From: Stevens, Charles C (Charles.Stevens@unisys.com)
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 19:34:24 EST
<x-charset iso-8859-1>This doesn't answer the original question raised by Jason Hare; it is
intended to contribute to the entire thread as it has evolved over the past
two days. And I'm jumping in here because I haven't seen this particular
viewpoint brought into the discussion of this word. And while like Stephen
C. Carlson I disagree with James Boswell on this particular issue, I also
think Mr. Carlson in his essay "Boswell's Analysis of ARSENOKOITHS" paints
the issue with rather too broad a brush.
I remember a discussion of this in a written reference (that for the moment
escapes me) on the likely interpretation of ARSENOKOITHS particularly in its
juxtaposition with MALAKOS n 1 Cor 6:9. And it seemed to make sense to me.
I'll see if I can find it tonight.
The argument was that MALAKOS was most likely applicable to those youths in
Greco-Roman culture who attached themselves to (or were invited by) older
men for the purposes of patronage -- gaining connections among the "movers
and shakers" of the community -- in exchange for sexual favors. Not
strictly prostitution, but more like a male equivalent of the "sugar daddy"
concept today, or even the "trophy mistress". Likewise, at least in part
because of its juxtaposition with MALAKOS, ARSENOKOITHS would appropriately
reflect the "patron" in such an environment.
While I disagree with Boswell's argument here, and I also freely grant that
the author(s) of Romans, 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy all found homosexual
activity in any context repugnant both personally and theologically, I
remain unconvinced that ARSENOKOITHS obviously applies to those who took a
particular (unspecified!) sexual role, at least in part because I believe
any correspondence between "effeminacy" as MALAKOS is translated and the
particular sexual role that's being assigned to it is a stereotype, then and
Even today, to assume that a man who is "effeminate", according to one's own
definitions, is perforce homosexual and furthermore prefers (or even is
willing to engage in) a particular sexual role with men is a big mistake.
In other words, I find the arguments that ARSENOKOITAI in 1 Cor 6:9 and 1
Tim 1:10 refers to the practice of male homosexuality in general and in
toto, rather than to that subset of it that I would call pederasty,
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