'Bible Originally Allowed Gay Sex' Says Harvard Biblical Scholar

Theologian and Harvard scholar Dr Idan Dershowitz has found evidence that the original texts of Leviticus allowed same-sex relations which he belives was edited out by another author a century later.

Leviticus allowed gay sex, stained glass window

The texts of Leviticus have been quoted as justification for homophobic actions and behaviours for many generations.

The teachings of Leviticus list a number of prohibited sexual acts such as sex with a woman on her period, bestiality and, famously, homosexual sex:

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

Theologian and Harvard scholar Dr Idan Dershowitz wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times in which he calls into question the authenticity of Leviticus’ teachings.

Dershowitz believes that this book was written gradually by more than one author and that the original text read very differently.

He explained: “Like many ancient texts, Leviticus was created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer.

“Many scholars believe that the section in which Leviticus 18 appears was added by a comparatively late editor, perhaps one who worked more than a century after the oldest material in the book was composed.”

He added: “There is good evidence that an earlier version of the laws in Leviticus 18 permitted sex between men.

“In addition to having the prohibition against same-sex relations added to it, the earlier text, I believe, was revised in an attempt to obscure any implication that same-sex relations had once been permissible.”

He believes that there is evidence that same-sex relations were initially allowed but edited out by a later author and he explains that there is evidence of this in the list of relations considered incestuous, which includes male relatives:

Dershowitz explained: “The presence of an exception indicates the existence of a broader rule. For example, a sign declaring an office to be closed on Sundays suggests that the office is open on all other days of the week.

“Now, apply this principle to Leviticus 18: A law declaring that homosexual incest is prohibited could reasonably be taken to indicate that non-incestuous homosexual intercourse is permitted.

“A lawmaker is unlikely to specify that murdering one’s father is against the law if there is already a blanket injunction against murder.

“By the same token, it’s not necessary to stipulate that sex between two specific men is forbidden if a categorical prohibition against sex between men is already on the books.

“That made sense when sex between men was otherwise allowed.”

The scholar added: “One can only imagine how different the history of civilization might have been had the earlier version of Leviticus 18’s laws entered the biblical canon.”

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