On abomination

Will Crawley has written an interesting piece discussing the biblical meaning of the word abomination.

  • ggn

    I am a rude Latin scholar but I checked the Latin bible and could find any equivalent term.

    Any bible scholars here who could give us an insight into the original Hebrew?

  • ggn

    Shit, sorry, should have read the link first!!

    What is Aramic for eejit?

  • Rory

    Will Crawley is to be thanked. He has provided an excellent excuse for all those fundamentalist husbands caught checking out gay and girl/girl action sites on the internet:

    “Just an extension of my ongoing scholarly research to deepen my understanding of the Holy Book, dear”.


    Those 8ft hairy creatures that live in the Himalayas would be well within their rights to take offence now. Using Will’s definition how could these residents be classified Abominable? They are NOT vile or wicked but are indeed harmless, shy leaf eaters who keep themselves to themselves, annoy NO ONE, disappear when any hassle occurs while a shower of nosey beardy tree huggers climb all over their territory and homes. They seem to be decent sorts who you would rather live beside rather than some of the bigots; fundamentalists; Biblethumpers AND lazy, workshy, scrounging, anti-social scumbags who waste space on this earth and we are forced to share space with.

  • the biblical meaning of the word abomination

    See under “Iris Robinson”.


    Frankly, the original meaning of the word is neither here nor there, the whole book’s a load of shite, whichever way you translate it.
    Rather than legitimising religion by getting involved in anything that takes it seriously, we should just tell them all to shove the whole book up their arses.

  • abucs

    I always thought the Hebrew word of ‘toevah’ was originally derived from the ancient Jewish sassanach tribe expression ‘beyonde toe pahle’.

    But what do i know ? :o)

  • joeCanuck

    Crawley’s article is an interesting bit of history.
    However, it is totally irrelevant to the “Iris” debate. She used, intentionally, the modern acceptance of the meaning of abominable.

  • Rory

    Good point, Joe. We can’t have The Holy Bible contradicting Iris Robinson now can we?

  • noel adams

    Alun Cairns former tory spokesperson on Education and CHAIR of finance stood down over anti italian remarks.See BBc Wales site for details.

  • Dewi

    Yes indeed Noel – would Alun’s comments about “greasy wops” have raised any eyebrows over there?

  • Gareth

    Today I was thinking about all this again, and have decided that I am no longer going to vote for any unionists, and if a border poll should come about I am going to vote to join the Republic.

    The Republic is fine as countries go, and I no longer wish to live in a state governed by people such as the DUP. I can not see a time ahead of us where the DUP will not be in government in some way, and probably in a big way.

    If due to mandatory coalition there is no way to change the government via elections, and thus if being part of the UK means default DUP rule, then I no longer want to be in it. Under the Agreement I get to remain a British citizen in any case, so fine.

  • lorraine

    the greatest abomination is the selective use of the bible by those who enjoy a roast pork dinner after a crab starter and who regularly have a haircut and shave………

  • ggn

    Having had a glance at Leviticas I am now craping myself that the Christians next door will think it is ok to stone me to death because I have accidently had sex with a menstrating woman!

    Why do the Christians pick and chose from the Bible?

    What does Peter Robinson permitt his wife to mix her fibres?

    His sons to cut their hair?

  • Quite what the Bible’s definition of the term, (Abomination), means is unclear to me. Notwithstanding my own illiteracy, my understanding of the word is an, outrage, disgrace, or scandal. Noticeably an, (Abomination), can also mean an eyesore or even repugnant. Pass the mascara, please. Just sayin like… 😉

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    am in Ireland so not follwoing story in Wales re. ‘wops’ – presumably been mentioned already but if ever Joe Calzaghe’s talents could be put to good use it is being let loose on that tory tuzzer. And I will be nominating a charity soon for outstanding monies – unless you fancy carrying over till 6nations?

    Missed Wales game – but sounded vlike a damn fine show by the trickey red dwts.

  • Greenflag

    lurig ,

    ‘They seem to be decent sorts ‘

    Seem ?

    And the chuckie brother said

    It seems that DUP MINisters are not Abominable No men

    YETI’s evidence is still inconclusive .

  • ggn

    Does anyone have a Scottish Gaelic bible?

    I would be very interested in the wording used by the Scottish Free Church.

