Shame on the New York Times

Everyone who knows me knows that if you like homogeneity in your Facebook friends list, you just shouldn’t connect to me. I have a Muslim charity and Israeli new sites in my feed; I still maintain contact with my college friend who became a preacher as well as the high school friends who are wiccan or viking neo-pagan leaders. I have heterosexuals and homosexuals and just about every kind of sexual being in my list.

So it’s not unusual for me to read pieces from different viewpoints. Like this article in the Op Ed section of the New York Times (last accessed 8/14/2016, should my piece stir them to remove it *snorts* or should it be a very special kind of bait-and-switch hack *snorts again*). The title of the article is “Is God Transgender?” and was written by Mark Sameth.

The argument was based on the idea that the feminine pronoun was used instead of the masculine. And I was irritated for I knew some of the very references and I knew that whatever version was referenced it probably was in error or the editor was an incredibly lousy theological editor.

For my source, I used BibleGateway. I pulled up four or five different English translations or versions, and I compared them side by side.

First, Mr. Sameth claims Genesis 3:12 that Eve is referred to as “he.” Going to my source, the New International, New King James, Orthodox Jewish Bible, and Complete Jewish Bible all use “she.” The dissenting version, the Names of God, takes a very Bill Clinton approach and calls Eve, “that woman, the one you gave me.”

Next, in Genesis 9:21, the author states that Noah retired to her tent. Now, this isn’t the daughter named Noah that I referred to in an earlier post. This is the man Noah who built the ark and got the animals to safety. And… *trumpet fanfare* all five sources say “his tent.”

In reading Genesis 24:16, Mr. Sameth claims that Rebekah is referred to as a “young man.” In this case, I must remove the Orthodox Jewish Bible because it uses distinctly Jewish words and vocabulary, probably to express that translation will not be good if possible at all. All four other versions refer to Rebekah as a beautiful or attractive virgin who had never been with a man. Perhaps the author of the Times piece just misread this passage; we’re all human and make mistakes.

For Genesis 1:27, the author claims that Adam is referred to with the plural them. Again, I must remove the Orthodox Jewish Bible. However, all four other versions use mankind, humans, man, humankind. I suspect the New King James used the more global version of the word man, that is, it refers to all humans by having just the one stand for them.

*pulls knife out of heart* Esther is one of my favorite stories. To see how Mr. Sameth treated Mordecai is absolutely deplorable. My four sources–New International Version, Names of God, New King James, and Complete Jewish Bible–all use not nursing words, but words of adoption, rearing, or parenting. The Orthodox Jewish Bible uses the word bat,  which is the word for daughter.

As for the Isaiah 49:23 reference, it is kings who are serving as foster fathers; the queens do the nursing. Now, perhaps Mr. Sameth was using the modern definition of queen; I can give him that. However, that use of queen is pejorative and very beneath the argument he was trying to build.

I appreciate that this is a multi-cultural world. Not everyone will agree with me. More than likely, I will be in the minority. Yet I am open minded enough to at least hear you out and try to see things your way even if I don’t agree.

However, if you expect me to seriously consider your position, you really need to do your homework and have your facts straight. If I already disagree with something, I’m not likely to change my mind if you don’t check the facts.


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