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Can Homosexuals Change?

This article comes on the heels of my earlier post entitled “Romans 1:26,27: Was Paul Speaking about Homosexuality?“. I tread this subject carefully. I know there are many people who claim that homosexuality is genetic. I do not see the proof substantiating that conclusion but I understand what they are saying. Others say that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. I have written about that in the past and I would encourage you to look at my earlier posts on the subject for further discussion. Regardless of which one of those you choose, both come to similar conclusions. #1 Either we can’t change (genetic view). #2 There is no need for change (moral view).

The problem is that the Bible makes it clear that this homosexuality is sin. Unfortunately, many see that as bigoted, hateful, and mean, but it is true. Just like those who commit adultery are in sin. Thieves, murderers, liars, and the hateful are living in sin. All of us are sinners. We are all made in the image of God and all of us have disgraced that by sinning. So, that brings us to the question of this article…Can homosexuals change?

The simple answer is yes. Homosexuals can change. I know of people who have changed. Beyond that, the Bible tells us that homosexuals can change. Let’s look at the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. -NET

The first two sentences are devastating to us, as sinners. I don’t care if you are greedy, verbally abusive, or a homosexual Paul makes it plain…these people will not inherit the kingdom of God. These people will not taste salvation. These people need to be changed. There is something that needs to be addressed though in Paul’s first two sentences when it comes to homosexuality. What in the world does he mean by “passive homosexual partners” and “practicing homosexuals”? Let’s take a look at these:

Strong’s Greek Lexicon’s definition of the Greek word malakos translated as “passive homosexual partners” as:

1) soft, soft to the touch

2) metaph. in a bad sense

2a) effeminate

2a1) of a catamite

2a2) of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man

2a3) of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness

2a4) of a male prostitute

It is clear that Paul is not addressing things that are “soft to the touch” so the second definition given makes sense. What Paul is communicating is those who give their bodies to make money in homosexual prostitution will not inherit the kingdom of God. Then Paul shifts from “passive homosexual partners” to “practicing homosexuals”. “Practicing homosexuals” is translated from the Greek word arsenokoitai and Strong’s defines this word as:

1) one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual

In case you were wondering there is no number 2) when it comes to this definition. Many have tried to say that Paul’s word is ambiguous and ultimately unknowable, but this is not the case.  In an article entitled “Is Arsenokoitai Really that Mysterious?” by C. Wayne Mayhall, Mayhill writes these words reacting to some arguments against Paul’s usage of arsenokoitai: 

Proposition 1. To broaden the word arsenokoitai to include exploitive heterosexual intercourse appears unlikely in view of the unqualified nature of the Levitical  prohibitions.16

Proposition 2. In every instance in which the arsenokoit word group occurs in a context that offers clues as to its meaning (i.e., beyond mere inclusion in a vice list), it denotes homosexual intercourse.17

Proposition 3. The term arsenokoitai itself indicates an inclusive sense: all men who play the active role in homosexual intercourse. Had Paul intended to single out pederasts he could have used the technical term paiderastïs.18

Proposition 4. The meaning that Paul gave to arsenokoitai has to be unpacked in light of Romans 1:24-27. When Paul speaks of the sexual intercourse of “males with males” (arsenes en arsenes) in v. 27, he obviously has in mind arsenokoitai.19

This word is not disputable. Paul wrote what Paul meant to write. Homosexuality is a sin and Paul’s word usage makes that clear. Homosexual practices will keep you from the kingdom of God. However, there is hope. God is powerful enough to change you.

Allow me to quote Paul in verse 11 again:

 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

I love Paul’s words because it shows the beauty of God’s love. Some of those people in Corinth lived lives that Paul described. They were anything but lovers of God. They did not follow his truth or his law. They did not love him and they proved it by living in accordance to their wills instead of God’s. But, God didn’t leave them in that state. God reached down and saved people living in sin. Paul says that they were “washed”, “sanctified”, and “justified” in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ work on the cross came to save them and the Spirit came to apply that salvation.

If you are living in any kind of sin God can change you. For those who define themselves as homosexual I pray that God reveals the depth of your sin. With that revelation can come many emotions but through it all I pray that God will wash you, sanctify you, and justify you in Jesus Christ.

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on January 24, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 90 Comments.

  1. Travis, in addition to your embarrassing exegesis of 1 Corinthians 6 here (to address this passage adequately will require a full post, which you can look for shortly on my blog), your claim that “homosexuals can change” appears to be in direct opposition to the evidence. A couple of recent noteworthy admissions:

    Just this month, Friday, January 6th to be exact, Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the world’s largest umbrella organizations of ex-gay ministries spoke as a part of a panel discussion at the annual conference of the Gay Christian Network. When asked about Exodus International’s “Change is Possible” slogan, Chambers admitted:

    “THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE THAT I HAVE MET, AND I WOULD SAY THE MAJORITY MEANING 99.9% OF THEM, HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED A CHANGE IN THEIR ORIENTATION.”

    Did you catch that? The president of Exodus International acknowledged that 99.9% of the all the gay people he has met and known over all his years in ministry “have not experienced a change in their orientation.” That appears to be in direst opposition to what you’re attempting to sell here. The video is available on-line, feel free to watch it yourself.

    In October of this past year, John Smid, former executive director of the well-known ex-gay program Love in Action, admitted that after 22 years as director of the program:

    “I’VE NEVER MET A MAN WHO EXPERIENCED A CHANGE FROM HOMOSEXUAL TO HETEROSEXUAL.”

    Did you catch that? He said never even one time in 22 years of full-time ministry to gay people has he ever seen any man change his orientation. This is also on-line. Don’t believe me. Check it out yourself. Since leaving Love in Action in May of 2008, Smid has had time to reflect on his 22 years as program director. “It’s time for honesty,” Smid declared in a letter of apology that he wrote.

    Smid’s admission came right on the heals of a brand new study recently published in Edification, a journal from the evangelical Society for Christian Psychology. The study reports:

    “SEXUAL BEHAVIOR CHANGES BUT NOT SEXUAL ORIENTATION.”

    Yup, this one is one line too. According to the study, after an average of 16 years in mixed-orientation marriage, the same-sex oriented spouse is still same-sex oriented. On the basis of self-reports there’s no shift toward heterosexual orientation on the part of the same-sex oriented spouse, even though there’s some participation in sex acts within the marriage. These findings, involving 106 husbands and 161 wives, are from evangelical psychologist Mark Yarhouse and his research team at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. Their study, “Characteristics of Mixed Orientation Couples” is published in Edification, a journal from the evangelical Society for Christian Psychology.

    Given the evangelical identity of the researchers, their base of operation and publisher, together with the corroborating evidence from studies by another evangelical psychologist, Warren Throckmorton, very serious and sobering questions are raised over the “pastoral” recommendations for mixed-orientation marriage made by Jonathan Mills, “ex-gay” advocates and other church leaders who are against same-orientation marriage.

    Statistics suggest that up to two million gay men and lesbians in the U.S. have married heterosexually in the belief that the only way to achieve a loving, committed relationship and a family is to enter the traditional form of marriage espoused by their family, community or church. In doing so, most gay people deny, ignore, or leave unquestioned their same-sex attractions. As the heterosexual spouses who have lived through a mixed-orientation marriage have indicated time and again, eventually those feelings can no longer be suppressed. After a painful struggle between fidelity and truth, love and deception, many come to terms with their suppressed orientations. In the majority of cases, the couples divorce, leaving broken families and single parents across the country. Thus, the gay or lesbian spouses’ attempt to commit to a heterosexual marriage endorsed by society or their churches ends up hurting not only themselves, but also their wives or husbands and, most importantly, their children.

    As a former leader of a so-called ex-gay ministry, I have had the opportunity to personally know literally hundreds of “ex-gays” personally. Though these people were among the most dedicated Christians I have ever met, they are now almost all “ex-ex-gays.” I witnessed firsthand the despair that resulted for these sincere believers as they tried the ex-gay approach and took part in these ministries and/or treatments. The long-term consequences were pretty depressing. For a great many, results were nearly disastrous. It also proved spiritually catastrophic as scores of these people gave up their faith altogether.

    I also became increasingly aware of how fearful these so called ex-gay ministries were to honestly assess the fruit of their work and admit their staggering level of failure. They did not dare risk expressing their own disappointment for fear of losing the meager financial support that came from their churches and other contributors. If these people had been running a business that depended for its survival on the quality and reliability of their product, they would have become bankrupt years ago. If they had been offering a medical solution for some sickness or disease and had produced as disastrous a long-term effect on their patients as these ministries have, they would have been sued out of existence.

    Over the years, we’ve watched as the semantics of the Exodus message have been regularly massaged to respond to each new wave of criticism. Why do you think Exodus International abandoned using the slogan “CHANGE IS POSSIBLE? Answer: Because as Alan Chambers, Exodus’ president said: 99.9% of the all the gay people he has met and known over all his years in ministry have not experienced a change in their orientation. (see Chambers. quote above).

    No Travis. Not only is your exegesis of the 1 Corinthians passage embarrassing, but the evidence clearly disproves your bad exegesis and false claim. In some parts of the U.S., they would say you’re selling snake oil.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      I am sorry but you claimed that my exegesis of 1 Corinthians 6 is “embarrassing” yet you did not address my exegesis. On what basis do you do so? Because there are people who say that sexual orientation doesn’t change? Because a president of an Ex-Gay ministry says that 99.9% of people he knows didn’t change doesn’t toss out what Paul said in Scripture. I am sure there have been many gay-oriented people that marry to try and fix themselves. I would suggest they don’t get married. They should stay celibate if they are not attracted to the opposite sex. That is not an argument against Paul’s view. That is a pastoral problem. Alex the Bible is clear. Gay people can change. If you want to reject that then you should not claim to have a high view of Scripture as you did when we first interacted. Paul says specifically:

      Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

      Some of those people were practicing homosexuals but God washed them, sanctified them, and justified them.

      Travis

  2. You said: I am sorry but you claimed that my exegesis of 1 Corinthians 6 is “embarrassing” yet you did not address my exegesis. On what basis do you do so?

    Me: I did indeed say your exegesis on this passage is embarrassing. I believe it is downright pitiful. As I said above (Gosh, you don’t read many of my words at all, do you?), this passage will require a full post to be addressed adequately, which you can look for shortly on my blog.

    You’re wonderful at quoting Scripture. But as R.C. Sproul wisely noted: We know what God said; now we’re left with uncovering what God means. Careful study can begin to open that up to us if we’re humble enough to not presume we already know. It’s respectful of God’s gift to us to go after the author’s intentions and meanings before arriving at our own.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      I look forward to your article. I also like that you quote R.C. Sproul because I respect his work. Allow me to quote him on Romans 1:24-32:

      In this the apostle Paul sees that sexual immorality, particularly with respect to its expression in homosexual activity, represents the extreme degree to which human moral corruption sinks. He sees these practices as being the result of a debased mind, a mind that is filled with unrighteousness, and that the people who do these things in defiance to God, at the same time encourage others to do it as well.

      I agree with him.

      Travis

  3. Need I remind you that whether it be on questions of doctrine, science or ethics, the Church’s positions have sometimes had to be drastically revised?

    It is embarrassing to admit that no serious objection to slavery was raised by Christians prior to the 18th century. Over the years we Christians have found “proof” in our Bibles that the world is only 6,000 years old, that slavery is God-ordained, that interracial marriage is wrong, that anti-Semitism is biblically supported, that women and blacks should not be allow to vote, that women should not be allowed to preach, teach or wear lipstick, the list goes on and on and on. A number of biblical texts were cited to give support to each of these and, of course, the Bible verses that once footnoted these notions are all still in the Bible.

