Quick Thoughts on Homosexuality and Arsenokoites

Thinking-Man

I was in a Facebook interaction today and spent a few minutes drafting a comment that I figured I’d share (just to toss something on here).  I was going back and forth with a good friend on the whole Duck Dynasty/Phil Robertson/GQ Interview/American Media melt down and tossed out a some thoughts that I’ll share, mostly because as I was looking around the internet for an article, I found out that around 98% of the articles on the internet that address the term arsenokoites show that almost all the intellectual defenders of the whole “gay and Christian” movement don’t really know how to do a serious word study (or are willful liars).  Here’s my comments on the term, preceded by comments on another issue that comes up all the time:

How about those of us who claim to be Christians derive our theology of sin from the scripture and talk about sin like Jesus did?

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20

In that one passage, Jesus affirmed the entire OT law…including Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

Then, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Jesus says (via the Spirit, whom he sent to speak through his apostles):

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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 that one passage, Jesus gives examples of unrighteousness that are specific. Not only does he give specific examples, but he has the audacity to say “and such were some of you”. There Christ, speaking through the apostle Paul, claims that some of the Corinthians were ex-idolaters, ex-immoral heterosexuals, ex-thieves, ex-greedy folks, ex-revilers, ex-drunks, ex-con men and then ex-sinners described by two other specific terms (the subtle differences of which I’ll illustrate with pictures):

Edward
a. Malakos – This was the Greek term for the submissive partner in a homosexual relationship. These were sometimes actors, boys, or generally boys/men who were “soft” (the word basically means “soft”).

????????????????

b. Arsenokoites – This word is actually a word made up from two words in Leviticus 18:22. In Leviticus 18:22, your ESV bible reads: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” but in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), the passage reads “καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν”. The two important words there are ἄρσενος (arsen = man) and κοίτην (koites = the marriage bed, or a euphemism for the things that happen therein).  Being set in contrast with Malakos, this term is likely being used by Paul to describe the dominant partner in a homosexual relationship (the one that lures the other to bed).  This term also comes up in 1 Timothy 1:10, where it’s used as a shorthand term for all men who participate in “marital relations” with other men.

In an interesting side-note, the next term in 1 Tim. 1:10 is andrapodistes, which is a term used for men who steal other men for the purpose of making them into slaves.  That one passage is reason enough for the overthrow of the entire slave trade that was abolished in 1834 in Canada (which was in full swing long before the Europeans arrived and even included European settlers from time to time when the natives caught an ill-fated European.  That’s a freebie interesting point of Canadian history nobody has the canjones to bring up…not even Don Cherry…).

Jesus didn’t beat around the bush with regards to homosexuality, and neither did his apostles who spoke his words on his behalf via his Spirit.

Anyway, something to put in the filing cabinet when the issue of Paul, Jesus and homosexuality comes up.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Merry Christmas” Unger

Disclaimer – Neither Edward nor Jake were homosexual, as far as I know…but now the the whole Twilight phenomenon is over, I should be allowed to make fun of Stephanie Meyer’s lipstick-wearing/constantly shirtless version of what passed for masculinity.  Sparkly emo vampires and nudist werewolves demand to be mocked, okay?  Speaking of which:

twilight_eclipse_blade

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35 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts on Homosexuality and Arsenokoites

  1. I just finished going over Gagnon’s treatment of this incidentally. Ya know what really REALLY gets under my skin? (I know you were jist dyin to know). When I see an article or a comment somewhere that says “scholars are are not agreed and there’s a range of Christian interpretation of the biblical texts that address homosexuality… as if it’s a now a given that the bible isn’t crystal clear in it’s united condemnation of same sex sex.

        • That is the problem: despite the fact that same-sex relationships were written about in the 1st Century, we have no surviving examples where arsenokoites is used to describe them. If your translation is correct, we have to ask ourselves why no other writer used the word that way.

          There is also insufficient context from Paul’s writing to deduce what the word means. You are depending purely on the assumed etymology of the word to determine its meaning.

