Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read and giving my article enough reflection to respond with your own thoughts. I agree with you that we must be very careful in understanding what Scripture says and doesn’t say. However, God gave us Scripture for a reason, and we are absolutely meant to interpret it as long as it is done correctly. God wants us to be closer to Him. Reading and interpreting Scripture carefully is a way of building that relationship with Him. Interpreting carefully means not taking passages out of context, not putting our own meaning into the text (eisegesis), and instead taking meaning only out of what the text itself says (exegesis). All Scripture supports itself. Therefore, when we attempt to read the Bible and think that Scripture is incorrect, it's right for us to assume that our interpretation of Scripture is wrong rather than the text itself. That being said, when we interpret Scripture, it's important to look at the historical, physical/geographical, and cultural context of any passage. For example, the passage where God creates mankind is before the fall of man, when Adam and Eve both eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This means that man and woman were created as God initially intended, without sin and death. However, after the fall, one of the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience and corruption is death. These effects are noticed immediately when they have their two children, Cain and Abel, and Cain murders his brother out of jealousy (Gen. 4:1-26). God did not create us to be jealous or murder. Still, those corrupted characteristics became a part of our human nature as a consequence of our separation from Him because of our disobedience. The image of God within us was tainted by sin. In the same way we were spiritually corrupted, death corrupted our physical bodies. That is why we experience disease and illness or physical abnormalities. Scripture only speaks of two sexes/genders, so we can’t assume that God intended anything other than that. That would be building doctrine on inference rather than Scriptural truth. Yes, I acknowledge that intersex people exist. However, that is a biological anomaly that makes up a very small percentage of the human population (official numbers hovering and averaging just over 1%). Even then, in most cases, intersex people manifest as predominantly male or female (meaning that they don't have the full reproductive capability of both male and female; otherwise, they could theoretically impregnate themselves—that’s a wild thought). We can’t consider this then to be normal. If I were born with one eye rather than two, that can't be considered normal because the objective biological standard of a human being includes having two eyes. It would be considered an anomaly. The Bible isn't meant to be taken as a book on science; however, we can trust that it is accurate when it does speak on such matters. Regarding race, it would be irresponsible to place an interpretation of such a concept in the story of Adam and Eve, given that Scripture, apart from referring to them generally as "Man" (the human race), only refers to them by name and differentiates between the two only in terms of sex. Yes, in later parts of the Old Testament, God explicitly differentiates between races after the Abrahamic covenant to differentiate the chosen nation of Israel from the pagans. He commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with the pagans because Israel was called to be distinctive from the surrounding world in ways that were not merely religious but also ethical. The purpose of this was ultimately the birth of Jesus, who, through His sacrifice, brought salvation to everyone who believed in Him, paving the way for God's grace to include gentiles (the non-Jews) as well. Race may play a factor in the Old Testament, however, to argue for or against race solely using the story of Adam and Eve makes no sense. The argument could only be done through eisegesis (putting our own meaning into the text and making us, the reader, authoritative over Scripture and what it actually says). Even so, the concept of race became obsolete after Jesus' sacrifice, in terms of salvation at least. Knowing this, I made no mention of race in terms of "ideal relationships" within my article. I was exclusively speaking to gender regarding the heterosexual aspect of Biblical marriage. On that note, we can definitely speak of ideal relationships by utilizing Scripture. Yes, many individuals in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, had multiple wives or practiced polygamy. However, we can't say that God approved of this behavior. These details should be taken as historical narrative and descriptive rather than authoritative teaching. Yes, even the patriarchs committed polygamy or adultery, such as when Abraham had sex with his wife's servant to conceive a child (even though God explicitly promised that his wife was the one meant to bear Abraham's son). However, these events occurred before the giving of the Mosaic Law, which specifically commanded not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). The Mosaic Law revealed sin to us initially, and even though sin was already present in humanity, we didn't fully understand what that meant because God had not given Israel a standard on how to act up until that point. The Mosaic Law was meant to expose how corrupted the nation of Israel was and give them initial mandates to live appropriately. However, the Law by itself was not enough, which is why Jesus’ sacrifice was required in order to permanently cover the sins that we could not cover on our own. Jesus elaborates more on the Law within His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and He specifically speaks of adultery and divorce in Matthew 5:27-32. The Apostle Paul speaks of the relation between the Mosaic Law and sin in Romans 7. He also speaks of marriage often in his letters, giving specific instructions for Christian households and stating that marriage is between a man and a woman. Some examples of this are found in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 and Ephesians 5:21-33. Relating to the passages on marriage, Paul also often speaks about sexual immorality and condemns adulterers and "men who have sex with men" (1 Cor. 6:9). With that being said, we can't fall into the trap of choosing the interpretation that lets us do what we want to do but rather strictly abide by what Scripture says (if we are basing our morals on a Christian way of life). Additionally, in order to not take things out of context (such as polygamy or homosexuality), we must understand that later revelation takes precedence over earlier revelation in building doctrine. If we find something in Scripture that says one thing and find another passage that is contradictory, it’s our responsibility as interpreters to understand the context and seek later teaching within Scripture that explains why the first passage may be teaching something different.

--

Storyteller. Poet. I (mostly) write about love, self-discovery, personal growth, and creativity. Bilingual author of six books: philosopherbynight.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store