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This blog post is part three in our on going series where we explore verses that have been used against the LGBTQ+ community. Also known as, The Clobber Passages!
In this piece we will be discussing Deuteronomy 23:17-18 which says in KJV, "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the Lord thy God."
When I first saw these verses listed as clobber Passages I thought I wrote them down as a mistake. I don't see how anyone could take this as being anti-LGBTQ+. But many are stuck on the word "sodomite" but I think a better explanation is to be had. Evangelicals Concerned Inc. I believe says it best, "These terms, KEDESHA and KADESH, literally mean 'holy' or 'sacred'. There is no Hebrew derivative of the word 'Sodom' in this passage; the King James Bible supplied it erroneously. The Hebrew words here are references to the 'holy' female and eunuch priest-prostitutes of the Canaanite fertility cults, of which Israel was to have no part. Moreover, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary Bible scholar George R. Edwards notes that ‘No prophet uses the noun for male cult prostitute or discusses the activity such a person pursued. The prophets, in fact, are as silent on the subject of homosexual acts as is the whole tradition of the New Testament teaching of Jesus. This is,' he says, 'a significant silence.'"
Evangelicals Concerned Inc also give an alternative translation for verse 17, “There shall be no female cult prostitute of the daughters of Israel nor a male cult prostitute of the sons of Israel.”
This Clobber Passage may have been the easiest one to research and discredit out of all the ones we've looked at this far. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Alexander M. Burchnell,
President of QCFV
Evangelicals Concerned Inc. https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/deuteronomy-2317-18/