Responding To Five Arguments About Arsenokoites…

When it comes to rebuttal against all the various attacks against the Biblical teaching on issues related to gender, sexual morality and marriage, there is no shortage of Christian responses.  Folks like Drs. Robert Gagnon, Michael Brown, James White, Albert Mohler, etc. have provided the Christians with no shortage of scholarly and popular level apologetic work against the onslaught that is coming against the Bible from the “Christian” QUILTBAG mafia.

In reality though, the type of rhetoric that one runs into on Facebook is pretty simplistic; it’s not the stuff that Gagnon and Brown are responding too.  Those guys are writing stuff that engages the arguments from writings like James Brownson’s book Bible, Gender, Sexuality.

Brownson

Though many of the popular arguments come from guys like Brownson, not a whole lot of people you’ll be talking to will have actually read guys like Brownson.  In the internet game of telephone, once the ideas pass from person to person they’re often changed, watered-down, or simply misunderstood.

I was recently tagged into a Facebook interaction where a rather large load of long-standing Christian friends were passionately engaging the topic.  A fellow had commented on how 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and 1 Tim. 1:8-11 clearly articulated that homosexual practice is sin.  Then someone posted this “tear-down” response:

“…those passages don’t really refer to homosexuality. The ancient Greek word for same gender sexual relations, paiderasste, isn’t used in either verse. Instead, Paul made up his own word, arsenokoitai (arsen = adult male, koitai = bed) for the 1 Cor one, and it isn’t used anywhere else in the Bible and rarely in other ancient Greek texts, all of which reference sexual acts between both men and women (Aristides of Athens in 138 CE, Eusebius in 340 CE, and Patriarch John IV of Constantinople in the 700s CE). This word has been a real problem for translators and scholars and has roughly 2 dozen different attempted meanings, including, but not limited to, pederasty, masturbation, effeminate, and adultery. Paul was likely referencing an earlier Scripture about men sleeping with people that weren’t their wives (temple prostitution). The understanding of this word has changed over time and REMAINS very problematic.The Timothy reference is likewise vague, as the word used is a very common one, malakoi, which means “soft”. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what this has to do with homosexuality. Some scholars speculate it might have something to do with masturbation. Maybe it has to do with soft-faced young boys of the institutionalized pederasty of the Greeks. You have been the victim of a translator with an agenda, my friend.”

 lgbt koala

Some of the readers were shaken up at the thought that their Bible was unreliably translated over and against every shred of historical evidence.  Apparently the Alexandrian cult (for those who know about such secret societies) is also anti-gay.  I was tagged into the thread by a friend and asked to respond.  Here’s my response.  I hope it’s helpful to others who face these same questions regularly:

Let’s look at some individual arguments:

1. Paul would have used “paiderasste” rather than “arsenokoites” if he was talking about homosexuality.

Not for a second.

Paul speaks Greek but he’s a Jew. That’s rather important to this all. He’s not speaking or writing from some sort of pagan mindset (and the Jews regarded the Greeks as pagans, not some form of “religiously neutral” people). Paul was a prophet of God, writing by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God invented all languages and didn’t bow to Greek social convention with terminology. The Spirit wrote in harmony with what he had previously wrote (which is important to remember).

Another thing that is important to remember is that Paul, and the other committed Jews of his day, were conversant with their scriptures and held them in rather high regard (i.e. they believed that their writings were actually the oracles of God himself, written down by God himself, via his prophets). When it came to pagan philosophy and theology, the explicitly rejected all of it as foolishness. Paul did invent a word (arsenokoites), but that word would have had an obvious meaning to every Jew that heard it for a very simple reason:

Leviticus 18:22, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament that Jesus and his apostles’ read), reads καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός· βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν.

I’ll transliterate it to help make the point – kai meta arsenos ou koimethesei koiten gunaikos bdelugma gar estin.

The word “arsenos” (man) and “koiten” (bed) can be easily seen in Leviticus 18:22, even if you don’t know Greek (look for yourself – https://www.academic-bible.com/…/c1fcad2f0717ef6fa5267…/ or there’s a parallel here: http://www.ellopos.net/…/gree…/septuagint/chapter.asp…)

The Jews knew that arsen and koiten appeared together in Leviticus 18:22 and also in Leviticus 20:13.

The terms “arsen” and “koiten” also appear together in 2 other passages in the Greek OT: Numbers 31:17-18 and Judges 21:11-12. Both passages are similar in that the term is used to differentiate between virgins and non-virgins; the differentiation is made as those who have and have not “known man (arsen) by lying with him in a bed (koiten)”.

The usage of arsen + koiten together in the OT was both rare and uniformly sexual, in the sense of sharing the “marriage bed”, in nature.  Once a woman had been in that bed with a man, she was (by definition) no longer a virgin.

So, when Paul (a Pharisee of Pharisees who had committed the Old Testament to memory) puts “arsen” & “koiten” together to create the word “arsenokoites”, the Jews would have clearly understood what he was getting at. He was manufacturing a word to describe an action that was (basically) based on the two explicit condemnations of that action in the Old Testament.

