In PART 1 we gave brief commentary on the 3 verses in the Old Testament that mention homosexuality. There are 3 verses that mention homosexuality in the New Testament. I meant for this to only be 2 parts… but as I was writing I realized I needed to dig a little deeper to present it honestly.
#4 1 Corinthians 6:9 (NIV) Catamites?
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
From the start I think it is good to point out that verse 9-10 mention several “wrongdoers.” It doesn’t just isolate on 1 issue. This commentary will focus on 1 issue, but it is not our purpose to paint it as the only wrongdoing.
The NIV reads “nor men who have sex with men”
KJV reads “nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind”
The passage in KJV has long been ambiguous. I mean what is effeminate? Is it going so far as a man being completely feminine like a sex change, or acting as a female like dressing like one? Or is it simply being less than a macho man’s man skinning animals with bear hands and driving nails with bear hand?
(sidenote – I remember growing up in church and we had a Christmas funny skit type party. In one of the funny skits a guy had on a dress for the punch line. Half of the church thought it was funny and the other half was worried that both the actor and all who giggled where in danger of hell fire. This scripture was referenced)
What does the Greek say? I clicked over to BlueLetterBible.org to see.
Malakos indeed means effeminate, but goes even deeper in meaning. It references
1) of a catamite
2) of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man
3) of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness
4) of a male prostitute
Catamite directly references Roman culture. A Catamite was a young boy who had sexual relations with a man. The young boy was most likely a slave/servant. So this is an awful thought that includes sex trade, pedophilia, child abuse, and prostitution.
Malakos is referencing the catamite practice. I’m sure many Romans did not enjoy the church calling their practice sin when the Roman Nation said it was well and good. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what a Nation agrees is sin… it matters what God says.
There have been some that try to say that this scripture says nothing against consensual homosexuality between adults. They site the catamite reference of malakos and conclude that the wrongdoing here is either or sex trade, pedophilia, child abuse, and prostitution but not homosexuality.
Ok, but what about Arsenokoitēs?
1) one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual
Arsenokoites appears to be a word coined by Paul. It appears twice in the bible, both times from the pen of Paul.
Paul made a word to try to explain the wrongdoing of 1 Corinthians 6:9, but how are we to know what this word means? When this happens in language you take a very literal approach. You break down the parts of the word… in the case of Arsenokoites there are 2 parts. and here they are…
arrēn – a male
koitē – 1) a place for laying down, resting, sleeping in
2) the marriage bed
3) cohabitation, whether lawful or unlawful a) sexual intercourse
When we take the meaning of the 2 parts of arsenokoites it literally means “male bed.”
Paul’s coined word strongly indicates homosexual union as a wrongdoing.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 talks about about many wrongdoers. We should all remember that we are all wrongdoers… 2 types of wrongdoers mentioned are Malakos, the homosexual child prostitution, and Arsenokoites which strongly indicates a homosexual relationship. Even if Malakos is only talking about a catamite, pedophile situation, Arsenokoites is talking about the all male relationship being a wrongdoing.
These are my views on 1 Cor 6:9. I mean to share them in love and not hate. No matter our wrongdoing – God Loves Us.