Talk:Menstruation

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Sinfulness?

I'm confused, and believe me when I say that I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I read the cited reference which claims that sex during menstruation is a sin, but all of the Biblical references are from the Old Testament. It's my understanding that those same books from the Old Testament contain many laws and prohibitions that were not supposed to apply after Jesus came and began what is referred to as "the New Covenant". Why, then, is this specific act still considered a sin but other Old Testament laws and guidelines not? What is the guideline for knowing which still apply? --DinsdaleP 13:20, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

It says "were a serious sin", so the language implies that the act was a sin in the OT, and presumably no longer is a sin. HelpJazz 13:27, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Oh, I took it to be (poor) grammar because of the plural use of "relations". I'll clarify the sentence to refer to past tense, then. --DinsdaleP 13:30, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
The cited reference appears to think it's still sinful. Ungtss 13:32, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Well that's another issue entirely then. HelpJazz 13:37, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Then I guess it was a grammatical error, and my original question above stands. --DinsdaleP 13:39, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
The passage itself is pretty clear that it's not sinful but simply caused "ritual uncleanliness" -- shoot -- the woman was ritually unclean simply for having her period, and nobody ever said that was sinful. I vote for removing the commentary at the bottom about it being a "serious sin." Any seconds? Ungtss 13:42, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
I just removed it. It was really unnecessary as the Bible quote is already right there on the page, and the reference was full of odd ideas. -DrSandstone 13:43, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
That was written before an edit conflict. To be clear, I removed the reference, and I'd be in favor of removing the last sentence as well. -DrSandstone 13:45, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Good call. Ungtss 13:44, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
I'll knock it out. Ungtss 13:46, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
To be fair, the Bible does seem to make a distinction between incidental contact with a menstruating woman (resulting in ritual uncleanliness, Leviticus 15:19-24) and sexual contact (as in Leviticus 20:18, Ezekiel 22:10). In Ezekiel, sexual contact with menstruating women is listed among God's justifications for destroying the house of Israel. Whether or not this applies to modern non-Jews is a separate issue.--Brossa 14:55, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Contemporary Sensibility of Biblical Prohibition

The examples given to justify the validity of the Biblical law are not good justifications for avoiding sex during menstruation. The Neuberger quote is based on 1910 medicine, and lumps concerns about venereal disease and leprosy in the same pronouncement regarding menstruation. The Ben-Noun quote is specifically addressing the development of chlamydial and gonococcal diseases. Neither of these presents a contemporary medical reason why sex during menstruation between a healthy married couple would be wrong, even if the Biblical prohibition says it is. This goes back to my question above - what makes this Biblical prohibition from the Old Testament valid in all cases while others like Kosher dietary restrictions can be ignored by Christians? --DinsdaleP 20:08, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

I've heard homosexuals use the same argument to excuse themselves from the verses from Leviticus that apply to them, but many Christians believe that the OT laws on sexual morality are still binding. The difference from the OT dietary restrictions is that the dietary restrictions, other than those maintained in Acts 15:20, were explicitly set aside in the NT. By contrast, the NT repeatedly condemns fornication, and many Bible scholars interpret the Greek word translated as "fornication" to include all forms of sexual immorality and thus to incorporate the OT sexual laws by reference. DavidE 13:18, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
My friend DavidE, the prohibitions on charging interest for loans (usury), wearing garments of two types of fabric, etc., were not explicitly set aside in the NT. Do they still apply? In reality of course they only applied to the Jews when originally formulated, and non-Jews were never held to any of those laws ... Ungtss 13:39, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Good points. That's why I'm asking some of the Biblical experts here on CP to help out and clarify this basic and important question: If Christians consider it proper and acceptable to no longer adhere to some Old Testament rules (like keeping Kosher) but not others (like the Ten Commandments), what is the criteria used to determine which O.T. prohibitions can be ignored without it being a sin? That would help answer where the sex-during-menstruation prohibition falls in a contemporary sense. --DinsdaleP 19:07, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
It's nice to say that dietary laws went out the window in Acts and the rest of Leviticus is in play, but it doesn't really work. There are non-dietary, non-temple laws in the Mosaic law that Christians (and I am guessing most Jews, in some cases) don't adhere to. Look at the laws regarding leprous skin diseases in Leviticus. Do Christians expect people with leprosy to move out of town, wear torn clothes, cry out "Unclean! Unclean!" and keep their hair disheveled? No. Not at all. Does Acts say anything about how those laws are no longer important? No, it doesn't. How is this different from the menstrual laws for Christians? Corry 23:09, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
See Fruchtenbaum here. Philip J. Rayment 04:34, 9 October 2008 (EDT)
I found the Jewish perspective on this fascinating. The Jews believe that all gentiles (meaning non-Jews) are bound by the Noahide laws, rather than the Levitical laws. We're not even bound by the 10 commandments. They say that 7 commandments can be drawn from the instructions given to Noah after the flood, and since we are all descended of Noah, we are all bound by those loaws. The Jews were given the Levitical laws because they are a chosen people, given special laws and responsibilities -- a city on a hill, if you will. Most Christians, however, are unaware of thise, and generally insert themselves in place of the Jews in the OT ... at least when it's convenient. Ungtss 23:37, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Purpose of Menstruation

This section needs some work, and really should be broken into sub-sections. The first should be a collection of historical views, as is currently shown (although there are no dates for some of the references, or a mention of the expertise of some - medical, religious, etc.)

The second sub-section should explain the current medical understanding of the purpose of menstruation - readers turning to this article need to be presented with accurate, current medical information on topics like this. --DinsdaleP 19:18, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

I don't know that there is an authoritative medical understanding of the purpose of menstruation. All I have seen are a bunch of different speculations. After all, how can you have a scientific answer to a fundamentally teleological (and therefore philosophical) question? Anyway, what's the "medical answer," IYO? Ungtss 23:52, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
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