In other words, Paul didn’t define the term because Leviticus already did. No Jew would have been confused. Only modern “scholars” who are desperate to chuck the Bible out the window, claim some form of ambiguity.

Scholars might claim to be confused on the meaning of arsenokoites, but then again, there are “scholars” out there who think just about anything. Not all scholars are created equal…

crainiomenter

…and not all are honest.

The ones who try to make a case that Christians can willfully embrace sin are liars (1 John 3:4-6).

2. Arsenokoites is rare in Ancient Greek literature, and all of the occurrences of it are in “reference sexual acts between both men and women.”

Well, this is just blatantly irrelevant.

The Bible decides what the Bible means by the terms it uses, not some pagan writers who come centuries later. The inscripturated writings of the Apostle Paul (you know, prophet of Yahweh), aren’t redefined because someone a century after him doesn’t understand what he meant.

Beyond that, this is also false.

Here’s the translation of the relevant section of Aristedes Apology 13, from Newadvent.org (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1012.htm):

“When the Greeks made laws they did not perceive that by their laws they condemn their gods. For if their laws are righteous, their gods are unrighteous, since they transgressed the law in killing one another, and practising sorcery, and committing adultery, and in robbing and stealing, and in lying with males, and by their other practises as well.”

I don’t know where to find a free copy of the Greek text online, but here’s another translation: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/aristides_02_trans.htm.

The context is a sin list, and in the original the term is likely just tossed out there, without definition.  That assumes that it’s using a previously established definition.

That would suggest that the usage of the term is in harmony with the previous uses of the term in the Bible (1 Cor. 6:9 & 1 Tim. 1:10) as well as outside the bible (Sibylline Oracles 2:70-78, the Epistle of Ignatius to the Tarsians [which is a citation of 1 Cor. 6:9], The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians [again, a citation of 1 Cor. 6:9], the Acts of John 36, Clement of Alexandria’s Instructor 3.11 [again, citation of 1 Cor. 6:9]).

For only $140/yr, you can subscribe to the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae and look all that stuff up for yourself (https://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/index.php). I’ve provided the citation locations for those who want to look up whatever free English translation is available, and those citations show a pretty clear pattern.

align.dominoes

The uniform usage of the term in the early church was homosexuality (as in two guys lying in bed and attempting to do what husbands and wives do when they’re in bed) since a majority of the usages of the term were simply citation of 1 Cor. 6:9 or 1 Tim. 1:10.  There was neither confusion nor reinterpretation of the terms in those passages, at least as seen over the first few hundred years of the church.

3. Was Paul “likely referencing an earlier Scripture about men sleeping with people that weren’t their wives”?

Not even close.

Daniel A. Helminiak or John Boswell, whichever suggested this argument originally (I forget), was simply making stuff up. Making blanket statements about what Paul was likely talking about, while ignoring the Jewish context of Paul’s writing and the Jewish scriptures that underlay his worldview, is called “using your imagination.”

I’ve already explained this in point 1. Paul (the Pharisee, trained by Gamaliel and writing by the Holy Spirit) was clearly and inescapably referencing the two prohibitions in Leviticus.

***Note that I didn’t include in the original post***

The Greek word for “men sleeping with people that weren’t their wives” is either moicheia (if the men were married) or porneia (if the men weren’t married).  Paul would definitely not have manufactured a term when there was a perfectly good Greek term available that communicated the specific nuance he wanted to get across.  Moicheia appears in the writings of Paul in Gal. 5:19 (though other derivatives of the term appear in Rom. 2:22, 7:3, 13:9) and porneia appears 10x in his writing (a word study of porneia appears here).  Paul was familiar with the terminology needed to communicate the idea of “men sleeping with people that weren’t their wives” and used it in other places.  As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to assume that the inspired writers of Scripture were not idiots.

giphy

4. “The understanding of this word (arsenokoites) has changed over time and REMAINS very problematic.”

Again, no. The fact that some folks claims something is misunderstood doesn’t make it so.

The fact that a billion Muslims (and thousands of Muslim “scholars”) claim that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross doesn’t make it so.

This is simply untrue and revisionist history based on the work of a handful of pro-homosexual scholars who are suspiciously ignorant about the Bible and willfully (if not gleefully) misrepresenting history.

The meaning of arsenokoites is laid out in Scripture and Scripture hasn’t changed one iota.

5. The word used in Timothy is “malakoi” and this means “soft”.

That’s both true and not true.

Malakos does mean “soft”, but malakos doesn’t appear in 1 Timothy at all. The word in 1 Timothy is arsenokoites, just like in 1 Cor. 6:9

Malakos appears in 1 Corinthians 6:9, and seeing that it’s paired with arsenokoites, and follows after “pornos” (which refers to sexual activity outside of marriage) and “moichos” (which refers to sexual activity in violation of marriage), it is clearly in a sexual context.

Some people claim to not know what the word means, but that’s more likely because some people have a rather myopic agenda when it comes to this stuff; the conclusion necessarily precedes the facts.

pha106000047

It’s also not a common word in the Bible at all. It only appears elsewhere in Matt. 11:8 and Luke 7:25, both of which are talking about soft and luxurious garments.

