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Meditation 1276
God's word cannot be degraded -
- further than it already is

by: John Tyrrell

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Matthew 5: 30 (KJV) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Writing in Patheos, Dave Armstrong suggested that Matthew 5:30 in which Jesus told his listeners to cut off their right hand if it led them into sin was a reference to masturbation. He went on to show that, not only was this a reasonable interpretation in context, but it was also in accordance with Jewish Talmudic tradition which Jesus would have been familiar with.

I'm not going get all worked up about his argument - I just find it mildly amusing, particularly as it's made by a Christian engaging in Catholic apologetics.

Along the same lines of a right hand being cut off, a young Pakistani boy was reported to have cut off his own right hand this week because he raised his arm in class after mishearing a question, and thus accidentally committed blasphemy against the prophet.

New Testament, Talmud, or Quran - same damn stupid instruction!

Responding to the Patheos article on Facebook, one thoughtful critic of the claim that the passage referred to masturbation wrote:

"Stupid people with nothing to do but look for stupid things to degrade God's word"

Degrade God's word?

Sorry, God's word is about degraded as it can get when it requires a person to cut off his or her own hand. Or pluck out an eye as the preceding verse in Matthew requires. Or to castrate oneself as did the early Christian scholar, Origen based on the same passage.

The instruction, whether supposedly handed down by God to Moses, uttered by Jesus, or from the words of Muhammad is already thoroughly degraded. It cannot possible be degraded further.


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