The Misuse of Scripture to Abuse Homosexuals
Robert J. Willis, Ph.D.
Early one October morning two men spirited away a college student, Matthew Shepard, to a rural area outside of Laramie, Wyoming. There they pistol-whipped him, stripped him of his shoes and $20, tied their severely injured prisoner to a fence post and drove off. The boy died in a Ft. Collins’ hospital five days later. He never regained consciousness. His assailants had planned to seek out and rob a gay man; they did, and murdered him too.
Pastor Fred Phelps and his parishioners from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, picketed Shepard’s funeral, displaying dire accusations. Phelps tried to erect monuments of marble or granite in Cheyenne and Casper. On them a bronze plaque would feature below the dead man’s picture these words:
Entered Hell October 12, 1998, age 21
In Defiance of God’s Warning:
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination”
Phelps, 78, commands a congregation of Christians united around an anti-homosexual theology. For him “homosexuality and its acceptance have doomed most of the world to eternal damnation.”
Righteous Christians throughout Western history have used Scripture to justify the burning of heretics, the enslavement of blacks, and the massacre of Jews. Phelps and his ilk instill hatred for and instigate violence against gays and lesbians. They do so as the self-proclaimed defenders of God and God’s Word. And God weeps.
Christian apologists quote three passages in the Jewish (Old) Testament, a like number in the Christian (New) Testament. They allude in passing to a handful of other minor sites to buttress their case.
Rabid ideologues like Phelps and Hitler revolt us, yet Catholicism stands aligned with them. Citing the same references, it inveighs against homosexuality as unnatural, sinful, a grave offense against God. Although it hides behind a hypocritical stance of loving the sinner while hating the sin, our Church adds fuel to the fires of persecution that torture untold numbers of homosexuals, non-Catholics and Catholics alike. And we weep.
In the following pages I consider recent biblical research into the meaning of these much abused and ideologically misused words of Scripture.
Genesis 19: 1-30—The Sin of Sodom
Arguably, most adult Christians know, at least superficially, the Old Testament’s account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Most conclude that God’s wrath rained upon the residents because of rampant homosexuality. Does Scripture support that interpretation?
Abraham left Ur with his cousin Lot and their families. He eventually “dwelt in the land of Canaan, while Lot dwelt among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom” (Gen.13: 12).
In the ancient Middle East, city dwellers eyed strangers with suspicion. On arrival, newcomers had to announce themselves, detail whom and what they brought with them, and had to satisfy the townspeople of their peaceful intentions. Passing examination, the stranger—in our terms “a resident alien”—received permission to settle under certain conditions. These newcomers could not welcome other strangers until they too had been examined and allowed temporary settlement. A kind of visa granted residency; the equivalent of a green card allowed strangers to work. Lot’s position fit this description.
One day three men—Yahweh and two angels—stopped by Abraham’s tent. He welcomed them effusively and showered them with gracious hospitality. When the strangers continued on their journey, Abraham “went with them to set them on their way” (Gen: 18:16). During their walk, the Lord told Abraham: “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me “(Gen. 18:20-21).
The Lord did not describe for Abraham, or for us, the sin.
Eventually, as evening fell, the two angel-messengers entered Sodom. Lot, mirroring Abraham’s earlier outlay of hospitality, prevailed on them to stay the night in his tent. Before they could bed down, trouble broke out. Someone must have witnessed the arrival and warm reception. In a well-practiced maneuver, all the men of the city, old and young alike, surrounded Lot’s dwelling. The strangers had not been processed as required by local ordinance and Lot had violated the terms of his own residency. The townsmen demanded that Lot turn over the new arrivals to them to “know” (yadah means “have intercourse with”) them. He refused, citing the requirements of hospitality. Instead, he offered his two virgin daughters to the crowd. The people denounced him, a sojourner himself, for putting himself up as a judge of the strangers’ acceptability to the town. Enraged, they charged Lot, determined to punish him and sexually to humiliate the two illegal aliens. This threat has led subsequent generations to conclude that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality.
The facts cited challenge this conclusion. In the first place the crowd of men, the total male population of Sodom, could not be exclusively homosexual. Some had to father the young and see to the ongoing growth of the town. Secondly, Lot’s offer to appease the men by giving them his virgin daughters makes sense only if they were heterosexual. In addition, the crowd intended to gang rape the strangers as a means of shaming them, demeaning them by making them passive like women, and controlling them like masters over slaves. Conquering armies at that time routinely sexually abused prisoners of war in order to humiliate them. That still occurs, even in our supposedly civilized era.
In late 2003 members of the military police at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq tortured their prisoners. Major General Antonio Taguba accused the guards of various acts with decidedly sexual import:
Threatening male detainees with rape; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick; videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees; forcibly arraigning detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing; forcing naked male detainees to wear female underwear; forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped.
The guards acted thus in order to soften up their prisoners for interrogation. The general characterized their activities as “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses.” Note that he did not charge Specialist Charles Graner or other male guards for engaging in some form of homosexual orgy, nor Specialist Lynndie England for entertaining a passion for heterosexual voyeurism. Military judges subsequently sentenced seven military police, including Graner and England, to prison for torturing prisoners, not for forcing sexual affairs upon them.
Picked up during a brawl outside a Brooklyn nightclub, police took a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, into custody. At the station house, two officers hustled the handcuffed man into the bathroom. There they sodomized him with a broken broomstick. Eventually, a jury convicted the perpetrators and three other policemen engaged in covering up the torture:
A federal court jury in Brooklyn convicted three New York City cops March 6 of conspiring to cover up the 1997 stationhouse torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
Thomas Weise and Thomas Bruder each face five years in prison on the charge of conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation into the savage assault on Louima. The third cop, Charles Schwarz, was convicted in a previous trial as an accomplice with Justin Volpe in torturing the immigrant worker inside the bathroom of the 70th Precinct in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
Volpe, convicted of sodomizing Louima with a broken piece of a broomstick, tearing a one-inch hole in his rectum and bladder, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Schwarz, who was found guilty of holding Louima down during the attack, faces up to a life sentence.