The idea is straight-forward. Someone who is “malakos” is the submissive partner in a homosexual relationship, where as the one who is “arsenokoites” is the dominant partner.

That’s why the ESV translates both terms together as the single category of “men who practice homosexuality.”

So out of the 5 arguments that were examined, none are left standing after some light scrutiny.

I know that many readers are highly disinterested in technical discussion like this…but this is the level of the debate now.  Your churches will have a handful of “intellectuals” in them that are dropping Greek and history references, quoting Boswell and Brownson, and generally painting themselves as humble thinkers who are wanting the church to embrace the truth and general ethos of the teaching of Christ.  Unless you or your pastor know how to respond to them, your church will be overturned by those workmen of Satan (2 Tim. 2:24-26) who arrogantly “delude you with plausible arguments” (Col. 2:4).

Be prepared.

I know that there are a few dozen other questions, but I was only addressing the post that I was asked to engage.  I’ve previously written on the term Arsenokoites, but here I’ve provided a little more information.

I hope that it is helpful.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “And Such Were Some Of You” Unger

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Responding To Five Arguments About Arsenokoites…

  1. Lyndon, thank you for your work in this area. I am often tempted to engage in some of these Facebook “discussions”, but they usually quickly degenerate into pile-on events, with so much speculation and misinformation that I resist. Along with that, one invariably encounters those scholarly types that do the same thing as in the post to which you were responding: toss out some Greek terms, the interpretation of which is backed by an author who has written books I’ve never heard of. Along with the usual “How can Christians hate people whom God Himself chose to make that way?” kind of responses, there was the assertion that science has conclusively proven that homosexuality is genetic. Your article gives me some concise information on this commonly encountered argument of arsenokoites, which is very helpful.

    • Glad to be of service, Ed!

      I tend to bow out of Facebook discussions too as they tend to only reveal how willing most people are to angrily go off about subjects they’re clueless about.

      The “homosexuality is genetic” argument had been abandoned by serious QUILTBAG scholars since there’s an obvious solution to “fixing” genetic predispositions (abortion or genetic engineering) and nobody in the QUILTBAG scene wants to be “fixed”.

      Now the party line is a cacophony of confusion, pointing out that human sexuality is so complex that nobody really knows how it comes to be. The arguments are emotional, not factual, so nobody is really interested in tracking down a cause.

  2. Love it! I have literally been engaged in a similar FB debate over the last few days and this same sort of argument came up. You literally saved me from having to type all this up myself. Thanks again, Lyndon!

  3. Lyndon, Thanks for writing on Arsenokoites. It is something that I am not aware of. As we in a far Southeast Asia land seldom goes deep into discussion on LGBT. Our discussion level on this subject is usually throwing Scriptures at one another. I read your writing and recommend hem to friends as well for deeper insight. Keep up your good work.

  4. I have often wondered if Paul were writing today and used the tem ‘malakos’ he would be referring to transsexuals/transgendered. The hint that this could be so is in the reference to those who like to wear ‘fine rainment’ , which to me at least points in that direction, and is reflected in the rendering ‘effeminate’ in some translations.

    • 1 Cor. 6:9-11 & 1 John (whole book).

      He’s wrong about the term “neighbor” and “brother” being synonymous in the NT. Christians are “brothers” to each other but not “brothers” to unbelievers. Half those verses he listed don’t apply because they are specific commands for how one would treat their “brother”.

      He’s also horribly wrong on the idea that sinners who willfully embrace sin can be Christians, in good standing with their local church. People who struggle against homosexual desires should be welcome in a Christian church but people who embrace and celebrate homosexual desires, participating in homosexual behaviour, should NOT be welcome. Churches should immediately put those folks under church discipline for living a profligate life.

      Anything beyond that would take too much time, and I really don’t take random requests.

      Sorry!

  5. Dale Martin of Yale University comments, “I should be clear about my claims here. I am not claiming to know what arsenokoites meant, I am claiming that NO ONE knows what it meant.”
    Martin’s credentials: B.S., Abilene Christian University;M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary;
    Ph.D., Yale University.

    Any above claims are false.

    • Wait. You were somewhat unclear here.

      Are all my claims false because some guy at Yale had declared so?

      Just wanting to be clear as to what you are saying.

      Also, Dale Martin is unquestionably wrong. The apostle Paul definitely knew what the term meant, as did the audience to whom he was writing.

      As I said: “Not all scholars are created equal…and not all are honest.”

  6. Thank you very much for this post. I especially liked the section about the Septuagint and the origin of the word. I have found that information very useful.

    Regarding the mention in the comments above of homosexuality being genetic or inborn… honestly, I don’t think it matters. We were all born with a sinful nature and are burdened with our own colorful rainbow of temptations. Saying or proving that some cases of homosexuality are inborn or “from a very young age” wouldn’t impact the sinfulness of indulging those inclinations at all. I don’t see it as an argument worth wasting breath on. Congratulations, you’ve proven that humanity is afflicted by a sin nature! You’re many thousands of years late to the party, my friends.

