The New Gender Paradigm

The Mormon Portal
This website offers a series of articles of interest to faithful LGBT members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons):

1.  Rejection of the Faithful:   I believe in a God of Love, not hate.  It's ridiculous to think that God would reject or exclude someone because of the way He created them.

2.  Church Policy Regarding Trans People:   The Handbook of Instructions sets the policies for Church leaders dealing with trans people.  Since the authors had no inkling of what it actually means to be transgender (causes, treatments, needs, issues, etc), the policies have only caused chaos at the local level.
3,  The New Anti-Gay Policy:  In November 2015 Church General Authorities proclaimed that gays were apostates while their children would be automatically disfellowshipped.

The artists Matthias Stomer (1640) and Govert Flinck (1638) were well aware of the meaning of the Biblical account.  In these portrayals, what gender are Jacob & Rebekah?

Transsexuals in the Bible

We've seen that Ancient Israel recognized the wide diversity of human gender.  They knew that gender was independent of sexual biology.  

Furthermore, transsexuals and gays weren't the people condemned  in Leviticus & Deuteronomy.  Most interesting, however is the prominent role transsexuals played in the story of the Chosen People..


Some things never change...

And when his brethren saw that their father loved [Joseph] more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.                         -- Genesis 37:4  

More transphobia.  A few days later, Joseph was roaming the desert wearing her beautiful new dress.  Incensed by the offensive sight, her brothers attacked her and ripped the hated gown into shreads.  She ended up a household slave in Egypt. ...It was the first recorded transphobic hate crime.   In spite of adversity, Joseph continued in God's favor.  Almost two decades later, ten deeply humbled brothers knelt trembling at her feet.  In her hands, she held the wealth and power of Egypt.

Joseph -- The Next Generation
Apparently transsexuality runs in families.  …At least, it ran in Abraham’s family.   Transwoman Jacob had twelve sons.  No one was surprised when child number eleven, Joseph, stayed at home with the women while her brothers were out protecting the flocks from roving lions.  Those boys weren’t too pleased when their younger sister announced that she would soon be the head of the family.   ...They were absolutely incensed when their father gave her an expensive luxurious gown for her birthday (Genesis 37:3).

Now let's look at key Biblical phrases that are currently misused to justify excluding transsexuals from religious worship:


No “Crossdressing”?

What do crossdressers and transsexuals have in common?  They both wear the wrong clothes.  And it seems the Bible has something to say about that.  Here's how Deuteronomy 22:5 is currently translated: 

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

          --  King James Version

 

Except this is a complete mistranslation.  The "woman" referred to here is an ishah, specifically a common woman or peasant.  The word translated as "man" is gibbor -- more accurately translated as "warrior".  The naughty-woman's clothing is specified as gibbor-klee, which means "armor".   The word used for the women's clothing is "simlah", a cloak worn by either men or women.  (Even King David wore one in 2 Samuel 12:20)  The crime isn't WHAT the gibbor wore, it's WHOSE garment he wore.  In current society, "trousers" might be a more appropriate translation, since they're worn by both men & women. 
So this is what the passage really says:


A peasant woman shall not wear armor, neither shall a warrior put on a peasant woman's trousers: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

          -- Cassandra Version


Ah ha!  It's not about clothes at all!  It's about women in the military.  ...And warriors can't wear peasant clothes -- to avoid the draft?  In fact, that's how religious scholars prior to the 20th century have consistently interpreted the passage.  If the original author had wanted to restrict crossdressing in general, the men involved would've been "ish's" and there would've been no mention of armor (klee).  

Disclaimer

Please don't consider this page to be a challenge to religious dispute -- I don't claim that I know a secret truth that nobody else knows.  I'm not offering anyone a backstage pass into heaven.   The intent here is to provide accurate information -- which is easily verifiable by referring to manuscripts that are available on the internet (a good source can be found at www.biblehub.com).  Transsexuals need confidence in their personal spiritual journeys:  They're NOT categorically condemned by God.  The main religious hurdle they face is the bad luck of being born in the wrong century.

More Information

Chapter 16 of the book The New Gender Paradigm has a lot more details about the spiritual life of transsexuals.   See also Chapter 18 for a detailed history of Transsexuality.   Go HERE.

Ancient Sex

People during Biblical times had different sexual values compared to the current age.  Sexual orientation wasn't described as "heterosexual" & "homosexual", it was classified according to social status.  A social or military (male) leader having sex with another man endowed him with strength and masculinity (phusiken chresin -- "promoting nature".  On the other hand, a man having sex with a woman was said to make him effeminate (para phusin -- "destructive to the natural order of things"; often translated "contrary to nature.")


Current Bible translations change the words to the opposite meaning:  having sex with a woman "promotes nature", whereas having sex with a man is "contrary to nature".

