Letter battle over Hebrew and sodomy rolls on

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
Share this article

I wish to reply to the rather garbled response of Mr Colin Nevin.

(This is the latest salvo in an exchange between Rev Foster and Mr Nevin, which is as follows:

Initial letter from Mr Nevin: It was general wickedness – not just gay sex – which killed off the city of Sodom

Reply from Rev Foster: Sodomy is a sin apart – that is why God ended the city

Reply from Mr Nevin: Restating my case on Sodom’s sins)

The reference in my last letter to the codicil referring to Mr Nevin’s knowledge of Hebrew, was an innocent assumption that the information came from him. I was unaware that the Editor knew him well enough to give the Newsletter readership such a titbit of information!

Mr Nevin’s point about the meaning of the Hebrew word used in Genesis 19 depends upon HIS translation of the Hebrew. It is not conservative Protestant Hebrew scholars translate the word!!

The Hebrew of the Authorised Version renders Genesis 19:4 as “The men (‘enowsh en–oshe’) of the city, even the men (‘enowsh en–oshe’) of Sodom. . . .” The word (‘enowsh en–oshe’) carries the meaning of ‘man, mortal man, person, mankind’ and is translated ‘man’ some 520 times in the Old Testament!

Mr Nevin would contend that the word translated as “men” is actually “people”. He is wrong!

In general the word means a ‘weak mortal man or human being’, cf. Job 4:17. Only once in the Authorised Version is it translated ‘people’, Jonah 3:5.

The Hebrew word for “people” is “am”.

It is best illustrated in the first verse in which it appears. “And the LORD said, Behold, the people (Hebrew, am) is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do,” Genesis 11:6.

The Hebrew ‘am’ appears some 1,800+ times in the Old Testament and always as ‘people’!

Just consider some translations of (‘enowsh en–oshe’) where it is translated as ‘husbands’. Ruth 1:11, Jeremiah 29:6.

Or where it is translated as ‘men’ in distinction to ‘women’. Exodus 35:22, Deuteronomy 31:12, Judges 9:51.

Such examples could be multiplied but I am sure the point is made!

In this matter, Mr Nevin is completely wrong and the point he seeks to make is actually pointless!!!

Whether or not ‘females’ are included by this Hebrew term is rather academic since Romans 1, when it refers to the perversion of which the people of Sodom were guilty, speaks of women and men being engaged in this wickedness. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet,” verses 26-27.

Mr Nevin says that Romans 1 is not linked to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

What a foolish logic he displays! That is the same as saying that since Romans 1:29 does not specifically mention the killing of Abel at the hands of Cain, that incident ought not to be considered a murder!

Sodom was but one of the many heathen places where the depraved wickedness of sodomy broke out like a plague. All such places and occasions of such evil are covered by what God’s Word says in His condemnations in Roman 1:32. The record of Sodom’s destruction under the wrath of God is record for an example for future transgressor to heed, 2 Peter 2:6, Jude 7. Sadly, Mr Nevin’s writings indicate every effort to avoid learning from this example!

I did not refer to ‘heterosexual sodomy’ or to ‘female sodomy’ or to ‘male sodomy’ for the simple reason that there is no such distinction set down in the Bible. The sin consists in the changing of ‘the natural use’ of a man or a woman ‘into that which is against nature’, the ‘leaving the natural use’ of the male or female and engaging in unnatural acts, intensely repulsive to most people and hated of God!

When I quoted the Lord’s words spoken against Capernaum, I was simply pointing out to readers who might consider themselves ‘righteous in God’s eyes’, simply because they detest the wickedness of sodomy, that the Saviour was stating that there is a sin worse than the perversions of Sodom - the rejection of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the refusal to embrace Him as Saviour and Redeemer!

It is not really surprising that Mr. Nevin failed to understand this simple truth!

All that Mr Nevin and his ilk are seeking to do is to sever the link between those who are sodomites and the eternal wrath of God.

That he can never do by his duplicitous and specious arguments.

However, your readers may be interested to know that there is a way of deliverance from the wrath of God which is due to such an obnoxious sin.

It is the same way by which there is deliverance from any and all sins. It is the way discovered by the Corinthians, caught up in this dreadful wickedness.

Please read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 for a full statement of the way and fulness of deliverance enjoyed by those who believe the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev Ivan Foster (Retired), Co Tyrone