No one charged these officers for homosexual activity. They only used sexual torture to punish Louima and to make him comply with their demands. Torturers, rapists they were; sadists they could be; homosexuals they were not.
Men performed acts of sexual violence against other men in Sodom, in Abu Ghraib, and in Brooklyn. These outrages have nothing to do with homosexuality. They manifest no similarity to men loving men. God did not destroy a decadent citizenry because of homosexuality; indeed, the Genesis account does not concern itself with homosexuality, its morality or immorality. So, then, why did God incinerate Sodom and Gomorrah?
The passage in Genesis affords two clues. In the first place, the demands of hospitality took precedence even over the welfare of Lot’s daughters and at the risk of his own life. Secondly, the residents of Sodom sexually humiliated strangers for the sake of “homeland security.” As one commentator pointedly remarks: “So what is the sin of Sodom? Abuse and offense against strangers. Insult to the traveler.”
Other scriptural passages confirm this interpretation. The prophet Ezekiel leaves little doubt about the offense of Sodom that drew down God’s wrath:
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it. (16: 49-50)
In the Septuagint, the English reads “wrought iniquities” as the translation of έποίησαυ άνομήματα. The last word comes from άνομια; it signifies a violation of law, a wrong, or a sin. Note that Ezekial does not explain their sin as sexual abuse.
Leviticus 19: 33-34 spells out the obligation to strangers:
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
The Wisdom of Solomon (19: 13-15), speaking about the Egyptians’ treatment of the Israelite strangers, clearly echoes the treatment of Lot’s guests:
The punishments did not come upon the sinners without prior signs in the violence of thunder, for they justly suffered because of their wicked acts; for they practiced a more bitter hatred of strangers. Others had refused to receive strangers when they came to them, but these made slaves of guests who were their benefactors. And not only so, but punishment of some sort will come upon the former for their hostile reception of the aliens; but the latter, after receiving them with festal celebrations, afflicted with terrible sufferings those who had already shared the same rights. They were stricken also with loss of sight—just as were those at the door of the righteous man—when surrounded by yawning darkness, each tried to find the way through his own door.
Ecclesiasticus (16: 8) preaches that God loathed the people of Sodom because of their insolence, while Isaiah (1: 9-17) understands God to be angry because they failed to “seek justice, correct oppression”; nor did they “defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Jesus himself tells us through Luke (10: 8-12) that Sodom met its end because of its maltreatment of strangers. He gave his seventy disciples these directions:
Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.” I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Finally, listen to the testimony of Nachmanides, a Spanish physician and Torah interpreter in the 13th Century. He comments on “that we may know them” in Genesis 19: 5 as follows:
Their intention was to stop people from coming among them, as our rabbis have said, for they thought that because of the excellence of their land . . . many will come there and they despised charity . . . they continued provoking and rebelling against Him with their ease and the oppression of the poor . . . . In the opinion of our Rabbis, all evil practices were rampant among them. Yet their fate was sealed because of this sin— i.e. they did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy— since this sin represented their usual behaviour more than any other. Besides, since all peoples act righteously towards their friends and their poor, there was none among all the nations who matched Sodom in cruelty.
Leviticus 18: 22, 20: 13—The Condemnation These passages relate to homogenital acts. The first states the prohibition; the second specifies the punishment. As our concern revolves around the act itself, we may consider the two statements together.
The author of Leviticus wrote in Hebrew. Seventy Jewish scholars translated the Old Testament into Greek in Alexandria between 300—200 B.C. In the late 4th Century of the Christian era, Jerome translated both testaments, the Old Testament directly from Hebrew and Aramaic, into Latin. His Vulgate served as the Christian text until the Protestant Reformation. Since then, English translations, though based on the Septuagint and the Vulgate, have shaped the text according to their doctrinal stances and differences. One must recognize this history to understand the original meaning of the Levitican prohibition.
As an example, consider the negative charge asserted in the two passages. The Revised Standard Version, the English Standard Version, and the King James Version proclaim it “an abomination.” The New English Translation and the New International Version hold it to be “detestable,” while the Living Bible brands it an “enormous sin” and the New Living Tradition a “detestable sin.” The New Jerusalem Bible stands alone in describing it as “a hateful thing.” Does this diversity of interpretations influence our understanding?
The Hebrew word toevah lies behind any translation. Something must offend the religious sensibilities of the people to deserve that appellation. For an ancient people surrounded by non-believers in Egypt and Palestine, idolatrous worship challenged the community as Yahweh’s people. Determined to differentiate themselves from polytheists, they proscribed attention paid to pagan idols and the cultural practices that supported them. So the First and Second books of Kings declared the adoration of Astarte and Moloch and Baal to be toevah. But Deuteronomy also listed as toevah the sacrificing to Yahweh of a calf or a sheep with a blemish (17: 1), women wearing men’s clothes (22: 5), anyone resorting to sorcery and magic (18: 12), or eating pork (14: 3).
The Old Testament’s writers distinguished toevah from zimah, the latter being a violation of law, a sin, something intrinsically wrong. The Jewish translators of the Septuagint used the Greek word βεδελύγμα for toevah and άνομια for zimah. The Septuagint translates all the passages referred to in the previous paragraph by a form of βεδελύγμα.
Given this understanding, consider again the various translations here of toevah/βεδελύγμα/abominatio.
“Enormous sin” and “detestable sin” incorrectly translate toevah as if it were zimah. Calling it a “hateful thing” renders a feckless and banal generality while “detestable” means obnoxious (e.g. loud music disturbing one’s sleep), overly burdensome (e.g. working long hours for a slave’s wages), disgusting (e.g. a putrid and running sore), or accursed (e.g. bullying a weaker or younger person). It hardly carries the weight of Israel’s fear of assimilation by an encroaching pagan world.
