The scripture that the mainstream churches can't find

Here it is:

"Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Their theologians can find it though.  It's in 1 Corinthians 6:9. So what do liberal  theologians say about it?  How do they wriggle around it?

They say that the word "Arsenokoitai" (meaning homosexual) in Paul's original Greek is of uncertain meaning.  And it is true that Paul's use of it in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 is the only mention of the word in the NT.  And my Liddell & Scott Lexicon of ancient Greek notes it as being found only in the NT. So let us look at the complete passage in the original Greek:

Tricky, Huh?  The word we are interested in is the last one on the third line.

Not really tricky.  Liddell & Scott give the word as a pair:  "Arseno-koitees".  And "arseno is the normal Greek word for a male. And "koitees" means to sleep. So the word clearly means "male-sleeper'.  Paul just jammed two common words into one -- with  perfect confidence that his meaning would be obvious. Only a liberal theologian could doubt what he meant.

Curiously, when academics talk about sexual intercourse, they often refer to it as "coitus".  They actually use an Anglicized spelling of the same Greek word that Paul used in referring to sex with men. The Left really are pathetic in their flight from reality.

There is a very extensive coverage of the whole issue here.  They are more polite than I am but come to the same conclusion.

And if there were any doubt about the NT condemnation of homosexuality, Paul makes it REALLY clear whom he is talking about in Romans 1:27.  They are among those who have been abandoned by God.

A small footnote: In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul does not in fact refer to homosexuals generally. He specifically refers to MALE homosexuals, people whom Britons and Australians still sometimes call "poofs" or "poofters". I won't repeat the American slang term as it is rather more excoriating than the British one. Lesbians don't get off entirely, however. See Romans 1:26.

UPDATE:  While we have a large body of writings on which to base our understanding of classical Attic Greek, we have nothing like that for the "koine" Greek of Christ's day.  The NT is just about all we have of it.  So it could obviously have been common for "Arsenokoitai" to be widely used at that time without our having any surviving evidence of that.  And I get the feeling from Paul's casual use of the term that it was in fact common.  I think that it was most likely to have been the contemptuous term of its day.  "Male-sleeper" is not as contemptuous as "f***ot" or "poof" But I think it probably served a similar function.

And, if I can build speculation on speculation, we can perhaps see an explanation for why Paul was so explicit in his description of homosexuality in Romans 1:26,27.  Why did he not simply use "Arsenokoitai", as he did elsewhere?  Possibly because it was Greek slang that would not be well understood in Rome. Greek was perfectly well understood in grand Roman society but Paul was probably addressing poor Romans whose native language was Latin.  Was the epistle to the Romans in fact originally written in Latin?  For an educated man like Paul to understand Latin would not be surprising.  And we know that he did once say something important in Latin: "Appello Caesarem".

1 comment:

  1. Excellent observations!
    From a fellow Ph.D and author (theology/philosophy)


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