Comments: GS: Church Times reports

Regardless of the mixed nature of the General Synod motion on homosexuality as finally passed, which given the current political state of Anglicanism is wholly understandable - only imagine what might result were the American House of Bishops to pass the identical resolution at this point in time - there is beautiful, heartening stuff in the "Church Times" report of General Synod's debate on Mary Gilbert's motion. There is also material that rouses one's exasperation and anger. Lead player in the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals section is the Revd Andrew Watson (London),pronouncing that "Jesus’s teaching had been tougher than the Law on many occasions, and had called Christians to take up their cross, which inevitably would hurt. Christians were called to repentance and costly dedication. They should celebrate the many unmarried clergy, hetero- and homosexual, faithfully living out their Christian lives."

Again and again - and Mr. Watson is simply the present exemplar of this mind-set - we have ignorance and personal prejudice exalted to the level of revealed scripture. Jesus and the law are utterly irrelevant to this argument since Jesus - how many times must one repeat this? - said NOTHING - nothing, at any rate. that has been passed down to us - about same-sex relations.

Again and again, to repeat myself, ignorance and personal prejudice are exalted to the level of revealed scripture.

On a lighter note, please assure me that there is not a bottle of vodka and a bottle of scotch in front of every member of Synod in the lead photograph of this report.

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/uploads/images/p24_synod033%231%23.jpg

Just the bishops, maybe?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 11:19am GMT

Lapin - I guess you think you are a "Thinking Anglican" by writing here.....so I assume you have thought about your position re us not having something recorded direct from the lips of JC to convince you.

So, I guess you believe if John or Peter asked JC direct if someone with VGR's lifestyle (without repenting) could be one of the leaders in the church he would have said yes??
Seriously?

Of course, they never asked him - they would not even have thought of asking him that! They would have known his answer and his postion - after all, he said he came to fulfil and not abolish the OT, right?

JC made lots of revolutionary statements - they were recorded partly because they were so shocking to the people who heared....I think we would have known if JC agreed with you, don't you?

Posted by NP at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 1:10pm GMT

No, NP, you wouldn't have known if Jesus agreed that same sex relationships can be holy, because the kind of relationship we are seeing today simply did not exist when Jesus was alive. The instances where the bible speaks of homosexuality (even that being a modern word!) have all to do with abusive relationships, abuse of hospitality and unequal relationships. The marriage-like life long faithful relationships we are experiencing as God's gift today were totally unknown.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 2:57pm GMT

To fulfill the Law, dear NP, which in both Synagogue and Church are the 10 Commandments.

Everything which is not the 10 Commandments is "what has been handed over and recieved"; Tradition, not "law".

So the word "nomos" has 2 senses; Law and Tradition - which is why there are 3 meanings to "nomos" in Romans.

What do you learn at bible school?

And as the Rabbi said: The rest is Commentary.

Commentary on the 10 Commandments.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 3:47pm GMT

At the risk of re-hashing the same old stuff, don't you think, Erica, that a case can be made for David & Jonathan?

Posted by lapinbizarre at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 4:08pm GMT

"No, NP, you wouldn't have known if Jesus agreed that same sex relationships can be holy, because the kind of relationship we are seeing today simply did not exist when Jesus was alive."

- So you disagree with Gerd Theissen that the centurion whose 'pais' Jesus healed was in a homosexual union with the lad? So do I! But if you think such relationships never existed in the ancient world, you have never read Plato's Symposium, which is very largely about homosexual love affairs.

"The instances where the bible speaks of homosexuality (even that being a modern word!) have all to do with abusive relationships, abuse of hospitality and unequal relationships."

- not true at all, except for your comment on the coinage 'homosexuality'. Gen 19 and Judg 19 gain their frisson precisely from the addition of 'unnatural vice' to violence. The Pauline references have nothing to do with pederasty or seduction as such.
- q'doshim (male shrine prostitutes) were well known in Canaanite religion and are frequently mentioned in the OT.

"The marriage-like life long faithful relationships we are experiencing as God's gift today were totally unknown."
Actually bisexuality was common among the Greeks at certain times, alongside other 'options'. It was a rite of passage for most young men. Faithful monogamy was less common.