        • Well isn’t that just a little semantic magic trick! So you admit the fact that arsenokoites wasn’t used in the first century outside a biblical context, but you don’t seem to connect the dots enough to see that everyone who used the term in the following century was citing the scripture or making an argument in the specific context of theological/biblical discussion.

          You wrote ” despite the fact that same-sex relationships were written about in the 1st Century, we have no surviving examples where arsenokoites is used to describe them. ”

          It sounds you assume that there were examples that did not survive…

        • None of the surviving examples of arsenokoit* give any indication of what it means, up until the use in John the Faster’s penitential, where it is used to describe a sin that (among others) a husband can commit with his wife.

          With only the etymology to guide us, we cannot translate the word.

        • Ha! Well, do you know what the words I’m using mean?

          Just do the same thing you’re doing with me (i.e. read the words and try to figure out their usage in context), but with Paul.

          You can apparently figure out a whole lot of language that Muslims claim is inscrutably unclear…why is that?

        • Beyond that, there is insufficient context to determine what Paul meant when he used “man” + “marital relations/marriage bed” (stealing the 2 main descriptive terms from Leviticus 18:22 and mashing the together) as a compound word and included it in a list of sins?

          Well, if we ignore scripture, theology, language we have insufficient context…sure.

          Give me a break. If you don’t think you can know what Paul meant, you’re simply playing games…unless you think Paul was equally unclear with terms like “anastasis”, but if you go there, say goodbye to Christianity.

        • The meaning of Leviticus isn’t as clear as you think. The Hebrew idiom used in 18:22 isn’t used to describe sex in the preceding verses.

          Even if you do have a definitive meaning of the Hebrew, you cannot assume that a word means the sum of its parts. A “boyfriend” is not a boy who is a friend. “Heartless” does not mean “lacking a literal heart”. Assuming you know what a word means from its etymology is called the etymological fallacy.

  2. “Just do the same thing you’re doing with me (i.e. read the words and try to figure out their usage in context), but with Paul.”

    This is the fundamental problem: Paul does not give enough context to determine the meaning. He uses arsenokoites in a list of loosely connected sins.

    • So how would the church have followed his instruction if Paul invented a word they had never heard before and tossed it in a list of sins describing the manifestations of their previous rebellion against God?

      “Arseno-what now? I’ve never heard of that. Anyone else? No? Paul sure is confusing, talking about men who confuse themselves with beds or something. You’d think he’d use a word we’d understand if he wanted us to do something…Well, I guess that means it doesn’t apply to me. Hooray!”

      Yup. That’s probably what happened. Paul is such a rapscallion with his “impossible to follow” prophecies in cryptic language.

      • Arsenokoites was probably a reasonably well understood word when Paul used it; it is today that we don’t have enough context to determine what it means. Assuming a meaning based on etymology is much worse than acknowledging that it cannot be translated. Imagine the spiritual damage you do if someone acts on your assumption and you are wrong.

        The key to understanding Paul’s vice list in 1 Co 6:9-10 is the phrase “will not inherit the Kingdom of God”. We can look at other passages where we are told what we must do to inherit the Kingdom (such as Matthew 25:34-45). If we look at the wider context of Christian teaching in the Bible and guide our lives according to the behaviours that Christ himself said would lead to us inheriting the kingdom of God, then we can be confident that we have not broken the prohibitions in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, whatever they may mean.

        • Why was it “probably a reasonably well understood word when Paul used it”?

          It doesn’t appear once before the Biblical writings, which would seem to suggest, rather clearly, that it was an uncommon term…or more likely that Paul actually made the term up.

          I don’t live my life imagining about what planets may fall out of alignment if I might be wrong.

          I live my life imagining that the God of the Scripture is capable of revealing himself if he chooses to. He has chose to do so in scripture.

          What IS the Spiritual damage if I’m wrong? Thousands of fellow Christians will be offended and hurt, and I will be shamed for my mishandling of scripture.

          What is the Spiritual damage if you are wrong? Thousands of processing Christians are living lives marked out by habitual and willfully embraced sin, thereby negating their professions and revealing then to be deceived and false believers.

