Lev. 18:18, 22 (LXX)

jordan@chuma.cas.usf.edu (Greg Jordon) writes:

>But if you think the 
>absence of articles or possessive pronouns is problematic, look no 
>further than Leviticus 18:18:

>Gunaika epi alelphE autEs ou lEmpsEi antizElon apokalupsai tEn 
>asxEmosunEn autEs epi' autEi eti zOsEs autEs.

>Or in Hebrew (BHS3): V'issha el-akhotah lo tikkakh litsror l'gallot 
>ervatah aleyha b'khayyeyha.

>The KJV translates: "Neither shalt thou take a wife [or, one wife to 
>another] to her sister, to vex *her*, to uncover her nakedness, beside the 
>other in her life *time*."

>The NIV translates: "Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and 
>have sexual relations with her while your wife is living."

>The NAB-Catholic translates: "While your wife is still living, you shall 
>not marry her sister as her rival; for thus you would disgrace your first 

>Notice all these English translations render *plain old GUNE* as "wife", 
>usually with possessive pronouns not in the original: "your wife."  Then 
>suddenly in Lev. 18:22 *plain old GUNE* suddenly becomes the universal 
>woman.  If you'll notice, this verse assumes the listener/reader is a male 
>polygamist.  This is one more reason a definite article or possessive 
>pronoun would not be employed: there was not one woman who was "the" wife 
>or "his" wife: there were many wives.

	In an earlier post, I recommended a perusal of the Hebrew underlying
instances of the translation "wife."  I said then that you will find that
when 'ishshah has the meaning "wife," either the context clearly so
indicates, or the use of the article and/or some pronoun points to the
husband-wife relationship.  In the case of Lev. 18:18, the context is what
shows that GUNH (and its underlying Hebrew) is to be understood as "wife."
 The context does not so indicate in Lev. 18:22.  And with neither article
nor pronoun to show a husband-wife relationship in Lev. 18:22, GUNH (and its
underlying Hebrew) should be most naturally understood in a general sense
(i.e. "woman").  Make no mistake, the semantic range of both GUNH and
'ishshah include both "wife" and "woman."  The coice between these two
meanings is a matter of exegesis and depends entirely the kinds of indicators
I have mentioned.

               . . . . 

>>   Every one of us has natural inclinations
>> to activities the Bible calls sinful.  Some are especially tempted in one
>> area, others in another.  But just as the adulterer cannot justify his
>> actions by saying that he has a stronger sex drive than other men, the
>> homosexual is not justified by arguments based on a homosexual nature or
>> homosexual attraction.

>Then I assume you cannot justify heterosexuality by the fact that you 
>have a heterosexual nature.  What assumptions make you assume that 
>heterosexual nature expresses itself only in sinless behavior, and that 
>homosexual nature expresses itself only in sinful behavior?  

	I neither assumed that nor did I say it.  My paragraph above says quite the
contrary.  I hope you will read it again.

David Moore