Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The JST of Romans 2:1 - It isn't about judging, it is about homosexuality

Just as the JST clarifies Christ's meaning from "Judge not, that ye be not judged" to "Judge not unrighteously that ye be not judged, but judge righteous judgment"

So also the JST changes Romans 2:1 from

Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.

to

Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosever thou art that judgest thus: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.

That one word "thus" makes a tremendous difference, as it refers us back to the the preceding verses. The preceding verses are about homosexuality and lesbianism. Putting the JST of Romans 2:1 in context so we know what "judgest thus" refers to, we get

JST Romans 1:26 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;
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, according to some, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful;
32 And some who, knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, are inexcusable, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 2.1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosever thou art that judgest thus: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.

The structure here is that 26-27 describe homosexuality directly. Then verse 28 discusses their being given over to a reprobate mind. Then verse 29-31 illustrate what it means that God gave these homosexual and lesbians over to a reprobate mind by describing their traits. They are spot on. Then verse 32 discusses those who know the judgments of God against homosexuality (because it is continuing the thought of the previous verses), and yet do the same themselves and take pleasure in others who do them.

Now, how the JST is precisely supposed to read on Romans 1:28 and Romans 1:32 is something that is somewhat unclear. Robert Matthews, who was the one who obtained permission from the RLDS church to verify that the Inspired Version they published matched the original document (which we previously had no access to) said that sometimes there are notes pinned to the page, and occasionally notes pinned to notes. I don't know if this is one such location, but there is a difference between the 1867 Inspired Version, and the one that I have a printed copy of. The commentary in McConkies Doctrinal New Testament Commentary matches the 1867 inspired version, whereas mine was printed in 1970 which claims to be "a new corrected edition". It seems clear that the 1944/1970 version of verse 32 is better than the 1867 edition version of verse 32.

All that aside, it makes no particular difference to the changes in Romans 2:1. There we read a completely different text in either case. There we read no condemnation for judging, but instead read condemnation of those "inexcusable" people described in verse 32, who know the judgment of God against homosexuality and lesbianism, but nevertheless commit such things themselves, and have pleasure in those that do so.

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