Wednesday, July 26, 2023

'Arsenokoitais' Redux ('1946')

                                                                       (Rain drops)

The recent movie '1946' claims "that the biblical translators of the Revised Standard Version made an error when they chose to use the word “homosexual” in a couple of verses that appear in two of Paul’s New Testament letters. The contention is that those working on the text should have rendered the Greek term in the manuscripts to be something that represents an abusive form of sex vs. what eventually appeared in the English RSV translation." (See here.)

The Greek words are arsenokoitais and malakoi. See:

“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” (1 Cor. 6:9–10).

“But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted” (1 Tim. 1:8–11).

Arsen means 'male'; koite means 'bed'.

For the meaning of arsenokoitais see my post "Arsenokoitais" (ἀρσενοκοίταις) in 1 Timothy 1:10 (et. al.)

Arguably the most thorough, scholarly treatmen of these two words is by New Testament scholar Robert Gagnon, in The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. (Pp. 378 - 412)

What does Gagnon think of '1946'? He tweets: 

"The so-called "1946" film is one of the dumbest pieces of heretical propaganda that I have ever witnessed (and I have seen a lot). Churches that buy into that propaganda are both heretical and exegetically incompetent. *Arsenokoitai* in 1 Cor 6:9 means "men lying with a male.""