Posted by Steve Watson. at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 5:23pm GMT

The Greek Civilisation and way of life was very prevalent in Isreal during Jesus' lifetime. Part of the Pharisees reaction was the loss of the "Jewishness" of the by the people. Greek Civilisation was the pinnacle and part of that was the condoning of male-male relationships. It was also acceptable to the Romans. Jesus must have certainly had contact with this. If you need further proof their is the self imposed exile of the Essenes. Jesus didn't address it.

If I find the artcile I'll post the link on this subject.

Peace, Bob

Posted by BobinWashPA at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 5:31pm GMT

Re:Andrew Watsons remarks-exactly the same was said to divorced Anglicans 30-40 yrs ago. I remember as a deacon in 1980 taking tea with a member of the congregation and her telling me how when her husband left her (with two young sons)her Vicar said to her that under no circumstances was she to re marry(she hadnt).Given 70 yrs of change over contaception(surely the most significant departure from the morality of the Universal Church), divorce, the subordination of women etc people may well take impassioned pleas to stand firm on biblical orthodoxy with a certain scepticism.It would be better perhaps if we invested more intellectual effort in considering how theologically and ecclesially change actually happens and what this tells us about the interaction/dialectic between church and world.

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 5:40pm GMT

One can hardly argue that Jesus was tolerant in his views on sexuality. When asked about divorce he went back to the order of creation and restated his case as it was from the begining for in the begginning it as NOT SO; for "at the begining of creation God made them male and female". If this was his attitude to heterosexual sex it would be fair to say that a similar attitude would prevail in other areas. Remember homosexuality was well known in Greek and Roman cultures and these were not necesssatily abusive but could also be loving and consensual (It is arrogant to think that we are the only ones to have known homosexual lovnig and consensual sex. In fact this is what made the Spartans such fercious fighters as they were often fighting next to their lovers).

Posted by Athos at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 6:10pm GMT

Steve - you have actually proved the point. Same- sex encounters were certainly known, but not gay or lesbian identity, personhood, sexual orientation, or the possibility of faithful and exclusive monogamous relationships.

This is why the Bible is really of no use at all because it cannot possibly contribute towards our understanding of something which didn't exist.

The Bible is the basic problem with Christianity, and it is only once its limitations have been accepted that Christianity will be at all valuable or relevant.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 6:43pm GMT

"One can hardly argue that Jesus was tolerant in his views on sexuality. When asked about divorce he went back to the order of creation and restated his case as it was from the begining for in the begginning it as NOT SO; for 'at the begining of creation God made them male and female'."

But, now that we know that the first animals were asexual creatures and that male and female didn't come for some time after, dosn't that call into question the reasoning here?.

Posted by ruidh at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 7:51pm GMT

Lapinbizare, yes, I made my point badly. What I meant to say is that all the obvious prohibition of same sex acts in the bible is found in stories dealing with abuse and inequality.
If I had to describe my love I would have to sing the Song of Songs. It would never occur to me to find it reflected in the story of men banging on the door of a house demanding that the owner sends out his male guests so they may rape them.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 8:08pm GMT

Steve Watson, seriously, are you suggesting that a slave owner abusing his slave is "the kind of relationship we are seeing today"?

Really.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 2 March 2007 at 8:40pm GMT

"Remember homosexuality was well known in Greek and Roman cultures and these were not necesssatily abusive but could also be loving and consensual (It is arrogant to think that we are the only ones to have known homosexual lovnig and consensual sex. In fact this is what made the Spartans such fercious fighters as they were often fighting next to their lovers)."

Same-sex relationships, Athos, but not "homosexual relationships" (two person of the same sex ***AND*** with homosexual orientations) as such.

In none of the same-sex relationships of the Classical World (yes, they could sometimes be consensual and loving) would there have been any expectation that they would be monogamous "forsaking ALL others."

On the contrary, one or both of the (male) partners would be *expected to marry females* (and father children by them) PRIMARILY, and only *additionally* possibly carry on their same-sex relationship.

