Est. May 2008

03 February, 2014

But It Doesn’t Say That!

How often do we hear about churches and, in some cases, entire denominations, of ‘Christians’ who work fervently to re-translate the Bible to suit their needs-of-the-moment? Lots of times, right? And one of the bigger offenders is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).

And the ELCA, back in 2009, handed out a batch of Bibles at a youth gathering in which the explanation for 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says “Two terms..have been mistranslated from the Greek in all modern versions, and this has caused needless pain in the church....The issue here is violence. Neither term pertains to homosexuality or to the lives of gay and lesbian people."

Actually, um, no.


Here’s the passage:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NASB, emphasis mine)
I highlighted the ‘offensive’ and ‘mis-translated’ words for you.

Borrowing from a blog titled 'I’m Christian, I’m Gay, Let’s Talk', written by a homosexual ELCA pastor, we read:
It seems to me this passage is speaking about exploitive forms of sex such as cultic prostitution and pederasty and cannot be used in arguments against committed same sex relationships. They are two completely different contexts.
First off, way back in Leviticus, God pronounced, ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination’ (Leviticus 18:22). That looks to be pretty unequivocal: regardless of whether it’s a committed relationship or one based on cultic male prostitution or pederasty, homosexuality is homosexuality – an abomination.

Speaking of which, even homosexual ‘Christians’ with a grasp of Greek (or access to a Strong’s concordance) admit that the word arsenokoitēs is a compound made up of Greek words which mean ‘man’ and ‘lying with or sleeping with’.

Additionally, accessing an on-line Greek-English translator and plugging in the word ‘homosexual’ gives you … arsenokoitēs - and this is a modern Greek translation (see the pic below).

(click to make bigger)

The other term, ‘effeminate’, is the translation of the Greek word malakos. Now, homosexual ‘Christians’ say this word is translated as ‘soft’, and they’re right; in fact, three times in the New Testament (in Matthew and Luke) it’s used to describe the texture of fabric (which would be Strong’s definition of ‘soft to the touch’). When it’s used in 1 Corinthians, however, it can’t possibly mean ‘soft to the touch’, because, in context, it’s describing behavior:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor malakos, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
’Soft to the touch’ isn’t a behavior.

Mr. Eck over at the above-mentioned blog describes malakos this way:
Many scholars argue that malakoi refers to moral weakness in general, with no specific connection to sodomy.
This makes no sense, either. First, malakos means ‘soft’; second, it’s senseless to include ‘morally weak’ within a litany of descriptions of morally weak behaviors.

It never ceases to amaze me the contortions some folks will go through to get the Bible to say what they want to say. But asking, ‘Did God really say..?’ is the oldest trick in the book.

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