    For 2,000 years, Christians like you who have used the Bible to condemn other Christians were acting in good faith. They believed they were defending against an attack of the clear teachings of Scripture. History has revealed, however, that what many were defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture.

    As we look back over our 2,000 years of history, we find that oppression of one sort or another against people who are “different” — whether by means of race, color, gender, class or sexual orientation — has always been endemic. And to our great shame, the oppression and injustices are always carried out in the name of someone’s Christianity. We must not forget that while it may seem evident to us that others did terrible things in the past, it isn’t always so easy to see that we ourselves may be doing terrible things today.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      Being a different race, color, gender, or economic class is not sin. Homosexual practices are.

      If you want to use slavery to substantiate homosexuality be my guest but that logically wont follow. Slavery in the times of the Bible was not even close to how slavery was in America. It is sad to see someone who seems educated to use such a bad argument.

      Calling sin out is not a terrible thing. It is truth and it is pleasing to God. I love people and if I did not express God’s truth then I would not be loving people.

      Travis

  4. Travis,
    Thanks for the post.
    I think a distinction needs to be made between having same-sex attraction and homosexual acts. Those who engage in any immoral sexual act sins. However, those who suffer from same-sex attraction and live chaste, God-fearing lives are not committing the sin of homosexuality even if they are unable to change their sexual orientation. I think it is akin to someone who has other disorders such as drug addiction or alcoholism but is either drug or alcohol free. One would not say a person with alcoholism is committing the sin of drunkenness unless he acts on his passions. Likewise, one would not say a person with same-sex attraction is committing the sin of homosexuality unless he acts on his passions.

    In Christ,
    T.J.

    Here is a great resource on how to minister to those with same-sex attraction:
    http://couragerc.net/

    • Hey T.J.,

      Yes there is a distinction and I may not have clearly stated that but that is my view as well. It is a distinction that should be understood by every Christian because struggling with temptation is not the same as sinning. Those are distinguished by Scripture.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Travis

  5. Travis, you said: “Being a different race, color, gender, or economic class is not sin. Homosexual practices are.”

    Me: Not so fast, my brother. You can keep repeating that until you’re blue in the face. The point here is that there is a growing contingency of evangelicals, Bible scholars, theologians and others who vehemently disagree with you.

    With every one of the issues cited above and more, they (i.e., we Christians) were all convinced that they had the Bible on their side and that their understanding of the Bible was self-evidently correct. They all had substantial support too from many other like-minded Christians. But most of us now think they were interpreting the Bible wrongly and making serious mistakes as a result — mistakes which led to fanaticism, persecution and even war. Perhaps then, the warning of Jesus about the perils of trying to conduct eye-surgery when you are unwittingly the victim of poor vision yourself is a salutary one to remember whenever we claim biblical support for our opinions.

    It’s been said that within the next generation, if not in our very own lifetime, those like you who stood against same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, and like you, so desperately attempted to do so, will look as outdated and as foolish as George Wallace does today in the video clips of him from the 1960s standing on the school steps of the University of Alabama preventing James Hood from entering because he was black.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      You said: “Not so fast, my brother. You can keep repeating that until you’re blue in the face. The point here is that there is a growing contingency of evangelicals, Bible scholars, theologians and others who vehemently disagree with you.”

      Me: I am sorry but a simple majority does not mean you are correct. It only means more people are agreeing with you.

      You: “Perhaps then, the warning of Jesus about the perils of trying to conduct eye-surgery when you are unwittingly the victim of poor vision yourself is a salutary one to remember whenever we claim biblical support for our opinions.”

      Me: Listen to what you are saying. You tell me that I shouldn’t conduct eye-surgery yet you were the one that commented on my blog. Are you saying that you are not trying to fix my “vision”? Also I love having biblical support. If you do not want to accept that awesome. You said in earlier comments that you have a high view of Scripture but where is the Scriptures supporting your view?

      You: “It’s been said that within the next generation, if not in our very own lifetime, those like you who stood against same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, and like you, so desperately attempted to do so, will look as outdated and as foolish as George Wallace does today in the video clips of him from the 1960s standing on the school steps of the University of Alabama preventing James Hood from entering because he was black.”

      Me: Sir I am not desperately doing anything. I cling to the word of God and follow it’s teachings. I know that the world if going to view me as foolish because 1 Cor. 1:27 says, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;” And if I am viewed as foolish well hopefully God will shame the wise through me.

      Also, to connect me with a racist seems a bit of a stretch isn’t it? Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” There we have race, economic status, and gender expressed for us. I don’t see straight or gay. I don’t see bi-sexual, pansexual. I am sorry Alex. I am standing firmly on Scripture and you are standing on your view based upon your experience. I pray that you turn to God in repentance because tying to justify your sin in front of a holy God will lead to death.

      Travis

  6. So you are comparing sexuality with a chemical addiction?

    Ask an alcoholic how natural it was to drink in the first place. Was he an alcoholic before he took a drink? Did he sit around and say, “I knew I was different. When I was 8-years old, I would have feelings of affection for that vodka bottle.” Sexuality and a chemical addiction/allergy are not related in any way.

    Alcoholism is a psychological addiction. It’s impossible to have a fulfilling relationship with a bottle of whiskey. If same-sex relationships were like that, none would work. In fact, they work just as often as heterosexual relationships do (with the divorce rate at 50%, both in and outside of the Church). So, either heterosexuality is like alcoholism too, or the analogy is false.

    Moreover, alcoholism has a pathology and prognoses. Homosexuality has none. Alcoholism is an acquired behavior. People enter into it to escape something unbearable, and then it becomes habitual. People don’t enter into homosexual emotions. They either have them or they don’t.

    Comparing homosexuality to an addiction is the central medical argument used by so-called ex-gay ministries. But as you can see, it fails completely.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  7. You: “I am not desperately doing anything. I cling to the word of God and follow its teachings.”

    Me: Once again I would say to you, not so fast, my brother! What you may very well be “clinging to” is your presumption of what the Word teaches, not the truth of Scripture.

    Let’s look at the facts here:

    Fact #1: You create a post titled “Can Homosexuals Change?” in which you insist that they can.

    Fact #2: You further state that you can make that “indisputable” claim because the Bible tells you this. The specific passage you use to support your “homosexuals can change” theory is 1 Cor 6:9-11. This is the passage you are “clinging to” to support your theory that God changes homosexuals.

    (I will presume that by “change” you are referring to a change in orientation as opposed to simply a change in behavior and that you are not just playing fast and loose with semantics here. But please do correct me if my presumption is incorrect.)

    Now without going into too much detail here as I will address your poor exegesis of 1 Cor 6 more fully in a separate post, your claim that God changes homosexuals is based on the English translation of the two Greek words in 1 Cor 6:9-11, which are “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai.” These two Greek words you maintain are property translated as “passive homosexuals” and “practicing homosexuals,” respectively.

    Despite the fact that these two words occur in a simple vice list, thus providing no explanation of the terms, no independent usage and few clues from the context about the term’s meaning, and despite the fact that myriads of Bible scholars dispute you on this, you maintain that your interpretation is “indisputable.”

    But that’s not all. You “cling to” your theory that homosexuals can change despite:

    (1) Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the world’s largest umbrella organization of ex-gay ministries has now publicly acknowledged that “99.9% OF PEOPLE THAT I HAVE MET … HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED A CHANGE IN THEIR ORIENTATION.”

    (2) Alan Chambers says Exodus International has discontinued use their former slogan “CHANGE IS POSSIBLE.”

    (3) John Smid, former executive director of the longest-running ex-gay program Love in Action, admitted that after 22 years as director of the program: “I’VE NEVER MET A MAN WHO EXPERIENCED A CHANGE FROM HOMOSEXUAL TO HETEROSEXUAL.”

    (4) A recently published study in a journal from the evangelical Society for Christian Psychology reports: “SEXUAL BEHAVIOR CHANGES BUT NOT SEXUAL ORIENTATION.”

    (5) The study explicitly reports: AFTER AN AVERAGE OF 16 YEARS IN MIXED-ORIENTATION MARRIAGE, THE SAME-SEX ORIENTED SPOUSE IS STILL SAME-SEX ORIENTED. ON THE BASIS OF SELF-REPORTS THERE’S NO SHIFT TOWARD HETEROSEXUAL ORIENTATION ON THE PART OF THE SAME-SEX ORIENTED SPOUSE, EVEN THOUGH THERE’S SOME PARTICIPATION IN SEX ACTS WITHIN THE MARRIAGE.

    (6) The heterosexual spouses who have lived through mixed-orientation marriages report that eventually their spouses’ orientations can no longer be suppressed. Moreover, they maintain that after a painful struggle between fidelity and truth, love and deception, in the majority of cases, the couples divorce, leaving broken families and single parents across the country. Thus, the gay or lesbian spouses’ attempt to commit to a heterosexual marriage endorsed by society or their churches ends up hurting not only themselves, but also their wives or husbands and, most importantly, their children.

    (7) In the forty years that we’ve been observing the fruit of the Christian ex-gay organizations have had a go at this — scores of these organizations — Exodus-affiliated and otherwise — have been abandoned by their ex ex-gay founders. Countless former ex-gay ministry leaders, including myself, confess that they have counseled and known hundreds of people who tried to change their sexual orientation and none of them changed.

    So it would appear that in light of all of this evidence from:

    (a) People who have worked full time for decades in the “ex-gay” business coming forward and saying it doesn’t work and God is not in business of changing the orientation of gay people,

    (b) The gay people themselves who have tried to change coming forward and saying it doesn’t work and God is not in business of changing the orientation of gay people, and

    (c) The heterosexual spouses of the gay people coming forward and saying it doesn’t work and God is not in business of changing the orientation of gay people,

    (d) The testimonies of thousands of others who have been involved with the “ex-gay movement and have come out on the other side and said it doesn’t work and God is not in business of changing the orientation of gay people,

    You, on the other hand, maintain that it DOES work and God IS in the business of changing the orientation of gay people! It would appear that that what we have here is a classic case of someone who will continue to “cling to” whatever he wants to believe despite ANY and ALL evidence to the contrary.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      First, “malakoi” has different definitions. So, yes context would be vitally important in understanding what the author is communicating. However, “arsenokoitai” has a single meaning. I quoted that in my article. Weather it is in a simple vice list or not it still means what it means. And Paul says that those people once where homosexuals but they were washed, sanctified, justified in Jesus Christ. They were changed.

      You quote some studies. Did these people claim to be Christians? Was their faith evident by fruit? If not then how could this study be conclusive when it comes to God’s work of salvation? You may claim that no one changes. But Dr. Michael Brown would disagree with you in a testimony of his brother in-law. His brother in-law was a homosexual. He came to Christ and God changed him. After a while Dr. Brown’s sister married him and they had a vibrant and loving relationship. There are many testimonies like this. But that does not prove of disprove the testimony of Scripture. God said what he said.

      If you want to contradict my article I look forward to some exegesis. And when you do write on it make sure to define “arsenokoitai” please.

      Travis

  8. You said: You quote some studies. Did these people claim to be Christians? Was their faith evident by fruit? If not then how could this study be conclusive when it comes to God’s work of salvation?

    Me: Again, you did not read very carefully. As for the study I quoted, the researchers are evangelical Christians. They were from the research team at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. And the study titled, “Characteristics of Mixed Orientation Couples” is published in Edification, a journal from the evangelical Society for Christian Psychology.

    You said: You may claim that no one changes. But Dr. Michael Brown would disagree with you in a testimony of his brother in-law. His brother in-law was a homosexual. He came to Christ and God changed him.

