Mark Burnett and Roma Downey where the creative force behind The Bible miniseries and companion book. Recently, Jeff 4 Justice talked to them about keeping faith when times are dark and their views on homosexuality. This last one is important because the miniseries actually seems to bypass the subject, much to the anger of some Christians.
Here is the clip from Jeff 4 Justice, and then the background on the omission:
Burnett offered up that he and Downey believe that :the two most important things are to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
At Truth Matters, though, they were not happy with that view, and were kind of upset over the decision to leave out of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah the whole homosexuality angle. Now, admittedly, anyone who actually reads the sections in the Bible about Sodom and Gomorrah tend to note the lack of specificity.
Truth Matters wrote:
However, one glaring hole in the story was when The Bible conveniently forgot the details of why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Don’t get me wrong; the scene was action-packed with the multi-ethnic, sword wielding ninja angels. But where was any mention of the rampant homosexuality that led to the two cities’ destruction?
If you knew nothing about Sodom and Gomorrah and watched the scene, you would have been led to believe that
(1) there was promiscuity among men and women and
(2) the men of the city wanted to beat up the angels.
I did see one man dressed in pink transvestite-type clothing, but there was nothing else leading you to believe that the primary sin was homosexuality.
From this point on, things get very difficult for Truth Matters. They write:
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” – Genesis 19:4-5
Except that isn’t what the Bible necessarily says. This is the Wycliffe Bible’s version of the same passage:
Forsothe bifore that thei yeden to sleepe, men of the citee compassiden his hows, fro a child `til to an eld man, al the puple togidre; and thei clepiden Loth, and seiden to him, Where ben the men that entriden to thee to nyyt? brynge hem out hidur, that we `knowe hem.
The Wycliffe Bible is from the 1380′s. The important passage is this one, I’ll translate, “Bring them out here that we know them.” or “Bring them out here so that we may know them.” Nothing sexual is mentioned in that despite the fact that Truth Matter’s claims that this reads “Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Now, between the Wycliffe and the Tyndale (1526) Bibles, that passage gets translated into “where are the men which came in to thy house to nyghte? brynge the out unto vs that we may do oure lust with them.” However, the Standard King James Bible puts the passage “ Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”
I think you see the issue here. Whatever version of the Bible being used by Truth Matters is not necessarily accurate. The problem is that the Bible was largely written/transmitted in Hebrew before being translated into Greek and then Latin and then English and then from one English to the next, and often the wording was subject not to any standardization. In fact, what a particular section of the Bible meant was far more a matter of the writer or translator choosing their words rather than any real firm scholarship.
In the other versions of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah inside the Bible, there is no mention of the attempted rape of the angels.