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1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Context

6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, 1  practicing homosexuals, 2  6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, 3  and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:13-18

Context
6:13 “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both.” 4  The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 6:14 Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power. 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 6:16 Or do you not know that anyone who is united with 5  a prostitute is one body with her? 6  For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 7  6:17 But the one united with 8  the Lord is one spirit with him. 9  6:18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body” 10  – but the immoral person sins against his own body.

1 tn This term is sometimes rendered “effeminate,” although in contemporary English usage such a translation could be taken to refer to demeanor rather than behavior. BDAG 613 s.v. μαλακός 2 has “pert. to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate esp. of catamites, of men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship.” L&N 88.281 states, “the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’ …As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.” See also the discussion in G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 243-44. A number of modern translations have adopted the phrase “male prostitutes” for μαλακοί in 1 Cor 6:9 (NIV, NRSV, NLT) but this could be misunderstood by the modern reader to mean “males who sell their services to women,” while the term in question appears, at least in context, to relate to homosexual activity between males. Furthermore, it is far from certain that prostitution as commonly understood (the selling of sexual favors) is specified here, as opposed to a consensual relationship. Thus the translation “passive homosexual partners” has been used here.

2 tn On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ἀρσενοκοίτης states, “a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9…of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. μαλακός1 Ti 1:10; Pol 5:3. Cp. Ro 1:27.” L&N 88.280 states, “a male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’…It is possible that ἀρσενοκοίτης in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with μαλακός, the passive male partner.” Since there is a distinction in contemporary usage between sexual orientation and actual behavior, the qualification “practicing” was supplied in the translation, following the emphasis in BDAG.

3 tn Or “revilers”; BDAG 602 s.v. λοίδορος defines the term as “reviler, abusive person.” Because the term “abusive” without further qualification has become associated in contemporary English with both physical and sexual abuse, the qualifier “verbally” has been supplied in the translation.

4 tn Grk “both this [stomach] and these [foods].”

sn There is debate as to the extent of the Corinthian slogan which Paul quotes here. Some argue that the slogan is only the first sentence – “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food” – with the second statement forming Paul’s rejoinder, while others argue that the slogan contains both sentences (as in the translation above). The argument which favors the latter is the tight conceptual and grammatical parallelism which occurs if Paul’s response begins with “The body is not for sexual immorality” and then continues through the end of v. 14. For discussion and diagrams of this structure, see G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 253-57.

5 tn Or “is in relationship with.”

6 tn Grk “is one body,” implying the association “with her.”

7 sn A quotation from Gen 2:24.

8 tn Grk “in relationship with.”

9 tn Grk “is one spirit,” implying the association “with him.”

10 sn It is debated whether this is a Corinthian slogan. If it is not, then Paul is essentially arguing that there are two types of sin, nonsexual sins which take place outside the body and sexual sins which are against a person’s very own body. If it is a Corinthian slogan, then it is a slogan used by the Corinthians to justify their immoral behavior. With it they are claiming that anything done in the body or through the body had no moral relevance. A decision here is very difficult, but the latter is to be preferred for two main reasons. (1) This is the most natural understanding of the statement as it is written. To construe it as a statement by Paul requires a substantial clarification in the sense (e.g., “All other sins…” [NIV]). (2) Theologically the former is more difficult: Why would Paul single out sexual sins as more intrinsically related to the body than other sins, such as gluttony or drunkenness? For these reasons, it is more likely that the phrase in quotation marks is indeed a Corinthian slogan which Paul turns against them in the course of his argument, although the decision must be regarded as tentative.



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