    Me: And so too was this the testimony of the thousands who once identified as “ex-gay”. As you should know, for many “ex-gays” simply labeling oneself as heterosexual constitutes progress in the right direction whether one’s sexual orientation has actually changed or not. But they now say the “ex-gay” route is just a way of saying, “Now I’m more acceptable to myself and to the people around me.” Sadly, they don’t usually feel that way in the long run.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      I never said anything about the people publishing these studies. I wanted to know if the people they were studying were Christians and if their faith was evident? So, I don’t appreciate the accusation of no reading carefully.

      You said: “Sadly, they don’t usually feel that way in the long run.”

      Me: So sometimes they do feel that way in the long run?

      God can change hearts from every kind of sin. I look forward to your article.

      Travis

  9. Yes, they are Christians!!!!!

    And yes, God can (AND DOES) change hearts from every kind of sin. The question at hand, however, remains whether homosexuality in every form and expression is sin — or whether your belief on this doctrinal issue is a result of your presuppositions and poor exegesis.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      Homosexuality in every form? Man laying with man is clear. The Bible does not make provision for any kind of homosexuality. I will allow my articles on the subject to stand and you can allow yours to stand. Everyone will judge from there. I will be waiting for your article.

      Travis

  10. My point was that throughout the Bible we find instructions to shun sexual immorality and seek the highest moral standard that reflects the Spirit of Christ. However, the fact that the violation of others is strongly condemned does not mean that all homosexual behavior warrants such censure any more than all heterosexuals are to be condemned for their sexual behavior by association with the sins of pedophilia, lust, rape, fornication or adultery. The few verses in Scripture that proscribe sexual union between men all seek to address sins of idolatry, rebellion, self-indulgence, abuse, or grossly irresponsible behavior.

    You said: “Man laying with man is clear. The Bible does not make provision for any kind of homosexuality.”

    Me: Ahh, so you’re a literalist applying the words from the Bible in a wooden fashion, huh? Whatever happened to the golden rule of exegesis? I thought we’re we are to draw OUT FROM the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading INTO the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it? I guess that gets discarded when it proves to be inconvenient. I would suggest you read my post on “Leviticus 18: What Was the Abomination?” Link may be found on the “Archives” page. Yet another big ‘not so fast, my brother,’ for you!

    I suppose based on your personal exegetical rule above, since the Bible has only negative things to tax about tax collectors (tax collectors in Jesus’ day were frequently corrupt and cheated people out of more money than they owed.). I guess that means the Bible is condemning all tax collectors for all time.

    Most Christians who are not literalists, who do not apply the words from the Bible in a wooden fashion, but rather respect the golden rule of exegesis, know that the Bible is not condemning all tax collectors for all time. It’s condemning the specific behaviors of the tax collectors at that time.

    Are the “men lying with men” condemned for the same reason as tax collectors, or are all same-sex relationships condemned for all time? And the $64,000 question to you: By what exegetical rule do you conclude?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      A literalist? Words have meanings. I didn’t come up with their definitions. Scholars did. Does the Bible condemn taxes or tax collectors? The Bible condemns homosexual behavior and thought. I already made that clear. You are completely confusing categories because one is plainly sin (homosexuality) while the other is addressed in passing (tax-collectors). The question isn’t why can’t homosexual relationships be okay sometimes? The question is where in Scripture does this provision become clear?

      I’ll answer that. The bible does not make provision for homosexuality…ever.

      Travis

  11. Yup, words have meaning. The primary dictionary definition of a word is its “denotative” meaning. But as words are used over time, they take on various additional shades of meaning, which we call “connotations”. For instance: the name John. It comes from a Hebrew word meaning, denotatively, dove — and with connotations of peace, therefore. It can also be viewed as a shortening of a Hebrew sentence name that means “gift of Yahweh” and that’s why you sometimes see the other meaning given. But “john” in English can have other connotations too. It may mean nothing more than a toilet. Or it might mean the male partner of a prostitute who was caught by the police. And so forth. These various meanings constitute the “semantic range” of a word, and are essential for understanding crucial Bible passages. Hebrew, which was spoken and written by the Hebrews for 13 centuries, has a long history. Think how English has changed in 13 centuries and you’ll begin to get the idea.

    Exegesis yet again, my brother. Can’t discard it no matter how hard you try.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      Hopefully your article will provide a reason why we can’t take the normal and only definition of “arsenokoitai” given by Greek lexicons in 1 Cor. 6. I have seen no evidence for any change in meaning. If you could let me know when you post on it I would really like to check it out.

      Travis

  12. Indeed. Looking quite forward to it! Next week I will be going out of town for almost two weeks. But it is my intention to get this completed and posted before then. In the meantime, exegetical treatments on the following “clobber” passages are already completed. Links for each may be found on my “Archives” page.

    “Genesis 19: What the Bible Really Says Were the Sins of Sodom”
    “Leviticus 18: What Was The Abomination?”
    “Romans 1: What Was Paul Ranting About?”
    “Romans 2: Paul’s Bait and Switch”
    “Why No One in the Biblical World Had a Word for Homosexuality”

    Bottom line: Our beliefs and interpretations must be exegetically supportable or we have to let them go — no matter how beloved and adored our favored interpretations may be. As already stated, and I trust we are in full agreement: We do not get to rip passages from their context and replace them in another age for the sake of convenience. We don’t get to make things up as we go along. And as always, we are stuck with the internal interpretation of the text as the primary meaning.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      You said: “Bottom line: Our beliefs and interpretations must be exegetically supportable or we have to let them go — no matter how beloved and adored our favored interpretations may be.”

      Me: You must be implying that I my position is exegetically unsupported. Maybe this could be a case of you performing “eye-surgery when you are unwittingly the victim of poor vision yourself”. Just saying.

      Have a good trip,

      Travis

  13. You said: You must be implying that my position is exegetically unsupported. Maybe this could be a case of you performing “eye-surgery when you are unwittingly the victim of poor vision yourself”. Just saying.

    Me: I’m not implying that your position is exegetically unsupportable. I’m emphatically telling you straight out that this is indeed my position. I am of the belief that your position is not exegetically supportable — just as you are of the belief that mine is not. That is precisely why we are having this dialogue. Is it not? And we can’t both be correct. Do you disagree with the sentiment? Is it not true undeniably true that our interpretations, whatever they may be, must be exegetically supportable?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  14. By the way, you seem to be of the belief that the Greek words “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” from 1 Cor 6 are properly translated into English as “passive homosexual partners” and “practicing homosexuals,” respectively. I’m curious: In your mind, what is difference between the two?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  15. You said: Hopefully your article will provide a reason why we can’t take the normal and only definition of “arsenokoitai” given by Greek lexicons in 1 Cor. 6. I have seen no evidence for any change in meaning. If you could let me know when you post on it I would really like to check it out.

    Me: Let’s begin with this few thoughts (and questions) about the definition of “arsenokoitai.”

    With regard to these two words, you make the claim: “MANY HAVE TRIED TO SAY THAT PAUL’S WORD IS AMBIGUOUS AND ULTIMATELY UNKNOWABLE, BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE.”

    As for “arsenokoitai,” you make the claim: “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.”

    The question I have for you is: HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE SUCH AN EMPHATIC CLAIM IN LIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING?

    (#1) “Arsenokoitai” appears in 1 Cor 6 and also in 1Tim 1 and nowhere else. The NIV translators are so uncertain of the word’s meaning that they translate it as “homosexual offenders” in one instance (1 Cor) and “perverts” in the other (1 Tim). The RSV (Revised Standard Version) translates it as “pederasts.” Of the four Greek NT Lexicons I checked, I cannot find two that agree about the meaning of the word. YET YOU CLAIM “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.” ISN’T THAT JUST A TAD OF STRETCH?

    (#2) As for its use BEFORE Paul: 1 Cor 6 and 1 Tim 1 may be the FIRST examples we have of this word being used in the literature of the time. There are no known instances before Paul. That is correct — none! A number of scholars believe Paul may have coined the word himself. But because it occurs only here in all of first-century Greek writing, biblical scholars have repeatedly indicated that it is difficult to give its precise meaning. YET YOU CLAIM “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.” ISN’T THAT JUST A TAD OF STRETCH?

    (#3) As for its use AFTER Paul: They are few and far between and in virtually every instance, the term appears in a list of sins (like Paul’s) without any story line or other context to shed light on its meaning. YET YOU CLAIM “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.” ISN’T THAT JUST A TAD OF STRETCH?

    (#4) “Arsenokoitai” is a compound word. As noted, the word has no use in the Greek literature of Paul’s day. It means, literally “a man, a bed.” As scholars have repeatedly noted, it is highly precarious to try to ascertain the meaning of a word by taking it apart, getting the meanings of its component parts, and then assuming, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, that the meaning of the longer word is a simple combination of its component parts. To UNDERSTAND, for example, does not mean to “stand under.” In fact, nothing about the basic meanings of either “stand” or “under” has any direct bearing on the meaning of “understand.” MANDATE is not a date with a man. A BUTTERFLY is not a dairy product with the ability to defy gravity. A LADYBUG is not part woman and part insect. MANKIND does not mean a man who is nice. A LADY KILLER is not a murderer of women. The list goes on and on. To conclude that the meaning of any compound word is simply the sum of its independent parts is not always a justifiable conclusion or method. In fact, any claim that this word “obviously means homosexual” defies all linguistic evidence and common sense. YET YOU CLAIM “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.” ISN’T THAT JUST A TAD OF STRETCH?

    (#5) As for its CONTEXT: It is set in “vice lists” without any context to help and the only reliable way to define a word is to analyze its use in as many different contexts as possible. The only reliable way to define a word is to analyze its use in as many different contexts as possible. A word means according to its function, according to how particular people use the word in different situations. Unfortunately, we have very few uses of “arsenokoitai” and most of these occur in simple vice lists, thus providing no explanation of the term whatsoever, no independent usage and few clues from the context about the term’s meaning. YET YOU CLAIM “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.” ISN’T THAT JUST A TAD OF STRETCH?

    Again, I ask you: IN LIGHT OF ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE, HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE THE CLAIM THAT “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE?”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      When it comes to “Arsenokoitai” the meaning is clear. You can argue all you want but it doesn’t change the meaning of that word. Here is a snippet of an article on equip.org about the word:

      “the unusual word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 that is commonly translated “homosexual sin.”11 This, however, is not such a mystery, he argues, and its unraveling reveals a more complex picture of Paul’s use of Leviticus.

      Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 forbid a man lying with another man as one would with a woman. Leviticus was originally written in Hebrew, but Paul was a Greek-educated Jew writing to Gentiles in Greek, the common language of the day, and probably was using the Greek translation of the Old Testament available in that day, the Septuagint, or LXX, for his Scripture quotations.

      The Greek translation of these Leviticus passages condemns a man (arseno) lying with (koitai) another man (arseno); these words (excuse the pun) lie side-by-side in these passages in Leviticus. Paul joins these two words together into a neologism, a new word (as we do in saying database or software), and thus he condemns in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy what was condemned in Leviticus.”

      There you have it Paul takes two common words and puts them together. It isn’t a mystery or ambiguous it is clear what Paul is communicating.

      Again, I look forward to your article.

      Travis

      • ARSENOKOITA

        It’s nice that you can quote from the Internet about ARSENOKOITA. But, as we both know, simply because something has been posted on the Internet does not necessarily make it trustworthy. AND IN THIS CASE, THE AUTHOR IS DEAD WRONG!

        We’re not talking maybe wrong here. We’re talking absolutely and totally dead wrong!

        Why is he dead wrong? He says of “Arsenokoitai” that Paul was “probably” quoting from the Septuagint. However, IT IS AN ABSOLUTE FACT THAT THE WORD “ARSENOKOITAI” DOES NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE IN THE SEPTUAGINT.

        We happen to know this with certainty!

