What words could Paul have used if he intended to condemn homosexuality?

p66 Greek Manuscript

p66 Greek Manuscript



If Paul intended to condemn homosexuality, he could have used a word from the following list to make his point. Instead of using these words however, Paul coined a new Greek word, arsenokoitai or arsenokoites, from the arsenokoit stem. Thanks for taking time to educate yourself by exploring the textual links.

Some people believe that Paul coined the Greek word arsenokoitai, from the words arsenos koiten, found in Lev 20:13 in the Septuagint, (a Greek translation of the Old Testament), where the cultural, historical and religious context is temple prostitution.

Ancient Greek and Latin words
Paul could have used


  1. arrenomanes - meaning mad after men or boy crazy

  2. dihetaristriai - a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same thing as hetairistriai, tribad, tribades, from: Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Brooton, Bernadette, p. 23.

  3. erastes - a sometimes older man who loves a sometimes younger male

  4. eromenos - a sometimes younger male who loves an older male

  5. euryproktoi – men who dress as women, also a vulgar reference to anal penetration

  6. frictrix - Latin word referring to a lewd woman and sometimes used to refer to a lesbian. Tertullian, 160-220 AD, translated tribas (a masculine woman) as frictrix.

  7. hetairistriai - women who are attracted to other women, used by Plato’s character Aristophanes, in The Symposium. May also refer to hyper-masculine women, from Lucian’s Dialogue of the Courtesans, cited by Brooten, p. 52.

  8. kinaidos – a word for effeminate, κίναιδος or kínaidoi (cinaedus in its Latinized form), a man "whose most salient feature was a supposedly feminine love of being sexually penetrated by other men." Winkler, John J., 1990, The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece, New York: Routledge.

    Although some scholars, like Dr. Robert Gagnon, understand kinaidoi to mean the passive partner in a male couple, Davidson argues that kinaidoi refers to a man insatiable and unrestrained in his sexual appetites instead of merely effeminate or passive. Davidson, J. 1997. Courtesans & Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens, New York, p. 167-182.

  9. lakkoproktoi - a lewd and vulgar reference to anal penetration

  10. lesbiai - a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same thing as dihetaristriai, hetairistriai, tribad, tribades, from: Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Brooton, Bernadette, p. 23.

  11. paiderasste – sexual behavior between males

  12. paiderastes or paiderastïs - παιδεραστής derived from the Greek word pais, παῖς a boy, meaning lover of boys

  13. paidomanes - a male mad for boys or boy crazy

  14. paidophthoros - a Greek word meaning corrupter of boys

  15. pathikos – the passive penetrated partner in a male couple

  16. tribades - an ancient Latin word indicating the active female partner of a lesbian pair, sometimes interpreted to mean a pseudo-male, referencing genital contact between women. Rashi defines it as “rubbing in a sexual manner.”

  17. tribas - the active partner in a lesbian relationship, who takes the male role

If Paul had used one of these words in Romans 1:26-27 or 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:10, we could be reasonably certain of his meaning.  However, Paul did not use any of these words, suggesting he had some- thing else in mind, like rape, interspecies sex or shrine prostitution, when he coined his interesting new Greek word, arsenokoitai.

Paul intended to remind his readers of the real meaning of arsenokoitai, based on the way first century Jews understood Leviticus 20:13. Therefore modern readers need to remind themselves that in the first century, Jewish religious leaders understood arsenos-koiten as used in Leviticus 20:13, as condemning shrine prostitutes and the sex rituals which accompanied their worship of false gods.

There is not a shred of historical evidence that anyone in the first century A.D. understood arsenokoitai to refer to male and female homosexuality in general.

If you disagree, please present evidence
to support your disagreement.



Malakoi in 1 Cor 6:9

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This page updated July 20, 2012

Comments for What words could Paul have used if he intended to condemn homosexuality?

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Aug 12, 2011
Your research is excellent
by: Pastor Marilyn

I just wanted to say that your research is excellent. I thought I found a lot but you've surpassed me. Keep up the good work.

Nov 08, 2011
Do they not want to know the truth?
by: KEVIN SCHUPP

The research that Rick does for gaychristian101 is excellent and precise. He approaches the subject from every angle: historical, linguistic, cultural and exegetical. The research he does and the facts he gleans are available to any pastor, theologian, Bible college student or any serious Bible scholar.

Is it not fair and reasonable to ask why anti-gay theology continues to dominate mainstream religion? Could it be bigotry or bias or laziness? Maybe they like the status quo.

We need to start challenging our pastors, rabbis, priests and other spiritual leaders. Ask him or her how sure are they of the information they are spouting from pulpits in the name of God.

Let us start holding them accountable because they are responsible to truth and to God.

Mar 23, 2012
Yet another word Paul could have used
by: Gato Gordo

"Phileos", usually translated into English as brotherly love, used for nine hundred years before Paul to mean "lover" and this is the masculine form. The feminine form is "Phile". Lest some homophobic scholar attempt to insist that this only refers to non-sexual companionship, permit me to point out passages where the context is explicitly sexual.

In the Iliad, Homer states that for Achilles, Patroclus is the "herairos" who is the most "philos" by far (XVII 411,655). Lest there be any doubt that philia is sexual, Achilles states in the next section (IX 628-638) that he loved (phile) Briseis as a man loves (phile) his own wife, even though she was only a prisoner.

In "Medea" by Euripides, the opening sililoquoy, Medea is addressing the "women of Corinth", says [231] "we women are the most unfortunate...[249]...when the man tires of his marriage bed...he gets his satisfaction with some lover (philos) or someone his own age".

In "Symposium (9.6)", Xenophon describes the marriage feast of Dionysus and Ariadne, speaking of the banqueters, "the action of those lovers (philos) as they kissed and fondles one another was a thing to contemplate."

In "Lysis" (221) Plato titles this paragraph: "Eros i the cause of Philos", and within the paragraph calims that "Philos can be eros". Usually translated as "love can be desire".

Again with the Plato, in "Euthydemus" (282)"pretty lovers (erastes) and friends (philos)they must be who want their favorite (eromenos) not to be, or to perish!"

As you undoubtedly know, in Athens the older male lover is called erastes, and the younger beloved is eromenos. But in Crete, says Strabo ("Geography" X.4.12)the older is called "philetor" making the word lover out of philia synonymous with the word lover out of eros. Strabo makes it clear that these lovers (philetors) are sexual lovers, comparing the practice to that of Zeus and Ganymede.

Aristotle says that the Cretans confine sex to men with men to avoid having children. "they segregated the women and instituted sexual relations among the males so that women wouldn't have children." (Politics II.10)

Here is a nine hundred year (before Paul) continuity of Greek literature where philia means love which is every bit as sexual as eros. And yet Paul commands us to "be devoted to one another in philia" (Romans 12:10), while the writer of Hebrews (13:1) commands "let philia continue".

Rick's comment: The Greek word, phileo, φιλέω has a semantic range broad enough that it can be used of love between friends or love between family members with no sexual connotation or love between lovers in the sexual sense.

Jul 08, 2012
Gay Christians not having sex?
by: Anonymous

Does this mean that gay christans don't have sex or wait till they are legally married?

Rick's comment: No, gay Christians are similar to non-gay Christians in that regard. However, gay Christians in general are not as sex-crazed as non-gay Christians.

For gay Christians, our sin problem is taken care of by salvation in Jesus Christ and justification by faith. Riddle me this Ms. afraid to use her name with her smart remarks: Who takes care of YOUR sin problem?

Jul 21, 2012
Not as sex crazed?
by: Anonymous

Then why devote a whole movement based upon sexual desires? Atheist lesbian didn't use name either and you were fine with it.

Rick's comment: You characterize gays as "a whole movement based on sexual desires" yet you do not characterize heterosexuals as a whole movement based on sexual desires.

Why do you ignore the facts about sex-crazed professing hetero christians and keep picking at gays? Your behavior is very strange indeed.

Jul 22, 2012
PRAY PRAY AND PRAY AGAIN
by: BERNARD WYATT

You are not gay, u need to repent before GOD, renew your mine by the washing of the true word of GOD, in truth,you can,t be gay, an say you are saved

at the same time,you have to be one or the other,
the word (christian)mean being christ-like!
and being gay is sin before GOD,same as lieing, steeeing, why is that so hard to understand, it,s not that you don,t understand, it is you don,t
belived GOD,s word is true.

PRAY THAT GOD HELP YOUR UNBELIFE, GOD BLESS YOU!
MY TIME IS UP,THANK YOU FOR YOUR,s

Rick's comment: Drunk? High? Deranged? I'm not sure. I do see classic denial going on and refusal to consider the facts.






Jul 31, 2012
People do not choose to be gay or bisexual.
by: Ismaila

I am so tired of people saying that it is a sin to be attracted to the same sex, when people do not choose to be this way.

Rick's comment: Amen to that Ismaila! I always encourage people to obey 2 Tim 2:15 so at least they know what they're talking about when they present their arguments.