"The Bible has plenty to say about human sexuality.  Most basic to our understanding of sex is that God created two (and only two) genders: “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).  All the modern-day speculation about numerous genders—or even a gender “continuum” with unlimited genders — is unbiblical."
          -- Got Questions Ministries [http://www.gotquestions.org/transsexualism-gender-identity-disorder]

Joseph's Beautiful Gown

The actual word used is ketonet passimKetonet is a coat or robe worn by both men and women.  The word passim is thought to come from pas  or "hand".  Thus it probably is a coat with a sleave long enough to reach the hand.  

The phrase "ketonet passim" occurs only twice in the Bible:  once as a reference to Joseph's gown, and the second referring to the gown worn by King David’s daughter, Tamar:

For with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins appareled.                      -- 2 Samuel 13:18

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

                              -- Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

Gender Spectrum

Nowadays, Genesis 1:27 is where most sermons on gender begin.  The verse only refers to “male” and “female”, so gender must be limited to only those two.  "Transgenderism" must therefore be a sin.


...Strange logic, since there were only two people on earth at the time.  Even though Genesis 1:27 refers to 3 genders (ish [translated as "man"], zachar [also translated as "man"], and nekevah [woman]), by the time the Old Testament has reached Malachi, it's referred to a total of fifteen different genders.  The real problem is that English has only 2 possible genders.  Eight of the Hebrew genders have been translated as "man", while six have been translated as "woman".  The people who originally wrote the Bible were meticulous about which term they used in whatever context.  Today's religious leaders aren't so careful.


Here are the Biblical genders:

Adam – "humanity" or "mankind", including both men & women, although usually translated as "man".  (Also used as a proper name for the 1st human.) [The word is used 552 times throughout the Bible.]

Ish – refers to male peasants, commoners, gentiles, or the "average" man [used 2006 times].

Ishah -- a female peasant, commoner, wife or "average" woman [appears 781 times].

Zakar – a Real Man; someone who's very masculine.  Often refers specifically to God’s Chosen People (as opposed to the ishes)  [used 82 times, especially in Leviticus]

Gibbor – a warrior, champion or mighty man [159 occurrences].
Nekevah – a very feminine female.  Often refers specifically to God’s Chosen People (as opposed to the ishah’s).  [It's used 22 times in the Bible, esp in Leviticus].

 

Naar -- an unmarried male, usually an adolescent, while naarah refers to an unmarried female.  

Keleb is a male prostitute (a derisive term used about 10 times), while zonah is a female prostitute [93 appearances, some good & some bad]. 

Kadesh and kadeshah mean priest and priestess respectively (see Exodus 22:31).  However, current Bible translations use “temple prostitute” or “cult prostitute”, even though it's unknown whether temple prostitutes actually existed in ancient Israel.

Saris is the Hebrew word for a (male) gay.  However, current translations use the word “eunuch” (used 156 times; see especially Matthew 19:11-12 & Isaiah 56:3).  

Ay’lonit is a lesbian [80 times]).  Saris & Ay'lonit's were fully integrated into Jewish society. 

Timtum is the Hebrew word for pre-transition transsexual [it shows up 181 times throughout the Scriptures].

After transition, Jewish law stated that a timtum (transsexual) became “sometimes a man (ish) and sometimes a woman (ishah)”.  They were then subject to the rituals & obligations of their post-transition gender -- except those associated with procreation.

Androgynos is a word borrowed from the Greeks about 200 BCE to mean intersexual [149 appearances].

An androgynos [intersexual] could have any one of a whole range of genders beyond the scope of "man" or "woman."  -- Mishna Bikkurim 4:5).

 

These are words used by Moses, King David, the prophets, the great Rabbinic scholars, and by Jesus of Nazareth. 


As an example of how these terms were used, the Bible in Genesis 24 refers to Rebecca as a naar (unmarried man), not a naarah (unmarried woman – Genesis 24) -- because he had personality traits characteristic of a man, not a woman.  In fact, the meaning of the story depends on proper recognition of Rebecca's gender (see below).  ...In other words, Rebecca was a transman.

The word wasn't a misprint.  Ancient manuscripts even had a side-note that reminded scribes to copy it correctly.  ...And so it was until the 10th century, when copiers decided that it couldn't be right.  So they "corrected" it to the current "naarah". 

Biblical Gender

God Chooses the Transsexual Female Jacob 
            -- Not the conventional ("cis-gender") Esau

The story continues into the next generation.  Twins were born:  Esau was hairy, a hunter, and focused on short-term problem-solving — the epitome of all that testosterone can do.  Jacob, the younger child, was smooth-skinned, kept the tent, and helped in the kitchen.  She had the best of traditional feminine qualities. …The Bible couldn’t have been more obvious about the gender differences between the two twins.  

And those gender differences were the source of conflict between the parents.  Father Isaac loved the hyper-masculine Esau (“because of his venison”--Genesis 25:28), while the transsexual Jacob was the favorite of transman Rebekah.  As Isaac’s death approached, God & the parents had to choose between one of the twins:

        Who should inherit the money and the blessings?

