Paul used the Greek word, αρσενοκοιτης (arsenokoites) (Strongs G733), two times in the New Testament (NT). In 1 Cor 6:9 this single word was translated “abusers of themselves with mankind” in the KJV. In 1 Tim 1:10 the same word is translated “defile themselves with mankind” in the KJV. Beloved, I aim to show you that these two Greek words translated in English, at the very least, lose Paul’s meaning. The understanding of the Greek word, “arsenokoites” usually references “homosexuality”. In this light homosexual acts are those who abuse or defile “themselves” with mankind. Mankind refers to both male or female. Part of the reason this word is understood as such and incorrectly, is the mistaken notion of the root words of “arsenokoites”. In the Strongs Concordance the first-half of the word, “arsen”, is translated “male” and the second-half of the word “koites’ translated a “couch” or a “bed”. Thus the word literally means “man-bed” and then “man-bed” implies the word has reference to homosexuality.
The word “arsenokoites” is not found in any other passage in the NT but the two afore mentioned, and is not found in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (LXX) with this exact spelling. But there is a very similar Greek word found in the LXX. The word is αρσενοκος (arsenokos) (no Strongs entry). “Arsenokos” is found 58 times in the LXX. 51 times it is translated “male”, 5 times “circumcise” and 2 times “set apart” or “sanctify”. That one may look at the passages themselves, all the verses the word “arsenokos” is found in the LXX are given below:
- In one verse “arsenokos” is found two times and was translated by two different words, “set apart” and “sanctify” – Ex 13:12.
- “Arsenokos” is translated “male” in the following verses in the LXX: Gen 34:25; Ex 13:15; Ex 23:17; Ex 34:19,23; Lev 6:18; Num1:18,20,22,24,26,28,30,32,34,36,38,40,42; Num 3:15,22,28,34,39,43; Ex 5:3; Ex 18:10; Ex 26:62; Ex 31:7,17; Deut 4:16; Deut 15:19; Deut 16:16; Deut 20:13; Judges 21:11; 1 King 11:15 (III Kings in LXX); 1 Kings 11:16; 2 Chron 31:16,19; Ezra 8:4, 5, 6-14 (9 times), Ezekiel 16:17.
- The five places “arsenokos” is translated “circumcise” are: Gen 17:10,12; Gen 34:15,22; Ex 12:48.
Let us first focus on the verses “arsenokos” is translated “circumcision”. The English word “ circumcision” is found in both the NT and the OT. There is a noun form of the Greek word (Strongs G4061, peritemae) and a verb form (Strongs G4059) peritemno) translated “circumcision” and “circumcise” respectively. The root meaning of the Greek word, “peritemno” is “to cut around”, obviously “to circumcision”. G4059 is found 18 times in the NT, and G4061 37 times. G4059 is found 32 times in the LXX, and G4061 4 times. Thus there is a very precise Greek word with a very precise meaning translated “circumcise” or “circumcision” in both the NT and the LXX.
Going back to “arsenokos” in the LXX, five times it is translated “circumcision”. The Hebrew word “muwl” is the Hebrew word in each of these five verses. In total “muwl” is found 36 times in the OT and translated 31 times “circumcise”, 3 times “destroy”, 1 time “cut down”, and 1 time “cut in pieces”. “Muwl” literally means “to cut”.
Let us consider the nature of circumcision. Circumcision is not something an individual does upon himself. It is not a person abusing himself, for another person must perform the ritual. These is only one passage in the OT where there is negative response to circumcision. It is found in Ex 4:24-26. Moshah had forgotten to circumcise one of his sons and at a point in time on the way to the inn, and the Yahavah sought to kill his son. This was because of no fault of the child or his mother. Zipporah, Moshah’s wife, is given understanding by God, as she immediately circumcises the child, that Yahavah (God) would spare his life. The mother was forced to circumcise the son. Two times she declares, “A bloody husband thou art because of circumcision.” These words are the words of the woman of the Midianites, of the Gentiles, that she declares concerning her husband. (This passage speaks of the Mashiach. For is not God a bloody God because of the circumcision which prophesies of the Mashiach, and the putting off of the flesh in His death?) Circumcision is viewed through the eyes of the Gentiles as a bloody act and through the eyes of prophecy. The Gentiles also saw circumcision as an act of abuse. Did not the Mashiach suffer, was abused, died on a cross for the sins of all people, was buried and rose again the third day? Yes! Thus, the word “arsenokos” in the language of the Gentiles is translated “circumcision” and also translated “males”, as “circumcised males”. Of the 51 times “arsenokos” is translated “male” in the LXX/OT only once could there be any doubt whether the male was circumcised. That verse is Numbers 31:7 and the male in this passage was a Midianite of the people of Zipporah.
All said “arsenokos” is a Greek word, or word of the Gentile language, that implies the rite of circumcision viewed through Gentile eyes. It was viewed as “bloody” and “abusing males”. It was for this reason in 1 Cor 6:9 the translator of Paul’s Greek word found in the word a sense of abuse, but not of oneself, but the abuse of others. This is the nature of circumcision and this is the viewpoint of the Gentiles described in their language.
What Paul was speaking about in 1 Cor 6:9 was not concerning homosexuals in particular, but people in general who abuse people whether male and female. This would include men and women who abuse children through violence or sex, and men and women who rape other men and women. This would include those who promote and perform female genital mutilation. Any violence in any form, with sex or without, toward any of humanity, male or female, children or adults and with deceit and betrayal, preying on the ignorance of humanity and the children who have not knowledge. It is for this reason that Paul included in 1 Timothy 1 in the list of unrighteousness: murderers of fathers and mothers, man or woman-slayers, sex-sellers, ABUSERS, men stealers, and slave-traders. These abusers are not those who “abuse themselves with mankind”, but “ABUSE MANKIND/PEOPLE – MALE AND FEMALE IN ANY WAY”. The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and such were some of you, but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Yeshua and by the Spirit of our God.
In summary “arsenokoites” is not a word unto itself that implies and pertains to homosexuality. “Arsenokoites” is simply a strengthened form of the word“arsenokos” which is best translated “ABUSER”, and rightly interpreted and expanded so there can be no doubt “ABUSER OF MANKIND – MALE AND FEMALE”. This includes child sexual abuse, rape, incest, violence against women and children, any abuse against any male or female of any age.
These evil deeds should not be named among the disciples of the Mashiach, Yeshua. “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples”, and my word is the one true gospel.
I mark this writing by the one true gospel. The one true gospel is the Mashiach, Yeshua, died for our sins according to the Old Testament, He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the Old Testament. (Luke24, 1 Cor 15:1-6)