Re: AISCHROTES and "Fellatio"

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 12:09:20 EST

At 11:36 AM -0500 1/20/00, Jim West wrote:
>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.

I agree with Jim here that the context of Eph 5:4 seems to indicate that
AISCROTHS is referring to language rather than behavior. But with regard to
Jim's final note, LSJ(G) does NOT cite "fellatio" as a gloss for Eph 5:4
but rather refers to a scholion on Aristophanes' Frogs 1308.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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