Aug 11, 2012
simplicity and the last days
by: Anonymous

All of your seventeen alternative greek words would have expressed only a partial condemnation of a particular expression of homosexuality had they been used by Paul. Arsenokoites refers to all forms of male to male sexual behaviour, committed or non-committed, passive or active, penetrative or not, just as the actual wording does in Leviticus 20:13.

Rick's comment: Superb job of ignoring context and redefining terms without regard to culture, history and truth. Did it ever occur to you to read and study and get familiar with the topic before you opine?


Anonymous' comment continues: The context is not pagan temple practices but rather a long list of practices that God's people are forbidden to do, some of these forbidden things are familial, some sexual, some private, some public. That there are long lines of "experts" complicating the ancient simple reading here without any compelling reason is normal for these apostate times when everyone exalts in whatever is new and improved.

Rick's comment: If you'll take time to read my Lev 18:22 and 20:13 pages AND the other pages I've linked to via textual links, you may be surprised to learn information you have not previously considered.

It may also surprise you to learn that John MacArthur who is decidedly NOT gay affirming, agrees with me on the context of Leviticus.


Anonymous' comments continue: These days one can find greek and hebrew arguments for anything one wishes to wiggle out of. That does not make them good arguments. We are in the last days and people have become very cunning at having a form of godliness and denying the power thereof.

Since so many think that Paul was coining arsenokoites from Lev. 20:13 in LXX it becomes obvious that the meaning is male to male sexual activity equalling "as one lies with a woman".

Rick's comment: No, that is incorrect. The ancient Jewish understanding of arsenokoitai is that it referred to temple prostitution.

Anonymous' comments continue: Moreover, it is your contention that asenokoites is not defined explicitly for hundreds of years after being coined.

Rick's comment: No, that is not my argument. My argument is that the ancient Jewish understanding and the early Pauline and Christian understanding of arsenokoitai is that it referred to temple prostitution.

Anonymous' comments continue: This actually is the most powerful testimony that Paul and GOD meant it to be understood as the sum of its constituent parts, harking back to the simplicity of just believing Leviticus 20:13; otherwise it would have been immediately defined, for God is not the author of confusion nor is He the minister of questions. "...And such WERE some of you..." I Cor. 6:11

Rick's comment: Your reasoning makes no sense and is at odds with historical facts. Hope you'll keep seeking truth.

Oct 04, 2012
Truth vs. Lies
by: David (www.righteouswarriors.com)

May the God of truth open the eyes of all those being deceived, to see and understand the truth of this matter (which is clearly revealed in His Word). Everyone will have arguments, opinions, facts to back their bias up. Neither side will convince the other based on personal arguments. It will take the inworking of the Holy Spirit of God to expose the lies of the deceiver and reveal God's intent for His creation. Light will always expose darkness. His Word always brings CONFIDENCE in His truth, never sowing doubt. Each of us will stand before the Master and give an account of our lives, and those whose names are not recorded in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).

On that day, nobody will know or care what we believed about "arsenokoites". All that will matter is whether we ever truly belonged to Him or not. That day awaits us all.

David, Righteous Warriors
www.righteouswarriors.com

Rick's comment: Hello David - Your statement that no one will care about arsenokoites is a bit strange since your website makes such a point of ignoring English words and emphasizing the words of the original language. I hope you will grow interested in word meaning since knowing the meaning of words is absolutely essential to correctly translating the Bible. Thanks for stopping by.

Oct 05, 2012
Don't care about arsenokoites?
by: Gordon Clason

People who wish to ignore the Greek meaning and eschew the best efforts to arrive at the best possible original words and meaning aren't interested in what God REALLY said. They just want God to be their sock-puppet to spout 19th century fundamentalist dogma.

Oct 19, 2012
Confused
by: Larry

To be honest, I am confused by the meaning of this word. I am gay and am trying to decide whether I am "Side A" or "Side B." It seems that the word in 1 Cor. and 1 Tim is confusing. "Man" and "bed." Is it literally "man," or is it "men?" Is it "mankind" meaning everyone related to "bed?"

If it is believed to possibly have been taken from a Leviticus prohibition on homosexuality, could it mean in the 2 NT passages that it is wrong for a man to lie with a man as one does with a woman?

I'm confused. Not arguing or trying to make a point. Really I'm asking questions that I hope someone can help me with.

Rick's comment: Hi Larry. Thanks for the good questions. I answer those questions on my Arsenokoites pages. Look on the Navbar under: What The Bible Says and click on Arsenokoites. There is lots of information on that page and be sure to click on the text links for additional information.

Nov 10, 2012
Advice
by: Anonymous

First, I want to thank you for all of the good work that you have done through God. You opened my heart to go back to Jesus again. What can I do to spread your thorough analyses and help other LGBT Christians who are abandoning the faith? And also, help open the hearts of non-supporting Christians?

Rick's comment: Thanks for your kind words. What a blessing to know that you've opened your heart to Jesus again because of what you read on this website. That encourages me greatly!

Here are some ideas about how to communicate the message that God loves and saves gays and that we do NOT have to abandon the Bible and Jesus.

http://www.gaychristian101.com/how-can-we-build-bridges-of-trust-with-nongay-christians.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/what-are-practical-ways-to-change-the-antigay-bias-of-evangelical-christians.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/are-mainline-evangelicals-becoming-more-open-to-homosexual-christians.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/why-are-straight-christians-so-dismissive-of-gay-christians.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/do-you-love-us-enough-to-hear-our-heart.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/gay-christian-faq.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Saved.html

Feb 12, 2013
arsenokoites
by: Anonymous

Robin Scroggs in his 1983 book (The NT and homosexuality) tells us that the Greek word "arsenokoites" was derived from the Septuagint version of the Levitical prohibitions in Lev 18 and 20, a fact confirmed by David F Wright in 1984, which means that in Paul's mind the Levitical moral prohibitions applied in his day, otherwise he could not judge the incestuous man in 1 Cor 5, the problem was that the church was being too tolerant. Also Scroggs shows that the Hebrew equivalent of "arsenokoites" is "mishkav zakur" it is a technical term used by Rabbis of homosexuals. Both the Lev. (Septuagint) verses contain the words arsenos and koiten. (lying with a male). Paul is correlating the compound term, arsenokoitēs to the Septuagint's Leviticus passages and to the Hebrew term, Mishkav Zakur. The reason Paul uses this compuund term "arsenkoites" that had not been used before is because it would have been neon sign for them pointing back to Lev 18:22 and 20:13.

Rick's comment: The neon sign related arsenokoitai to temple prostitution, not to homosexuality. These links explain in more detail.

What did Paul mean when he used the Greek word arsenokoitai?

Define arsenokoites

Origin of arsenokoites

Shrine or temple prostitutes

How do you answer the verse that says homosexuals will not go to heaven?

Feb 13, 2013
Paul's Style of Preaching
by: Anonymous

I have a question. I have heard that Paul's style of preaching is to create models or examples in which to follow. So while he does not condemn same-sex committed relationships, is there any place where he presents it as the perfect model of how God wants our relationships with one another to be? Or rather what is the perfect model that we should be following in regards to marriage?

Rick's comment: Because the culture of the ancient near east was primarily heterosexual, it makes no sense to expect to find lots of affirmation of same sex marriage. However, Marriage in the Bible has always been about character, commitment, faithfulness, love and mutuality. Those traits are just as true of gay marriage as they are of hetero marriage.

Feb 14, 2013
wonderful
by: Nikki

I appreciate your knowledge on the subject. I myself am a lesbian who has been struggling between belief and translations of the bible. With the wisdom I have gained by your research I am so very thankful. Some people need to realize that it states in the bible the importance of gaining wisdom.

Feb 17, 2013
How does that even make sense?
by: Anonymous

Paul knew what he was doing. He clearly said man to man and woman to woman. He said it was an abomination. God doesn't like it. Why do people twist scripture? Paul said it was wrong period.

Rick's comment: Paul addressed the issue of pagan same sex rituals in temple prostitution in Romans 1:26-27. He did not use ANY of the ancient Greek or Latin words which would indicate he was talking about gays or lesbians.

Paul again addressed the problem of temple prostitution in 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10. He did not use ANY of the old Greek or Latin words which would have indicated he was talking about homosexuality.

Paul's use of the Greek words, malakoi and arsenokoitai, in 1 Cor 6:9 indicates Paul was focused on temple prostitution since that is how first century Jews understood the words Paul joined together to form his neologism, arsenokoitai. A neologism is a new word.

If you'll click on the text links in my article, I provide lots of additional information to help you figure it out.

May 07, 2013
GayChristian Rocks!
by: Joel Kessler

As a straight Christian guy, I love you, and can't wait to see your work at the Judgment throne of Christ and Jesus says well done good and faithful servant. I continue to pray down the strongholds of hate and ignorance and schemes of malicious theology! I thank you for your work. God bless you and your relationships in the world! I trust you!

Rick's comment: Thank you Joel, for your prayers and for your kind words.

