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Paul Really Did Condemn Homosexual Acts

Lisa

Adam Bowers - published on 12/18/13

Arguments that seek to confine Paul's condemnations to promiscuity, rape, or some other sin can't account for all of the biblical data.

Same-sex marriage is a new creation out of the last several generations of post-modern social life. There are countless arguments, both for and against. The question of homosexual persons who wish to enter into lifelong committed partnerships appears to provide a moral framework for a Christian structure of same-sex relationships, but it denies (and ignores) the most essential component of the problem – the objective morality of sexual activity outside marriage. And in seeking to answer this question in the affirmative so that a Christian same-sex marriage ethic can be found to exist, good scholarship is replaced with a subjective and unsound approach to Scripture.

I recently read a book entitled The Children are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relatioship, by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley (Found Pearl Press, 2008). Both authors identify themselves as gay men in committed relationships, and moreover, they are styled as ministers and religious thinkers within a particular Christian denomination (the Metropolitan Community Church).

While the book does not confine itself to a single argument, I’ve summarized the best and most convincing one as follows: St. Paul’s proscription of homosexuality (based upon 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) is really a mistranslation of two words in the Greek text, malakoi and arsenokoitai, and these two words actually do not refer to a loving, committed relationship between two persons of the same sex. The authors argue that in using these words, St. Paul actually meant homosexual rape, and not committed, consenting, homosexual monogamy.

“Do not be deceived….” St. Paul is actively warning the Christians in Corinth to beware of certain forms of behavior. He’s telling them that if they do the things he lists, there are very grave consequences. “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolators nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God”. (NAB).

The NAB footnote for this verse states that “The Greek word translated as boy prostitutes may refer to catamites, i.e., boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world. In Greek mythology this was the function of Ganymede, the ‘cupbearer of the gods,’ whose Latin name was Catamitus. [My note: Consider the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon: Malakos: 1. soft, soft to the touch 2. metaph. in bad sense — a. effeminate — 1. of a catamite — 2. of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man — 3. of a male who submits his body for unnatural lewdness — 4. of a male prostitute.] The term translated Sodomites (arsenokoitai) refers to adult males who indulged in homosexual practices with such boys.”
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Greek states that arsenokoi (translated in NAB as sodomite) actually consists of two words: arsen (male/man) and koite (bed, marriage bed, repeated (immoral) sexual intercourse. From keimai – a couch, bed, chambering, cohabitation).

Fornicator in Greek is pornos. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Greekit means a male prostitute, a debauchee (libertine), fornicator, whoremonger. According to the NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Greek it is used to describe fornicators and/or immoral people. We commonly define fornication as sex among the unmarried.

The list also includes idolators (idol worshippers), adulterers (Greek word moichos: a paramour — a married person who has sex with someone other than their spouse),

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