“An abomination” directly translates the Vulgate’s abominatio. One must ask, however, if the modern sense of “abomination” expresses the Levitican original. Most people today would brand these actions as abominations: the cold efficiency of the Nazi’s holocaust machine; Josef Mengele’s sadistic medical experiments upon helpless children; the tactical employment of rape to terrorize populations in Kosovo and Darfur; the brutal kidnapping of Africans and stowing them like sardines in the filthy bellies of slavers; the auctioning off of African slaves, and splitting apart their families for personal profit, as if they were cattle. These abominations degrade and dehumanize both the violator and the victim. In the end neither may be able to relate again normally to others.
Yahweh made Abraham the father of a great nation and promised that he would be that nation’s God. To lose Yahweh’s blessing and care would break a covenant that gave shape and purpose to the Hebrew people. Without it all would become empty and meaningless. We may grasp somewhat this abomination if we recall the utter devastation invading white men visited on brown-skinned peoples when they uprooted them from their Mother Earth, separated them from their ancestral lands, disrupted their nomadic life, and forced upon them foreign ways and values. Worst of all, these Europeans refused to honor the traditional worship of tribal gods; instead, they attempted to convert Native Americans into worshippers of the white man’s divinity.
No matter the homogenital acts under discussion in Leviticus, the abomination lies, not in the sexual activity itself, but in estranging the Hebrews from their covenant with Yahweh. Consider closely the wording and meaning of Leviticus 18: 22.
The verse reads as follows in the various languages:
1) Hebrew—we-et zakar lo’ tishkav mishkevey ishshah;
2) Greek—καί μετά άρσενος ού κοιμηθήση κοίτην γυναικείαν;
3) Latin—cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo;
4) English (literal)—And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman.
Who are involved in this action? The verse initially introduces the passive person in the proscribed intercourse. Hebrew denominates him as zakar, the opposite of neqebah; in English we would say male and female. Notice that neqebah/female does not appear in this verse. The second person is presented as ishshah, in English either wife or woman. Her natural opposite is ish; that is, either husband or man. The male form of the verb tishkav supplies the husband-wife or man-woman pairing. Why would the author differentiate between zakar and ish, between male and man or husband? Did the English translators keep this linguistic mismatch, and if they did not, why?
Of the eight versions surveyed, three kept the disjunctive pairing of male/woman: Revised Standard Version, New English Translation, and New International Version. Three created equal pairs: man/woman by the New Jerusalem Bible and the English Standard Version, mankind/womankind for the King James Version. Two dropped the pairs completely: the Living Bible pronounced: “homosexuality is absolutely forbidden,” and the New Living Transition warned: “do not practice homosexuality.” The last listed mistranslate. The term “homosexuality” did not occur until the late 19th Century. Its use here proclaims a current moral position, right or wrong, prejudiced or not. The creating of equal pairs has the same effect. It asserts that any substitute of man for woman, of mankind for womankind, no matter the peculiar situation, is wrong. Maintaining the inequality makes the circumstance control the morality of an act. Leviticus does not universally condemn male-to-male sexual conduct: the circumstance establishes its moral valence.
One may interpret the requisite circumstance in three likely ways. It revolves around the unequal pairing of zakar—ishshah and the meaning of mishkevey (miškĕbê). Note that the translations that drop the unequal pairing do not translate mishkevey at all.
The first interpretation understands tishkav as “husband lies down” and ishshah as “his wife.” Mishkevey means “in the bed of.” The prohibition thus reads: “And with a male a husband shall not lie in the bed of his wife.” This may be taken literally as not engaging in sex with another in the wife’s tent and in her bed; it may also be taken metaphorically as not committing adultery. In common parlance one should not “profane the marriage bed.” This interpretation would expand the condemnation against adulterous incest in previous verses, and against adultery with a neighbor’s wife in verse twenty. A married man could commit adultery with another man. The death penalty against a man who has sex with his neighbor’s wife (Lev. 20: 10) must also include the husband who betrays his wife with another man (Lev. 20: 13).
Chapter eighteen begins with this command from the Lord: “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you “(Lev. 18: 3). There follows a list of sexual prohibitions involving incest, adultery, and ritual uncleanness. Verses twenty-one though twenty-three prohibit activities associated with the worship of the Canaanite gods: child sacrifice, engaging in sex with a male temple prostitute, and bestiality. Some commentators take this to mean the text condemns sex between men in an idolatrous context. Helminiak supports this interpretation:
Among the early Israelites, as Leviticus sees it, to engage in homogenital sex meant to be like the Gentiles, to identify with the non-Jews. That is to say, to engage in homogenital acts was to betray the Jewish religion. Leviticus condemned homogenital sex as a religious crime of idolatry, not as a sexual offense, and that religious treason was thought serious enough to merit death. Like a broken seal on a sterile medicine, an apostate disqualifies the whole people. The flaw must be corrected. The betrayer must be eliminated . . . .
The Holiness Code of Leviticus, therefore, prohibits male same-sex acts because of religious considerations, not because of sexual ones. Israel must refrain from Gentile worship. Its leaders forbid homogenital sex associated with pagan activities, with idolatry, and with Gentile identity.
Verse twenty-two would thus read: “ And with a male, sacred prostitute, you shall not lie as in the bed of a woman.” Leviticus posits no clear reason for this prohibition. I cannot, therefore, assume the certainty of Helminiak and others, like Ide. That being said, I find their argument reasonable, given this small tribe’s unique identity and fear of assimilation by its pagan neighbors.
Men dominated patriarchal Israelite society. Yahweh, a male God, ruled creation from heaven; no longer did an earth goddess command Israeli allegiance. Yahweh guided his people through their patriarchs to a land of promise and helped them overcome their enemies. Male warriors assured the ongoing survival of the people. Property, family coherence, tribal unity came through patrilineal transferral from father to son. Women belonged to men. A husband even had jurisdiction “over a woman’s reproductive capacity and sexual function.” Yet a woman could know (yadah) a man or lie down (sakab) with him as he with her. Therefore an “active-passive/domination-subordination structure” in sexual intercourse does not explain the prohibition of homogenital activity in Leviticus. DiVito concludes instead:
It does not seem too adventurous to suppose that what finally is at issue is a violation of role expectations and to that extent a boundary violation between the sexes, apparently the willing or unwilling assumption of male receptivity by a male. In other words, it is not the quality or kind of sexual conduct that is at issue but the violation of roles as such. . . .