  • joeCanuck


    That is funny.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    abomination in (Leviticus 18v22) comes from the Hebrew:

    [b]tow`ebah or tonebah[/b] {to-ay-baw’}; feminine active participle of ‘ta`ab’; properly, something disgusting (morally), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol:– abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

    derived from the root word

    [b]ta`ab[/b]; a primitive root; to loathe, i.e. (morally) detest:–(make to be) abhor(-red), (be, commit more, do) abominable(-y), X utterly.

    …….but why all the fuss about the Old Testament. It has been fulfilled and the New Testament holds priority. What does the New Testament say about homosexuality? It says:

    (Romans 1:22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to [u]uncleanness[/u] through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    uncleanness comes from the Greek:

    [b]akaqarsia[/b] impurity (the quality), physically or morally:–uncleanness.

    27 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 [u]unseemly[/u], and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    unseemly comes from the greek:

    [b]aschmosunh[/b] an indecency; by implication, the pudenda:–shame, that which is unseemly.

  • joeCanuck

    Looks like everything is hunky dory so long as you wash before and after, muttering something for ritual purposes while doing so.

  • Bible Reader

    If this is meant to suggest that the Leviticus is not as tough on homosexuality as Iris makes out and a more specialised and innocuous meaning has been lost in translation, think again. Leviticus justifies homophobia and even violence againg homosexuals in the most explicit terms. There is no nicer kinder Leviticus.

    Here is the King James Verson.

    Leviticus 20.13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    and here is the Amplifeid Version:-

    If a man lies with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed an offense (something perverse, unnatural, abhorrent, and detestable); they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

  • ggn

    Bible Reader,

    Are you saying that the English translation takes precidence over the original Hebrew?

    Are you dismissing the study of the original as a method of Bible study?

  • Bible Reader

    Leviticus 20: 13 says explicitly put them to death, that suggests a fairly hard and serious meaning for abomination.
    I suspect none of us are Hebrew scholars, so lets not get carried away.
    There are some views and teaching in the bible which are pretty nasty and which no amount of special pleading will explain away.

  • ggn

    Crap. I a mgaving a bad day.

    Checked Latin Bible whilst fully awake and guess what ….

    “cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo quia abominatio est”

    The Latin ‘abomination’ is clearly the source of the English abomination.

    But my Latin Dict points to abominatio meaning ‘accursed’ ‘to be detested’ even.

    Do any Christians at all acknowledge the problem of dealing with the translation of a translation, of a translation, of a translation?

    Or are we to understand the translators were directly inspired by God … which is what is said about thon Mohammed bloke.

  • Bible Reader

    You seems stuck on the idea that I’m a biblical fundamentalist which I am not.

    Tovah shmobah.

    Leviticus is homophobic – its as plain as the nose on your face. The passage I quoted (20.13) proscribes death for men who sleep together. Both partners are to be killed by the way, not just the one who plays the woman’s role, as the Rabbi quoted by Will Crawley suggest.

    Its hard to argue that “they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” is a hard passage to explain away. Or does “put to death” mean “have their sexuality affirmed” in the cultural context?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Abomination….That’s the baddie in the new Increddible Hulk movie?

  • Bible Reader

    And you can play with all the translations you like on this site:-

    Young’s Literal Translation reads:-

    And a man who lieth with a male as one lieth with a woman; abomination both of them have done; they are certainly put to death; their blood [is] on them.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    ggn, a wee tip, forget the latin. Use the KJV with a strongs cocorandance, you’ll get much better interpretation.

  • Dewi

    This Leviticus bloke has a lot to answer for.

  • mariquita de playas

    the biblical meaning of the word abomination

    See under “Iris Robinson”.

    Sammy Morse

    Oh!! ya bitch.

  • mariquita de playas

    “it is ok to stone me to death because I have accidently had sex with a menstrating woman!”


    Good job you didn´t take her up the Gary Glitter, or maybe you should´ve, accidentally of course.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “Good job you didn´t take her up the Gary Glitter, or maybe you should´ve, accidentally of course.”

    Garry Glitter is a peodo, he’s not human. Although the phrase may should interesting, we should avoid it

  • Irish pride

    There’s nothing wrong with Gary Glitter, he went, he got, and gained his dream.

    Us Irish do that all the time, we’re peodos

  • Different Drummer

    As Ulster is my home land Ulster is My home land.

    I wish to defend it against its enemies without – like the united liberal states of England, Scotland, Wales and the failed monarchies and republic(s).

    Ulster is in danger of having it’s monarchism replaced with the liberal politically correct version that is practiced by deviants in Holland. Where orangism now allows queers to parade openly in the streets.

    Well that’s all going to change just you wait and see ha ah..