        Why would he say “probably?” Is it because he knows that if he checked his source (the Septuagint) he’d find out it’s not even there? And then his theory goes out the window? Remember, we agreed we’re supposed to be doing exegesis here — not eisegesis. We don’t get to read into the text things that are not there and we don’t get to make up things as we go along.

        (Go back and read #2 in my post to you about ARSENOKOITAI)

        Its bad enough you quote from a defective source. But you add insult to injury by insisting after he says “probably” (and he is wrong), that you can therefore conclude that its “NOT DISPUTABLE.” Explain to me how “probably” would ever translate into “not disputable?” Not only is it disputable; it is plain and simply flatly erroneous, a lie!

        You said you wanted to address the word Arsenokoitai. So I sent you an extensive post this morning (see above) in which I outlined in detail five separate points — each numbered for clarity — which demonstrates why scholars maintain that the word is extremely disputable.

        Would be kindly read the post and respond. In all (5) comments I asked you:

        IN LIGHT ON THESE FIVE POUINTS HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH CAN YOU IPOSSIBLY MAKE THE CLAIM THAT “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE?”

        Again, we’re supposed to be drawing out from the text what is there — not adding our own favorite stories and interpretations as we go long. Let’s please be responsible if we’re going to take the time to do this.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        You may not like the source I quoted but that doesn’t matter so much. The section I quoted said nothing about “arsenokoitai” being used before Paul. Paul coined the word. But, he drew from the LXX to put the two together. You may not like that because you are trying to hold to your sin but that is the origin of the word. Paul drew from Levitical law and created a word that is clear.

        Also, if you have a different meaning of this word I would really like to hear it.

        Travis

  16. I do have a question about the verse you quote, and it has nothing to do with homosexuality…

    To me this passage says that all of those listed can inherit the kingdom of God.

    My reasoning: What is meant by: But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    In your article it seems you imply God changes the sinner to be one that no longer sins. But I don’t think that is the case. What man can sin one day and then never sin again through out the rest of his life?

    I wish I were as versed as you in bible but I recall the bible saying something similar to that effect, that man perpetually lives in sin.

    So if man perpetually lives in sin, you cannot take this to mean that God can change man to forever turn away from sin. But rather Christ dieing on the cross washes our sin away no matter what, and no matter how many times we sin.

    If I understood your writings on imputed righteousness correctly I would take this verse to be something that is reaffirming that notion. That men that are unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God because Jesus died for them, and in his dieing for them has made them righteous.

    The unrighteousness has been washed, sanctified and justified.

    This does not call to change the fact that homosexual acts are sins in the eyes of God.

    But it does raise the question of what does it mean to be both a sinner who can’t help but to sin–as is the case for all mankind, but to still be a christian?

    No sin is more devious than another, no sin more grave than another. Homosexual acts are no more devious than taking the Lords name in vain, than lying, or failing to honor your parents. That fact is why the Lord gave the Golden Rule. Think upon homosexuality and skipping church in the same light, and what it means in terms of being Christian.

    • Hey Kevin,

      You said: “My reasoning: What is meant by: But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

      Me: I think you may have missed one of my main points. In verse 11 Paul says:

      Some of you once lived this way.

      That does not mean that they never sin again. What it means is that their lifestyles changed. They were not continually in sin anymore. This suggests that those who have homosexual tendencies along with greed and so on…can change.

      You: “In your article it seems you imply God changes the sinner to be one that no longer sins. But I don’t think that is the case. What man can sin one day and then never sin again through out the rest of his life?”

      Me: I never said that we don’t sin anymore. However, there is a difference between someone who’s heart has been changed by God and someone who has not. Sin has dominion over the unregenerate heart while it does not have dominion over the Christian’s.

      You: “If I understood your writings on imputed righteousness correctly I would take this verse to be something that is reaffirming that notion. That men that are unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God because Jesus died for them, and in his dieing for them has made them righteous.”

      Me: Your argument would only apply to me if I believed that Jesus died for every single individual. I do not. I believe Jesus died for a specific group of people called the elect. Jesus paid the penalty for sin and gave the elect his righteousness. So, no the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.

      You: “But it does raise the question of what does it mean to be both a sinner who can’t help but to sin–as is the case for all mankind, but to still be a christian?”

      Me: You are right a sinner can’t help but sin. But, when is sinning sinner get regenerated then the sinning sinner hates his/her sin. Sin no longer rules over the saved person. So, I disagree with your premise.

      You: “No sin is more devious than another, no sin more grave than another. Homosexual acts are no more devious than taking the Lords name in vain, than lying, or failing to honor your parents.”

      Me: I would disagree with you. God calls homosexuality an abomination. The others are sin for sure but I am not sure all sin is on the same level. They all ultimately lead to our death but I am not sure that God views all sin the same. I think he does make distinctions.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Kev,

      Travis

  17. RE ARSENOKOITAI: PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME?

    You said: “You may not like the source I quoted but that doesn’t matter so much.”

    Me: It’s not a question of whether we like the source or not, that’s irrelevant. IT’S THAT THAT HE IS SAYING IS FACTUALLY INCORRECT. He infers that ARSENOKOITAI comes from the Septuagint (which it does not). He does precisely what scholars say one cannot do if they want to interpret the Bible responsibly (see below). In fact, he violates just about every accepted and standard rule of responsible biblical exegesis. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    The English translators are so unsure of what the word “Arsenokoitai” means that there are virtually no two English translations that agree on how the word should be translated. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    Some translators are so unsure of what “Arsenokoitai” means that with in the same translation (e.g. the NIV), in once instance (1 Cor 6) they translate it one way, and in the second (1 Tim1), they use a completely different word and meaning. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    There are no known uses of the word BEFORE Paul’s use of it. Nowhere is it found in the literature of the time. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    There are few uses of the word AFTER Paul and in every instance the term appears in a list of sins (like Paul’s) without any story line or other context to shed light on its meaning. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    “Arsenokoitai” is a compound word. As scholars have repeatedly noted, it is highly precarious to try to ascertain the meaning of a word by taking it apart, getting the meanings of its component parts, and then assuming, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, that the meaning of the longer word is a simple combination of its component parts. To UNDERSTAND does not mean to stand under. MANDATE is not a date with a man. A BUTTERFLY is not a dairy product with the ability to defy gravity. A LADYBUG is not part woman and part insect. MANKIND does not mean a man who is nice. A LADY KILLER is not a murderer of women. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    “Arsenokoitai” is only set in “vice lists” without any context to help and the only reliable way to define a word is to analyze its use in as many different contexts as possible. The only reliable way to define a word is to analyze its use in as many different contexts as possible. A word means according to its function, according to how particular people use the word in different situations. Unfortunately, we have very few uses of “arsenokoitai” and most of these occur in simple vice lists, thus providing no explanation of the term whatsoever, no independent usage and few clues from the context about the term’s meaning. — SO THEN EXPLIAN ME HOW YOU CAN THEN YOU SAY IT’S “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    Scholars cite all these reasons and more. — SO THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEN YOU CAN SAY ITS USE IS “CLEAR” AND “NOT DISPUTABLE??!!”

    PLEASE EXPLAIN!

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      It is easy to knock on someones understanding of a word without providing a positive view. I encourage you to do that. I will stick with how the “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament” defines “Arsenokoites”:

      “one who lies with a male as
      with a female, sodomite,
      homosexual”

      It is your job not only to dispute this scholarly definition but you also need to tell us what it means then. You have not done that. Maybe you will do that in your post.

      Travis

  18. Also, since you are of the opinion that the two Greek words “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” in 1 Cor 6 are properly translated into English as “passive homosexual partners” and “practicing homosexuals,” respectively. Can you also explain to me the difference between the two?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  19. You said: “It is easy to knock on someone’s understanding of a word without providing a positive view.”

    You keep missing the point. It’s not a question of whether one “likes” someone’s view. Nor is it a question of whether or not a view is “positive.” The issue here is whether the position is factual and can be exegetically supported. It if can be exegetically supported, it is valid and biblical. If it cannot, it is eisegesis — and eisegesis is precisely what we’re supposed to avoid. You keep looking for “nice” and “positive”. I keep looking for exegetically sound.

    If you can’t exegetically support your position then you’re doing little more than playing games and reading things into the text that are not there.

    I’ve sent several replies to you in which I demonstrated to you in detail how exegetically UNSOUND your position is. In connection with this, I’ve repeatedly asked you to explain:

    HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH, IN LIGHT OF ALL THIS AND MORE, CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE THE CLAIM THAT “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE?”

    Your response: You completely ignore it every time.
    – Exegesis is reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying.
    – Eisegesis is reading one’s own ideas or prejudices back into the Bible.

    – Exegesis is about getting out of the text what is truly there in the first place.
    – Eisegesis is about putting into the text something never intended by the author.

    – Exegesis is drawing out the true meaning of a Bible passage.
    – Eisegesis is at best unwise, and at worst extremely dangerous

    A few hundred years from now if someone was to read that a man back in the 20th century was a “lady killer” — if he knows nothing about the language, how the language was used then, the culture of the day, the background of the text, some insight into context of how the word or phrase was used, etc., he would likely conclude that the man was a murderer of women. Based on your approach, which is eisegesis, he would insist:

    “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE.” “THE MAN WAS A MURDER OF WOMEN.” “IT IS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR.” “WORDS HAVE MEANING.”

    These are the things you have said about ARSENOKOITAI. Well, guess what? IT IS DISPUTABLE and the scholars say so for sound exegetical reason.

    The real question here is which do YOU prioritize: (a) your favored and treasured interpretations? Or (b) a sound exegetical approach to the Scriptures even it that would mean you might have to give up a favored and treasured interpretation?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  20. I’m going to ask you this now for the third time. You have not yet answered:

    Since you are of the opinion that the two Greek words “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” in 1 Cor 6 are properly translated into English as “passive homosexual partners” and “practicing homosexuals,” respectively. Can you explain to me please the difference between the two?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      This is a direct quote from my article:

      What in the world does he mean by “passive homosexual partners” and “practicing homosexuals”? Let’s take a look at these:

      Strong’s Greek Lexicon’s definition of the Greek word malakos translated as “passive homosexual partners” as:

      1) soft, soft to the touch

      2) metaph. in a bad sense

      2a) effeminate

      2a1) of a catamite

      2a2) of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man

      2a3) of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness

      2a4) of a male prostitute

      It is clear that Paul is not addressing things that are “soft to the touch” so the second definition given makes sense. What Paul is communicating is those who give their bodies to make money in homosexual prostitution will not inherit the kingdom of God. Then Paul shifts from “passive homosexual partners” to “practicing homosexuals”. “Practicing homosexuals” is translated from the Greek word arsenokoitai and Strong’s defines this word as:

      1) one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual

      In case you were wondering there is no number 2) when it comes to this definition.

      The difference is that “malakoi” refers to those who prostituted their bodies and specifically this was male to male prostitution. “Arsenokoitai” is simply a man laying with a man as if he were to lie with a woman. This means a man that has sexual contact with another man is commiting sin as Paul designated within this “vice list”.

      Travis

  21. You said: Thank you for not answering my question. You do not have an alternative to the TDNT definition. I think that speaks volumes.

    Me: Bingo! Exactly! It is one of the many passages in Scripture that we simply do not know for sure and, says scholars, and we can’t be so presumptuous to say that we do.

    So I ask yet again: HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH, IN LIGHT OF ALL THIS AND MORE, CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE THE CLAIM THAT “THIS WORD IS NOT DISPUTABLE?”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      It is your assertion that this word is too ambiguous for an actual definition. I gave a definition that is historical and scholarly and you refuse to even provide one different definition. That does not prove your point. It proves my point. There is only one definition given for the word. Liberal scholars may try to place doubt on this but at the end they can’t give any reasonable definition.