. . . here the essential consideration is gender. Its violation renders the act abhorrent, an “abomination.” In short, sexual intercourse here, while scripted for gender, does not include in that script a difference in status for man and woman.
The people expected men to act like men, not women. That meant being in charge, not being controlled by another, not being penetrated by another. The tribe’s existence depended on men fulfilling this role. To forego it for any reason, including sexual activity, sowed confusion, not only among the participants, but also in the perceptions and expectations of society.
In this interpretation we may read Leviticus 18: 22 as follows: “And you shall not lie with a male so that he assumes the role of a woman.” Above all, a man must not be “effeminate,” a pseudo-woman on whom the people could not rely.
Leviticus may be proscribing homogenital activity in the contexts of adultery or idolatry or role confusion. It does not condemn homosexuality as such, most notably because it does not address that issue. Therefore, when ministers like Fred Phelps or institutions like the Catholic Church discover a condemnation of homosexuality in Leviticus, they commit an intentional fallacy. They read into the scriptural passage an interpretation of their own, one that they want to find there for personal, philosophical or political reasons, not one the sacred author placed there or intended. If they persist in claiming the authority of Leviticus to denounce homosexuality, the burden lies with them to prove that homosexuality in our society necessarily includes adultery, idolatry, or widespread gender confusion in a patriarchal society.
Romans 1: 18-32—Contrary to Nature Verses twenty-six and twenty-seven read as follows:
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
Modern religious commentators routinely interpret this passage as a condemnation of lesbian and homosexual behavior. But what meaning did Paul intend by “natural” and “unnatural,” “dishonorable” and “shameless”?
We may take “natural” in three separate ways:
1) Nature and the Law of Nature: This designates the structure of creation, as according to an essential plan. During Paul’s era, the Stoics held this position. Later on, Thomas Aquinas baptized it as natural law; that is, creation as willed by God;
2) The customary and recurrent activities of nature: the cycle of seasons, the movement of heavenly bodies, the physical and biological laws;
3) The ordinary and expected way of being according to the conventions and laws of a people.
The interpretation given above presumes that Paul used natural and unnatural in a natural law (God’s will) context. Did Paul mean that?
In Paul’s time, Stoic philosophy gripped the Greco-Roman world. For it, eternal and necessary laws governed existence. The wise human adjusted to life’s conditions as they must be, not fighting them in a futile, painful struggle. Paul certainly knew about this Stoic position; we have no evidence, however, that he accepted it.
The Stoics employed the phrases “according to nature” (κατά φύσιν) and “contrary to nature” (παρά φύσιν) in contrasting pairs. They indicated compliance or non-compliance with the universal plan that structured reality. Paul used these terms also, but not in the way of the Stoics. For him, the former meant facts as they exist on the ground; the latter indicated a surprising or unexpected change in those ordinary facts.
In his epistles Paul employed natural and unnatural ten times, seven incidences in his Epistle to the Romans. Among people some are Gentile by nature—έκ φύσεως—(Rom. 2: 27), while others are by nature Jews—φύσει Ίουδαιοι— (Gal. 2: 15). All have natural human limitations—τής σαρκός ύμύν— (Rom. 6: 19). Idols pretend against their nature to be gods—φύσει μή ούσιν θεοίς— (Gal. 4: 8). Yahweh surprises us by grafting on to the natural branches of the Jewish olive tree—κατά φύσιν— (Rom. 11: 21) Gentile believers—παρά φύσιν— (Rom. 11: 24). Some follow the requirements of the Law naturally without even knowing it—φύσει— (Rom. 2: 14); some do not, even allowing their hair to grow long unnaturally, when being a man requires otherwise—ούδέ ή φυσίς— (1 Cor. 11: 14). Others, following false gods put aside conventional sexual relations—“what is characteristic, consistent, ordinary, standard, expected and regular”—for practices done “beyond the regular, outside the ordinary, more than the usual, not the expected.” Here Paul opposes τήν φυσικήν χρήσιν or natural with παρά φύσιν or unnatural. In every instance Paul points to actual behaviors that go against the customs and mores of his people.
These carry no moral weight, as being good or bad, right or wrong, virtuous or sinful. They comfort when expected; they cause discomfort when unexpected. In Romans 1:26-27, Paul uses two adjectives to describe the change from natural to unnatural sexual activity: άτιμια and άσχημοσύνη. What do they tell us about Paul’s judgment of unusual sexual behaviors?
Paul employs άτιμια on seven occasions. Twice he (or a disciple) speaks of a chamber pot as being menial (Rom. 9:21) or ignoble (2 Tim: 2: 20). He himself ministers to others; sometimes he is dishonored and disrespected (2 Cor. 6: 8), sometimes shamed for not being as impressive as other apostles (2 Cor. 11: 21). Some men contrary to role expectations degrade themselves by wearing long hair like women (1 Cor. 11: 14). Sons of Adam came from dust, their life begun and completed in weakness and death; only in Christ will they be raised in glory. In none of these instances does Paul attribute immorality or sin to others or to himself. Thus when he declared that God gave idol worshippers up “to dishonorable passions” (Rom. 1:26), we have no call to read into άτιμια some moral judgment about behavior violating God’s will in the order of creation. To do so would be an anachronistic injecting of Aquinas into Paul twelve centuries before the fact, or transforming Paul into the Stoic he was not.
The other adjective, άσχημοσύνη, reinforces this interpretation. It appears only twice in the New Testament: in the passage under consideration and in Revelations (16:15). In the latter the Almighty exclaims: “Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed” (άσχημοσύνη). This corresponds with the shameless acts of Rom. 1:27. Shame follows upon being found out or exposed when one should be covered. One need only recall the sight of the Taliban’s religious police patrolling Kabul and beating women who dared to show a lock of hair, expose a piece of skin, or offer a glimpse of face. For the fundamentalists these women were acting shamefully, were violating religious taboos. According to Paul, Gentile men and women engaged in sexual activity in which no Jew should participate, and, even more, be seen doing. He considered such unseemly and inappropriate, uncomely and not according to form, but not immoral.