  7. Pingback: Who Carries the Keys to the Kingdom: Paul’s letter to the Corinthians | Inexact Religion…

  8. I am confused because if we interpret, define arsenokoites to be men lying in bed with another as a man and wife, than being a lesbion is not addressed so what are your thoughts on this?

    • Why? Why would lesbianism not be implicitly addressed? If it is wrong for 2 men to do what a man and woman do in bed, why would it be all right for 2 women?

      People who are serious about the Scripture tend to understand that principles apply further than one example of their specific application.

  9. Boy, you and most of the scholars you present are biased and jump to conclusions with little facts. Pretty funny. There is a lot online that refute all your arguments. How about just let it go and love your neighbor and build him up. Gay people are not harming anyone. But you are… being quite un-Christ like (who said nothing about gays, btw)

    • I’m sorry…do YOU have a single fact to offer in refutation?

      The sheer existence of counter-arguments doesn’t mean they’re valid arguments.

      I am loving my neighbor, and Jesus most certainly talked about homosexuals.

  10. Wow. Thank you for defending Holy scripture in such simple terms on this issue. I believe this is a very serious issue and your exegesis is excellent. The threats in our culture against Christianity is a warped view on the doctrine of man, doctrine of sin and the sufficiency of scripture. The issue, not one’s sexual orientation.

  11. I know I’m probably late to the party with this post, but this is fantastic and extremely helpful. Thanks so much for writing this! God bless.

  12. just stumbled upon this as I was trying to decipher a statement made by a pastor in a presbyterian church. The pastor claimed that
    “The word malakos is quite easy to define, because it appears often in Greek literature. It literally means, “soft,” but was used to refer to men understood to be effeminate. This was a moral failing in Greek culture because effeminacy—acting like a woman—meant over-indulgence in material pleasures and lack of self-control. Today, most of us would for good reason be hesitant to assign these moral failings to women as a group, or to label men who act in such a manner “effeminate.”

    It would be irresponsible scholarship to claim that either of these words refer to monogamous same-sex couples.”

    in looking up the word arsenkites, I found this blog!
    First I need to say Thank you! I love how you broke it down step by step.

    The fact that people are trying to debate this issue as a way to claim the bible doesn’t forbid it, is mind boggling. sometimes, it feels like I’m in the book “the emperor’s new clothes”, where no one is brave enough to tell the emperor that he is actually naked, and everyone instead rushes over themselves to describe his new clothes as beautiful, wonderful, unique etc. That’s what I felt that sermon was trying to do, “join the crowd” by simply glossing over the bible and trying to reinterpret it, rather than dare to be different by speaking the truth.

    • Thanks so much for the kind and encouraging words Ajike! I’m glad if what I wrote was helpful at all.

      What you say is true: the emperor has no clothes, and some of us can’t help but notice and speak up about what’s blatantly obvious!

  13. I don’t appreciate the tone of this article but it has helpful information so in that sense I do appreciate it.

    One question came immediately to mind in your first point:
    Weren’t the Corinthians Greek? So how would the meaning of arsenokoites be immediately apparent to them, as you claim? I thought the Corinthian church was made up of immature Greek Christians, not mostly Jews. Am I wrong?

    • Phew! I’m glad there’s something you appreciate!

      As for the Corinthians being Greek, Acts 18:1-11 states that Paul started out in the synagogue, and Priscilla and Aquilla were both Jews who converted to Christianity during that time. Even when he left the synagogue, he went next door and people from the synagogue came to the house of Titius Justus and were converted (1 Cor. 18:8). 1 Cor. 18:12-17 records that the Jews were the ones who took him before the proconsul and tried to get the Romans to put a stop to his ministry and when they were unsuccessful, the publicly beat the ruler of the synagogue (1 Cor. 18:17); hardly something they would be doing if he weren’t a continual thorn in their side (i.e. leading many converts out of the synagogue).

      Now the early Christian church was indeed a mixed bag but the first Christians, as well as the leaders of the church, were Jews. The early Christians were people whose “Bible” was the Old Testament, and whose religion was still struggling to overcome its Jewish baggage (hence the Jerusalem council in Acts 15, and the constant confusion regarding the law and grace that Paul addresses in many of his epistles). So the Gentiles who were coming into the church would have been learning from the Jewish leadership, and those Jewish leaders would have been highly familiar with the Old Testament.

      The meaning of arsenokoites wouldn’t have been immediately obvious to a Gentile convert who was fresh off the street, just like the meaning of plenty of Christian terminology isn’t obvious to new converts today. There is a learning curve to theological terminology, sure…but any Christian who has been decently instructed in Christian theology can instinctively (and with general accuracy) guess what someone means when they encounter uncommon terms/phrases like “bibliolater” or “charismaniac” or “hermeneutical gymnastics”.

  14. Good Afternoon, my name is Frank. I’d like to address a number of things you’ve written and you can tell me of any contentions you may have about my understanding.
    To give a brief summary of my own understanding, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as well as 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 deal with anal intercourse between men. Nothing more. Homosexuality as you incorrectly translate it is a broad word. Two men romantically kissing for example is homosexuality, but arsenokoitai doesn’t address this.

