on Monday, 9 June 2008 at 10.49 pm by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion
Stephen Sackur of the BBC interviewed Bishop Martyn Minns for Hardtalk.
Watch the full interview here.
Read a summary of the interview at Episcopal Café.
It is a remarkable contrast, the blatant hostility of the interviewer and Bp Minns and the love fest interviews between the BBC inteviewers and Gene Robinson or Katherine Jefferts Schori. In particular, the interviewer quotes ABp Akinola as describing homosexuality as an abomination and asks Bp Minns whether he agreed with those words. The interviewer then states “It’s not even in the Bible.” “It’s not scriptural.” Well, sorry, it is in the Bible unless you have used your exacto knife on Leviticus. He condemns ABp Akinola for using words straight out of the Bible? He then quotes Gene Robinson silly… Read more »
Sorry Robroy, “abominatio” is n o t in the Good Book. It is found in translations, from the 12th century onwards. More precisely, it was introduced in the famous (or rather infamous) Parisian Versio Vulgata in the late 1100s. The original Hebrew “toheva” is not known as to its meaning but it has to do with Idolatry; Cult. It appears in Lev 11 (koscher!) and in later books such as Hesekiah and Proverbs (50 each, often in the formula “your transgressions and hmhm”) and Macchabeans, but not at all in Numeri or the lesser (older and un-redacted) Prophet books. “Abominatio”… Read more »
“Minns says that it will not result in schism but in a new centre for Anglicanism. The goal of GAFCON is to “work and pray together on how to work together without reacting to the latest crisis coming from North America.””
It is interesting that in Minns mind it is the Global North only, which is “the crisis” in Anglicanism, not the prime Socio-Political movers: IRD, Akinola, Duncan, Ahmanson and Co. Ltd…
The most lingering, chilling thing about Bishop Minns in this BBC Hardtalk interview, aside from the typical realignment presuppositional-definitional jousting – trippingly skips right over the translation difficulties that obtain when any ancient word or phrase from, say, the New Testament codicils is facilely translated into our newish modern word homosexual? – is the mild-mannered smooth surfaces of his gloss that somehow reaches to conserve traditional alarm and ick about same-sex embodiment while denying at the same time that there is anything particularly sinful about queer citizenship that is not equally true of everybody else. But of course if queer… Read more »
A footnote contra Minns: The factual truth is we cannot really tell exactly how ethical any particular person is in daily life, across any number of different domains of thought or motivation or behavior, if all we know about that individual is his or her sexual orientation. If being straight does not hinder one from acting like a boorish devil, then not being straight is no barrier to angelic serenity and exemplary self-giving in service for the good of all.
robroy: why are you at all surprised that Christian homophobia is seen as unpleasant by anyone in their right mind outside the Church?
robroy “the theme from Genesis to Revelation is that sexual relations are for marriage and that marriage is for a man and a woman” This misleading generalisation reveals a lack of attention to the detail of what is actually in scripture. There are a number of men in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation who have more than one wife, or a concubine or two in addition, or a slave girl in addition to a wife. These arrangements sometimes seem to be approved, are sometimes central to the story of God’s people, and are by no means universally condemned. Where… Read more »
By now, we know the splitters and the Puritans all too well, and that certainly includes Martyn Minns.
On the substantive issue, crass conservatism at odds with a liberal openness to the Spirit and to the coming of the kingdom in the world today, there is not much more to say and I think that Giles Goddard says it very well in what looks like his closing letter to his evangelical namesake Andrew Goddard, now online at http://www.inclusivechurch2.net/Giles-to-Andrew-9-29th-May-08-490f282
“He condemns ABp Akinola for using words straight out of the Bible?” For good reason. Bear in mind that most Evangelical ideas are no more than 500 years old. Thus, I could easily denounce you as “following the elemental spirits of the age”, that age being the Reformation. Any of us could bring down the Scripture quoting condemnation of someone or another. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” You can defend +Akinola, or you could consider the effect of such words on the furtherance of the Gospel. What do people feel about leaders who say… Read more »
A choice quote from the summary about creating an atmosphere of hate: “I have no antagonism towards homosexual folks,” Minns says. He reports that there are many in his congregations who must deal with this issue in their lives. Minns says that he is is sorry that Gene Robinson feels that fear. He says that when people say terrible things to him, he just moves on.” Only a man who has never been fearful for his life on account of threats against his very being could say this without blinking. I don’t want to put too fine a point on… Read more »
“And there is His answer: “In the Kingdom, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.” Rather an odd statement for God to make about marriage if it is actually as important as the conservatives claim it is.”
