The past few days have been amusing, as commenter whysoserious? has provided enormous entertainment. While probably not apparent to the casual reader, the reason is simple. He followed the script perfectly.
My position is the truth of what Scripture actually says. The Hebrew word “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 means sex. We know this because Genesis 2:24 was translated into Greek by the Apostles to record Christ quoting Genesis 2:24, using the Greek word “Kolloa” to translate the Hebrew word “dabaq”. Then, the Apostle Paul used the context of Genesis 2:24 (quoting half the verse) in his prohibition that forbid Christian men from having sex with prostitutes. In that prohibition, which was structured in the same way as Genesis 2:24, the word “kolloa” was used to mean sex. A=B and B=C, thus A=C. Simple.
The Dilemma Of The Status Quo
For the defenders of the status quo this is a damned if you do and a damned if you don’t argument because the “status quo” on sex and marriage is irreconcilable as it is now, due to the Catholic church’s decision to throw out what the Bible said about marriage and sex a long time ago. As it is, the cucks get a choice:
There is NO prohibition on sex with prostitutes
Sex with an eligible virgin is to marry her.
There is no middle ground, they can’t avoid both, because bringing 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 into harmony with Genesis 2:24 will result in one of them. It’s unavoidable. This is why I suggested in my last post that readers present the original argument of whysoserious? as the argument that the Bible didn’t actually forbid sex with prostitutes. Let’s face it, that really is an absurd argument, but you’re playing chess. Let them play checkers.
Let them make the conservative defense of it and properly give the correct exegesis. When they win their game of checkers and demonstrate that sex with prostitutes is forbidden, you’ve won your game of chess. Because the final argument by whysoserious? of throwing out Genesis 2:24 as the authority on marriage is completely preposterous. It’s one thing to do something like that online, anonymously, but not where you live. Not in front of the people who pay your salary.
One of my goals in this sort of argument is to keep things on the “common man” level and I made every effort to avoid using the jargon of theologians. The reason is we are dealing with the truth and the Bible was written to be understood by the common man. Certainly study and training helps, but there is no substitute for time spent in serious study. The tools available today in the form of computerized databases allow the kind of study that was all but impossible only fifty years ago. Combine those tools with time in diligent study and the truth comes out. One of those truths is that Genesis 2:24 should read like this:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and he shall have sexual intercourse with his wife and the two shall become one flesh.”
That result of that is the man who has sex with an eligible virgin marries her and every other man she has sex with after that is a case of adultery. Since this truth is unacceptable to modern churchians, they must find a way to attack it in order to preserve the status quo. There are only a few ways to do that. Obviously, this argument devolves to the word “kolloa” and the fact it means sex as used in 1st Corinthians 6:16. That calls into question the word “porne” which is the word for prostitute. If “porne” doesn’t necessarily mean a woman who sells sexual access to her body for money, then “kolloa” doesn’t necessarily mean sex. That was the first line of attack that our commenter whysoserious? used.
When determining the meaning of any given word in the Bible there are some rules, or hermeneutics used, which is to say an accepted way of doing so. The Protestant Reformation was based on the hermeneutic of “Sola Scriptura” which means “Only Scripture.” That tossed out the teachings and traditions of the church contained in the Easter Bunny’s book of opinions called the magisterium. Conservatively, when we want to find out what a word means we look for how it’s used in other places in the Bible, in general, and specifically in context.
The first line of attack by whysoserious? was on this front. He made the argument that because in the other places in which “kolloa” was used of human interaction, it carried the meaning of loyalty and faithfulness (the hallmarks of the marriage relationship), so that was the meaning that should be used in 1st Corinthians 6:16. Further, because the Greek word “porne” was somewhat related to the Hebrew word “zanah” and the Hebrew word “zanah” was used occasionally to metaphorically describe an adulterous wife, the Greek word “porne” should mean an adulterous wife or a promiscuous woman. The resulting argument was 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 wasn’t really forbidding Christian men from banging whores, it was a warning not to marry an adulterous or promiscuous woman. It was a fine sounding argument if one is willing to overlook the sheer absurdity. But, there was this little problem with the unintended consequence of stirring up that witches brew of absurdity.
When confronted with the fact that if his interpretation was correct, there was no longer any prohibition on Christian men using prostitutes, it was time to shift gears. Uh oh. Back to the drawing board. The reality hit that the meaning of the word “kolloa” as used in 1st Corinthians 6:16 must be sex and the use of the word “porne” must be a prostitute.