    Point One: The first matter deals with 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 on the issue of arsenokoitai. You like others try to link Lev. 18:22 and 20:13. You say, “The Jews knew that arsen and koiten appeared together in Leviticus 18:22 and also in Leviticus 20:13.” This is your own contention. You are at liberty to say this, but you can’t prove that the use of arsenokoitai in Cor. And Tim. refers to the two Leviticus verses. Just because they appear side by side in one of the two Lev. verses in question doesn’t mean when they appear together again, this time as one word that they are quoting from the former. Not to mention, as you point out, the two words appear side by side in Number 31 and Judg. 21, but the context of those 4 verses is in no way related to any type of homosexual act. The words are literally man (arseno) bed (koitai). You can have both words appearing together in any place where men and intercourse are being mentioned. Again, you can say that arsenokoitai used in 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10 link it to Leviticus, as if by using arsenokoitai, one is quoting or alluding to Lev., but that is one’s own subjective opinion. It can’t be proven definitively, and you can’t say that whenever you see arseno and koitai near one another that you can consistently see such a pattern.

    Point Two: You wrote: “The usage of arsen + koiten together in the OT was both rare and uniformly sexual, in the sense of sharing the “marriage bed”, in nature.  Once a woman had been in that bed with a man, she was (by definition) no longer a virgin.”

    Wrong. You’re trying to say that Judg 21:11-12 and Numbers 31:17-18 are essentially saying that a woman lying in the same bed as a man, is how she loses her virginity. Therefore, if arseno and koiten are used to mean that in those verses, that the act of lying in the same bed is what is also meant in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 since they both of these verses mean the same thing, and 20:13 has arseno koiten side by side just like the verses in Judges and Numbers. You’re taking this argument to far. As I pointed out, these verses refer to anal intercourse between men. Not lying in the same bed. But a specific sexual act. I’ll prove it, but I’ll use the Hebrew. The Dead Sea scrolls have Lev. 20:13 and there is no difference, so I’ll go with the Hebrew since it came first but if you are contentions, I can writing a response for greek as well, it’s the same exact explanation.

    If you translate Lev. 20:13 : sanehem asu towebah issah mishkevei zakar et yisab aser weis bam demehem yumatu mowt yumatu demehem bam. (right to left and not left to right) OR: And if a man shall with a (arseno/zakur)man (koitai/mishkevei)lyings of women an abomination have committed both they shall be put to death their blood is on them. So if we transliterate, it doesn’t say “Do not lie with a man”. It says “Do not lie with a man LYINGS OF A WOMAN”. The first lie is “Yiskhab”. The second lie is “Mishkevei”. So it doesn’t make since to say that this verse, and thus the other Leviticus verse is referring to simply lying in a bed, or else it would just say that. You may retort, well it means lie with a man “AS ONE lies with a woman”. That is after all how it it translated in most Bibles. But this is wrong. There is no hebrew word (or greek word in the septuagint) that means AS WITH. However, the Hebrew word Mishkevei if you look it up is a possessive noun. (pronoun). I’ve already spoken to several Rabbis by email on this, but if you don’t believe me, please find me a rabbi who says differently. The second to last hebrew character if I’m not mistaken is what makes it a pronoun. So it literally means lyings of a woman. Not lying “as with” a woman. So what are the lyings of a woman? If it simply meant lying in the same bed, why make a distinction? The fact that a distinction is made, tells us that there is a certain way of lying with a woman, that would be different from just lying down period.

    That brings me to the next thing you said in further proving my point, “Once a woman had been in that bed with a man, she was (by definition) no longer a virgin.” Wrong. If you can make a woman’s virginity about simply lying in a bed and nothing more, you can translate that to Lev 18:22 and 20:13 as the sole act going on between two men since both use the phrase “lying(s) of”. (mishkev/mishkevei). Before I continue, let me point out, that Judge 21:11-12 and Number 31:17-18 in the Hebrew use mishkev zakur or lying of a man. We can’t extrapolate what “lyings of a woman” is by itself. But, if we know what “lying of a man” is, we can easily extrapolate what “lyings of a woman” is in Leviticus. Now suppose that a woman’s virginity was lost simply by lying in the same bed as a man. [As a side note, the Jews do not believe this, see Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin A and B. The same also demonstrates that a penetrative act is what is meant by Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 ] This would make no since. In Deuteronomy 22:13-14 it says, —13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
    14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid (virgin) —
    Now, if virginity was lost by lying in bed, how would the man have known his wife had simply lain in the bed of another man? Let’s go even further,
    Deut 22:15-17 —15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
    16 And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
    17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. —
    Now it talks about the woman’s “token of virginity” and that these tokens are a cloth of some sort. That is to say, there was some type of physical sign or evidence that denoted that a woman was a virgin or not a virgin. How would you have tokens to prove that your daughter had simply not lain in the bed of another man before she was married? Now here is the back story about this and you can look it up if you don’t believe me. Here is how this worked. It was a custom that on the wedding night, after the first time the two had intercourse, a party of family members would take the sheet from the marriage bed. This would traditionally be a white sheet. Now, during intercourse, when the man vaginally penetrated (intercourse, a specific act) the woman, her hynem of ripe and bleed. The blood would stain the white sheet. This sheet would then be evidence that the woman’s hynem was unbroken before hand, THUS she had not HAD INTERCOURSE, thus she was a virgin. So virginity is not just lying in a bed. Virginity is lost through the specific act of intercourse. THEREFORE, if lying of a man, refers to a woman being penetrated, therefore lyings of a woman means, a man penetrating. THUS…..when Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 tell a man not to lie with a man the lyings of a woman, it is telling men not to penetrate a man in a way that is analogous to penetrating a woman vaginally. Anal intercourse!