May 13, 2013
Arsenokoites and the Holiness Code
by: Anonymous

Hi. I seen someone asked you about this before, but you never answered her. If the Levitical Laws do not bind on people as Christians, then why would Paul use Arsenokoites to refer to Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13? I also heard that we don't go by the Leviticus Laws unless it refers to sin. Is that right? Also, why did you change Jesus's quote about marriage?

Rick's comment: The arsenokoit stem and the Greek word arsenokoitai are never used in the Bible with the meaning, homosexual. These links provide answers to your questions.

What does arsenokoitai mean?

How do you interpret Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13?

What does you shall not lie with a man as with a woman mean?

Why do you say that Leviticus 18:22 is about goddess worship?

What is a shrine prostitute?

To whom was Leviticus written?

Is Leviticus 18:22 about pagan worship?

Are Christians under law?

Gay Christian FAQ

I have never changed Jesus' quote about marriage. I do explain what Jesus said in Matthew 19:3-12 at these links.

Jesus and homosexual eunuchs

Jesus and same sex attracted eunuchs

May 19, 2013
God knows the truth, Rick
by: Aaron Saltzer

God knows what you did. So does the woman who commented on it as well. Remember what 1 Timothy 1:9-10 says: Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for LIARS, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; I'm not accusing you. I know what I saw. Don't try to deny it, bc God will always know.

Rick's comment: Hi Aaron. Interesting that you have ignored every factual resource I provided while you continue to make false accusations against me. Then you have the effrontery to say: "I'm not accusing you."

As long as you ignore truth and refuse to study and educate yourself, God's answers to your very real needs will remain elusive.

Jun 04, 2013
Mosaic Code
by: Kenny

I think that Moses was having to define Divine Law because the people were trying to justify their sexual activity any way they could. "I could have sex behind my wifes' back with a guy and it's not the same therefore it doesn't break my marriage covenant". Or' "sex with a relative because I already have a loving relationship'.
Funny how we justify our sins and become our own "gods". All I know is that Moses' father married his aunt and Moses' wrote the mosaic code. Abraham married his half sister and Israel came from that. According to Leviticus' Moses should have at least executed his father. Jesus even commented that Moses had to write a certificate of divorce to excuse the people even though there was no excuse for divorce. God seems to confound the wise with the foolish thing.

The most hurtful sin we deal with is the lack of love. Gods' church is swimming in self righteousness without believing we all are free and forgiving through Jesus Christ. We gay people are trying to reach out a hand in love and letting God justify our lives.

Will gay Christians be blamed for the next natural disaster or terrorist attack because we are told we are responsible for the moral decline in America? God will judge His own for a lack of love for whom Jesus Christ is our model.

The Lord commands us to test men against His word because of our own corruption and self justification. In Revelation' John was told to swallow the book until such times as these. Rev 10

Jesus even said that in the last days knowledge would increase. We have an obligation to find truth. Law was given that we could see how corrupt we are and how loving Our Father is to forgive us.

The greatest 2 commandments are "to love God and to love our neighbor". These cover and encompass all other divine laws. Our neighbors are people we know. This is the church!

The ark of the covenant did not contain the mosaic codes. It contained only the 10 commandments, vessel on manna and an olive branch. Mans code of moral was kept outside the ark. Can anyone see the symbolism?

Love, Mercy and Peace. Love is the greatest and most ignored. If the church ignores it God will find a remnant for Himself who will obey it.

Let us as gay people continue to examine our own hearts and reach out in love to those who hate us. Our Father holds a special place in heaven for us. God Bless Everyone who believes in love!

Jun 23, 2013
The bible does condemn homosexual behavior
by: Wolfy

I find it interesting that all the bibles I have ever read make this entry by Paul clear that Homosexual behavior is to be avoided and wrong.

How come then this from the Homosexual society makes a different claim. I mean, is there some type of motive here? I have seen politicians take what is clear and put their own spin and try to pretend to clarify what someone has said. But we all know why that happens. It is the same here.

Rick's comment: No Wolfy, that is not what we are doing here. I've provided a list of words Paul could have used. You are the one obfuscating truth by ignoring truth.

Further. Although some would like to put a spin on Gods word, God does condemn Homosexuality. Now keep in mind that these scriptures demonstrate what their religion suggests what Homosexual behaviors can eventually lead to and the acceptance of such practices between men and women as well. Medically there are other repercussions. But to cut them some slack. They mean well and that is a fact.

Rick's comment: Click on the scripture links to get the truth.

Genesis 19:4ff - the Sodom story - all the men from every part of the city of Sodom, both young and old surrounded the house.

Jude 6-7 - In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

1 Corinthians 6:9 - Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality

Jun 25, 2013
Searching the scriptures
by: Rahway

I believe in Christ, and in our Creator God. I believe that it is my duty to serve him faithfully with my life. As this is true, it's been disconcerting to me to hear and read that it is sinful to be gay. As a result, I've done my own research and have seen much of the evidence you've highlightedin this site.

I applaud you and hope that you are rewarded well by both God and man. I know it's been slightly difficult to present this with all the opposition (believe me, I know) and that some people will turn their backs on you and other believers. Nevertheless, keep on the good fight.

I am from a particularly Bible-believing church and while it is extremely loving, I haven't been a regular attendee for two years. It's been hard to be there, but perhaps even worse for my family, who still attends. I don't know of another truthful and loving church in my area and because I love the truth I end up going back to my church. My pastor and several other officers there welcome me, because they believe that God is calling all men into the Ark of safety.

How tragic it is to see the strong few members that tear apart families and slander their fellow "brethren." Having been on both sides of the fence and knowing God, I lift up anyone else struggling with acceptance in prayer. God sent His Son to die for all. And now that we need not observe ceremonial Law, only the Supreme Law of Love, instead of trying to maintain an upper-hand, let us lift each other up. Keep praying for me, please.

Jul 03, 2013
Word of Encouragement
by: Solon

I'm a young straight Christian who has felt lead to deeply study the conflict of homosexuality being a sin or not. Whether it is God's will or not for Lgbt to live their sexual orientation, its hard for me to imagine a life where I wouldn't be able to have the opportunity to have a deep human relationship where I could love someone in a deep manner such as a marriage. I'm trying to take things in different view points in order to love everyone with as much genuine love from Christ as I can. I will continue to read your articles and keep an open heart about this topic, I ask you to pray for me in this journey and as I will pray for you, praying especially that we are not false teachers but truly displaying the love Christ has for us all. I do ask and plead that you would be more gentle in your reply to some of our brothers and sisters when they go against what we are for. Please, no name calling or questioning the intelligence of these people, for it will only harden their hearts deeper, we must "heap burning coals" by returning kind and encouraging words. Much love, My Friend.

Rick's comment: Thank you for keeping your heart open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. As a disciple of Jesus, my responses follow the biblical pattern; sometimes rebuke, sometimes more tenderness. It is unbiblical to never rebuke or to never correct false teaching.

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." - Proverbs 26:4

"Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." - Proverbs 26:5

In other words, answer some one way but others a different way, as the Holy Spirit leads.

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." - Matthew 23:14

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." - Romans 16:17

"One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" Titus 1:12-13

Jul 08, 2013
Sola Scriptura?
by: Dillon Coffey

Rick, Could you tell me the biblical basis for Sola Scriptura? Thank you, Jesse

Rick's comment: Yes, I'm glad to Jesse. Here is what Jesus believed, what Christians should believe and what we at Gay Christian 101 believe about the Bible. Our beliefs and the verses on these pages form the foundation of our belief in sola scriptura.

What did Jesus believe about the Bible?

What should I believe about the Bible?

What Christians believe about the Bible

What Christians believe about inerrancy and infallibility of scripture

Jul 22, 2013
More Context Study
by: James Lee

Hello, I'd like to commend you for your sincere desire to know the truth and study the word. I myself believe that same-sex attraction and orientation are no more sinful than opposite-sex attraction or orientation. However, I do realize that the conclusions based on your study of the context of Leviticus 20 Clobber Passage and Romans 1 need more attention. Leviticus 20 does start with a condemnation of child sacrifice to Molech but the attempts to set the verse 13 that forbids same-sex intercourse in the context of Molech worship passages from verses 1-5 must also than wrestle with other prohibitions against adultery in verse 10, incest in verses 11-21, bestiality in verse 16, and sex during the period in verse 18. If one takes same-sex coitus prohibition of verse 13 in the context of the Molech worship, than other prohibitions must also be taken in the context of the Molech worship, which begs the question, then adultery and incest that are not done in idol worship permissible? Same thing with Romans 1. If the gay and lesbian sex condemnation of Romans 1 is to be understood in the context of idolatry, then other sins listed after the condemnation of homosexuality from verse 29-31, such as, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossips, slanders, God-hate, being insolent, arrogant, and boastful, inventing ways of doing evil, and disobeying parents must also be understood in the context idolatry, which also begs the question, are these okay outside of idolatry?

