As many of the blog’s readers may have heard, The New York Times recently published an article by Idan Dershowitz entitled The Secret History of Leviticus. In the article the author seeks to explain away the clear prohibition against homosexuality found particularly in Leviticus 18:22, but he really doesn’t offer any new “arguments” beyond the same kind of purely hypothetical and imaginary suppositions that have been offered by theological liberals for at least a couple of centuries now. However, he does take his claims a bit further than others when he has the unmitigated gall to assert that
… 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.
But, of course, Dershowitz doesn’t offer any actual evidence for such a preposterous claim, the reason being that there is no evidence for it. He attempts to create evidence for his suppositions by claiming that certain statements in Leviticus 18 are “glosses” that were not written by Moses but added by later redactors. He then claims — for no reason other than his own bias against the teaching of the text — that “what we have here is strong evidence of editorial intervention.” Having reached this conclusion, he then feels free to see “editorial intervention” just about anywhere he wants to, the only restraint being his own imagination, the same type of imagination by which he and others have discovered “editorial intervention” in the first place. As I said, there is really nothing new here in the approach, since this same fallacious approach has been around for a long time. Apparently, then, in order to get attention for his article and to further satisfy those who hate what the Bible actually says, Dershowitz felt the need to go so far as to posit an original that actually permitted homosexuality.
At any rate, I though I would offer the blog’s readers a couple of response to this article. the first is by Al Mohler and is entitled Leviticus in The New York Times: What’s the Real Story Here?.
The second article is by Tyler O’Neil and is entitled New York Times Twists Leviticus 18 to Support Homosexual Activity.
As always, we welcome your feedback.