Re: AISCHROTES and "Fellatio"

From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 11:36:30 EST

At 10:15 AM 1/20/00 -0600, you wrote:
>Dear List Members:
>I am in the process of doing some work on homosexuality and and examining
>some of the material in the Pauline ethics lists and am having a little bit
>of trouble, given immediate limited access to resources concerning the Greek
>word AISCHROTES. The word is a NT hapaxlegomenon and is translated
>"filthiness" in Ephesians 5:4. I did some brief work in an older edition of
>Liddell-Scott and saw some evidence of the word being translated "fellatio."
>Now I suppose this would possibly be a bit sensitive to discuss on-list, and
>would be willing to receive any communications from individuals on the
>subject off-list at


the word in its context does not so much describe an act as it does talk
about such acts... in other words, it describes obscene SPEECH. Cf. the
parallel at Col 3:8. Further I dont think it has reference specifically to
homosexuality (you seem to be reading in a bit here)- instead, it merely
describe obscene conversations.. lewdness, lasciviousness, etc. and such
conversations are of course not restricted to members of the homosexual
community. (hang around truck drivers or dock workers and you will get an
earful of the most lascivious talk you can imagine).

Such speech is likewise prohibited by the Convenant Document (1QS) from
Qumran (7:14-18) (10:21-23); this parallel is very intriguing indeed (and I
personally think that the Qumran perspective was adopted by the early
church). Nevertheless; the admonition here to avoid obscene conversation
really has nothing to do with specifically homosexual conversation.

Take a look at the article by Bultmann in the TDNT- vol 1- pp 189ff on the
root aisxunh- where he deals with this word's essential meaning.

I think L-S.'s "fellatio" is just totally off base.




Jim West, ThD

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