It's because of the *secondary* nature of same-sex relationships, that they were seen by the great philosophers of the Classical World as something extraneous---something *lesser*, to opposite-sex marriages.

It's all back to the (modern!) concept of sexual orientation: no heterosexual---as everyone was ASSUMED to be in the ancient world(*)---NEEDS a same-sex sexual relationship (hence, those who maintain them must be weak in some way).

But with homosexual orientation, then why shouldn't---with the Church's blessing!!!---two homosexual Christians covenant, in the SAME way as heterosexuals do? In marriage?

[(*) The "Plato's Symposium" model---Aristophanes citing a two-headed male (or female), divided by the gods, looking for their missing half---is a weak one, if being cited to show the ancient world knew sexual orientation. Remember, Plato himself---through the figure of Socrates---wasn't persuaded as such, and only discussed this model, in order to dismiss it. At best, it suggests an *apprehension* of sexual orientation, but hardly a systematic *comprehension* of same!]

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 12:35am GMT

Two questions please - based on comments in this most fascinating discussion.

1. Merseymike said "Same- sex encounters were certainly known, but not gay or lesbian identity, personhood, sexual orientation, or the possibility of faithful and exclusive monogamous relationships."

I have often heard this said about first century Palestine, but how true is this statement? How confident are we that self defined homosexual people did not exist in Palestine in Jesus' times? Where is the evidence?

The Warren Cup, for example, would seem to by owned by someone who valued his sexuality, and that someone was a Roman soldier based in first century Palestine.

See: http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass/ixbin/goto?id=OBJ5831

2. - "q'doshim (male shrine prostitutes) were well known in Canaanite religion and are frequently mentioned in the OT"

Agreed, but as q'doshim is hebrew word roughly translated "consecrated person" isn't it about time we found a better word than "prostitute", which is clearly an innaccurate and negative translation past it's sell by date?

How about "priest" or "temple servant"?

Simon Dawson

Posted by Simon Dawson at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 4:06am GMT

Y'all be pleased to hear I'm going to try to fast from commenting on TA during Lent, so I'll confine myself to a brief reply to Goran et al.
1. Gerd Theissen suggested (tentatively) in 'Der Schatten des Galilaers' that the centurion and his 'pais' had a homosexual relationship that Jesus tacitly affirmed by healing the young man. I thought this idea was ludicrous and don't think there's anything erotic in the story, but it was taken up enthusiastically by Professor (and now Cardinal) Elizabeth Stuart. There was in any case no suggestion by Theissen that it was 'a slave owner who was abusing his slave'; he thought it was 'loving, consensual' etc. Really.
Notwithstanding this, first century Palestinian Jews had a fair idea how gentiles or 'Greeks' lived, since the area had been Hellenized since 332 BC, and there were quite a few Greek poleis, complete with naked gymnasia throughout the land. The whole business of the Maccabees was about Jewish identity. Anyone familiar with intertestamental and first century Jewish literature (e.g. Philo on Plato's Symposium in De Vita Contemplativa, 59-61)knows that the Jews looked on homosexuality as 'the Gentile vice'.
2. Athos has reminded us of the political use of homosexuality in the Spartan army - and who was it who held the gates at Thermopylae against the Persian hordes? JCF: read 'Symposium' - aside from Aristophanes' amusing fable, there are MANY examples of homosexual love mentioned there, where it is esteemed above heterosexual love, natural and innate. Of course, Plato had no time for homosexuality when he came to write 'The Republic'.
Merseymike: (re)read Foucault on 'identity', and beware of chronological snobbery.
3. 'q'doshim' (lit. 'holy ones'!) were indeed shrine prostitutes, because that's what they did, for money, in Canaanite shrines. And the writer of Kings did have another name for them: 'kelabim'.
A blessed askesis to y'all.

Posted by Steve Watson. at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 9:42am GMT

I'd suggest you do some research, Simon. You can't be 'proud' of something which doesn't conceptually exist.

In any case, its all so irrelevant. Who gives a stuff about premoderns in first-century Palestine?

