boys of surpassing beauty to sell, and enquired whether Alexander would buy them, Alexander was incensed, and cried out many times to his friends, asking them what shameful thing Philoxenus had ever seen in him that he should spend his time in making such disgraceful proposals. — Plutarch
    He severely rebuked Hagnon also for writing to him that he wanted to buy Crobylus, whose beauty was famous in Corinth, as a present for him. Furthermore, on learning that Damon and Timotheus, two Macedonian soldiers under Parmenio's command, had ruined the wives of certain mercenaries, he wrote to Parmenio ordering him, in case the men were convicted, to punish them and put them to death as wild beasts born for the destruction of mankind. — Plutarch

    The customs instituted by Lycurgus were opposed to all of these. If someone, being himself an honest man, admired a boy's soul and tried to make of him an ideal friend without reproach and to associate with him, he approved, and believed in the excellence of this kind of training. But if it was clear that the attraction lay in the boy's outward beauty, he banned the connexion as an abomination; and thus he caused lovers to abstain from boys no less than parents abstain from sexual intercourse with their children and brothers and sisters with each other. — Xenophon's Constitution of the Lacedaimonians Chapter 2

    contrary to nature when male mates with male or female with female — Plato's Laws

    I can keep going, but for what?
  • Lionino
    Regardless, let's have our way with our fantasies. Romans and Greeks were gay. Yeah. They are still not part of your culture. Are you Greek or Italian, or, at the very least, Mexican? No? So they have nothing to do with you. Make some history of your own so you don't have take it from others.
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