About what activities was Paul thinking? We should say at the outset: “It is not altogether evident just what kind of behavior Paul condemns . . . No doubt Paul knew exactly what he was writing about. We do not.” With that caveat, we may attempt a considered interpretation.
Given the juxtaposition of women acting unconventionally and men becoming passionate about men, he clearly was concerned about some kind of sexual conduct. Do we have any evidence other than this parallelism to conclude that Paul was addressing sexual relations between women? No, we do not. Except in this ambiguous passage, writers, in neither Testament, took up the subject. Moreover, in the Greco-Roman world of apostolic Christianity, no secular authors did either. One author writing about Greek homosexuality complained:
That female homosexuality and the attitude of women to male homosexuality can both be discussed in one part of one chapter reflects the paucity of women writers and artists in the Greek world and the virtual silence of male writers and artists on these topics.
We may speculate the reason: lesbian behavior did not exist; women did not share its existence with men, who did all the writing; in a male-dominated society its presence or non-presence did not generate male interest. Scroggs supports the latter explanation. He concludes: “Perhaps from the claimed pedestal of male beauty the male society did not think female homosexuality important or interesting enough to worry about.”
Paul, a Jewish-Christian, would find offensive women who commandeered the man’s role in sexual behavior: initiating sexual activity, denying a man’s request, assuming the superior position, controlling the interaction. Paul could see such a confusion of natural roles as one fruit of idolatry. Nissinen, in commenting on this passage in Romans, remarks:
In Jewish literature, female homoeroticism is not even listed among Gentile vices. Paul does not give any concrete detail about the “unnatural” things practiced by women. It is generally assumed, by analogy to the following description of erotic desire between males, that he expressly means women’s mutual sexual contacts. This assumption is conceivable, but not conclusive, because there is more at stake here than sexual contact only. As noted earlier, . . . the scandalous aspect of women’s homoerotic relations in Paul’s world was first of all the crossing of gender role boundaries. It was women’s active sexual role that was regarded as truly “contrary to nature.”
Whatever Paul was condemning, nothing conclusively confirms lesbianism as the scorned object.
We may do better in interpreting Paul’s attack on male homoerotic conduct. In this first chapter of Romans, he is discussing the effects of the widespread idolatry of the Gentile world surrounding the Jewish-Christians. In a Hellenistic culture, dominated by men, male-to-male relationships flourished and were considered normal. We must, therefore, analyze what those relationships actually involved; only then may we understand Paul’s judgment of their unnaturalness.
Four of Scroggs’ statements set the terms of this discussion. First, in the Greco-Roman world surrounding the Early Church the “public culture of these centuries was male-oriented, and the apposite intellectual and, indeed, affective partner to a male was another male [sic].” Secondly, “in this all-male society the beauty of the male youth was, perhaps, the key symbol and organizing center for adult male eroticism.” Thirdly, in this culture “the desired sexual object was and always remained the beautiful youth, most like in appearance to a woman.” Finally, admitting some exceptions and partial deviations from the rule, “it is certain that pederasty was the only model in existence in the [Greco-Roman] world of this time.”
Pederasty, the love of a male youth by an older man, took various forms. One in the description of the philosophers, though affectionate and particular and long lasting, might not include homosexual intercourse. Plato offered a personal example in his Symposium. Alcibiades recounts his effort to seduce Socrates at the end of an evening full of wine and drink. After professing his love to the drowsy philosopher and expressing a strong desire to be the wise man’s special companion, he related the following:
Whereupon, I fancied that he was smitten, and that the words which I had uttered like arrows had wounded him, and so not waiting to hear more I got up, and throwing my coat about him, crept under his threadbare cloak, as the time of year was winter, and there I lay the whole night having this wonderful monster in my arms. This again, Socrates, will not be denied by you. And yet, not withstanding all, he was so superior to my solicitations, so contemptuous and derisive and disdainful of my beauty—which really, as I fancied, had some attractions—hear, O judges; for judges you shall be of the haughty virtue of Socrates—nothing more happened, but in the morning when I awoke (let all the gods and goddesses be my witnesses) I arose as from the couch of a father or an older brother.
Although some derided such chaste tales as duplicitous covers over sexual favors, we accept today this account of “Platonic love.”
In less sublimated pederasty, an older man, often married, from twenty to middle-aged or older, sought out a fresh, young sexual partner. The boy, then approaching puberty, could continue on as the beloved until his late teens. The lover bartered his wisdom, learning, and life experience for the boy’s sexual service. The beloved helped his elder attain sexual satisfaction; he himself remained passive and submissive, without reciprocal enjoyment. The arrangement lasted till the beloved grew up and developed beyond any fantasized identification with a feminine physique. The lover would then replace him with a newly budding youth. Some railed against the boy’s passive humiliation, as well as the painful temporary nature of the relationship and its heartless discarding. Yet, the culture in its bisexual social customs expected this sexual interplay of men and boys to be a regular and acceptable occurrence.
Boy slaves often became the unwilling consorts of their masters. Diogenes Laertius in the third century c.e., for example, described Phaedo, a member of Plato’s circle, with these words:
Phaedo the Elean, one of the Eupatridae, was taken prisoner at the time of the subjugation of his country, and was compelled to submit to the vilest treatment. But while he was standing in the street, shutting the door [pretending he was servicing a client], he met with Socrates, who desired Alcibiades, or as some say, Crito, to ransom him. And after that time he studied philosophy as became a free man. But Hieronymus, in his essay on suspending ones judgment, calls him a slave.
In his life of Nero, Suetonius related the excruciating trials of another boy-slave:
He castrated the boy Sporus and actually tried to make a woman of him; and he married him with all the usual ceremonies, including a dowry and a bridal veil, took him to his house attended by a great throng, and treated him as his wife . . . . This Sporus, decked out with the finery of the empresses and riding in a litter, he took with him to the assizes and marts of Greece, and later at Rome through the Street of the Images, fondly kissing him from time to time.
