The Biblical view on being gay and a Christian
And another letter published in the Belfast Telegraph.
I take the Bible just as seriously as any other Christian from Northern Ireland. If there were really a single sound-bite verse that could prove that you cannot be gay and Christian, as Good News Messenger seems to think (Writeback, November 17), then I would listen to what it said, and close my organisation Faith and Pride.
As proof that you can’t be gay and Christian, Good News Messenger quoted the 2011 NIV translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. On the face of it, that translation does seem to be convincing, but only on the face of it. There are two Greek words (malakos and arsenokoites) that are translated together to become “men who have sex with men”. In other translations they become things like “effeminate”, “self-indulgent”, and “sexual perverts”. It seems that translators are not in agreement about what is meant.
People in the 1st Century Graeco-Roman world often wrote about all sorts of sexual relationships between men, in both positive and negative terms. Malakos and arsenokoites are not used in those discussions. This is a very strong indication that in the 1st century those words did not mean “men who have sex with men”. The arguments for that translation are based on a mixture of modern prejudice and a misunderstanding of how etymology is related to meaning.
It is perhaps foolish to depend on one translation of one verse for guidance. It is far better to look at what Christ himself said about the topic, in a passage where there is no significant dispute about the meaning: Matthew 25:31-46.
ANDREW McFARLAND CAMPBELL
Faith and Pride
Posted on 24 November, 2014, in Marriage and tagged belfast telegraph, gay christian. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
Reblogged this on Andrew McFarland Campbell.
This just highlights the problem of the Bible and the number of things that have been lost in translation throughout the millennia. ‘Fair lady’ and ‘virgin’ being another. Do we have to go back to the *original Aramaic to be sure that we have the correct meaning? It seems a bit lame for a god to leave it to the nuances between translations to determine judgement on your eternal salvation or eternal damnation.
*by original I mean the first versions of the new testament books that were written between 50-100 years after Jesus’s death.
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