Remember, I previously stated that given a choice it would be to go with the prohibition on using prostitutes. This is because women control the money and of the two, they’ll vote for the prohibition on prostitutes every single time. Guess which one whysoserious? went with?
Now it was time for another attack. Remember, there are only three elements to this. It cannot be questioned that Christ quoted Genesis 2:24, and if the word “kolloa” means sex within the context of 1st Corinithians 6:16 it means the Hebrew word “dabaq” means sex in Genesis 2:24 and that means… the eligible virgin is married when she has sex the first time. No ceremony needed, nothing else. The man and woman have penetrative intercourse, God seals the covenant by making them one flesh. Every single time. Because the text says so and because Jesus said so.
Commenter whysoserious? concedes the argument, that “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 does actually mean sex. But he still can’t tolerate what that means. It does not take a rocket scientist to see what has to come next. The only thing left to do is attack Genesis 2:24. Which is what our commenter whysoserious? has done. Watch carefully.
“The reader of the Bible is assumed to know what marriage is, just like he’s assumed to know what a man is, or a king, or a nation. These words, though integral to understanding the Bible, are left to the reader’s cultural knowledge of the ancient Near East.”
WRONG! For Christians, the reason we know the meaning of marriage, or at least the reason we should know the meaning of marriage, is because God told us what marriage is. He did so in Genesis 2:24. It is true we pick up on cultural cues, but it’s also true that our cultural cues in the United States and other nations derived from Great Britain are derived from the teachings of the church when it comes to things like marriage. That is beyond dispute. That such teaching and practices don’t actually match the Bible when it comes to marriage is not the fault of the Bible, but of the ancient church. Readers of this blog should understand that.
“Genesis 2:24 is NOT a law or a definition; it is the conclusion to a story that explains why a man cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. Read it yourself: you’ll see this is the natural context and interpretation”
See the attack on Genesis 2:24? This claim would come as a great surprise to Christ and to the Apostle Paul. When asked about divorce, Christ quoted Genesis 2:24 as the authority for marriage. When comparing the one-flesh bond of marriage to the one-body bond of being part of the body of Christ, Paul quoted Genesis 2:24 in Ephesians 5:31-32. Both of whom cited Genesis 2:24 as authoritatively defining at the very least.
If one could believe this twaddle about Genesis 2:24 not being authoritative on marriage, it leaves us in the uncomfortable position of having the death-penalty offense of adultery in a situation in which marriage is not defined. If one cannot define a marriage, one cannot know when the wife violates the marriage. Forget about what someone might think of near-eastern cultures, we’re talking about God’s chosen people.
However, from a strategic point of view this is exactly what the cucks want. Genesis 2:24 is the law that grants the man the authority to initiate marriage. Get rid of Genesis 2:24 as being authoritative and who has the authority to initiate marriage? Who can require that the prospective couple obtain permission or a license? Who can say what a marriage really is? Obviously, if there is no definition of marriage, then homosexual marriage is allowed and there can be no crime of adultery. In fact, without a definition of marriage and the authority to marry, there can be no marriage. I’m not saying whysoserious? is one of the cucks, but he’s certainly playing their tune.
All people will be judged according to the Law, which defines what sin is (Romans 4:15, 5:13). Just as only those who receive salvation in Christ will receive eternal life. The Bible is very clear on that. Since the Bible testifies of itself that the Law of the Lord is perfect, we would expect to see a standard of marriage that exists across all cultures, times and peoples.
As it just so happens, God provided that standard in Genesis 2:24 and He chose to make the act of sexual intercourse the initiation of the marriage. This fits perfectly with the fact that God chose to create women with a hymen. Think of it as a tamper-proof seal. A study of covenants indicates that covenants with God are initiated by the man with the shedding of blood. Thus, when the man uses the act of marriage to begin the marriage, with the shedding of blood the covenant of marriage is initiated. God responds by making the two one flesh. For all people of all times in all cultures, nations and races.
Observe Deuteronomy 22:13-17
“If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. “The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.”