Any decent person bemoans the humiliating rape and forced prostitution of beautiful, young, male slaves.
Some youths prostituted themselves for sex. They consorted with older men as a way of life, as a job that supported them. They even got themselves admitted into the lover’s house, becoming his mistress. In order to prolong against aging their attractiveness, they imitated the toilette of women. They maintained a shaven and rouged face; they removed body hair while coiffing and perfuming the hair of their head; and they dared to wear women’s clothes. They earned the disdainful term μαλακοι, which means “soft” or “effeminate.” In context it described a youth who for profit made himself into a woman, accepting a degrading, passive role.
Both the Gentile and Jewish worlds condemned this type of pederasty. They did so as being contrary to nature (παρά φυσίν). A few brief examples demonstrate this.
In discussing temperance Plato, through the Athenian stranger, exclaimed: “. . . who will not blame the effeminacy of him who yields to pleasures and is unable to hold out against them? Will not all men censure as womanly him who imitates the woman?” Athenaeus strongly addressed pederastic philosophers: “Now I warn you, O philosophers, who indulge in unnatural passions, and who treat the great goddess Venus with impiety, to beware, lest you be destroyed in the same manner. For boys are only handsome . . . while they are like women.”
In the rabbinic literature Philo excoriated the effeminate pederast:
Much graver than the above is another evil, which has ramped its way into the cities, namely pederasty. In former days the very mention of it was a great disgrace, but now it is a matter of boasting not only to the active but to the passive partners, who habituate themselves to endure the disease of effemination, let both body and soul run to waste, and leave no ember of their male sex-nature to smoulder. Mark how conspicuously they braid and adorn the hair of their heads, and how they scrub and paint their faces with cosmetics and pigments and the like, and smother themselves with fragrant unguents. For of all such embellishments, used by all who deck themselves out to wear a comely appearance, fragrance is the most seductive. In fact the transformation of the male nature to the female is practiced by them as an art and does not raise a blush.
And Josephus, in a lower key, comments on the confrontation in Sodom. In his version the angels become pretty men:
Now when the Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful countenances, and this to an extraordinary degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence; and when Lot exhorted them to sobriety, and not to offer any thing immodest to the strangers, but to have regard to their lodging in his house; and promised that if their inclinations could not be governed, he would expose his daughters to their lust, instead of these strangers; neither thus were they made ashamed . . . .
Excerpts such as these, and many others, lead Scroggs to conclude: “. . . the use by Paul of para phusin in Rom. 1: 26-27 is the most common stereotype of Greco-Roman attitudes. For those who opposed pederasty, that which seemed most abhorrent about it was that it violated the natural order of creation, however creation was understood.” He moreover has determined: “I know of no suggestions in the texts that homosexual relationships existed between same-sex adults.”
The evidence forces this conclusion: Here Paul condemns pederasty, especially its more abhorrent forms, as being an unseemly and degrading confusing of male and female roles in a male-oriented and male-dominated society. Whether he knew of homosexual relations between adult males, or did not know of them, he was not treating of them.
I can make no better summary of this passage than that developed by Bartlett in his commentary:
First, Paul is primarily concerned with issues of idolatry here, and only secondarily with the results of that idolatry in a variety of human behaviors. Second, it is a variety of human behaviors that Paul here condemns. Churches that adopt resolutions to exclude homosexual people from their midst do not so quickly read the rest of Romans and also pass resolutions condemning gossip or deceit. . . . Third, it is not altogether evident just what kinds of behavior Paul here condemns . . . . Fourth, Paul seems to have little sense that homosexuality may be more a deep-seated orientation than a set of individual choices. We know some things about homosexuality that Paul did not know . . . . Fifth, the reason Paul talks about the entire list of consequences of sin is to insist that no one, Jew or Gentile, is free of sin and its consequences and to remind us that all of us receive righteousness from God, not from our own uprightness—or heterosexuality, either.
1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 and 1Timothy 1: 9-10—Degrading Pederasty
Paul coined a word, arsenokoitai (άρσενοκοίται), to carry his meaning in these two passages. It appears nowhere else in Scripture, nor do secular writers of his Greco-Roman world use it. Scholars identify its provenance with Leviticus 18: 22: “and with a man (arsenos) he shall not lie lyings/bed (koiten).” Some maintain that Paul joined these two words to denote “male-bedder,” a compact expression for “males who lie with males.” Following that interpretation the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition translates the term in 1Corinthians as “homosexuals,” in 1Timothy as “sodomites.”
In his chapter on “Arsenokoites and Malakos: Meanings and Consequences,” the author prudently points out:
This approach is linguistically invalid. It is highly precarious to try to ascertain the meaning of a word by taking it apart, getting the meanings of its component parts, and then assuming, without any supporting evidence, that the meaning of the longer word is a simple combination of its component parts.
Moreover, the recombination, a neologism and not idiomatic, could be understood variously.
Consider instances in modern English when we combine two readily understood words to fashion a new one. Take the word “fire,” for example, with its various compounds. How many of the following questions could you answer just by recognizing the separate words? How many, indeed, would require prior knowledge of the compound’s specific meaning?
· If a firefighter fights fires, does a firefly flee them?
· Does a firefighter put out the flames with firewater?
· Who gets into firefights, a firefighter or a firebrand?
· Does a fireman defeat fires more often with a firebreak or a firetrap?
· If a firewall stops a fire, and a firedoor gives it an opening, does a firehouse afford it a place to live?
The point seems obvious: beware of interpreting an unknown word by adding up its component parts.
In the case of this unique word, we know its meaning from its context. Those who link it with neighboring words in Leviticus 18: 22 presume that that passage condemns homosexuality, and therefore, the two New Testament passages must also. We have discussed already at some length how this interpretation remains more than a little doubtful.
To understand Paul’s meaning of arsenokoites we must consider its immediate scriptural context.