    We are building a new super weapon that will remake the whole of europe in his image.

    You have only seen his Will To Power and not his Will To Conquer!

    BTW where is that Sammy Morse when you need him?
    Out with his boy friend(s) no doubt. Every where he goes he takes over the joint for his own party.

    Oh Well Party On I suppose needs must.


    Garry Glitter is a peodo, he’s not human. Although the phrase may should interesting, we should avoid it

    So Ulstersmyhomeland you’re a fan of political correctness ?

  • ggn

    Ulsters my homeland,

    But the KJV is clearly a translation of the Latin version.

    Ergo, I am assuming the Latin version to bear a responisibilty for the English version.

    Clearly the next step is Greek but first I will have to learn the script.

  • interested

    Shame that for someone educated through Union College that Will didn’t give a single mention to homosexuality and how it is mentioned in the New Testament.

  • rambling rose

    Thanks Interested,

    Googled New Testament and Homsexuality. Found this.

    Corinthians 6:9-10

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Seems “revilers” are on a par with Homosexuals. Plenty of those on Slugger.


    This bit,

    “The second term is “arsenokoitai” in Greek. The exact meaning of this word is lost. It seems to have been a term created by Paul for this verse. “Arsen” means “man” in Greek.”

    Does that make a manhole an arsehole?

  • circles

    But Bible Reader thats the whole point. Leviticus calls for all manner of seafood eating, cheeky children to be put to the stone – not just Iris’ own personal bogeymen.
    Its a load of old cobblers!

  • I question whether reference to dictionaries is of great use here.

    The relevant section of the 1611 “King James” Bible (which, I infer, is the one on Iris Robinson’s bedside table) was put together by the Westminster Group, chaired by Lancelot Andrews. The brief was a conservative approach to the text, and to follow the Bishops’ Bible of 1568.

    The 1568 “treacle” Bible (the nickname comes from the use of “treacle” where others have “balm”) was explicitly a piece of propaganda, designed to counteract the influence of the Geneva Bible, which the authorities felt to be too Calvinist. The 1568 Bible had another element: it bowdlerised. The brief there had been:

    all such wordes as soundeth to any offence of lightness or obscenitie be expressed with more convenient termes and phrases.

    But those translators were flying blind: there was no authority — other than their commonsense and sense of the contemporary mood — to tell them what was an “obscenitie’ or, indeed, what was the agreed meaning of any “terme”. So, in the case of Leviticus 20.13, the Bishops’ Bible gives us:

    If a man also lye with mankinde after the maner as with women kynde, they haue both committed an abhomination: let them dye, their blood be vpon them.

    That looks like a steal from William Tyndale in 1534:

    Yf a man lye with the mankynde after the maner as with woma kynd, they haue both comitted an abhominacion and shall dye for it. Their bloude be apon their heed.

    John Wycliff, in 1380, had had no qualms about giving it straight:

    If a man slepith with a man, bi letcherie of a womman, euer either hath wrouyt vnleueful thing, die thei bi deeth; her blood be on hem.

    Wycliff’s choice of a plain word is significant. “Lechery” is the “unlawful” sin, and so (by the standards of the day) a fairly objective word; but “abomination” is the subjective reaction of others to that sin. Moreover, “abomination” was already in use in just this context. As the OED shows, Sir John Maundeville (he of the fantastic journeys to furthest Asia) by 1366 was already denouncing:

    The abomynable Synne of Sodomie.

    As far as I can see, the word “abomination” seems largely to have a sexual context, as in Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece:

    Guilty thou art of murder and of theft,
    Guilty of perjury and subornation,
    Guilty of treason, forgery and shift,
    Guilty of incest, that abomination;
    An accessary by thine inclination
    To all sins past and all that are to come,
    From the creation to the general doom.

    The other issue is whether all of this has any modern relevance, except within the limited mentalities of religious intolerance and bigotry. I would go for another author, another century, another text for proper pontificating.

    William O. Douglas used the US Supreme Court to create an individual’s “zone of privacy”. This was evident from his 1965 judgment in Griswold v. Connecticut, where he found ways to exclude the law from the bedroom. That should have “equal rights” with any partial reading of Leviticus.

  • Dewi

    Loved your Nye Bevan joke by the way Malcolm….

  • Ulsters my homeland


    [i]”But the KJV is clearly a translation of the Latin version.” [/i]

    Whoever told you that nonscence? The KJV was translated directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, not Latin.

  • ggn

    Ulster is my homeland,

    I doubt that very much frankly. I will research the question further however.