Rick's comment: Moses does not say that homosexuality is analogous with incest and bestiality. He is analogizing illicit sexual worship of false gods with beastiality.

Jul 22, 2013
Need More Context Study
by: James Lee

The I Cor 6:9 verse, about catamites and sodomites, the word malakos that is sometimes translated into old English word catamite is a word that was used to generally describe passive gay sex partner within the same-sex relationship in the ancient Greek world.

Rick's comment: No James, malakos was rarely if ever, used to describe gay guys and never used to describe lesbians.

There was more technical word for male prostitute in Greek that is not used in the passage.

Rick's comment: James you tell me I need more study and then you make assertions which indicate you don't know what you're talking about.

Also, the word you listed as arsenokoites is actually arsenokoitai a new word that Paul coined which is straight from Leviticus 20:13 that combines the Greek translation of the Hebrew that separately means "male" (arseno) and "intercourse" (koitai) as in coitus, which basically means "men having sex with men".

Rick's comment: No James, it does NOT mean "men having sex with men." It did NOT mean that when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians and it does NOT mean that now.

Given the general Jewish and Pharisaic taboo and condemnation of same-sex intercourse in general during the time of Paul, of which Paul was from, it is quite improbable that Paul was saying that same-sex intercourse within monogamous marriage is fine. There were same-sex marriages in the Romans world and Paul was aware of that. Instead of over a dozen words describing same-sex activities in Greek as you have listed, instead of listing them exhaustively in Romans 1, Paul, instead of using technical Greek words, since he probably knew that people have the tendency to twist words or circumvent words to nullify them, he seems to be tediously using a more easily understandable and less able to twist and a longer way to describe precisely that men having sex with men and women having sex with women are the ultimate culmination of suppression of God's truth, that is, the suppression of God's truth leads to idolatry, and idolatry always expresses itself in sexual immorality because instead of the Creator God, man begins to worship the creation and the creative potential of man (his procreative potential) and that the natural outcome of sexual immorality is same-sex intercourse.

Rick's comment: Please read and digest the truth about Romans 1.

Would love to encourage you to open your mind and study the Bible without agenda for I believe that when one truly desires to seek truth honestly, they will ultimately find it.

Rick's comment: James, you are the one with an agenda. You seek to impose upon the text a 20th and 21st century viewpoint. You have not studied this much at all yet you encourage me to study?

Jul 23, 2013
Regretful Editing
by: James Lee

Hello Rick, Thanks for partially posting my comment. It is regrettable that you did not respond to the out-of-context comments about Leviticus 20 and Romans 1. Hope you have the courage to do this. Also, your responses to the other comments I made need to be substantiated objectively. I have realized that you are using others' comments for your agenda by editing rather than honestly seeking the truth. I find it futile to communicate any further on your own website. Bye.

Rick's comment: James, I posted almost the full text of both of your comments, with minimal editing. Objective substantiation of my views is found on this website. Click on any link on the NavBar under, What The Bible Says.

May I kindly point out that none of your comments was substantiated by objective evidence. You merely repeated false information, which, I must say, I have debunked on this website.

I get thousands of emails and comments because of this website. Most of them are short on facts and long on opinion. If you are going to take the position that the Bible condemns gays, you need to know what you're talking about.

It it not unkind to point out that you have not read much in the literature on this topic nor have you studied the clobber passages. Looking up a few words - in Strong's Concordance and reading a couple of English translations is not studying - it is only the beginning of study.

There are commentaries and other books which deal with the issue of gay Christians in depth. There are cultural and historical and linguistic and religious facts which one must know to intelligently discuss this topic.

I encourage you to do more reading and more study, with an open heart and mind. The blessed Holy Spirit has much to teach you on this topic if you are willing to listen to Him.

As far as your charge that I did not respond to your comments, did you read my response? I provided two text links which are my response to your critique. Here is one more page which you will find helpful on the issue of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 and context.

Lev 18:22 and 20:13 and shrine prostitutes.

Please notice that there are many links to additional info on that page. Will you read that info carefully and let me know what you think? Many thanks James.

Aug 21, 2013
Thanks!
by: Erick

Thank you so much for this information. I am a pastor and have been trying to make sense of the New Testament words typically translated as having to do with homosexuality. BUT when I look at Greek dictionaries the typical translations do not seem to follow the basic meaning of the Greek words. Not having a knowledge of the Greek language I have been looking for some one who can show me the extra-biblical writings that either confirm, what I consider a mis-translation, or deny the translation. Your GayChristian 101 site is the first one that I have found attempts to be honest by going back to the orginal sources rather then simply one scholar quoting another scholar. Again thank you for your work. May God richly bless you and yours.

Rick's comment: Hello Pastor Erick - I'm thankful I could be a blessing to you. We serve a wonderful Lord and Savior!

Aug 22, 2013
Exactly the Problem
by: gclason

All of the most readily available lexicons and Greek-English disctionaries of the Koine dialect of Greek are written by and for Fundamentalist. They take no notice of the uncertainty of some translations. They take no notice of the millions of words of contemporary written Greek.

Rick's comment: Gordon, I believe your comment that "All of the most readily available lexicons and Greek-English disctionaries of the Koine dialect of Greek" is inaccurate. For example, James Strong of Strong's Concordance, was more of a liberal than a fundamentalist.

Joseph Henry Thayer of Thayer's Lexicon, was a Unitarian, not even close to being a fundamentalist. Thayer's conclusions about word meanings when dealing with verses about the Trinitarian Godhead, the deity of Christ, the personhood of the Holy Spirit, Biblical inerrancy and the eternal punishment of the lost are suspect because of his Unitarian beliefs.


I recommend The Source New Testament translated by Ann Nyland. This is the first New Testament translation done with reference to millions of pages of every day Koine usage discovered since 1970.

http://betterbibles.com/2005/07/26/meet-a-translator-ann-nyland-tsnt/

Rick's comment: The publisher of The Source New Testament sent me a copy years ago, to evaluate. While there are some interesting footnotes, the text is similar to the NIV, NASB and other modern translations. For example, Dr. Nyland omits words and verses based on the same faulty rationale upon which modern translations omit words and verses.

The LGBT community is much better off sticking with the old King James translation in my opinion.


Aug 23, 2013
sorry about the misstatement
by: Gclason

I understand what you are saying about the theological bias of both Strong and Thayer. However they both wrote in the nineteenth century and nineteenth century worldview affected their outlook.

Today's fundamentalist dogma is based on traditional nineteenth century world view with regard to women, gays, plenary inspiration, blood sacrifice, original sin, young earth creationism, and Scofield dispensationalism.

The words and verses omitted by Ms Nyland, along with the translators of the NIV, NASB and other modern translators do not exist in the early manuscripts discovered since the time of Erasmus. The King James translation is based on a Greek edition which used what was available in 1514. Not a manuscript, but an edition, compiled from several late Greek manuscripts and using Erasmus' judgement as a selection tool.

This doesn't make what you said wrong in any sense, I simply don't think it's complete. Translations based on manuscripts discovered since the time of the Textus Receptus are valuable for comparison and the King James can't be relied upon to show us exactly what God really said.

Rick's comment: Gordon, when I think about manuscript evidence, I remember that there are two distinct lines of manuscripts, the good line linked to the great missionary church in Syrian Antioch, Acts 13, and the bad line linked to Egypt (home of the Alexandrian School), Matthew 2:15, Jeremiah 42:20, 43:2, 44:1ff., Revelation 11:8. The Antiochian manuscript line, also known as the Majority Text, comprises most of the 5500+ NT Greek mss available to us today.

The Alexandrian line of manuscripts, includes Vatican ms 1209, aka Vaticanus, (4th century) and Sinaiticus (4th century), the best representatives of the corrupt manuscript line. These mss are the basis of most modern English versions, with their omissions of thousands of words of scripture. The old KJV follows the Majority text and contains much of what newer versions omit.

It helps me keep manuscript evidence in perspective when I remember that early church fathers quoted from early manuscripts and early versions, quotations which differ from the Alexandrian or minority texts mentioned above.

In plainer words, Greek manuscripts based on the Majority text were around early in church history. Those manuscripts were the basis of early versions of the Bible (mentioned below) and through those early versions, Erasmus in the 1500s and later on, the KJV translators in the 1600s, had access to the earliest readings from the earliest Greek manuscripts, readings which were closer to the originals than Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. For example:

The Peshitta Version - AD 150
The Old Latin Vulgate - AD 157
The Italic Bible - AD 157
The Gallic Bible - AD 177
The Gothic Bible - AD 330-350
The Old Syriac Bible - AD 400

Sep 12, 2013
Romans 16
by: Karen

Please do a word study on the meanings of the names of Romans 16 up to 19 - For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is GOOD and innocent in what is EVIL. 20 - The God of peace will soon crush SATAN under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

You will see that the meanings of all those names amounts to a description similar to the myths of Ganymede - the very myth used to defend homosexuality and pederasty in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

It is therefore no coincidence that as faith in Christ falls this world is seeing the rise once again in defending homosexuality as 'normal' despite the simple truth which His creation declares - only men have seed and women eggs.

