Monday, September 26, 2016

Examples of Racism and Sexism in Story of 10 Lepers

This passage is an excellent example of androcentricity (male centering) in language and Bible translation. It is very likely that among the group of lepers portrayed in the story below, that more than one of the lepers were women. The Greek text allows that the one leper who came back to give glory to God was just as likely to have been a woman as a man.  

11: And it came to pass as he went to Jerusalem that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee 12: And as he entered into a certain village there met him ten people [aner][1] who were lepers which stood afar off 13: And they lifted up their voices and said Jesus Master have mercy on us 14: And when he saw them he said to them Go show yourselves to the priests And it came to pass that as they went they were cleansed 15: And one of them saw that they were healed turned back and with a loud voice glorified God 16: And fell down on [their] face at his feet giving him thanks and autos [the same] was a Samaritan 17: And Jesus answering said Were there not ten cleansed but where are the nine 18: There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this alien[2] 19: And he said to autos [her/him; the same] Arise go your way your faith has made you whole

Special Features of the HHBC
The basis of this commentary is the Received Text (Textus Receptus) of the NT and the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text of the OT as found in the Original *Strong’s Concordance, 1894, by James Strong, and compared diligently with the work of respected scholars.
The AV is followed where the language and sense of the translation is clear to the modern reader.
Where a Hebrew or Greek word would serve better than an attempt at translation, the original word is left untranslated, in italics, with the *Strong’s Greek [G] or Hebrew [H] reference number notated beside it.
The words of Jesus are in bold print
Cross-references are noted in line with the text
There is no punctuation in the scripture text
Brackets [ ] indicate alternate rendering or commentary

*20th Century editions of this work, such as, The New Updated Strong’s, and, The Strongest Strong’s, are not referenced in the HHBT as they do not relate to the Textus Receptus or the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text this commentary is based upon.
List of Untranslated Words in this Passage                                 
Aner G435 Male, husband, or a group of people composed of both females and males (which indicates that G435 could be translated as female unless the context demands otherwise)
Autos G846 a pronoun that could be translated any number of ways: she, he, it, himself, herself, the same, they, their, etc..

[1] Aner G435 Male, husband, or a group of people composed of both females and males (which indicates that G435 could be translated as female unless the context demands otherwise)
[2] The Jews of Jesus’ day were a racist people. As the chosen of God, they felt a misplaced sense of superiority over all non-Jews. The leper who returned and fell at Jesus’ feet in gratitude was a Samaritan, a non-Jew from Samaria, which was a place populated by Israelites (from the 10 tribes who, in antiquity, had separated from the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin who followed David as King) who claimed to worship the God of the Jews—Yahweh—but who had mixed idolatry with their worship and had long since intermarried with non-Israelites, becoming a race of “hybrid Jews,” so to speak. Because of these things, Samaritans were particularly hated by the religious Jews of Judea (who generally practiced discrimination against non-Jews without conscience anyway). As a non-Jew, the Samaritan leper could not go and show him or herself to the priest as Jesus had commanded (the scriptures do not reveal whether the lepers were all male, all female, or a combination of both, the Greek word used, autos G846, could indicate that the group was a mix of females and males). Jesus knew this when he commanded all of the lepers to go show themselves to the priests (according to The Law of Moses, any leper who claimed to be healed had to be declared disease free by a priest). Not one of the Jewish lepers, who (according to their own collective view) were supposed to be the most devout of all people bothered to return and thank the one who healed them. Jesus used this as an object lesson in both religion and racism—showing how a despised Samaritan could be more willing to give glory to God than a Jew.