  • Faggots are an abomination and should be put to death. What of it?

    Let’s backtrack. Why are you asked when giving blood if you are a filthy faggot? Is it a homophobia? Is it a zenophobia? No, it is a knowledge that if you are a faggot, you are most likely an irresponsible twat with a good chance of having hepatitis C, and the HIV “gift” as the homophiles who attend the pod parties call it. (Ask Batman and Robin)

    Islamic Iran has much too enlightened a policy on this. As the Koran forbids homos but does not forbid TGs, all homos must get the chop. Good idea if you ask me. And I would even volunteer to cut the nuts off O’Gorman, O’Searcaigh, Norris and the Provos Pedo squads.

  • circles

    Never mind that Dave – Its those filthy crab munchers I’d gladly cull. Every man and woman jack of them – clippers to their tongues for the abomination they have committed. Snip snip child of Satan and your prawn breath, for you are truly the spawn of the Dark One, as can be seen from the plate of shells before you.
    And the cheeky children – to the sword with them.

    By the way Dave – you’ll never be allowed to finish school until you learn to spell xenophobia correctly. And maybe then, just maybe, you might post like a thinking person (not holding my breath mind).

  • Ulsters my homeland @ 04:11 PM and ggn @ 04:21 PM:

    It depends what you mean by …

    The preface to the KJV says:

    the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New … we set before us to translate, being the tongues wherein God was pleased to speak to his Church by his Prophets and Apostles.

    The chief editors (Bishop Bilson of Winchester and Bishop Smith of Gloucester) then add, almost as a boast:

    Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch…

    In other words, while it was the work of a committee (actually no fewer than six committees, and a total of some four dozen scholars) it did have the benefit of the (in 1607-11) latest learning from across Europe. The essential weakness of the KJV is that contemporary English scholarship in Greek and Hebrew was, quite frankly, not all that good.

    All that said, the KJV was substantially a revision of the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 (which, despite the claim on the title-page of 1611, remained the only “authorised” version). It was also a political construct, designed to be a generally-accepted middle-course between the Catholic Douai Bible (translated from the Vulgate in 1582, but first published in entirety the same year as the KJV) and the Geneva Bible (preferred by the Calvinists in Scotland, and by many English Puritans).

    When we stand the 1568 and 1611 texts against each other, we can seen the close similarities of much of the text. 1568 itself derived from the Great Bible of 1539 : the second edition of 1540, with the Prologue by Cranmer, was ordered to be placed — and chained — in every church. The main hand in the Great Bible was Miles Coverdale, who used the Hebrew and Aramaic of the 1530 polyglot version to revise his own translation from the “Douche” (i.e. German) of Luther. In essence Tyndale’s Pentateuch of 1530 survived into Coverdale and the Great Bible.

  • BfB


    Something tells me that it’s a real reach when talking about you and sex……with women;-)

    Cut the Bible in half and put it in your shoes…that’ll make you feel a bit bigger…eh?

    That’s the best use the likes of you would get from it anyway….and don’t worry..your empty head is safe from we marauding Christians…

  • ggn

    BfB,I did not realise that christians were offended by dicussions on the bible.


    Very interesting. My opinion is that the King James version is based mostly on the Latin version is base on a little study of both and as you say, I dont hold much store in the Greek and more especially Hebrew scholarship of the period.

    It would be very interesting to see a wider analysis of the translations. Any links?

  • BfB

    I was referring to the cutting in half part of my suggestion, using ironic sarcasm to shed light on the way radical islam would chop your head off if found defacing the koran……feel free to use your personal Bible translations to make your point…..

    we stopped being offended after they stopped feeding us to the lions……well, almost stopped, that is (see radical islam reference above)

  • ggn


    Interesting comparsion with Islam. They of course get round the tranlation problem by not translating it – or a least maintaining the position of the original arabic one, you can get a translation but a mere tranlation it it.

  • Different Drummer



  • ggn @ 05:54 PM:

    I’m no expert, but my gut feeling is that the KJV relies heavily on influences from the various Latin versions. After all, those were engrained into the fabric of post-medieval thought, even into the structure of discourse. Consider how many references, how many phrasings in Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton and any other writer one cares to mention derive from Biblical text. What else could be expected from those that had heard the text since birth, repeated in the cyclical annual readings, had learned to read from those pages?

    I have no Hebrew, so am disqualified from any useful exegesis of the OT: many years ago I had to deal with the NT through the Greek, so I know that’s close enough — but not word-for-word.