Along with it is coming pederasty and pedophilia because sexual molestation of youth arrests masculine authority, keeping many in an effeminate state. You are a temple of God within the temple which He builds. It is therefore no coincidence that the words used in scripture often relate to 'temple prostitution'.

Rick's comment: I cannot follow your logic. It seems to me you have things upside down and backwards concerning the text of the New Testament. Please help me understand.

Are you saying that God, through the process of biblical inspiration, led Paul in Romans chapter 16, to use names which defended the ancient Greek practice of pederasty?

Nov 04, 2013
paiderasste - inconsistency?
by: Phil

The article says "Greek word pais, παῖς a boy" yet defines paiderasste as sexual behavior between males. Should this not then be sexual behaviour with boys rather than men?

Rick's comment: Paiderasste as used in ancient times, described sexual behavior between males, sometimes boys, sometimes adult men. I provide more info about that on my Centurion and Pais page.

As noted there, one of the leading authorities on ancient Greece, Sir Kenneth Dover, and the leading anti-gay authority, Dr. Rob Gagnon, agree that pais had a semantic range broad enough to include adult males. In plainer words, its meaning was not restricted only to boys. Hope this is helpful Phil.

Dec 23, 2013
Perhaps
by: Daniel

Perhaps Paul didn't use those words because none of them conveyed what he meant. The list consists of words that refer to specific types of homosexuality - lesbianism, or male homosexuality, or pedophilia. None of them refer to homosexuality in general.

Granted, you would undoubtedly argue that arsenokoitai does not have that meaning, but that's a discussion for another day. Your contention here is that if Paul had been referring to homosexuals he would have used one of those words; however, none of those words actually fit. I think we can all agree that for Paul to convey that all homosexuality was wrong he would have to have used some other word.

Rick's comment: Precisely the point Daniel. On this website I provide one of the most in depth discussions of the meaning of arsenokoitai - see also the text links on that page.

There is no objective historical evidence that anyone in the first century AD used arsenokoitai with the general meaning of homosexual or to refer to gay men and lesbians.

Mar 24, 2014
Male Cult Prostitutes OR the men who used them?
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks for the thorough and compelling information. I agree with 99% of what you spell out and am grateful that you have done so. I'm just wondering if it is possible that the term "arsenokoitai" could refer specifically to the men who were visiting the shrines and engaging in the worship of the fertility gods (including Molech/Baal) by having same-sex intercourse with the male shrine prostitutes who worked/lived at these shrines?(rather than referring to these "priest-prostitutes" (who would obviously be called qadeshim in the Hebrew / and possibly "malakoi" etc in the Greek?. I also wonder if this isn't a reference to the anal sex which indubitably occurred during these specific rites? (Particularly given the fact that fairly early on reference is made to men committing this sin with their own wives). I would love to hear your opinion on these ideas of mine. Best, Lance

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - thanks for the good questions. The Hebrew text of Lev 20:13 includes both men, based on the Hebrew word shen·ah'·yim, translated in English as, both - "both of them have committed an abomination:" which indicts both participants in the abomination of using sex to worship pagan gods.

The anti-gay crowd displays a curious cognitive dissonance on points like this. For example, when Satan worshipers use heterosexual sex to worship Satan, the anti-gay crowd does not campaign against all heterosexual sex as evil and Satanic.

Yet when the Bible indicts same sex sexual worship of pagan gods, the anti-gay sage scrambles madly to grab his tin-foil hat, settles his silver sombrero upon his empty head and proclaims that ALL same sex activity is wrong, based on verses ripped out of context.

Yes, the act to which Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 alludes probably is anal sex in worship of the goat idols, Lev 17:7 and/or pagan gods, Lev 18:21-22, 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 13.

Anal sex as a primitive method of birth control has been a feature of heterosexual life for thousands of years. Some regard it as sinful although the Bible never condemns it as sinful except in the context of worshiping false gods.

Mar 25, 2014
Thanks
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks for your response to my questions. Again I completely agree that the anti-gay lobby is forcing meaning on terms out of context and erring in doing this. I note that the Levitical commands are given to Israelites (not Canaanites) and at this point these men seem to be told not to fraternize with or engage sexually with the (male) cult prostitutes (and only later not to BECOME mcp's).

Rick's comment: Yes, the Levitical commands are aimed at Israelites although once Israel was in the land, the Canaanites are also under God's law, i.e., the law of Moses, Lev 18:3, 19:4, 10, 18, 34, Deuteronomy 27:19 and strangers must be treated with kindness.

Molech is mentioned a few verses before and subsequently/in close proximity. You mention the fertility gods of Egypt etc but could the goat gods be termed Molech in Hebrew - and could this be a reference to Canaanite fertility gods? After all the narrative context includes the fact that the Israelites were about to enter their 'Promised Land' (?).

Rick's comment: Scripture distinguishes between goat idols and Molech. They are different yet both are part of the pantheon of false gods. The goat idols are not specifically called Molech in the Hebrew text. What God indicts is shrine prostitution, whether with goat idols or Molech or Ashteroth or the Apis bull cult or any of the other pagan gods and goddesses.

I get that both participants would be condemned BUT surely the Israelites concern and focus would have been on the Israelites? i.e. at this stage no Israelites could have yet been Canaanite prostitutes (as they had yet to enter the Land).

Rick's comment: Worship of false gods was a carry-over from Egypt as exemplified by the tendency of the Israelites to commit prostitution with the goat idols or goat demons, Lev 17:7. Remember that the children of Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before they entered the promised land.

So, even before they got to the land of Canaan, they were worshiping false gods. Lev 17:7 gives us context, tells us what was happening then and why the prohibitions of Lev 18 and 20 were necessary even before they entered the land.


I am still left wondering if the "arsenokoitai" (later) could be a specific reference to the shrine worshippers (participants in and having intercourse with the cult prostitutes) rather than the priestitutes (qadesh/dogs). Is this possible?

Rick's comment: Arsenokoitai as a Greek word does not appear in history until Paul uses it in 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10. The words from which he coined his neologism are found in the Septuagint text of Lev 18:22 and 20:13. In the Levitical context, arsenos koiten includes both participants.

Mar 25, 2014
2 more questions
by: Dr Lance Heath

Apologies if I am bombarding you with questions! I'd just also like your opinion on the words "androbatn" and "androkoits" ... are these not also possible examples of contemporary options Paul could have used had he wanted to use more typical words to describe 'homosexuals'?

And also why are you leaning towards goat gods rather than Molech (who had the head of a bull)? Appreciating your inputs! :)

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - I am working on an expanded list of words Paul could have used. Androbatn and androkoits are on the list but I am still researching their usage.

I am not leaning toward goat gods rather than Molech. It is a both situation instead of one or the other because both are mentioned in scripture as false deities who were not to be worshiped by God's people.

Mar 25, 2014
Technical Problem?
by: Dr Lance Heath

Hi - sadly I cannot seem to see my comments or your replies (i could earlier see my first comment and your great reply but now cannot even see this one)... I'd really love to see what replies you've made (and I have received email notifications that you have replied!) - any advice on this one?

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - both comments show up for me. It may be necessary to reload the page to see the latest comments.

Mar 26, 2014
arsenokoitai vs qadeshim
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks for the help and inputs - most enlightening and helpful! I am aware that the Israelites were exposed to Egyptian fertility cult practices and prostitution BUT also aware that those Israelites that stood on the border of the Promised Land were not of the generation that left Egypt so strictly speaking none of them would have personally engaged in the abovementioned activities as they would either have been too young or not have been born yet, no?

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - The Israelites who stood on the border were Caleb and Joshua and the people less than twenty years old, who came out of Egypt plus anyone born during the forty years in the wilderness, Deuteronomy 1:35ff., Numbers 14:29ff. It would be assuming facts not in evidence to assert that no one in this group was practicing pagan worship rites.

And also aware (thanks to you) that the death penalty would have applied to both Israelite male shrine worshippers (engaging in "active" sexual roles with the qadeshim) as well as the qadeshim themselves. And although I'm harping on one particular point (a bit like a lawyer :) ) I am still wondering specifically if it is POSSIBLE that the word arsenokoitai (as used by Paul!) could not have referred only to those who visited the shrines and took on the active role in the sex rites (as opposed to the qadeshim who were the "receptors" or in the "passive" role there). So is it possible that this term might have applied only to the one party (and not to the "priestitutes"?

Rick's comment: It is possible but in my opinion, highly unlikely. Paul as a Pharisee was conservative. Jewish thinking in the first century AD and for centuries before that, was that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 prohibited male-male incest and shrine prostitution. Paul would not create his neologism, arsenokoitai, and then divorce its meaning from its biblical context which indicted BOTH participants in the abominable worship.

