Did Jesus accept one each of gay and lesbian couples?

Bible-Thumping Liberal Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, most people say. But Ron Goetz, the Bible-Thumping Liberal, doesn’t quite agree, in a post Luke’s Gay Apocalypse: “Two Men in One Bed”:

Well, technically, he didn’t, at least not as an abstract category. But he did mention four gays and lesbians–flesh and blood, living, breathing homosexuals.

Thanks to John Meunier for the link. But is there any substance in this apparently improbable claim? Here is the passage in which Goetz finds this mention:

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:34-35 (NIV 2011)

And I’m sorry to say that this translation already shows the weakness of Goetz’s argument. He quotes the verses from KJV, which reads “two men” where the updated NIV has “two people”, and misunderstands “men” as implying that these two people are male. Unfortunately there is nothing in the Greek text to suggest that they are. So, if we reject as Goetz does the argument that in ancient times men who were not sexual partners, and perhaps whole families, often shared beds, we end up with the conclusion that these two in one bed are what they most commonly are, at least in our culture: a married couple.

Now some might want to argue differently from the Greek text, noting that the words translated “one” and “the other” are both masculine in verse 34 (but feminine in verse 35). But that is easily explained. Jesus clearly didn’t want to specify either that the man was taken and the woman left or vice versa. So, in the Greek version of his words, the appropriate grammatical gender was used for people of unknown sex, and that is the masculine.

Sadly Goetz has been led astray in the same way as Wayne Grudem, although in a different direction. Both were brought up in the 1960s reading Bible versions, like KJV and RSV, in which the word “man” was often intended to be understood in its older gender generic sense. But both misunderstood some of these passages according to the male only sense of “man” which has dominated in English at least since those 1960s. And sadly they read their misunderstandings back into the original language Bible text, and allowed them to reinforce their very different cultural presuppositions.

Goetz does better in looking at the context, to answer the objection that his interpretation goes against it. He finds the mention of Sodom in verses 28-29, and writes:

I don’t believe the sin of Sodom was homosexuality. But there are many today who believe that it was, and I think most of the Jewish believers in Luke’s audience may have believed it as well.

Jesus knew that by recounting key details of Sodom’s destruction, his audience would have man-on-man sex on its mind.  Jesus intended for us to understand that the “two men in one bed” were gay. It is no accident that for more than a hundred years every minister preaching on the rapture from Luke 17 has had to disavow the sexual content of verse 34.

The problem here is that Goetz seems to be extrapolating this understanding of the sin of Sodom back from “today” and “for more than a hundred years” to nearly 2000 years ago, at first tentatively with “most … may have believed” and then as an unqualified assertion “Jesus knew”. But, as Joel quoted only a few days ago from Jennifer Wright Knust’s words in the New York Times,

“Sodomy” as a term for gay male sex began to be commonly used only in the 11th century and would have surprised early religious commentators. They attributed Sodom’s problems with God to many different causes, including idolatry, threats toward strangers and general lack of compassion for the downtrodden.

So I’m afraid Goetz’s case from the context looks very weak – and ironically the arguments against it come from his fellow liberal Bible scholars like Knust.

Goetz is more convincing in his follow-up posts on “Two Women Grinding Together,” part 1 and part 2, when he argues that in verse 35 the word “grind” is being used as a metaphor for lesbian sexual activity. Unfortunately he ruins his argument towards the end of part 2, when he tries to connect the Greek verb Luke uses, aletho “grind”, with letho “be unseen” and aletheia “truth”. His suggestion that aletho can be split up as a-letho and so originally meant “not be unseen” looks to me like a folk etymology. The 19th century Greek scholars Liddell and Scott were far more likely correct to see aletho as a variant of aleo, the verb for “grind” used by Plutarch as a euphemism for lesbianism.

So did Luke intend these verses to be about homosexuality? I don’t think we can rule this out completely. It seems to me unlikely that it was his main intention. But I would accept that there might have been some deliberate innuendo in his wording, to leave open the possibility that even in same-sex couples one might be taken and the other left behind. And, as I discussed concerning the parallel passage in Matthew in the first of my recent posts on the Rapture, in this case the one who is taken goes not to heaven but to God’s judgment.