    Point Three: Therefore, though Paul is not quoting or referring to Lev. 18:22 or Lev. 20:13 in 1 Cor. 6:9 or 1 Tim 1:10, even if he was, it’s refering to a specific act between men, not homosexuality in general, and thus, so would be 1 Cor. And 1 Tim. Of course, even without Lev. that is what these two New Testament verses refer to but I prove this in another way. As you mention, koitai/koiten/koite mean bed. However, though they mean bed, they are used euphemistically for intercourse. Only once in the New Testament does it mean simply just bed. [Luke 11:7] In every other place in the New Testament it is used as a euphemism for intercourse. The context in which it’s used determines how we apply it. To begin with, though there is no link between 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10, and the two verses in Leviticus in the way of Paul quoting from the former as many try to say, they do refer to the same topic, that is, homosexual acts between men. I say that to say, that since Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 use koiten to mean intercourse when referring to the acts of two men, we can say through the argument of consistency that koitai and koite when referring to homosexual acts between men again, refer to intercourse again as it wouldn’t make since for the Law to only prescribe intercourse between men, but now use the same greek word to proscribe simply lying in bed in the New Testament when we are now not under the Law. Someone being frivalous with their argument might say that, but you can’t consistently point to that. But I can consistently show koite/koitai/koiten being used for intercourse, and show two instances where we know for a fact it is used to refer to intercourse between two men.
    As to give a better summary of koitai, first note the “koitai and koites”. They are the root of the english word “coitus” meaning INTERCOURSE.
    “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed (koite) undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The phrase “the bed” is very similar in Greek as it is in English. It can refer to actual sleeping arrangements, but it can also refer to sexual intercourse because it also takes place in bed. Even today, people will say “they slept together” when the fact is that sleeping wasn’t the activity they were engaged in doing. The Greek word is koite and literally means
    the place for lying down to sleep, but it can be used as a figure of speech for sexual intercourse. For example, in Romans 9:10 says, “And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived(koite) by one man, even by our father Isaac.” The word “conceived” is the same Greek word koite.

    Fornication and adultery are acts done through actual intercourse in regard to Hebrews 13:4. Consider that fornicaton for example is referenced in 1 Cor. 6:13-16. It means how the harlot and the man in the act of fornication are “JOINED AS ONE FLESH”. This implys “penile/vaginal” intercourse. This act is then contrasted with the same act that happens in the bed (koite) of a married couple. Meaning the koite is idiomatic of penile/vaginal intercourse.

    In addition in Romans 9:10 where it says Rebecca had conceived (koite) by one. Literally is says “bedded by one” through the use of koite. A woman conceives a child through vaginal/penile intercourse, thus the point is once again proven that koite mean vaginal/penile intercourse.

    But then again, I mean come on, the english word coitus which means vaginal/penile intercourse is based off the greek koite. (greek has no “c”) In addition, if you look at the Latin Vulgate version of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, where the septuagent (greek version) used “koitn” the latin vulgate used “coitu”. As for the compound word arsenokoitai.
    This word doesn’t not mean homosexual. You will not find any place after Paul’s first usage where it can be clearly discerned what the word is referring to that make arsenokoitai out to be men who are simply just attracted to men and nothing more, or just lying in the same bed as another man and nothing more. The context will clearly be the act of anal intercourse. I charge you to give me a source to prove me wrong. It won’t matter anyways since such writers would be uninspired pagan writers AFTER Paul and you say, “The Bible decides what the Bible means by the terms it uses, not some pagan writers who come centuries later.” But even so, I am genuinely curious if you can find one. Koitai means intercourse, therefore arsenokoitai means men who have INTERCOURSE (a specific act) with men. Not homosexuality in general. This can be consistently shown in scripture, and that view of that word in perfectly in tune even with the pagan usages of that word in those places where one can clearly see what they mean.

    • So God’s all fine with men having oral sex with one another but not anal…and you somehow think that I’m suggesting that a woman loses her virginity by co-sleeping with a man?

      Good luck with that sales pitch.

      People in history weren’t as idiotic as you appear to think they were. The marriage bed is a place of more than one specific activity. If you are completely oblivious to the more nuanced and euphemistic aspects of language, that’s your burden to bear.