      Travis

      • You said: It is your assertion that this word is too ambiguous for an actual definition. I gave a definition that is historical and scholarly and you refuse to even provide one different definition. That does not prove your point. It proves my point. There is only one definition given for the word. Liberal scholars may try to place doubt on this but at the end they can’t give any reasonable definition.

        Me: Not so fast again, bro. First of all, I do not offer my “opinion”. I have never offered MY option here. Neither my opinion nor your opinion is not what matters. What I have presented is the work of some of the most revered evangelical bible scholars and some of their scholarly research on these passages. I do not quote from liberal scholars. Moreover, what I offer is their consensus. I do not find and quote from an isolated little excerpt, as do you, that may fit my favored or treasured interpretation as you do, I present extensive exegesis.

        Case in point: your pitiful little “exegesis” (if you want to call it that) on the word “malakoi.”

        According to your definition, MALAKOI could be:

        1) soft, soft to the touch
        2) metaph. in a bad sense
        2a) effeminate
        2a1) of a catamite
        2a2) of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man
        2a3) of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness
        2a4) of a male prostitute

        You said above: “I gave a definition that is historical and scholarly”

        Me: WHERE IS YOUR EXEGESIS? WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHAT THESE WORDS MEANT TO THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR AND TO THE ORIGINAL INTENDED AUDIENCE?

        ISN’T THAT WHAT WE AGREED EXEGESIS IS ALL ABOUT?

        ANSWER: YOU TOLD US NOTHING NONE! ZIP! ZILCH! NADA! INSTEAD, YOU READ YOUR CONTEMPORARY CONCERNS BACK INTO THE TEXT, WHICH WE DEFINED AS EISEGESIS — EXACTLY WHAT WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE AVOIDING!

        Here is some exegesis — not mine, not my opinion, but which is the general consensus of evangelical biblical scholars:

        MALAKOI could indeed be translated as boy prostitutes designated catamites. Catamites were boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world. It was a common practice for men of Paul’s time to have slave “pet” boys whom they sexually exploited. The desired boys were prepubescent or at least without beards so that they seemed like females. Today, this practice is referred to as pedophilia.

        In the Ancient world, a man of a higher social class might take a lower social class boy. But the desired features in these boys were their resemblance to females. They were either prepubescent or at least without beards so that they seemed like females. And once they began to develop hair and other masculine features, they were no longer desirable. At the same time, they were not actually “inferior” females within the society of “superior” males in a male-dominated culture. The men were not running after men for sex but were using these boys as substitutes for women!

        Contrarily, with homosexual attraction today, gay people are looking for men, not women! Homosexual orientation is about the naturally occurring ability to fall in love with a person of the same gender rather than with anyone of the other gender. It’s the same un-asked-for experience for heterosexuals and homosexuals; only in the former case the person of affection is of the other gender and in the latter case the person of affection is of the same gender.

        This did not exist in Ancient times so it could not be what the biblical writers were addressing. What we have here are passages that seek to address sins of idolatry, rebellion, self-indulgence, abuse and grossly irresponsible behavior.

        IF WE COULD IF WE COULD STAND MOSES AND PAUL BEFORE US — THE ONLY TWO BIBLICAL AUTHORS WHO HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED AS HAVING SAID ANYTHING PERTAINING TO OR ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY — AND APPLAUD RIDICULE THEM FOR THEIR CONDEMNATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY, THEY WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY STARE AT US IN BLANK INCOMPREHENSION. WHY? BECAUSE HOMOSEXUALITY PER SE SIMPLY ISN’T ANYTHING THEY’D EVER BEEN AWARE OF. NO KIDDING. DO YOU RESEARCH, BRO!

        What else did “malakoi” mean? In Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25, the same term is used to describe the softness of fine expensive clothes. The same word could also be used to describe warm butter or an overripe banana. While translated as “male prostitutes” in the English NIV, early English translations render malakoi by terms that denote a general weakness of character or degeneracy, e.g., “weaklings.” From the end of the 16th century to the 20th –and as it appears in the King James Version — the preferred translation was “effeminate”. When used as a term of moral condemnation, the word refers to something perceived as “soft,” such as laziness, degeneracy, decadence, a lack of courage, or to sum up all these vices in one ancient category, the “unmasculine.”

        In various European and ancient cultural traditions, men could be designated as “soft” or “unmasculine” because they were womanizers or because they deviated from masculine gender norms insofar as they preferred the soft option of love to the hard option of war. In the culture of the military elites of Europe, at least from the Ancient world through the Renaissance, normative masculinity often entailed austerity, resistance to appetite, and mastery of the impulse to pleasure. The once fashionable American ideal of the “big man on campus,” or phrased differently, the football jock who gets to indulge limitlessly in his love of hot showers, cold beer, fast cars and faster women, for example, would appear in this context, not as an emblem of masculinity [as seen in our own modern culture] but of its denigrated opposite, as a monster [or the epitome or embodiment] of effeminacy. A man displayed his true mettle in war and more generally in struggles with other men for honor in politics, business and other competitive enterprises. Those men who refused to rise to the challenge, who abandoned the competitive society of men for the amorous society of women, those who pursued a life of pleasure, who made love and not war, as it were — they incarnated the classical stereotype of effeminacy. This stereotype seems to live on in the American South, where a “redneck queer” is defined as “a boy from Alabama who ‘laks’ girls better ‘n football.” It is also alive and well in Anglo-Celtic Australia, where a real bloke supposedly avoids the company of women and prefers to spend all his time with his mates; that’s how you can be sure that he’s straight. For the Ancient Greeks and Romans, a man who indulged his taste for sexual pleasure with women did not necessarily enhance his virility but often undermined it.

        So with words that are so widely debated that no two English translations of the Bible can agree on what these two Greek terms mean we need to consider not just what the language says but also what it supposes, doesn’t say, and implies. We speak a different language, we live approximately two millennia later, and we bring different expectations to the text.

        YOU, ON THE OTHER HAND, TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION NONE OF THIS!

        AND THEN YOU TRY AND PAWN IT OFF AS EXEGESIS!!!

        The two questions remain which I’ve asked you repeatedly and you still refuse to answer are the following:

        (1) HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH, IN LIGHT OF ALL THIS AND MORE, CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE THE CLAIM THAT “THESE WORDS ARE NOT DISPUTABLE?”

        (2) Which do YOU prioritize: (a) your favored and treasured interpretations? Or (b) a sound exegetical approach to the Scriptures even it that would mean you might have to give up a favored and treasured interpretation?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        In all of this you quoted nothing. IF that word study is not yours then where did you get it from? I would like some sources please.

        You: (1) HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH, IN LIGHT OF ALL THIS AND MORE, CAN YOU POSSIBLY MAKE THE CLAIM THAT “THESE WORDS ARE NOT DISPUTABLE?”

        Me: There are specific definitions given to these words. You try to throw much doubt on these words but as I pointed out in my article “malakoi” has many differing definitions. When a word does have many definitions then we need to try and look at the surrounding context to find the right one. BUt, when it comes to “arsenokoitai” there is only one definition given. Thus, the surrounding context means less because there is one official definition given by TDNT.

        You: (2) Which do YOU prioritize: (a) your favored and treasured interpretations? Or (b) a sound exegetical approach to the Scriptures even it that would mean you might have to give up a favored and treasured interpretation?

        ME: I guess you would need to answer that question. All I have been hearing from you is quotes from ex-gay ministers that have nothing to do with what 1 Cor. 6 says. Then, I have seen a lot of dirt thrown at the normal definition of “arsenokoitai” without providing a single definition to replace it. I believe that God communicates in an effective and meaningful way. And his communication spans history.

        I appreciate your interaction but I would really like to see the article that you write.

        Travis

  22. EXODUS INTERNATIONAL DROPS “REPARATIVE THERAPY” BOOKS
    January 26th, 2012

    As further evidence of a possible shift of Exodus International’s focus, Exodus International has removed books on reparative therapy from Exodus’s bookstore.

    When Exodus International president Alan Chambers was asked for comment, he responded:

    “THE REASON I REMOVED REPARATIVE THERAPY BOOKS FROM EXODUS BOOKS IS BECAUSE I DON’T AGREE WITH USING THIS RESEARCH AS A MEANS TO SAY THAT THIS IS HOW HOMOSEXUALITY ALWAYS DEVELOPS, THIS IS THE PRIMARY MEANS IN WHICH TO DEAL WITH IT AND THIS IS THE OUTCOME YOU CAN EXPECT.”

    This comes two weeks after Chambers told an audience of gay Christians that “the majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them, have not experienced a change in their orientation.”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      Alan Chambers says that homosexuals can’t change.

      The Bible says that homosexuals can.

      Travis

      • You said: “Alan Chambers says that homosexuals can’t change. The Bible says that homosexuals can.”

        Me: The Bible doesn’t say that homosexuals can change unless you ignore every rule of responsible exegesis (drawing OUT FROM the text what it meant to the author and original intended audience) and instead read INTO the text your own personal contemporary concerns, or rip the passage from its context and replace it in another age for the same of convenience. The latter two are eisegesis — precisely what we’re supposed to avoid!!!

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        I will simply let me article stand on that point.

        Travis

  23. You said: “When a word does have many definitions then we need to try and look at the surrounding context to find the right one. But, when it comes to “arsenokoitai” there is only one definition given.”

    Me: You readily acknowledge that we need to look at surrounding context to figure out the definition of a word and look at how it is being used. You get a gold star for this one, Travis, as this is indeed one of the key rules of exegesis.

    But then you toss it right out the window! What then do we do when there is no surrounding context for a word? How then do we RESPONSIBLY and EXEGETICALLY discern what the definition is? You have two options: (1) You can be exegetically responsible and say, like the biblical scholars, we don’t and can’t really know for sure. Or we can use the Travis-eisegesis approach and just find or make up whatever one will fit your fancy and then claim that it is “not in dispute.”

    You said: “When it comes to “arsenokoitai” there is only one definition given.”

    Who gave it? Where did they get it from? Where is the exegesis that supports what you think this “one” answer is? If the scholars say we can’t know because (a) the word was never used anywhere before Paul and (b) in its two uses with Paul it appears only in voice lists not with surrounding connect whosoever, then isn’t concluding YOU know the definition a classic example if eisegesis in the highest order?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Alex,

      Need another source for a definition of “arsenokoitai”? the NET gives their textual reasoning for translating it as “practicing homosexuals” due to the source BDAG (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature). This work has been a trusted source of scholars for a long time.

      On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ἀρσενοκοίτης states, “a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9…of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. μαλακός…1 Ti 1:10; Pol 5:3. Cp. Ro 1:27.” L&N 88.280 states, “a male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’…It is possible that ἀρσενοκοίτης in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with μαλακός, the passive male partner.” Since there is a distinction in contemporary usage between sexual orientation and actual behavior, the qualification “practicing” was supplied in the translation, following the emphasis in BDAG.

      Travis

  24. You said: “I appreciate your interaction but I would really like to see the article that you write.”

    Me: Why in the world would you be interested in seeing the article I write if you’ve already discarded everything I’ve had to say thus far? As I’ve demonstrated continually, you’re not interested in exegesis; you prefer to do Travis-gesis (a.k.a. eisegesis).

    You keep what fits your favored and treasured interpretations and discard anything and everything else that doesn’t fit your favored and treasured interpretations despite any evidence or exegesis to the contrary.

    You’re not interested in testing to see if your favored and treasured interpretations (e.g., the stuff you pull from the internet) lines up with what the text meant to the author and original intended audience — you’re interesting in clinging to your favored and treasured interpretations at any and all costs.

