Friday, January 14, 2011

“Man-Bedders” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10

The word, “ἀρσενοκοῖται,” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and transliterated “arsenokoitai,” is a first declension nominative plural noun. Its variant, “ἀρσενοκοίταις,” is a first declension dative plural noun located in I Timothy 1:10 and is transliterated “arsenokoitais.”

Each of these words occurs only once in the Bible. Etymologically, they derive from “ἄρρην” (male) and “κοίτη” (bed). Because the definite article is missing from “ἀρσενοκοῖται” and “ἀρσενοκοίταις” and there are no other instances of these words, or their variants, in Scripture, only their declension, number and case can be deduced. It is impossible to conclusively determine the gender of these of these nouns.

Furthermore, since the terms appear in no other literary references that predate, or are coeval with, the Greek NT, the claim that they can be defined with the degree of precision that some contend is unwarranted.

Despite who these “man-bedders” actually may have been, your contention that it refers to “men who practice homosexuality” is not only presumptuous, it is inaccurate. 

“The New Analytical Greek Lexicon” W J Perschbacher (2006) Pp 54, 243
“The Greek New Testament” Nestle-Aland 26. Available online.

© Copyright, 14 January 2011, ez duz it

Friday, January 7, 2011

Natural Law in Romans 2:14-15?

Some intimate here, and state elsewhere, that “The concept of Natural Law evolved purely from Christianity,” appealing to Romans 2:14-15.

They say “all men have the “law [of God] written in their hearts” Rom 2:15.” In no way does Scripture say that.

The verses, if they were to quote them properly, read:

“14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;”

In fact, the Greek NT reads: “τὸ ἔργον τοῦ νόμου γραπτὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν.”

It does NOT say, as they erroneously claim, “ὁ νόμος [τοῦ θεοῦ] γραπτὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν.”


© Copyright, 7 January 2011, ez duz it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Effects of Discrimination on Gay Persons

Fundamentalist Christians say that ___ is the basis of denying Gay people their rights. It really doesn't matter what ___ is because you will always claim it as justification for your bigotry.

Yes, they sometimes even claim "disease" as the reason to deny Gay people access to civil marriage. Personally, I believe that disease is likely on the rise within the Gay community. The question that is not asked is, "Why?"

Look at the following experiment  in which brown-eyed children were declared inferior to blue-eyed children. After just one day agony, hatred and violence consumed students that only one day prior were friends:  

In twenty-four hours, some children were reduced to self-hate, tears and violence in the face of artificial superiority based on unquestioned authority, while others reveled in their privilege status.

Gay people don't face hatred from those claiming superiority for a day, or a week or even years. Some, like me have - for decades - faced hatred and discriminatory policies based on a presumptive Gospel of Christian love.

Fundamentalist Christians preach sermons telling Gay kids are sinners, reprobate, and worse! The psychological effect on these young people is so devastating that it is no wonder many turn to self-destructive behaviors, or even suicide. These so-called Christians lobby local, state and federal governments to deny Gay men and women access to civil, not religious, marriage - the very thing that would validate them and their relationship with the person they love and – yes – their families.

© Copyright, 2 January 2011, ez duz it.

A thought on 1 Corinthian­s 6:9

The NIV editorial board was more politically motivated than academically faithful to the ancient texts of the New Testament, in my opinion. 1 Corinthian­s 6:9 is a perfect case in point. The term "male prostitute­s nor homosexual offenders" is not in the Greek text at all. What does exist is the phrase “μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖτ­αι.”

Variants of the word, μαλακοὶ, are only found twice in Matthew 11:8 and once Luke 7:25 where it is speaking of clothing and is translated “soft.” Extrapolat­ing that the term means “male prostitute­s” is simply intellectu­ally untenable.

The word ἀρσενοκοῖτ­αι, literally meaning, “man-bedde­rs” appears only one other place in Scripture, 1 Timothy 1:10, and does not appear in any other texts that predate or are coeval with the Greek NT. Because the definite article is missing from the text, it is impossible to determine the grammatica­l gender of the noun, even though its declension­, number and case can be inferred. Lacking knowledge of the word’s gender, its meaning is highly ambiguous. For the NIV editors to render the expression as they did has far more to do with eisegesis than academic integrity and exegesis.

It astounds me that so very few Christians read their own scriptures in Hebrew and Greek. I believe a great deal of hubris and triumphali­sm could be avoided. So much beauty of the original texts is missed because people rely on (often horrible) translatio­ns.

© Copyright,  2 January 2011, ez duz it.

Einstein and God

Thoughts on Romans 1:26-27

The architecture of Rom 1:21-32 is revealed in a three-fold iteration of the expression “παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς” in verses 24, 26 and 28. It is variously rendered as God giving certain people “up” or “over” to various dispositions.

Though Romans 1: 26-27 is consistently misconstrued to censure homosexuality, the real condemnation is of married couples who’ve embraced “πάθη ἀτιμίας” literally, “worthless passions.” The term, translated in the KJV as “vile affections” can also be translated “dishonorable affections.”

These illicit affections supplanted the authentic intimacy of “natural sexual relations,” “φυσικὴν χρῆσιν,” expressed between loving spouses. The women (v26) exchanged normal marital intercourse for autoeroticism – independent of the spouse. The men (v27) followed suit.

Also, the expression “men with men,” a poor rendering of “ἄρσενες  ἐν  ἄρσεσιν,” does not express co-agency, or co-participation, in the commission of illicit sexual relations. This would have been indicated by the preposition “μετὰ” (with) cf Matt 2:3, 2:11, etc. The idea conveyed is not unlike constructions in French such as, “Moi, je…” which utilize the “pronoms disjoints” to accentuate a point. This is an emphatic construction conveying the sense of efficient cause; cf Rom 12:21.

As Paul famously commanded spouses to yield to each other’s sexual needs in 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, Romans 1:26-27 is not a condemnation of homosexuality, but of wives and husbands who - in letting their natural, mutual affection grow cold - literally took matters into their own hands for solipsistic physical gratification.

© Copyright,  2 January 2011, ez duz it.