Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2 Peter 2:7 and Genesis 19: Are "the wicked" only men? What's "ἀσελγείᾳ"?

Hi, JeremiahA--

When 2 Peter 2:7 speaks of the “wicked,” the word used is “ἀθέσμων,” a plural masculine genitive adjective and functions as a substantive masculine generic. It’s important not to conclude as you do when you write, “notice that only the men are mentioned.” It would be equally unjustifiable to conclude that the “sinners” or, “ἁμαρτωλῶν” for whom Christ died in Romans 5:8 are only “men” -- since “ἁμαρτωλῶν” is a plural, masculine, genitive adjective. However, using your reasoning, one would be forced to conclude that such is the case -- though it’s clearly not.

Genesis 18:20 is straightforward in its indictment: “the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and…their sin is very grievous” That’s it. The verse doesn’t mention anything about “sensual conduct” as you claim. Your citation of 2 Peter 2:7 translates “ἀσελγείᾳ” as “sensual.” Thayer’s lexicon explains it’s “the conduct and character of one who is ἀσελγής.” It is comprised of the alpha-privative and Σέλγη, a town in Pisidia settled by the Spartans and renowned for its industry, constitution, independence…and relentless military aggression. There is sufficient etymological, lexical as well as classical Greek and 1st century Talmudic literary witness to reasonably reject “unbridled lust,” “sensuousness” or “lasciviousness” as legitimate translations for ἀσελγείᾳ.

I’ll happily respond to your other questions once you do me the courtesy of refuting my arguments here as well as at  and not merely ignoring them or changing the topic.

--ez duz it © Copyright 2011

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