    Exegesis is the careful historical, literary and theological analysis of a text. Exegesis therefore is an investigation. As one of my seminary professors put it, the question we always have to be asking is: What’s going on here? Exegesis is grounded in the conviction that we can read a text responsibly only if we attempt to understand the unique context (historical and social) in which it was produced and in which it is situated. You have offered none of that! We can’t know what a text says to us today unless and until we have some sense of what it said then. You read and interpret the Bible “on the flat” without taking the time and effort to understand the historical, cultural and social situations out of which a text was written. Then you look for stuff that supports your irresponsible eisegesis or favored and treasured interpretations. You don’t say, “Okay, let’s see what this passage says apart from my presuppositions and what I’ve been told about it.” You say, “I already know what this passage says” and then look for stuff that supports your presuppositions! That’s frontloading, my brother! Once again, precisely what we’re to avoid.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Here is a discussion of the origin of “arsenokoitai”. This should shed some light on this discussion.

      “It is a reasonable position that Paul coined the term based on the juxtaposition of the two words arsenos and koitn in the LXX of Lev 20:13 (cf. 18:22), though absolute proof of this is impossible. It may be suggested that the criteria of style, practice, familiarity with the LXX, and context make this a highly plausible conclusion, however.

      Paul has the practice of coining terms, it appears. For example, in 1 Tim 1:3 and 6:3, Paul used a term he had probably originated. The word terodidaskalv (heterodidaskale, “to teach a different doctrine”) does not occur before Paul and only afterward in Ignatius to Polycarp 3:1.38 Hence in the scope of eight verses Paul has possibly coined two terms, though one of them he had used earlier in 1 Cor 6:9.

      In general, statistics show that Paul probably coined many terms. There are 179 words found in Paul and nowhere else in preChristian Greek literature. Of these, 89 occur only one time. Other statistics support the theory that Paul had a creativity in choosing
      vocabulary. 39

      In addition, Paul displayed considerable dependence upon the LXX. He usually quoted from the LXX rather than the Hebrew of the OT when he quoted the OT. Out of 93 quotations of the OT classified by Ellis, Paul used the LXX 14 times, but only 4 times did he quote the Hebrew. 40 Obviously Paul was familiar with and used the LXX

      More particularly, the NT frequently uses the portion of Leviticus 18`20. The structure and content of these chapters mark them as special. Often identified as the “code of holiness,” these chapters (unlike the remainder of Leviticus) are universal in their scope, much the same as the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. The Jews held Leviticus 19 to be a kind of summary of the Torah, a central chapter in the Pentateuch. This respect carried over to the writers of the NT where chapters 18`20 are widely used. They are cited by Christ, Paul, Peter, and James. 41 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is from Lev 19:18. When Paul alludes to 19:19 in 2 Cor 6:14 to illustrate the ban on unequal yoking, he coins a word terozygontew (heterozygountes, “being unequally yoked”) that is found nowhere before him. Yet the adjective form terozg (heterozyg, “unequally yoked”) occurs in 19:19. The LXX probably suggested the coinage to Paul.

      Most importantly, both of the contexts where arsenokoitai appears suggest that Paul was thinking of the Levitical “code of holiness.” 42 First Corinthians 5 has many allusions to Leviticus 18`20. The theme is moral separation, as it is in Leviticus. Topics include distinction from the Gentiles (5:1; cf. 6:1-6; Lev 18:3, 24-30; 20:23) and future inheritance (klhronomv [klronome, “I inherit”], 6:9, 10; Lev 20:23-24). The law of loving your neighbor (Lev 19:18) is reflected in 6:8. Of the ten vices in 1 Cor 6:9-10, only one (drunkards) is not found in Leviticus 18`20. It is feasible, then, that both malakoi and arsenokoitai come from Lev 20:13 and point to the passive and the active same-sex roles. Leviticus 20:13 said that both persons were to be put to death (the penalty is not found in 18:22). The Corinthian list of vices may be a summation of Lev 20:23-24 (cf. 18:29-30).” – James B. De Young, The Source and NT Meaning of Arsenokoitai, with Implications for Christian Ethics and Ministry, pp. 214-216

      Travis

      • Re: Your post concerning the BDAG (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature).

        OK, you’re FINALLY beginning to apply some exegesis here. Excellent work, Travis! See that, you’re starting to do well under my tutelage (smile)!

        I do not discount the possibility that Paul may have coined the word with the Leviticus 18 passage in mind — again the operative words here being “possibility” and “may have.” But note that even the source YOU quote from does not use your Travis-like superlative terms for these words such as “this is not in dispute”. They are seeking to “draw out” as exegesis requires.

        But you can’t stop here. If you’re going to suggest that Paul coined the word with the Leviticus 18 passage in mind — which is certainly a distinct possibility — then you have to apply some responsible exegesis to the Lev 18 passage. You can’t read and interpret Lev 18 “on the flat” without taking the time and effort to understand the historical, cultural and social situations out of which THAT text was written.

        What was Lev 18 addressing? The chapter opens up with a strict caution to avoid retaining the idolatrous practices of Egypt (from where the Israelites had come), and of receiving the idolatrous practices of Canaan (to where they were now going). This statement, according to the Matthew Henry Commentary, sums up the whole chapter of Leviticus 18.

        Hmmmn, “the idolatrous practices,” huh? Does that provide us with a hint as to context? It looks like God is talking about some stuff related to idolatry. What can that be? What do we already know about the Canaanites who occupied the land God that God was giving them? Dis they partake in idolatrous practices? Are they cited in the Bible? Yes, yes and yes!

        What does the text address in the passage immediately before and after? Look closer and deeper and you’ll discover, as did the theologians before you, it’s addressing the bizarre things they did to entice the Canaanite Gods to grant them FERTILITY! Why was that important? Fertility was highly prized in Ancient times in ways that are completely foreign to our modern thinking. Fact is in many ways their lives literally depended on it. As a result of the great value placed on fertility, Canaanite religion was replete with practices believed to appease the fertility gods of the day and thereby win them the blessing of fertility: fertility of the land in the form of rains to ensure and boost crop production, fertility in the way of life through pregnancy and birth, fertility for the reproduction of their livestock, and so on. Israel’s survival hinged on fertility and Baal was a god of fertility. This meant that Baal was the power behind the rain and the dew. And with rainfall levels unreliable, famine was always a real possibility.

        See what you miss when you ignore the established principles of epexegesis? You take a passage, rip it from its context, replace it in another age for the sake of convenience and then read your own contemporary concerns back into it. Then say “this is not in dispute!” Well, guess what? We don’t get to do that. An exegetical exploration reveals that the Holiness Code of Leviticus prohibits these acts for RELIGIOUS reasons, not for MORAL ones.

        We can’t ignore exegesis if we want to interpret the Bible responsibly and as always, we are stuck with the internal interpretation of the text as the primary meaning. For much more background on the Leviticus passage, see my post on “Leviticus 18: What Was the Abomination?” A link may be found on my “Archives” page.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        I am currently at work but I do not appreciate the remarks you have been making throughout our conversion talking down to me. Please keep it cordial because I am not interested in throwing mud.

        Travis

      • You said: “I am currently at work but I do not appreciate the remarks you have been making throughout our conversion talking down to me. Please keep it cordial because I am not interested in throwing mud.”

        Me: Please explain. I know you don’t like to be accused of doing EISEGESIS instead on EXEGESIS. But if you’re going to make claims and then on top of making them, insist they’re “not in dispute” (when they ARE in dispute), you must be ready, willing and able to back them up.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        I will give you a couple of things you said. You accused me of “Travis-gesis”. And you said “See that, you are starting to do well under my tutelage (smile)”.

        Both of those are not appropriate. There are more I could cite but I just want this to be a healthy conversation and those words aren’t healthy. I dont care about saying what you believe. But I think what you said went beyond that.

        Travis

      • Travis-geis is not “slinging mud.” Fact is you have a tendency to state your position and then follow it up with “And this is not in dispute!” As if to imply that your position is the final word on the subject and there is no room for any other viewpoint. While I grant you there are many things in the Scripture that are not in dispute. However, the meanings of the Greek words “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” as used in the vice list in 1 Cor 6 are definitely not one of them. And for you to keep inferring so is Travis-gesis.

        The tutelage comment I followed with a “smile”.

        Neither of which is “slinging mud,”as you call it.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  25. Travis,
    This article of yours was very well written and explained. I have heard testimonies of homosexuals changing. They have accepted Jesus into their heart and now they are completely new. It is truly amazing! Sometimes we underestimate God’s power and what His power and love can do in our lives. So I say that homosexuals CAN change. Thank you Travis again. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this post with others because it is truly a blessing. Maybe evening translating it into Spanish?

    God bless you always,

    Matilde5

    • Matilde5,

      Thank you for the kind words! Yes, homosexuals can change. Often it is not a quick or easy transition because we know that we will always be battling our flesh as we walk through this life but they can change. God can change anyone and does it a lot! You are free to share this with anyone you like and if you want to translate it to Spanish go for it.

      Thanks for reading,

      Travis

      • Can homosexuals really change? Fewer and fewer believe the mantra from Exodus on that.

        Exodus Cancels Next ‘Love Won Out’ Conference Due to Lack of Interest

        In conjunction with the growing awareness that ex-gay therapy does not work and that the traditional interpretation of the few passages of Scripture that generally get appealed to in the debate over homosexuality do not hold up to scrutiny when examined more closely and in context, Exodus International has canceled their ex-gay Love Won Out conference scheduled for later this month “due to the low number of registrations.” Though attendance has been steadily declining at these events over the past couple of years, this is the first time Exodus has canceled one of its Love Won Out conferences. This represents only the latest blow in what seems to be the unraveling of the oldest and largest umbrella organization for ex-gay ministries.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        Luckily, I have never used Exodus International as my defense. The Bible says that homosexuals can change and it is attested to by those who have said they have changed. The first is all I need. The second is only icing on the cake.

        Travis.

      • You said: “Luckily, I have never used Exodus International as my defense. The Bible says that homosexuals can change and it is attested to by those who have said they have changed. The first is all I need. The second is only icing on the cake.”

        Me: Suppose the scholars are correct in that the one passage in the entire Bible that you “think” is referring to homosexuals “changing” (1 Cor 6:9-11) is actually addressing something altogether different.

        Even the president of the largest and oldest conglomeration of ex-gay ministries throughout the globe (Exodus International) corroborates this by recently admitting that that “99.9 percent” of all the gay people he has ever met — and we’re talking 1,000’s of people — “have not experienced a change in their orientation.”

        John Smid, who for 22 years was Director of Love In Action, the second largest ex-gay Christian ministry recently acknowledged that all those years he has seen one single person change his or her orientation.

        Moreover, if Exodus and their associates were successful and God was indeed in the business of making gay people straight, after all of these years you would think there would be 1000’s of stories, a huge wave of success and victory! But, the opposite is actually occurring. It is going the opposite direction of success. We have 1000’s of stories of people saying it is snake oil. How interesting?

        So what if the scholars are correct that you are taking this one single passage out of context? At what point, or what would it take for you to say, “Oops, I guess I was wrong!” Or would you just insist on a attitude that in essence says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        Your argument is not with me. Your argument is with the Bible.

        Travis

    • Travis, you didn’t answer the question!

      I “get” that you, like me, have a high view of Scripture, and prayerfully order your life in accordance with it. If you did not I would even bother dialoging you. It’s also precisely why I spent almost 4 years getting an advanced degree at a solid evangelical seminary.

      However, that being a given, it’s also true that throughout history, Christians of all traditions have repeatedly used the Bible to support doctrinal positions they believed to be as clear as mineral water but that they later had to confess to be mistaken. The doctrine of those who read their antigay presuppositions into the biblical texts is believed to be only the most recent doctrinal position well on the way to being generally acknowledged as a mistake of this kind.