Mar 26, 2014
arsenokoitai vs qadeshim
by: Dr. Lance Heath

I ask this obviously because there are a number of references to the qadeshim in the OT and possibly one or two in the NT BUT the qadeshim are not specifically mentioned in Lev 18 and 20. This omission is curious given the shrine context of Lev 18 and 20 and needs to be explained. I feel it could best be explained by the fact that in Lev 18 and 20 the Israelites were not yet in immediate danger of being shrine prostitutes but rather more imminently at risk of engaging with them in illicit ways). I would love to know your opinion on this? Is this something you have considered to date?

Rick's comment: I believe that Lev 17:7 indicates that when Lev 18:22 and 20:13 were given, many in Israel were already worshiping false gods including the goat demons and Molech and his fertility goddess consort. In the historical context then, every Israelite who heard Moses read Leviticus was already intimately aware of the cultural historical and religious context and the association of shrine prostitutes with the prohibitions. In addition, Moses does mention Molech with both prohibitions, which is an indirect reference to shrine prostitutes.

Mar 27, 2014
malakoi = qadeshim?
by: Dr Lance Heath

Rick, it is fascinating and enlightening (and also refreshing!) to engage with you on these matters. Despite really studying these things for many years (probably why I agree with you on 99% of what you say!) I have still learnt a thing or two in the brief interaction we have had thus far.

I am pleased to hear that it is possible (albeit unlikely) in your opinion that "arsenokoitai" COULD refer to the male adherents/ worshippers at the various fertility cult rituals. I definitely agree that the context of Lev 18 and 20 is cultic prostitution (be it Molech and/or other false deities.

For me the focus of the command would be aimed at the chosen people who although they may have engaged in these activities (in the desert? / in Egypt? - in Babylon! :) ) they would probably not have included the priestitutes amongst them at this stage. For me this settles the issue of the cultic context despite no mention (no need to mention) the qadeshim.

It is interesting to note the "progression" (or deterioration) in the OT where the qadeshim ARE mentioned: where in Deut 23:17 the Israelites are (first?) forbidden from becoming qadeshim, Job 36 describes the fraternising/dwelling with qadeshim and then in 1 Kings 14 how Israeli men became qadeshim and then later in 1 and 2 Kings how they are expelled but this also reveals the penetration of qadeshim from their own external shrines to this practice even becoming included in the Temple in Jerusalem!

Not sure if you have a section on the qadeshim on your site yet - I must look for it! I wonder if (sometimes) conservative St Paul did not also have a tendency towards being quite specific? I wonder if there might be any chance (even the slightest) that the "malakoi" he referred to (once) were not the qadeshim. Given that the translators of the Septuagint struggled with rendering the word qadeshim into Kione Greek - using 6 or so different terms in each of the 6 cases this word occurs in the OT.

Job 36:14 titroskomne hupo aggelos
Deu 23:17 porneuo, teliskomenos
1Ki 15:12 teletav/tetelesmenes
1Ki 22:46 tetelesmenon
1Ki 14:24 sundesmos
2 Ki 23:7 kadhsim

I'm left wondering if Paul used "malakoi" as a translation for "qadeshim". Highly speculative I know! But I wonder what your thoughts and leanings would be on this being a possibility?

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - I have two pages about malakoi, which explain how the word was used in the first and second century and what I believe malakoi means.

Malakoi in New Testament times.

Define malakoi.

Apr 03, 2014
malakoi sodomites qadeshim
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks Rick I found Rawlinson's ideas quite similar to my own. Of him I see you say: "Rawlinson is careful to accurately define malakoi by equating Galli priests with the KJV's sodomites, the qadesh of the Hebrew text."

Left wondering if the KJV used "catamites" or "sodomites" of the qadeshim.

Rick's comment: The KJV never uses the word, catamites. The old KJV uses the word sodomite(s) six times.

It's great to see people taking the Bible so seriously. Ironic that those who seem to (mis)quote it most often are the ones who take it at "face value" i.e. do the least work to understand it well. Keep up the great work! (I'm doing my bit this side of the globe too!) - Best, Lance

Apr 03, 2014
Thanks
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks Rick. I see it's the Jerusalem Bible (1968, English version) that used "catamites" I wonder if any other versions used it. Any you know of?

Interesting re: the KJV using sodomites. I take it they have changed that in the more recent versions.

Rick's comment: Moffat's 1913 translation also uses, catamite. I reference about 40 translations on my malakoi page.

The New American Bible, a Roman Catholic translation, has this footnote about the word, catamites.

“The Greek word (malakoi) translated as boy prostitutes may refer to catamites, i.e. boys or young men who were kept for the 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 Catamus” (NAB).

Apr 04, 2014
You are a veritable mine of information!
by: Dr Lance Heath

Fascinating! Thanks once again!

Apr 07, 2014
A long bow
by: Dr Phil

"If Paul had used one of these words in Romans 1:26-27 or 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:10, we could be reasonably certain of his meaning. However, Paul did not use any of these words, suggesting he had some- thing else in mind, like rape, interspecies sex or shrine prostitution, when he coined his interesting new Greek word, arsenokoitai. "

We do not know that Paul invented the word arsenokoitai. The word may have been in existence at the time but no text using it has survived. Its a pity the great library at Alexandria was destroyed.

Rick's comment: Hi Phil - there are two possibilities. Paul invented the word or Hellenistic Jews invented the word. Your objection comes off as pointless and adds nothing to the discussion.

'Rape in mind', don't think so as that is a given bad act in any culture, no need to mention it at all. Not tolerated on earth.

Rick's comment: If you take time to read the text links in the article you will discover that some who used arsenokoitai in their writing did believe it refers to rape.

Paul is fairly descriptive in Romans 1:27 - females gettin it on with females and males getting it on with males. Included with a lot of other bad behaviours in the passage.

Rick's comment: You haven't spent much time thinking about this nor have you studied Romans as is apparent from your comment.

And still you continue to to do these things spoken against and also approve of those who practice them. (Rom 1:32)

Apr 08, 2014
In addition to the discussion
by: Dr. Phil

Many of your commentors commend you on your research. They might be those advocating similar behaviour. I do not know about your research but some of your findings here have a tendency towards cherry picking bias and obfuscation.

"Rick's comment: You haven't spent much time thinking about this nor have you studied Romans as is apparent from your comment."

Oh dear, argumentum ad hominen! Rather than attack or dismantle my comment on Romans 1:27, or defend your position, you judge me. Such judgments, and I will use your words, are pointless and add nothing to the discussion. Maybe Lev 19:15 is for you. However, this too pointless and adds nothing to the discussion other than to keep it on track. What does Romans 1:27 actually say and how do you interpret it?

Rick's comment: Hi Phil - I do not believe it qualifies as ad hominem argument when I point out that you appear not to have studied Romans.

I have many pages devoted to Romans 1:26-27 on this website plus many more pages on Romans 1 in my Gay Christian FAQ..

I apologize that the rest of your comments appear to be missing. The interwebs somehow ate your other comments and my response when I posted them. In any case, thanks for the questions.

Apr 08, 2014
For Dr. Phil - In addition to the discussion
by: Rick Brentlinger

Hi Phil - I'll try to sum up your comments that were lost in the mist of the Interwebs. You stated that Lev 18 and 20 were definitely not in the context of temple prostitution. You also suggested that I used that argument to misdirect people.

Rick's comment: Leviticus chapters 17 - 26 are called the Holiness Code. They comprise a distinct section of the book of Leviticus. My belief that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 are prohibitions of sex rituals which worship false gods is not my private interpretation. Instead, that is the widespread view of conservative Christian commentators down the centuries. Here is proof with page citations from more than a dozen world class scholars who link Lev 17:7, 18:22 and 20:13 to cultic worship of false gods.

Lev 17:7 and goat idols, Part 1

Leviticus 17:7 and goat idols, Part 2

How do you interpret Lev 18:22 and 20:13?

Who are shrine prostitutes?

In the Jewish Old Testament, we see Molech and Ashtoreth or Chemosh and Ashtoreth or Baal and Ashtoreth or Milcom and Ashtoreth linked together, 1 Kings 11:5, 11:33, 2 Kings 23:13.

Over the centuries these gods took different names in different cultures, yet always with the same demonic spirits behind the false gods, regardless of the names they used, Deuteronomy 32:16-17, Leviticus 17:7 and Leviticus 18:21-22 and Leviticus 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 13 and 1 Corinthians 10:20-21.

So we see Israel's false gods, Ashtoreth and Molech or Ashtoreth and Baal morph into Aphrodite and Adonis in Greece or Jupiter and Minerva in Phrygia or Fortuna and Jupiter in Rome or Rhea and Jupiter or Cybele and Saturn or Ceres and Jupiter or Kybele and Jupiter or Cybele and Jupiter or Cybele and Cronos.

Hope this helps to explain my views more fully.

Apr 10, 2014
Context, context, context
by: Paul Abraham

"Some people believe that Paul coined the Greek word arsenokoitai, from the words arsenos koiten, found in Lev 20:13 in the Septuagint...where the cultural, historical and religious context is temple prostitution."

