Boston Globe’s Bible Lesson Fails Miserably

For a Christian who reads the Bible, there are few things more frustrating than picking up a newspaper or magazine and reading an interview from some bleary-eyed college professor who seeks to overthrow 2,000 years of traditional Christian teaching by claiming to know what the Bible "really says."

Such is the case with a truly error-filled interview in the Boston Globe with a "religious studies professor" named Michael Coogan (Sun. 10/3/10).

With the unchallenging voice of the Globe supporting him, Coogan advances numerous falsehoods.

1. Coogan says that the Ten Commandments "doesn't say anything" about prostitution. A cursory look at 1 Corinthians 6 clearly refutes this.

9 Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ's members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!
16 (Or) do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For "the two," it says, "will become one flesh."

There are other verses to cite, of course (Micah 1, Ezekiel 16), but the point is clear: the Globe's interviewee is simply wrong, and the Globe fails to correct him.

2. Then there's this awful part of the interview:

IDEAS (Globe): One of the things we hear most from gay marriage opponents is that the God-sanctioned version of marriage is one man and one woman.

COOGAN: Not in the Bible.

Yikes. How on earth does one read Matthew 19:1-10 or Ephesians 5 or Genesis 2:24 and conclude anything but that marriage is between a man and a woman?

3. Then there's this ignorant exchange:

IDEAS: What does Jesus say about homosexuality?

COOGAN: Not a word.

Good grief. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is GOD-BREATHED" (theopneustos, the Greek word literally means "God-breathed"!). In other words, God is the primary author of the Bible, with the writer being the "human collaborator."

Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, so when Romans 1:26-28 condemns homosexual activity, which it clearly does, this comes from God.

4. And:

IDEAS: The Catholic Church requires priests to be celibate, and most Catholic saints were celibate. What is the biblical basis for that?

COOGAN: The primary biblical basis is the writings of Paul, especially in his first letter to the Corinthians where he urges people to remain unmarried if they can …

Coogan conveniently leaves out the fact that Jesus himself weighed in on the issue of celibacy in Matthew 19:12:

12  [Jesus said,] "Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."