What was the evidence? A bloody garment, proving she was a virgin and he broke her hymen when he penetrated (married) her. There’s more than meets the eye here, but the point is simple: She was presented at the beginning of her betrothal as a virgin. Legally she was married while betrothed. Not a virgin at the end of the betrothal period? That’s adultery. And no bloodstained garment for evidence meant she got stoned to death for it at the door of her fathers house.
The standard of “sex with an eligible virgin consummates the marriage” as stated in Genesis 2:24 leaves room for any cultural issues, voluntary agreements and what have you, because it boils down to one question- did the man have sex with a virgin eligible to marry him? If yes, they’re married. If no, then not. Reams could be written about the fact that across the cultures and geographic locations, sex remains the definitive act of marriage, but commenter whysoserious? wants to imagine that Genesis 2:24 is now just part of the story in Genesis describing what happened with Adam and Eve.
No. Genesis 2:24 is the law of marriage. It provides the authority to marry, describes how marriage takes place and from what is not provided we have the parameters that a man can take more than one wife but has no authority to divorce. The divorce issue got modified a few times, but in order to understand the divorce issue it’s critical to understand what Christ was talking about when He said “but from the beginning it has not been this way.” (Matthew 19:8)
As we’ve already seen, Christ obviously considered Genesis 2:24 authoritative enough to quote it as the standard of marriage, as well as the Apostle Paul. But is there anything more? Yes. Consider Romans 7:2-3
“For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law and is not an adulteress, even if she marries another man.
Consider 1st Corinthians 7:39, speaking of Christian wives.
“A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, as long as he belongs to the Lord.”
By what law is she bound if Genesis 2:24 is not a law? One might argue that this passage is speaking of the law concerning adultery, but there can be no adultery without a married woman. Further, the law concerning adultery prohibits violating, you guessed it, the marriage. How is the woman bound? By the law of marriage, the law concerning her husband: Genesis 2:24.
Genesis 2:24 was the first law given to mankind, which implemented the Command to be fruitful and multiply, because God wants children born within marriage. We know this because God said no illegitimate child shall enter the assembly of the Lord down to the tenth generation. Marriage is the container designed by God in which to bring children into this world. We all know how that happens, with the act of marriage. Sex.
The Pooch Is Screwed
Most interestingly, this little exchange illustrates the lengths to which those with the training to know the truth will go to disregard the truth. Our fearless commenter states:
“You’re closing your eyes to anything that could reveal an alternate interpretation.”
Let the reader be reminded of the facts. My argument has not changed, nor has my approach to the interpretation of Scripture. His statement here is pure projection. He has jumped from the amusingly absurd to the preposterous. On the one hand he states he prefers “the tried and true” but that only works as long as “dabaq” means “commitment.” As soon as it means “sex” he is willing to toss Genesis 2:24 in the trash if it’s necessary to prevent this truth from being recognized.
This is why we have such a dilemma. It is unquestioned that Genesis 2:24 is the origin and authoritative definition of marriage in the Bible. It is unquestioned that men are forbidden to have sex with prostitutes by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 6:15-16. But, under the definitions now in place, something has to change because they are not in agreement. Either you get sex with an eligible virgin is to marry her or you no longer have a prohibition on banging whores. Which is why the argument presented by whysoserious? is so preposterous. He wants to keep the prohibition on banging whores and get rid of the law of marriage.
His two linguistic arguments centered around adding the Septuagint to broaden the specific meaning of the critical text, as well as to make a literal use of metaphor to add requirements where there are none. I, of course, reject this. Metapor is metaphor and it isn’t to be taken literally, but read metaphorically or allegorically to grasp the underlying truth. Otherwise we have naked brides, cloaks and oaths required for marriage and women only committing adultery when they find men possessed of genitalia the size of donkeys. I grew up on a farm and having seen the real thing I can factually state that not even porn stars make it into the donkey league.
When the man has sex with an eligible virgin they are married. That’s what this is about. That cannot be allowed to be known because the adultery epidemic must continue. As soon as the people discover how badly they have been lied to, everything changes and the money spigot for those who knew or should have known will be turned off.
What has not been stated is that throughout this argument I have used the basic, conservative rules of Scriptural interpretation approved by such bastions of conservatism as the Southern Baptist Convention and that Evangelical pastor pupation station, the Dallas Theological Seminary. In addition I’ve used the “common man” argument style, eschewing jargon, with Scripture as my sole authority. I’m told it’s the sort of thing only a complete asshole would do.
