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Do Bible verses such as (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; compare Leviticus 20:13.) condemn homosexuality, or do these verses refer to pedophilia? There seems to be some controversy over the exact meaning. Is the Hebrew context clear or ambiguous concerning the meaning?

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These two verse (Lev 20:13 and 1 Cor 6:9, 10) are extremely controversial in some quarters of Christianity, especially some churches whose raison d'etre is congregations of gay, homosexual and lesbian adherents. So let us proceed methodically and clinically.

Words μαλακός, ἀρσενοκοίτης

The operative words in 1 Cor 6:9 with their respective meanings are as follows:

μαλακοὶ (malakoi) is the plural of μαλακός (malakos) which, according to BDB means:

pertaining to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate, especially of catamites, or men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship

ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoitai) is the plural of ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoites) which, according to BDAG means:

a male who engages in sexual activity with a person of his own sex, pederast

Note that this word, ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoites) is a compound word which literally means man-bed, ie, is a direct reference to sexual activity between men.

It appears that Paul uses this unique word to directly refer to Lev 20:13 in the LXX because it reads:

καὶ ὃς ἂν κοιμηθῇ μετὰ ἄρσενος κοίτην γυναικός, βδέλυγμα ἐποίησαν ἀμφότεροι· θανατούσθωσαν, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν = And whoever shall lie with a male as with a woman, they have both wrought abomination; let them die the death, they are guilty.

This well-reflects the underlying Hebrew making the intent quite clear - a condemnation of homosexual activity.

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  • Good answer. +1 While the question did not directly address sodomy/Sodom, many people link that to the issue on account of Genesis 19. While homosexuality was certainly a part of that story, their sin is also connected with hedonism in general.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 14 at 7:50

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