Thursday

Pyrnia May Cuttlecourt

The "I have a Problem with Pentecostals" blogger Mennoknight (AKA Lyndon Unger) wrote on my favorite word "arsenokoites." It's like the 3rd site that comes up when you Google the word and that alone makes it worth a response. I'm sure when he posted it the anti-gay crowd did hand jives on Facebook thinking he got it down.

He starts the post with mentioning Gagnon (Gagnon doesn't believe the Bible is completely inspired, especially the writings of Paul, but that's glossed over by anti-gay Bible believers for the sake of embracing Gagnon), the mess called Michael Brown, that Mohler and "On-line Degrees" James White who have all been talked about on my own fine little blog. He then goes into insulting my comrades in arms with saying we're part of a “Christian” QUILTBAG mafia (I'll make it my Halloween costume next month). He has my man Brownson's book cover, a book he never read, on the post for whatever reason and cheesy pics that he thinks drive his points home (No cute little koala bear, only bad anti-gay scholars and their push-up bra supporters believe they've figured out what the word means).

Was the Bible unreliably translated by uninspired men who tried their best or let their bias bleed into what they translated? Absolutely. There isn't a scholar on either side of this debate who would say otherwise. Was Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit in what he wrote? Absolutely. We aren't talking about the words of Paul, we are talking about what happened to those words once they left Paul and fell into the hands of others.

I'll just respond to what he wrote on his 5 points and leave you to go to his blog with what I was responding to. 

1. Saul was a Jew who became Paul, an Apostle to the GENTILES (Galatians 2:8). That’s rather important to this all. Actually Paul did bow to Greek social convention with terminology and he says so in Galatians 2:15. He used Greek slang and the ironic example is "koitai" that is vulgar slang for f*cking (Paul goes vulgar slang again in Philippians 3:8 with saying the Greek slang for "sh*t").
Paul never saw himself as a lofty prophet, just the opposite (1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 3:8).
The fact Paul DOESN'T use “paiderasste” or any other Greek word for a homosexual or even mentions lesbians (tribas) proves MY point Paul never meant to condemn homosexuality, male OR female. If he did, he would first go to these words first (Greek slang kinaidhos and kolombaras for a passive and masculine homosexual that would have been absolutely clear he was talking about homosexuals and not the mysterious arsenokoite or the "I have a bunch of meanings" malakoi). Remember, the Hellenistic Jews hearing Paul were as fluent in Koine Greek as the gentiles sitting next to them.

When this blogger writes; "The Spirit wrote in harmony with what he had previously wrote (which is important to remember)," He's only talking about Romans that's in the context of gentile idolatry (Romans 1:22,23), that bad habit they had of worshiping images of Goddesses and animals.

Now here is why this blogger and almost all anti-gay apologists who exist think the word means "homosexuals." They say Paul got it from Leviticus 18:22 and to them this is their "gotcha!" moment. But this is the problem. If Leviticus doesn't condemn "homosexuality," neither will 1 Corinthians and you can put enough doubt with their claim Leviticus condemns homosexuality as a general rule by going to the actual Hebrew of the Leviticus verse that shows it's not so clear-cut as they want it to be. He links to the verse in the Hebrew that proves nothing and a follow up link to the poor translation of the verse in the same Hebrew that proves the same nothing. I'm glad he brings up Numbers 31:17-18 and Judges 21:11-12 because it shows the variations of 'arseno' and 'koiten' found in other places in the Bible have nothing to do with homosexuality, MY point. I don't picture the Jewish believers, and neither do you, pulling the gentile believers aside and saying; "O.K. So Paul is trying to tell you he's getting arsenokoite from one of our ancient books you've never heard of. Thank G-d you have us to explain it to you because how would you have known otherwise??? Now pass me the pork ribs I couldn't have before." Another blogger made a good point with saying; "The idea (Paul got the word from Leviticus) is based upon the existence of the words αρσενος κοιτην in that verse, but this is flawed scholarship. Since αρσενος means male, and κοιτην means bed, ANY Greek sentence that mentions a male and a bed will have forms of those two words in it. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are not the only verses in the Septuagint containing those words."



Not all scholars are created equal…

 …and not all are honest... including bloggers who don't know the difference.


2. What's funny is Unger starts off his 2nd point with saying; "The Bible decides what the Bible means by the terms it uses, not some pagan writers who come centuries later... "
Yet who does he go to later down on his point? Pagan writings that used the word closest to the time of Paul that proves the opposite of what he's saying. The Sibylline Oracles puts the word in the category of economic injustices.

