Why are gay activists winning?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Hermeneut7, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Hermeneut7

    Hermeneut7
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    Is the church guilty of trying to prove too much? Are we in error of overreach? Here are two examples of modern evangelical translations of a Greek word(s) in 1 Cor. 6:9

    ESV - "men who practice homosexuality" Note: "The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts"

    NIV2011 - "men who have sex with men" Note: "The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts."

    The reasons given for these translation choices are usually based on the BDAG and the L&N. When you read those lexicons you find references to many ancient documents, but none are quoted to support the lexicon's conclusions. Does anyone know of a web site that gives the references printed out? The gay activists have researched and placed online the Greek word "arsenokoites" used in antiquity and have placed it online at: http://www.gaychristian101.com/Define-Arsenokoites.html
    Why on earth has the church scholarship not placed online somewhere the historical evidence of arsenokoites meaning what they think it means in the ESV & NIV2011?

    If the NIV2011 translates arsen-koites as "men who have sex with men", why did they not translate koites in Rom. 13:13 as men who have sex with women. Or, why are the terms "homosexual" and "homosexuality" found in some modern versions of Scripture, but not the words "heterosexual" or "heterosexuality"? Any reference to a web site that gives the church's record of the Greek arsenokoites in history would help.
     
  2. JeremyV

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    "Koite" literally refers to a bed but was often used as a euphemism for sex. I am not sure what the translation of this word is for Romans 13:13 in the NIV but in the KJV it is "chambering" which was a euphemism for sex in King James English. The reason that it does not specify that it is heterosexual is because that was understood. We call a sweet potato a sweet potato but we don't call a regular potato a regular potato. Instead we simply call it a potato. It is the same here.

    If you look at the proof text provided by the website you give you will notice something. The earliest text they site as using the word in a way that contradicts the Bible translation in The Acts of John where they even admit that there is no definition given but try to prove from the way the word was translated into English that it meant "temple prostitute". (A ploy that is used often this list but more covertly) We cannot understand an authors intent by how someone else translated the text many years latter.

    After this we have Aristides' use of the word. Here they claim it was used in a context of rape. This instance wasn't until around AD 125, long after Romans was written. Besides this, in the exert they provide there isn't even one mention of rape as they contend. Instead the context is adultery and bestiality.

    The next reference they list and claim to have a contrary use to "homosexual" is with Origen. Origen was born in AD 187, so we can assume that is was probably at least AD 200 before this exposition was written, at least 150 years after Romans was written. Here the author insists that it is used to reference sex between a man and a woman that is not procreative. I only came across one site that cad the actual text of this. In the English translation the word is translated as "non-procreative sexual intercourse" but there is nothing in the context that would seem to warrant this translation and no explanation as to why it is translated thus.

    The next such reference is Hippolytus who the author claims used the word in reference to rape, but once again the text that is provided never actually describes the act as rape.

    Next we move to Eusebius who wrote close to four hundred years after Romans was written. I found this reference as well and here the word is translated as "trader in homosexual slaves" Here again there is nothing in the context that links the usage with slaves or trading and neither can be found in the root words that make up the word "Arsenokoites".

    Here we are some three hundred years after Paul first coined this word and there is not a single instance of the word being clearly used to mean anything other then homosexual. In all of these cases neither direct definition nor context is given that would help define the word, not even the first time it was ever used. This tells me that to the original writers and readers the meaning was clear from the word itself, a word that at it's roots means "male sex". Given that these words were written to a male dominated society, it seems clear to me what the meaning is.
     
  3. Hermeneut7

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    Jeremy, you spent time dissecting and refuting the gay activist lists and their explanations, but you did not give us where there is a list of actual writings where we can see if it means the same as how we use "homosexual' in this day. Certainly some conservative, Bible-believing theologian, seminary student, or scholarly saint somewhere can provide a list online. As an example, the only 2 texts after the NT I've ever seen that contain the word aresenokoites in some form are the two following:

    From the Sibylline Oracle 2.70-77.10 -
    "(Never accept in your hand a gift which derives from unjust deeds.)

    Do not steal seeds. Whoever takes for himself is accursed (to generations of generations, to the scattering of life.

    Do not arsenokoitein, do not betray information, do not murder.) Give one who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man. Take heed of your speech. Keep a secret matter in your heart. (Make provision for orphans and widows and those in need.)

    Do not be willing to act unjustly, and therefore do not give leave to one who is acting unjustly."