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 9:51am GMT

Why are we so desparate to argue that today is any different from times past? I do find much speacial pleading in all this much like my children when they argue that they don't have to be back home by midnight "becasue today things are different", therefore the rules that appled to an older generation are no longer valid becasue the world has changed so much. Oh please...

Posted by Athos at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 10:14am GMT

People like me are desperate, Athos, because we are sick to death of being told by people like you that you're alright because you happen to be straight, but that your straight God won't accept us if we also want to love.
God Is Love, remember? Not, God is a conservative moralistic being that might be able to love me, but only if I deny all love in my life.
This is NOT the God the bible speaks about, it is NOT the God I experience in my life.
And if past generations had different theological battles to fight, then it happens to fall to us to develop a positive gay theology. May the Spirit continue to guide us!

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 3:45pm GMT

Athos, as for the tone of your post and being compared to your children who don't yet understand the great wisdom of their Daddie: continue to talk to me and those like me, by all means, but stop patronising me! I happen to be an adult who is quite capable of conducting a conversation on an equal level.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 3:48pm GMT

Erica
Where have I said that I am alright becasue I am straight? Where have I said that God is a conservative moralistic being who won't accept gays? Where have I said that God doesn't accepts sinners? All I was doing was pointing out the special pleading that often comes from the gay side of the debate that seems desperate to argue that what we see and understand now is unique, unheard of and never contemplated before since time immemorial. This is a rash line to take it seems to me. By all means develop a positive gay theology but please don't do so by claiming for yourselves a special historical status. That ARGUMENT is childish. I'm not saying YOU are. If you can't see the distiction try and get some perspective.

Posted by Athos at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 6:34pm GMT

Athos - go away, do some reading about the importance of social construction and the nature of progress and discovery, then come back and join in.

Or you could stay locked in the first century with your co-religionists whilst the rest of the civilised and progressive world moves on.

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 7:07pm GMT

Steve Watson wrote; "... Philo on Plato's Symposium in De Vita Contemplativa, 59-61) knows that the Jews looked on homosexuality..."

No Steve, Philo is not how "the Jews looked on homosexuality". Philo is how s o m e platonists at the Alexandrian Museiwn looked at spilling Semen for non procreative purposes.

(Procreation, as you well know, was and is the one permissible exception to continence for 1st as well as 20th century Gnosticist/Platonists).

Judaism has never been anti sex, not even anti gay.

The late 12th century Parisian mixis of the LXX and Biblia Hebraica versions of Lev 18:22 to produce a ban on "female coitus", is found in some platonistically challenged strands of contemporary Judaism, but - unsurprisingly - it is even later there than within the platonistically challenged strands of Christianity.

Athos,

Your (very late) theology claims that persons go to "hell" for what they do, which means, if it means anything at all, that we are what we do - just as Vegans claim that we are what we eat...

This is late pre-Modern to late Modern Essentialism; identifying the sinner and the sin.

(Which, accidentally, was the first Heresy within Lutheranism ;=)

Methinks you need to re-write your theology.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 3 March 2007 at 10:09pm GMT

"So, I guess you believe if John or Peter asked JC direct if someone with VGR's lifestyle (without repenting) could be one of the leaders in the church he would have said yes??
Seriously?"

Jesus said some very surprising and unexpected things especially in response to direct questions. I don't think we can guess what he might have said in any circumstance where we don't have his opinions recorded.

You go on to quote "he came to fulfil and not abolish the [law]". Indeed, there was no need to abolish it after it was fufilled. It was already obsolete. Jesus demonstrated that keeping the letter of the law and not its spirit was a worthless activity.

Jesus attempted to move people from a rigid set of inflexible rules to a place of reasoning about morality from sound principles. Of course, the Church never really caught on because it never trusted the laity to take responsibility for their choices.

All we're doing today is following Jesus' program. Gay relationships that are full of love and faithful already are blessings to their participants. No one needs the Church to bless that which God has already blessed.

Posted by ruidh at Sunday, 4 March 2007 at 2:37am GMT

[Simon, thank you for allowing the thread to drift from the CofE's General Synod: this Yank appreciates speaking here! ;-)]

"By all means develop a positive gay theology but please don't do so by claiming for yourselves a special historical status. That ARGUMENT is childish."

Athos, I think it's childish that *you* don't realize that times DO change---that LGBTs DO have a "special historical status"...

...but *not only* LGBTs:

Women controlling their marital status and reproduction? Not only is this NEW in many parts of the world, in some it *still* hasn't happened yet!

Barack Obama a serious contender for U.S. President? Like *that* could have happened 50 years ago!

Barely 60 years ago, the world had a NEW fear: nuclear annihilation---now, it has another one: mass extinction by global warming.

[Even in your "Kids, be home by ___!" model, Athos, it means something different *with* the electic light, than before it (or, God forbid, after it! :-0)]

The hypothesis of sexual orientation (hetero, homo, bi and a-), first via psychology, and now increasingly through other (more empirical) sciences, is just one more on the list. Why does that *threaten* you?

God is God of ALL of our changes! :-D

*****

Steve Watson,

I don't pretend to be a Classical scholar. However, I've certainly read "Symposium" ("The Republic" too), and I don't appreciate being talked down to in this way.

In *none* of the classics that I've read (dozens and dozens, including the great theatrical canon: my fave!), have I seen anything that could properly be described as a "homosexual spousal relationship", between two "self-understood homosexual persons" (and hence, were NOT contemporarily commented on, positively OR negatively). That you believe otherwise, constitutes simple disagreement: *I'm* not in error! (No Comment re you ;-/)

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 4 March 2007 at 5:21am GMT

Oh my word!! And I thought this was a tolerant open minded, self critcal web sight...And all of a sudden simply becasue I question some historical assuptions Merseymike claims I am locked in the first century, Goran claims I believe people go to hell for what they do (which is NOT what I beleive OR teach)and JCF refuses to compare like with like. Of course things change like but I doubt human sexuality today is all that different from that which the ancients understood. Please try and temper your fundamentalism or you and Peter Akinola will end up the best of friends!!

Posted by Athos at Sunday, 4 March 2007 at 4:26pm GMT

OK, Ahtos, let's say we all misunderstood you (in that case, my apologies), and that your only point was that human sexuality has not changed. I would still claim "special historical status" because I now want to live a life style that I would not have been allowed to live in any other time in history. And I would still argue that the biblical reasons for denying my relationship equality with marriages don't apply because the kind of relationship I am living, openly, with children, was not the kind of relationship the prohibitions were based on.

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 4 March 2007 at 7:31pm GMT

Erika
You are very gracious and kind. I'm not sure I fully understand your last two sentences but that is why I frequent Thinking Anglicans in order to understand more comprehensively what it is that is driving you guys so powerfully. I really want to understand your motives and also your theological underpinnings. I should let you know that I am a bit underwhelmed by your theological arguments so far; I'm sure there must be deeper ones..

Posted by Athos at Sunday, 4 March 2007 at 8:34pm GMT

Erika
One last thought. I think I can begin to start to understand your historical sensitivities. It must be a HUGE burdern to carry if you are aware that you are embarking upon a spiritual/theological journey that has never been taken on before by any culture Christian or pagan. I would find that scary...

Posted by Athos at Sunday, 4 March 2007 at 8:43pm GMT

Athos, I wasn't making theological arguments, I was trying to explain to you what the arguments are about and why they are necessary. Your post that made me wade in questioned why we're so desperate to claim special historical status, and the only way I know how to do that is to explain about my own life. There are others here much more qualified to make deep theological arguments, and who have been making them extremely well on these pages for a long time.

Just one - very untheological - thought. Jesus spoke to simple men and women and expected to be understood by them. Aren't we sometimes in danger of making his message overly complex? My relationship mirrows a good marriage precisely. The same sex relationships condemned in the bible don't. That's enough for me. For more complexity, please continue this conversation with the experts.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 5 March 2007 at 8:30am GMT

Athos,
Just in case you think I’m trying to patronize you, my Christianity really is very simple. I’m a Christian, not a theologian. I love theology, I study it, hope to understand it, grow through it. But the head has to be mediated through the heart, through the actual reality of Christ in my life. If the two gel, it’s right, if they don’t, it isn’t. You can learn theology, you cannot learn Christianity. Love God with all your heart, love your neighbour as yourself, by their fruits shall you tell them. That’s the sum of it for me in my daily life. And if any theology results in oppression, marginalisation of anyone, imposed sacrifice for anyone for the sake of theological correctness, then it may be clever but to my mind cannot be right. If anyone feels opressed by me, then I have got it wrong. So as long as there are people saying they feel marginalised by Christians, we cannot have it right.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 5 March 2007 at 9:08am GMT

Hi Erika-
You say 'so long as there are people who feel marginalised by Christians, we cannot have it right'.

But even in Jesus's times two groups marginalised themsleves: the Pharisees and the unrepentant.

A whole load of people want to be accepted in their present lifestyle with no strings attached. That is called having your cake and eating it. To even countenance such a thing would be weakness, just as only a weak parent would indulge and spoil their child. I am sure there are loads of people who wouldn't mind 'trying it on': 'Hey, I am sleeping with my girlfriend, not to mention six others, but you are a Christian so it's your job to forgive me.'.

Yeah right.

Posted by Christop[her Shell at Wednesday, 7 March 2007 at 12:45pm GMT

Christopher,
the person in your example is laughing at the Christian ethos.
I am talking about people who, like myself, genuinely do all we can do follow Christ. We're repentant to the extent that any Christian is repentant, but we don't happen to believe that our sexuality and our loving relationships are a sin. On the contrary, we believe them to be God given gifts, a real grace for which we are thankful.
Our marginalisation is coming from those other Christians who cannot accept us as we are.

I don't expect you to agree - I do expect you and all those like you to leave the judgement to God!

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 7 March 2007 at 10:24pm GMT

Christopher,
... and, actually... the person in your example doesn't deserve our condemnation either. If we take him as seriously as Christ would do, we should do our best to get to know him properly, understand his motivation, really walk next to him... and THEN try to help. Don't forget, God's commandments aren't abstract moralistic rules, they are guidelines for a happy life. If someone doesn't follow them the saddest part isn't that he is immoral, but that he is not fulfilling his human potential. So words like "having your cake and eat it"...weakness, indulgence, spoiling"..."trying it on".. they have no place in a genuine conversation. Read your bible - Jesus never had any conversations than weren't totally genuine and based on complete understanding of the people he spoke to.
It's the harder path than quick condemnation, I know!
But it's still the only answer. Christians marginalising those we don't agree with is NOT the answer. Ever.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 7 March 2007 at 10:32pm GMT

Hi Erika-
I agree with your first post. But I would ask you to consider that a high proportion of heresies (or whatever you call them) throughout history - wherther 'King and Country' or imperialism or 'prosperity' - have been nothing other than people being unable to see outside the confines of their own culture. It is no accident that you write such things as a 21st century inhabitant of the western world, where such a worldview is drummed down our throats.

As for your second post, I don't agree with the main principle expressed there. Jesus was good at seeing through people, and the people I was speaking of (those who gave the lie to your opwn principle of non-exclusion, by virtue of excluding themselves). You speak of understanding people's motivation, which is obviously good; but this will then include realising that people often have impure motivations. For example, the motivations to filibuster; prevaricate; have their cake and eat it; make maximum capital from the prevailing Zeitgeist of relativism; and so on.

'It's the harder path than quick condemnation, I know': Erika, can you convince me that you are not being patronising here, in the midst of your own apologia for deeper understanding? What I am saying is perfectly normal Christianity.

There may be a translation of the Bible where Jesus didn't tell the woman to 'Go and sin no more' - but I haven't found it yet.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Thursday, 8 March 2007 at 12:40pm GMT

"There may be a translation of the Bible where Jesus didn't tell the woman to 'Go and sin no more' - but I haven't found it yet."

Really, Christopher!

You haven't seen because it isn't there...

Quite a few Calvinist bibles omit this passage altogether (originally in the gospel of Luke; 21:38ff, excised around 200 by the Alexandrian philosophical redaction, and later re-introduced, but in 3 different places in the gospel of John, by the Byzantine redaction ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Sunday, 18 March 2007 at 9:53am GMT
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