[This is how it works. If you can't find a context of a Bible word in other places of the Biblical narrative, arsenokoite is put in a vice list by Paul that gives it no context, you then go outside the Bible that uses the word at the closest time of it's Bible usage. There isn't one Bible scholar who doesn't do this including the ones he names at the start of his post]

Now this is where the blog author tries to fool you.

He first links to a part of Aristides Apology 13 in saying it's condemning of "homosexuality," but this is only talking about Greek Gods who transform themselves into animals to lay with men AND women. It says more on bestiality or God/human sexual relations than homosexuality ("... and some (Gods) transformed themselves into the likeness of animals to seduce the race of mortal women and some polluted themselves by lying with males"). Aristides wrote this to the notorious homosexual Emperor Hadrian as a good-will gesture in explaining the worship practices of those in Hadrian's empire. It would have been stupid to write a condemnation of homosexuality, what Unger believes Aristides is doing here, to a gay emperor.

He then says; "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])."

Well yeah, it would put the term in the harmony it was intended, but the Epistle of Ignatius or Polycarp he names, give no indication it's about homosexuality, it's just another word put in their vice lists like with Paul's. The actual Acts of John:36 text reads as; " ...so also the poisoner, sorcerer, robber, swindler, and arsenokoitēs, the thief and all of this band…” To put "homosexual" between swindler and thieves breaks the flow, but sex traders (for profit), also linked to the arsenokoitai word, would make perfect sense here. Clement, who also never saw the women in Romans 1:26 as lesbians, makes it about homosexual rape. Notice he doesn't bring up other Christian writings like The Epistle of Barnabas who uses the word for pederasty or John the Faster who uses it for oral/anal sex between men and women? Chrysostom, who first "discovered" lesbians in Romans Clement didn't see and who was ruled by his intense hatred of homosexuality, never interpreted arsenokoitai for a homosexual in either 1 Corinthians or 1 Timothy. Unger will leave these and other sources out because they disprove his entire argument it was unanimous the word means 'homosexual.'

The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae gives nothing on the word other than where you can find it's placement in a vice list from Christian and pagan sources.

Boswell wrote:

"It was during the 4th Century the word became confused and lost it's original significance, so by the 6th Century it was used to designate activities as different as child molesting and anal intercourse between husband and wife."

If this blog writer really cared about the Jewish perspective he's always bringing up, he'd know the Babylonian Talmud uses the word in the context of only pederasty. What? Did he Forget to mention that to you? And wouldn't THAT be the interpretation the "Jewish" Paul would be going with?



Nothing this blog writer has linked or written or pointed out what others have written gives any indication this word means a homosexual or homosexuality as it stands alone, it just isn't there.



3. I don't know of one scholar who thinks Paul was; “likely referencing an earlier Scripture about men sleeping with people that weren’t their wives.”  It was neither Helminiak or Boswell because I've read what they wrote (they make it about prostitution and pederasty for good reasons). I think he's just throwing names out of gay-affirming scholars in wanting you to think he's read their books and found them unconvincing.

I actually agree with him here in that neither Moicheia or Porneia would be terms used by Paul to mean homosexual sex. You just can't prove arsenokoitai does.


4. Number 4 says nothing.

"I've convinced myself I'm right, so I must be right."

 - Lyndon Unger.


5. Unger is right and the guy he's refuting on Facebook is wrong. Malakoi (lit; softie) ISN'T in 1 Timothy, but again this proves MY point in grand style with going back to my two points I've put on my blog before.

If 'arsenokoitai' is the "aggressor" in a homosexual relationship and 'malakoi' the "passive" partner in 1 Corinthians, why is malakoi absent in 1 Timothy? An arsenokoitai would be missing the other half of his relationship. If they are a word pair, no other vice list with either malakoi or arsenokoitai, and there are many with malakoi prior to Paul and many with arsenokoitai after Paul, ever have them paired together.

If 'arsenokoitai' can be the catch-all word for both sides of a homosexual relationship, why does Paul bother using malakoi in 1 Corinthians? "Koites" was used centuries before Paul's usage and when used as a suffix in compounds it always indicated the penetrative aggressor, never the passive. That means it can't apply to both partners in an act and cannot be a catch-all term for all homosexual activity.



Now, what 5 points again? The blog author needs to take his blog title to heart or take up long haul trucking because he isn't good at this.



  
Jewish hipsters think homophobes should Lign in drerd un bakn beygls.



No comments: