The Bible and Homosexuality Part 2: Homosexuality in the New Testament -- By: P. Michael Ukleja
BSac 140:560 (Oct 83) p. 350
The Bible and Homosexuality
Homosexuality in the New Testament
[P. Michael Ukleja, Pastor, Rossmoor Grace Brethren Church, Los Alamitos, California]
The prohibition against homosexuality is mentioned three times in the New Testament (Rom 1:26–27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10). In 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy two Greek words—μαλακόςand ἀρσενοκοίτης—are usually translated “homosexual.” Prohomosexual advocates insist that μαλακός means “soft” or “weak” with the implication of moral softness or moral laxity. They insist that ἀρσενοκοίτης means “males who go to bed,” or “male prostitutes.
There is no reason to believe that either “μαλακος“ or “αρσενοκοιται” connoted homosexuality in the time of Paul or for centuries thereafter, and every reason to suppose that, whatever they came to mean, they were not determinative of Christian opinion on the morality of homosexual acts.1
These two words are hotly contested words in gay theology. Most Bible translators have rendered them “effeminate” and “homosexuals,” respectively. A proper understanding of the words is essential.
Both words are found in 1 Corinthians. Μαλακός means (1) “soft of things, clothes,” or (2) “persons; soft, effeminate especially of catamites, men and boys who allow themselves to be misused homosexually.”2 The Greeks used the word with a nuance,
BSac 140:560 (Oct 83) p. 351
probably similar to the way people today use the word “fairy” or “sissy.” They took this word which can have feminine overtones, and applied it to a man. According to the context it can have the idea of being weak or loose morally and being effeminate. This may relate to the Greek practice of paiderastia (“lover of boys”), which involved homosexual relations between men and boys. Pederasty was common in the Greek educational system. It was not uncommon for a strong sexual union to result between a young man and an elder teacher who was his model, guide, and initiator.3 In classical Greek, You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe