1. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 03:551 edit
    To what extent do you think the sexual morality of the bible could be motivated by Syphilis?

    heres the wiki article on Leprosy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprosy
    And it says quite clearly the 2 diseases were confused and a lot of syphilis cases were diagnosed as leprosy.

    Its an awful disease, and a dire consequence of promiscuity prior to antibiotics. Do you think it informs the bibles view on sex, or did they not connect the two?

    Just wondering?
  2. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 06:551 edit
    Originally posted by e4chris
    To what extent do you think the sexual morality of the bible could be motivated by Syphilis?
    How can anyone know? I guess a view on this would be driven by whether you feel sexual morality exists in the first place. If not, then roll the dice and be constrained by the outcomes. If so, then course correct before the dice is rolled.
  3. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 07:40
    Originally posted by divegeester
    How can anyone know? I guess a view on this would be driven by whether you feel sexual morality exists in the first place. If not, then roll the dice and be constrained by the outcomes. If so, then course correct before the dice is rolled.
    I suppose a better question is does the bible associate Leprosy (which was probably syphalis) with bad morals? Leprosy is in the bible a lot.
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    27 Mar '13 07:42
    Originally posted by e4chris
    I suppose a better question is does the bible associate Leprosy (which was probably syphalis) with bad morals? Leprosy is in the bible a lot.
    I've never seen that link in scripture, have you?
  5. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 09:022 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I've never seen that link in scripture, have you?
    Wasn't sure if you were questioning the link with syphilis, or with sin. If the latter, the OT is full of references to physical imperfections being associated with moral imperfections.

    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

    17Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

    18For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

    19Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

    20Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

    21No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

    22He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.

    23Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries:


    As for leprosy, there is quote a lot of association of the disease to moral imperfection. I have seen attempts to rationalise this, but these come from the wrong perspective, in my view.

    Namely, the person is not interested in what the Bible actually means and says, and then proceeding from there, but is, first and foremost, looking for an interpretation which they find more acceptable, even if it means twisting the words of the Bible.
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    27 Mar '13 09:25
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Namely, the person is not interested in what the Bible actually means and says, and then proceeding from there, but is, first and foremost, looking for an interpretation which they find more acceptable, even if it means twisting the words of the Bible.
    Does anyone ever read the Bible in any other way?
  7. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 09:51
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Does anyone ever read the Bible in any other way?
    I was rather hoping I do.
  8. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 11:471 edit
    RO - this quote
    18For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

    that sounds like syphalis . the distinct symptom with it is your nose falls off. Its a bit out there but when looking into this I wondered if the pinnochio story was a syphalis metaphor - its not so far fetched . lied so much they needed a new nose. but I can't find any reference to that.

    With the bible I'm wondering and your quotes seem to say so If they associatted leprosy with promiscuity - because there is quite a big link. and there advice at the time was very good for avoiding that nasty disease. (but they did not seem to know it existed! distinct from being a leper)

    Edit - here is another disease they could mistake for leprosy - Pallegra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niacin_deficiency - I think this might have caused confusion in those times - you could get Syphalis from 'sin' but Pallegra just from poor diet and they look alike - also you can heal pallegra quite easily but there was not a hope with syphalis.
  9. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    27 Mar '13 19:13
    Most studies point to a New World origin for syphilis. The disease leaves definite traces in the skeleton, and to my knowledge there is not a great deal of evidence supporting it's presence in 'biblical' populations. Here's a nice paper:

    http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/10/1454.full.pdf
  10. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    27 Mar '13 19:51
    Originally posted by e4chris
    heres the wiki article on Leprosy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprosy
    And it says quite clearly the 2 diseases were confused and a lot of syphilis cases were diagnosed as leprosy.

    The article you quote has one sentence containing syphilis.
    Here it is;
    Leprosy was once believed to be highly contagious and was treated with mercury — all of which applied to syphilis, which was first described in 1530. It is possible that many early cases thought to be leprosy could have actually been syphilis

    Note the year.
    Note the phrase It is possible

    bit of a jump to your conclusion!!
  11. Joined
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    27 Mar '13 23:131 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Wasn't sure if you were questioning the link with syphilis, or with sin. If the latter, the OT is full of references to physical imperfections being associated with moral imperfections.
    You said: "I suppose a better question is does the bible associate Leprosy (which was probably syphalis) with bad morals? Leprosy is in the bible a lot."

    I said "I've not seen that link in scripture, have you?"

    Can you show where the Bible makes a link between Leprosy and bad morals?