    From the Acts of John -
    "You who delight in gold and ivory and jewels, do you see your loved (possessions) when night comes on? And you who give way to soft clothing, and then depart from life, will these things be useful in the place where you are going? 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 arsenokoités, the thief and all of this band. ...So, men of Ephesus, change your ways; for you know this also, that kings, rulers, tyrants, boasters, and warmongers shall go naked from this world and come to eternal misery and torment (section 36; Hennecke-Schneemelcher)."
    http://www.clgs.org/arsenokoités-and-malakos-meanings-and-consequences

    Those are the only two I've seen written out online and I do not see how we'd even conclude the word means sex of any type in those contexts, much less homosexual acts. This is what I am speaking about, where are there any writings from antiquity with arsenokoites to demonstrate it means what we mean by homosexual. I'm not interested in debating the obvious sin in 1 Cor. 6:9, but how to determine exactly what sort of male-male sexual sin it was. We only have 1 Cor. 6:9 & 1 Tim. 1:10 and the contexts do not give much to define by. So, where are the writings in the past that help us say it means what the NIV2011 and ESV say?
     
  4. Hermeneut7

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    Jeremy, I see you are also pretty new here. Welcome!
     
  5. JohnDeereFan

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    Because the Church is silent and is so caught up in being seeker sensitive and following after the world that it's largely impotent and irrelevant.
     
  6. JeremyV

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    I am not aware of any list written from a conservative perspective. There is an exhaustive list of the use of this word in Greek manuscripts here:

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

    Keep in mind that this list was compiled in support of homosexuality. Even so, it appears to have every known instance of this word. I have not looked at them all in detail but I have looked at all of them through he third century. In all of these, the only thing that gives any indication of the word's meaning is the word itself. Context provides no clue.

    Since this was a new word and one not likely to be well known, the audience would have to have understood it's meaning from the context (which provides no help in this case) or the word itself. The root words would have been well known to the audience and from them the audience would have understood that arsenkoites meant a man who has sex with other men and by extension women who had sex with other women. The main contention today is whether it referred to all homosexual sex or to forced homosexual sex. The problem with the latter is that if that was the case, the audience would have not understood that from the text.

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. Hermeneut7

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    Yes, that indeed helps. I can ignore how the gay activists 'rewrite' the word, but I can see the contexts for myself. I'm coming to the conclusion modern Bibles are written with modern thought and language that would be foreign to Paul himself. I am becoming convinced the modern Bibles are reading back into the Scriptures today's culture and terminology that is not fitting to the 1st century. I thank you for that list and I'll spend some time reading through it, ignoring how the activists tried to fit their slant into it.
     
  8. Salty

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    Not sure what battle that "gay" activists are fighting
    but homosexuals are making many inroads in their fight for so called equal rights. What I find interesting is that I never hear them demanding the same rights for pologany

    The question is what can/should we do?
     
  9. JeremyV

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    You bring up a very good question that, I believe, we as a whole have been very bad at answering. Perhaps we should start a thread on that topic.
     
  10. robycop3

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    Older Bible translations such as the KJV don't contain the words "heterosexual" or "homosexual" cuz neither word was coined until C. 1892 in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," a German-language book for psychiatrists.

    And why does it seem gays are prevailing? Because we aren't EVANGELIZING them enough! many devout Christians go outta their way to avoid gays insteada attempting to strike up a conversation or acquaintanceship with them, leading to presenting the Gospel to them, doing one's best to convince them that gay acts are sinful. Part of this is reminding them that the "orientation" itself is not a sin, but ACTING upon such orientation IS sinful. Gos expects a gay-oriented person to control his/her libido same as He does a hetero person.

    A Christian should view an encounter with a gay person as an opportunity to steer a lost sinner to CHRIST made available by the HOLY SPIRIT. While we sow the seeds, GOD will make'em grow at His will.

    But I'm preaching insteada discussing Bible versions. The KJV used the word 'sodomite', which a gay will quickly point out is a person who engages in a certain sexual practice, which can be performed by either homos or heteros. And we've already duscussed the proper translation of the Hebrew here.

    However, the KJV goes on to point out God's condemnation of a man who lies with another man as a man does with a woman. There's NO MISTAKING that language!
     
  11. jonathan.borland

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    Baptistboarders,

    I really apologize if this post pushes the limits on the rule against discussion of sexually related material, but as the discussion is based on biblical passages and the growing debate among certain sections of society, I think something should be said.

    Below I'll mention just the first few points from the lengthy article by David F. Wright, "Homosexuals or Prostitutes? The Meaning of ΑΡΣΕΝΟΚΟΙΤΑΙ (1 Cor. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10)," Vigiliae Christianae 38 (1984): 125–153.

    The basis for the translation of ARSENOKOITHS is rooted in the OT:

    Lev 18:22 - "Thou shalt not lie down with a man (ARSENOS) in bed (KOITHN, i.e., coitally) as with a woman."