          I don’t delight in that possibility, and I don’t hate homosexuals. I love them and want them to be rightly related to the God that they live in rebellion against. I long for them to repent of their sin and escape the unfathomable judgment that awaits them.

          If I’m wrong, people are hurt.

          If you’re wrong, people go to Hell Andrew.

          This is actually a life and death situation. I don’t take that lightly, and I don’t toss the scripture aside lightly.

        • If someone uses a word that is not well understood, either because it is a new word or because it is an obscure word, then it is reasonable to assume that they either explain the word, or give enough context to allow the word to be understood. Paul does neither of those things with arsenokoites. If Paul did make the word up, then we have to ask why he didn’t explain it, particularly as it is a word of some significance.

          You believe arsenkoites means “the dominant partner in a homosexual relationship”. John the Faster, who lived much closer in time to Paul, believed it was a sin that a husband and wife could commit together. Suppose John the Faster is right and you are wrong: a married couple could be committing that sin. Thousands of processing Christians are living lives marked out by habitual and willfully embraced sin, thereby negating their professions and revealing then to be deceived and false believers.

          “I don’t toss the scripture aside lightly.”

          Neither do I.

        • This is silly.

          You can play the “well, we just don’t know” card all you want but its a non-card.

          When you’re doing a semantic study and you come to a hapax legomena that has no extant usage, how do you determine what it means?

          Let’s do some serious bible study then and work it out. We agree on a few facts:

          1. Paul wrote his audience expecting them to know what he meant.

          2. Paul uses a term that, as far as we know, was not used in any literature (religious or otherwise) preceding him.

          3. The term is a composite term of “man”, and “marital relations/marriage bed”.

          4. Paul was a Jewish convert to Christianity.

          5. As a logic consequence of #4, Paul knew the Old Testament extremely well.

          So here’s a thought: maybe an obscure father like John the Faster was wrong. What would “arsen” + “coites” mean if it was something between a husband and a wife? A man taking his wife to the marriage bed?

          Hmmm…marital relations between a man and a wife doesn’t seem like much of an obvious sin.

          But, a man taking another man to the marriage bed is a pretty obvious sin, especially in light of the LXX reading of Leviticus 18:22, with includes both words.

          Maybe the literary context is filled out by the Judaic context and the theological context?

          Call me crazy, that seems to make a whole lit more sense than some sort of mystery sin done on the marriage bed by a husband and a wife that wasn’t simple marital relations…

        • “3. The term is a composite term of “man”, and “marital relations/marriage bed”.”

          And if you base your translation on that fact, you are committing the etymological fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymological_fallacy

          “Maybe the literary context is filled out by the Judaic context and the theological context?”

          And this is just compounding the error. Leviticus 18:22 uses an obscure and difficult to decipher phrase. See Olyan, Saul M ‘And With a Male Your Shall Not Lie Down the Lying of a Woman’: On the meaning and significance of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 Journal of the history of Sexuality, Volume 5 pp 179-206, Boyarin, Daniel Are the any Jews in the history of sexuality Journal of the History of Sexuality Volume 5 pp 333-355 and Walsh, Jerome T Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13: Who is Doing What to Whom? Journal of Biblical Literature, 120/2 (2001) pp201-209

          “Call me crazy, that seems to make a whole lit more sense than some sort of mystery sin done on the marriage bed by a husband and a wife that wasn’t simple marital relations…”

          Neither I nor John the Faster suggested that. John the Faster thought that the the “arsenokoite” sin could be committed by married couples, but not only married couples could commit it.

        • Well, it’s not an etymological fallacy unless we know what arsenokoites means (and then we can judge the meaning against what I claim it is). You claim we don’t, so you don’t actually have an argument here. Words are often build up from 2 component words into a related term, like “fireman”; a “man” who fights” fire”. There’s no etymological fallacy there.

          Now a butterfly isn’t a “fly” made of “butter”, but I can only say that because “butterfly” has an English meaning unrelated to it’s component parts. Unless you can say what arsenokoites actually means, you claim etymological fallacy without any actual reason or underlying evidence to that claim.

