The Apostle Paul and Homosexuality—Answering Homosexual Objections (Part 1)

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Paul on homosexuality

Finally, the sequential use of the two Greek terms malakoi(s) and arsenokoitai(es) in 1 Corinthians 6:9 provides additional confirmation for the traditional understanding of Paul's negative viewpoint on homosexuality. In The New Testament on Sexuality, pro-gay William Loader reminds us that the apostle Paul "uses the two terms with reference to men who engage in same-sex behavior, with the first [malakoi] referring to the willing passive partner, whether by private consent or as a male prostitute, 'those who submit to sexual penetration by other men,' and the second [arsenokoitai] referring to 'those who engage in sexual penetration of other men,' which would have a broader reference and include, but not be limited to, exploitation, also by force." Likewise, Dr. Michael L. Brown in Can You Be Gay and Christian? explains, "Significantly, when the two words malakos and arsenokoites are used side by side, the sexual connotations are undeniable, which is why there is virtually unanimous agreement in all major dictionaries and translations."

The apostle Paul's condemnation of all types of homosexual behavior is clear and incontrovertible. There is really no ambiguity in his words, and every single homosexual counterargument falls flat when held up to the scrutiny of the linguistic and historical evidence. As the gay-friendly GLBTQ Online Encyclopedia specifies, "The bad news from the Christian Bible is that it condemns same-sex desire and same-sex acts without qualification of age, gender, role, status, consent, or membership in an ethnic community." And there is a substantial number of liberal, homosexual or pro-gay Ph.D. scholars who also agree that the Bible generally, and Paul specifically, forbids homosexuality.

Author's Note: Two primary sources were utilized for this column: Robert Gagnon's excellent The Bible and Homosexual Practice and Michael L. Brown's highly recommended Can You Be Gay and Christian?

Jeff Allen is both senior editor and a columnist for BarbWire. He also serves as senior pastor in a mainline Christian church in Indiana.

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