Month: September 2014

A Summary of Homosexual Clobber Passages

Based on Greek literature being Born a Eunuch often meant anyone who did not desire women, including homosexuals. 

Matthew 19:10-12

In these verses Jesus mentions men who are born eunuchs.  This is different from the standard references to Eunuchs.  It was often used in ancient Greece throughout its literature, to refer to those who were homosexual in orientation.  The word eunuch alone was usually someone with deformity or changed anatomy, to no longer be capable of sex.  The phrase “Born eunuch,” is more a term of art to refer euphemistically to homosexuals.  There is even some evidence from the Talmud that this was the case in ancient Israel.  Rabbi Eliezer for example says those who were born Eunuch could be cured and again be made to desire women.  If it were talking about people without sexual capability such a cure, if even possible, would make little sense.    Jesus does not condemn these people but instead affirms that some people are just born that way.  This would at least support an argument that homosexual orientation is not sinful, but is natural, a way some people are born.

The early church had associations with Eunuchs Acts 8:26-40

Leviticus 18 and 20

These chapters address idolatry and practices pagans associated with the worship of their false gods in the ancient near east.   Sex with homosexual temple prostitutes was sought as a means to guarantee stability, wealth and safety.  All kinds of sex acts were also performed in these false worship practices from bestiality to incest.  These verses are written in the context of pagan worship and that context must be taken seriously.  Homosexuals today do not engage in homosexual sex for pagan worship.

Also contained in these passages are the phrases “18:22: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” And 20:13  If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.”  Notice, if needed and meant, the text could have simply said that if a male lies with a male it is an abomination, but the texts do not say that.  They say that a man should not lie with a man like he would a woman.  This means we are talking about a married man, or at least someone who regularly has sex with women.  This is speaking of heterosexuals engaging in homosexual sex.  It is not speaking of homosexuals engaging in homosexual sex.   There is a reason why the wording is the way it is instead of being a direct prohibition.
The primary New Testament passage used against homosexuality is Romans 1:21-28.  This passage in context speaks of Idol Worship and Rejection of God.  Not about Adult Homosexuals

Speaking about idolatry,, this passage goes through the results and patterns of that idolatry, from refused to glorify God in verse 21, to pride and hatred of God in verse 31.  Verses 26-27 in this context, should be interpreted to be about idolatry as well.  Paul is condemning people for worshipping idols and hating God.  Just like the Leviticus passages we have homosexual activity taking place in the context of idolatry, which could easily be referring to ancient practices of homosexual temple prostitution.

Also telling in this passage is it speaks of people giving up their innate passion for the opposite sex to seek pleasure with the same sex.  Notice it does not say merely that it is people engaging in homosexual sex.  It says these are people with desires for the opposite sex engaging in homosexual behavior.  They have gone against their inborn sexual desires to seek pleasure and to worship false Gods.  This means they could not have been homosexuals since homosexuals do not desire heterosexual sex.  So the text is speaking against heterosexuals engaging in homosexual sex for pleasure and idolatry.  There is no mention of a monogamous homosexual relationship among those with that orientation.

There are, no doubt, modern people who engage in homosexual sex for reasons similar to those identified in Romans 1. If someone began with a clear heterosexual orientation, but rejected God and began experimenting with gay sex simply as a way of experiencing a new set of pleasures, then this passage may apply to that person.

Sodom and Gomorrah needs to be discussed as well.

Many say that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality.  But scripture tells us exactly why it was destroyed:  Ezekiel 16:49  “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.  We can take scripture at its word.

Also in Genesis 19, the story of Sodom, speaks of the attempted rape of the angels sent to Lot.  Since Lot’s daughters were offered as an alternative it should be obvious that homosexuality was not the issue, but mass violence and pleasure seeking was.  Homosexual rape was often used as a means to humiliate enemies in the ANE.  Genesis 19 is about sexual abuse.

Jude 7 mentions Sodom but refers to the legend from the book of Enoch about heterosexual sex between angels and humans, using the same phrase “strange flesh.”  Many have claimed this meant homosexuality when no actual reference to homosexuality it mentioned.

The passages have nothing to say about adult monogamous homosexual relationships, but forcible rape and legends about sex with angels.
I Corinthians 6:9-10 and I Timothy 1:10

These are the only other two passages in the New Testament that have been translated as homosexuals, but that linguistic conclusion is questionable at best.  There are two Greek words used here, malokoi and arsenkoites.  Malokoi is often translated as “effeminate.”  Maolokoi literally just means “soft.”  This word is very common in Greek literature.  It is often used to refer to someone with lazy or soft morals.  Women were thought to be weaker in morals so it carried that sense of effeminate, soft in morals.  The only time this word is used to refer to anything related to homosexuality, it refers to a soft man or boy who engages in homosexual prostitution.  In other words, the receptive partner in a homosexual prostitution encounter.  So Paul seems to be forbidding soft morals or male homosexual prostitutes in selecting that word.  So this word has nothing to do with adult homosexual monogamous relationships.

The second word, arsenkoites is a word Paul invented and appears in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy.  Since Paul invented this words literature from before Paul’s usage does not exist, so we kind of have to figure out what he meant.  The root words do mean “bed” and “male” which is a best an ambiguous reference to males in bed. 9does lady-killer literally mean someone who kills ladies, for example?)   So it likely does have something to do with male sexual expression but we cannot surmise from that origin that it is meaning homosexual relationships.  Our only other clue is how the word is used AFTER Paul.  In later Greek literature this word is always used (73 times) to refer to a powerful man (or God) using that power to rape a young boy.  In one case it refers to Zeus abducting and raping a young boy named Ganymede.  In another it refers to the snake in Eden becoming  a creature names Naas and raping Adam.  From these usages we at least get a hint that Paul is speaking about power being used for homosexual rape, not consensual homosexuality.

Note on Lingustics:

Scripture actually never uses a word that speaks directly of adult homosexual relationships.

The Greek words that actually mean homosexual in some way or form that are not found in scripture:

arrenomanes – meaning mad after men or boy crazy

dihetaristriai – a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality,

erastes – a sometimes older man who loves a sometimes younger male

eromenos – a sometimes younger male who loves an older male

euryproktoi – men who dress as women, also a vulgar reference to anal penetration.

hetairistriai – women who are attracted to other women, used by Plato’s character Aristophanes, in The Symposium.

kinaidos – a man “whose most salient feature was a supposedly feminine love of being sexually penetrated by other men.”

lakkoproktoi – a lewd and vulgar reference to anal penetration

lesbiai – a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same thing as dihetaristriai, .

paiderasste – sexual behavior between males

Now with all these words to choose from to describe actual homosexual activity, why did the bible choose a word that means “soft morals” or homosexual prostitute,  and a word Paul made up out of thin air?

Why would the bible not use a Greek word that actually means homosexual if that is what is being spoken against?