Thread: Gay rights
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      08-22-2005, 04:32 PM   #20
deutschmann59
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Sorry, but I kind of want to offer my insight on the whole Leviticus situation...

Sacrificing bulls or lambs to God, by way of a Burnt Offering, was just that...a sacrifice. In the time of the ancient Hebrews, Jews, like many other ancient peoples of the time, began to settle down and farm instead of being constantly on the move, hunting for food. So farm animals were of great value to farmers. Though we don't kill bulls today for sacrifice, money is fairly valuable to us. We all make sacrifices--donations to a church or charity, compromises with friends or a spouse, or even being nice to someone we really don't like.

The Jews would sacrifice these animals not to give smoke and ash to God, but because of the meaning behind it. They were giving up something of great value because of their devotion to God.

Shellfish...it was considered an abomination to eat anything "unclean" including fish from the ocean, because at the time these texts were written, "cooking" food was in its early stages. Eating raw seafood would make anyone sick, so therefore it was considered "unclean". When other things were mentioned as being "unclean", it was more of a public health issue than it was for being devoted to God. They didn't have our modern medicine. Staying away from anything "unclean" would promote good health.

Here's an interesting point: only the first four of the Ten Commandments actually have anything to do with God himself. The remaining six deal explicitly with your neighbor.

"Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight". Only Jews from the Levite tribe could be priests. It says if you have a crooked back, or are too short, or have defected eyes or sex glands, you cannot approach the altar. You can take this literally, or you can read into this and realize that God will be very selective of the people he will allow to serve him (but not selective physically).

And that quote from Exodus 21, that's after the Jews left Egypt. Slavery was commonplace back then, and believe it or not, that bible quote was made to ensure equity in the slave/servant business.

There are other quotes, but this person obviously has taken everything literally (and Orthodox Jews do take every word in the Hebrew Bible literally as being God's word). However, I believe the Bible leaves much room for interpretation. The Bible was written by man, and should be treated as such. However, I believe these men were inspired by God to write.