    Lev 20:13 - "Whoever lies with a man in bed (ARSENOS KOITHN) as with a woman, both have committed an abomination . . . ."

    Obviously these passages denounce as sinful the act of males having sex with males as is done with females, without specification whether this is illicit sex or licit sex. In other words, it is the act itself that is an abomination without any qualification. Also, the NT church did not abrogate these OT moral laws as they did the ceremonial laws, as many patristic passages (some of which I mention below) make clear.

    Wright's article, which deals a drubbing to the lexical opinions of the gay and now deceased (from AIDS) Yale professor John Boswell, does a thorough job dealing with all the cognate words and etymologies and also the usage in early literature. For example, Hippolytus of Rome (around 150 years after Paul) writes about the founder of the Naassene Gnostics in his Refutatio omnium haeresium (Refutation of All Heresies) 5.26.23: "So Naas committed lawlessness: for he went in unto Eve and after seducing her committed adultery with her. And he also went in unto Adam and had him as a "little boy," which is also likewise lawlessness. Thus began MOICEIA and ARSENOKOITIA." As an ARSENOKOITHS is someone who does ARSENOKOITIA, the usage here is pretty explicit: MOICEIA (μοιχεία) is heterosexual (i.e. adultery), ARSENOKOITIA (ἀρσενοκοιτία) is homosexual (i.e. gay coitus).

    See also just a few of the other passages he discusses, including some that reference the Levitical passages above:

    Eusebius, Demonstratio evangelica (Demonstration of the Gospel) 4.10.6 (PG 22:276; GCS 23:165).

    Eusebius, Dem. ev. 1.6.67 (PG 22:65; GCS 23:33). Cf. also Dem. ev. 1.6.33 (PG 22:56; GCS 23:27-28).

    Eusebius, Praeparatio evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel) 13.20.7 (GCS 43/2:251-2).

    Apostolic Constitutions 6.28 (PG 1:984).

    Apos. Con. 7.2 (PG 1:1000).

    Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem (Against Marcion) 1.29.4 (CCL 1:473).
     
  12. John of Japan

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    I think Jon has basically blown away the homosexual activists' interpretation (which is based on their presuppositions). I was wishing I could weigh in on that, but all of my Greek lexicons and reference books are packed and shipped, since we're moving.

    I do want to add that even without the disputed passages, homosexual acts are sin by virtue of being extra-marital, and thus fitting under porneia (fornication, or any extra-marital sexual activity. This word occurs negatively as sin in 32 verses. Another word which may be applied is aselgeia (lasciviousness), occurring as sin 9 times in the NT.

    The only sexual activity allowable Biblically is the marriage bed. And surely no one could doubt that Biblical marriage is only between a man and a woman.

    So are the gays winning? Not unless you characterize lies and bias as victory. God always wins.
     
  13. Hermeneut7

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    Avoiding the sexual discussion, getting back to the OP and the question of how the ESV & NIV2011, along with others, translate malakos and arsenokoites. Jeremy has provided a link showing the ancient Greek texts online to see if it can shown in history that the word arsenokoites means the active partner in a homosexual act. I do not find it in the list and those who quote the BDAG and L&N have not produced the evidence that I can find. Liberals and gay activists can research also and see that the ESV and such, have read thoughts out of a psychology textbook back into the NT. Look how Greek scholars and commentators in the past have viewed the Greek malakos which for years has been rendered "effeminate" and that is not "passive homosexual partner" in anyone's dictionary! Anyone can access the following commentaries: http://www.studylight.org/com/

    Joseph Benson, 18th C. Methodist
    "Nor effeminate — Who live in an easy, indolent way, taking up no cross, enduring no hardship. But how is this, that these good-natured, harmless people are ranked with idolaters and sodomites, those infamous degraders of human nature? We may learn hence, that we are never secure from the greatest sins, till we guard against those which are thought to be the least; nor indeed till we think no sin is little, since every one is a step toward hell."

    Kretzmann Commentary, 1925, Lutheran
    effeminate - "”the voluptuous, that were addicted to all forms of sensuality"

    The Expositor's Greek Testament, Sir William Robertson Nicoll, 19 c.
    "μαλακοί, soft, voluptuous, appears in this connexion to signify general addiction to sins of the flesh; lexical ground is wanting for the sense of pathici, suggested to some interpreters by the following word and by the use of molles in Latin."

    Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Lutheran 19 C
    "μαλακοί] effeminates, commonly understood as qui muliebria patiuntur, but with no sufficient evidence from the usage of the language (the passages in Wetstein and Kypke, even Dion. Hal. vii. 2, do not prove the point); moreover, such catamites (molles) were called πόρνοι or κίναιδοι. One does not see, moreover, why precisely this sin should be mentioned twice over in different aspects. Rather therefore: effeminate luxurious livers."

    Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (The general design of the Commentary, has been to connect more closely the study of the Classics with the reading of the New Testament. To recognise this connection and to draw it closer is the first task of the Christian scholar. The best thoughts as well as the words of Hellenic culture have a place, not of sufferance, but of right in the Christian system.)
    "μαλακοί, effeminate, i.e. self-indulgent. See Arist. Nic. Eth. VII. 7, ὁ δὲ περὶ λύπας μαλακός, ὁ δὲ καρτερικός, and again, ἡ τρυφὴ μαλακία τίς ἐστιν."

    The NET Bible translator note reads:
    1 tn This term is sometimes rendered “effeminate,” although in contemporary English usage such a translation could be taken to refer to demeanor rather than behavior. BDAG 613 s.v. μαλακός 2 has “pert. to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate esp. of catamites, of men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship.” L&N 88.281 states, “the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’ …As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.” See also the discussion in G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 243-44. A number of modern translations have adopted the phrase “male prostitutes” for μαλακοί in 1 Cor 6:9 (NIV, NRSV, NLT) but this could be misunderstood by the modern reader to mean “males who sell their services to women,” while the term in question appears, at least in context, to relate to homosexual activity between males. Furthermore, it is far from certain that prostitution as commonly understood (the selling of sexual favors) is specified here, as opposed to a consensual relationship. Thus the translation “passive homosexual partners” has been used here.
    2 tn 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.

    Sounds so very scholarly and I guess it is. But, where is the evidence that it is right and the NT Greek scholars in the past have missed it for centuries? Maybe the J.B. Philips has it close: “... neither the effeminate, the pervert” or the NIV-Greek-English Interlinear: "voluptuous persons", "sodomites".
     
  14. Hermeneut7

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    Salty, I believe we need to stop producing modern Bible translations that inject the evangelical political agenda into the translation itself. Another example is Ex. 21:22. For centuries that was seen and understood in the main as a "miscarriage". Suddenly we have the 1973 Roe-Wade decision and modern evangelical versions begin translating that as a premature birth, not death. Check a history of the various translations and watch the change. What else happened in 1973? The American Psychiatric Association took homosexuality off its DSM of mental illness and then watch again how modern translations began sounding as if 1 Cor. 6:9 was translated out of a college psychology textbook! I am 72 and in utter shell shock how our nation now thinks it is my duty to pay for some free-loading woman's birth control or abortion; or, to see society tolerate the disgusting Gay Pride Marches in our cities.. and 'churches' marrying 2 men and 2 women. But, I lay the blame on us, the churches for tampering with God's word to fit our own theology and political agenda. I think the problem is in us, the church, not Washington or San Francisco. Oh God in heaven we do need a Holy Spirit revival, NOT charismatic frauds, but true, God sent revival that humbles us all and makes us look to Him. Don't think I do not see the need inside of me, I surely do!
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    urrent culture. NOT what the lord meant...



    The gay activists are gain ground for mainly two reasons...

    One is that some in the christian Church have redefined biblical morality to reflect contemporary culture. not what God meant...

    Two, satan is the god of this age , so the World will reflect His preverted/distorted message in this area...
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Your OP title was "Why are gay activists winning?" My post was perfectly legitimate in that it answered that question.

    Theological answer: The gays are not winning and they never will. God wins.

    Biblical answer: There are many Scriptures other than your disputed ones which condemn homosexual activity.

    Political answer: This doesn't concern me much, but as a Bible translator myself I am completely sure that the translators of the modern versions mentioned are not injecting their political views into the Scriptures.

    Linguistic answer: Aptly covered by Jon Borland, who you haven't answered yet.
     
  17. Crabtownboy

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    Politically they, like other groups, are simply trying to make America life up to the Pledge of Allegiance. What is it about "liberty and justice for all" that people do not understand?

     
  18. questdriven

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    This is one thing I agree with you on. (Though I do believe homosexuality is a sin.)
     
  19. Crabtownboy

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    Yes, I also believe it is a sin. People are so fast to cast stones at gays and tend to often excuse heterosexuals for their sins of passion.

    I have often said, I do not understand homosexuals. I do not understand women and feel sorry for them, all that is left for women is men and I have yet to meet a man who appealed to me at ALL.
     
  20. Hermeneut7

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    John, my post to which you refer was not directed at you, but to a drift I'd detected earlier. I was referring to translation of 1 Cor. 6:9 in particular, not the sins of male sex with males.
     

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