What's in the Bible?

The writer of "It's in the Bible" seems to think that the Hebrew Bible was addressed directly to Christians and only Christians unde
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

The writer of "It's in the Bible" seems to think that the Hebrew Bible was addressed directly to Christians and only Christians understand it. He stressed that these are "commandments", not suggestions or guidelines.

The word Torah, the Hebrew name for the first five books of the Bible, is often translated as "Law." But it actually means teaching, guidance. The teachings in Torah were addressed directly to the ancient tribes of Israel and are intended only for them. Many of these are rules for worship which apple only to the Jewish people. There are regulations for daily life, again intended only for Israel. Very few of the commandments extend to other people.

The story of S'dom and Omorah (Sodom and Gomorah) does not specify the crimes of the cities, but the Book of Ezekiel refers to them in terms indicating violence, oppression and injustice. The connection to homosexuality depends on the interpretation of one word, "know." It is sometimes used as a euphemism for sex, but mostly it means what it means -- knowledge. The people of S'dom simply wanted to know if Lot's visitors were strangers. If so, they would all be killed.

The passages in Leviticus are addressed to people living thousands of years ago. It might say, "shall surely be put to death," but that means only after a proper trial before a proper court.

The Rabbis proudly noted that no one was ever executed for being gay. There are death penalties for adultery, too, but Jewish authorities long ago ruled that such executions were no longer valid. Times and circumstances had changed.

We have free will because living in a less-than-perfect world would be impossible without it. We have to solve our own problems. That is the real lesson of the story of Adom and Havah.

This nation is dedicated to freedom and liberty for everyone. Freedom and liberty cannot exist without tolerance and mutual respect. We will have no Taliban here.

Kenneth S. Atkins

Sandusky