Monday, April 25, 2011

G Thomas Hobson and his (Disappointing) Article on Ἀσέλγεια (Aselgeia)

Hi, JeremiahA--

As a reputable, scholarly discussion of “ἀσέλγεια,” G Thomas Hobson was disappointing.

Significantly, Hobson opens his article with the statement that Mark’s use of ἀσέλγεια “could easily [be used] as a synonym for homosexual activity.” He did not, in the end, prove that Jesus definitively referred to homosexuality at all!

Though attempting to frame ἀσέλγεια as a synonym for homosexuality, Demosthenes doesn’t support Hobson’s cause. He “accuses a man of treating his slave-girl ἀσελγῶς by having sex with her openly at parties (Neaer. 59.33.1).…he also speaks disparagingly of a gang of men who violated all standards of wantonness (ἀσελγεστάτα) with the wife of a certain man (Vit. Apoll. 3.20.40).”

Hobson refers to the Aquilan and Symmachean retranslation (ca 125 CE) of the LXX to support his thesis that Hosea 7:14 leads to a Biblical condemnation of homosexuality (ἀσελγῶς ἐλάλησαν). Nonsense! The original LXX (ca 130 BCE) says (ἐν ταῖς κοίταις).

He appeals to the “OT Apocrypha” which the Jewish tradition rejects and from which Jesus never quoted.

To equate homosexuals with effeminacy, cross-dressing and extreme womanly lasciviousness (ὑπερβολὲν ἀσέλγειαν), Hobson cites Josephus - known for his inaccuracies and biases. Hobson conveniently omits the fact that they did so for military advantage: “while their faces looked like the faces of women, they killed with their right hands; and when their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men, and became warriors.”

Inconsistencies in Hobson abound. I’m unimpressed.

--ez duz it Copyright © 25 April 2011

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