That parallel in Matthew, 24:40-41, is interesting because in it there is almost no possibility of a reference to homosexuality. It is daytime, and the first two people are working together in a field, whereas, as Goetz also discusses, the two women are explicitly grinding at a mill, not Blake’s “dark satanic” variety but a hand-mill. Now I am usually rather sceptical about using source criticism in exegesis. But in the case of such a parallel between Matthew and Luke I think most source critics would hold that Matthew’s version is closer to the original version of the saying. That implies that it is closer to what Jesus really said.

So it seems highly improbable that in this saying Jesus was at all talking about homosexuals. His message is not that only one of each gay couple and one of each lesbian couple will be taken away to be judged, and the other will escape by being left behind. Rather it is to all of us, irrespective of sexual orientation. We will not escape just because our partner, at work or in the sexual sense, does, but each of us individually will face God’s judgment. And it will come at a time that

no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, [nor even Harold Camping!,] but only the Father.

Matthew 24:36 (NIV 2011)

37 thoughts on “Did Jesus accept one each of gay and lesbian couples?

  1. In the original Greek text – there is no word used for ‘people’ at all. The original text literally reads – there will be two in one bed. (as the NASB translated).

    In the KJV the word men is either in italics or in [brackets]….indicating that the English word was inserted to attempt to clarify the intent from the original language. Often times, this clarification method used in translating scripture lends to misconception since it is based on current cultural understandings (or other faulty assumptions). The word insertion can not be correlated with anything else in scripture to give deeper definition because it does not come from the original language.

  2. Thanks, Chris. You are right, of course, and perhaps I should have written that. But how many people know that that is what italics mean in KJV and some other Bible versions? More likely they think italics are used for emphasis. The italics might well have drawn the young Goetz’s attention to the word. Interestingly the only modern translations I can find using “men” here are NKJV (with italics) and the Amplified Bible; even NIV (1984) and ESV have “two” or “two people”.

  3. even NIV (1984) and ESV have “two” or “two people”.

    Really…the word people is an assumed insertion. While, highly unlikely that Jesus was talking about horses, fish, or bananas…people is still an assumed insertion – derived from the context of the whole passage (not the verse)…

    Even the word ‘women’ in the next verse is an assumed insertion.

    The verses should simply read: …in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

    the KJV and others that insert ‘women’ into verse 35 are possibly imposing an assumed gender roll….This happens often throughout the KJV (and some others)

  4. Chris, I agree that the Greek text does not specify that the characters in these two verses are human. Does anyone seriously argue that they are not? But the Greek text DOES make it clear that the pair in verse 35 are both female, despite the lack of an explicit word for “women”. This is not a matter of assuming gender roles, but comes from the feminine gender of the words for “one” and “the other”.

  5. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for introducing your audience to my blog. Much appreciated.

    You’ve made several unfounded assumptions, and I’d like to reply to them.

    First, if I based my argument on the KJV, that’d be pretty sad. I not only use every translation at my disposal, I know a little Greek. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to get around.

    I scrupulously avoid sexist language and the “generic he” to which you refer, so lumping me in with people who subscribe to sexist language and can’t detect it is inaccurate.

    I don’t believe I am projecting (extrapolating) a contemporary Christian understanding onto the significance of Sodom. I believe that Jude believed that the sin of Sodom was homosexuality. I could be wrong–I know that sympathetic scholars believe that they have effectively debunked that, but I approach the debate from a different perspective, with a different audience in mind.

    On my blog so far I have not published my discussion of the parallel passages in Luke and Matthew, nor have I discussed the translation issues you’ve raised here. But I’ve done quite a bit of research on both. Comparing Luke and Matthew actually strengthens my thesis that Luke 17:20-37 is “Luke’s Gay Apocalypse.”

    I illustrate theological differences between Matthew and Luke in the post titled, “Luke’s Gay Apocalypse: Two Lesbians without a Mill.” http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/05/24/the-q-apocalypse-two-lesbians-without-a-mill/

    BTW, there are two recent posts on my blog. Both deal with “two women grinding together.” One discusses Old Testament sexual usages of “grind,” and the other documents sexual usages of “grind” in Latin and Greek–during the time of Jesus and Luke. These discussions establish that I have not imported modern English slang into ancient documents, that the sexual use of “grind” is widespread in time and place.

    Thanks again for the discussion!

