Cryptographer says that Apostle Paul acknowledged that homosexuality does not prevent Christians from going to heaven, biblical scholar agrees with him.
On November 29, 2011 At 11:01 am
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For the last 2,000 years, Christians have been taught to believe that Apostle Paul condemned homosexuality. But a new discovery documents that he deliberately acknowledged that it does not prevent anyone from entering heaven. If accepted, this discovery by internationally acclaimed cryptographer Michael Wood could remove the final barrier to full societal acceptance of gays and lesbians.
"Michael Wood's discovery is remarkable because it solves a colossal paradox regarding Paul's Greek that has baffled scholars for 2,000 years," says Dr. William Berg, who taught Greek and Roman Classics at Stanford University.
Paul's only unequivocal reference to homosexuality is found within Romans 1:18-3:20, a Biblical passage that has mystified scholars for two millennia. "The interpretation of Romans 1:18-3:20 has been notoriously difficult for almost every commentator," Richard Longenecker, the Distinguished New Testament Scholar at Wheaton College, writes in his book Studies in Paul. "Earlier interpreters such as Origen, Jerome, Augustine, and Erasmus wrestled with this issue and it continues to plague commentators today."
The passage is riddled with paradoxes. It says that "only the doers of the law will be vindicated by God," and "by the works of the law no one will be vindicated." The passage also mysteriously separates idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from transgressions worthy of spiritual death. "In finding the definitive solution to Paul's legal paradox, I inadvertently discovered why he separated the idolatrous, same-sex orgies from the things he considered worthy of spiritual death," said Wood.
Dr. Berg has spent many months examining the linguistic and historical basis of what he describes as Wood's "remarkable" discovery. "Michael Wood reveals to the public a well-kept secret, namely that the apostle Paul, like the rest of his contemporaries, divided the commands of the Jewish law into two groups demarcated by Leviticus 19:18 — 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the commandments based on loving your neighbor were 'Justices of the Torah.' Those not based on Leviticus 19:18 were 'Jobs of the Torah,'" Dr. Berg explained.
Wood's solution is definitive, elegant, and verifiable. Romans 2:13-26 teaches: Only the doers of the "Justices of the Torah" will be vindicated before God. Romans 3:20 says, "By the 'Jobs of the Torah' no one will be vindicated." Not only is there no contradiction, but the two teachings have always been simple restatements of each other; the "Great Paradox" is no paradox at all!
This legal solution fully explains Paul's treatment of homosexuality. Paul's passage excludes idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from things which he considered worthy of spiritual death, things such as "bad-mouthing others," "deceiving," and "inflicting pain." Those engaged in idolatrous, homosexual orgies weren't violating the Justices. (They weren't violating the precept "Love your neighbor as yourself.") Therefore, Paul was obliged to separate this from his list of things which did violate the Justices.
The finding is significant because it documents that Paul purposefully separated the same-sex acts; it was a conscious, deliberate decision consistent with the rest of the passage. In fact, it was demanded by the rest of the passage. The resolution of the paradox empirically proves that Paul's view on homosexuality was very different from what Christians had thought for 2,000 years.
Although Romans 1 contains the only unequivocal reference to homosexuality, anti-homosexual statements have been introduced into other passages in newer versions of the English Bible. As for these modern changes to the Biblical text: "Michael Wood has gone the extra mile in being faithful to Paul's Greek," said Dr. Berg. "He shows, time and again, that the words traditionally mistranslated as 'homosexual,' 'effeminate,' 'impure,' and so forth, are really targeting selfish, unloving, unjust activity and have nothing to do with sexual orientation. He shows that once again Paul was condemning those who violate the Justices of the Torah, and nothing more."
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