Hello boys and girls!  2014 is a new year and in this new year I will attempt to restart and regularly contribute to this blog.  Indeed, it is my hope to transition from posting all my political/theological rants on Facebook to this blog so as to make it easier for people to read what I have to say, or to ignore it.

 

For my first post of this reconstituted endeavor, I want to take a quick look at a Greek word study of 1st Corinthians 6:9-10.  Here we see that the Apostle Paul writes:

 

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

 

The reason I want to look at these two verses, is because of the recent kerfuffle regarding Duck Dynasty, where Phil Robertson expressed his view of homosexuality as sin. In doing this, during the interview in question, he paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:9.  Some would say that scripture never completely forbids homosexuality, and it is a matter of interpretation.  It is my contention that a word study of this one verse completely destroys that line of argument, and provides evidence that Scripture does indeed condemn homosexuality.

 

In verse 9 we see Paul use four terms to refer to sexual sin.  These words are πόρνος (translated in the NASB as fornication), μοιχός (adulterers), μαλαχός (effeminate), and ἀρσενοκοιτης (homosexuality).

Now Paul uses these four separate words to signify what he viewed as four separate issues.  He is making a point on being clear, and not lumping all sexual misconduct under one broad word/term.  This is key as a common ploy among those who challenge the meaning of these words in that they try to claim there is ambiguity in their meaning.  I.e. homosexuality in the bible was different than homosexuality, as it exists today.  An examination of these words would seem to dismantle that argument in their scope and differnces.

 

First we have the word, πόρνος, the root of this word (πόρν) is where we get the word “porn” form (that literally is how it is pronounced in the greek, funny how many words in English we have that come directly from the greek).  The primary definition is: one who practices sexual immorality.  It should be noted that this word is often compared with πορνεύω.  Usually πόρνος refers to males, and πορνεύω refers to females.  The BDAG (probably the most respected Greek New Testament lexicon in existance), indicates that these words can refer to prostitutes (of the male and female variaties), as well (especially in regards to πόρνος) as general sexual immorality.  Indeed, πόρνος was used several times in the previous chapter (5:9ff).  In the context of these verses, it seems to indicate that Paul is speaking not just of male prostitution (and by relation female prostitution) but a larger concept of sexual immorality in general.  This can be further figured out by his use of two other of these words, which I will get to in a bit.

 

The second word used is μοιχός. This word is not really debated much as it is cut and dry.  The primary definition is, one who is unfaithful to a spouse, adulterer.  The reason considering this word and Paul’s use of it is the context and scope of what he is talking about.

 

The third word is μαλαχός.  This noun is interesting, as it has two primary uses in scripture.  It’s primary historical use is defined as, pertaining to being yielding to touch, soft.  This is used in reference to garments, ie soft clothes.  However, its second use is in regards to a person, as clearly Paul is doing here.  When this is done, the definition changes to, pertaining to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate.  More specifically, as documented in BDAG, this is in reference to men (and young boys) who are sodomized by other males in a relationship.  BDAG goes further to expressly point out that the translation of “male prostitute” is to narrow of a rendering.  Indeed, if πόρνος is limited just to male prostitutes as some would claim, then it makes no sense that Paul would use two words to refer to the same group.  The simple and clear understanding of this word is those who voluntarily submit to homosexual acts upon their body. 

 

Finally, the final word used ἀρσενοκοιτης.  This has the definition of, a male who engages in sexual activity with a person of his own sex.  The word is quite literally a compound of two words ἄρσην (male) and κοίτη (bed).  BDAG has an interesting side note that this word is constructed similar to the word μητροκοίτης, which means “one who sleeps with their mother”.  Given the context of how this word is constructed, this word on its own indicates how scripture views homosexuality.  Quite simply, it condemns a man sleeping with a man.  Paul’s use of this word and μαλαχός, is indicative of the comprehensive nature of Paul’s attitude towards homosexuality.  Both the passive (by choice) and the active participants of the homosexual act are committing sin. 

In looking at all these four words, I struggle with how people could come to the conclusion that there is any ambiguity regarding Paul’s or Scripture’s (as a whole) position on homosexuality.  Paul was fairly exhaustive in his coverage of sexual sins.  If anything, he focused more on homosexual sins, than any other (such as premarital sex).  Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson was not misquoting scripture, he was quoting it and interpreting it accurately. 

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