You don’t think that something can be important in this life but not in the next?
“He says that when people say terrible things to him, he just moves on.” Minns via kieran crichton
Rather like crossing to the other side of the road.
“You don’t think that something can be important in this life but not in the next?” I don’t think in terms of “this life and the next”. There is only one life. Death may be a transition to another state, but I steer far away from the idea that this life is somehow something to be endured while we wait for better things, or some sort of proving ground so we can get into Heaven. We enter the Kingdom at our baptisms. Our life here is not in contrast to “there”, it is our attempt in the here and now… Read more »
ASV, Darby, ESV, HNV, KJV, Net Bible, NKJV, RSV, Webster, Young all use the word abomination. Göran can take up his objections with the translators of these texts. (NIV and NASB use the word “detestable.” Is that more acceptable?) Regardless, to say that the word abomination “isn’t in the Bible, it isn’t even scriptural” is patently false. Bp Minns states that he would not use that word here in the States because of the reasoning that Ford alludes to. The goal is repentance and transformation. However, it is culturally insensitive to criticize ABp Akinola choice who is in an entirely… Read more »
“A new xcentre for Anglicnism”…. read Lay presidency and the Reformation theology of Sydney.
“Bp Minns states that he would not use that word here in the States because of the reasoning that Ford alludes to. The goal is repentance and transformation. However, it is culturally insensitive to criticize ABp Akinola choice who is in an entirely different social setting but his stated goals are the same as Bp Minns.” If Akinola wishes to be the leader of a church (or even a movement within a church) that transcends his own national borders, I think it behooves him to start thinking about how his language is heard outside Nigeria. If he doesn’t realize this,… Read more »
Robroy wrote: “Regardless, to say that the word abomination “isn’t in the Bible, it isn’t even scriptural” is patently false.”
Sorry again, Robroy, a translation is not the Bible, only a translation, and “abominatio” isn’t even that.
It is not a translation of either Heb tohevah nor Greek bdélugma.
Sorry. But the long and short of it is that it doesn’t mean what you have been led to think.
You’re correct Robroy. The word abomination does appear in the bible. Daniel 9:27 “…he will set up an abomination that causes desolation…” Daniel 11:31-32 “Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.” These passages referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 See Zechariah 7:8-14 for how God’s “chosen ones” made the pleasant land desolate by refusing to administer true justice and in their hearts not thinking evil of each other.’ “But they refused… Read more »
I think this “translation” ‘abomination’ provides an excellent example (case study) of how the culture of the translator affects the form of the translated text. The translator makes assumptions about meanings – often unconscious, and unnoted – simply because these assumptions are natural to make in the target language. But the assumptions need not be there in the source language. The failure is a failure to enter sufficiently into the world of the text and appreciate its meaning. Of course if someone has been taught form childhood that this is an abomination, then abomination is what one expects to see.… Read more »
“The goal is repentance and transformation. However, it is culturally insensitive to criticize ABp Akinola choice who is in an entirely different social setting but his stated goals are the same as Bp Minns.” And calling people “abominations” doesn’t give people the idea that violence against these “abominations” is acceptable, especially in a much more traditional culture in which gay people are already outcast and in fear? For the same man to advocate the jailing of said “abominations” doesn’t add to that? Is Nigerian culture so different that to call someone an abomination doesn’t do these things or is somehow… Read more »
Even more difficult to resolve than the translation difficulties is the contrary modern empirical evidence. If the ethical topographies common and innate to all – yes, every last single one – of all possible modern queer folks is as definitively flat and empty as it is so frequently preached to be, how can any neutral hypothesis test turn up such plentiful evidence that queer folks are, say, as capable of honesty, commitment, service, moral growth, and care in any number of its common sense forms – without their sexual orientations being the absolute and total ethical hindrance it is so… Read more »
“I think this “translation” ‘abomination’ provides an excellent example (case study) of how the culture of the translator affects the form of the translated text.”
If you see the church in one way, you will translate the Greek word ‘episcopoi’ as ‘overseers.’
If you see the church in another way, you will translate ‘episcopoi’ as ‘bishops.’
But you can’t claim that the word ‘overseers’ OR the word ‘bishops’ is “in the Bible.” You can only say that the word “episcopoi” is in the Bible, and that it has been translated as both ‘overseers’ and as ‘bishops.’