    Edit: I think if you spoke your mind and came to point you are trying to make we might get somewhere.
  12. Joined
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    28 Mar '13 00:539 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    You said: "I suppose a better question is does the bible associate [b]Leprosy (which was probably syphalis) with bad morals? Leprosy is in the bible a lot."

    I said "I've not seen that link in scripture, have you?"

    Can you show where the Bible makes a link between Leprosy and bad morals?

    Edit: I think if you spoke your mind and came to point you are trying to make we might get somewhere.[/b]
    I think rank outsider posted a list for you - Leprosy is in the bible a lot, I just spoke to someone who going to india to a Leprosy hospital. - What wolfgang says - its a bit of a jump - yes the syphalis theory is, but its been around for a long time. divegeester I'm not saying disease necessitates morals if thats what you think? but its true people do associate sickness with bad morals, tho its wrong to do so. Also I'm sure In Europe where it was a problem later Christians would not hesitate to link syphalis with bad morals I bet they used it to back there arguments, (and it did)

    What I think is much more plausable is leprosy was quite a wide range of conditions - skin cancer even in a few cases. Whatsmore a jump but plausible if it was vitamin based christians could cure leppers but with about a 1/5 hit rate... he's saved! ... yes but that ones dead.
  13. Joined
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    28 Mar '13 10:136 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    You said: "I suppose a better question is does the bible associate [b]Leprosy (which was probably syphalis) with bad morals? Leprosy is in the bible a lot."

    I said "I've not seen that link in scripture, have you?"

    Can you show where the Bible makes a link between Leprosy and bad morals?

    Edit: I think if you spoke your mind and came to point you are trying to make we might get somewhere.[/b]
    14 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest: 3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them.

    If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease,[a] 4 the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed. 5 Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. 6 He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. 7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the defiling disease, and then pronounce them clean. After that, he is to release the live bird in the open fields.

    8 “The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days. 9 On the seventh day they must shave off all their hair; they must shave their head, their beard, their eyebrows and the rest of their hair. They must wash their clothes and bathe themselves with water, and they will be clean.

    10 “On the eighth day they must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, and one log[c] of oil. 11 The priest who pronounces them clean shall present both the one to be cleansed and their offerings before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

    12 “Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil; he shall wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. 13 He is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary area where the sin offering[d] and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy. 14 The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. 15 The priest shall then take some of the log of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand, 16 dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the Lord seven times. 17 The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. 18 The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for them before the Lord.

    19 “Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from their uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering 20 and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for them, and they will be clean.

    21 “If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with a tenth of an ephah[e] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of oil, 22 and two doves or two young pigeons, such as they can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.

    23 “On the eighth day they must bring them for their cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. 24 The priest is to take the lamb for the guilt offering, together with the log of oil, and wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. 25 He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. 26 The priest is to pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, 27 and with his right forefinger sprinkle some of the oil from his palm seven times before the Lord. 28 Some of the oil in his palm he is to put on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. 29 The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for them before the Lord. 30 Then he shall sacrifice the doves or the young pigeons, such as the person can afford, 31 one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. In this way the priest will make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.”

    32 These are the regulations for anyone who has a defiling skin disease and who cannot afford the regular offerings for their cleansing.


    If someone has had leprosy which has left them permanently disfigured, why they are not allowed ever to approach the altar as per my previous quote?

    Leprosy is also used as a divine punishment by God. And individuals with it are shunned and stigmatised in a way that, very often, is not medically necessary or beneficial.

    This, and plenty of other context in the Bible, builds a picture which shows that leprosy is not seen simply in terms of a disease that needs medical treatment. It is associated with sin.

    I don't think I am saying anything particularly radical here, and have seen many Christian websites which link leprosy with sin, which seems reasonable to me (the view that the Bible does indeed link it with sin, not the actual belief that leprosy is a sign of sin) given what the Bible says.
  14. Joined
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    28 Mar '13 10:421 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    You said: "I suppose a better question is does the bible associate [b]Leprosy (which was probably syphalis) with bad morals? Leprosy is in the bible a lot."

    I said "I've not seen that link in scripture, have you?"

    Can you show where the Bible makes a link between Leprosy and bad morals?

    Edit: I think if you spoke your mind and came to point you are trying to make we might get somewhere.[/b]
    Oh, and I didn't say what you said I said. e4chris did.
  15. Joined
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    28 Mar '13 16:32
    I read in the bible that when they made sacrifice to treat some of these diseases - a dove for example it was used as an economical option - if someone could not afford to pay the priest they could make a sacrifice instead (leviticus) so they were not so silly afterall
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