      The question was: Suppose the scholars are correct and that you are taking this one single passage (1 Cor 6:9-11) out of context? At what point, or what would it take for you to say, “Oops, I guess I was wrong!” Or would you just insist on an attitude that in essence says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”

      -Alex Haiken
      http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • I would like to go to the very beginning.

        One thing no one can argue against, and maybe you have heard this many times, is that in the beginning God created everything. Everything He made was perfect. Gen. 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

        I know we all know the story. God made man in his image, but saw that man needed a companion, so woman was made from man. Knowing that God created woman for man, makes me question why some Christians believe that God does not condemn homosexuality in the Bible. A man with a man was never intended by God nor a woman with a woman. Or was it? Does the Bible say it okay or it is accepted?

        Obviously when Adam and Eve were taken out of the Garden of Eden they left with the knowledge of right and wrong. This means that before their minds were innocent and pure (ex. they were naked and not ashamed Gen. 2:25) That’s why the prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD”. Our thoughts and God’s thoughts are not the same because since the fall of man we no longer see with our spiritual eyes or with a pure heart.

        1 Corinthians 2:11 says: For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. BUT glory be to God! He came in human form and died for our sins so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). He has made his name known, that through Jesus we are saved. When we accept Jesus into our heart and receive His Holy Spirit we no longer see with carnal eyes, but with spiritual eyes. (1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body”)

        May the Glory be to Jesus!

        -Matilde5

      • Matilde,

        Thanks for your comment. Interestingly, I recently published a post on this exact topic, i.e., going back to the beginning. Please feel free to read it. It’s titled: “GENESIS 1: TURNING THE CREATION STORY INTO A ANTI-GAY TREATISE.” You can find the post by simply clicking the link below and then selecting the “Archive” page.

        Let’s bear in mind in mind as we seek to responsibly interpret the word of God that the primary rule is to do responsible biblical exegesis. As you probably know, the word exegesis comes from the Greek verb which means to “draw out”. Simply put, exegesis is about drawing out from the text the true meaning of a Bible passage. Or phrased a bit differently it means getting out of the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it.

        In connecting with this, we must also try to avoid at all costs what some theologians refer to as “frontloading”, that is to say, reading our own personal, political and/or prejudicial beliefs back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. This process of reading one’s own ideas into interpretation of the Bible is called “eisegesis”. Exegesis and eisegesis are conflicting approaches to interpreting the Bible. Why?

        – Exegesis is reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying.
        – Eisegesis is reading one’s own ideas or prejudices back into the Bible.

        – Exegesis is about getting out of the text what is truly there in the first place.
        – Eisegesis is about putting into the text something never intended by the author.

        – Exegesis is drawing out the true meaning of a Bible passage.
        – Eisegesis is at best unwise, and at worst extremely dangerous.

        Enjoy the post I referenced above, and I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        Here is my answer. Most Biblical scholars agree with my view of homosexuality but even if they didn’t a majority does not mean it is true. Truth isn’t decided by a majority vote.

        Travis

      • Travis, nobody here said truth is ever determined by a majority vote. What I did say, however, is that it is inescapable and undeniable historical fact that throughout history, Christians of all traditions have repeatedly used the Bible to support doctrinal positions they believed to be as clear as mineral water but that they later had to confess to be mistaken.

        For all of the doctrinal positions Christians believed to be as clear as mineral water but that they later had to confess to be mistaken, the realization that they were wrong was a slow one. Hearts and minds are slow organs to change and not everyone “got” it all at the same time. Some dragged their feet and went to the their graves believing the Bible was clear on things that we all know today they were completely wrong about. This is fact and Christian history speaks for itself on scores of these issues.

        The doctrine of those who read their antigay presuppositions into the biblical texts
        is believed to be only the most recent doctrinal position well on the way to being generally acknowledged as a mistake of this kind.

        Now I’m not asking you to change your mind on this as I can clearly see that you are completely unable to do so at this time — and that is perfectly okay. But the question I keep asking, and that you keep avoiding, is suppose the scholars are correct (and there are more and more of them every day) that you are taking this one single passage (1 Cor 6:9-11) out of context? Suppose what has been predicted is true in that in our own lifetime, if not certainly within the next generation that those, like you, who thought their hermeneutical skills were so infallible on this issue, will look as will look as foolish and as outdated as George Wallace does today in videos of him standing n the school steps of the University of Alabama, keeping James Hood from entering because he was black.

        At what point, or what would it take for you to say, “Oops, I guess I was wrong!” Or would you just insist on an attitude that in essence says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        You: “But the question I keep asking, and that you keep avoiding, is suppose the scholars are correct (and there are more and more of them every day) that you are taking this one single passage (1 Cor 6:9-11) out of context?”

        Me: Give me “scholars” that say I am taking this passage out of context.

        You: “look as foolish and as outdated as George Wallace does today in videos of him standing n the school steps of the University of Alabama, keeping James Hood from entering because he was black.”

        Me: This is not a race issue. This is a sin issue. Just because other people abuse Scripture it does not give you the right to use that as an argument.

        Alex we have had a long conversation before and frankly I am not interested in engaging in the same conversation.

        Travis

      • You said: Give me “scholars” that say I am taking this passage out of context.

        Me: You can start with Lewis Smedes. For 25 years, Smedes was on staff at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he served as chairman of the Department of Theology and Ethics. In 2001, he was honored with the creation of the Lewis B. Smedes Chair of Christian Ethics at Fuller. The Theological Seminary professor emeritus is also the author of over a dozen best-selling Christian books and continued to write and speak on what he considered the Church’s misled stance on homosexuality until his death in 2002.

        He said the following on the Church’s traditional stance on homosexuality: “The Church’s treatment of homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the church.” He went on to say, “It’s a living heresy, because it’s treating God’s children as if they’re not God’s children. The church isn’t just making a mistake. It’s doing a great wrong. The church’s whole biblical reason for excluding gays and lesbians from its fellowship is all wrong. And not only wrong, it is cruel, mean and devastating.”

        When you’re done with some of Smedes’ stuff, we can move on to many more.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        Smedes quote says nothing about the passage I wrote about. For the scholars that you quote I could quote more. Not only that, many people that accept homosexual practice as a legitimate Christian action do not believe that Scripture is inerrant. Smedes may have claimed to hold this position but apparently he didn’t follow it.

        Travis

      • The quote I gave you was just a taste of Smedes’ position. Smedes not only addressed the church’s poor exegesis on these passages you seem to be so certian about, he said: “The Church’s treatment of homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the church.”

        You said: “Give me scholars that say I am taking this passage out of context.” I started with Lewis B. Smedes who spoke and wrote about why and where the Church got it wrong on this matter for years. Now, you don’t expect me to do your research and homework for you also, do you?

        You’re left with the same unanswred question: At what point, or what would it take for you to say, “Oops, I guess I was wrong!” Or would you just insist on an attitude that in essence says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        Thanks for the comments but you keep going in circles. Asking questions like, “you don’t expect me to do your research and homework for you also, do you?” only makes you look like you are begging to debate but we have already done that. Also, simply making the same statements like, “Oops, I guess I was wrong!” over and over doesn’t prove your point because the same question could be posed to you. That doesn’t answer anything. Could I be wrong? Yes, I am sure that I am wrong on plenty of things but the Bible is clear on homosexuality and I pray that you realize the truth of Scripture instead of suppressing the truth.

        Thanks,

        Travis

      • Travis, what I’m asking you to open your eyes to is the fact that as we look back over our 2,000 years of history, we find that oppression of one sort or another against people who are “different” — whether by means of race, color, gender, class or sexual orientation — has always been endemic. And to our great shame, the oppression and injustices are always carried out in the name of someone’s Christianity. One of the lessons we should learn from these experiences is that reading and interpreting Scripture is not quite as simple as some would like to believe. A text does not simply “say what it says” despite the rational good intentions of some readers. For reading Scripture is not only a matter of what is written there, but also what we expect to find there, what we bring to the text, and what we take away from it. Reading Scripture then is by no means a clinical or a neutral affair. And we must not forget that while it may seem evident to us that others did terrible things in the past, it isn’t always so easy to see that we ourselves may be doing terrible things today.

        The tide is turning on this issue as it has with scores of other issues the Church had been doggedly sure of in the past. Evidence, biblical scholars and archeology are all increasing showing you to be wrong. But like a drowning person clinging with your fingers to the last remnants of a sinking boat, you feel the need to dig your heels into the sand and desperately try to cling to what is inescapably and assuredly passing away.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Alex,

        You are fighting for a cause not worthy of Christ. Jesus is clear when he describes marriage. Paul is clear when he describes homosexuality. You try to fit your presumptions into the text so you can explain away your sinful behavior. Alex it is sad to see a person who calls himself “jewish” and “christian”, yet be so blind. You say that there is “evidence” yet there is none. You say there are “biblical scholars” yet the vast majority are outrageously liberal. You talk about “archeology” but I am not sure what that has to do with this topic.

        At the end of the day you are trying to explain away sin. You are trying to bolster support for behavior that God hates. You are going against the teachings of the Bible. And like a person clinging to a sinking ship, it looks like, you will surely drown.

        Travis

      • We’ll let the readers make that determination for themselves.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • They have plenty to read.

        Travis

  26. Great! Thanks!

    Matilde5

  27. When God sent the Son the Son came with the Word and was the Word but he also came with the Spirit. There were times when Jesus said “so that you know i speak from the father” and went and performed miricles to show that what he said was truth. When a man has been transformed by the spirit of god then sometimes people just need to see that transformation to believe. Paul was was one of the best arguers in town but was no match for what happened to him on the road when he met Jesus Christ. There are many who may appear to be great arguers but this doesnt mean they know Christ. For what has been guarded well by the Holy Spirit over the centuries cannot not be changed or miss read. The holy spirit has preserved the bible well and christians have guarded it well. If new revelations have never been supported then then they never will be regradless of Satans trickey. From the begiining satan has come and tried to deceive men and lead them away from Gods Word. Allways challenging its authority or translation. From the garden this has been and will be till the end. But those who stand up for the truth are not alone and those who are faithful to it will be rewarded. But those who try to make gods little ones stumble watch out. It is better that they have a millstone and tie it around their neck and throw themselves into the sea then make god children try to stumble in the faith. This is from the lord himself. This is Jesus showing love to those who refuse his word and the authority of his apostles. Warning them becuase of his mercy to the blind. For we were all once blind those who believe the truth. The bible also saids that if people do not repent and change their ways and cuase division in the church then they must be brought fort and desiplned, once twice and then evicted if they refuse the truth…the internet allows many times for preditors to attack gods children….do not continue in diologue with people that will not listen but give them time to repent and turn…..i hope this is helpful travis

  28. excuse me but there is actually 1 and 2 century wording of this word and it meant homosexual slave trader. If homosexuals can change why do many animals have there? Also toevah is used as a idolatry since. Jesus said nothing on homosexuality.

    http://www.jeramyt.org/gay/arsenok.htm

  29. It appears that this topic, “Can Homosexuals Change?” has once again come to the fore. This week Exodus International, the largest umbrella of ex-gay ministries apologized to gay community and closed its doors. The decision was a unanimous one by the entire Exodus International board.

    Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International said, “Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism.” Chambers continues, “For quite some time, we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

    In addition to the increasing numbers of Bible scholars and theologians who now maintain that antigay theology and the “Homosexuals Can Change” mantra are not only not biblically exegetically supportable, they maintain they are not scientifically supportable either.

    The move for Exodus to close down is certainly significant. But the announcement is only the capstone of the rapid disappearance of the “ex-gay movement,” a constellation of evangelical ministries (and a few Jewish and Mormon offshoots) that embraced the “Homosexuals Can Change” mantra.