First, you speak of context while not providing the full context of the quote. Arsenos is a Greek word for male and koiten means to lie with in a sexual manner. Now, if taken alone it would make sense that this could possibly mean prostitution; however, Leviticus uses these terms in a specific manner not confused with "temple prostitution" nor is it a term meaning homosexuality. Thus we need the full text to comprehend the meaning; "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act..."

This is not prostitution, this is a clear description that a man should not have sex with a man just as he would with a woman. Makes sense as this violates the very first command given by God to mankind in Genesis to "be fruitful and multiply." Homosexuals by their own accord cannot do so.

Rick's comment: Hi Paul - your comment indicates you have no acquaintance with the facts.

1. You have not studied this issue, nor have you read the commentaries or the scholarly literature. You perhaps read an English translation or two and concluded you knew exactly what it meant without bothering to factor in biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic literary and religious context.

2. Because you do not study, all have to offer is your unlearned opinion.

3. You are apparently unaware that two of the leading anti-gay conservative Christian scholars, John MacArthur and Dr. Robert Gagnon, agree with me that the context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 is cult shrine temple prostitution.

4. I carefully document what I teach on this website. See my shrine prostitutes page and its carefully sourced information for my answer to your comment.

Apr 10, 2014
Context, context, context
by: Paul Abraham

Second, you make poor connections with other scripture generally speaking to only parts of the text rather than the whole text taken together. For example, in related article you refer to Romans 1:27 and focus solely on the "natural use" while ignoring the remainder of the text; "...and in the same way also the MEN ABANDONED the natural function of the WOMEN and BURNED IN THEIR DESIRE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, MEN WITH MEN committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." (emphasis mine)

What I find more interesting is you note, "Paul may also have been referring to heterosexual women who engaged in anal sex with their husbands, a practice viewed as against nature in ancient times because it was not procreative." You strangely place this burden on heterosexuals while failing to acknowledge that all homosexual sex is not procreative (harkening back to the Genesis reference previously).

Rick's comment: Hi Paul - Ignorance is not the fruit of God's Holy Spirit. If you cared enough about truth to read and study and think before sharing your thoughts, your comments might be more relevant.

I have about twenty pages on this website dealing with many aspects of Romans 1. May I suggest that you need to obey 2 Timothy 2:15 in the old KJV and start studying? Memorizing and obeying that verse will change your life.


Third, Jude 7 using "strange flesh" does not imply sex with angels because it does not use the term "human flesh." The term used is heteros which simply means "one other." It does not necessarily imply the idea of a difference of kind. Of all the English use of "strange" in the Bible, none of them refer to angels. Indeed, there is no indication that the men who desired Lot's guests knew they were angels at all. They spoke to them saying, "“Where are the MEN who came to you tonight?" (emphasis mine) They did not ask, "Where are the angels...?" Consider for a moment how foolish that would be knowing full well what angelic servants of the Lord could do to them. While I agree that S & G were not destroyed simply for homosexuality, indeed Gen 18 merely spoke of their wickedness, homosexuality was merely one example as demonstrated by plight of Lot.

Rick's comment: Really Paul, your comments indicate that you have no idea what you're talking about. I deleted your other long comment because it was factually inaccurate and insulting. Leading conservative Christian scholars on Jude refute your sophomoric explanation, - see their carefully sourced quotations on my Jude page.

Apr 26, 2014
Eternally grateful for this website
by: Darius Wilder

I was expelled from a church because of my sexuality. And since then, I have been struggling to find myself. There were times where I was infuriated with God, wondering what could I have done to be placed in such a disadvantage. I even contemplated suicide on numerous occasions.

I am an African-American and our dominant religion is the Baptist denomination who speak extremely harsh against homosexuals. In the black community, possessing a same-sex attraction can be a HUGE no-no, forcing many black men to live on the "down-low": "public" heterosexuals living secret gay lifestyles.

I am eternally grateful to discover this website and your research; it has given me clarity, and I no longer harbor any guilt within my soul. I feel free to approach God as His proud, gay creation. Something inside of me suspected what was being said about homosexuality was untrue and misconstrued.

Now, thanks to you, I have the knowledge to talk to other gay people who feel ashamed and alienated, because of what's being said. Imagine if this information hits ABC, NBC, and CBS.

Rick's comment: Hi Darius - thanks for the kind comments. I'm so thankful we have been a blessing to you. God has a good spiritual purpose for you, as a witness for Jesus. "Walk in the Spirit" - Galatians 5:16 - and God will show you His plan, Ephesians 2:10.


May 01, 2014
What does the Holy Spirit tell me?
by: Apologist007

After picking up my spirit phone and tuning in; I ask what did Paul mean using arsenokoitai? "Softness of faith" was my answer.

Rick's comment: Just for the record, I do not believe the Holy Spirit told you what you wrote. Scripture warns us against seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils in the last days, 1 Timothy 4:1 so we need to get deeply into the word of truth.

I'm not sure if you are serious or joking in what you wrote. yet we are all about God's word in context on this truth-focused website.

May 01, 2014
Perhaps we got off on the wrong foot
by: Apologist007

King James Bible - "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" - 1 Timothy 4:1

I have not departed from the faith. My education is bible based and believing. This week I have been accused of this exact same thing using talking points from your book and website. Then I get it from you, Rick.

"softness of faith" - Actually the idea came to me in a thought, much how the Spirit of our Lord speaks to me, or visions in dreams. In my peace in subtle ways He reaches me moment by moment lighting my path. Rick, I was not making a joke here.

Lukewarm Christianity, or "softness of faith" is a common act of sin in many verses of the Word. Could Paul have included it, in your understanding?

Rick's comment: Arsenokoitai is a rarely used Greek word, used only 77 times in the first 1400 years of church history, based on the extant Greek texts available to us today. I list the first 56 times the arsenokoit stem is used.

Because it is not used with the meaning "softness of faith" we can safely reject that as its meaning. Word meaning must be based on how the word was actually used, not what the writers of Greek lexicons believe it should mean based on etymology, not on alleged meaning communicated from a spirit.

Sorry if I came off as harsh but these are serious issues. As Christians we work with facts and what scripture says, in context, never basing our views on impressions incapable of being substantiated by actual usage in church history.

May 01, 2014
In Continuum
by: Apologist007

Rick, I respectfully submit that we can be serious and maintain a sense of humor. I can't count how many times God had me ROTFL. We serve an amazingly serious, and humorous Lord. I think it came with the joy download at conversion... I agree we have very little evidence to define arsenokoitai during that period in Palestine...

You said: "Because it is not used with the meaning "softness of faith" we can safely reject that as its meaning. Word meaning must be based on how the word was actually used, not what the writers of Greek lexicons believe it should mean based on etymology..."

Rick, you know the lexicons are not entirely accurate better than anyone... Etymology sadly does not define arsenokoitai...
Forgive me Rick, that joy issue I have again.

Rick's comment: Yes, I point out on this website that etymology does not define the meaning of arsenokoitai. I edited your comment because your theory has no basis in historical reality, no basis in fact. When people want me to publish speculations yet will not use their real name or make comments using different names, it sets off alarms for me.

May 01, 2014
Ever had this experience?
by: Apologist007

Have you ever had an image of someone you admire, dare say a hero and you get to know them, and find out they're nothing like you expected them to be? It hurts, and I learn, and carry on. I'm still wearing your jersey but inside out today.

Rick's comment: I have no idea what you mean.

May 01, 2014
Final comment
by: Apologist007

Rick's comment: Just for the record, my regard for Rob Gagnon is similar to yours. He seems like a nice guy and I do not regard him as an enemy but I believe his conclusions are wrong and quite harmful to gays and lesbians. I do not have your email address, by the way.

I do not understand your insulting comments about me. Are they based on the fact that I did not post your comment quoting Joel Osteen or your non-factual arguments in support of your view of the meaning of arsenokoitai? Would Rob Gagnon allow you to post those comments on his website? I seriously doubt it.

"Bob has it," presumably your research which you were going to send to me but changed your mind? Okay, no problem.

May 31, 2014
Leviticus translation
by: Gary Arbach

Rick, I think your website is wonderful and affirming. I have a question:

Leviticus 18:22 in Masoretic Hebrew is: w'et-zäkhär lo tish'Kav mish'K'vëy iSHäh Tôëväh hiw - literally translated word for word as: "Therefore man not lie bed woman abomination it." using the Lexicon Concordance.

http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/4904.html

This is translated by most Bibles as "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind, that is abomination."

mish'K'vëy is used 46 times in the Hebrew Bible; 34 as bed, 4 as bedchamber, 1 as couch, and 7 used in various ways, including once in Leviticus 18:22 as: "as with"

Is this not a mis-translation? Why would that word be used this one time meaning "as with" and not as "bed?"

I would think the translation should be: "Thou shall not lie in a woman's bed, it is abomination."