      And the Jews were quite aware of their own Scriptures. I make the assertion of connection because of good precedent. You doubt because you’re looking to meet a standard of proof that is absurd.

      Also, are you familiar with Hebrew grammar?

      • How nice of you to NOT refute a single thing that I said. I gave you places in Scripture that specifically prove what I’m saying! You mention in your response, “and you somehow think that I’m suggesting that a woman loses her virginity by co-sleeping with a man?” You said in your original post, “Once a woman had been in that bed with a man, she was (by definition) no longer a virgin.” So I don’t THINK anything. I KNOW what you wrote. And I directly refuted what you wrote. The lose of virginity is discussed specifically in the Law of Moses. If you are saying that virginity is lost any other way, PROVE IT WITH SCRIPTURE, because as it stands now, I proved beyond a doubt that my view of the biblical writers understanding of the lose of virginity is consistent with Scripture.

        In addition you wrote: “So God’s all fine with men having oral sex with one another but not anal.” Sin is the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4). Through the Law is the knowledge of sin (Rom 7:7). Where there is no Law, there is no transgression. (Rom 4:15). What does this mean Mennoknight? If it’s not mentioned in the old covenant Law, it WAS NOT a sin. So, I’ll say this, if it is indeed the case that God would have disproved of oral between two men, you can’t use these scriptures in Leviticus to prove that. The operative word is mishkevei (lyings of). Now I’ve already shown through scripture the proof of what this term means through consistency. That is to say, how the phrase is used elsewhere in context, and in those places, we can derive intercourse, not oral acts. I mean, if I’m wrong, please show me in the scripture these words used to clearly denote such an activity. I mean, your over all response like I said isn’t any type of refutation. You’re simply just saying I’m wrong, that doesn’t work.

        Next you wrote,”People in history weren’t as idiotic as you appear to think they were. The marriage bed is a place of more than one specific activity. If you are completely oblivious to the more nuanced and euphemistic aspects of language, that’s your burden to bear.” Again, no refutation. Yes I’m aware of the euphemistic aspects of the hebrew language. Again, the word mishkevei literally means “lyings of”. Lyings is a euphemism. It’s like in Genesis 19 where Lot’s daughters say “Let us make our father drink wine and LIE with him.” There only goal was to get pregnant by their father. So naturally, LIE WITH is not really what they were doing. It is a euphemism for intercourse, since intercourse is the act required to get pregnant. It’s called context Mennoknight! Now, if you’re going to sit here and try to say that mishkevei means anything other than how scripture CONSISTENTLY uses it, the burden is on you. PROVE that mishevei/mishkev referred to any other act with scripture? I mean can you or can’t you?

        And finally Mennoknight, I gave you the place in the Talmud to confirm the thinking of first century Jews on this topic. Please see my first reply again. So not only have I PROVEN with scripture my side, but this side was backed up by the earliest known jewish commentators on these passages of Leviticus.

        Now you asked, “Also, are you familiar with Hebrew grammar?”. I’m not a seminarian. But I’ve already shown you the usage of the words in question in scripture. You can either can give me a scriptural reason why my understanding is wrong or you can’t. If there is some understanding of hebrew grammer that I’m unaware of that somehow someway makes mishkev/mishkevei mean anything other than intercourse, I invite you to show me. But don’t waste my time with erroneous questions. If you have something to present which contradicts me, PRESENT IT!

        • As the author, I can tell you what I meant. I did not mean co-sleeping was what lead to the transition from “virgin” to “non-virgin”. I was referring to the one activity that differentiates the marriage bed from all other beds. I actually spelled that out in the post.

          Proverbs 26:4-5 warns me against continuing this conversation.

          I have no interest in refuting absurd lunacy and I’m not the guy who can unravel your wild and unbalanced theology.

        • Mmmh, for me it sounds like you are trying to find a way, which allows you to do as much and most close to an obvious sin. If I understand you right, oral sex between 2 man is ok, but anal not. But I understand the bible / Jesus so, that if I even smell something which could bring me into sin, I should go quickly the opposite way. Whenever, I tried to play with sin, I most often fell. More and more I learn of how weak I’am, how much I need fellowship with the word of God Jahwe & the holy spirit, and that I should run the opposite way when I’m tempted. So for me, even so I’m not so much studied as some other here in greek & hebrew, the context of homosexuality in the bible is quite clear, being listed with all those other sinful stuff, which we just shouldn’t do. I know it is not easy for the one who is living homosexuality today, but I also had stuff in my life which weren’t confirm with god’s spirit & guidelines. I found out, HE is right, not me. And thank God for that, as I’m so imperfect without Him, and “perfected” with Him. It’s just really freeing to life with Him and in His guidelines, and separate ourselves from anything close to sin. Well, I love you, and wish you the best!

      • Yeah, exactly as I thought. All flash and no substance, like most people who hold this non-scriptural view. You responded with explanations to every other person. Just not me! If it’s so absurd, use scripture to prove it wrong. That’s not an extraordinary request. But I understand man, the truth is to much! I get it! But as a final thought, and feel free to delete this if you wish afterward, we are not all Vines, or Lee, or Spong. Some of us actually know the Word and will call you out on your bull. You just keep that in mind.