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    “Grind” in Hebrew Usage:
    http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/05/24/662/

    “Grind” in Sumerian, Latin, and Greek Usage:
    http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/05/22/the-q-apocalypse-two-women-grinding-together/

    • Regarding your interpretation I want to ask a few things:

      Did anyone ever hol to this interpretation to the twentieth century? Where there any church fathers who`s primary language was ancient Greek who interpreted this text in such a manner?

      Why did Jesus specifically mention two gays an two lesbians without clearifying it?

      Why the difference between the Gospels of Luke and Matthew in this matter.

      You are right to assume that Jude believed the sin of Sodom to have been homosexuality, that is really not even open for discussion, but so did Jude hold different views from his brother Jesus?

      Also are you saying that just because Jesus mentioned Sodom earlier in the text that he was trying to set up a homosexual context? Isn`t that an assumption? Doesn`t Jesus mention Sodom many times? Also Jesus didn`t reference its sexual meaning the way Jude did.

  6. I am not arguing, perhaps I am missing something….How does the Greek text in Luke 17:35 indicate they are both female? The only thing I see is “the one” is mia which is a feminine adjective but it is the same word translated “one” in verse 34 when we have [men] inserted in the text of two lying in bed.

  7. Thank you, Ron. I have actually already read your posts about the meanings of “grind”, which I linked to in the post, and I was convinced enough by your argument that I would say that if it fitted the context verse 35 could be about lesbianism. I also knew that you were aware of the translation issue in verse 34, as you mentioned it in passing in your post. Nevertheless you chose to quote KJV without describing the issues with it which undermine your main thesis.

    I realise that your general approach is very different from Grudem’s. But there is a lot in common between your attempt to read masculinity in verse 34 and Grudem’s attempts to read his doctrine of male representation into other verses where “man” and “he” appear in older translations (and in ESV) but the Greek is gender generic. For more about this aspect of Grudem’s theology, read the 2006 article by Mark Strauss CURRENT ISSUES IN THE GENDER-LANGUAGE DEBATE: A RESPONSE TO VERN POYTHRESS AND WAYNE GRUDEM, especially p.14.

    As for what the sin of Sodom was, I realise there is room for debate here and that Jude 7 tends to support your case. But I still consider that “Jesus knew” is too strong a statement.

  8. Chris, if we compare verses 34 and 35, in the former we have the masculine forms of “the one” and “the other”, ho heis and ho heteros, whereas in the latter we have the corresponding feminine forms, he mia and he hetera. The feminine genitive of “one”, mias also appears in verse 34, but this goes with the feminine noun klines “bed” (also genitive). There are some minor textual variants here but I don’t think any affect this general picture, or change the meaning of the verses.

  9. Chris, “grinding” in verse 35 is alEthousia. (“Grind” alone is ale.) alEthousia is a feminine participle, meaning that the verb is itself gendered, it is women doing the grinding, even though the word “women” isn’t in the text. English doesn’t include gender in its verbs.

    Many commentators have noted that Luke often uses parallel male/female pairs when he writes, e.g., a man sowing (13:19) and a woman baking (13:21), a man with lost sheep (15:3-7) and a woman with a lost coin (15:8-10), Jesus appears to women (24:1-11) and Jesus appears to Emmaus disciples (24:13-35). (Köstenberger, p. 210)

    If taken in isolation without regard to its context, 17:34 could obviously refer to two men or simply two persons. That’s the way Greek works (and many other languages as well). But when we understand Luke’s preference for male/female pairs, the needle moves toward “two men.”

  10. Peter, I believe in gender-neutral translation.

    And I’ve been criticized elsewhere as allegedly buying into masculinist grammar mindlessly.

    But I am not attempting “to read masculinity in verse 34.” “Two men” and “two people” are already present, and are equally legitimate renderings of the Greek. If the verse were in isolation, it would probably be 50/50.

    But there’s even more about Luke’s Gay Apocalypse on its way.

  11. Pingback: Luke’s Gay Apocalypse: “Two men” or “Two people”? | Bible-Thumping Liberal

  12. Ron, see my comment on your new post. But please can I correct your comment to Chris.

    The word translated “grinding” in verse 35 is alEthousai, from the verb alEthO, to use your transliteration. The form alE which you quote from Plutarch is I think the imperative form of a different but related verb aleO.

    Greek doesn’t include gender in its verbs either, except in participles. English doesn’t include gender in anything as it does not have the category of grammatical gender at all. Even the traces found in pronouns like “he” and “she” are not true grammatical gender.

  13. I don’t know the second bit of Greek if the first is the alphabet, so I haven’t a clue what the New Testament has to say on the sin of Sodom being homosexuality. However it’s pretty clear from the Genesis account that they were gay. Moreover it’s pretty clear that this was considered both shameful (more than raping two young women) and worthy of divine punishment.

    “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” ” Genesis 19 4-5 NIV.

  14. We just love to have the Bible support our views, don’t we? 🙂 Great blog entry Peter. Speaking of the rapture, have you heard that men will be raptured before women? Yes, it is right there in Revelation 8:1 “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”
    :-/ yes, I know it’s a bad sexist joke, but I couldn’t resist it.

  15. Peter, thanks for correcting “my Greek” (although to claim to “have Greek” is a bit of an exaggeration!). If it’s okay with you, I will use your comment to edit my post. Thanks!

  16. Josiah, I agree that there was attempted homosexual rape in Sodom, as one of the many sins in that city. Lot offered his daughters rather than his guests because in oriental cultures it is the duty of a host to protect guests. He may also have considered rape of the girls less shameful than rape of the men. But there is no clear evidence that God agreed with Lot’s assessment.

    Jay, thanks, that made me laugh!

    Ron, I would be pleased for you to edit your post.

  17. Peter, I would agree that the host accepted the duty to protect his guests and that would certainly be a part of his motive. It is also an element in the story that caused the near extermination of Benjamin in judges 19. However in that story the host clearly considered it acceptable to have the concubine put out into the mob rather than her husband. Does guest protection only extend to the men then, or is that further evidence that the rape of men was considered worse than that of women?
    In the Gibeah tale it is clear that this is a particular group, but the Sodom event indicates that the entire city was gathered to partake of the crime. Perhaps the distinction is only maintained because the Judges account refers to fellow Israelites, but it is still a distinction that’s there.

    I also acknowledge that God probably didn’t agree with such an assessment as to one rape being better than another; after all in his eyes sin is sin and none is less evil than another.

  18. @josiah, I think that since it is clear that the men of the city are trying to gang rape foreigners, one should not conclude that this is a text about loving committed relationships between people of the same sex. It simply isn’t about that, one way or the other. It is about something else.

  19. We all being sinful humans, our desire for one translation outcome or another is hard to stifle with God-like completeness. We have a strong tendency to see what we want in the translation. While Jesus was very active seeking out prostitutes, adulteresses and lepers, how many of us would be comfortable following Jesus in that ministry? Jesus calls, but sometimes we don’t wanna. Arguments, no matter how perfect, often cannot change what we don’t wanna. Only love can make such a change.

    Is it sin? Hearing “They are sinners” always wrenches my gut. We are all sinners, and God weighs our sin. Sin is distance from God, and there is no better way to achieve that than to refuse to love, much more effective than anything you can do with human meat and plumbing. Meanwhile, Jesus does not charge us to judge and criticize, but to love and teach love, love of God and love of all Creation, every one of us.

    Certainly, in prior times beds held all sorts of people, sometimes with little relationship, like in Howard Pyle’s Robin Hood, inns bedding strangers together. Privacy is pretty new. Medieval peasant beds held the whole family, just like Eskimos, with the animals at the other end of the room for heat and ready access all winter.

    The grinding females does support a more homosexual flavor, if that is the euphemism that was being used originally. Who knows if Luke was adept at sexual euphemism in Greek, to use the right word? Euphemisms and slang, especially sexual, tend to appropriate every word in the neighborhood in English, and I expect have in every language. Send your Girl a french letter. As a doctor, he might have more concise terms, but here he works from memory of what Jesus said. (I can hear the mental side voices of listeners saying “Did He just say what I thought He said?”) Well, Jesus and Luke were speaking to a mixed audience, always euphemism city.

    The idea of grinding grain in a field seems strange, as many kinds of grinding apparatus and accessories are heavy and cumbersome to move. It seems more sensible to carry grain to the mill. I guess someone can do a book on the various ways ancient grain cultures handled grinding and grain to flour production. I keep seeing those hollow top stone mills where the grain is pounded, but that might not be period and location accurate. Flour is easier to leak and lose, so transporting grain is also safer. Converting a whole field of grain to flour sounds like more than two persons could manage, but maybe they worked at it gradually. Rain might not affect their grinding apparatus often enough to make them grind at the barn, it being an arid climate.