Rick's comment: Hi Gary - thanks for the good question. I do not believe Lev 18:22 is mistranslated in the old KJV. I believe they got it right. Bed is implied in the meaning of the Hebrew word because it is a euphemism which indicates having sex. In the Leviticus chapter of my book, I list 18 possible interpretations of Lev 18:22 and 20:13, one of which is that it is a reference to usurping the alleged prerogatives of the mother goddess, which corresponds to some degree with your view.

"Thou shall not lie in a woman's bed, it is abomination" seems an unlikely translation, given God's command to Israel to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth so that Israel's seed would be as numberless as the dust of the earth, the sand of the seashore and the stars of heaven.

When Moses wrote and read Leviticus 18:1-22 to ancient Israel, no one had to wonder what he was talking about. They all understood it as prohibiting pagan worship of false gods via shrine prostitution.

In my opinion, the correct explanation of Lev 18:22 is that God and Moses intend to prohibit pagan male-male anal sex or male-female anal sex rituals which were intended to propitiate the fertility goddesses of ancient Canaan and induce them to bless their pagan worshipers with fertile families, fields and flocks.

Jun 03, 2014
Definition of arsenokoitai
by: Dr Lance Heath

Hi Rick - I would like to get your opinion / critical view on the following definition of "arsenokoitai":

"all (male) participants in idol shrine sex rites"

would it be improved by stipulating the exact nature of these rites (e.g. anal sex)or not, in your opinion?

Rick's comment: If we were translating the New Testament into English today, I believe cult prostitute or shrine prostitute or temple prostitute would be the correct way to translate arsenokoitai.


Jun 04, 2014
Thanks - and Malakoi?
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks Rick - I assume you mean MALE cult/temple/shrine prostitutes.

And any concise definition of "malakoi"? (e.g. if you were to consult on a new Bible translation ... how would you advise them to handle it?) Much appreciated!

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - No, I favor simply: cult or shrine or temple prostitute without specifying male. In 1 Cor 6:9-10, Paul uses nine masculine nouns to describe people who will not inherit the kingdom yet the masculine nouns he uses in this case apply to both genders.

The issue is grammatical gender vs. biological gender. In the Greek language, masculine nouns (grammatical gender) include males (biological gender) but are not limited to or restricted to males. They can also include females.

If translators focus on grammatical gender and specify male for each of the nine masculine nouns Paul uses here, that would have Paul by implication, telling us that adulterous thieving females (biological gender) CAN inherit the kingdom. Do you see the theological problem we create if we specify male in this case?

On malakoi, we must be careful not to give the word a meaning in the twenty first century that it did not have in the first century. I believe the first century meaning Paul intended to convey was: a man who pretties himself with makeup, hair coloring and fancy clothing to attract females with whom to have sex. Of course, that is an inelegant expression so I'll stick with the old KJVs effeminate.

Jun 05, 2014
VERY informative
by: Dr Lance Heath

Thanks for clarifying and educating re "arsenokoitai" applying to BOTH genders. I do, indeed, see your point!

Thanks also for elaborating (concisely - quite a skill!) on "malakoi". I had to read the short paragraph a few times to get my head around it. (Because on the face of it it would seem odd and contradictory for a guy to make himself effeminate to attract women, of course). But then I thought of the very modern term "metrosexual" and that helped it all fall into place for me. (And I take it this too would not just apply to men then, but also to women who pay too much attention to their appearances to "catch" men?)

Rick's comment: Hi Lance - this page addresses grammatical gender vs. biological gender. Modern English has natural as opposed to grammatical gender. Consequently, in English, gendered language implies biological gender, so when we say he or she we mean male or female.

Jun 29, 2014
Unrighteous Judgment
by: Todd

If I may slightly deviate to a topic that I think is quite relevant to everyone involved in this discussion. The argument is rhetorical.

1. In 1 Cor 6:9, Paul places adultery on the list of prohibitions that will cause someone to not inherit the Kingdom of God. Drunkenness is also on the list. So we have: homosexuals (see below), adulterers, greedy and drunks to name a few.

*** I do not believe the term "homosexual" as used above is a correct translation. We do not know what Paul actually meant in this passage.

2. Jesus, in Matt 5:32 says: "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."

To Wit: Anyone who is a Christian and is remarried is, according to scripture, unambiguously engaging in the sin of Adultery.

What is particularly troubling is the double-standard.

How is it possible that "the church" has handled this issue by booting out gay believers while remaining virtually silent on the topic of adultery? And simultaneously we host AA meetings and have many christian organizations working with those who have drug and alcohol related issues within the programs of the church. We don't bounce addicts from our congregations.

Seriously: why is this the case? Are we judging these issues fairly when a group outside the church is judged (not biblical - 1 Cor 6:1-8), and those inside the church are judged with hypocritical bias? Something is seriously wrong here.

Aug 17, 2014
ancient hebrew/greek
by: Kataryn

What recommendations do you have for studying the three ancient languages used to write the manuscripts?

I would like to actually read the ancient texts for myself, in a level to be able to competently translate.

Also, correct me if im wrong, but are you saying Paul only condemned same-sex fornication? (Illicit sex outside of marriage). Kind regards. Rpd

Rick's comment: Hi Kataryn - These two links are helpful for studying biblical Greek, which is Koine Greek, not modern Greek and biblical Hebrew.

Learn Koine Greek Online

Teknia is working on an online free course for biblical Hebrew but it is not yet available.

Biblical Hebrew courses and resources

I am not familiar with what is offered online for biblical Aramaic.

My argument on this website is that Paul did NOT make a general condemnation of gay and lesbian relationships which were unrelated to shrine prostitution. What the OT condemns and what the NT condemns are idolatry and the shrine prostitution which often accompanied idolatry, not gay or lesbian relationships. Hope this is helpful.

Sep 11, 2014
Thank you
by: Anonymous

I want to thank you for your clear exposition of the texts used to bash same-sex relationships. Both of my daughters are gay and we are all committed christians.

For several years I have lived with my faith reconciled with this in the belief that proper study of scripture and research into contemporary documents (with jesus time) would reveal the truth, just as it has with slavery and divorce. Your article is one of several I have read with intense gratitude as I see my faith rewarded with exactly what i have prayed for.

Sadly, the church we all have attended has been loving but clear, they will accept my daughters into fellowship in love but they will only accept their homosexual orientation if they acknowledge it as sinful and stay celibate. This has hurt immensely.

My older daughter has (for the moment) abandoned church altogether and my younger is being a trailblazer trying to share the new understanding with friends within the church, but she has been recently hurt as they refused to baptise her. I too have been hurt as my friends openly show their disapproval for me in my not condemning their homosexuality.

So to find the positive comments on here gives me hope that things are moving in the right direction. Thank you for your courage and time to study and share.

Rick's comment: Thanks for your kind comments. Back in the first century AD, it took years for the Holy Spirit to convince Christians that, Yes, Gentiles could be saved and followers of Jesus without keeping Jewish law, Acts 10-11, 15, 21.

Modern beliefs against gays seem to be more deeply ingrained in the psyche of some Christians than were similar beliefs against Gentiles in the first century. Our work will continue until God's truth is known and accepted by saved people everywhere.

Sep 19, 2014
Questioning
by: Fernando

Could it be that Paul had available to all those words at the time he wrote the texts? Romans 1: 26-27 would be referring to what? Otherwise homosexuality?

Rick's comment: Hi Fernando - Yes, those words were available in the first century when Paul wrote Romans and 1 Corinthians. The link explains what Paul was referring to in Romans 1.

Romans 1 is not about homosexuality.

Oct 20, 2014
50 - 50 - Does Not Matter
by: Jeff

First, I want to say Thanks for all the research. I'm trying to find the Truth and maybe one day I will learn Ancient Greek and try to translate it myself. In fact, this topic actually made me find the Truth about many things in the Bible, because of simply reading it.

After many hours, days of praying and researching, I'm still about 50/50. One of my biggest concerns is that, if one were to believe that Paul was talking about male homosexuals, why not female? (Yes, I know the passage in the NT, but I think the focus is on Corinthians.) If he was so specific, then why not include all genders (both at the time at least). Only male homosexuality? Doesn't add up.

Paul makes point after point, explanation in detail, how the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Law. There is also, Hebrews 8:13., in any translation is clear. In fact, in John 1:14, we are shown that the Word was transformed into flesh, and we have seen His Glory and Love.

From what I have read, the Old Law was not fulfilled. So we can't go back, and especially if we are Gentiles. Gal 3:19. So I don't know why we are referring back in time to how God wants us to behave. Even if Christians, we take the Ten Commandments at face value today, there is nothing that in those Ten that support "Clobbering" anyone in the LGBT community or any community. Faith, Hope and Love and the Greatest of these is Love. Not Faith, not Hope, but Love.

In conclusion, I have to say that even if there was absolute support that Homosexuality is a sin, we cannot judge(judge not...). In fact it may be a test from God if you regard homosexuality as a sin, as you cannot follow the Golden Rule, or Matthew 22:34-40. To all that read this, Thanks for your time, and I wish all of you to continue to seek the Truth. - Jeff

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