Commenter whysoserious? knows that he can’t win this argument on the merits. He tried and he failed. But, he thinks I’m wrong. He protests:
“You reject a corpus of ancient Greek text which gives insight into the definitions and usages of words important to this discussion, you “don’t accept” illuminations of relevant cultural practices that cast doubt on your ideology; all to save your precious syllogisms of contrived equivalences, concocted from methodical exclusions of linguistic and cultural context. I expected more from you, sir: you broke free from the shackles of popular doctrine, only to lock yourself in a new prison… or something like that. I never feel like I stick the landing on my melodramatic sentences.”
To put it another way, I make a very narrow argument using conservative methodology that points to a serious dichotomy between some definitions which has a huge impact on doctrine. Just like the homosexual men arguing that God loves everyone and their homosexuality isn’t actually a sin, Sola Scriptura isn’t a winning strategy for whysoserious?. He rejects Sola Scriptura in this case because it does not yield the result he desires. For example:
“Plus, the word [used by the Septuagint] for temple prostitute in Deut. 23:18 is, you guessed it! porne. This preserves the Law and the consistent nature of God. Rather than sticking out like a sore thumb, this passage can fit seamlessly into the Biblical narrative.”
No. The word “qadesh” (temple prostitute) is used in the prohibition against temple prostitutes in verse 17. The word used in verse 18 is “zanah” so there is no connection with temple prostitution at all. Verse 18 forbids the wages of a prostitute from being used for any votive offering in the temple. However, the word “zanah” carries with it added meaning that the word “porne” does not (adultery), which allows the meaning of the word “porne” as used in 1st Corinthians 15-16 to be shifted to something more to his liking.
What is truly hilarious is that he claims I’m closing my eyes to anything that would yield an alternative explanation, somehow forgetting that he is supposed to be defending the status quo. When he discovered that the defense of the status quo means either sex with a virgin results in marriage or sex with prostitutes is a permitted and moral activity, he became the one with the alternative explanations.
The thing about the Septuagint and Deuteronomy 23:18 is whysoserious? has demonstrated he only wants to use that connection through the Septuagint in order to make “porne” about temple prostitution, even though he knows better. This is what we call eisegesis, which is to read into the text what we want to see. In this case the text written by Apostolic authority won’t support what he wants so he turns to the Septuagint to broaden the definitions that don’t exist in the New Testament in order to re-define things to his liking.
He also wants to use an obvious metaphor involving God being married to an entire nation to create further requirements for a man to be married to a woman. However, this is just sour grapes because it’s too late. With the admission that “porne” as used in 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 means prostitute, the word “kolloa” can only mean sex, which means “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 means sex. Which means that Exodus 22:16 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29 nail down the point that there is nothing else required and his metaphor is simply a metaphor.
The pooch, as they say, has now been thoroughly screwed.
Thus, he wants to do away with the law of marriage entirely. He claims it’s not a law, it’s not a definition, it’s just part of the story of creation. Why? Anything to get away from the truth that when a man has sex with an eligible virgin he’s married to her. The absurdity here is hilarious. The claim that the description of God’s metaphorical marriage to Judah and Israel in Ezekiel creates a requirement for marriage because, as he stated, marriage requires something more than sex. But, the text doesn’t support that any more than it supports naked brides and cloaks. In the same way that adultery doesn’t require men with genitalia the size of donkeys.
The night ends and the pooch is now hiding behind the couch, howling.
Awareness dawns and suddenly Genesis 2:24 is nothing but a story.
The irony is the role reversal. Normally, when anyone presents a radical departure from what our commenter calls the “tried and true” of the Bible they do exactly what whysoserious? is doing. Those defending the status quo stick to the conservative hermeneutics, which is what I’ve done.
In this case what the Bible says is clear. What is also clear is the Catholic church chose to throw out what the Bible said about sex and marriage, replacing it with a mixture of pagan practices, stoic philosophy and Roman law. The historical record is rather precise as to the development of these doctrines, as well as the political reasons why they were put in place.
There is one point I didn’t address, and that was the comment about my hypothetical honor. I think I saw her once, but from a distance. I can’t be sure. But, honor is as honor does. I have certainly enjoyed this exchange.
NB. The pooch was metaphorically screwed by metaphorical donkeys. No dogs were actually violated, even the pooch was a metaphorical construct. The howling was real.