    It is a bit ironic that the LGBTQI-affirming Christians and the Rapture-anticipating Christians are often the most extremely divided. Maybe one of Paul’s most difficult statements was that “Love does not insist on its own way.” The concept of Doctrine, that we have to agree on what to teach the kids, that we have to present these ideas as stone solid facts, corners us. Well, without love, we are nothing. Our Doctrine must teach love.

    Sorry to run on so, but many thoughts about this very imprecise, very human problem!

  20. David, thank you for your comment. The ancients certainly used hand mills, but neither Luke nor Matthew suggests grinding, in any sense, taking place in a field. I agree that “without love, we are nothing”.

  21. In this season or kairos of God fresh revelation is coming to the Church through His “Set men” (Num.27:16-17 & Matt.24:45). The key word in Luk.17:34 is “bed” as it speaks of a godly covenental position that the two “genderless”(Gal.3:28) persons enjoyed. In the flesh they were husband and wife but as Jesus always spoke in the spiritual context, He refers to them as man or men. The word “bed” is also used in Hebrews 13:4 where it says, “Let the marriage bed be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers (persons outside of a covenental relationship), God will judge. This brings us to how Father ordained the marriage “covenant” between a male and a female, in order that they may produce after their own kind by being fruitful and multiplying, and in so doing – fill the earth (Gen.1:11,22,27&28). God instituted (ordained) the holy marriage covenant between a male husband and a female wife, not only to become “one”, but also to produce a “GODLY OFFSPRING”, who will in turn, multiply and fill the earth, to complete God’s mandate for the end times. Now it becomes apparent why God hates divorce! (Mal.2:14-15).

  22. Hi Peter,
    I previously posted a perspective on Luk.17:34 which deals with two men or persons on “one bed”. I said that “bed” spoke of a “godly” covenental position (marriage) that they had. How do we know that? – because the verse decribes “one” or oneness, which only a husband and wife may have in God’s order.

    Today, I would like us to consider the two (2) women grinding at the mill (stone) as portrayed in Luk.17:35.
    Again we need scripture to interpret scripture for us, as God speaks to us in times, seasons, symbols, metaphors, shadows, types and in a host of other manners.
    This brings us to who or what a “woman” portrays in scripture.
    A woman will, in most instances, identify with the Church or Bride of Christ. Our first encounter with a woman is found in Genesis, first chapter. Here we find the beautiful picture of a loving Father bringing his bride to His son (Luk.3:38) in the natural. But where the natural is there must also be the Spiritual that follows

  23. In the Spiritual Christ became the Bridegroom and the bride the Church.
    Another example from scripture would be the example of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well whom Jesus encounters. She typifies the luke warm Church (Samaritans were regarded as half Jew and half gentile – partly spiritual and partly in the world). This woman previously had six (6) husbands (six covenants) that did not last. Then she (Church) meets the seventh, (Christ the Bridegroom) and her life is radically changed.

    In our story (Luk.17:35) the two women portray church folk witnessing or discussing the Word (doctrine). Two (2) in biblical numerology is a witness or testimony. By the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter will be established; three being the more excellent witness.
    Bread and manna is a metaphor for the Word of God. Jesus said I am the Bread (Word) that came down from heaven.
    The women were grinding wheat in order to make bread.
    In the imagery of the two persons in covenant (Luk.17:34) Jesus points out that one shall be taken and the other shall be left. NOTE: He does not say left BEHIND! Likewise the two church folk discussing doctrine must have had doctrinal differences for Jesus to make the exact statement about their destiny.

    The question on everyone’s mind is – who is taken and who is left?

    We will unpack this on another ocassion.
    Laurie
    Republic of South Africa

  24. Laurie, thank you for your thoughts. But if you intend to make this an ongoing series, please can I suggest that you post it on a blog of your own, and send a link here.

  25. Peter,

    Great post here. I was studying this myself recently, and found your article through Google. I thought, “I know Peter! What does he have to say?”

    In my study of this text, I saw that while the words “men” and “women” are not in these verses, the word “two” in Luke 17:34 is masculine, while it is feminine in Luke 17:35.

