The infrastructure and content of the transcriptions have taken hundreds of hours by one person. Keep the creativity flowing by buying me a coffee.

The infrastructure and content of the transcriptions have taken hundreds of hours by one person. Keep the creativity flowing by buying me a coffee.

The topic of homosexuality and the Bible has been a contentious one for centuries. Many people have questioned whether the Bible supports homosexuality or condemns it. In this blog post, we’ll examine the Bible’s stance on homosexuality and the truth about the mistranslation of the word “arsenokoitai.”

First and foremost, the Bible does not address homosexuality directly. There are a few passages in the Bible that have been interpreted to condemn homosexuality, but those interpretations are hotly debated. The truth is that the Bible does not offer a clear stance on homosexuality, and any interpretation is up for debate.

One common myth circulating on social media, especially on TikTok, is that the word “homosexual” was added to the Bible in 1946 due to a mistranslation. The original meaning of the word “arsenokoitai” was supposedly “pedophile” or “prostitute,” and rendering “arsenokoitai” as “homosexuals” is a mistranslation.

While it’s true that “arsenokoitai” does not necessarily refer to pedophiles or prostitutes, there is no evidence to support the idea that we should translate it differently than what can be derived literally from the etymology. The etymology also does not support rendering “homosexuals.” “Arsenokoitai” is a compound of “arsen” and “koi Thai.” When used as a verb, the word means “men having sex with men as they would women.” So, while the word does not necessarily refer to all homosexuality, it does refer to a specific type of male homosexual act.

Furthermore, “arsenokoitai” only refers to the active role in that act, the penetrator. The passive role is not referred to with the word “arsenokoitai.” It is referred to with the word “malachos,” which Paul also uses in First Corinthians 6. “Malachos” means “soft,” and it has reference to a specific type of person occupying that role: a young man or a boy. This had reference to the one kind of homosexual relationship in first-century CE Greco-Roman societies that was considered permissible, and that was between a higher-class older man and a lower-class young man or boy.

There is no indication whatsoever that Paul is referring to two adult men of the same social standing engaging in a consensual long-term monogamous homosexual relationship. That is just a conclusion that cannot be drawn from the New Testament.

In conclusion, the Bible does not offer a clear stance on homosexuality, and any interpretation is up for debate. While “arsenokoitai” does not necessarily refer to all homosexuality, it does refer to a specific type of male homosexual act. And there is no evidence to support the idea that the word was mistranslated to refer to pedophiles or prostitutes. It is important to approach the Bible with an open mind and a willingness to engage in honest dialogue and debate.

Transcription from Dan McClellan.

Further reading:

  • “What the Bible Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality” by Stephen J. Patterson, published by the Huffington Post on June 26, 2015.
  • “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” by Melissa Florer-Bixler, published by Sojourners on February 5, 2020.
  • “Does the Bible Really Condemn Same-Sex Relations?” by Janet E. Smith, published by the National Catholic Register on September 17, 2018.
  • “A Literal Translation of ‘Arsenokoitai'” by Richard Hays, published in the Harvard Theological Review in 1984.
  • “The Bible and Homosexuality: An Overview” by Daniel A. Helminiak, published in the Journal of Homosexuality in 1994.

continue reading

Related Posts

  • 540 words2.7 min read

    Given the recent buzz on TikTok where Osama bin Laden has been mistakenly portrayed as a spokesperson in the Israel-Palestine conflict, it's time to revisit the insightful ideas of Christopher Hitchens.

  • 458 words2.3 min read

    Empirical evidence provides a more reliable foundation for understanding the world around us. However, philosophical speculation and metaphysical inquiries can still contribute to enriching our understanding of reality.

  • 4795 words24 min read

    The Iraq War not only removed a brutal dictator but also paved the way for transformative changes in the Middle East. By bringing Saddam Hussein to justice, restoring the environment, and supporting Kurdish autonomy, the intervention has had a lasting positive impact on the region. Furthermore, the war led to significant non-proliferation victories, such as shutting down the AQ Khan Network and exposing North Korea's WMD proliferation.