From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 11:22:51 EST

<x-flowed>To: Carl W. Conrad,

SCC: << "Male-bedder," as in one who beds males, would be more like it. >>

SCM: << Here is my question, which I've wondered about. Is it theoretically
possible that the form (or the ending of) ARSENOKOITAI could be feminine?
If so, could you cite some similar examples? >>

CWC: << Well, what gender would a female-impersonator who beds a male be?
AMFISBAION? OUDETERON? Actually, I can't see any reason why there couldn't
be a feminine ARSENOKOITA ... >>

Well, if the basic etymological meaning of the term (as it has been
suggested) is simply "one who beds males" (or "one who has sex with a
male") I would guess that the sex of the person could be an important issue
here. Since it is common knowledge that females, as well as males, have
been known to have sex with men. If St. Paul coined this term, and if all
we had to go on was its etymology, and if ARSENOKOITAI could be feminine or
masculine, then a proper translation of this term should probably reflect
that it could refer to either a man or a woman (or, since it is plural, men
or women).

If ARSENOKOITAI could be masculine or feminine, then only if one accepts
the notion that this term is an allusion to Lev 20:13a LXX can one have
some confidence that ARSENOKOITAI is mascluine and thus refers to a man
having sex with another man.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
FWIW: I'm neither a clergy-person, nor an academic (and I have no post-grad

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