Fun to ‘Cipher the BYE-Bee-El-Eee!

Fun to ‘Cipher the BYE-Bee-El-Eee! November 5, 2007

An Episcopal church invites a Jewish Rabbi, who also happens to be a homosexual, to help them better understand the Bible.

With a bit of characterization and Jewish witticism, Rabbi Steven Greenberg made his point clear: You shouldn’t use the Bible to pass judgment on others. Greenberg shared this belief during a sermon yesterday at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on the campus of Ohio State University.

Greenberg, who was raised in Bexley and is in Columbus for five days, is America’s first openly gay Orthodox rabbi. He spoke yesterday about homosexuality in the context of traditional faith as part of a lecture series sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. He will speak about same-sex marriage at 7 p.m. today at the church, 30 W. Woodruff Ave.

He wasn’t saying that the Bible is not the revealed word of God. But according to Jewish tradition, he said, God gave that word to man and entrusted him to decipher it.

“No one can say, ‘It says in the Scripture,’ to ground any policy,” Greenberg said. “All we can say is, ‘My community says this.’ “

Here’s the Story.

Denise Williams, a four-year member of the church, said she appreciated the sermon’s meaning.

When she heard Greenberg say that the Bible is not “truth with a capital T,” “at first, I was like, ‘What? We’re in a church,’ ” she said.

“But after he went on and described what he meant, I understood. It was given to us to decipher.”

Any resemblance of the image of the Lego Ludo set with Episcopalians the Village People is purely coincidental.

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