Notice the Difference Language Makes

The following if from The Message translation of the Bible.  It is Deuteronomy 27:20-23. I read this passage this passage this morning and was really surprised and saddened by the use of the word sex.  I will quote again the same passage from The King James Version. Then I will do a bit of translating myself.

” God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his father’s wife; he has violated the woman who belongs to his father.  All respond : Yes.  Absolutely.

God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his an animal.  All respond: Yes. Absolutely.

God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his sister, the daughter of his father or mother.  All respond: Yes. Absolutely.

God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his mother-in-law.  All respond: Yes. Absolutely”

King James:

“Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt: and the people shall say, Amen.

Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast: and al the people shall say, Amen.

Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, of the daughter of his mother: and all the people shall say, Amen.

Cursed be he that lieth with his mother-in-law: and the the people shall say, Amen.”

Sherrill’s version:

God’s curse on anyone who rapes or makes any type of incestuous overtures with his father’s wife; he has violated the woman who belongs to his father.  If she is inviting it, think of Joseph and his Godly character.  All respond: Yes, absolutely.

God’s curse on anyone who perverts the gift of sex with an animal or who makes someone else do it.  All respond: Yes, absolutely.

God’s curse on anyone who rapes or makes any kind of incestuous overtures with his sister, the daughter of his father or mother.  All respond: Yes, absolutely.

God’s curse on anyone who rapes or makes incestuous overtures to his mother-in-law.  All respond: Yes, absolutely.

Sex can only occur between two consenting adults, and these would not be other family members.  If they are, it is incest.  Remember, children are not adults and cannot give consent.  Fear is what they usually give into.

Language really matters.  No one can have sex with an animal or another family member.  It is then not sex but perversion, molestation, rape, and incest.  Let’s not be afraid of these words.

Comments

  1. Bob Nielsen says:

    Christine Amanpour today on ABC’s This Week said it the way it should be said. In a comment about the Penn State football coach indicted on charges of sexual abuse, she called it…. “rape of young boys”. First time I ever heard it said so directly. The evangelical church could take a lesson from this language and transparency. The Penn State football scandal also speaks to the hiddenness of sexual violence in our most powerful institutions. Like the exposure with the Catholic church and abusive prients, another institution, a charity associated with this coach, also has been closed, exposing an organization that was supposed to be helping young boys to be a place of abuse. How many more of these organizations and institutions may exist. May God allow this kind abuse to be exposed in every corner of darkness, so that people can begin to get on the road of recovery.

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