by Jeramy Townsley
The purpose of this page is to show the difficulty in translating the words arsenokoitai and malakos - two words used (incorrectly) to condemn gays.
Throughout the history of English translations, there has been little agreement on the meanings of these two Greek words. Most of the English translations describe malakos as "weak" or "effeminate" - neither of which mean gay.
While effeminate could be applied to a stereotyped gay personna, effeminate could be applied equally to a heterosexual, as the word malakos was often used with this meaning in the original Greek.
While arsenokoitai is typically translated as "abusers of themselves" or "sodomites", both of which are vague, and at the very least do not seem applicable to a long-term, loving gay relationship. (Even the reference to Sodom refers to an aggressive, impersonal sex-act, not one of mutual care, respect and fidelity). Regardless, there has been a great diversity of ideas on the meanings of these two words, none of which allows the broad imposition of all homosexual behavior to be applied to either or both of these words.
|Koine Greek||56 A.D.||malakoi||arsenokoitai|
|Latin Vulgate||405||molles||masculorum concubitores|
|Wyclif||1508||lecchouris||synne of Sodom|
|Tyndale||1525||weaklings||abusers of themselves with mankynde|
|Great Bible||1539||weaklynges||abusers of themselves with mankynde|
|Bishops Bible||1568||effeminate||liers with mankinde|
|Reims-Douai||1609||effeminate||liers with mankind|
|King James Authorized Version||1611||effeminate||abusers of themselves with mankind|
|The Revised Version||1811||effeminate||abusers of themselves with men|
|Darby||1890||those who make women of themselves||abuse themselves with men|
|American Standard Version||1901||effeminate||abusers of themselves with men|
|RVA||1909||los afeminados||los que se echan con varones|
|Louis Segond||1910||les effimines||les infames|
|Wesley's New Testament||1938||guilty of unnatural crime|
|Goodspeed||1951||sensual||given to unnatural vice|
|Jerusalem Bible (French)||1955||effeminate||people with infamous habits|
|Interlinear Greek-English New Testament||1958||voluptuous persons||Sodomites|
|The Amplified Version||1958||those who participate in homosexuality|
|New English||1961||homosexual perversion|
|New American Standard Bible||1963||effeminate||homosexuals|
|Today's English Version||1966||homosexual perverts|
|Jerusalem Bible (German)||1968||sissies||child molesters|
|Jerusalem Bible (English)||1968||Catamites||Sodomites|
|New American Catholic||1970||homosexual perverts||sodomites|
|Revised Standard Version||1971||sexual perverts|
|The Living Bible||1971||homosexuals|
|New International Version||1978||male prostitutes||homosexual offenders|
|New King James||1979||homosexuals||sodomites|
|rev Luther Bibel||1984||lustknaben||knabenschander|
|New Jerusalem Bible||1985||self indulgent||sodomites|
|New American Catholic||1987||boy prostitutes||practicing homosexuals|
|Revised English Bible||1989||sexual pervert|
|New Revised Standard||1989||male prostitutes||sodomites|
|New Living||1996||male prostitutes||homosexuals|
|Third Millenium Bible||1998||effeminate||abusers of themselves with mankind|
Note from Mary: The information for this page is Used With Permission from its author, Jeramy Townsley.
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