    Fact is Chambers had for several years been distancing Exodus from the discredited ideas behind reparative therapy and “Homosexuals Can Change,” as well as the organizations’ previous claims to have helped “thousands” of people overcome their homosexuality. During his 11 years at Exodus, Chambers gradually moderated his claims about the possibility of changing sexual orientation, questioning the organization’s talk of “change” and rejecting the term “ex-gay.”

    The pillars of the ex-gay movement’s pretensions to scientific credibility were also being demolished. Warren Throckmorton, an evangelical psychologist who studies sexual identity and who formerly supported the “Homosexuals Can Change” mantra, eventually concluded that there was no evidence for this and became a strong critic of the ex-gay movement’s claims. The well-known psychiatrist Robert Spitzer publicly renounced and apologized for his controversial 2001 study that had been greeted as a holy grail for those looking for evidence therapy could change sexual orientation.

    And then there were the “ex-ex-gays.” Both former ex-gay leaders and participants were a constant PR nightmare for the ex-gay movement as they came out, in some cases for the second time, and announced what Chambers would eventually acknowledge: that no one they knew of had ever really become straight.

    We know that while scripture does not change, how we interpret scripture changes all the time. We know the interpretation of scripture has been drastically revised time again by the best and most reputable of scholars for 2,000 years and often for sound exegetical reason. Is the doctrine of those who read their antigay presuppositions into the biblical texts and thee “Homosexual can Change Mantra” only the most recent doctrinal position well on the way to being generally acknowledged as a mistake of this kind?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  30. Also it was used before Paul used it and it was a person abusing other people . Also it only talks of males.

  31. All homosexuality relationship were even cult practice or sometime of rape because it’s roman culture.

  32. One method of interpreting the word is to try to discern some meaning from the use of arsenokoites in the lists. Martin notes that “sin lists” tend to congregate words of similar type together. For example, “first are listed, say, vices of sex, then those of violence, then others related to economics, or injustice” (pg. 120). In most of the TLG listings, the order is fairly standard (but not universal): , pornoi, moixoi, malakoi, arsenokoitai, kleptai, pleonektai, methusoi, loidoroi, with some substitution of andrapodistais kai epiorkrois following arsenokoites. Translated, the pattern is as follows: temple prostitution, adultery, moral weakness (malakos), arsenokoites, thief, greedy, drunks, foul-mouthed; or arsenokoites, slave-trader, perjurer. In the TLG lists, the division is not very clear, other than the first half of the list seems to be sexual, then arsenokoites is listed, then economic/injustice sins, sometimes followed by moral sins. If this were all we had, then we would not know on which side to classify arsenokoites–whether purely sexual, purely economic, or some mixture of the two. However, there are two non-TLG texts, both of which are early usages of arsenokoites, the first of which is from the Sibylline Oracle 2
    “Do not steal seeds. Whoever takes for himself is accursed (to generations of generations, to the scattering of life. Do not arsenokoites, do not betray information, do not murder.) Give one who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man.” (Martin, pg. 120)

    Similarly, the second text, from the Acts of John 36:

    “And let the murderer know that the punishment he has earned awaits him in double measure after he leaves this (world). So also the poisoner, sorcerer, robber, swindler, and arsenokoites, the thief, and all of this band…” (Martin, pg. 121)

    In neither of these texts do we find them in the context of purely sexual sins. In fact, we see no hint of sexuality at all in these lists. We do know, however, that arsenokoites is some type of sexual sin. However, if we put in the English translation “homosexual” in place of arsenokoites in these lists, it makes no sense. It doesn’t fit with the categories. What makes much more sense, is if the placing of arsenokoites in the TLG texts in between the sexual sins and economic/injustice sins is not an accident. What makes sense is that arsenokoites is a term referring somehow to sexual injustice. For example, when arsenokoites is placed just before slave-trader, this seems particularly appropriate, since homosexual slaves were normative in both Greek and Roman societies. The interpretation of arsenokoitai therefore, as one of homosexual subjugation and/or exploitation, rather than referring to all homosexual behavior, seems most appropriate as we see from these contexts.

    This is one of the earliest asernokoties and it doesn’t have homosexual in it’s context but economic abuse

  33. There talking of economic abuse

    Greek Culture and Homosexuality: There are several important issues that must be addressed when trying to understand Greek/Roman homosexuality, and how it influenced the New Testament writers. First, until recently, many people believed that the only type of homosexuality Paul would have known about as he wrote his letters, is pederasty. Pederasty is a custom that is practiced in many cultures, but is very much absent, and even offensive to most Western cultures. In the Greek world, an older man, an erastes would take an eromenos, a boy between 12-18 (after onset of puberty), as a student. The relationship that was expected to occur by the parents, and both erastes and eromenos, involved the man teaching hunting, warfare, adult male customs, etc., to the boy. An integral part of this relationship was anal or intercrural intercourse, with the teacher being the active partner and the student playing the passive role. The rationale of this is two-fold. First, in Greek culture, semen contained important spiritual, masculine qualities, such as arete (virtue), power, etc., that would be passed on to the student during the sex act. Second, social roles were demonstrated. Females had no rights in Greek culture, and were considered property. In the Greek mindset, men’s dominance of women was a part of nature, and must be expressed in every aspect of the male-female relationship. In the erastes/eromenos relationship, the teacher is the dominant player, and must subjugate his student. In this way, the student is inculcated with skills in domination. Regardless of our cultural judgment on this form of ritual propagation of ideology, this was an integral part of Greek culture in certain geographical locations and periods.

    It has been thought that this was the only type of homosexuality that Paul knew when he wrote his letters. This, however, has been shown to be incorrect. Several authors, such as Dover (2nd edition), Boswell (1994), and Smith clearly show that pederasty was not the only form of homosexuality known in Greek and Roman culture in the first century CE. Smith and Boswell especially give numerous examples of homosexual relationships that are not age-structured, and that are based on mutual consent. Moreover, we find that both Roman and Greek cultures accepted homosexuality, and at times instituted it in non-pederastic forms. For example, Polybius (2nd century BCE, Rome) reports that “most young men had male lovers” (Greenberg, p. 154). Further, “many of the Roman emperors had homosexual tastes,” and “in Greece, sexual preferences were frequently not exclusive,” to the inclusion of Julius Caesar (Cato: who states that he was “every woman’s husband, and every man’s wife”; pg. 155-56). At any rate, it has been argued by some that Paul’s use of arsenokoites and malakos is for lack of a better expression for homosexuality in general. The argument is that Paul wanted to condemn not only pederasty, but all forms of homosexuality, so he could not have used erastes/eromenos because that would have apparently limited his condemnation to pederasty. However, current scholarship indicates that the terms erastes and eromenos were not used exclusively for the boy-man, subordinate-dominant relationship. On the contrary, these terms can refer to a relationship of long-lasting duration and equality between partners (Dover, 84-7).

    This brings us to our second point, which is that Paul’s intentional meaning for the word arsenokoites is far from clear. Paul had many different words at his disposal that referred to homosexuality in general, not just pederastic relationships, as was once thought. In this line of reasoning, Paul coined the term from the Septuagint, as discussed above, because there was no word that expressed all homosexual acts, regardless of the type of relationship. This is now known to not be the case, so we must search further for the meaning of this word. The best way to learn the meaning of this word is to look at its usage in other contexts. The problem is that we primarily find arsenokoites in lists, which give us little information as to the meaning of the word. A search of the Thesaurus Lingua Graecae database as of 1997 shows 73 usages. Most of these are in lists that are of the same basic pattern as that found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:10, using mostly the same words. The few contexts in which we find these words do not necessitate that we interpret the word to mean generalized homosexual behavior.

    One method of interpreting the word is to try to discern some meaning from the use of arsenokoites in the lists. Martin notes that “sin lists” tend to congregate words of similar type together. For example, “first are listed, say, vices of sex, then those of violence, then others related to economics, or injustice” (pg. 120). In most of the TLG listings, the order is fairly standard (but not universal): , pornoi, moixoi, malakoi, arsenokoitai, kleptai, pleonektai, methusoi, loidoroi, with some substitution of andrapodistais kai epiorkrois following arsenokoites. Translated, the pattern is as follows: temple prostitution, adultery, moral weakness (malakos), arsenokoites, thief, greedy, drunks, foul-mouthed; or arsenokoites, slave-trader, perjurer. In the TLG lists, the division is not very clear, other than the first half of the list seems to be sexual, then arsenokoites is listed, then economic/injustice sins, sometimes followed by moral sins. If this were all we had, then we would not know on which side to classify arsenokoites–whether purely sexual, purely economic, or some mixture of the two. However, there are two non-TLG texts, both of which are early usages of arsenokoites, the first of which is from the Sibylline Oracle 2
    “Do not steal seeds. Whoever takes for himself is accursed (to generations of generations, to the scattering of life. Do not arsenokoites, do not betray information, do not murder.) Give one who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man.” (Martin, pg. 120)

    Similarly, the second text, from the Acts of John 36:

    “And let the murderer know that the punishment he has earned awaits him in double measure after he leaves this (world). So also the poisoner, sorcerer, robber, swindler, and arsenokoites, the thief, and all of this band…” (Martin, pg. 121)

    In neither of these texts do we find them in the context of purely sexual sins. In fact, we see no hint of sexuality at all in these lists. We do know, however, that arsenokoites is some type of sexual sin. However, if we put in the English translation “homosexual” in place of arsenokoites in these lists, it makes no sense. It doesn’t fit with the categories. What makes much more sense, is if the placing of arsenokoites in the TLG texts in between the sexual sins and economic/injustice sins is not an accident. What makes sense is that arsenokoites is a term referring somehow to sexual injustice. For example, when arsenokoites is placed just before slave-trader, this seems particularly appropriate, since homosexual slaves were normative in both Greek and Roman societies. The interpretation of arsenokoitai therefore, as one of homosexual subjugation and/or exploitation, rather than referring to all homosexual behavior, seems most appropriate as we see from these contexts.

    This type of connotation to arsenokoites fits well within two other TLG texts, both of which are early uses of the word. The first is out of the Apology of Aristides, chapters 9 and 13. It is relays the myth of Zeus, and his relationship with the mortal Ganymede. In the story, we are told that the myth is evidence that Greek gods act with moixeia (adultery) and arsenokoites. Similarly, in Hippolytus’ Refutatio chapter 5, we are told the story of the evil angel Naas, and how he committed adultery with Adam in the Garden, which is how arsenokoites came into the world. Hippolytus relates Naas and Adam back to Zeus and Ganymede (Petersen, pg. 284). In neither of these instances do we find a mutually consenting, equal relationship–we find an aggressor forcibly taking advantage of a weaker individual. In fact, Dover, when describing Greek art depicting Zeus and Ganymede, says that

    Zeus in B186 and R348* commands Ganymede in a manner that will not accept refusal . . ., and in R405, R829*, R833* he simply grasps Ganymede, who struggles violently. (p. 93)

    Dover later mentions two texts, one by Ibykos fr. 289, and the other, The Hymn of Aphrodite 202-206, which puts the Zeus and Ganymede story in the specific context of rape by drawing the parallel between it and the story of Dawn and Tithonos (p. 197). The human rights violations that are clear in the above uses of arsenokoites gives us a fairly clear indication of the meaning of the word, a meaning which matches the attributed meaning we surmised about arsenokoites as it was found in the few contexts/lists that we have. It seems clear that arsenokoites does not refer to mutually respecting gay relationships, but to a powerful aggressor subjugating/exploiting the weak, whether in the context of rape, or slave trading.

  34. *Great discussion in your blog*

    Take NOTICE: 1 Timothy 6:3-5. Here Paul returns one final time to the issue of the false instructors, taking note of particularly their divisiveness and their covetousness.

    Cheers!

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