          Arsen + Koites = “one who sexually lies with men”, though the proximity to malakos in 1 Cor. 6:9-11 leads me to the “dominant partner” nuance.

          Leviticus 18:22 contains a difficult and obscure to decipher phrase? Well, not to a few thousand years of Jews.

          וְאֶת־זָכָר לֹא תִשְׁכַּב מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תֹּועֵבָה הִֽוא׃ – (sdo) do not lie with a man a lying down as with a woman; this is an abomination.”

          Oylan’s article is hardly convincing. He says that instances of מִשְכְב where it is paired with זָכָר refers to a woman’s virginity, and it’s true, but if he’s right, he’s still disregarding the main verb in the sentence, which is aimed at men. Also, if he’s right then the Israelites were not to do with a man what they would do to take a woman’s virginity (have sexual intercourse – there’s only one way to do that with a guy). He then dances around and pulls Roman and Greek cultural norms (from hundreds of years in the future), as well as Hittite and Assyrian (that the Jews despised) in as some sort of decoder ring to this all. Oylan has a view of scripture that I utterly reject (he’s a Harvard trained liberal who holds to the documentary hypothesis and rejects inspiration) and is definitely and academic from Harvard. As if one reads Hittite literature to uncover Jewish sexual ethics.

          FAIL!

          Maybe a journal called “The Journal of the history of Sexuality” isn’t a place where a “fundamentalist” like yourself should be going for a reliable handling of scripture. There’s a whole lot of literature on this issue written by people who actually believe crazy ideas like “biblical inspiration”.

          (I didn’t get a chance to investigate the other 2 articles).

          And finally, if arsenokoites wasn’t a mystery sin, what was it? Sodomy? How do you know?

          Leviticus 18:22 is pretty dang clear. Leviticus 20:13 is equally clear. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is pretty clear, if one takes a straightforward reading of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. If you want to find ambiguity in the scripture or claim that it is veiled to everyone, you’re free to do that. The scripture makes some pretty harsh and biting statements about people who claim that the scripture is veiled to them or that it’s impossibly difficult to understand.

        • “Well, it’s not an etymological fallacy unless we know what arsenokoites means”

          No. The etymological fallacy is when you use the etymology of a word to determine its meaning.

          “have sexual intercourse – there’s only one way to do that with a guy”

          This is the essence of Oylan’s argument. The prohibition in Leviticus probably had a highly specific meaning, the “one way to do that with a guy”. However, that is not the same as a prohibition against all same-sex relationships: it is merely a prohibition against one specific act.

          Now, if we assume that the meaning of Leviticus is an accurate guide to the meaning of 1 Corinthians (which is an unreliable assumption at best) then the prohibition in 1 Corinthians is a prohibition against the same act as Leviticus. It cannot be a more general prohibition, as you suggest with your translation of the word.

        • Well, I don’t think you understand what an etymological fallacy is. Not much I can do there for you.

          Allowing for Oylan’s “remote possibility + remote possibility + remote possibility = solid argument” (?!?) whole case, if Leviticus forbids the defining act of being homosexual, then 1 Corinthians forbids the defining homosexual act as well. A sexually active homosexual cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

          Someone who struggles with lust is in a different category, whether that lust is towards women or anything else (men, children, animals, etc.). People who live lives marked by embracing their lusts also are not Christians; Christians, by definition, do not live lives marked out by following fleshly lusts.

        • What do you think the etymological fallacy is?

          ‘remote possibility + remote possibility + remote possibility = solid argument’

          

You have misunderstood what I said. If we assume that Oylan is correct, and we make the weak assumption that Leviticus is an accurate guide for 1 Corinthians, then we have a very weak argument for saying we understand arsenokoites; it is at best a very weak argument, essentially an educated guess.

          ‘the defining homosexual act as well.’

          There is no such thing as the ‘defining homosexual act’. There are many different ways that two people of the same sex can make love, and Leviticus refers to only one of them.

          ‘Christians, by definition, do not live lives marked out by following fleshly lusts.’



