I wanted to add to my last post that _pathE atimias_ could also be
"passions for dishonor" - that is, a desire to do something dishonorable.
Based on the usage of _phusis, phusik-_ in the NT, I would render the
phrase _tEn phusikEn khrEsin_ as "their characteristic usage" or "their
clearly evident sexuality". _Phus-_ etc. refers to a visible characteristic
or evident behavior, and thus supports and emphasizes Boswell's thesis that
the people mentioned here are engaged in heterosexual behavior of some sort
before "exchanging" it for something else.
The real trouble is with _khrEsis_: in ordinary Greek it could refer to
any custom or habit; on the other hand, it could be so specific as to refer
to the pattern of sexual behavior which distinguished homosexuality from
heterosexuality. The use in Pseudo-Lucian's _ErOtes_ is late but telling
for its context; the "khrEsis" with women is contrasted to the "khrEsis"
with "paides" (boys/men) in a debate between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
On the other hand, I could not find a single example in which _khrEsis_
could be used to refer to the "function" of a gender for sexual activity.
This is, though, what the English translation "use" implies: that a female is
supposed to be "used" by a male, and that a male is supposed to be "used"
by a female (I think the many Greek gynophobes would have had a hard time
with that second statement, which Paul would otherwise be understood as
making here). So what I need is an English word that refers to a pattern
of sexual activity, and I'm not sure I've found it.
I would render the second part of the phrase _tEn [khrEsin
understood] para phusin_ as "that sexuality which was not characteristic
of them" or "that usage which was not evident in their [previous]
behavior." Paul seems to be going to all the trouble of using these
expressions to *avoid* the misunderstanding that he is talking about
ordinary homosexuals. That he used Stoic terms which could and *were*
misunderstood almost from the very beginning of interpretations of Paul's
passage here is amazing and unfortunate. It almost parallels his
pathetically unsuccessful attempt to forestall anti-Semitism in this same
letter - Paul's very words were used to reinforce the exact kind of
anti-Semitic "boasting" which he here condemned (cf. Ignatius of Antioch).