         -- The very masculine Esau, or the transsexual Jacob? 

The outcome was supposed to have been determined by a test of masculinity:  A tasty bowl of venison stew.  The odds seemed to be stacked against the transsexual.  However, the story took on a uniquely transsexual twist as Jacob adopted wrong-gender expression to snatch the inheritance.  She put on Esau’s pants and applied theatrical body hair. 

Like every other transsexual through the ages, Jacob wasn’t too happy about having to pretend to be a man.  At the very least, she doubted her ability to pass:

     My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.

                -- Genesis 27:12  


NOTE:   These accounts have been written by someone who was well aware of the issues that confront transsexuals.  Although Israeli society supported Jacob & Rebekah in their gender-appropriate roles, religious leadership and the money had traditionally been restricted only to men.  To move forward in life, it was necessary for Jacob temporarily to pretend to be a man.  Likewise, the male Rebekah had to give up his masculine independence.  His advancement depended on marrying and adopting the traditional roles of a woman.   ...But it was the feminist transman who arranged for religious leadership to ultimately pass to a woman.

In fact, could these events have even taken place in the hands of the "cis-gendered"?  Imagine Abraham's servant bringing home the first woman he saw at the well.  Imagine Israel under the leadership of Esau....


In both accounts, God showed his favor for transsexuals ...over "gender conformers".  In Jacob's case, God appeared in a dream to silence any doubts about what had happened (Jacob’s dream -- Genesis 28:12-17). 


What happened after the birthright episode would also fit perfectly into the experience of every transsexual:  Fearing violence at the hands of his "gender-conforming" brother, Jacob fled for his life.  He wasn’t able to see his inheritance for almost two decades.

Transman Rebekah
Abraham, the father of the Chosen People, had only one son under the Covenant:  Isaac.  When it came time to choose a wife for him, a servant set out with very specific instructions:

     -- First, the bride must have a proper heritage, even though it meant a trip across 400 miles of desert.

    -- Second, she must be self-confident, independent and assertive.  She must have no regard for social pressure, religious conventions and staid tradition. 


Genesis Chapter 24 provides an account of the servant’s journey.  In the City of Nahor, Abraham’s homeland, God led the servant to Rebekah, a transman.  Rebekah may have worn a dress, but he broke convention by talking to unknown men, inviting them home to meet mom, and even deciding for himself whom he would marry. 

 The original text makes Rebekah’s gender clear by consistently using the word na’ar to describe him—it means “young man”, as opposed to na’arah, a young woman. (NOTE:  See Genesis 24:28, 55, & 57). 

Eve, the first woman, began life as a man named Adam.

God himself performed the first treatment to correct sexual biology.

No psychiatrists were needed.

Stop “Lying”!

While we're at it, look at a mistranslation intended to condemn gays.  (After all, today's "experts" often group transsexuals and gays together in "sinful collusion".)  First, here's the King James Version of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind (zakar), as with womankind (issah): it is abomination.

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

And more recent mistranslations are even worse:

"If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense."

          -- New Living Translation (Tyndale House Pub. 1996)


This time it's ish, zakar and issah.  As we've seen, Ish's & issah's are either peasant men & women, or they're gentile men & women.  A zakar is a Real Manly Man and one of God's chosen people.  Again, the point of the passage is the contrast between ish & issah vs zakar -- NOT what ish's do with each other at night.  And the difference between the two groups is either social status or membership in the House of Israel.  So here's what the passage really says: 

If a peasant has sex with a Real Man the way he has sex with his own wife, both have committed an abomination.  They shall be put to death, and it will be their own fault.

Or more likely:

If a gentile has sex with a son of Israel the way he has sex with his own wife, both have committed an abomination.  They shall be put to death, and it will be their own fault.

Or perhaps even: 

It may be okay for a gentile man and woman to have sex.  But if a gentile man has sex with a son of Israel, both of them shall be put to death, and it will be their own fault.


          (Note that the rest of these chapters in Leviticus also deal with religious purity)

Once again,  if the writer had wanted to warn against "homosexuality" then he would've warned about zakar's having sex with zakar's instead of with nekevah's.   ...Or they might even say, "don't be a saris (gay man)".  Of course, then they'd have to account for Isaiah's proclamation of acceptance (Isaiah 56:4-5):


For thus saith the LORD unto the gays (saris) that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off
.

Throughout history, the Jewish and Christian religions have affirmed post-transitiontranssexuals.  -- They even honored them for having an unusually close relationship with God.  That all has changed during the last two centuries, led by the Puritans and the devotees of the Victorian Age.  -- When religious "experts" decided that the constant warring in Europe was caused by sin -- and "sodomites" were a convenient target.  Transsexuals were included for good measure.

To justify the changes in policy, it was necessary to re-write the Bible, in many cases changing passages to the opposite meaning.  A transsexual's spiritual well-being depends to a great extent on understanding what the traditional doctrine has always been.