1946: The mistranslation that shifted culture is the title of an upcoming movie directed by Sharon Roggio (who self-identifies as “a lesbian Christian” and stated, “It is my goal to change the Christian narrative and liberate the many LGBTQIA+ people”) and written by Jena Serbu.
Since it has not been released as of when I am posting this—in May 2021—I am making comments based on how it is being sold via its PR marketing.
From its outset, the trailer is misleading as it quotes 1 Corinthians 6:9—in the Revised Standard Version, which is the focus of the movie—as “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals [the current RVS has “sexual perverts”], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
The movie’s website also notes, “a team of researchers recently unearthed evidence that challenges deeply-held beliefs about LGBTQ+ people and their place in God’s kingdom” and this is key since what the trailer does not quote is the very next verse, which states, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
The premise of the movie is that one single English word created something that had been utterly unconceived of and unknown prior to its usage in the translation of one single Bible version in one single language.
The assertion is that “theology, history, culture, and politics led to a biblical mistranslation of catastrophic proportions” but how could theology do so if the theology that disapproved of homosexuality did not yet exist?
It is also interesting that reference is made to “the impassioned academic crusade of the LGBTQIA+ Christian community driven to discover the truth.”
Now, if “theology, history, culture, and politics led to a Biblical mistranslation” to what will the crusade lead since it is premised upon that there can be such a thing as not only “LGBTQIA+ Christians,” but an “LGBTQIA+ Christian community”? How could the B (bisexuals) claim to be Christians even if that one single word is mistranslated?
Not to mention, okay mentioning, that LGBTQIA+ is a contradiction in terms since for example, the T discredits the concept upon which the L, G, and Q (BTW: Lesbian, Gay, and Queer all refers to homosexuality) is based, and we can throw in the I (Intersex, such hermaphroditism) into the mix, while the A (Asexuals) have nothing to do with any of it and, of course, the + (plus) is an open door for whatever comes next.
This is also part of why the PR marketing referring to “LGBTQ+” and also to “LGBTQIA+” is problematic since “LGBTQ+” are lifestyle choices (differentiating between impulse and action) but the I are more so of a genetics issue as are some of the A—even if some who choose celibacy would self-identify as A.
In order to have any merit, the movie makers would have had to review any and all Bible manuscripts in any language dating to prior to 1946, and any Bible translations by anyone prior to 1946, as well as any and all Bible commentaries by anyone prior to 1946, and any Bible based homilies, sermons, lectures, books, etc. by anyone prior to 1946 and show that no one understood the Bible as disapproving of homosexuality prior to 1946.
One needs to know virtually nothing to know that there is a reason why the movie makers did not, will not, and cannot do this and that is because it has been understood for millennia that the Bible disapproves of homosexuality.
But the premise is that one single word “shifted culture” and I am not being hyperbolic since the movie’s website states that is it about “how the misuse of a single word changed the course of modern history.”
We are asked, “What if the word ‘homosexual’ was never meant to be in the Bible?”
This is a world-class, textbook classic case of a word-concept fallacy: we could easily remove the English word homosexual from English Bibles and nothing would change since the concept would still be there.
For example, the phrase, “dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts” (Romans 1:26-27) does not need the word homosexual within it to be crystal clear as to what it is referring.
Likewise with “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” (Leviticus 20:13), et al..
We are told, “1946 is not an attack on Christianity or the Bible. It is a quest to discover biblical truth and honor God’s Word” but they need to take heed of 1 Timothy 6:3-4, “If any man…consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.”
In other words, the premise of the movie is a form of low hanging fruit—so low that it has dropped to the ground and is rotting—which is indicative of our current culture’s anti-intellectual emotivism.
But why does the Bible disapprove of homosexuality (by any other name)?—and I realize that I am falling into the reification fallacy of speaking of the Bible as it is a being with volition, a voice, etc.
Anyone can look at the anatomy of a male and a female and conclude that they have only one main external difference.
Anyone can see that males have an outie and females have an innie—shall we say.
Anyone can—logically and bio-logically—conclude that the one fits inside of the other one.
Now, even an Atheist evolutionist—who would view that gender binary as accidental—could at least conclude that the one accidentally fits best inside of the other especially if they know enough about anatomy to know that there are certain physiological changes in the innie that accommodate the outie—nuff said.
Sure, anyone could conclude that anything can be inserted into anything but the issue is to first discern how things are—the basic logical law of identity applied to the bio-logical realm—whatever people take upon themselves to do, notwithstanding.
Biblical theology has the gender binary being purposefully created and the outie and innie having been designed to work together.
Thus, this is not about one word—it is not about one word for many, many reasons—such as that when Jesus was asked about marriage (which biblically would be the only appropriate and safe premise for sex), He replied:
“Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-6).
Thus, anything beyond this relationship, which includes a sexual relationship, is a violation of God’s created order.
Now, let us assume that the 1946 translation should be rejected: that would have no bearing on the logical, bio-logical, nor theo-logical premises which means that the movie is discredited even on the conceptual level—and it should not have gone beyond a mere concept and is surely only a movie due to the current socio-political dumbed down zeitgeist du jour.
Now, one must ponder the utter power of one single English word in one single English version to then influence any and all Christians all over the world who spoke any language.
This is not just a case of the mistranslation that shifted culture but mistranslation that shifted all Christendom all over the planet.
Thus, it would seem that for these, and many more, 1946: The mistranslation that shifted culture may shift certain circles of the current culture but fails at the level of premise, fails historically, fails linguistically, fails logically, and fails on various other fronts—if, that is, such facts matters to anyone anymore.
The movie’s website also tells us, “More than 45,000 churches today still preach that homosexuality is a sin, citing biblical references that condemn ‘homosexuals.’ What would change if churches discovered the truth — the word ‘homosexual’ was added to the Bible in 1946 by mistake?”
Nothing would change since no one disapproves of homosexuality because of what was a relatively recently invented word, homosexuals, was employed by the RSV translators.
The bottom line is said to be that “the word ‘homosexual’ was used in lieu of the Greek words ‘malakoi’ and ‘arsenokoitai.’”
For me, this is familiar ground since in my 2017 book In Consideration of Rev. Dr. Mel White on Christian Homosexuality, I included a chapter titled, “Paul, Greek, Malaokois and Arsenokoitai.”
Now, the issue is that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination….If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” have with “man” translated as “arseno” and “lay with” or rather, “bed(s)” as “koitai” ergo these words are compounded as “arsenokoitai” and so English word homosexual or not, the meaning is crystal clear.
The movie’s website tells us of Kathy Baldock and Ed Oxford who “have dedicated their lives to researching the roots of anti-gay theology” but we might as well say that the Bible is anti-adultery and anti-other sexual choices that other people would like to also say the Bible does not really condemn—and if you say no way then just keep in mind that what was utterly unthinkable just a few years ago is now being put into law.
For example, we are also told, “society at large has been shaped — at least in part — to believe the idea that sexual and gender minorities must choose between their faith and their identity” but of course there are instances when one must choose between their faith and their identity and I would hope—against hope?—that people involved in this movie would say that unrepentant adulterers and those into bestiality, etc., must indeed choose between their faith and their identity.
Let us study to show ourselves approved and share real-life facts with love and grace.
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