What the Bible Says About Same Sex Relations Part 6

Series: What the Bible Says About Same Sex Relations

What the Bible Says About Same Sex Relations 6

1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-10




  1. This is the 6th and final lesson in our series on “What the Bible Says About Same Sex Relations.”
  2. In the series we have stressed both the need for truth and the need for compassion in dealing with those involved in this practice.  We cannot compromise the truth, nor can we compromise compassion in dealing with this or any other violation of the law of God.
  3. There are a variety of passages that come to mind when considering what the Bible says.  We have tried to stress that it is not just about what these individual passages say (in some proof text kind of way), but about the divine pattern evidenced throughout Scripture of male and female marriage that is most important.  The individual passages must be interpreted considering the force of this divine pattern.
  4. In our study this evening we will consider the final two individual passages.  We will notice the terminology that is used and try to gain an understanding of what the passages mean.
  5. The two passages are 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and 1 Tim. 1:8-10.




  1.  Both passages use terms that are variously translated in English.


  1.  Both passages use the term “arsenokoitai.”
  1.  1 Cor. 6:9-10.

        a.  NASB translates “homosexuals.”

                                   b.  KJV translates “abusers of themselves with mankind.”

                                   c.  ESV translates “men who practice homosexuality.”  A marginal reference

                                        says, “The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive

                                        and active partners in consensual homosexual acts.”  There is another

                                        term in the original language that we will come back to paired with


                                   d.  RSV follows the ESV and translates both words into one phrase, “sexual


                                   e.  NIV translates the two words “male prostitutes” and “homosexual


  1.  1 Tim. 1:8-10 (only uses “arsenokoitai”).
  1.  NASB translates “homosexuals.”
  2. KJV translates “them that defile themselves with mankind.”
  3. ESV translates “men who practice homosexuality.”
  4. RSV translates “sodomites.”
  5. NIV translates “perverts.”
  1.  From this listing you can see how different English translations handle the terms differently.  Some translating differently in 1 Tim. than in 1 Cor. even though they are translating the same term.
  2. “Arsenokoitai” is a compound word from “arsen” meaning men and “koite” meaning bed. Literally it means those who take males to bed.  Cf. Lev. 18:22; 20:13.  Note also Rom. 1:27.
  3. In light of this evidence it seems impossible to conclude that Paul is somehow thinking that two men in a committed relationships is OK.  This is the line of reasoning used by some.  That only abusive same sex relationships are condemned, but that is not the way the language reads.
  4. If Paul were only intending to condemn adult males having sex with boys why not use the Greek term “paiderastes” that specifically refers to this practice?
  5. It appears that Paul uses a term that is very descriptive and carries just the meaning he intends.  The term does not carry age limitations, nor does it carry any meaning regarding commitment or non-commitment.  Same sex marriage is completely foreign to Scripture and contrary to the divine pattern of male/female marriage.
  1.  1 Cor. 6:9 uses the term “malakoi”.
  1.  NASB translates “effeminate.”
  2. KJV translates “effeminate.”
  3. ESV translates “men who practice homosexuality.” A marginal reference

                                  says, “The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive

                                  and active partners in consensual homosexual acts.”

  1.  RSV translates “sexual perverts.”
  2.  NIV translates “male prostitutes.”
  3. This word is sometimes used to refer to soft clothing (Matt. 11:8; Lk. 7:25).

However, in this context it is sandwiched between “adulterers” and “homosexuals.”  It is not a reference to “soft clothing.”  It is not a “soft voice,” “delicate disposition,” and the like.  It is a reference to the passive partner in a male to male same sex relationship as ESV is pointing out in its footnote.


  1.  But someone may object, “This doesn’t address female to female same sex relationships.”


  1.  Not specifically no.
  2. But by implication… If male to male stands in contrast to the divine pattern of male to female in a marriage, then female to female also stands in contrast to the divine pattern. 


  1.  One other consideration that I may not have made clear in these presentations that I need to clarify before ending the series. 


  1.  Sexual temptation is not the same as sexual sin.
  2. Sin involves practices. 
  1.  Fornication and adultery involve practices.
  2. It is not heterosexual nor homosexual attraction that constitutes sin, but practice outside of the divine pattern.
  3. So, one could have heterosexual attraction and not be a fornicator or adulterer.  One could have same sex attraction and be homosexual.
  4. So the issue is not about genetics and biology but about practices.




  1.  The divine pattern is everywhere evident in Scripture. 
  2. Heb. 13:4 summarizes it as follows.  “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
  3. And if He judges fornicators and adulterers He will also judge those who are further away from the divine pattern including those given to same sex relations.





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