    Those KJV committee-men were diligent; Lancelot Andrews (then Dean of Westminster), George Abbot (later Arch at Canterbury) and Andrew Downes (Professor of Greek at Cambridge) were doing their best. But they had, by modern standards, their limitations. There were also the political (and, indeed, social) constraints. They could not be too radical in their interpretations, even had they wanted to: the Great Bible and its cadences were already absorbed into popular consciousness.

    Meanwhile, I’m trying desperately to recall my sources. I reckon William Neil’s Bible Companion is probably the main one. It’s certainly got me out of tight argumentative corners over the years.

    Back to the main issue: once we accept that Iris Robinson and Co. are misrepresenting thousands of years of tradition, we might be able to have a more informed discussion. For example: can anyone, anywhere propose chapter and verse of Jewish persecution of homosexuals, based upon the Leviticus “law”?

    Was it Gandhi who proposed, “Hate the sin, love the sinner”? Even were we ignorant enough to regard homosexuality as a “sin”, my impression is that Judaism, here and generally, manages levels of tolerance not often found among those fundamentalist Christian students of “Old Testament” morality.

  • joeCanuck

    No one is mentioning the fact that a careful reading of the New Testament could lead to a belief that Jesus and his “favourite” had a thing going.

  • Curiosity led me to investigate how the Leviticus verse is translated in modern Bibles. So, I pulled up the Bible Gateway and checked the verse in the various Bible translations listed there. The older translations, it seems, stayed with the “abomination” terminology. A couple of the newer translations, however, told us that we should [b]detest[/b] the action. Hardly a complete investigation, but sort of interesting, thought I.

  • ggn


    Interesting observation on Judaism, I have always wondered how Judaism can produce some very liberal and socialist people despite the fact that their faith is undiluted / untempered by the New Testament.

    It is interesting, that according to Wikipedia anyway that there are people who believe that the KJV is divinely inspired, therefore it is even more authoritive than the Hebrew.

    A striking similarity to Islam I think.

    An interesting question for fundamentalist Christians will be in one hundred years or so will be when the language of the Bible becomes incomprehensible to English speakers as the language developes.

    It is interesting that one of the key tasks of the proposed Ulster Scots academy is the translation of the Bible into Ulster Scots. Yet, there is no indication that any Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic scholars will be employed.

  • Driftwood

    It is interesting that one of the key tasks of the proposed Ulster Scots academy is the translation of the Bible into Ulster Scots.

    Good grief!

  • ggn @ 10:15 AM:
    Thanks you for that heart-warming news on a tiresome morning.

    Driftwood @ 10:22 AM:

    However, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/corpus/search/document.php?documentid=688:

    Fowk speir anent versions o the Bible in Lallans. We dinna hae the haill Bible in Lallans, anerlie a wheen buiks hae been prentit.

    The prentit buiks in Lallans are:


    1. The Book of Psalms in Lowland Scotch, by Henry Scott Riddell 1857
    2. The Song of Solomon in Lowland Scotch, by Henry Scott Riddell 1858
    3. Psalms frae Hebrew intil Scottis, by P. Hately Waddell 1871
    4. Isaiah frae Hebrew intil Scottis, by P. Hately Waddell 1879
    5. The Wyse Sayins o Solomon, by T. W. Paterson 1916
    6. Genesis in Scots, by Henry Cameron 1921


    1. The Gospel of St. Matthew in Lowland Scotch, by Henry Scott Riddell 1856
    2. The Gospel of St. Matthew, by G. Henderson 1862
    3. The New Testament, by Murdoch Nisbet 1901
    4. The New Testament, by William Wye Smith 1901

    The umquhile Regent Lorimer o Sanct Andros translatit the haill New Testament, but, waesucks, it hasna been prentit. Ae pairt, the Blissins, (in Sudron: The Beatitudes) was prentit in 1971.

    James L. Dow, minister at Lochranza and Pirnmill, translatit antrin chaptirs for the daily prents, and a wheen hae translatit a Psaum or twa, or sic like.

  • Different Drummer

    OK thanks for all that

    Now lets see if it will help Iris keep her job.

  • Different Drummer @ 04:01 PM:

    In which case, from above …

    … waesucks.

    A term which I believe deserves immediate revival and endless repetitition.

  • Different Drummer

    Now Now Come Come Malcolm goodredfellow….

    You may the power to help Iris keep her job.

  • Different Drummer

    Malcom my goodredfellow

    You Came You Saw Proslyetised

    You may once have had the power to help Iris.