          Same-sex relationships are no more ‘marked out by following fleshly lusts’ than opposite-sex relationships are.

        • Here’s a simple reply. I don’t assume that Oylan is correct. I think he’s actually incorrect and don’t find his arguments convincing. I granted his point for the sake of argument, but in reality I don’t grant his point at all.

          The assumption that Leviticus is an interpretive help for 1 Corinthians is a strong one, seeing that arsen + koites appear only a few times in the LXX, Paul was a Jew, and the term doesn’t appear in history before (or concurrently with) Paul. The Jews didn’t exactly care what the Greeks or the Hittites thought about things, which is one of Oylan’s unbelievable assumptions.

          Well, you’re now lying to me and I’m calling you on it when you suggest something as blatantly obvious as “There is no such thing as the ‘defining homosexual act’”. Does shaking hands mark one as a homosexual? Does kissing a grown man on the lips mark one as a homosexual? (not in a whole lot of cultures…) Does inserting your reproductive organ in their person mark one as a homosexual? It does and you know that with bells on.

          In Leviticus, there’s not just one activity suggested. The idea is pretty clear: you don’t hop on a bed with a fella like you do with a gal (and that includes all the things that one would do in a bed with them). That’s not simply talking about confusing exits with entrances, but covers a whole gamut of things.

          And as for the “Same-sex relationships are no more ‘marked out by following fleshly lusts’ than opposite-sex relationships are”, you’re simply incorrect.

          Romans 1:18-32 makes that explicitly clear.

          Romans 1:24 says explicitly that as the result of suppressing the clear and universally available truth of God due to a desire for sin (1:18-20), those who disregard God feel the full effects of the noetic effects of sin as their thinking becomes malfunctioning (1:21-22). The result of that is found in 1:24 where it mentions how “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts”, meaning that his restraint on their fleshly lusts is actually lifted and they’re freed to chase sin as bad as their hearts desire (1:24-25). This “giving up” results in sexual deviancy in the forms of lesbianism and homosexuality (1:26-27) and then all manner of debased conduct (1:29-31) with the end result of this all being “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (1:32) They end up fighting openly for their “right” to pursue their wicked and sinful desires and celebrate that which the bible calls “sin”.

          In case you are missing it, that may possibly be you Andrew (but I don’t know your heart and cannot say for certain). What I can say is that, for some reason, you’ve hunted down a blog in another continent to fight with someone who would dare challenge your apparent sexual activity and suggest that the Jesus who you claim to love may actually be someone that you’ve gone to extensive lengths to make your sworn enemy (though you’re apparently smart enough to cover it up with a whole lot of academic smokescreens and rhetoric).

          I don’t hate you, and I don’t want evil for you. I also don’t want you to agree with me, but rather that we both fall under agreement with, and obedience to, Christ. If you claim to love Christ (and I’m guessing you do), then you need to face the fact that Jesus, speaking by the apostle Paul, says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that IF (and you’re the only one that can say if you do) you live a homosexual lifestyle (either engaging in the outward sexual act or the inward embracing of homosexual lusts) you cannot inherit the kingdom. I don’t know if you do those things, but if you do, you need to turn from your lust (and sexual activity if you’re homosexually active) and turn to obedience to Christ.

          John 14:23-24 says “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”

          Do you live a life marked out by the embracing of sexual lust Andrew? In Matthew 5:28-30 Jesus says “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

          In other words, Jesus makes it clear that myself, you and everyone else cannot live a life marked out by sexual lust and escape eternal judgment. Instead, those of us that face those temptations need to make violent efforts to crush sin and temptation in our own lives. We need to live lives marked by fleeing sin and temptation.

          Arguing about terminology is one thing, but do you obey his words Andrew? Are you living a life that is marked by the aggressive avoidance and control of sexual lusts?

          Secondly, in Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus lines out God’s singular blueprint for one-flesh (sexual) relations when he says “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

          God’s exclusive design is for a man to leave his parents and be joined to his wife in “one flesh” relations; that is what God brings together.