Paul positioned it within a “catalogue of vices,” a literary devise common in Hellenistic writings and often employed by him. It functioned as a stable of accusations with which to denounce pagans and warn fellow Christians. As a rhetorical tool it piled up negatives wherever needed against adversaries. Modern Americans readily recognize its use. Think for a moment of political campaigns. How often do Republicans brand Democrats as “big business, big spenders, tax raisers and liberals”? Ratcheting higher, don’t they deride Democrats as “soft on crime, weak on defense”? In the 2008 presidential election won’t Republican candidates and pundits repeatedly, vociferously warn us that Democrats are “Pro-Choice, pro-stem-cell research, and weak on family values”?
Sometimes, in among repetitive slogans we discover a fresh thought. The context and the juxtaposition of words may be revealing.
In the fifth chapter of his First Letter to the Corinthians Paul chastised that community for not taking action against an incestuous member. He demanded that they eject him from their midst. He reminded them that he had warned about consorting with evil people. These he characterized as marked by four vices: the immoral, the greedy, robbers, and idolaters. Such people, he held, surrounded the Christians in pagan Corinth.
He extended his warning to include fraternizing with dissolute Christians. Here he lists six un-Christlike failings: the same four as previously; in addition, being a reviler or drunkard.
He urged them in the next chapter to judge delinquent members themselves instead of reporting them to civil authorities. For such as they will not “inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6: 9). Make no mistake about this, he asserted, God will not accept four groups of the unrighteous: revilers and drunkards, as in the previous list; the immoral and idolaters, the greedy and robbers, found in the first and second lists, with the addition of adulterers; and three included only in this list: μαλακος (malakos), άρsενοκοίταi (arsenokoitai), and κλέπτα (klepta). Paul placed them together. Why? What was he intending to convey to his Corinthian Christians?
As we know from our earlier discussion of Romans 1: 26-27, μαλακος denoted the effeminate call boy, be he free or enslaved, in a pederastic relationship. We may speculate that άρσενοκοίται referred to the one who either forced sex upon the boy or paid him for it. But what would the third word, κλέπται, signify? All English translations surveyed previously translate it as “thieves.” One must wonder, however, how it differs from the other occupation denominated “robbers”?
Turning to the text in 1Timothy 1 where άρσενοκοίται also appears, we find evidence suggesting a reasonable answer. Paul here warned his disciple about false teachers, ones who concentrated on the law rather than faith. He argued that the “law is not laid down for the just,” for Christians saved through their belief in the Lord, but “for the lawless.” He constructed another catalogue of vices to describe these people. We discover five natural groupings: 1) “lawless and disobedient”; 2) “ungodly and sinners,” “unholy and profane”; 3) “murderers of fathers,” “murderers of mothers,” “manslayers”; 4) πόρνοις (pornois), άρσενοκοίταις (arsenokoitais), άνδραποδισταίς (andrapodistais); and 5) “liars,” “perjurers.”
In the Hellenistic world, kidnappers snatched up boys, free or slave, to sell them into prostitution. The word άνδραποδισταίς means man-stealers or slave-traders. Such as they would turn a boy into a πόρνος, a prostitute who as a call boy became a malakos, an effeminate masquerading as a feminine sex object. The groups of three in 1Corinthians and 1Timothy parallel each other. Πόρνοις serves as the general term for μαλοκοι; κλέπται does the same for άνδραποδισταίς; in both lists άρσενοκοίταις indicates the adult male that uses a youth for his own sexual service. We may conclude, therefore, that in these two passages Paul intended to condemn a particular category of male-to-male sex, a particularly noxious form of pederasty involving boys, voluntarily or not, playing the woman’s role with older men.
The Revised Standard Version, as I indicated above, translates άρσενοκοιταίς as either “homosexuals” or “sodomites.” It mistranslates in four ways: 1) “Homosexuals” and “sodomites” are 19th and 20th Century words loaded with modern prejudices foreign to Paul’s era; 2) “Homosexuals” collapses together two words, μαλακοι and άρσενοκοίταις, as if they were one and did not have separable meanings; 3) “Homosexuals” could apply to both men and women where the Greek words only signify males; 4) “Homosexuals” and “sodomites” in our day include same-aged, same-sex partners in freely chosen and loving relationships, while Paul was only denouncing pederasty involving sexual slavery or prostitution by young males acting effeminately.
After discussing the terms μαλακος and άρσενοκοίτες, Martin concludes:
Some scholars and Christians have wanted to make arsenokoites and malakos mean both more and less than the words actually mean, according to their heterosexist goals of the moment. Rather then noting that arsenokoites may refer to a specific role of exploitation, they say it refers to all “active homosexuals” or “sodomites” or some such catch-all term, often broadening its reference even more to include all homosexual eroticism. And rather than admitting the obvious, that malakos is a blanket condemnation of all effeminacy, they explain that it refers quite particularly to the penetrated man in homosexual sex . . . . In order to use 1Cor. 6:9 to condemn contemporary homosexual relationships, they must insist that the two words mean no more but also no less that they say they mean. It should be clear that this exercise is driven more by heterosexist ideology than historical criticism.
Helminiak broadens Martin’s conclusion:
Biblical opposition to prostitution, incest or adultery does not forbid male-female sex acts as such. What the Bible opposes throughout is abuse of heterosexuality. Likewise, the condemnation of arsenokoitai does not forbid male homogenital acts as such. In first century, Greek-speaking, Jewish Christianity arsenokoitai referred to exploitative, lewd and wanton sex between men. This, and not male-male sex in general, is what the term implied. This, then, and not male-male sex in general, is what these texts oppose.
Scroggs echoes Helminiak with this unambiguous statement: “Thus what the New Testament was against was the image of homosexuality as pederasty and primarily here its more sordid and dehumanizing dimensions [sic]. One would regret it if somebody in the New Testament had not opposed such dehumanization.”
I concur. I conclude that without further reflection and analysis we may only hypothesize whether Paul would or would not bless today’s committed and loving homosexual and lesbian partnerships. I affirm, however, that we cannot extract proof either way from 1Cor. 6: 9-10 and 1Tim. 1: 10.
