Is Being Gay A Sin?
We are still in Part Two of my blog series, "Is Being Gay A Sin?" Along with many misinterpretations of the Old Testament, we have to review and consider what the Apostle Paul had to say on the matter. Besides only Romans, we have to consider his letters to the Corinthians and Timothy. There are so many controversies surrounding his writings that we do have to consider the pseudo-epigriphal issues and the fact that many of his writings are attributed to a "ghost writer". As a Christian, it is our duty to prayerfully study and understand what God was trying to communicate to His people, not only in ancient Hebrew times, the more recent Greek and Roman times, but througout ALL time.
They will help you in reading this work in context and in the flow it was intended.
Part Two - Oh, Paul…Nobody likes Prison Rape…
The first passage says, and this is an exact translation into modern colloquial English, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit God's Perfect World? Do not be deceived! Fornicaters, idolaters, adulterers, softies, manf—kers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers — none of these will inherit God's Perfect World.” The second passage says, in modern English, "The law is not for the innocent, but rather for the lawless, the ungodly, and unholy, for “those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicaters, manf—kers, slave traders, liars, perjurers,” etc.
Paul probably coined the word “manf—kers.” The fact that these people are lumped in with serious criminals — murderers, slave traders, perjurers, etc. — shows that Paul did NOT mean to include all heterosexual women among the "manf—kers." Nor did Paul include as serious criminals people who ingest a little marijuana (a common weed in his part of the world and era), sass their parents, or read other people's mail. “Softies” was probably meant to refer to the “bottom” or the receiving partner in anal sex, but once again, no one brings up fellatio, cunnilingus, or other ways to exchange pleasure. I believe that with the word “manf—kers,” Paul was once again invoking rape — the first-century equivalent of the abuses that go on in men's prisons, NOT the first-century equivalent of mutual love and commitment.
I Corinthians 6:9: "The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God." NOTE: The Greek words translated "effeminate" and "homosexual" do not mean effeminate or homosexual! There was no word, the translators bastardized a combination of two other words to mean homosexual. "Male" and "bed".
I Timothy 1:9-10: "Law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) teaching." NOTE: The Greek word translated "homosexual" does not mean homosexual! There was no such word in existence in which to translate. The closest was “male” and “bed”.
These two verses contain completely wrong translations to create "homosexual ghosts" that do not really exist! Ghosts may not hurt you, but they can make you hurt yourself! The homosexual ghosts in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 were created by the inaccurate and hopefully, not intentionally, misleading translation of two Greek words.
1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 sound very convincing in including lesbians and gay men in the most dreadful lists of depraved human behavior imaginable. The fact is that the word translated "homosexual" does not mean "homosexual" and the word translated "effeminate" does not mean "effeminate"!
The English word "homosexual" is a composite word made from a Greek term (homo, "the same") and a Latin term (sexualis , "sex"). The term "homosexual" is of modern origin and was not used until about 100 years ago. There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is parallel to the word "homosexual." No Bible before the Revised Standard Version in 1946 used "homosexual" in any Bible translation.
The word translated as "homosexual" or "sexual pervert" or some other similar term is Greek arsenokoites, which was formed from two words meaning "male" and "bed". This word is not found anywhere else in the Bible and has not been found anywhere in the contemporary Greek of Paul's time. We do not know what it means. The word is obscure and uncertain. It probably refers to male prostitutes with female customers, which was a common practice in the Roman world, as revealed in the excavations at Pompeii and other sites.
When early Greek speaking Christian preachers condemned homosexuality, they did not use this word. John Chrysostom (A.D. 345-407) preached in Greek against homosexuality, but he never used this word for homosexuals, and when he preached on 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, he did not mention homosexuals. See the full discussion of this in John Boswell's book: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality - Appendix 1, "Lexicography and Saint Paul," pages 335-353.
"Soft" does not mean "effeminate." The word translated "effeminate" in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is Greek malakoi and means "soft" or "vulnerable." The word is translated as "soft" in reference to clothing in Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25 and as "illness" in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35. It is not used anywhere else in the New Testament and carries no hint of reference to sexual orientation. Malakoi in 1 Corinthians 6:9 probably refers those who are "soft," "pliable," "unreliable," or "without courage or stability." The translation of malakoi as "effeminate" is incorrect, ignorant, degrading to women, and impossible to justify based on ancient usage compared to the meaning of "effeminate" today.This incorrect rendering of malakoi and arsenokoites as references to gender orientation has been disastrous for millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual people. This mistaken translation has enlisted a mighty army of ignorant religious fanatics against homosexual people and has turned many Lesbians and Gays against the Bible, which holds for them as for all people the good news of God's love in Christ.
Here are additional blogs in the series:
Part One - Why and Introduction
Part Two - Sodom and Gomorrah
Part Two - Levitical Law
Part Two - Romans Road To Salvation
Part Two - Oh, Paul... Nobody Likes Prison Rape
Part Two - Wrapping Up the "Big Six" Scriptures
Part Three - WWJD, Y'all? What Would Jesus Do?
Part Three - Better Run Tell Somebody!
Part Four - Same Sex Activity In The Bible
Part Five - Common Christian Beliefs
Part Five - One Anglican View Against Being Gay
Part Six - Examples of Gay Couples in The Bible
Part Six - David and Jonathan - A Love Story
Part Seven - Conclusions, Recaps, and References