Ann Nyland: Study New Testament For Lesbians, Gays, Bi, and Transgender. With extensive notes on Greek word meaning and context. Smith and Stirling, Uralla, N.S.W. 2007. 422 p.Dr. Ann Nyland (a Greek lexicographer, not a theologian) has translated the New Testament into English. Her translation, called The Source New Testament, or TSNT, was published in 2004. Now, she has worked it into a "Study New Testament", with extensive notes and commentary. One point that she works into the notes is that homosexuality is, in fact, not forbidden in the Bible.
Nyland is critical to other translations for not taking into account recent (i.e. less than 150 years ago) discoveries of Greek text materials (including papyri and inscriptions) that shed new light on Greek vocabulary. NT scholars are well aware of this, but it seems not to have seeped through to Bible translators, who largely base their work on earlier, and by the nature of things faulty, translations.
It is, for instance, a mistake to assume that the etymology of a word is its actual meaning. An example would be the word arsenokoites. Nyland writes (p. 11), that the word
has been assumed to mean "homosexual". However, the word does not mean "homosexual", and its range of meaning includes one who anally penetrates another (male or female), a rapist, a murderer, or an extorsionist. When used in the meaning "anal penetrator", it does not apply exclusively to males as the receptors, as it was also used for women receptors. The word does not appear in any Greek literary source until the poets of the Imperial period. This late occurrence is most significant as the Greeks wrote at length on male-male sexual relationships.Not surprisingly, the book has created an uproar among right wing Christians, especially in the USA. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald (26.11.07) says that a US distributor, God's Word to Women, has banned the Australian publication, and withdrawn another Bible translation published by the same publishing house for promoting a lifestyle in contradiction of the scriptures. Two American academics have asked that their endorsements be removed from other works by Nyland, because of her authorship of the gay study bible.
The article quotes the manager of Smith and Stirling Publishing, Portia Blakely:
"Since we made the Gay and Lesbian Study Bible available to the public, leading evangelists who previously recommended our books have withdrawn their endorsements from all our books and Bibles on the grounds that we have produced a work that even discusses homosexuality.There is also an the article in Wikipedia on the controversy.
"The Christian right's unfounded treatment of gay and lesbian people is inexcusable bigotry which they blame on the God whom they worship."
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