We have scrutinized the principal Scriptural passages cited to disparage homosexual behavior. Using an historical-critical approach, we have underlined the complex nature of these biblical statements. English translations reveal more about the philosophical prejudices of modern Christian denominations than about the intentions of ancient writers.
In this process we have learned the following:
1. Scripture nowhere addressed lesbianism. If such actually existed, male writers, both sacred and secular, did not consider it worth mentioning. Scripture did specify the cultural expectations of Judaism and early Christianity concerning a woman’s passive and submissive role in sexual interactions.
2. Except in rare instances, we have no reports of adult male-to-male sexual relationships in ancient Judaism or in the Greco-Roman era. Interpersonal love and enduring commitment did not distinguish them.
3. Old Testament writers proscribed adulterous or idolatrous, homogenital sex. They especially derided men mimicking women. This practice introduced male role confusion into a patriarchal and patrilineal society.
4. Male youth occupied the affective center of adult male sexuality in the Hellenistic pagan world. That culture expected men to fulfill their sexual desires through pederastic relationships.
5. Men and boys engaged in various forms of pederasty. Jews and Gentiles, pagans and Christians, protested against sex coerced from youthful slaves. They reserved special distaste for effeminate call-boys playing for money the role of mistresses to adult males.
6. Paul deplored women taking over male control during sex. Even more he condemned young males performing like, and behaving as if they were, women. Thus, he joined the moral chorus against repulsive and dehumanizing pederasty. If he conceived of such, he voiced no position on adult male-to-male sexual relationships.
7. Old Testament writers and the New Testament’s Paul took firm stands against men acting like women in their male-dominated, patriarchal world. In so doing they accepted societal customs that at best ignored the rights of women, at the worst treated women as objects to be used according to male desires.
Scripture does not condemn homosexuality; fundamentalist Christians do. Such churches and individuals bear the burden of proof. They need to demonstrate as follows. They must reasonably and successfully challenge analyses such as the one presented here. To repeat untested slogans like “the Gospel says . . .” will not do. They may persuade thoughtful Christians only with compelling, contradictory facts and a more penetrating analysis. Then they must show how contemporary homosexual and lesbian relationships by their nature violate Christ’s clear direction to those who believe in him: “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 15: 12). In modern America we do not accept as convincing arguments some vague charge that homosexual and lesbian relationships generate role confusion, threaten male hegemony, or challenge a patriarchal system that devalues women and depends on their subordination to exist. We count these as necessary blessings. Patriarchy denounces homosexuality because it fears it as an opening toward gender equality. It requires male chauvinism to maintain gender dominance. Christians now reject many cultural positions held in ancient Judaism and in the Early Church; we may hope to number the days remaining for patriarchal prejudice against homosexuals and lesbians to masquerade as the faithful discipleship of Christ.
 I purposely have not used the politicized words “Gay and Lesbian.” They are foreign to the Scriptures and to various theological commentaries on Scripture.. By “homosexuals” I mean men or women in a sexual relationship with a same-sex partner. I will use the term “lesbians” only when I need to distinguish female from male homosexuals.
 This quotation, and all subsequent quotations from Scripture, is taken from the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. Camden: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1965.
 Ide, Arthur Frederick. The City of Sodom. Dallas: Monument Press, 1985, p. 39.
 Cf. Helminiak, Daniel. What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality. San Francisco: Alamo Square Press, 1995 (3rd printing), p. 38.
 Helminiak, op. cit., p. 39.
 Brenton, Lancelot. The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. London: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005 (11th printing).
 1 Kings 11: 5; 2 Kings 232: 13; 2 Kings 21: 1-2.
 Cf. http://www.biblelore.com/Biblelore%202.htm : “The import of the word abomination is not as serious as present-day clergy would have us believe. The Hebrew word toevah is less condemnable than another word zimah which the author of the Holiness Code could have used if he regarded same-sex behavior as a grave sin, as he did in Lev. 19:29 which condemns adultery, or prostitution in general. Zimah applies to something intrinsically wrong, evil and was translated by KJV translators as “wickedness” . . . .
 Helminiak, op.cit., p. 43
 Cf. Gen. 1:27: “Male and female he created them.”
 Op. cit., p. 45-47.
 Op. cit., pp. 65-66.
 DiVito, Robert, “Questions About the Construction of (Homo)sexuality: Same-Sex Relations in the Hebrew Bible,” p. 116. In Jung, Patricia & Coray, Joseph (eds). Sexual Diversity and Catholicism. Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 2001.
 Ibid., pp. 116-117.
 Helminiak, op. cit., p. 64.
 Ibid., p. 65.
 Bartlett, David. Romans. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995, p. 32.
 Dover, K .J. Greek Homosexuality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978, p. 17. Quoted in Scroggs, Robin. The New Testament and Homosexuality. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983, p. 140.
 Scroggs, p. 144.
 Nissxinen, Martti. Homoeroticism in the Biblical World. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998, p. 108.
 In this discussion I am primarily following, and am indebted to, the excellent treatment by Robin Scroggs in The New Testament and Homosexuality, op. cit.
 Scroggs, op. cit., p.23
 Ibid. , p.25.
 Ibid., p.135.
 Ibid., p.139
 Cf. http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/plato/p71sy/symposium.html , speech of Alcibiades.
 Tranquillus, Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Nero, book VI, paragraph XXVIII. Cf. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Nero*.html
 Special Laws, III.37. Cf. http://www.well.com/~aquarius/philo-speciallaws.htm
 Antiquities, I, 11.3. Cf. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/josephus/ant-1.htm
 Op. cit., p. 60.
 Ibid., p. 35.
 Op. cit., p. 31.
 Martin, Dale. “Arsenokoites and Malakos: Meanings and Consequences.” In Brawley, Robert (ed.). Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, p.119.
 For examples, cf. Rom. 1: 29-30 and 13: 13; Col. 3: 5 and 3: 8; 2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5: 19-23; Tit. 3: 7.
 Scroggs, op. cit., p. 120. Cf. http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?search=405&version=kjv&type=eng&submit=Find
 Op. cit., pp. 129-130.
 Op. cit., p. 96.
 Op. cit., p. 126.