One wonders why so-called ‘Bishop’ Minns is even given credence by anyone remotely connected with the world-wide Anglican Communion. After all, he was ‘ordained’ (together with others of his ilk)without the consent of any of the Instruments of the Communion, and his quasi-church organisation CANA is not even a recognised body within the Communion. How, then, can he be said to represent any part of the Anglican Church which derives its status directly from the See of Canterbury? Also, the organisers of GAFCON – e.g., the Abp. of Sydney, Australia – are noted defectors from mainline Anglican Tradition, with very… Read more »
Cheryl wrote: “The abomination are those who have hardened their hearts against others, and incited violence and shunning not just from themselves but from others. That’s the context of how the word abomination is used in the bible.“ Sorry again, hardened hearts is the context of how the word “abomination” is used in the t r a n s l a t i o n s of the Bible from the late 12th century, but “abomination” is not by a long shot a translation of either toevah nor bdélugma. The reference in Daniel 9:27 “…he will set up an abomination… Read more »
So, “abominatio” is found in the Versio vulgata, the new and greatly changed Parisian Scholastic version of the very reliable millenary Latin translation from 2nd century North Africa and all following bad “translations” (especially English).
The word it is supposed to translate; toevah or bdélugma is apparently Cultic, 2nd Commandment as I said, found only in the late and redacted OT scriptures of the (aloready Hellenistic, because Persian inspired) Ezraic Reform (398 BC), and not at all in others (Numeri; the lesser Prophets).
“It [abomination] is not a translation of either Heb tohevah nor Greek bdélugma.”
And if “abomination” isn’t, Goran, how much LESS is “homosexual”?! :-/
[Don’t think I didn’t notice, in your first post robroy, to whom you gave titles “Bp” (or “ABp”), and whom you didn’t! >:-(]
“When has it ever been a doctrine of the Church that the current edition of the Lexicon is infallible?”
That’s because, has has been pointed out to me here on a number of occasions, God also guides all his translators to ensure his Word is passed on exactly as it needs to be.
In the RC only the pope is infallible. In the AC all translators through the ages have also been and will continue to be for ever and ever, Amen.
“but “abomination” is not by a long shot a translation of either toevah nor bdélugma”
What would be?
Focussing on the word loses its context. It’s like examining the bark of one tree and forgetting the forest which gives it context and sustainability. The interesting thing about the biblical passages concerned is that their context refers to making places desolate and voiding the covenants of peace. Symptoms of war, genocide, oppression and tyranny are desolate landscapes where life is marginal and souls live in fear of their lives and violation (hardly peaceful). The redemptive passages of the bible refer to abundance and safety – for all beings. There are times where one can be so engrossed by the… Read more »
“In the AC all translators through the ages have also been and will continue to be for ever and ever, Amen.”
I thought that was a doctrine of the venerable Hal Lindsay? 😉
“The question is, will they have a common mind on whether or not Jesus will appear among them in the forms of bread and wine?” Clearly not. Don Harvey, for one, believes the bread and wine ARE the Body and Blood of Christ and that, while Christ might not have specifically sanctioned it, it is certainly appropriate to carry them about, lift them up, and worship them, the Big 39 notwithstanding. When rector of St. Michael and All Angels, St. John’s, he did it on the first Sunday of every month, after Evensong. One of the Jensens, on the other… Read more »
I say, “We should love one our neighbor as ourselves.” Then Göran pipes in, “That’s not scriptural, that’s not in the Bible. I say, “Look at Leviticus 19:18 (“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.) And Göran pedantically gives me the Hebrew. OK so should we use detestable, loathsome, really-really naughty? I think we can move on. I see that an MP was reported to the police for using the word abomination. If I directly quote the King James, then this is not biblical… Read more »
I had written: “… but “abomination” is not by a long shot a translation of either toevah nor bdélugma”
Erica asked: “What would be?”
As far as I understand we don’t really know other than it being Cultic; 2nd Commandment, some sort of impurity or contamination by “other” Cult.
Perhaps those that used toevah in late Persian times didn’t know themselves, the formula (Ezekiel, Proverbs) “your transgressions and toevah” being less than clear as to its meaning… A formula.
The “…he will set up an abomination that causes desolation…” is probably rightly associated with Antiochus Epiphanes’s Idol of Zeus, but if so, and in itself, late (167 BC). Not much help in fact.
And it is thus with so much found in he Bible…
Long lost – even to the authors ;=)
I found Minns pretty moderate. I was surprised. But I suppose he was just very English, mealy-mouthed and very Anglican.
