The Source and NT Meaning of Αρσενοκοιται, with Implications for Christian Ethics and Ministry -- By: James B. De Young
MSJ 3:2 (Fall 92) p. 191
The Source and NT Meaning of Αρσενοκοιται,
with Implications for Christian Ethics and Ministry
Professor of New Testament
Western Conservative Baptist Seminary
Traditional interpretation of ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoitai, “homosexuals”) in 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 refers to sexual vice between people of the same sex, specifically homosexuality. Some restrict the term’s meaning to “active male prostitute,” but stronger evidence supports a more general translation, namely “homosexuals.” More recently the definition “homosexual” has been opposed on cultural and linguistic grounds, the claim being that the term “homosexuals” is anachronistic. In addition, criticism of the traditional rendering says the term today includes celibate homophiles, excludes heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts, and includes female homosexuals. A concern for acts instead of the modern attention to desires was the only factor in the ancient world. The foregoing opposition to the translation of arsenokoitai by “homosexuals” has a number of debilitating weaknesses. Finally, this study argues that Paul coined the term arsenokoitai, deriving it from the LXX of Lev 20:13 (cf. 18:22) and using it for homosexual orientation and behavior, the latter of which should be an occasion for church discipline (1 Corinthians 5–6) and legislation in society (1 Tim 1:8–11).
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MSJ 3:2 (Fall 92) p. 192
Coincident with the rise of the gay rights movement in recent years has been an increasing focus on the biblical statements regarding homosexuality or sodomy.2 As part of this focus, the meaning of the term ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoitai, “homosexuals”), used twice by the apostle Paul (1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10), has received vigorous scrutiny.3 This issue is particularly crucial to contemporary society since so much of modern ethics is shaped...
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