      • Ok I get it. I’m wrong, and I’m a fool, but you can’t prove that with scripture, or refute me with scripture. I think I got it! May the Lord teach you proper hermeneutics and how to use scripture to back up your points. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Take it easy mennoknight

      • I know hermeneutics just fine mennoknight as I have thoroughly shown. I am a homosexual, yes. Feel free to email me frankiesmith41@gmail.com if you wish to discuss this further. However, I’ve demonstrated my point, so if you’re not going to counter me point by point with scripture and are just going to say I’m a fool with a lunatic theology, I have nothing more to say to you here. I’m not going to keep going back and forth with you about a bunch of minutia that has nothing to do with you refuting my refutation of your article. So message me privately if you have anything else OTHER than a refutation to say to me. But absent of that, I’ve said all I need to say, and I will not be back to your blog. Take it easy

  15. I find this a very interesting post. From someone who doesn’t have the ability to have tracked this down herself (I don’t speak/read the original languages) and hasn’t made a decision one way or the other, I appreciated it!

    Would you mind clarifying something for me, though? If the argument in number 3 is he wouldn’t have made up a new word to discuss things there were perfectly good Greek words for, why would he have done so when there was a perfectly good word for homosexuality (argument one)? Your arguments seem contradictory.

  16. Thank you very much! It really helped me! Even so english is not my mother tongue, I’m from Germany. And you surely put quite some work in it, thanks! Just may I suggest not to address people as “idiots” or other wise. Than I would pass this article more easily on to people who are so confused about the subject of Arsenokoites, but with addresses and pictures who make fun of them, it is really not good I think. Even for ourselves, as we shouldn’t name people that way, as they are also wonderfully created by our heavenly father, and I think it shows a laking humbleness on our side.

      • I’m sorry, I got that wrong, forgive me, you wrote “the inspired writers of Scripture were not idiots.” And of course they are not! They are holy spirit influenced! I praise God for it!
        What I’am trying to express besides, that I really like your clarity on the subject, as said, and I hope you receive my thanks and respect for it as well as my next remark.!? Cause what I’m also trying to say is, that I also get a sense of judging and harshness which comes along with the article. That is just my impression, were I sense judging through out it, especially by the pictures, and even now the harsh response to my remark on it with words like “arrogant” + “ignorant”. Maybe I’am, but maybe I’am just a german who tries to write english, who is not always on the mark with words, how I put them and what I want to say. Well, I leave it with that, and leave it up to you, and the readers, how they reflect and sense the love and tone included in the article. One commenter seemed to know what I mean:”kateulrich SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 AT 7:36 PM”. But I do know, that to stay clear & at the same time be full of love and compassion is a very difficult lifestyle in which I also need lots of help from Jesus! So please don’t take my suggestion and Impression not falsely, but as a helping hand, who just wants your good work / article not be less powerful cause the tone turns people of, and miss the great truth in it. And I’m not saying we shall please everybody, Jesus didn’t do it either, cause some just don’t like Him and the truth He is and speaks.
        Again, thanks a lot for the article! God bless you overflowing!

  17. I’ve just begun to research this matter. I am neither homosexual, nor do I have any opinion on this matter yet, however, your opinion is so strong and your words so completely unsupported by fact that your writing here is meaningless. You presume to know what people 2000 years ago were thinking without a shadow of a doubt or a shred of evidence. You discredit yourself. You should go back and offer factual support of your words – as in “I’m a Greek scholar, have studied Greek culture and history during this period for 50 years and I know this because…” or perhaps “23 ancient Greek texts indicate…” and then list them and provide translations. You state clearly that arseno + koites is used in the Old Testament in 4 places to simply mean “sex between a man and a woman or man and a virgin” yet you use that example of the words meaning sex between a man and a virgin to say clearly this must mean arsenokoites means man to man anal sex. That leap alone discredits everything you have written here. It is completely illogical. I actually only read about ten of your statements which have no support, are extremely biased and your hypocritical memes about how other people say things without support… and stopped reading. I’d advise either re-writing this whole blog to include only things you have a factual basis for or delete it. Its a shame to any opinion of your intelligence or critical thinking abilities.

    • Thanks for your rebuke Greta.

      I provided the biblical references for the passages in question from which I derived my lexicographical information.

      I provided the Greek Text (i.e. the primary source) for the Septuagint, as well as the other ancient sources, and links for people to check my facts for themselves.

      I provided original source quotations for the references stated in the quotation (i.e. Aristides of Athens in 138 CE), and showed that the quote I was responding to was clearly misrepresenting the reference.

      In other words, I provided plenty of concrete facts…but you, having admittedly not read the whole article, apparently didn’t get to that part.

      You are free to not like my article, but saying that referencing primary source references make the opinion expressed in the article as being “without a shadow of a doubt or a shred of evidence” makes me highly suspect of your ability to separate facts from feelings and scholarship from shallow blustering.

  18. Pingback: Homosexuality in the eyes of a Christian. Does Jesus make mistakes? – Defending Your Faith

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s