I was glad he declined to accept Akinola’s rhetoric and intemperate language.
Nonetheless he does not wish lgbt people or liberal christians well, I guess …
“If I directly quote the King James, then this is not biblical and I should be arrested.” Again, the issue is, given that your claim is that “we should love them (gay people) better than that”, which is to say that you should be trying to show them (us) that homosexuality is NOT acceptable to God, but in fact sinful and puts their salvation in jeopardy, why would you want to use language that you know they will find insulting , that will close their ears, and in fact drive them further from the Gospel and salvation? The fact that… Read more »
Ford rightly comments that there are some who use honeyed words but have no intention of being loving, generous or inclusive. Some might then contemplate using different words, which at least would mean an honest expression of their true feelings e.g. “OK so should we use detestable, loathsome, really-really naughty?” This is also why it is important to put the words being used into context. This is also another case study why it is important to go beyond the characters/tribe/family names to look at what God is saying through the prophets. A quick google search affirms Goran’s suggestion that Daniel… Read more »
“some who use honeyed words but have no intention of being loving” That’s the funny part. You’ll notice that the question assumes that we SHOULD use some words of condemnation. The idea that love might be a better approach than condemnation just is not a part of the reality, no matter how many times it is pointed out. Now this evangelism by threat and fear is typical in my experience. The question is why should this be so? Why is it so important for these people to pretend to themselves that by insulting, wounding, adding to the hurt, condemning, frightening,… Read more »
Oh, yes. Naughty-naughty! Truly loathsome. And let’s not forget Leviticus 11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2011;&version=50;): “9 ‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat. 10 But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. 11 They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their… Read more »
Ach, you liberals have invented a Jesus whom you use like a brand to stamp approval on all and every kind of beliefs, behaviours and attitudes that are pleasing to you regardless of scripture. The problem is that your Jesus is a million miles from the one we actually have in the gospels. That Jesus took sin pretty seriously, talked a good deal about judgement and God’s wrath. In reply ro robroy’s assertion that the scriptural ideal is the ‘one-flesh’ man/woman relationship, Mark Bennett writes:- “There are a number of men in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation who have… Read more »
“The question is, why is it so atractive to them that they actually have to convince themselves it is somehow traditional?”
I suspect, Ford, that the problem is that they do not trust their own consciences. They are deathly afraid that if they do not have a strict and unchanging law to follow, they will go astray.
It’s Carolingian State Crowd Control and the self-righteous hatred of the others (the non Abstinent) of the Self Martyrs of the Academics of the Alexandrian Command tradition.
Fern Winter, “The real point, however, is surely that God seeks partnership with humans as they are” An astoundingly liberal statement, Fern, given the bile of the previous paragraph. Given that you can say that, I wonder if you can see that the conservatives claim is that God only seeks partnership with gay people as they should be. “They are deathly afraid that if they do not have a strict and unchanging law to follow, they will go astray.” I agree. In the moments when I feel most like Fern Winter does in her post, I would also claim that… Read more »
וְאֶת-זָכָר–לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הִוא
So, we agree that the above at least predates Carolinians, Alexandrians and Parisians?
Rick, can you transliterate and translate the Hebrew?
Isn’t that the one Ian McKellen tears out from room Bibles?
To be honest, I don’t care whether the interpretation/translation of the Bible came as a result of relatively obscure ideological formations. What I do care is how it is being read now. And I think it seems that how people read the Bible in their context now is what fuels this conflict.
Not, of course, what the text says, unless one is an ipissima verba type like the new(er) congregants of Falls Church.
Now, Rick, posting in Hebrew is a little poncey, don’t you think?
“Now, Rick, posting in Hebrew is a little poncey, don’t you think?”
Yes, but it’s almost the only response to Göran’s admonitions that we should not read our bibles in the language we understand because the translations are wrong.
We can’t all be experts in ancient Greek and the culture in which Scriptures were written and it really is quite hard how to respond adequately to continuous reminders that the English versions are all not reliable.
Ironically enough, though תּוֹעֵבָה is in my Hebrew lexicon, “poncey” is not in my Webster’s.
It’s perfectly OK to read translations in “languages we understand” as long as we are aware that they are manipulated.
A dozen Words/Concepts of the 10 Commandments have been changed in later Theology from material; Greed, selfishness to “sex”, but this is quite stable up to the arrival of “Dynamic Equivalence” in late modernity.
It’s all a question of the importance of being Earnest!