    Also, both of the words “one” in Luke 17:34 are masculine, while they are feminine in Luke 17:35.

    This is why many translations says “two men … two women” rather than just “two people … two people.”

    Thoughts?

  26. Thank you, Jeremy. You are right about the Greek. But that does not imply that “two men” (male) is the correct understanding of verse 34. As I am sure you know, the Greek masculine is used for mixed gender and unspecified gender referents. Apart from the context, verse 34 is certainly ambiguous and should be translated “two people”. The contrast with verse 35 might indeed suggest that the author meant “two men”, but the English rendering “two people” doesn’t rule that out and so is still the best translation.

    By the way, when I wrote in 2011 “these two in one bed are what they most commonly are, at least in our culture: a married couple”, I was not thinking of a same sex married couple. In only four years our culture and our laws (in USA, UK and elsewhere) have changed enough that I would need to phrase this differently.

  27. Any experts on first century Greek and Aramaic vocabulary, euphemisms for gay and lespian?

    Jesus seems to be saying that of these two pairs, carefully chosen as persons who can be assumed to be going straight to Hell, described in euphemisms for a family crowd, are going to make it or fail for other reasons, That’s the logic of the passage. We cannot judge. Jesus judges!

  28. Any experts on first century Greek and Aramaic vocabulary, euphemisms for gay and lesbian?

    Jesus seems to be saying that of these two pairs, carefully chosen as persons who can be assumed to be going straight to Hell, described in euphemisms for a family crowd, are going to make it or fail for other reasons, That’s the logic of the passage. We cannot judge. Jesus judges!

  29. David, I don’t count myself as an expert, but I have explored this particular question in some detail.

    In the Hebrew Bible, “grind” is used as an acceptable euphemism for sexual intercourse in at least four places: Job 31:10, Judges 16:21, Isaiah 47:2-3, and Lamentations 5:13.nd

    Grind in 1st Century Latin

    In Latin, the word “grind,” and the related word “mill,” are both euphemisms for things sexual. The Roman poet Horace (65 to 8 BCE) used “grind” in his endorsement of brothels. Writing in Latin just decades before the birth of Christ, Plutarch says that

    Once, when a noble left a brothel, “Blessed be thou for thy virtue!” quoth the wisdom of Cato: “for when their veins are swelling with gross lust, young men should drop in there, rather than grind some husband’s private mill.”

    Grind in 1st Century Greek

    Plutarch (ca A.D. 45 to 120) was born in Greece near Delphi, and was a contemporary of Luke. One of Plutarch’s essays, “The Banquet of Seven Wise Men,” is a fictional conversation among some famous men who lived around 650 BCE. After a brief lull in the conversation, Thales of Miletus speaks:

    This remark arrested the attention of the whole company, and Thales said jestingly…. “when I was at Lesbos, I heard my landlady, as she was very busy at her handmill, singing as she used to go at her work:

    Grind, mill, grind;
    For even Pittacus grinds,
    King of great Mytilene.

    In rhythm with her literal grinding, the landlady sings a bawdy work song: “Grind, mill, grind.” Whether the song dates back to 650 BCE is not the point. What matters is that Plutarch records “grind” used as a sexual metaphor in the last quarter of the first century A.D., overlapping the probable years when Luke was composed.

    Plutarch’s story confirms that he considered the work song to be a “lesbian joke,” since he says that Thales of Miletus told the story set on the Isle of Lesbos “jestingly.” The historicity of the story itself is not at issue here. What the Plutarchian evidence does is to testify to Greek language use during the period of Plutarch, Luke, and Jesus.

  30. Luke 17: 34= Men in the bible symbolize people. Ex. Mark
    2:27. Night ( sleeping or dead -John 11:11-14) in one
    bed (at the same ground or earth).
    Luke 17: 35= Women symbol of church (Rev. 12:17 and
    Rev. 17:18) grinding ( sowing or preaching ) the grain
    or seed (word of God) Luke 8: 4-8;11).
    Luke 17: 36=Men ( people) on the field ( preaching to
    people ( John 4: 34-38)
    One was taken ( dead in Christ or believer shall rise first –
    1 Thess. 4: 16-17; Rev. 20 : 4 & 6 )
    The other left ( unbelievers will stay until 1000 years – Rev.
    20: 5.

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