          Jesus was addressing divorce in this scenario, true, but he was applying the original design of marriage (and “one flesh” relations) to the issue presented to him. That same original design of marriage can be applied to any other host of questions. That model is God’s model, and anything other than that (i.e. marrying oneself, marrying a potato, marrying the nation of Greece, a man marrying one man, a man marrying his sister, etc.) is ruled out.

          Again, do you obey his words Andrew? Are you living a life that is headed in the direction of conformity to Jesus’ model for marriage and “one flesh” relations Andrew?

      • Lyndon, you rock. I came here for your authentic fire review, but stayed for your Edward – Jake description of homosexuality in 1 Cor 6. Brilliant!
        As a repentant “such were some of you” sinner, I am pleased to see you endorsing James White and Robert Gagnon on the issue, as well as Brown’s book, despite his charismatic disposition and Hinn-follies.
        Anyway, keep up the good work. God is not so useless and weak that He was unable to communicate truth about human sexuality – even to the ‘primative’ early church….

  3. Forgive my intrusion as I have been thus far spectating.

    Real quick. I find it a bit insulting to the sovereign God when someone proclaims that a thing they are telling us is of utmost importance, is left by Him inaccessible after the first century. Of course this guy tells us straight up that he’s a liberal, which I actually respect. Far better than some of these emergent smurfs who think they’re conservative. This means when pushed he is not gong to stand on a fully authoritative canon of scripture anyway so it doesn’t bother him to have a God who doesn’t mind keeping his church in the dark for a couple thousand years. Egalitarians are true award winning champions of this fallacy as well, but that’s another story.

    • “someone proclaims that a thing they are telling us is of utmost importance, is left by Him inaccessible after the first century. ”

      I haven’t said that. Earlier on in this discussion I said ‘The key to understanding Paul’s vice list in 1 Co 6:9-10 is the phrase “will not inherit the Kingdom of God”. We can look at other passages where we are told what we must do to inherit the Kingdom (such as Matthew 25:34-45). If we look at the wider context of Christian teaching in the Bible and guide our lives according to the behaviours that Christ himself said would lead to us inheriting the kingdom of God, then we can be confident that we have not broken the prohibitions in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, whatever they may mean.’

      “This means when pushed he is not gong to stand on a fully authoritative canon of scripture anyway”

      Being liberal does not mean rejecting the canon of scripture – at risk of getting off topic, see http://mcfarlandcampbell.co.uk/2013/06/04/i-am-a-fundamentalist/

      • “If we look at the wider context of Christian teaching in the Bible and guide our lives according to the behaviours that Christ himself said would lead to us inheriting the kingdom of God, then we can be confident that we have not broken the prohibitions in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, whatever they may mean.’”

        WAIT A MINUTE!

        “Whatever they may mean?” If you don’t know what they are, then how in the world do you know that you’re not doing them?

        And Matthew 25:34-45 is how we inherit the kingdom of God? Bud, if you think that Matthew 25:34-45 is the gospel, you’re sadly mistaken.

        • ” If you don’t know what they are, then how in the world do you know that you’re not doing them?”

          Because you can divide people into two groups: those who will inherit the Kingdom, and those who will not.

          Matthew 25 describes those who will inherit the Kingdom.

          1 Corinthians 6 describes those who will not.

          If you live your life to fit the description in Matthew 25, then (unless the New Testament contradicts itself) you automatically do not fit the description in 1 Corinthians 6.

        • Does Matthew 25 say anything about believing the gospel?

          Oops. I think I’ve found the flaw in your supposed resolution to this conundrum. Does 1 Corinthians 6 talk about a sexual sin that you might be participating in that might disqualify you from inheriting the kingdom?

          Well, if it might, I’m guessing that God might want to give people a little more clarity than you suggest he has. Knowing whether or not you’re not going to inherit the kingdom might be something a person would consider important…?!?

        • Matthew 25 is what Christ himself said about inheriting the Kingdom. It is inconceivable that Paul would change or add to the criteria that Christ himself uses. Paul’s teachings are only an expansion of Christ’s teachings and never contradict them.

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