When the Bible was first translated from the original languages into English in 1537, the knowledge of Greek word meaning was quite limited. There was no real advance until the early 1900s, but the significant advances in Greek word meaning came after 1976. The meaning of numerous words which appeared in the New Testament then became known for the first time. This information was published in scholarly academic secular journals but has not yet made its way significantly into lexicons (dictionaries). The major documentary lexicon project on New Testament words is many years from completion. Bible translators have had to rely on outdated lexicons for their word meanings. In 2005, The Source New Testament (TSNT) was published. It was by Classical Greek scholar and lexicographer Dr A. Nyland, whose research field is word meaning from New Testament times. Now, in 2007, Dr Nyland has produced Study Notes along with TSNT for Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender people.Here is what bugs me about this (CAUTION: Geek stuff ahead). The goal of Biblical interpretation is to determine the context and the thoughts of the author 2000 years ago to an audience that is also 2000 years ago in order to see what principles transcend the time and place. The debate over biblical text is almost always over how much is the culture of this day impacting the words of Paul (see debate of Women in ministry). When we approach the text, we want to put ourselves in the shoes of the writer and the audience because we are simply eavesdropping on one side of the conversation some 2000 years later. This is called exegesis in the Biblical studies world.
What is being done here is something called eisegesis. The interpretor of today is seeing the text through his eyes and bases all conclusions based off of today's values. This Bible is written with a ax to grind so every problem text will be looked at in light of Homosexuality as being legit.
When the New Testament was written, the focus was not on whether a dude could be with a dude. It was on Christ. Everything was focused on Christ. Paul (and Jesus for that matter) calls the Christ the bridegroom and the Church the bride. Throughout the OT, marriage is used to describe the relationship between God and Mankind where God is addressed as the "man" and mankind as "the woman". God get angry then when his people "whore" themselves out to other idols (see Hosea and Ezekiel 23). So, we can see that marriage between two different monogamous beings (either sexual or spiritual) is exalted as the ideal and the holiest form. All other representations are sin.
I applaud these people for attempting to bridge the gap and become a "grace wholesaler" to these people. We need to stop seeing homosexuality as any different from the cohabitors, the cheaters, and the porn crazies. All are sexual sins that need Jesus no different than the gossiper, the liar, and legalist. The only difference is a different idol to worship. However, the minute we attempt to justify our idol through scripture we get in trouble. We are coming to he hoping to find an answer, and guess what, we find the answer we are looking for.
Trust me, as a new Christian, I tried to justify every one of my sins as I read the Bible. If I didn't want to hear the answer, I would come away thinking about some way how the text I read was for someone else or some way it did NOT apply to me. It upset my idol and I refused to listen.
We need to approach the text with this Question: What does God want to tell me here about himself or Jesus? Not how can I justify my actions.
So which are you doing more of as you approach the Bible: reading about God or reading what we want God to be about?